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Neuroscience. 1999;88(4):1187-98.

Alpha2C-adrenoceptor overexpression disrupts execution of spatial and non-spatial search patterns.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, University of Kuopio, Finland.


We investigated the role of alpha2C-adrenoceptors in the modulation of spatial and non-spatial navigation behaviour. Alpha2C-adrenoceptor overexpressing mice developed an ineffective thigmotaxic search pattern characterized by swimming close to the pool walls during both spatial and non-spatial water maze training. A subtype-non-selective alpha2-adrenoceptor antagonist, atipamezole (1000 microg/kg, s.c.), fully reversed this impairment in their search strategy. Withdrawal of atipamezole at the end of spatial training resulted in an immediate disruption of the search pattern in alpha2C-adrenoceptor overexpressing mice. The swimming pattern of alpha2C-adrenoceptor overexpressing mice during a five day free swimming period was normal, when no cognitive component was required. Diazepam (0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg, i.p.), neither improved the accuracy in finding the platform nor decreased thigmotaxis. These results suggest that alpha2C-adrenoceptors may modulate the execution of complex navigation patterns.

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