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Brain Res. 1992 Dec 11;598(1-2):343-8.

Stress-induced sensitization to amphetamine and morphine psychomotor effects depend on stress-induced corticosterone secretion.

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  • 1Psychobiologie des Comportements Adaptatifs, INSERM U259, Universit√© de Bordeaux II, France.

Abstract

Repeated exposure to stressful situations has been shown to increase individual reactivity to addictive drugs. However, the biological factors involved in such stress-induced changes are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of corticosterone in the effects of restraint stress on the response to psychostimulants and opioids. The effects of repeated stress on amphetamine- and morphine-induced locomotor activity were compared in: (i) animals with an intact hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; (ii) animals in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was blocked by adrenalectomy, but who received exogenous corticosterone from a subcutaneous implant. The implanted pellets (50 mg) slowly release corticosterone producing a stable plasma level within the normal physiological range over a period of 20 days. Restraint stress increased the locomotor response to both amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) and morphine (2 mg/kg s.c.) in animals with an intact HPA axis, but not in animals in which stress-induced corticosterone secretion was suppressed. These results suggest that corticosterone secretion may be one of the mechanisms by which repeated stress amplifies behavioral responses to amphetamine and morphine. Since an enhanced locomotor reactivity to addictive drugs has been found to be frequently associated with an enhanced vulnerability to drug self-administration, these findings point to a role for glucocorticoids in the susceptibility to drug abuse.

PMID:
1486498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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