Methamphetamine (MTA) causes a progressive increase in behavioral responses following repeated exposures, a process termed sensitization. Sensitization in animals is considered a model of human drug addiction, so there is much interest in treatments that modulate the magnitude of the effect. Our hypothesis is that the hormone melatonin might reduce MTA-induced locomotor sensitization. To test this hypothesis, we will subject C3H-HeN mice to six daily injections of MTA or vehicle followed by 2 h locomotor behavior testing periods using the LocoScan System. After a four-day drug withdrawal period, all the animals will be challenged with MTA and tested for locomotor sensitization. Experiments to assess the effect of endogenous melatonin on MTA-induced locomotor sensitization will be tested in wild type mice and in mice with genetic deletion of MT1 and/or MT2 melatonin receptors. To test the effect of exogenous melatonin treatments on MTA-induced sensitization animals will be either pretreated with melatonin and MTA, or melatonin will be administered during the sensitization procedure. Results from 8 mice per group will be collected and analyzed using Graph Pad/Prism.
Disciplines: Pharmacology And Toxicology, Neuroscience
Student Skill-Set Needed: Student need to be motivated and willing to work evenings and weekends as the project requires collection of data around the clock. Practice with handling of animals would be prefer.
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer, Work Study
For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:
Faculty Member: Margarita L. Dubocovich, Phd
Department: Pharmacology And Toxicology
Office: 102 Farber