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Adolescent's consumption of caffeine and caffeinated beverage is increasing, yet little is known about the consequences of chronic caffeine exposure during the critical development period of adolescence. In the present study, we investigated the effect of beginning chronic caffeine consumption in adolescence on locomotor, mood, sensorimotor gating, and reward seeking behaviors through adolescence and in adulthood. During the light cycle, caffeine exposed mice exhibited hypoactivity in a novel open-field box and increased anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors, while maintaining normal home cage locomotor activity. In contrast, during the dark cycle caffeine exposed mice displayed normal locomotor activity in a novel open-field box with hyperactive home cage activity. Interestingly, we found that caffeine exposed mice also showed enhanced prepulse inhibition during the light cycle whereas they displayed a deficit of prepulse inhibition during the dark cycle. Reward seeking for sucrose was higher in caffeine exposed than control mice during the light cycle. Additionally, when granted 24 -h access to ethanol as adults, caffeine exposed mice consumed more ethanol in the absence of acute caffeine use. Altogether, mice that consumed chronic caffeine beginning in adolescence had increased reward seeking and exhibited a circadian-dependent pattern of mood fluctuations in adulthood.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Behavioural brain research
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