Behavioral sensitization and extracellular dopamine responses to amphetamine after various treatments

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1997 Dec;134(3):221-9. doi: 10.1007/s002130050445.


The repeated administration of amphetamine (AMPH) results in a pattern of behavioral changes which includes an augmentation of some behaviors, generally referred to as behavioral sensitization. Some investigators have suggested that an increased dopamine (DA) response to AMPH challenge may underlie behavioral sensitization, while others have reported behavioral sensitization in the absence of an enhanced DA response. Because temporal and dosage parameters of the AMPH pretreatment regimen have been suggested to play a role in the appearance of an enhanced DA response, we utilized a variety of AMPH pretreatment regimens to assess the relationship between pretreatment dose of AMPH, duration of withdrawal and the DA response in caudate-putamen and nucleus accumbens to a subsequent AMPH challenge. Under our experimental conditions, behavioral sensitization was observed after each of these treatments in the absence of an enhanced DA response in either brain region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiology
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Extracellular Space / drug effects
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology
  • Putamen / drug effects
  • Putamen / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stereotyped Behavior / drug effects


  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Amphetamine
  • Dopamine