Neurochemical and behavioral comparisons of contingent and non-contingent methamphetamine exposure following binge or yoked long-access self-administration paradigms

Catherine A. Schweppe, Caitlin Burzynski, Subramaniam Jayanthi, Bruce Ladenheim, Jean Lud Cadet, Eliot L. Gardner, Zheng Xiong Xi, Henriette van Praag, Amy Hauck Newman, Thomas M. Keck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale: Abuse of the psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH) can cause long-lasting damage to brain monoaminergic systems and is associated with profound mental health problems for users, including lasting cognitive impairments. Animal models of METH exposure have been useful in dissecting the molecular effects of the drug on cognition, but many studies use acute, non-contingent “binge” administrations of METH which do not adequately approximate human METH use. Long-term METH exposure via long-access (LgA) self-administration paradigms has been proposed to more closely reflect human use and induce cognitive impairments. Objective: To better understand the role of contingency and patterns of exposure in METH-induced cognitive impairments, we analyzed behavioral and neurochemical outcomes in adult male rats, comparing non-contingent “binge” METH administration with contingent (LgA) METH self-administration and non-contingent yoked partners. Results: Binge METH (40 mg/kg, i.p., over 1 day) dramatically altered striatal and hippocampal dopamine, DOPAC, 5-HT, 5-HIAA, BDNF, and TrkB 75 days after drug exposure. In contrast, 6-h LgA METH self-administration (cumulative 24.8–48.9 mg METH, i.v., over 16 days) altered hippocampal BDNF in both contingent and yoked animals but reduced striatal 5-HIAA in only contingent animals. Neurochemical alterations following binge METH administration were not accompanied by cognitive deficits in Morris water maze, novel object recognition, or Y-maze tests. However, contingent LgA METH self-administration resulted in impaired spatial memory in the water maze. Conclusions: Overall, substantial differences in neurochemical markers between METH exposure and self-administration paradigms did not consistently translate to deficits in cognitive tasks, highlighting the complexity of correlating METH-induced neurochemical changes with cognitive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1989-2005
Number of pages17
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume237
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology

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