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Apomorphine-induced behavioural sensitization in rats: Individual differences, role of dopamine and NMDA receptors

Võikar, V., Soosaar, A., Volke, V., Kõks, S., Bourin, M., Männistö, P.T. and Vasar, E. (1999) Apomorphine-induced behavioural sensitization in rats: Individual differences, role of dopamine and NMDA receptors. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 9 (6). pp. 507-514.

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Apomorphine-induced behavioural sensitization was studied in male Wistar rats. The acute administration of apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg s.c.), a dopamine agonist, did not affect the locomotor activity of rats, but it caused stereotyped behaviour characterized by repeated gnawing, licking and sniffing. A significant increase in the locomotor activity became evident after repeated treatments with apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg twice daily for 14 days). However, there were marked individual differences in the sensitization of rats to apomorphine. One third of animals did not react with increased locomotor activity even after the 2-week administration of apomorphine, whereas the other one third needed only a few injections to display increased behavioural response to apomorphine. The behavioural response of the remaining one third of rats was between weak and strong responders. Simultaneously, the stereotyped behaviour occurred earlier and its intensity tended to be lower after repeated treatment with apomorphine. Nevertheless, the established changes of stereotyped behaviour did not correlate with the increase of locomotor activity. The administration of amphetamine (2.5 mg/kg, s.c.), an indirect dopamine agonist, but not a non-competitive NMDA antagonist dizocilpine (0.25 mg/kg i.p.), tended to cause a similar response profile with apomorphine in sensitized rats. The ED50 values of the dopamine antagonists blocking apomorphine-induced increase in the locomotor activity were the following: 0.09 mg/kg for raclopride (dopamine D2 antagonist), 0.023 mg/kg for SCH 23390 (dopamine D1 antagonist), 6.42 mg/kg for clozapine (dopamine D4 antagonist). This supports the involvement of D1 and D2 receptors in the expression of apomorphine-induced behavioural sensitization. The concomitant administration of dizocilpine (0.5 mg/kg), SCH 23390 (0.05 mg/kg), raclopride (0.1 mg/kg) and clozapine (20 mg/kg) with apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg twice daily for 2 weeks) antagonized the development of behavioural sensitization to apomorphine. Accordingly, at least three different molecular targets, namely dopamine D1 and D2, and NMDA receptors, are involved in the development of apomorphine-induced behavioural sensitization.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
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