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Behavioral sensitization, a hallmark of addiction, is indicative of enduring alterations that result from previous drug exposures. The current study explores the effect of psychostimulants, including d-amphetamine, methylphenidate, methamphetamine, and cocaine, on cross-sensitization to another drug of abuse, methamphetamine. Each of these psychomotor stimulants increases synaptic dopamine, but does so with a distinct mechanism of action. Male and female C57Bl6/J mice were exposed to one of the psychostimulants or saline during adolescence (P22-32) followed by a period without drug exposure (>8 weeks). During adulthood, mice were challenged with a subacute dose of methamphetamine or saline and tested in an open-field chamber to assess changes in locomotor activity. Mice exposed to a stimulant preexposure and methamphetamine challenge exhibited higher total activity than their controls in a drug-specific fashion. Additionally, locomotor activity was altered differently in males and females within drug conditions. Males were more susceptible to amphetamine-induced activity changes while females were more susceptible to methylphenidate-induced changes. These results suggest that adolescent exposure to psychostimulants during the critical developmental window have a lasting neurobehavioral effect into adulthood. The novel drug and sex-specific alterations in locomotion have clinical implications and warrant further investigation to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed changes.


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  • Event location
    • Room 269 Open Classroom

  • Event date
    • 3 April 2013

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Steven A. Lloyd, Ph.D., Ryan A. Shanks, Ph.D.