Item – Theses Canada

OCLC number
Leckie, Carolyn E,
Acute behavioural effects of the 'bath salts' constituent 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone, 4-MMC) in Sprague-Dawley rats.
M. Sc. -- Wilfrid Laurier University, 2013
Ottawa : Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, [2014]
2 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
<?Pub Inc> The novel synthetic cathinone derivative 4-methylmethcathinione (4-MMC, 'mephedrone') has grown in popularity at an unprecedented rate among recreational drug users since its introduction in the UK in 2007. Anecdotal reports and case studies suggest that 4-MMC possesses unique stimulant-like properties with high abuse potential coupled with 'entactogenic' effects reminiscent of 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy'). Although 4-MMC consumption reportedly induces numerous adverse effects in humans, including death, few studies have systematically examined this drug. The purpose of the present study was to characterize a variety of cognitive, affective, and physiological effects of acute 4-MMC exposure in rats. Intraperitoneal administration of 4-MMC (up to 27 mg/kg) to Sprague-Dawley rats induced a robust, short-lived hyperactivity paired with hyperthermia and decreased food consumption. 4-MMC also dose-dependently decreased response accuracy in a delayed-match-to-position (DMTP) task in a delay-independent manner, suggesting that impaired working memory was not solely responsible for the performance deficit. In the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), 4-MMC impaired visual attention, although this was likely due to gross inattention, rather than rather than impulsivity. In the light-dark emergence and elevated plus maze tests, 4-MMC increased anxiety-related behaviours. Systematic observation of drug-exposed animals revealed that 4-MMC induced motor and postural effects reminiscent of both stereotypy and 'serotonin syndrome', which supports the involvement of both dopamine and serotonin homeostasis in mediating the drug's effects. Taken together, data from the present study confirm that acute administration of 4-MMC induces both stimulant- and entactogenic-like effects, induces anxiety-related behaviours, and impairs performance in tasks requiring visual attention and working memory.