Early social isolation, but not maternal separation, affects behavioral sensitization to amphetamine in male and female adult rats

Isabelle C. Weiss, Annette M. Domeney, Christian A. Heidbreder, Jean Luc Moreau, Joram Feldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Early life stressful manipulations, such as maternal separation (MS) or social isolation (SI), can influence the neurobiological development of rats and alter the response of adult animals to drugs of abuse. The present study examined the acute and sensitized behavioral responses (locomotor activity (LMA) and stereotypy) induced by amphetamine after MS or SI in male and female rats. In addition, the hypothesis that the combination of SI and MS could lead to additional effects on the behavioral response to amphetamine was tested. After the repetitive, intermittent administration of 1.5 mg/kg D-amphetamine over five consecutive days, the behavioral expression of sensitization to a challenge injection was assessed following a 2-day withdrawal period. In both sexes, MS and SI did not alter the acute locomotor activating effects of amphetamine as measured in the open-field environment after the first administration of the drug. Whereas SI altered the expression of sensitization to amphetamine in both sexes, MS did not affect it. Finally, in none of the behavioral variables measured did MS and SI interact to further modify the behavioral profile of the animals. The present results suggest that a postweaning manipulation of the environment (SI) is more effective than a preweaning manipulation (MS) in modifying the expression of sensitization to amphetamine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Volume70
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • D-amphetamine
  • Locomotor activity
  • Maternal separation
  • Sensitization
  • Sex differences
  • Social isolation
  • Sprague-Dawley strain
  • Stereotypy

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