, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 267–277 | Cite as

GABAergic and glycinergic mechanisms within the substantia nigra: Pharmacological specificity of dopamine-independent contralateral turning behavior and interactions with other neurotransmitters

  • Jørn Arnt
  • Jørgen Scheel-Krüger
Original Investigations


The pharmacological specificity of the GABA agonist muscimol-induced contralateral turning behavior after unilateral injection into substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR) has been studied. Muscimol-induced turning was antagonized by intranigral bicuculline methochloride (BMC) and picrotoxin, whereas antagonists of glycine, morphine, dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin were ineffective. Glycine induced a qualitatively similar turning behavior which was strychnine-sensitive but relatively BMC and picrotoxin-insensitive. Other drugs, including substance P, kainic acid, clonidine, oxymetazoline, serotonin, and carbachol, induced turning that could be dissociated from the effect of muscimol. Muscimol-induced turning was dopamine-independent, indicated by resistance to haloperidol (1 mg/kg), to pretreatment with reserpine (7.5 mg/kg) plus α-methyl-p-tyrosine (200 mg/kg), to haloperidol injections into the SNR, striatum and nucleus accumbens, and finally to kainic acid lesions of the striatum. 6-Hydroxydopamine lesions increased the efficacy of intranigral muscimol, while kainic acid lesions of the SNR antagonized muscimol. Muscimol-induced turning was inhibited by oxotremorine (0.25 mg/kg), by intranigral carbachol, and by apomorphine (0.1–0.5 mg/kg), but only moderately by intranigrally injected apomorphine. These data suggest specificity of GABA-agonist-induced contralateral turning and indicate an interaction between nigral GABA and other neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine and acetylcholine.

Key words

Muscimol GABA Substantia nigra Turning behavior Glycine Dopamine Apomorphine Noradrenaline Acetylcholine Substance P 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jørn Arnt
    • 1
  • Jørgen Scheel-Krüger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyRoyal Danish School of PharmacyCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Psychopharmacological Research Laboratory, Department ESct. Hans Mental HospitalRoskildeDenmark

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