, Volume 122, Issue 4, pp 351-357

Dose-dependent effects of the D3-preferring agonist 7-OH-DPAT on motor behaviors and place conditioning

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Abstract

Dose-dependent effects of 7-OH-DPAT on several behaviors, including place preference, were assessed. Three 2-day conditioning trials were conducted. On 1 day, animals received an injection of one of eight doses of 7-OH-DPAT (0–5 mg/kg) and were placed into a distinct compartment for 40 min. On the other day, animals received an injection of saline and were placed into a different compartment for 40 min. Locomotion, sniffing, and yawning were measured following the first and last injection of 7-OH-DPAT. Place conditioning was assessed on the day following the last trial. 7-OH-DPAT produced a U-shaped dose-dependent change in locomotion and sniffing, and an inverted U-shaped dose-dependent change in yawning. Additionally, repeated administration of 0.1 mg/kg sensitized yawning, whereas 5 mg/kg sensitized locomotion. None of the doses of 7-OH-DPAT produced conditioned place preference, however, there was a trend for conditioned place aversion at 0.03 mg/kg. By contrast, LiCl (127 mg/kg) produced conditioned place aversion and amphetamine (1 mg/kg) produced conditioned place preference using the same conditioning parameters. A subsequent experiment in which the number of animals and conditioning trials were increased demonstrated that the 0.03 mg/kg dose of 7-OH-DPAT produced conditioned place aversion. 7-OH-DPAT has a higher affinity for D3 receptors relative to D2 receptors. Therefore, it is suggested that intermediate doses (0.01–0.1 mg/kg) that increase yawning, and decrease locomotion and sniffing, may preferentially occupy D3 receptors. Furthermore, the results suggest that these putative D3-preferring doses have weak aversive effects.