The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology

Methamphetamine self-administration attenuates hippocampal serotonergic deficits: role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

PMID 24650575


Preclinical studies suggest that prior treatment with escalating doses of methamphetamine (METH) attenuates the persistent deficits in hippocampal serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5HT) transporter (SERT) function resulting from a subsequent 'binge' METH exposure. Previous work also demonstrates that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) exposure increases SERT function. The current study investigated changes in hippocampal BDNF protein and SERT function in rats exposed to saline or METH self-administration prior to a binge exposure to METH or saline. Results revealed that METH self-administration increased hippocampal mature BDNF (mBDNF) immunoreactivity compared to saline-treated rats as assessed 24 h after the start of the last session. Further, mBDNF immunoreactivity was increased and SERT function was not altered in rats that self-administered METH prior to the binge METH exposure as assessed 24 h after the binge exposure. These results suggest that prior exposure to contingent METH increases hippocampal mBDNF, and this may contribute to attenuated deficits in SERT function.