Methamphetamine alters prodynorphin gene expression and dynorphin A levels in rat hypothalamus

Patrizia Romualdi, Alessandra Donatini, Annalisa Capobianco, Sergio Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic administration of morphine or cocaine affects opioid gene expression. To better understand the possible existence of common neuronal pathways shared by different classes of drugs of abuse, we studied the effects of methamphetamine on the gene expression of the opioid precursor prodynorphin and on the levels of peptide dynorphin A in the rat brain. Acute (6 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, i.p.) and chronic (6 mg/kg, i.p. for 15 days) methamphetamine markedly raised prodynorphin mRNA levels in the hypothalamus, whereas no effect was observed in the hippocampus. Dynorphin A levels increased after chronic treatment in the hypothalamus and in the striatum, whereas no significant changes were detected after acute treatment. These results indicate that methamphetamine affects prodynorphin gene expression in the hypothalamus, which may be an important site (also for its relevant neuroendocrine correlates) for opioidergic mechanisms activated by addictive drugs. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 1999


  • Brain
  • Gene expression
  • Hypothalamus
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prodynorphin
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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