It is widely believed, that environmental factors play a crucial role in the etiology and outcome of psychiatric diseases such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A former study from our laboratory has shown that both methylphenidate (MP) and handling have a positive effect on the dopaminergic fiber density in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of early traumatized gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). The current study was performed to investigate if enriched environment during MP application has an additional influence on the dopaminergic and GABAergic fiber densities in the PFC and amygdala in this animal model. Animals received a single early dose of methamphetamine (MA; 50 mg/kg; i.p.) on postnatal day (PD) 14, which is known to cause multiple changes in the subsequent development of several neurotransmitter systems including the dopaminergic systems, and were then treated with oral daily applications of MP (5 mg/kg) from PD30–60. Animals treated this way were either transferred to an enriched environment after weaning (on PD30) or were kept under impoverished rearing conditions. There was no effect of an enriched environment on the dopaminergic or GABAergic fiber density neither in the PFC nor in the amygdala. With regard to former studies these results underline the particular impact of MP in the treatment of ADHD.
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