Stress-induced cross-sensitization to amphetamine is related to changes in the dopaminergic system.
ABSTRACT Repeated stress engenders behavioral sensitization. The mesolimbic dopamine system is critically involved in drug-induced behavioral sensitization. In the present study we examined the differences between adolescent and adult rats in stress-induced behavioral sensitization to amphetamine and changes in dopamine (DA) and its metabolite levels in the mesolimbic system. Adolescent or adult rats were restrained for 2 h, once a day, for 7 days. Three days after the last exposure to stress, the animals were challenged with saline or amphetamine (1.0 mg/kg i.p.) and amphetamine-induced locomotion was recorded for 40 min. Immediately after the behavioral tests, rats were decapitated and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and amygdala (AM) were removed to measure tissue levels of DA and its metabolites by HPLC. Exposure to repeated restraint stress promoted behavioral sensitization to amphetamine in both adult and adolescent rats. In adult rats, amphetamine administration increased DA levels in both the stress and control groups in the NAcc and VTA. In adolescent rats, amphetamine increased DA levels in the NAcc in rats exposed to stress. Furthermore, in the AM of adolescent rats in the control group, amphetamine increased the DA levels; however, amphetamine reduced this neurotransmitter in the rats that were exposed to stress. No alteration was observed in the dopamine metabolite levels. Therefore, stress promoted behavioral sensitization to amphetamine and this may be related to changes in DA levels in the mesolimbic system. These changes appear to be dependent on ontogeny.
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ABSTRACT: Both psychostimulants and antidepressants target monoamine transporters and, as a consequence, augment monoamine transmission. These two groups of drugs also increase motor activity in preclinical behavioural screens for antidepressants. Substance P-preferring receptor (NK1R) antagonists similarly increase both motor activity in these tests and monoamine transmission in the brain. In this article, the neurochemical and behavioural responses to these three groups of drugs are compared. It becomes evident that NK1R antagonists represent a distinct class of compounds ('motor disinhibitors') that differ substantially from both psychostimulants and antidepressants, especially during states of heightened arousal or stress. Also, all three groups of drugs influence the activation of voltage-gated Ca(v)1.2 and Ca(v)1.3 L-type channels (LTCCs) in the brain, albeit in different ways. This article discusses evidence that points to disruption of these functional interactions between NK1R and LTCCs as a contributing factor in the cognitive and behavioural abnormalities that are prominent features of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Arising from this is the interesting possibility that the hyperactivity and impulsivity (as in ADHD) and psychomotor retardation (as in depression), reflect opposite poles of a behavioural continuum. A better understanding of this pharmacological network could help explain why psychostimulants augment motor behaviour during stress (e.g., in preclinical screens for antidepressants) and yet reduce locomotor activity and impulsivity in ADHD.Neuropharmacology 04/2014; · 4.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Research on adolescence and drug abuse increased substantially in the past decade. However, drug-addiction-related behaviors following stressful experiences during adolescence are less studied. We focus on rodent models of adolescent stress cross-sensitization to drugs of abuse. Review the ontogeny of behavior, dopamine, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in adolescent rodents. We evaluate evidence that stressful experiences during adolescence engender hypersensitivity to drugs of abuse and offer potential neural mechanisms. Much evidence suggests that final maturation of behavior, dopamine systems, and HPA axis occurs during adolescence. Stress during adolescence increases amphetamine- and ethanol-stimulated locomotion, preference, and self-administration under many conditions. The influence of adolescent stress on subsequent cocaine- and nicotine-stimulated locomotion and preference is less clear. The type of adolescent stress, temporal interval between stress and testing, species, sex, and the drug tested are key methodological determinants for successful cross-sensitization procedures. The sensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine system is proposed to underlie stress cross-sensitization to drugs of abuse in both adolescents and adults through modulation by CRF. Reduced levels of mesocortical dopamine appear to be a unique consequence of social stress during adolescence. Adolescent stress may reduce the final maturation of cortical dopamine through D2 dopamine receptor regulation of dopamine synthesis or glucocorticoid-facilitated pruning of cortical dopamine fibers. Certain rodent models of adolescent adversity are useful for determining neural mechanisms underlying the cross-sensitization to drugs of abuse.Psychopharmacology 12/2013; · 4.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic stress is an established risk factor in the development of addiction. Addiction is characterized by a progressive transition from casual drug use to habitual and compulsive drug use. The ability of chronic stress to facilitate the transition to addiction may be mediated by increased engagement of the neurocircuitries underlying habitual behavior and addiction. In the present study, striatal morphology was evaluated after two weeks of chronic variable stress in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Dendritic complexity of medium spiny neurons was visualized and quantified with Golgi staining in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial striatum, as well as in the nucleus accumbens core and shell. In separate cohorts, the effects of chronic stress on habitual behavior and the acute locomotor response to methamphetamine were also assessed. Chronic stress resulted in increased dendritic complexity in the dorsolateral striatum and nucleus accumbens core, regions implicated in habitual behavior and addiction, while decreased complexity was found in the nucleus accumbens shell, a region critical for the initial rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. Chronic stress did not affect dendritic complexity in the dorsomedial striatum. A parallel shift toward habitual learning strategies following chronic stress was also identified. There was an initial reduction in acute locomotor response to methamphetamine, but no lasting effect as a result of chronic stress exposure. These findings suggest that chronic stress may facilitate the recruitment of habit- and addiction-related neurocircuitries through neuronal restructuring in the striatum.Neuroscience 09/2014; · 3.12 Impact Factor