Genetic deletion of MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors differentially abrogates the development and expression of methamphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization during the day and the night in C3H/HeN mice

Authors


Address reprint requests to Margarita L. Dubocovich, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 3435 Main Street (Farber Hall 102), University at Buffalo (SUNY), Buffalo, NY 14221, USA.
E-mail: mdubo@buffalo.edu

Abstract

Abstract:  This study explored the role of the melatonin receptors in methamphetamine (METH)-induced locomotor sensitization during the light and dark phases in C3H/HeN mice with genetic deletion of the MT1 and/or MT2 melatonin receptors. Six daily treatments with METH (1.2 mg/kg, i.p.) in a novel environment during the light phase led to the development of locomotor sensitization in wild-type (WT), MT1KO and MT2KO mice. Following four full days of abstinence, METH challenge (1.2 mg/kg, i.p.) triggered the expression of locomotor sensitization in METH-pretreated but not in vehicle (VEH)-pretreated mice. In MT1/MT2KO mice, the development of sensitization during the light phase was significantly reduced and the expression of sensitization was completely abrogated upon METH challenge. During the dark phase the development of locomotor sensitization in METH-pretreated WT, MT1KO and MT2KO mice was statistically different from VEH-treated controls. However, WT and MT2KO, but not MT1KO mice receiving repeated VEH pretreatments during the dark phase expressed a sensitized response to METH challenge that is of an identical magnitude to that observed upon 6 days of METH pretreatment. We conclude that exposure to a novel environment during the dark phase, but not during the light phase, facilitated the expression of sensitization to a METH challenge in a manner dependent on MT1 melatonin receptor activation by endogenous melatonin. We suggest that MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors are potential targets for pharmacotherapeutic intervention in METH abusers.

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