Prenatal cocaine exposure alters behavioral and neurochemical sensitization to amphetamine in adult rats. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the neurochemical correlates of amphetamine (AMPH)-induced behavioral effects in prenatally saline (PSAL)-exposed or cocaine (PCOC)-exposed male rats. Pregnant Long-Evans rats received saline or saline containing cocaine hydrochloride (20 mg/kg s.c., b.i.d.) from gestational days 15-21. Animals were left with their biological mothers. Adult offspring were exposed to daily saline or AMPH (0.5, 1.5, or 5 mg/kg, i.p.) injections for 7 days. Behaviors were recorded in an open field during the first hour post-injection. PCOC rats did not exhibit behavioral anomalies during habituation to injection-stress or placement in the open field. PCOC rats displayed significant alterations in stereotyped responses to acute or intermittent exposure to various doses of AMPH. Within 48 h of the final testing day, striatal tissue was obtained from these animals and electrically-evoked [3H]acetylcholine (ACh) release was measured from striatal slices. Superfusion of tissue slices with various concentrations of AMPH (1-1000 nM) produced dose-dependent inhibition of ACh release in both PSAL and PCOC rats repeatedly injected with saline as adults. However, AMPH-induced inhibition of ACh release was decreased in PCOC rats repeatedly injected with AMPH as adults. At 5 mg/kg AMPH, PCOC rats exhibited increased mortality compared to PSAL rats. These data suggest that PCOC exposure produces long-lasting alterations in nigrostriatal transmission and behaviors mediated by this system.

published proceedings

  • Neuropharmacology

author list (cited authors)

  • Glatt, S. J., Bolaos, C. A., Trksak, G. H., Crowder-Dupont, C., & Jackson, D.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Glatt, SJ||BolaƱos, CA||Trksak, GH||Crowder-Dupont, C||Jackson, D

publication date

  • January 2000