Rationale: Most drugs of abuse stimulate both locomotor activity and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, but the relationship between the two responses within the same subjects and their reliabilities has been scarcely studied. Our objectives were to study: (1) the consistency and stability across time of locomotor and HPA activation induced by repeated d-amphetamine (AMPH); (2) the relationship between locomotor and hormonal responses to AMPH; and (3) the relationship between novelty-induced activity and both types of responses to the drug. Methods: Male adult rats were exposed to a novel environment to study the locomotor response. Later, they were injected with AMPH (2 mg/kg, sc) for 5 days. In Experiment 1, Plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone levels in response to AMPH were studied on days 1, 3, and 5, and locomotor response on days 2 and 4. In Experiment 2, ACTH and corticosterone responses were studied on days 2 and 4, and locomotor response on days 1, 3, and 5. Results: Across days, both locomotor and HPA responses to the drug were consistent, but independent measures, unrelated to the reactivity to novelty. As measured by the area under the curve, the HPA response to AMPH desensitized with the repeated injection, whereas the initial locomotor response to the drug increased. Conclusions: Dissociation exists between HPA and locomotor activation induced by AMPH, which seemed to be both reliable individual traits. Locomotor reactivity to novelty was related neither to HPA nor to locomotor responses to AMPH. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
- Individual differences
- Locomotor activity