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Potentiation of Amphetamine-induced Arousal by Starvation


STARVATION and amphetamine both increase behavioural arousal, and have been postulated to act through adrenergic mechanisms in the brain stem. Amphetamine is believed to induce psychomotor excitation by releasing brain catecholamines, blocking their re-uptake from the synapse and mildly inhibiting the action of the catabolizing enzyme, monoamine oxidase1–3. The drug also accelerates the turnover of nor-adrenaline in the brain stem reticular formation4. Food deprivation increases electrophysiological arousal in the mesencephalic reticular formation and other areas5 and Dell6 postulated that behavioural arousal induced by starvation resulted from the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and their consequent action on brain stem excitatory areas.

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CAMPBELL, B., FIBIGER, H. Potentiation of Amphetamine-induced Arousal by Starvation. Nature 233, 424–425 (1971).

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