Interaction of stress and stimulants in female rats: Role of chronic stress on later reactivity to methamphetamine

Eden M. Anderson, Lisa M. McFadden, Leslie Matuszewich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research in humans and animals suggests that prior exposure to stress alters responsivity to drugs of abuse, including psychostimulants. Male rats show an augmented striatal dopamine response to methamphetamine following exposure to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Compared to males, female rats have been shown to be highly sensitive to the effects of stimulants and stress independently, however few studies have examined the interaction between stress and stimulants in female rats. Therefore, the current study investigated whether prior exposure to chronic stress potentiated the behavioral and neurochemical responses to an acute injection of methamphetamine in female rats. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were either exposed to CUS or left undisturbed (control) and then two weeks later received an injection of 1.0 or 7.5 mg/kg methamphetamine. Based on open field findings, a subsequent group of rats were exposed to CUS or left undisturbed and then two weeks later received 7.5 mg/kg methamphetamine and either dopamine efflux in the dorsal striatum or nucleus accumbens was measured or methamphetamine and amphetamine levels were measured in the brain and plasma. Female rats exposed to CUS traveled greater distances in the open field immediately following an injection of 7.5 mg/kg, but not 1.0 mg/kg, of methamphetamine and then showed high levels or stereotypy similar to control rats. Animals exposed to CUS had significantly greater increases in dorsal striatum dopamine following an acute injection of 7.5 mg/kg methamphetamine compared to control rats, but not in the nucleus accumbens. These differences were not due to group differences in levels of methamphetamine or amphetamine in the brain or plasma. The current findings demonstrate stress-augmented neurochemical responses to a dose of methamphetamine, similar to that self-administered, which increases understanding of the cross-sensitization between stress and methamphetamine in females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112176
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume376
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 30 2019

Keywords

  • Cross-sensitization
  • Dopamine
  • Female
  • Locomotion
  • Methamphetamine
  • Unpredictable stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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