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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1992;107(2-3):331-6.

Amphetamine or haloperidol 2 weeks earlier antagonized the plasma corticosterone response to amphetamine; evidence for the stressful/foreign nature of drugs.

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University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, PA.


We inquired whether a single exposure to amphetamine (AM) or haloperidol (HALO) could modify the plasma corticosterone (CORT) response to a second injection of AM 2 weeks later. Male rats were injected with 4 mg/kg d-AM sulfate and tested for water intake for 5 h before sacrifice. Overall, AM induced water intake but none of the pretreatments altered this effect. By contrast, preexposure to AM, HALO or its vehicle 2 weeks earlier prevented the elevation of plasma CORT obtained when AM was administered without pretreatment. A combined pretreatment of HALO or its vehicle with AM produced an even greater blockade of AM-induced CORT elevation. Manipulations which prevented AM-induced drinking reduced the effectiveness of AM pretreatment in attenuating AM-induced elevation in CORT, suggesting that the pretreatment may have been sensitizing the effectiveness of a coping response--drinking--in reducing the CORT effect. Our findings also indicate that a dopamine agonist (AM), a dopamine antagonist (HALO) and a nonspecific stressor (acidic vehicle) can all induce the same, long-lasting action on CORT. This strongly suggests that the effects of AM and HALO in this instance cannot be explained in terms of their pharmacological actions, which are opposite to one another, but instead relate to their properties as stressful/foreign agents to the organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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