, Volume 188, Issue 2, pp 144–151

Impact of strain and d-amphetamine on impulsivity (delay discounting) in inbred mice

  • Christa M. Helms
  • Jamie M. Reeves
  • Suzanne H. Mitchell
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-006-0478-0

Cite this article as:
Helms, C.M., Reeves, J.M. & Mitchell, S.H. Psychopharmacology (2006) 188: 144. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0478-0



Many studies have shown that human drug abusers are more impulsive than nonusers, but the mechanisms underlying this difference are unknown. C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA/2J (D2) mouse strains differ in sensitivity to the associative effects and in self-administration of several drugs of abuse.


To determine whether these strains exhibit differences in impulsivity that might correspond to the differences in phenotypes related to drug seeking.


We examined impulsive choice in drug-naive B6 and D2 mice using a delay discounting protocol (adjusting amount procedure, J Exp Anal Behav 67:353–366, 1997).


Contrary to our initial expectations, we observed greater delay discounting (higher impulsivity) in D2 rather than in B6 mice. For both strains, discounting was enhanced by 0.80 and 1.20 mg/kg (i.p.) d-amphetamine relative to saline.


Data demonstrate the sensitivity of the procedure to strain differences and pharmacological manipulations. However, additional data are required to clarify the factors underlying this difference and how the delay discounting measure of impulsivity relates to phenotypic models of drug reinforcement and drug seeking.


ImpulsivityChoiceDelay discountingAmphetamineInbred strainsDBA/2JC57BL/6J

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christa M. Helms
    • 1
  • Jamie M. Reeves
    • 1
  • Suzanne H. Mitchell
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Neuroscience L-470Oregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA