Rats emit 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) in appetitive situations, reflecting a positive affective state. Particularly high rates of 50-kHz USV are elicited by the psychostimulant d-amphetamine. Exaggerated 50-kHz USV emission evoked by d-amphetamine is modulated by dopamine, noradrenaline and 5-hydroxytyrptamine receptor ligands and inhibited by the mood stabilizer lithium, the gold standard anti-manic drug for treating bipolar disorder. This indicates that exaggerated 50-kHz USV emission can serve as a reliable and valid measure for assessing mania-like elevated mood in rats with sufficient translational power for gaining a better understanding of relevant pathophysiological mechanisms and the identification of new therapeutic targets. The improved capacity to study the effects of anti-manic pharmacological interventions on a broader range of behaviours by including exaggerated 50-kHz USV emission as preclinical outcome measure complementary to locomotor hyperactivity will refine rodent models for mania. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on New discoveries and perspectives in mental and pain disorders. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v179.17/issuetoc.
Keywords: amphetamine; bipolar disorder; dopamine; lithium; ultrasonic vocalizations.
© 2021 The Author. British Journal of Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.