The Effects of mGluR2/3 Activation on Acute and Repeated Amphetamine-Induced Locomotor Activity in Differentially Reared Male Rats

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Environmental stimuli play a key role in affecting the likelihood to abuse drugs. Environmental enrichment can reduce that likelihood. The neurotransmitter glutamate contributes to both drug reward and rearing-induced changes in the brain. The current study investigated the effects of the Group-2 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR2/3) agonist, LY-379268 (0.5, 1.0 mg/kg), on acute and repeated amphetamine-induced locomotor activity in differentially reared male rats. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of 3 environmental conditions postweaning: enriched (EC), isolated (IC), or standard (SC), where they reared for 30 days. The effect of LY-379268 on acute amphetamine-induced locomotor activity was assessed. Rats were injected with either LY-379268 (0.5, 1.0 mg/kg) or saline prior to an amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg) or saline challenge injection. Rats were also administered amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg) or saline injections prior to 5 locomotor sessions. Following a rest period of 14–15 days, the effects of repeated amphetamine exposure were evaluated using LY-379268 (0.5, 1.0 mg/kg) or saline injections 30 min prior to receiving amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg). Results showed that LY-379268 administration dose-dependently attenuated acute amphetamine-induced locomotor activity, with EC rats generally displaying less attenuation than IC or SC rats. After repeated amphetamine administrations, the ability of LY-379268 to attenuate the final expression of amphetamine-induced locomotor activity in differentially reared rats was dose-dependent. The differing effect of LY-379268 observed in EC rats suggests enrichment-induced glutamatergic alterations that may protect against sensitivity to psychostimulants.

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