Gender differences in the effects of cathinone and the interaction with caffeine on temperature and locomotor activity in the rat

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Abstract

We have investigated gender differences in the effects of cathinone and the interaction with caffeine on temperature and movement activity in Wistar rats. Telemetry probes were implanted in rats under isoflurane anaesthesia, and 7 days later, temperature and activity were recorded in conscious unrestrained animals. Caffeine (10 mg/lkg) or vehicle, and 30 min later, cathinone (5 mg/kg) or vehicle, were injected subcutaneously. Cathinone produced significant and marked increases in activity, and the response to cathinone was significantly greater in female animals. The combination of caffeine and cathinone causes a short lived potentiation followed by a prolonged inhibition of the activity response to cathinone. Cathinone alone had minor effects on temperature. However, the combination of caffeine and cathinone produced a significant acute rise in temperature only in male rats in the 90 min after cathinone injection. Hence, cathinone caused greater increases in activity in female than in male rats. Secondly, caffeine produced an initial potentiation followed by a prolonged inhibition of the activity response to cathinone. Thirdly, cathinone in combination with caffeine significantly raised temperature acutely in male but not female rats. These differences highlight the need to carry out gender studies of the actions of stimulants.

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