Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A comparative study of different amphetamines on copulatory behavior and stereotype activity in the female rat


The influence of d- and l-amphetamine, fenfluramine, and p-chloroamphetamine on female copulatory behavior (lordosis response) and the induction of stereotype activity was compared. Lordosis response in the female rat has been shown to be inhibited by increased central nervous serotonergic (5-HT) as well as dopaminergic (DA) activity. A dosedependent inhibitory effect on the estroge- + progesterone-induced lordosis response in ovariectomized rats was demonstrated after treatment with the four amphetamines. In contrast, only d- and l-amphetamine induced a stereotype activity, which is considered to be mediated by DA mechanisms. A decrease in DA receptor activity, achieved by pimozide pretreatment, abolished the effect of d-amphetamine on lordosis behavior, but the effect of l-amphetamine was only slightly diminished and the action of fenfluramine and p-chloroamphetamine was unaffected. On the other hand, both l- and d-amphetamine-induced stereotype activity was prevented by pimozide treatment.

The data suggest that the d-amphetamine effect on lordosis behavior is mediated by increased DA receptor activity. Although it induces stereotype activity by increased DA activity, l-amphetamine, like fenflueramine and p-chloroamphetamine, inhibits the lordosis response by some other action presumably related to serotonergic mechanisms.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Andén, N. E., Corrodi, H., Fuxe, K., Hökfelt, B., Hökfelt, T., Rydin, C., Svensson, T.: Evidence for a central noradrenaline receptor stimulation by clonidine. Life Sci. 9, 513–535 (1970)

  2. Besson, M. J., Cheramy, A., Feltz, P., Glowinski, J.: Release of newly synthesized dopamine from dopamine containing terminals in the striatum of the rat. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 62, 741–748 (1969)

  3. Boling, J. L., Blandau, R. J.: The estrogen-progesterone induction of mating responses in the spayed female rat. Endocrinology 25, 359–364 (1939)

  4. Carlsson, A.: Amphetamine and brain catecholamines. In: Amphetamines and related compounds. E. Costa and S. Garattini, eds., pp. 289–300. New York: Raven Press 1970

  5. Cools, A. R., v. Rossum, J. M.: Caudal dopamine and stereotype behaviour of cats. Arch. int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 187, 163–173 (1970)

  6. Costa, E., Groppetti, A., Revuelta, A.: Action of fenfluramine on monoamine stores of rat tissues. Brit. J. Pharmacol. 41, 57–64 (1971)

  7. Costa, E., Groppetti, A., Naimzada, M. K.: Effects of amphetamines on the turnover rate of brain catecholamines and motor activity. Brit. J. Pharmacol. 44, 742–751 (1972)

  8. Creese, J., Iversen, S.: Blockage of amphetamine induced motor stimulation and stereotypy in the adult rat following neonatal treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine. Brain Res. 55, 369–382 (1973)

  9. Eliasson, M., Michanek, A., Meyerson, B. J.: A differential inhibitory action of LSD and amphetamine on copulatory behavior in the female rat. Acta Pharmacol. (Kbh.) 31, Suppl. I (1972)

  10. Eliasson, M., Meyerson, B. J.: Comparison of the action of lysergic acid diethylamide and apomorphine on the copulatory response in the female rat. Psychopharmacology 49, 301–306 (1976)

  11. Ellinwood, E. H., Balster, R. L.: Rating the behavioral effects of amphetamine. Europ. J. Pharmacol. 28, 35–41 (1974)

  12. Everitt, B. J., Fuxe, K., Hökfelt, T.: Inhibitory role of dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the sexual behavior of female rats. Europ. J. Pharmacol. 29, 187–191 (1974)

  13. Fog, R.: Stereotyped and non-stereotyped behavior in rats induced by various stimulant drugs. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 14, 299–304 (1969)

  14. Fuxe, K., Ungerstedt, U.: Histochemical studies on the effect of (+)-amphetamine, drugs of the imipramine group and tryptamine on central catecholamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine neurons after intraventricular injection of catecholamines and 5-hydroxytryptamine. Europ. J. Pharmacol. 4, 135–144 (1968)

  15. Fuxe, K., Ungerstedt, U.: Histochemical, biochemical and functional studies on central monoamine neurons after acute and chronic amphetamine administration. In: Amphetamines and related compounds, E. Costa and S. Garattini, eds., pp. 257–288. New York: Raven Press 1970

  16. Gunne, L.-M., Galland, L.: Stereoselective metabolism of amphetamine. Biochem. Pharmacol. 16, 1374–1377 (1967)

  17. Harvey, J. A., McMaster, S. E.: Fenfluramine: Evidence for a neurotoxic action on midbrain and a long-term depletion of serotonin. Psychopharmacol. Com. 1 (2), 217–228 (1975)

  18. Janssen, P. A. J., Niemegers, C. J. E., Schellekens, K. H. L., Oresse, A., Lenaerts, F. M., Pinchard, A., Schaper, W. K. A., Van Nueten, J. M., Verbruggen, F. S.: Pimozide, a chemically novel, highly potent and orally longacting neuroleptic drug. Arzneimittel-Forsch. 18, 261–287 (1968)

  19. Laverty, R., Sharman, D. F.: Modification by drugs of the metabolism of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethylamine, noradrenaline, 5-hydroxytryptamine in the brain. Brit. J. Pharmacol. 24, 759–772 (1965)

