Effects of sodium butyrate on methamphetamine-sensitized locomotor activity

John H. Harkness, Robert J. Hitzemann, Stephanie Edmunds, Tamara J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Neuroadaptations associated with behavioral sensitization induced by repeated exposure to methamphetamine (MA) appear to be involved in compulsive drug pursuit and use. Increased histone acetylation, an epigenetic effect resulting in altered gene expression, may promote sensitized responses to psychostimulants. The role of histone acetylation in the expression and acquisition of MA-induced locomotor sensitization was examined by measuring the effect of histone deacetylase inhibition by sodium butyrate (NaB). For the effect on expression, mice were treated repeatedly with MA (10 days of 2. mg/kg MA) or saline (10 days), and then vehicle or NaB (630. mg/kg, intraperitoneally) was administered 30 min prior to MA challenge and locomotor response was measured. NaB treatment increased the locomotor response to MA in both acutely MA treated and sensitized animals. For acquisition, NaB was administered 30. min prior to each MA exposure (10 days of 1 or 2. mg/kg), but not prior to the MA challenge test. Treatment with NaB during the sensitization acquisition period significantly increased locomotor activation by MA in sensitized mice only. NaB alone did not significantly alter locomotor activity. Acute NaB or MA, but not the combination, increased striatal acetylation at histone H4. Repeated treatment with MA, but not NaB or MA plus NaB, increased striatal acetylation at histone H3. Although increased histone acetylation may alter the expression of genes involved in acute locomotor response to MA and in the acquisition of MA-induced sensitization, results for acetylation at H3 and H4 showed little correspondence with behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2013


  • Addiction
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone acetylation
  • Psychostimulant
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of sodium butyrate on methamphetamine-sensitized locomotor activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this