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Social interaction potentiates the hyperthermic effects of meth amphetamine

, : Social interaction potentiates the hyperthermic effects of meth amphetamine. Society for Neuroscience Abstract Viewer & Itinerary Planner : Abstract No 401 18

Prolonged hyperthermia and accompanying molecular destabilization are known to contribute to psychomotor stimulant neurotoxicity. To characterize this brain hyperthermia, meth-amphetamine (METH) was injected daily into rats at increasing doses (0, 1, 3, and 9 mg/kg sc) while brain (NAcc, hippocampus) and body (temporal muscle) temperatures were continuously monitored. METH produced a dose-dependent hyperthermic response, with brain temperatures showing a more rapid increase than body. At the highest dose of METH, body and brain temperatures increased 3.5-4.0degree C above basal levels and remained elevated for 3-5 hr. Stressful situations such as interaction with a conspecific female can also lead to a hyperthermic response in the rat. A combination of social interaction and METH administration was tested to look for an additive effect of hyperthermia. Male rats were exposed daily to a conspecific female for a total of 120 min. Thirty minutes after the initial contact with the female, the male was injected with varying doses of METH. An initial hyperthermic response (1.5degree C) to the female was followed by a large and prolonged hyperthermic response (3.5-5.0degree C, 5-7 hr at 9 mg/kg) to METH. While the effect of combining hyperthermic events was not additive, METH administration during social interaction produced a stronger and longer-lasting increase in brain and body temperature than drug alone, heating the brain near its biological limit (>41degree C). Since psychomotor stimulant use in humans often occurs in high-energy social situations, the combination of metabolic activation during these situations and drug-induced hyperthermia may place individuals at an added risk for brain damage.

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