Amphetamine and maternal behavior: Dose response relationships

M. Piccirillo, J. E. Alpert, D. J. Cohen, B. A. Shaywitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Primiparous rats received 0.05, 0.25, 0.50, or 1.50 mg d-amphetamine/kg body weight, injected IP, when offspring reached 3-4 and 10-11 days of age. A multidimensional analysis of their maternal behavior revealed that at doses as low as 0.25 mg/kg, amphetamine had a disruptive effect on mother-pup intercontact interval, retrieval latency, inter-retrieval interval, number of pup retrieved and number of corners to which they were retrieved, time nest building, number of paper strips used, nursing time, time in motion, and number of squares entered. Disruption was dose-dependent for all the preceding except number of corners and time nest building. Amphetamine had no effect on the rate of maternal locomotion. The impact of amphetamine on nursing was significantly greater at pup ages of 3-4 days than at 10-11 days. Drug-induced augmentation of arousal exceeding optimal levels for adequate care-giving and locomotor stimulation incompatible with elements of maternal behavior may account for dose-dependent impairment in the range of 0.25 to 1.50 mg/kg d-amphetamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1980
Externally publishedYes


  • Arousal
  • Dose dependence
  • Maternal behavior
  • Pup maturation
  • Rat behavior
  • Rate dependence
  • d-Amphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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