The Acute, Chronic, and Teratological Effects of Methamphetamine on Aggressive Behaviour in Adolescent Hooded Rats
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMasters of Science
Methamphetamine is a widely abused psychostimulant often associated with aggressive, violent, and criminal behaviour. Research into the effects of adolescent methamphetamine use on aggressive behaviour is limited. This study aimed to establish whether methamphetamine would induce aggressive behaviour following an acute dosing regimen and a chronic dosing regimen. It also aimed to establish a teratological or delayed effect on adult behaviour. To investigate this 20 male and 20 female adolescent rats were equally divided into treatment and control conditions. The treatment condition received a single dose of methamphetamine (2mg/kg) on postnatal day (PND) 35 followed by twice daily doses of methamphetamine (2mg/kg) from PND 36-46. This was done via intraperitoneal injection. The control condition received comparable doses of saline. Animals were tested using the resident intruder test following the single dose, after the completion of the final dose, and again in early adulthood (PND 90). Results found an acute dosing regimen significantly reduced aggressive-like behaviour. A chronic dosing regimen increased aggressive-like behaviour however, this relationship was less clear. Finally, the results found increased aggressive behaviour in adult animals following methamphetamine use in adolescence. This provides preliminary evidence for a teratological effect and support for the neuronal imprinting theory.