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Noradrenergic influences on catalepsy

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Widespread depletion of forebrain noradrenaline, produced by the intracerebral injection of 4 μg of 6-hydroxydopamine into the fibres of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle, potentiated the catalepsy induced by 20 mg/kg of morphine and severely attenuated the catalepsy induced by two separate cholinergic agonists, arecoline and pilocarpine. It did not, however, affect haloperidol catalepsy at any of the four doses tested. These results suggest that cholinergic catalepsy may be critically dependent on an intact noradrenergic substrate, perhaps through cholinergic receptors located either presynaptically on noradrenergic terminals or on the cell bodies of origin in the locus coeruleus. Noradrenaline appears to play a modulatory role in morphine catalepsy, although other sites of action must also be involved. Ascending noradrenergic systems do not appear to influence haloperidol catalepsy.

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Correspondence to Stephen T. Mason.

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Mason, S.T., Roberts, D.C.S. & Fibiger, H.C. Noradrenergic influences on catalepsy. Psychopharmacology 60, 53–57 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00429179

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Key words

  • Noradrenaline
  • Catalepsy
  • Morphine
  • Haloperidol
  • Pilocarpine
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Dorsal bundle
  • Arecoline