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Physiol Behav. 2011 Feb 1;102(2):121-5. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.10.013. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Dopamine susceptibility of APO-SUS rats is not per se coupled to HPA-axis activity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Animal Physiology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Neuroscience & Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences (NCMLS), Faculty of Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6525 GA, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


A synergistic relationship is thought to exist between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and dopamine neurotransmission. To test whether a high response to dopamine indeed implies a hyperactive HPA-axis, we here used Wistar rats that were selected twice independently (original and replicate lines) for a high or low susceptibility to the dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine (so-called APO-SUS and APO-UNSUS rats, respectively). The APO-SUS rats from the original line displayed a hyperactive HPA-axis in that higher basal and stress-induced adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, and lower basal free-corticosterone levels were observed than those found in the original APO-UNSUS rats. In contrast, the activity of the HPA-axis in the APO-SUS rats from the replicate line did not differ from that in the replicate APO-UNSUS rats. Thus, in the APO-SUS/APO-UNSUS rat model the level of HPA-axis activity is not necessarily causally linked to dopamine responsiveness, implying that a hyperactive HPA-axis is not a prerequisite for a high dopaminergic response.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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