  20. Maj, J., Sowinska, H., Kapturkiewics, Z., Sarnek, J.: The effect of l-Dopa and (+)amphetamine on the locomotor activity after pimozide and phenoxybenzamine. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 24, 412–414 (1972)

  21. McLean, J. R., McCartney, M.: Effect of d-amphetamine on rat brain noradrenaline and serotonin. Proc. Soc. exp. Biol. (N.Y.) 107, 77–79 (1961)

  22. Meyerson, B. J.: The effect of neuropharmacological agents on hormone-activated estrus behaviour in ovariectomized rats. Arch. int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 150, 4–33 (1964a)

  23. Meyerson, B. J.: Estrus behaviour in spayed rats after estrogen or progesterone treatment in combination with reserpine or tetrabenazine. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 6, 210–218 (1964b)

  24. Meyerson, B. J.: Amphetamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine inhibition of copulatory behavior in the female rat. Ann. Med. exp. Fenn. 46, 394–398 (1968)

  25. Meyerson, B. J., Carrer, H., Eliasson, M.: 5-Hydroxytryptamine and sexual behavior in the female rat. In: Advances in biochemical psychopharmacology, E. Costa, G. L. Gessa, and M. Sandler, eds., Vol. 11, pp. 229–242. New York: Raven Press 1974

  26. Meyerson, B. J., Eliasson, M., Lindström, L., Michanek, A., Söderlund, A.-Ch.: Monoamines and female sexual behaviour. In: Psychopharmacology, sexual disorders and drug abuse, T. A. Ban, J. R. Boissier, G. J. Gessa, H. Heimann, L. Hollister, H. E. Lehmann, I. Munkvad, H. Steinberg, F. Sulser, A. Sundvall, and O. Vinar, eds., pp. 463–472. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publ. 1973

  27. Pharmacopoea Nordica, Vol. VI, Apotekarsocietetens förlag, Stockholm 1960

  28. Randrup, A., Munkvad, I.: Stereotyped activities produced by amphetamine in several animal species and man. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 11, 300–310 (1967)

  29. Randrup, A., Munkvad, I.: Biochemical, anatomical and psychological investigations of stereotyped behavior induced by amphetamines. In: Amphetamines and related compounds. E. Costa and S. Garattini, eds., pp. 695–713. New York: Raven Press 1970

  30. Reid, W. D.: Turnover rate of brain 5-hydroxytryptamine increased by d-amphetamine. Brit. J. Pharmacol. 40, 483–491 (1970)

  31. Sanders-Bush, E., Bushing, J. A., Sulser, F.: Long-term effects of p-chloro-amphetamine on tryptophan hydroxylase activity and on the levels of 5-hydroxy-tryptamine and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid in brain. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 20, 385–388 (1972)

  32. Sanders-Bush, E., Bushing, J. A., Sulser, F.: Long-term effects of p-chloroamphetamine and related drugs on central serotonergic mechanisms. J. Pharm. exp. Ther. 192, 33–41 (1975)

  33. Schaefer, G. J., Barrett, R. J., Sanders-Bush, E., Vorhees, C. V.: p-Chloroamphetamine: evidence against a serotonin mediated learning deficit in PKU. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2, 783–789 (1974)

  34. Scheel-Krüger, J.: Comparative studies of various amphetamine analogues demonstrating different interactions with the metabolism of the catecholamines in the brain. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 14, 47–59 (1971)

  35. Scheel-Krüger, J., Hasselager, E.: Studies of various amphetamines, apomorphine and clonidine on body temperature and brain 5-hydroxytrypamine metabolism in rats. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 36, 189–202 (1974)

  36. Schiørring, E.: Amphetamine induced selective stimulation of certain behaviour items, with concurrent inhibition of others in an open field test with rats. Behaviour 39, 1–17 (1971)

  37. Siegel, S.: Nonparametric statistics. New York: McGraw-Hill 1956

  38. Svensson, T. H.: Functional and biochemical effects of d- and l-amphetamine on central catecholamine neurons. Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 271, 170–180 (1971)

  39. Taylor, K. M., Snyder, S.: Differentiation by d-and l-isomers of behavior involving brain norepinephrine or dopamine. Science 19, 1487–1489 (1970)

  40. Taylor, M., Goudie, A. J., Mortimore, S., Wheeler, T. J.: Comparison between behaviors elicited by high doses of amphetamine and fenfluramine: implications for the concept of stereotypy. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 40, 249–258 (1974)

  41. Thornburg, J. E., Moore, K. E.: The relative importance of dopaminergic and noradrenergic neuronal systems for the stimulation of locomotor activity induced by amphetamine and other drugs. Neuropharmacology 12, 853–866 (1973)

  42. Vorhees, C. V., Schaefer, G. J., Barrett, R. J.: p-Chloroamphetamine: Behavioral effects of reduced cerebral serotonin rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 3, 279–284 (1975)

  43. Ögren, S.-O., Ross, S. B., Baumann, L.: 5-Hydroxytryptamine and learning: Long-term effects of p-chloroamphetamine on acquisition. Med. Biol. 53, 165–169 (1975)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Michanek, A., Meyerson, B.J. A comparative study of different amphetamines on copulatory behavior and stereotype activity in the female rat. Psychopharmacology 53, 175–183 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00426489

Download citation

Key words

  • Copulatory behavior
  • Stereotype activity
  • Amphetamine
  • Fentluramine
  • p-Chloroamphetamine