Non-parametric analysis of neurochemical effects and Arc expression in amphetamine-induced 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalization

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A number of studies have identified the importance of dopaminergic, opioid, serotonergic, noradrenergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in amphetamine-induced “50-kHz” ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). Amphetamine became a topic of interest for many researchers interested in USVs due to its ability to induce 50-kHz USVs. To date, it has been difficult to identify the neurotransmitters responsible for this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to determine the following: (i) concentrations of neurotransmitters in selected structures of the rat brain after re-exposure of the rats to amphetamine administration; (ii) changes in Arc in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum, nucleus accumbens core and shell, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral tegmental area; and (iii) a biological basis for differences in 50-kHz USV emissions in response to amphetamine administration. Re-exposure to amphetamine increased 50-kHz USVs. This parameter do not correlate with distance covered by the investigated animals. An increased concentration of noradrenaline in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) strongly correlated with the number of 50-kHz USVs. We found that NAcc noradrenaline concentrations negatively correlated with the concentration of dopamine and dopamine metabolites and positively correlated with the concentration of GABA and 5-HIAA (serotonin metabolite) in this structure. We have also identified a positive correlation between striatal 3-MT (dopamine metabolite) concentrations and Arc expression in the hippocampal DG as well as a negative correlation between the concentration of GABA in the amygdala and Arc expression in the central amygdala. Thus, the relationship between the emission of 50-kHz USVs and the neurochemical changes that occur after re-exposure to amphetamine indicates cross-talk between NA, DA, 5-HT and GABA neurotransmission in the NAcc.

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