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Elucidating the effects of estrous cycle on social stress-induced amphetamine sensitization in female rats

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Consequences of drug abuse and addiction affect both men and women, but women tend to rapidly progress through drug addiction phases, have higher drug dependency, and have higher relapse rates. Ovarian hormones fluctuate with female reproductive cycles and are thought

Consequences of drug abuse and addiction affect both men and women, but women tend to rapidly progress through drug addiction phases, have higher drug dependency, and have higher relapse rates. Ovarian hormones fluctuate with female reproductive cycles and are thought to cause increased sensitivity to psychostimulants. Additionally, intermittent social defeat stress induces social avoidance, weight loss, and long-lasting cross-sensitization to psychostimulants, which is associated with increased FosB/ΔFosB expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. In this study, we examined the estrous cycle in female rats on social defeat stress-induced amphetamine cross-sensitization through FosB/ΔFosB expression in the NAc shell. Every third day for ten days, we induced social defeat stress in rats through short confrontations with a lactating female resident rat and her pups. In parallel, a group of rats were handled for control. Vaginal swabs were taken daily to assess estrous stage. Ten days after the last stress exposure, rats were administered a low dose of amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), which induced cross-sensitization in stressed rats, evidenced by enhanced locomotor activity. Approximately 3-10 days after amphetamine challenge, brain tissue was collected for immunohistochemistry analyses. Stressed female rats had lower body weight gain, higher social avoidance, and increased FosB/ΔFosB expression in the NAc shell. Differences in FosB/ΔFosB expression in the NAc shell was also observed in handled animals in different estrous stages. Furthermore, rats in proestrous/estrous stages displayed enhanced social defeat stress-induced amphetamine cross-sensitization in comparison to rats in metestrous/diestrous stages. Elucidating the effects of the female reproductive cycle on drug use may provide a novel approach to treatments or therapies in preventing women’s stress-induced vulnerability to substance abuse.

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2019-05

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An Analysis of Youth Prescription Drug Use in Arizona: A Collaboration Between the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and the Community Action Research Experiences Program

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing data from the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) to give policymakers and representatives from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission some insight into the high rates of youth prescription drug abuse. This study

The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing data from the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) to give policymakers and representatives from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission some insight into the high rates of youth prescription drug abuse. This study examined trends in prescription drug consumption among Pima County, Arizona adolescents, as well as the contexts in which these drugs were used and the numerous consequences resulting from such actions. The results of this research will allow professionals at the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission to inform state officials on the most cost-effective methods of prescription drug abuse prevention and intervention.

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2013-05