Maturation of mesocorticolimbic dopamine systems occurs during adolescence, and exposure to social stress during this period results in behavioral dysfunction including substance abuse disorders. Adult male rats exposed to repeated social defeat in adolescence exhibit reduced basal dopamine tissue content in the medial prefrontal cortex, altered dopamine tissue content in corticoaccumbal dopamine regions following acute amphetamine, and increased amphetamine conditioned place preference following repeated amphetamine treatment. Such changes may reflect altered amphetamine-induced extracellular dopamine release in the corticoaccumbal regions. Therefore, we used in vivo microdialysis to measure extracellular dopamine simultaneously within the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens core of previously defeated rats and controls, in response to either acute or repeated (7 daily injections) of amphetamine (1.0 mg/kg). Locomotion responses to acute/repeated amphetamine were also assessed the day prior to taking dopamine measurements. Adolescent defeat potentiated adult locomotion responses to acute amphetamine, which was negatively correlated with attenuated amphetamine-induced dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex, but there was no difference in amphetamine-induced accumbal dopamine release. However, both locomotion and corticoaccumbal dopamine responses to repeated amphetamine were equivalent between previously defeated rats and controls. These data suggest adolescent defeat enhances behavioral responses to initial amphetamine exposure as a function of diminished prefrontal cortex dopamine activity, which may be sufficient to promote subsequently enhanced seeking of drug-associated cues. Interestingly, repeated amphetamine treatment appears to normalize amphetamine-elicited locomotion and cortical dopamine responses observed in adult rats exposed to adolescent social defeat, providing implications for treating stress-induced dopamine dysfunction.
- Medial prefrontal cortex
- Nucleus accumbens
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience