Repeated intermittent administration of methamphetamine (MAP) produces an enduring hypersensitivity to the motor stimulant effect of MAP, termed behavioral sensitization. Dopamine plays a critical role in the development and expression of behavioral sensitization. Here, we investigated whether a dopamine D1 receptor agonist could reverse behavioral sensitization to MAP. Administration of MAP (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) to rats once every 3 days for a total of 5 times (days 1-13) induced the enhancement of locomotor activity after MAP challenge (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) on day 20, verifying the development of behavioral sensitization. The MAP-sensitized rats then received a dopamine D1 agonist, R-(+)-SKF38393 (3.0 mg/kg, i.p.), once a day for 7 consecutive days (days 21-27). Behavioral analysis on days 30 and 41 revealed that the enhanced locomotor activity was reversed by repeated R-(+)-SKF38393 administration. Moreover, repeated R-(+)-SKF38393 administration reversed the increased dopamine release in the striatum after MAP challenge on day 41. Thus, repeated administration of the dopamine D1 receptor agonist induces the reversal of established behavioral sensitization to MAP and of increased dopamine release in the striatum, lasting for at least 2 weeks. Dopamine D1 receptor agonists may be useful therapeutic agents for the treatment of psychostimulant addiction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience