Voluntary exercise and tail shock have differential effects on amphetamine-induced dopaminergic toxicity in adult BALB/c mice

Kirsten M. Carlson, George C. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Exercise exerts neuroprotective effects and facilitates neural recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease. In the present studies, effects of exercise on amphetamine-induced dopaminergic toxicity were assessed in mice housed individually either with or without access to run wheels. Mice in run wheel cages ran approximately 20 000 revolutions/day (over 10 km/day). Some mice received amphetamine (18.5 mg/kg x 4 injections) whereas controls received saline. Amphetamine caused a 90% dopamine depletion in mice housed either with or without run wheels. A precipitous drop was seen in run wheel activity following amphetamine, lasting at least 7 days. A significant decrease in food intake, water intake and body weight also occurred. The opportunity to exercise did not facilitate behavioral or neurochemical recovery at 1, 2 or 3 days, or 2 weeks after injections. Therefore, shock stress, a component of some forced exercise studies, was evaluated to determine whether stress without exercise provided neuroprotection against amphetamine. Results indicate that shock stress exerted neuroprotective effects, reducing the amphetamine-induced dopamine depletion. It is concluded that voluntary running does not afford either behavioral or neuroprotection nor facilitate recovery from amphetamine-induced dopaminergic toxicity; rather, elevated glucocorticoid levels following shock stress were associated with a reduction in the dopamine depletion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-484
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Amphetamine
  • Corticosterone
  • Dopamine
  • Forced exercise
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Mouse
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stress
  • Tail shock
  • Voluntary exercise

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