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Long-term cognitive, emotional and neurogenic alterations induced by alcohol and methamphetamine exposure in adolescent rats


Loxton, D and Canales, JJ, Long-term cognitive, emotional and neurogenic alterations induced by alcohol and methamphetamine exposure in adolescent rats, Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, 74 pp. 1-8. ISSN 0278-5846 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2016.11.003


A high proportion of young methamphetamine (MA) users simultaneously consume alcohol. However, the potential neurological and behavioural alterations induced by such a drug combination have not been systematically examined. We studied in adolescent rats the long-term effects of alcohol, MA, and alcohol and MA combined on anxiety-like behaviour, memory, and neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. Rats received saline, ethanol (ETOH, 1.5g/kg), MA (MA, 2mg/kg), or ethanol and MA combined (ETHOH-MA, 1.5g/kg ethanol plus 2mg/kg MA) via oral gavage, once daily for 5 consecutive days. Open field (OF), elevated plus maze (EPM) and radial arm maze (RAM) tests were conducted following a 15-day withdrawal period. The results showed alterations in exploratory behaviour in the OF in the MA and ETOH-MA groups, and anxiety-like effects in the EPM in all three drug treatment groups. All three drug groups exhibited reference memory deficits in the RAM, but only the combination treatment group displayed alterations in working memory. Both MA and ETOH-MA treatments increased the length of doublecortin (DCX)-void gaps in the dentate gyrus but only ETOH-MA treatment increased the number of such gaps. An increased number and length of DCX-void gaps correlated with decreased exploratory activity in the OF, and impaired working memory in the RAM was associated with an augmented number of gaps. These findings suggest that alterations in adult hippocampal neurogenesis are linked to the persistent cognitive and behavioural deficits produced by alcohol and MA exposure.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Adult hippocampal neurogenesis; Alcohol; Anxiety; Memory; Methamphetamine
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Canales, JJ (Professor Juan Canales)
ID Code:121254
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-09-20
Last Modified:2017-10-12

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