Effects of the AMPA receptor antagonist NBQX on the development and expression of behavioral sensitization to cocaine and amphetamine

Li, Y.; Vartanian, A.J.; White, F.J.; Xue, C.J.; Wolf, M.E.

Psychopharmacology 134(3): 266-276


ISSN/ISBN: 0033-3158
PMID: 9438676
DOI: 10.1007/s002130050449
Accession: 045923016

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We examined the effect of 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoyl-benzo(f)quinoxaline (NBQX), an antagonist of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) subtype of glutamate receptor, on the development and expression of behavioral sensitization to amphetamine and cocaine in rats. A single injection of NBQX (12.5 mg/kg) administered 30 min prior to cocaine during the induction phase (days 1-5) prevented the development of cocaine sensitization, assessed by responsiveness to cocaine challenge on day 8. This NBQX regimen did not affect development of amphetamine sensitization. Two pretreatment injections of NBQX, one 20 min before and one 70 min after amphetamine on each day of the induction phase (days 1-6), did not affect sensitization of stereotypy but prevented sensitization of post-stereotypy ambulatory hyperactivity (both assessed by responsiveness to amphetamine challenge on day 8). The effect of NBQX on ambulatory sensitization was dose-dependent (attenuation with 12.5 mg/kg, complete prevention with 25 mg/kg). In contrast to its effects on development, NBQX (25 mg/kg) did not prevent expression of sensitization to cocaine or amphetamine. NBQX itself exerted no significant effects on locomotor activity in either drug-naive rats or rats that had received either NBQX or amphetamine repeatedly. These findings support a requirement for AMPA receptor stimulation in the development of locomotor sensitization to cocaine and amphetamine, but suggest a different mechanism for sensitization of amphetamine stereotypy.