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High Dose Amphetamine Effects in Adolescent Rats: Open Field and Stereotypy Measurements

Paul Burleson, Abby Cooper
Ohio Northern University

National survey data show an increasing number of children age 9 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD. The data from similar surveys indicate a 3 to 7 fold increase, over the past decade, in child prescriptions for central nervous system stimulants, such as amphetamine. Despite this, few studies have been targeted to quantifying effects from repetitively dosed amphetamine in laboratory animals while the central nervous systems are still developing. To fill this research gap, we administered daily injections of amphetamine (AMPH; 7.5 mg / kg) to adolescent rats (PND40 -- PND90). Chronic AMPH treatment altered the behavior of developing rats in an open field relative to age and gender matched rats injected daily with vehicle (VEH). During the open field sessions, some disparity was detected in our quantification of certain species typical behaviors (e.g., sniffing down, grooming) for AMPH-treated relative to VEH-treated rats. A distinction could also be made in quantified elicited responses (e.g., reaction to smells or loud noises) from AMPH-treated rats, in comparison to VEH-treated rats. These findings expand experimental data from similar studies in adult rats while emphasizing a need to further investigate potential neural repercussions of adolescent chronic AMPH dosing.

ONU Student Research Colloquium