Acute amphetamine administration activates monoaminergic pathways and increases systemic corticosterone, both of which influence anxiety states and adult dentate gyrus neurogenesis. Chronic amphetamine increases anxiety states in rats when measured at 24 h and at 2 weeks of withdrawal. However, the effects of chronic amphetamine exposure and withdrawal on long term anxiety-like behavior and adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus are unknown. Adult male rats were administered amphetamine (2.5 mg/kg, ip.) daily for two weeks. Anxiety-like behaviors were increased markedly in amphetamine-treated rats following four weeks of withdrawal from amphetamine. Plasma corticosterone level was unaltered by amphetamine treatment or withdrawal. However, norepinephrine and serotonin concentrations were selectively reduced in the dentate gyrus 20 h following amphetamine treatment. This effect did not persist through the four week withdrawal period. In separate experiments, rats received bromodeoxyuridine to label cells in S-phase, prior to or immediately following amphetamine treatment. Newly generated cells were quantified to measure extent of progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis following treatment or withdrawal. Progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis were not significantly affected by amphetamine exposure when measured 20 h following the last amphetamine treatment. However, neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus was reduced after four weeks of withdrawal when compared to saline-pretreated rats. Overall, our findings indicate that withdrawal from chronic amphetamine leads to persistent anxiety-like behavior which may be maintained by reduced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus at this protracted withdrawal time point. However, neurogenesis is unaffected at earlier withdrawal time points where anxiety states emerge, suggesting different mechanisms may underlie the emergence of anxiety states during amphetamine withdrawal.
- Affective disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience