, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 63–68 | Cite as

Role of brain dopaminergic mechanisms in rodent aggressive behavior: Influence of (±)N-n-propyl-norapomorphine on three experimental models

  • G. Baggio
  • F. Ferrari
Original Investigations


(±)N-n-Propyl-norapomorphine (NPA), a potent agonist of brain dopamine receptors, influences aggressive behavior, but the type of influence depends on the experimental conditions. In rats, NPA increases aggression elicited by electrical foot shock, but decreases predatory aggression against turtles as well as isolation-induced aggression in male mice. NPA proves more potent than apomorphine in both the foot shock and predatory test. A per se ineffective dose of haloperidol (0.05 mg/kg-1 IP) antagonizes NPA in the rat foot shock test as well as in the isolated male mouse test. The relevance of stereotyped movements for NPA influence on aggressive behavior is briefly discussed.

Key words

NPA Aggression DA Pathways Apomorphine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anand, M., Gupta, G. P., Bhargaria, K. P.: Modification of electroshock fighting by drugs known to interact with dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons in normal and brain lesioned rats. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 29, 437–439 (1977)Google Scholar
  2. Bandler, R. J., Moyer, K. E.: Animals spontaneously attacked by rats. Commun. Behav. Biol. 5, 177–182 (1970)Google Scholar
  3. Baraldi, M., Benassi-Benelli, A.: Sexual excitement induced in the adult male rat by low doses of d-amphetamine or apomorphine: Suppression of penile erections by severe stereotyped behavior. Riv. Farmacol. Ter. 8, 49–58 (1977)Google Scholar
  4. Benassi-Benelli, A., Ferrari, F.: Comparazione tra apomorfina e N-n-propil-norapomorfina per l'induzione della sindrome di stiramento e sbadiglio, di erezione peniena e di stereotipie nel ratto. Riv. Farmacol. Ter. 10, 121–137 (1979)Google Scholar
  5. Costall, B., Naylor, R. J.: The role of telencephalic dopaminergic system in the mediation of apomorphine-stereotyped behavior. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 24, 8–24 (1973)Google Scholar
  6. Costall, B., Naylor, R. J., Neumeyer, J. L.: Differences in the nature of the stereotyped behavior induced by aporphine derivatives in the rat and in their actions in extrapyramidal and mesolimbic brain areas. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 31, 1–16 (1975)Google Scholar
  7. Costall, B., Naylor, R. J., Cannon, J., Lee, T.: Differentiation of the dopamine mechanisms mediating stereotyped behavior and hyperactivity in the nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 29, 337–342 (1977)Google Scholar
  8. Crowley, J. T.: Dose-dependent facilitation or suppression of rat fighting by methamphetamine, phenobarbital, or imipramine. Psychopharmacologia 27, 213–222 (1972)Google Scholar
  9. Eichelman, B.: The catecholamines and aggressive behavior. Neurosci. Res. 5, 109–129 (1973)Google Scholar
  10. Emley, G. S., Hutchinson, R. R., Hunter, N. A.: Selective action of morphine, chlorpromazine, chlordiazepoxide, nicotine, and d-amphetamine on shock-produced aggressive and other motor responses in the squirrel monkey. Fed. Proc. 30, 390–399 (1961)Google Scholar
  11. Flynn, J. P., Vanegas, H., Foote, W., Edwards, S.: Neural mechanisms involved in a cat's attack on a rat. In: The neural control of behavior, Whalen, R. D., Thompson, T., Verzeano, A., Weinberger J., eds., pp. 135–173 New York: Academic 1970Google Scholar
  12. Gianutsos, G., Lal, H.: Modification of apomorphine-induced aggression by changing central cholinergic activity in rats. Neuropharmacology 17, 7–10 (1977)Google Scholar
  13. Hodge, G. K., Butcher, L. L.: Catecholamine correlates of isolationinduced aggression in mice. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 31, 81–93 (1975)Google Scholar
  14. Horovitz, Z. P., Ragozzino, P. W., Leaf, R. C.: Selective block of rat mouse-killing by antidepressant. Life Sci. 4, 1909–1912 (1965)Google Scholar
  15. Kostowski, W.: Effects of sedative and major tranquillizers on aggressive behavior. Mod. Probl. Pharmacopsychiatr. 13, 1–12 (1978)Google Scholar
  16. Kulkarni, A. S., Plotnikoff, N. P.: Effects of central stimulants on aggressive behavior. Mod. Probl. Pharmacopsychiatr. 13, 69–81 (1978)Google Scholar
  17. Menon, M. K., Clark, W. G., Neumeyer, J. L.: Comparison of the dopaminergic effects of apomorphine and (-)N-n-propyl-norapomorphine. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 52, 1–9 (1978)Google Scholar
  18. Miller, R. J., Kelly, P. H., Neumeyer, J. L.: Apomorphines. Actions of apomorphine alkaloids on dopaminergic mechanisms in rat brain. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 35, 77–83 (1976)Google Scholar
  19. Randrup, A., Munkvad, I.: Relation of brain catecholamines to aggressiveness and other forms of behavioural excitation. In: Aggressive behaviour, S. Garattini, E. B. Sigg, eds., pp. 228–235. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica 1969Google Scholar
  20. Senault, B.: Comportement d'aggressivité intraspecifique induit par l'apomorphine chez le rat. Psychopharmacologia 18, 271–287 (1970)Google Scholar
  21. Seward, J. P.: Aggressive behavior in the rat. General characteristics age and sex differences. J. Comp. Psychol. 38, 179–197 (1945)Google Scholar
  22. Sofia, R. D.: Effect of centrally active drugs on four models of experimentally induced aggression in rodents. Life Sci. 8, 705–716 (1969)Google Scholar
  23. Tedeschi, R. E., Tedeschi, D. H., Mucla, A., Cook, L., Mattis, P. A., Fellows, E.: Effects of various centrally acting drugs on fighting behavior of mice. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 125, 28–31 (1959)Google Scholar
  24. Valzelli, L.: Aggressive behaviour induced by isolation. In: Aggressive behaviour, S. Garattini, E. B. Sigg, eds., pp. 70–76. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica 1969Google Scholar
  25. Valzelli, L.: 5-hydroxytryptamine in aggressiveness. Adv. Biochem. Psychopharmacol. 11, 255–263 (1974)Google Scholar
  26. Vogel, J. R.: Antidepressants and mouse-killing (muricide) behavior. In: Antidepressants, Fielding, Lal, eds., pp. 99–112 London, New York: Futura 1975Google Scholar
  27. Welch, B. L., Welch, A. S.: Aggression and the biogenic amines. In: Aggressive behaviour, Garattini, S., Sigg, E. B., eds., pp. 188–202 Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica 1969Google Scholar
  28. Yen, H. C. Y., Stanger, R. L., Milman, N.: Isolation-induced agrressive behavior in ataractic tests. J. Pharmac. Exp. Ther. 122, 85A (1958)Google Scholar
  29. Zwirner, P. P., Porsolt, R. D., Loew, D. M.: Inter-group aggression in mice: a new method for testing the effects of centrally active drugs. Psychopharmacologia 45, 133–138 (1975)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Baggio
    • 1
  • F. Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PharmacologyUniversity of ModenaModenaItaly

Personalised recommendations