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Hayase T, Yamamoto Y, Yamamoto K. 
“Behavioral effects of ketamine and toxic interactions with psychostimulants”. 
BMC Neurosci. 2006 May;7:25.

BACKGROUND: The anesthetic drug ketamine (KT) has been reported to be an abused drug and fatal cases have been observed in polydrug users. In the present study, considering the possibility of KT-enhanced toxic effects of other drugs, and KT-induced promotion of an overdose without making the subject aware of the danger due to the attenuation of several painful subjective symptoms, the intraperitoneal (i.p.) KT-induced alterations in behaviors and toxic interactions with popular co-abused drugs, the psychostimulants cocaine (COC) and methamphetamine (MA), were examined in ICR mice.

RESULTS: A single dose of KT caused hyperlocomotion in a low (30 mg/kg, i.p.) dose group, and hypolocomotion followed by hyperlocomotion in a high (100 mg/kg, i.p.) dose group. However, no behavioral alterations derived from enhanced stress-related depression or anxiety were observed in the forced swimming or the elevated plus-maze test. A single non-fatal dose of COC (30 mg/kg, i.p.) or MA (4 mg/kg, i.p.) caused hyperlocomotion, stress-related depression in swimming behaviors in the forced swimming test, and anxiety-related behavioral changes (preference for closed arms) in the elevated plus-maze test. For the COC (30 mg/kg) or MA (4 mg/kg) groups of mice simultaneously co-treated with KT, the psychostimulant-induced hyperlocomotion was suppressed by the high dose KT, and the psychostimulant-induced behavioral alterations in the above tests were reversed by both low and high doses of KT. For the toxic dose COC (70 mg/kg, i.p.)- or MA (15 mg/kg, i.p.)-only group, mortality and severe seizures were observed in some animals. In the toxic dose psychostimulant-KT groups, KT attenuated the severity of seizures dose-dependently. Nevertheless, the mortality rate was significantly increased by co-treatment with the high dose KT. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrated that, in spite of the absence of stress-related depressive and anxiety-related behavioral alterations following a single dose of KT treatment, and in spite of the KT-induced anticonvulsant effects and attenuation of stress- and anxiety-related behaviors caused by COC or MA, the lethal effects of these psychostimulants were increased by KT.
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