The effects of chronic administration of methamphetamine (MAP) on rat locomotor activity rhythm under light-dark (LD) housing and on neuronal activity rhythms from the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in vitro were investigated. Control rats exhibited an LD-entrained nocturnal locomotor rhythm. The firing rate of SCN neuronal activity was high during the light period and low during the dark period in control normal rats, and peak of firing activity occurred around zeitgeber time (ZT) 6. On the other hand, chronic MAP administration caused various disorganization of locomotor activity rhythms with a long free-running period (25-35 h). Neuronal activity rhythms of the SCN were unaffected by chronic MAP administration, that is, high during the light period and low during the dark period. The present findings suggested that the SCN maintained as a circadian pacemaker even under chronic MAP administration which affected overt rhythms.
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