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Brain Res. 2011 Jun 1;1393:23-30. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.03.070. Epub 2011 Apr 3.

Histamine-dependent behavioral response to methamphetamine in 12-month-old male mice.

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  • 1Department of Behavioural Neuroscience, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Methamphetamine (MA) use is a large problem across the United States. Effects of MA include hyperactivity and increased anxiety. Using a mouse model system, we examined behavioral performance in the open field and elevated zero maze and shock-startle response of 12-month-old wild-type mice injected with MA once (1 mg/kg) 30 min prior to behavioral testing. MA treatment resulted in behavioral sensitization in the open field, consistent with studies in younger mice. There was an increased activity in the elevated zero maze and an increased shock-startle response 30 and 60 min post-injection. Since histamine mediates some effects of MA in the brain, we assessed whether 12-month-old mice lacking histidine decarboxylase (Hdc⁻/⁻), the enzyme required to synthesize histamine, respond differently to MA than wild-type (Hdc+/+) mice. Compared to saline treatment, acute and repeated MA administration increased activity in the open field and measures of anxiety, though more so in Hdc⁻/⁻ than Hdc+/+ mice. In the elevated zero maze, opposite effects of MA on activity and measures of anxiety were seen in Hdc+/+ mice. In contrast, MA similarly increased the shock-startle response in Hdc⁻/⁻ and Hdc+/+ mice, compared to saline-treated genotype-matched mice. These results are similar to those in younger mice, suggesting that the effects are not age-dependent. Overall, single or repeated MA treatment causes histamine-dependent changes in 12-month-old mice in the open field and elevated zero maze, but not in the shock-startle response.

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