Deficits in behavioral sensitization and dopaminergic responses to methamphetamine in adenylyl cyclase 1/8-deficient mice

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The cAMP/protein kinase A pathway regulates methamphetamine (METH)-induced neuroplasticity underlying behavioral sensitization. We hypothesize that adenylyl cyclases (AC) 1/8 mediate these neuroplastic events and associated striatal dopamine regulation. Locomotor responses to METH (1 and 5 mg/kg) and striatal dopamine function were evaluated in mice lacking AC 1/8 (DKO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Only 5 mg/kg METH induced an acute locomotor response in DKO mice, which was significantly attenuated versus WT controls. DKO mice showed a marked attenuation in the development and expression of METH-induced behavioral sensitization across doses relative to WT controls. While basal and acute METH (5 mg/kg)-evoked accumbal dialysate dopamine levels were similar between genotypes, saline-treated DKO mice showed elevated tissue content of dopamine and homovanillic acid in the dorsal striatum (DS), reflecting dysregulated dopamine homeostasis and/or metabolism. Significant reductions in DS dopamine levels were observed in METH-sensitized DKO mice compared to saline-treated controls, an effect not observed in WT mice. Notably, saline-treated DKO mice had significantly increased phosphorylated Dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein levels, which were not further augmented following METH sensitization, as observed in WT mice. These data indicate that AC 1/8 are critical to mechanisms subserving drug-induced behavioral sensitization and mediate nigrostriatal pathway METH sensitivity.

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