Dopamine D1 and D2 antagonists attenuate amphetamine-produced enhancement of responding for conditioned reward in rats
- Cite this article as:
- Ranaldi, R. & Beninger, R.J. Psychopharmacology (1993) 113: 110. doi:10.1007/BF02244342
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It has been suggested that the dopamine D1 receptor may play an important role in reward. The present study was undertaken to investigate the roles of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor subtypes in responding for conditioned reward. This was done by examining the effects of the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 and the D2 antagonists pimozide and metoclopramide on amphetamine-produced enhancement of responding for conditioned reward. The procedure consisted of three distinct phases. During the pre-exposure phase the rats were exposed to an operant chamber containing two levers. One lever produced a lights-off stimulus (3 s) and the other a tone stimulus (3 s). This was followed by four conditioning sessions during which the levers were removed and the rats were exposed to pairings of the lights-off stimulus with food. This phase was followed by two test sessions during which the levers were present and the number of responses made on each was calculated as a ratio of the number of responses made during the pre-exposure phase. A group receiving the vehicle during the test sessions showed a greater ratio of responding for the light-off stimulus than the tone stimulus, indicating that the lights-off stimulus had become a conditioned reward. Amphetamine (0.1, 1.0, 2.0 and 5.0 mg/kg, IP, 5 min prior to test) specifically enhanced responding on the lever producing conditioned reward. SCH 23390 (5.0 and 10.0 µg/kg, SC, 2 h before test) and pimozide (0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg, IP, 4 h before test) dose-dependently shifted the peak in the amphetamine dose-response function to the right, indicating an attenuation of conditioned reward. Metoclopramide (1.0, 5.0 and 7.5 mg/kg, IP, 1 h before test) reduced the amphetamine-produced enhancement of responding for conditioned reward but failed to shift the amphetamine dose-response function. These results provide evidence that both D1 and D2 receptor subtypes are essential in responding for conditioned reward.