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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009, Article ID 329631, 4 pages
Research Article

Changes in Glutamate/NMDA Receptor Subunit 1 Expression in Rat Brain after Acute and Subacute Exposure to Methamphetamine

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand

Received 26 February 2009; Accepted 23 April 2009

Academic Editor: Laurence D. Fechter

Copyright © 2009 Walailuk Kerdsan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant drug of abuse that produces long-term behavioral changes including behavioral sensitization, tolerance, and dependence. METH has been reported to induce neurotoxic effects in several areas of the brain via the dopaminergic system. Changes of dopamine function can induce malfunction of the glutamatergic system. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the effects of METH administration on the expression of glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 1 (NMDAR1) in frontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampal formation after acute and subacute exposure to METH by western blotting. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally with a single dose of 8 mg/kg METH, 4 mg/kg/day METH for 14 days and saline in acute, subacute, and control groups, respectively. A significant increase in NMDAR1 immunoreactive protein was found in frontal cortex in the subacute group ( ) but not in the acute group ( ). Moreover, a significant increase in NMDAR1 was also observed in striatum in both acute ( ) and subacute groups ( ). However, no significant differences in NMDAR1 in hippocampal formation were observed in either acute or subacute group. The results suggest that an upregulation of NMDA receptor expression may be a consequence of glutamatergic dysfunction induced by METH.