Are there age-, strain-, and sex-differences in the prolonged exposure to methylphenidate?
Repeated treatment with psychostimulants produces behavioral sensitization that results in increased locomotor responses so that lower drug doses are required to obtain the same effect and cross-sensitization with other stimulants. Methylphenidate (MPD; Ritalin) is most frequently prescribed to treat children having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a syndrome with onset in childhood characterized by high levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Little is known of the consequences involving the long-term use of MPD as treatment for ADHD. This study investigates if there are age, genetic/strain, and sex differences in the prolonged exposure to MPD and cross-sensitization with amphetamine. The objective is to determine whether (a) early exposure to MPD in adolescent rats increases their sensitivity to the drug when they are adult rats, (b) there are strain and sex differences in the response to MPD, and (c) treatment with MPD in adolescent and adult Wistar-Kyoto (WKY), spontaneously hyperactive/hypertensive rat (SHR), and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat results in cross-sensitization with amphetamine. The hypotheses are that (1) early exposure to MPD in adolescent rats increases their sensitivity to the drug when they reach adulthood, and that this hypersensitivity is dose-, strain-, and sex-dependent and (2) adult rats treated with MPD as adolescents will show a greater cross-sensitization to amphetamine than those adult rats treated with saline as adolescents, and that this cross-sensitization is dose-, strain-, and sex-dependent. The study consists of recording and evaluating locomotor activity of female and male WKY, SHR, and SD rats before and after acute and repeated MPD administration when these rats are young and as adults follows by an amphetamine treatment. Results showed that repeated treatment with MPD elicited behavioral sensitization and cross-sensitization with amphetamine in these animals. The study also found that strain and sex play a crucial role in the differentiated sensitivity to the acute and chronic effects of MPD. The development of behavioral sensitization and cross-sensitization are also dependent on the dose of MPD and the age of the rat.
Yang, Pamela Boi, "Are there age-, strain-, and sex-differences in the prolonged exposure to methylphenidate?" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3168451.