The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Methamphetamine Regulation of Firing Activity of Dopamine Neurons.

PMID 27707972


Methamphetamine (METH) is a substrate for the dopamine transporter that increases extracellular dopamine levels by competing with dopamine uptake and increasing reverse transport of dopamine via the transporter. METH has also been shown to alter the excitability of dopamine neurons. The mechanism of METH regulation of the intrinsic firing behaviors of dopamine neurons is less understood. Here we identified an unexpected and unique property of METH on the regulation of firing activity of mouse dopamine neurons. METH produced a transient augmentation of spontaneous spike activity of midbrain dopamine neurons that was followed by a progressive reduction of spontaneous spike activity. Inspection of action potential morphology revealed that METH increased the half-width and produced larger coefficients of variation of the interspike interval, suggesting that METH exposure affected the activity of voltage-dependent potassium channels in these neurons. Since METH has been shown to affect Ca Methamphetamine (METH) competes with dopamine uptake, increases dopamine efflux via the dopamine transporter, and affects the excitability of dopamine neurons. Here, we identified an unexpected property of METH on dopamine neuron firing activity. METH transiently increased the spontaneous spike activity of dopamine neurons followed by a progressive reduction of the spontaneous spike activity. METH broadened the action potentials, increased coefficients of variation of the interspike interval, and decreased the amplitude of afterhyperpolarization, which are consistent with changes in the activity of Ca