Amphetamine withdrawal: A behavioral evaluation
The effects of withdrawal from long-term amphetamine treatment on intracranial self-stimulation, forced swim-induced immobility, shuttle escape performance, acoustic startle and locomotor activity were evaluated. Mice implanted with stimulating electrodes in the lateral hypothalamus demonstrated stable and reliable rates of self-stimulation responding. After exposure to a chronic schedule of amphetamine treatment response rates were severely depressed. In addition to modifying intracranial self-stimulation responding, amphetamine withdrawal increased the duration of immobility in a forced-swim situation. Although chronic amphetamine exposure induced pronounced behavioral changes in the intracranial self-stimulation and forced swim tasks, drug withdrawal had little effect on shuttle escape performance, acoustic startle and locomotor activity. Based on these findings it was suggested that the development of post-amphetamine depression in the self-stimulation and forced swim paradigms was not related to variations in motoric or arousal mechanisms resulting from amphetamine withdrawal, but rather involved drug-induced changes in motivational processes.