University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Chronic methylphenidate treatment during adolescence has long-term effects on monoaminergic function

Di Miceli, Mathieu ORCID:, Omoloye, A. and Gronier, B. (2019) Chronic methylphenidate treatment during adolescence has long-term effects on monoaminergic function. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33 (1). pp. 109-121. ISSN Print: 0269-8811 Online: 1461-7285

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Psychostimulants like methylphenidate or D-amphetamine are often prescribed for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders in children. Whether such drugs can be administered into a developing brain without consequences in adulthood is still an open question.


Here, using in vivo extracellular electrophysiology in anesthetised preparations, combined with behavioural assays, we have examined the long-term consequences in adulthood of a chronic methylphenidate oral administration (5 mg/kg/day, 15 days) in early adolescent (post-natal day 28) and late adolescent (post-natal day 42) rats, by evaluating body weight change, sucrose preference (indicator of anhedonia), locomotor sensitivity to D-amphetamine and electrical activities of ventral tegmental area dopamine and dorsal raphe nucleus serotonin neurons.


Chronic methylphenidate treatment during early or late adolescence did not induce weight deficiencies and anhedonia-like behaviours at adulthood. However, it increased bursting activities of dorsal raphe nucleus serotonin neurons. Furthermore, chronic methylphenidate treatment during early but not during late adolescence enhanced D-amphetamine-induced rearing activity, as well as ventral tegmental area dopamine cell excitability (firing, burst and population activity), associated with a partial desensitisation of dopamine D auto-receptors.


We have demonstrated here that early, but not late, adolescent exposure to oral methylphenidate may induce long-lasting effects on monoamine neurotransmission. The possible clinical implication of these data will be discussed.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: methylphenidate, adolescence, dopamine neurons, serotonin neurons, electrophysiology
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
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Depositing User: Mathieu Di Miceli
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 11:17
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 16:52

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