Attenuation of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization in mice by systemic administration of naltrexone

Brain Res Bull. 2005 Sep 30;67(1-2):100-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2005.05.028.


Repeated intermittent exposure to psychostimulants was found to produce behavioral sensitization. The present study was designed to establish a mouse model and by which to investigate whether opioidergic system plays a role in methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization. Mice injected with 2.5 mg/kg of methamphetamine once a day for 7 consecutive days showed behavioral sensitization after challenge with 0.3125 mg/kg of the drug on day 11, whereas mice injected with a lower daily dose (1.25 mg/kg) did not. Mice received daily injections with either 1.25 or 2.5 mg/kg of methamphetamine showed behavioral sensitization after challenge with 1.25 mg/kg of the drug on days 11, 21, and 28. To investigate the role of opioidergic system in the induction and expression of behavioral sensitization, long-acting but non-selective opioid antagonist naltrexone was administrated prior to the daily injections of and challenge with methamphetamine, respectively. Our results show that the expressions of behavioral sensitization were attenuated by pretreatment with 10 or 20 mg/kg of naltrexone either during the induction period or before methamphetamine challenge when they were tested on days 11 and 21. These results indicate that repeated injection with methamphetamine dose-dependently induced behavioral sensitization in mice, and suggest the involvement of opioid receptors in the induction and expression of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / metabolism
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects
  • Methamphetamine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mice
  • Naltrexone / administration & dosage*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Methamphetamine
  • Naltrexone