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Context modulates the expression of conditioned motor sensitization, cellular activation and synaptophysin immunoreactivity

Authors

  • David J. Rademacher,

    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA
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  • T. Celeste Napier,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, 1735 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Gloria E. Meredith

    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA
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Dr David J. Rademacher, as above.
E-mail: david.rademacher@rosalindfranklin.edu

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that amphetamine (AMPH)-induced conditioned motor sensitization is accompanied by cellular activation (measured by Fos immunoreactivity) and synaptophysin immunoreactivity in reward-related brain areas. Forty-eight rats were tested for conditioned motor sensitization using a conditioning paradigm that was performed in a three-chambered apparatus. Rats underwent two drug pairings with 1.0 mg/kg AMPH in one outer chamber and, on alternate days, were paired with saline in the other. On the fifth day, relative to the first AMPH treatment, AMPH administration increased motor activity in the AMPH-paired context but not in the saline-paired context. Relative to the first saline treatment, saline on the fifth day produced a conditioned increase in motor activity when given in the chamber previously paired with AMPH, and saline given in the saline-paired context produced a conditioned decrease in motor activity. AMPH administered in the AMPH-paired context increased the density of both Fos and synaptophysin immunoreactivity in the dentate gyrus, cornu ammonis (CA)1, CA3, basolateral amygdala and dorsolateral striatum. This pairing between context and drug increased Fos but not synaptophysin immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens core and shell. Saline administered in the AMPH-paired context increased the density of Fos immunoreactivity in the basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens core. These data indicate that the basolateral amygdala–nucleus accumbens core pathway is necessary for the context-elicited conditioned motor responses, while the hippocampus encodes the spatial context.

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