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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2001 Oct;25(4):565-75.

Effect of LSD on prepulse inhibition and spontaneous behavior in the rat. A pharmacological analysis and comparison between two rat strains.

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Pharmaceuticals Division, Preclinical Studies, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Switzerland.


The goal of the present study was to better delineate the mechanisms of action of the prototypical hallucinogen LSD. LSD (0.03, 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg, s.c.) produced locomotor hyperactivity, disruption of PPI and a number of behaviors indicative of 5-HT activation such as wet-dog shakes, back muscle contractions and forepaw treading. These various behavioral effects of LSD were studied in both Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats, although with the exception of back muscle contractions which were more prominent in Sprague-Dawley rats, no major strain differences were detected. The PPI disruption induced by LSD (0.1 mg/kg) in Sprague-Dawley rats was completely reversed by pretreatment with the selective 5-HT(2A) antagonist MDL 100907 (0.5 and 1 mg/kg, s.c.). In contrast, pretreatment with antagonists at 5-HT(2C), (SB 242084 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.)); 5-HT(2B/2C) (SDZ SER 082 (1 mg/kg, s.c.)); 5-HT(1A), ((+)-WAY 100135 (1 and 20 mg/kg, s.c.)) and 5-HT(6) receptors, (RO 04-6790 (30 mg/kg, i.p.)), all failed to influence LSD-induced disruption of PPI. The dopamine DA(2like) receptor antagonist, haloperidol (0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg, s.c.), was without effect against an LSD-induced disruption of PPI. Finally, selective blockade of 5-HT(2A) but not 5-HT(2C) receptors completely abolished the locomotor hyperactivity induced by LSD. These findings provide empirical evidence to support the view that the hallucinogenic effects of LSD are mediated by a direct agonist effect at 5-HT(2A) receptors.

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