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Will run for meth

Mice increase wheel running, activation of key brain regions two hours before methamphetamine availability

Society for Neuroscience


IMAGE: Animals live in the home cage that is connected to the nebulizing chamber by a tunnel. The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), lateral septum (LS) and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) are activated in... view more 

Credit: Juárez-Portilla et al., eNeuro (2018)

The brain regions activated in anticipation of methamphetamine are identified in a noninvasive study of male mice published in eNeuro.

Rae Silver and colleagues investigated behavioral and brain changes in response to regularly scheduled access to methamphetamine, one of the most commonly abused drugs worldwide. Mice were housed in a cage with food, water and a running wheel connected via tunnel to a separate chamber where either nebulized methamphetamine or water was available. The door to the nebulizing chamber was open for one hour at the same two time periods (early, late) each day. This experimental design avoids complications associated with injections and surgery and better represents how humans use the drug.

The researchers found that mice in the methamphetamine group, but not the water group, increased their running on the wheel two hours before the door to the nebulizing chamber was open. The activated brain regions included those implicated in reward processing, food anticipation and craving: the orbitofrontal cortex, the dorsomedial hypothalamus and lateral septum. This anticipation effect was stronger early in the day, a time of day finding consistent with a previous report in humans that found admission of overdose patients to an emergency room peaked at about 6:30 p.m.


Article: Brain activity during methamphetamine anticipation in a non-invasive self-administration paradigm in mice


Corresponding author: Rae Silver (Columbia University, New York, NY, USA),

About eNeuro

eNeuro, the Society for Neuroscience's new open-access journal launched in 2014, publishes rigorous neuroscience research with double-blind peer review that masks the identity of both the authors and reviewers, minimizing the potential for implicit biases. eNeuro is distinguished by a broader scope and balanced perspective achieved by publishing negative results, failure to replicate or replication studies. New research, computational neuroscience, theories and methods are also published.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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