Neonatal seizures may alter the developing neurocircuitry and cause behavioral abnormalities in adulthood. We found that rats previously subjected to lithium-pilocarpine (LiPC)-induced neonatal status epilepticus (NeoSE) exhibited enhanced behavioral sensitization to methamphetamine (MA) in adolescence. Neurochemically, dopamine (DA) and metabolites were markedly decreased in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and insignificantly changed in striatum by NeoSE, but were increased in both PFC and striatum by NeoSE + MA. Glutamate levels were increased in both PFC and striatum in the NeoSE + MA group. DA turnover, an index of utilization and activity, was increased by NeoSE but reversed by MA in PFC. Gene expression of the regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (RGS4) was downregulated in PFC and striatum by NeoSE and further suppressed by MA. These findings suggest NeoSE affects both dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems in the prefrontal-striatal circuitry that manifests as enhanced behavioral sensitization to MA in adolescence.
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