005 | Sexually Dimorphic Behavioral Responses and Synaptic Plasticity Elicited by Amphetamine Administration

Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

Author: Maria Mercedes Benedetto | Email: mbenedetto@immf.uncor.edu

Maria Mercedes Benedetto , Julieta Agostina Cettra-Zarate , Osvaldo Martín Basmadjian , Maria Julia Cambiasso , Maria Gabriela Paglini

1° Instituto de Investigación Médica Mercedes y Martín Ferreyra, INIMEC-CONICET,Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
2° Cátedra de Biología Celular, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina
3° Instituto de Virología “Dr. J.M.Vanella”, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina

Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder triggered by repeated exposure to drugs. There is increasing evidence for sex differences in many aspects of drug addiction including vulnerability, withdrawal and treatment outcome. Behavioral sensitization, characterized by a progressive and persistent increase of specific behaviors following repetitive drug exposure, has garnered attention. Also, neuroadaptive responses underlying drug abuse would involve synaptic plasticity, a mechanism regulated by sex steroids. Given this, we aimed to study sex differences in behavioral sensitization and neuronal plasticity associated with Amphetamine (Amph) exposure.To address this, male and female thy-1 eGFP mice of 21 and 33 days (PN) were treated with Amph or vehicle and the locomotion was recorded. After 1 day of withdrawal, subjects were challenged with the same administration protocol to evaluate sensitization. Brain samples were collected four hours after the last Amph exposure to analyze dendritic spines of hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We observed that acute Amph induced greater hyperlocomotion in females than in males at PN21. Behavioral sensitization was observed in females at PN23 and in males at PN35, highlighting differences across sexes at both ages studied. Also, acute exposure to Amph increased the number of stubby spines in males at PN23. These results provide insight into the sexual dimorphism in behavioral responses and synaptic plasticity associated with Amph exposure.