Susceptibility to amphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization is modulated by environmental stimuli

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We have previously reported that intravenous (I.V.) administrations of 0.5-1.0 mg/kg of amphetamine in the absence of any environmental stimuli predictive of drug administration failed to induce psychomotor sensitization whereas the same drug did produce robust sensitization when given in association with environmental novelty. These results were obtained by studying rotational behavior in animals with a unilateral 6-OHDA lesion of the mesostriatal dopamine system. The purpose of this study was to determine if environmental novelty has a similar effect on sensitization to the locomotor activating effects of amphetamine in neurologically intact rats. Rats were implanted with I.V. catheters and divided in four groups. Two groups were housed in locomotor activity cages and given seven consecutive I.V. infusions of either saline (SAL-HOME group) or 0.375 mg/kg of amphetamine (AMPH-HOME group), using a remotely activated delivery system. Simultaneously, the other two groups were transported to the test cages and given the same treatment (SAL-NOVEL and AMPH-NOVEL groups). After one week withdrawal, all groups were given an amphetamine challenge (0.375 mg/kg, I.V.). Amphetamine sensitization developed when the drug was administered under NOVEL conditions, as indicated by a progressive increase in ampheatmine-induced locomotor activity over test sessions and by a greater response to the amphetamine challenge in the AMPH-pretreated versus the SAL-pretreated group. In contrast, no sensitization was observed under HOME conditions. Similar results were obtained with the analysis of vertical activity. Copyright (C) 1999 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.




Fraioli, S., Crombag, H. S., Badiani, A., & Robinson, T. E. (1999). Susceptibility to amphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization is modulated by environmental stimuli. Neuropsychopharmacology, 20(6), 533–541.

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