Altered EphA5 mRNA expression in rat brain with a single methamphetamine treatment

Yohtaro Numachi, Sumiko Yoshida, Motoyasu Yamashita, Ko Fujiyama, Shigenobu Toda, Hiroo Matsuoka, Yasushi Kajii, Toru Nishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Methamphetamine is a potent and indirect dopaminergic agonist which can cause chronic brain dysfunctions including drug abuse, drug dependence and drug-induced psychosis. Methamphetamine is known to trigger molecular mechanisms involved in associative learning and memory, and thereby alter patterns of synaptic connectivity. The persistent risk of relapse in methamphetamine abuse, dependence and psychosis may be caused by such alterations in synaptic connectivity. EphA5 receptors constitute large families of tyrosine kinase receptor and are expressed almost exclusively in the nervous system, especially in the limbic structures. Recent studies suggest EphA5 to be important in the topographic projection, development, and plasticity of limbic structures, and to be involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission. We used in situ hybridization to examine whether methamphetamine alters EphA5 mRNA expression in the brains of adult male Wister rats. EphA5 mRNA was widely distributed in the medial frontal cortex, cingulate cortex, piriform cortex, hippocampus, habenular nucleus and amygdala. Compared to baseline expression at 0 h, EphA5 mRNA was significantly decreased (by 20%) in the medial frontal cortex at 24 h, significantly increased (by 30%) in the amygdala at 9 and 24 h, significantly but transiently decreased (by 30%) in the habenular nucleus at 1 h after a single injection of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine did not change EphA5 mRNA expression in the cingulate cortex, piriform cortex or hippocampus. Our results that methamphetamine altered EphA5 mRNA expression in rat brain suggest methamphetamine could affect patterns of synaptic connectivity, which might be responsible for methamphetamine-induced chronic brain dysfunctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept 7


  • Associative learning
  • Dependence
  • Methamphetamine
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase
  • Synaptic connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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