Methamphetamine self-administration and voluntary exercise have opposing effects on medial prefrontal cortex gliogenesis

Chitra D. Mandyam, Sunmee Wee, Amelia J. Eisch, Heather N. Richardson, George F. Koob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


Psychostimulant abuse produces deficits in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function, whereas physical activity improves PFC-dependent cognition and memory. The present study explored the vulnerability of medial PFC (mPFC) precursor proliferation and survival to methamphetamine self-administration and voluntary exercise, factors that may have opposing effects on mPFC plasticity to facilitate functional consequences. Intermittent 1 h access to methamphetamine (I-ShA) increased, but daily 1 and 6 h access decreased, proliferation and survival, with dose-dependent effects on mature cell phenotypes. All groups showed increased cell death. Voluntary exercise enhanced proliferation and survival but, in contrast to methamphetamine exposure, did not alter cell death or mature phenotypes. Furthermore, enhanced cell survival by I-ShA and voluntary exercise had profound effects on gliogenesis with differential regulation of oligodendrocytes versus astrocytes. In addition, new cells in the adult mPFC stain for the neuronal marker neuronal nuclear protein, although enhanced cell survival by I-ShA and voluntary exercise did not result in increased neurogenesis. Our findings demonstrate that mPFC gliogenesis is vulnerable to psychostimulant abuse and physical activity with distinct underlying mechanisms. The susceptibility of mPFC gliogenesis to even modest doses of methamphetamine could account for the pronounced pathology linked to psychostimulant abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11442-11450
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 17 2007



  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Ki-67
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Methamphetamine
  • Self-administration
  • Voluntary exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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