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Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior

Behavioral effects of dopamine agonists and antagonists: influence of estrous cycle, ovariectomy, and estrogen replacement in rats.


PMID 9972841

Abstract

The influence of the hormonal condition on the reactivity of central dopamine (DA) receptors was studied in male and in intact and ovariectomized (OVX) female rats. They were injected with selective DA agonists, acting either on D1 (SKF 38393, 2.5 or 10 mg/kg) or D2 receptors (PPHT, 31.3 or 125 microg/kg), or with selective DA antagonists, acting either on D1 (SCH 23390, 6.25 or 25 microg/kg), or D2 receptors (sulpiride, 10 or 40 mg/kg). The acquisition of an avoidance conditioning response (CAR) and the performance of some spontaneous motor behaviors were tested. Both D1 and D2 agonists and antagonists impaired the acquisition of CARs in diestrous, OVX, and male rats. Nevertheless, the effects of these drugs during estrus and in estradiol-primed OVX rats were different according to the drug and the dose injected. Whereas SKF 38393 failed to induce significative changes, PPHT and low doses of SCH 23390 and sulpiride improved the acquisition of CARS in those groups. The effects on conditioning were not accompanied with equivalent changes in spontaneous motor activity. Estradiol level fluctuations that occur in female rats within the estrous cycle or in OVX rats primed with estradiol would be responsive of changes in the response to DA agents. Although the reactivity of central DA systems is differentially affected by the hormonal condition of the rat, the precise mechanism of this modulatory action remains unknown.

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