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Repeated amphetamine administration outside the home cage enhances drug-induced Fos expression in rat nucleus accumbens

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:12 authored by BJ Mattson, Hans CrombagHans Crombag, T Mitchell, DE Simmons, JD Kreuter, M Morales, BT Hope
Induction of the immediate early gene protein product Fos has been used extensively to assess neural activation in the striatum after repeated amphetamine administration to rats in their home cages. However, this technique has not been used to examine striatal activation after repeated administration outside the home cage, an environment where repeated drug administration produces more robust psychomotor sensitization. We determined the dose-response relationship for amphetamine-induced psychomotor activity and Fos expression in nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen 1 week after repeated administration of amphetamine or saline in locomotor activity chambers. Repeated administration of amphetamine enhanced amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and stereotypy and Fos expression in nucleus accumbens, but not in caudate-putamen. In comparison, levels of Fos expression induced by 1 mg/kg amphetamine were not altered in nucleus accumbens or caudate-putamen by repeated amphetamine administration in the home cage. Double-labeling of Fos protein and enkephalin mRNA indicates that Fos is expressed in approximately equal numbers of enkephalin-negative and enkephalin-positive neurons in nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen following injections outside the home cage. Furthermore, repeated amphetamine administration increased drug-induced Fos expression in enkephalin-positive, but not enkephalin-negative, neurons in nucleus accumbens. We conclude that repeated amphetamine administration outside the home cage recruits the activation of enkephalin-containing nucleus accumbens neurons during sensitized amphetamine-induced psychomotor activity.


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  • Published


Behavioural Brain Research





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  • Psychology Publications

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