Withdrawal from amphetamine is associated with increased anxiety and sensitivity to stressors which are thought to contribute to relapse. Rats undergoing amphetamine withdrawal fail to exhibit stress-induced increases in serotonin (5-HT) release in the ventral hippocampus and show heightened anxiety-like behaviors. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that reducing 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus is a causal mechanism in increasing anxiety-like behaviors during amphetamine withdrawal. First, we tested whether reducing 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus directly increases anxiety behavior. Male rats were bilaterally infused with 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) into the ventral hippocampus, which produced a 83% decrease in ventral hippocampus 5-HT content, and were tested on the elevated plus maze (EPM) for anxiety-like behavior. Reducing ventral hippocampus 5-HT levels decreased the time spent in the open arms of the maze, suggesting that diminished ventral hippocampus 5-HT levels increases anxiety-like behavior. Next, we tested whether increasing 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus reverses anxiety behavior exhibited by rats undergoing amphetamine withdrawal. Rats were treated daily with either amphetamine (2.5-mg/kg, i.p.) or saline for 2. weeks, and at 2. weeks withdrawal, were infused with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine (0.5. μM) bilaterally into the ventral hippocampus and tested for anxiety-like behavior on the EPM. Rats pre-treated with amphetamine exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior on the EPM. This effect was reversed by ventral hippocampus infusion of paroxetine. Our results suggest that 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus are critical for regulating anxiety behavior. Increasing 5-HT levels during withdrawal may be an effective strategy for reducing anxiety-induced drug relapse.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Dec 5 2014|
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