Chronic amphetamine administration to cats: Behavioral and neurochemical evidence for decreased central serotonergic function

M. E. Trulson, Barry Jacobs

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54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic administration of amphetamine to cats (twice daily, in doses increasing from 5 to 15 mg/kg over a 10-day period) elicited a number of behaviors, e.g., limb flick and abortive groom, characteristic of the action of hallucinogenic drugs and dependent on a depression of central serotonergic neurotransmission. This drug treatment produced large decreases (-40 to -60%) in central nervous system serotonin (5-HT) and its major metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), when measured either 6 or 24 hr after the last amphetamine injection. The rate of limb flicking returned to a predrug level approximately 5 days after drug withdrawal, at which time 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels had returned to within 30 to 40% of base line. Both 5-HT and 5-HIAA returned to base-line levels within 14 days after drug withdrawal. Norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), and DA metabolites were decreased 60 to 95% by chronic amphetamine treatment and showed little recovery within the 14 days after drug withdrawal. A second experiment examined the latency to onset of the behavioral and neurochemical changes with a constant dose of amphetamine (7.5 mg/kg, twice daily). Limb flicking was significantly increased above base-line levels following 3 days of amphetamine administration, at which time 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were decreased 30 to 40%. NE, DA and DA metabolites were decreased approximately 50 to 90% by this treatment regimen. A third experiment examined the effects of a low dose of amphetamine (3.75 mg/kg), injected more frequently (every 6 hr for 6 days), to approximate the administration pattern in human amphetamine abuse. This treatment produced significant increases in limb flicking and abortive grooming on days 5 and 6 and resulted in 30 to 40% depletions of 5-HT and 5-HIAA. NE, DA and DA metabolites were decreased by approximately 50 to 90%. These data are discussed in relation to a role for serotonin in amphetamine psychosis and schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume211
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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