Publication Date



International Journal of Molecular Sciences


A total of 3102 neurons were recorded before and following acute and chronic methylphenidate (MPD) administration. Acute MPD exposure elicits mainly increases in neuronal and behavioral activity in dose–response characteristics. The response to chronic MPD exposure, as compared to acute 0.6, 2.5, or 10.0 mg/kg MPD administration, elicits electrophysiological and behavioral sensitization in some animals and electrophysiological and behavioral tolerance in others when the neuronal recording evaluations were performed based on the animals’ behavioral responses, or amount of locomotor activity, to chronic MPD exposure. The majority of neurons recorded from those expressing behavioral sensitization responded to chronic MPD with further increases in firing rate as compared to the initial MPD responses. The majority of neurons recorded from animals expressing behavioral tolerance responded to chronic MPD with decreases in their firing rate as compared to the initial MPD exposures. Each of the six brain areas studied—the ventral tegmental area, locus coeruleus, dorsal raphe, nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and caudate nucleus (VTA, LC, DR, NAc, PFC, and CN)—responds significantly (p < 0.001) differently to MPD, suggesting that each one of the above brain areas exhibits different roles in the response to MPD. Moreover, this study demonstrates that it is essential to evaluate neuronal activity responses to psychostimulants based on the animals’ behavioral responses to acute and chronic effects of the drug from several brain areas simultaneously to obtain accurate information on each area’s role in response to the drug.


Animals, Methylphenidate, Prefrontal Cortex, Rats, Neurons, Caudate Nucleus, Male, Ventral Tegmental Area, Nucleus Accumbens, Behavior, Animal, Locus Coeruleus, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Dorsal Raphe Nucleus, Central Nervous System Stimulants, methylphenidate, behavior, neuronal recording, VTA, LC, DR, NAc, CN, PFC



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