Methamphetamine Self-Administration Elicits Sex-Related Changes in Rats

Female Sex Hormones Enhance Meth Sensitivity

  1. angelraysmehigher
    Study Author(s):
    Jose Ignacio Pena-Bravo, Rachel Penrod, Carmela M. Reichel and Antonieta Lavin
    Journal Name:
    eNeuro, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 0401-18
    Publication Date:
    10 January 2019
    Methamphetamine Self-Administration Elicits Sex-Related Changes in Postsynaptic Glutamate Transmission in the Prefrontal Cortex
    Preclinical and clinical research has shown that females are more vulnerable to the rewarding effects of stimulants, and it has been proposed that estrogens may play a role in this enhanced sensitivity.
    Researchers in this study recorded data on the brain activity in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex in male and female rats then investigated the subsequent long-term synaptic neuroadaptations.
    8 rats of each gender self administrated similar amounts of methamphetamine over a long-term period. The female rats exhibited significant synaptic baseline differences when compared to males.
    Furthermore, females exhibited a significant increase in evoked excitatory currents. This increase in evoked glutamate was correlated with increases in NMDA currents and was not affected by application of a GluN2B selective blockers.
    The results of this study suggest that female sex hormones play a role in an increased sensitivity to meth commonly experienced by female users and the susceptibility of gender based addictions.