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Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Apr;31(4):541-5.

Motivational effects of methamphetamine as measured by the runway method using priming stimulation of intracranial self-stimulation behavior.

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  • 1Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


Priming stimulation is known to promote the motivational effects of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) behavior. The runway method using priming stimulation can experimentally distinguish the reward and motivational effects of ICSS behavior. In this study, we examined the motivational effect of a drug as determined by the runway method using priming stimulation of ICSS behavior. Electrodes were implanted chronically into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) of the rats. A lever for stimulation of the MFB was set on the opposite side of the start box in the apparatus. The rats were trained to obtain a reward stimulation (50-200 muA, 0.2 ms, 60 Hz) of the MFB by pressing the goal lever, and then priming stimulation of the MFB was applied. After priming stimulation, rats were placed in the start box of the runway apparatus and the time taken by the rat to press the lever was recorded. Priming stimulation frequency was significantly correlated with running speed (r=0.897, p<0.05). Methamphetamine (1, 3 mg/kg) induced an increase in running speed (F(3, 20)=16.257, p<0.01), and was further increased with increase in priming stimulation frequency. In addition, methamphetamine significantly enhanced the motivational effect. These results suggest that the runway method using priming stimulation of ICSS behavior may be an effective way to evaluate the enhancing effect of a drug on motivation.

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