Differential neurochemical consequences of an escalating dose-binge regimen followed by single-day multiple-dose methamphetamine challenges

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Abstract

Chronic intake of methamphetamine (METH) causes tolerance to its behavioral and subjective effects. To better mimic human patterns of drug abuse, the present study used a rodent model that took into account various facets of human drug administration and measured METH-induced effects on brain monoamine levels. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were injected with METH or saline according to an escalating dose schedule for 2 weeks. This was followed by a challenge regimen of either saline or one of two doses of METH (3 × 10 mg/kg every 2 h or 6 × 5 mg/kg given every hour, both given within a single day). Both challenge doses of METH caused significant degrees of depletion of dopamine in the striatum and norepinephrine and serotonin in the striatum, cortex, and hippocampus. Animals pre-treated with METH showed significant attenuation of METH-induced striatal dopamine depletion but not consistent attenuation of norepinephrine and serotonin depletion. Unexpectedly, METH pre-treated animals that received the 3 × 10 mg/kg challenge showed less increases in tympanic temperatures than saline pre-treated rats whereas METH pre-treated animals that received the 6 × 5 mg/kg METH challenge showed comparable increases in temperatures to saline pre-treated rats. Therefore, pre-treatment-induced partial protection against monoamine depletion is probably not because of attenuated METH-induced hyperthermia in those rats.

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