Swimming exercise attenuates psychological dependence and voluntary methamphetamine consumption in methamphet- amine withdrawn rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Semnan, Semnan, Iran

2 Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Laboratory of Animal Addiction Models, Research Center and Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran


Objective(s): This study evaluated the effect of swimming exercise during spontaneous methamphetamine (METH) withdrawal on the anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and voluntary METH consumption in METH-dependent rats. 
Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats were repeatedly administered with bi-daily doses of METH (2 mg/kg, subcutaneous) over a period of 14 days. Exercised rats were submitted to swimming sessions (45 min/day, five days per week, for 14 days) during spontaneous METH-withdrawal. Then, all animals were tested for the assessment of anxiety by using the elevated plus-maze (EPM), the grooming behaviors (OCD), and depression using forced swimming test (FST) and voluntary METH consumption using a two-bottle choice (TBC) paradigm for the assessment of craving.
Results: The results showed that the swimmer METH-withdrawn rats exhibited an increase in EPM open arm time and entries and a reduction of immobility and grooming behaviors compared with the sedentary METH groups. Also, voluntary METH consumption was less in the swimmer METH-withdrawn rats than the sedentary METH groups throughout 5–8 days.
Conclusion: This study showed that regular swimming exercise reduced voluntary METH consumption in animal models of craving by reducing anxiety, OCD, and depression in the METH-withdrawn rats. Thus, physical training may be ameliorating some of the withdrawal behavioral consequences of METH.


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