Methamphetamine-induced dopamine terminal deficits in the nucleus accumbens are exacerbated by reward-associated cues and attenuated by CB1 receptor antagonism

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 20 Penn Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
Neuropharmacology (Impact Factor: 5.11). 01/2012; 62(7):2192-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.01.013
Source: PubMed


Methamphetamine (METH) exposure is primarily associated with deleterious effects to dopaminergic neurons. While several studies have implicated the endocannabinoid system in METH's locomotor, rewarding and neurochemical effects, a role for this signaling system in METH's effects on dopamine terminal dynamics has not been elucidated. Given that CB1 receptor blockade reduces the acute potentiation of phasic extracellular dopamine release from other psychomotor stimulant drugs and that the degree of acute METH-induced increases in extracellular dopamine levels is related to the severity of dopamine depletion, we predicted that pretreatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant would reduce METH-induced alterations at dopamine terminals. Furthermore, we hypothesized that administration of METH in environments where reward associated-cues were present would potentiate METH's acute effects on dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and exacerbate changes in dopamine terminal activity. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was used to measure electrically-evoked dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and revealed markers of compromised dopamine terminal integrity nine days after a single dose of METH. These were exacerbated in animals that received METH in the presence of reward-associated cues, and attenuated in rimonabant-pretreated animals. While these deficits in dopamine dynamics were associated with reduced operant responding on days following METH administration in animals treated with only METH, rimonabant-pretreated animals exhibited levels of operant responding comparable to control. Moreover, dopamine release correlated significantly with changes in lever pressing behavior that occurred on days following METH administration. Together these data suggest that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the subsecond dopaminergic response to METH.

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Available from: Hugo A Tejeda, Mar 19, 2014
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