Long-term effects of methamphetamine exposure on cognitive function and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor levels in mice

Jessica A. Siegel, Michael J. Craytor, Jacob Raber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Exposure to methamphetamine during brain development impairs cognition in humans and rodents. In mice, these impairments are more severe in females than males. Genetic factors, such as apolipoprotein E genotype, may modulate the cognitive effects of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine-induced alterations in the brain acetylcholine system may contribute to the cognitive effects of methamphetamine and may also be modulated by apolipoprotein E isoform. We assessed the long-term effects of methamphetamine exposure during brain development on cognitive function and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in mice, and whether apolipoprotein E isoform modulates these effects. Mice expressing human apolipoprotein E3 or E4 were exposed to methamphetamine (5 mg/kg) or saline once a day from postnatal days 11-20 and behaviorally tested in adulthood. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor binding was measured in the hippocampus and cortex. Methamphetamine exposure impaired novel location recognition in female, but not male, mice. Methamphetamine-exposed male and female mice showed impaired novel object recognition and increased number of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the hippocampus. The cognitive and cholinergic effects of methamphetamine were similar in apolipoprotein E3 and E4 mice. Thus, the cholinergic system, but not apolipoprotein E isoform, might play an important role in the long-term methamphetamine-induced cognitive deficits in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-614
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Acetylcholine
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Cognition
  • Hippocampus
  • Methamphetamine
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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