Effects of chronic methamphetamine exposure on heart function in uninfected and retrovirus-infected mice

Qianli Yu, Sergio Montes, Douglas F. Larson, Ronald R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine (MA) increases catecholamine levels, which have detrimental effects on heart function through vasoconstriction, myocardial hypertrophy, and fibrosis. Murine retrovirus infection induces dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The present study investigated the cardiovascular effects of chronic MA treatment on uninfected and retrovirus-infected mice. C57BL/6 mice were studied after 12 weeks treatment. The four study groups were (group I) uninfected, MA placebo; (group II) infected, MA placebo; (group III) uninfected, MA treatment; and (group IV) infected and MA treatment. MA injections were given i.p. once a day for 5 days/week with a increasing dose from 15 mg/kg to 40 mg/kg. Left ventricular mechanics were measured in situ a using Millar conductance catheter system for pressure-volume loop analysis. Cardiac pathology was determined with histological analysis. In the uninfected mice, the load independent contractile parameters, pre-load recruitable stroke work (PRSW) and dP/dtmax vs. Ved, significantly decreased by 32% and 35% in MA treated mice when compared to the saline injected mice. In retrovirus-infected mice, although there were no significant difference in Ees, PRSW, and dP/dtmax vs. Ved due to MA treatment, they were increased 45%, 15% and 42% respectively when compared to saline treated mice. No further lowered heart function during murine AIDS may be due to the counteraction of the retroviral DCM and the MA induced myocardial fibrosis and hypertrophy (thickening of the ventricular walls). This is supported by increases in the End-diastolic volume (Ved, 38%) and End-systolic volume (Ves, 84%) in the retrovirus-infected saline injected mice, the decreases of 33% and 17% in the uninfected MA-treated mice, but no significant changes in the retrovirus-infected MA treated mice when compared to uninfected saline injected mice. These data suggest that MA induced myocardial cellular changes compensate for retrovirus induced DCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-965
Number of pages13
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 12 2002


  • Heart function
  • LP-BM5 Murine leukemia
  • Methamphetamine (MA)
  • Murine AIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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