We previously demonstrated that high doses of methamphetamine (MA) exacerbate damage induced by severe brain trauma. The purpose of the present study was to examine if MA, at low dosage, affected abnormalities in locomotor activity and dopamine turnover in a mouse model of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Adult male CD1 mice were treated with MA (5 mg/kg i.p.) or vehicle 30-min prior to mTBI, conducted by dropping a 30 g metal weight onto the temporal skull, anterior the right ear. At 15 min after mTBI, animals were put into locomotor activity chambers for up to 72 h. During the first 3 h, mTBI alone, compared with vehicle control, did not alter total distance travelled. Treatment with MA significantly increased locomotor activity in the control animals during the first 3 h; mTBI reduced MA-induced hyperactivity. In contrast, at 2 and 3 days after injury, mTBI or MA alone reduced locomotor activity. Co-treatment with MA and mTBI further reduced this activity, suggesting a differential and temporal behavioral interaction between MA and mTBI during acute and subacute phases after injury. Dopamine and DOPAC levels in striatal tissue were analyzed using HPLC-ECD. At 1 h after mTBI or injection, DA was not altered but DOPAC level and DOPAC/DA turnover ratios were significantly reduced. Co-treatment with MA further reduced the DOPAC/DA ratio. At 36 h after injury, mTBI increased tissue DA levels, but reduced DOPAC levels and DOPAC/DA ratios. Co-treatment with MA further reduced DOPAC/DA ratios in striatum. In conclusion, our data suggest that low dosage of MA worsens the suppression of locomotor responses and striatal dopamine turnover after mTBI. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-253
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 12 2011


  • Behavior
  • Dopamine
  • Head trauma
  • MTBI
  • Methamphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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