Methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity alters locomotor activity, stereotypic behavior, and stimulated dopamine release in the rat.

Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267, USA.
Journal of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.91). 11/1999; 19(20):9141-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The neurochemical evidence of methamphetamine (MA)-induced toxicity to dopaminergic nerve terminals is well documented; however, the functional consequences are not clearly defined. The present study was designed to investigate whether MA-induced dopamine depletions affect locomotor activity, stereotypic behavior, and/or extracellular dopamine concentrations in the neostriatum. Male rats were treated with a neurotoxic regimen of MA (10 mg/kg, i.p., every 2 hr for four injections) or vehicle and tested for functional effects 1 week later. Animals that had received the neurotoxic regimen of MA showed a reduction in both caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens dopamine contents of 56 and 30%, respectively. Furthermore, MA-treated rats exhibited a significant attenuation in spontaneous activity, as well as a significant diminution in MA (low dose)-stimulated locomotor activity as compared to vehicle-treated rats. However, there were no differences in the MA (low dose)-induced increases in extracellular dopamine concentrations in the caudate nucleus or the nucleus accumbens core of either group. Interestingly, the acute administration of higher doses of MA elicited a significantly augmented stereotypic response and a significantly attenuated increase in the extracellular concentration of dopamine in the caudate nucleus of rats treated with a neurotoxic regimen of MA as compared to vehicle-treated animals. These data indicate that MA-induced neurotoxicity results in abnormal dopamine-mediated behaviors, as well as a brain region-specific impairment in stimulated dopamine release.

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