Environmental enrichment preceding early adulthood methylphenidate treatment leads to long term increase of corticosterone and testosterone in the rat

Avi Avital, Talya Dolev, Shlomit Aga-Mizrachi, Salman Zubedat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) has been emerging as a world-wide psychiatric disorder. There appears to be an increasing rate of stimulant drug abuse, specifically methylphenidate (MPH) which is the most common treatment for ADHD, among individuals who do not meet the criteria for ADHD and particularly for cognitive enhancement among university students. However, the long term effects of exposure to MPH are unknown. Thus, in light of a developmental approach in humans, we aimed to test the effects of adolescence exposure to enriched environment (EE) followed by MPH administration during early adulthood, on reactions to stress in adulthood. Specifically, at approximate adolescence [post natal days (PND) 30-60] rats were reared in EE and were treated with MPH during early adulthood (PND 60-90). Adult (PND 90-92) rats were exposed to mild stress and starting at PND 110, the behavioral and endocrine effects of the combined drug and environmental conditions were assessed. Following adolescence EE, long term exposure to MPH led to decreased locomotor activity and increased sucrose preference. EE had a beneficial effect on PPI (attentive abilities), which was impaired by long term exposure to MPH. Finally, the interaction between EE and, exposure to MPH led to long-term elevated corticosterone and testosterone levels. In view of the marked increase in MPH consumption over the past decade, vigilance is crucial in order to prevent potential drug abuse and its long term detrimental consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22059
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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