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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2009 Mar;91(3):207-17. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2008.12.005. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

Neonatal amphetamine exposure and hippocampus-mediated behaviors.

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Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, 233 Reynolds Medical Building, College Station, TX 77843-1114, United States.


Previous studies linking amphetamine use during pregnancy to changes in the behavioral development of affected infants have greatly increased society's level of concern regarding amphetamine use by women of reproductive age. The aim of this study was to investigate whether exposure to d-amphetamine sulfate during the brain growth spurt, the most dynamic period of brain development, alters hippocampus-mediated behaviors during both pre-adolescence and young adulthood. Sprague-Dawley rat pups were intragastrically administered a milk formula containing 0, 5, 15 or 25 mg/kg/day of amphetamine from postnatal day (PD) 4-9. Following weaning, the effects of neonatal amphetamine exposure on hippocampus-mediated behaviors were assessed using the open-field, the water maze, and the conditioned taste aversion behavioral tasks. Results from these behavioral tests revealed that while amphetamine exposure during the brain growth spurt alters behaviors in open-field testing, it does not interfere with performance in either the water maze or the conditioned taste aversion paradigm. These results offer speculation that the effects of neonatal amphetamine exposure on hippocampus-mediated behaviors may be related to interactions between the "temporal" (time of drug exposure) and "regional" (different regions of the hippocampus) vulnerability issues.

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