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Behavioural brain research

Sensory feedback modulates quipazine-induced stepping behavior in the newborn rat.


PMID 22249136

Abstract

Research has shown that sensory feedback modulates locomotor behavior in intact as well as spinal adult animals. Here we examined if locomotor activity ("stepping") in newborn rats is influenced by cutaneous and proprioceptive feedback. One-day-old rats were treated with the serotonergic receptor agonist quipazine (3.0mg/kg) to induce air-stepping behavior or with saline (vehicle control). During stepping, a substrate/floor (elastic, stiff, or none) was placed beneath their limbs so that the feet could make plantar surface contact with a substrate. Pups treated with quipazine showed significantly more alternated fore- and hindlimb steps and plantar paw contact with the substrate, compared to pups treated with saline. Pups also made proportionately less contact with the stiff substrate versus the elastic substrate during stepping. Different types of movements made on the substrate (paw pushes, taps, swipes, and stances) were also characterized. These results indicate that sensory feedback modulates locomotor mechanisms and behavior in perinatal rats.

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Q1004
Quipazine maleate salt
C13H15N3 · C4H4O4