Adolescent amphetamine exposure elicits dose-specific effects on monoaminergic neurotransmission and behaviour in adulthood.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, Volume 15, Issue 9, p.1319-30 (2012)


<p>Despite the growing non-medical consumption of amphetamine (Amph) during adolescence, its long-term neurobiological and behavioural effects have remained largely unexplored. The present research sought to characterize the behavioural profile and electrophysiological properties of midbrain monoaminergic neurons in adult rodents after Amph exposure during adolescence. Adolescent rats were administered vehicle, 0.5, 1.5, or 5.0 mg/kg.d Amph from postnatal day (PND) 30-50. At adulthood (PND 70), rats were tested in an open-field test (OFT) and elevated plus maze (EPM), paralleled by in-vivo extracellular recordings of serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) neurons from the dorsal raphe nucleus, ventral tegmental area, and locus coeruleus, respectively. 5-HT firing in adulthood was increased in rats that had received Amph (1.5 mg/kg.d) during adolescence. At this regimen, DA firing activity was increased, but not NE firing. Conversely, the highest Amph dose regimen (5.0 mg/kg.d) enhanced NE firing, but not DA or 5-HT firing rates. In the OFT, Amph (1.5 mg/kg.d) significantly increased the total distance travelled, while the other doses were ineffective. In the EPM, all three Amph doses increased time spent in the open arms and central platform, as well as the number of stretch-attend postures made. Repeated adolescent exposure to Amph differentially augments monoaminergic neuronal firing in a dose-specific fashion in adulthood, with corresponding alterations in locomotion, risk assessment (stretch-attend postures and central platform occupancy) and risk-taking behaviours (open-arm exploration). Thus, adolescent Amph exposure induces long-lasting neurophysiological alterations that may have implications for drug-seeking behaviour in the future.</p>

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