Neurotoxic Effects of Methamphetamine on Rat Hippocampus Pyramidal Neurons
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- Hori, N., Kadota, M.T., Watanabe, M. et al. Cell Mol Neurobiol (2010) 30: 849. doi:10.1007/s10571-010-9512-1
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Methamphetamine (MAP) is known to alter behavior and cause deficits in learning and memory. While the major site of action of MAP is on mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways, the effects on learning and memory raise the possibility of important actions in the hippocampus. We have studied electrophysiologic and morphologic effects of MAP in the CA1 region of hippocampus from young male rats chronically exposed to MAP, male rats exposed during gestation only and the effects of bath perfusion of MAP onto brain slices from control rats. Pyramidal neurons in brain slices from chronically exposed rats had reduced membrane potential and membrane resistance. Long-term potentiation (LTP) was reduced as compared to control, but when MAP was acutely perfused over control slices the amplitude of LTP was increased. LTP in young adult animals that had been gestationally exposed to MAP showed reduced LTP as compared to controls. Morphologically CA1 pyramidal neurons in chronically exposed animals showed a high prevalence of extensive blebbing of dendrites. We conclude that the NMDA receptor and the process of LTP are also targets of MAP dysfunction, at least in the hippocampus.