, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 521–527 | Cite as

α1- and α2-Adrenoreceptor antagonists differentially influence locomotor and stereotyped behaviour induced byd-amphetamine and apomorphine in the rat

  • Stephen L. Dickinson
  • Brian Gadie
  • Ian F. Tulloch
Original Investigations


The importance of dopamine (DA) in mediating locomotor, exploratory and stereotyped behaviour in rodents is well established. Evidence also indicates a modulatory role for noradrenaline (NA) although, due to non-specificity of previously available agents, a precise role remains undefined. The effects of the specific and selective α-adrenoreceptor antagonists idazoxan (α2) and prazosin (α1) on behaviour induced by amphetamine and apomorphine have been investigated in the rat.d-Amphetamine (2 mg/kg) induced hyperactive locomotion and exploration. Pretreatment with prazosin (1 mg/kg) markedly reduced these responses. In contrast, pretreatment with idazoxan (20 mg/kg) only marginally alteredd-amphetamine hyperactivity. Apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg) induced biphasic locomotor and exploratory activity. Neither α-antagonist affected the initial burst of activity (60 min), although prazosin inhibited whereas idazoxan potentiated the secondary phase (90–180 min). At higher dosage, amphetamine (6 mg/kg) and apomorphine (2 mg/kg) induced stereotyped behaviours. Prazosin pretreatment enhanced stereotyped gnawing and decreased sniffing and locomotion, whereas idazoxan increased locomotion and decreased amphetamine-induced mouth movements. These data indicate that DA-induced locomotor and stereotyped behaviours are differentially influenced (in opposite directions) by both α1- and α2-adrenoreceptor antagonists. NA may thus modulate the expression and character of behaviour by influencing DA function in certain brain areas.

Key words

α-Adrenoreceptor antagonists Dopamine Noradrenaline Behaviour Amphetamine Apomorphine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen L. Dickinson
    • 1
  • Brian Gadie
    • 1
  • Ian F. Tulloch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyReckitt & Colman plcKingston-Upon-HullUK

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