Dopamine uptake inhibitors but not dopamine releasers induce greater increases in motor behavior and extracellular dopamine in adolescent rats than in adult male rats

Academic Article


  • Most life-long drug addiction begins during adolescence. Important structural and functional changes in brain occur during adolescence and developmental differences in forebrain dopamine systems could mediate a biologic vulnerability to drug addiction during adolescence. Studies investigating age differences in psychostimulant responses have yielded mixed results, possibly because of different mechanisms for increasing extracellular dopamine. Recent research from our laboratory suggests that adolescent dopamine systems may be most affected by selective dopamine uptake inhibitors. We investigated age-related behavioral responses to acute administration of several dopamine uptake inhibitors [methylphenidate, 1-{2-[bis-(4-fluorophenyl)methoxy]ethyl}-4- (3-phenylpropyl)piperazine (GBR12909), and nomifensine] and releasing agents [amphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)] in adolescent and adult male rats. Methylphenidate and amphetamine effects on stimulated dopamine efflux were determined using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in vivo. Dopamine uptake inhibitors but not dopamine releasing agents induced more locomotion and/or stereotypy in adolescent relative to adult rats. MDMA effects were greater in adults at early time points after dosing. Methylphenidate but not amphetamine induced much greater dopamine efflux in periadolescent relative to adult rats. Periadolescent male rats are particularly sensitive to psychostimulants that are DAT inhibitors but are not internalized and do not release dopamine. Immaturity of DAT and/or DAT associated signaling systems in adolescence specifically enhances behavioral and dopaminergic responses in adolescence. Copyright © 2010 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
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    Author List

  • Walker QD; Morris SE; Arrant AE; Nagel JM; Parylak S; Zhou G; Caster JM; Kuhn CM
  • Start Page

  • 124
  • End Page

  • 132
  • Volume

  • 335
  • Issue

  • 1