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Effect of Methamphetamine Exposure on Expression of Calcium Binding Proteins in Rat Frontal Cortex and Hippocampus

Abstract

Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant drug with potent effects on the central nervous system that can cause psychotic symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. Specific alterations in GABAergic neuronal markers have been reported in schizophrenia and animal models of psychotic illness. The aim of this study was to determine whether there are changes in subpopulations of GABAergic neurons, defined by the presence of calcium binding proteins (CBPs), in animal models of METH abuse. Rats received acute (Binge) doses of 4 × 6 mg/kg, a chronic escalating dose regime (0.1–4 mg/kg over 14 days) or a combination of the two and were compared with a vehicle-administered control group. Brains were taken and sections of frontal cortex (Cg1) and hippocampus (dentate gyrus and CA1-3 regions) underwent immunostaining for three CBPs [parvalbumin (PV), calbindin (CB), and calretinin (CR)]. Significant decreases in PV-immunoreactive (IR) neurons in each METH group and all regions were observed. Smaller METH-induced deficits in CB–IR cells were observed, reaching significance primarily following chronic METH regimes, while CR–IR was significantly reduced only in frontal cortex following chronic administration. These results suggest that METH regimes in rats can induce selective deficits in GABAergic neuronal subtypes similar to those seen in schizophrenia and may underlie the psychosis and/or cognitive impairment that can occur in METH abuse and dependence.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Naresuan University Research Fund and a grant from the Thailand Research Fund through the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (PHD/0368/2551).

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Correspondence to Sutisa Nudmamud-Thanoi.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

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Veerasakul, S., Thanoi, S., Reynolds, G.P. et al. Effect of Methamphetamine Exposure on Expression of Calcium Binding Proteins in Rat Frontal Cortex and Hippocampus. Neurotox Res 30, 427–433 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12640-016-9628-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12640-016-9628-2

Keywords

  • GABAergic system
  • Parvalbumin
  • Calbindin
  • Calretinin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Psychosis