Mesolimbic and Extrapyramidal Sites for the Mediation of Stereotyped Behaviour Patterns and Hyperactivity by Amphetamine and Apomorphine in the Rat

  • Brenda Costall
  • Robert J. Naylor
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 21)


In small laboratory animals, amphetamine and amphetamine-like drugs induce a spectrum of behavioural changes characterised mainly by stereotyped behaviour and an increase in activity (Randrup and Munkvad, 1967). These behavioural changes have been the centre of many studies to determine the site of action of amphetamine-like agents in the brain. These studies have basically employed the brain lesion technique, assuming that disruption of a discrete area essentially required to mediate a certain behavioural effect will lead to an abolition of that behaviour, and the intracerebral injection technique to induce the behaviour from the “essential” area. This approach would appear correct and logical but has, instead of clarifying hypotheses on the site of amphetamine action, led to massive confusion in the literature. However, a careful review of the data would indicate that most discrepancies are in definitions and methodology. It is, therefore, our intention in this chapter to examine the literature related to the site of stimulant drug action in the brain, with particular reference to amphetamine and apomorphine and the stereotyped behaviour patterns and hyperactivity induced by these agents in the rat, in an attempt to clarify many of the discrepancies in the available data and to formulate acceptable hypotheses on cerebral sites mediating the effects of stimulant drugs. We make one basic assumption, that amphetamine and apomorphine mediate their behavioural effects via cerebral dopamine, but in so doing we do not exclude a role for other neurotransmitter substances.


Substantia Nigra Nucleus Accumbens Globus Pallidus Stereotyped Behaviour Striatal Dopamine 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenda Costall
    • 1
  • Robert J. Naylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Postgraduate School of Studies in PharmacologyUniversity of BradfordBradford, West YorkshireEngland

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