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Differential effects of d-amphetamine and atomoxetine on risk-based decision making of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats

Ozga-Hess, Jenny E.; Anderson, Karen G.

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000500
Research Reports

Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder tend to make risker choices during probabilistic-discounting procedures. Thus, how common attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications affect probabilistic discounting is of interest. In general, d-amphetamine increases risk-taking while atomoxetine has produced mixed effects in rats. Results from previous studies may result from genetic factors. Lewis and F344 rats have neurochemical differences that may be relevant to probabilistic discounting and how drugs affect such behavior. In this study, we evaluated dose-dependent effects of d-amphetamine and atomoxetine on probabilistic discounting of Lewis and F344. Male Lewis and F344 chose between one food pellet delivered 100% of the time and three food pellets delivered following decreasing probabilities of delivery (i.e. 100%, 66.7%, 33.3%, 16.5%, and 8.25%). Saline, d-amphetamine (0.1–1.8 mg/kg), and atomoxetine (0.1–7.8 mg/kg) were tested acutely. Lewis and F344 did not differ in choice at baseline. d-Amphetamine increased risky choice for both rat strains at low-to-moderate doses, although it did so at a lower dose (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) for F344 as compared to Lewis (0.3 mg/kg only). At high doses (1.0 and 1.8 mg/kg), d-amphetamine disrupted choice, increased frequencies of omitted trials, and reduced reinforcer sensitivity. Although atomoxetine increased frequencies of omitted trials at high doses (5.6 and 7.8 mg/kg), it had no effect on probabilistic discounting for either rat strain. Although Lewis and F344 differ in various types of impulsivity (i.e. motor, choice), with Lewis being the more impulsive of the two, the present results suggest that Lewis and F344 do not differ in risk-based decision-making. Effects of d-amphetamine on probabilistic discounting may be biology-dependent and differ from effects of atomoxetine.

Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA

Received 23 January 2019 Accepted as revised 8 July 2019

Correspondence to Jenny E. Ozga-Hess, PhD, Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA, Tel: +(618) 922 5156; e-mail:

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