Beginning on the fifth day of gestation, rats were administered 1 or 3 mg/kg of d-amphetamine sulfate s.c. twice daily until term. The administration of d-amphetamine caused a dose-related increase in pup mortality. However, the increase in pup death could not be correlated with any gross pathological signs. The surviving 3 mg/kg amphetamine pups were analyzed for changes in motor behavior and brain biogenic amine levels. It was found that the amphetamine offspring showed a marked reduction in the ability to habituate to new surroundings, and this effect persisted for at least three months after birth. On day 35, brain levels of norepinephrine in the "amphetamine" offspring were decreased 21 percent. On day 84, in the "amphetamine offspring," norepinephrine levels were reduced 18 percent in both the diencephalon and brainstem; dopamine levels were reduced 21 percent in the brainstem compared to control offspring.
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2Supported in part by USPHS Grant DA-00564 and USPHS Fellowship