Dose-dependent changes in the locomotor responses to methamphetamine in BALB/c mice: low doses induce hypolocomotion

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012 Dec;103(2):230-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2012.08.013. Epub 2012 Aug 28.


The overall goal of the present study was to determine the effects of different doses of (+)-methamphetamine (meth) on locomotor activity of Balb/C mice. Four experiments were designed to test a wide range of meth doses in BALB/c female mice. In Experiment 1, we examined locomotor activity induced by an acute administration of low doses of meth (0.01 and 0.03mg/kg) in a 90-min session. Experiment 2 was conducted to test higher meth doses (0.3-10mg/kg). In Experiment 3, separate sets of mice were pre-treated with various meth doses once or twice (one injection/week) prior to a locomotor challenge with a low meth dose. Finally, in Experiment 4, we tested whether locomotor activation would be affected by pretreatment with a low or moderate dose of meth one month prior to the low meth dose challenge. Results show that low doses of meth induce hypolocomotion whereas moderate to high doses induce hyperlocomotion. Prior exposure to either one moderate or high dose of meth or to two, low doses of meth attenuated the hypolocomotor effect of a low meth dose one week later. This effect was also attenuated in mice tested one month after administration of a moderate meth dose. These results show that low and high doses of meth can have opposing effects on locomotor activity. Further, prior exposure to the drug leads to tolerance, rather than sensitization, of the hypolocomotor response to low meth doses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Locomotion / drug effects*
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Methamphetamine