Author ORCID Identifier

Michelle Elsmore:

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2023


drug, sex, sex differences, oxycodone, opioid, behavior, addition, addiction medicine

Degree Name

Integrative Neuroscience (BS)



First Advisor

Dr. David J Jentsch

Second Advisor

Dr. Anushree Karkhanis

Third Advisor

Dr. Joshua Peck


Science and Mathematics

Subject Heading(s)

Oxycodone abuse ; Drug abuse -- Forecasting ; Drugs of abuse


Opioid misuse has been identified to be related to problematic release of dopamine in the brain that is otherwise satiated by other alternative rewards. As mediated by patterns of positive and negative reinforcement, prolonged opioid use may transition into misuse and development of opioid use disorder. In human populations, men and women differ in their acquisition of drug use and escalation to drug misuse. Women quickly surpass their male counterparts in their transition from use to misuse in what is coined the telescoping effect. In this four core genotype model of oral oxycodone self administration, males were hypothesized to consume more total oxycodone in comparison to females during acquisition of drug behavior. Additionally, XX mice, regardless of gonadal sex, were hypothesized to be less sensitive to price increases as summarized in demand value alpha, as compared to XY mice. Subject consumption and price were used to create demand curves and parameters using the package in R. Average consumption in price were differentiated for every combination of sex, chromosome, complement, and gonadal sex as represented in the mouse model. This allows the generation of four averaged demand curves to reflect alpha value. There were no observable signifivcant differences in total consumption. Largely no main effect differences were observed to be due to gonadal sex or sex chromosome complement in reference to total oxycodone consumption. When observing mean values of alpha, there is no main effect significance between male and female subjects. However, there is a difference between XX and XY females where there is a two-fold increase in XX females (sig 0.053). Within the limitations of the timeline of this present model, further research would need to be conducted to preserve the findings of atypical female consumptions at beginning stages of problematic use.


Thank you sincerely to Alyssa Kinser for four years of academic mentorship and guidance through a new field of knowledge.

Previous Versions

Sep 1 2023