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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1991 Feb;38(2):243-6.

Interactive effects of D1 and D2 agonists with scopolamine on radial-arm maze performance.

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Nicotine Research Laboratory, VA Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705.


Pharmacological blockade of muscarinic cholinergic (ACh) receptors has been found to impair choice accuracy in a variety of tasks including the radial-arm maze. The cognitive impairment caused by the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine is reversed by the dopaminergic (DA) antagonist haloperidol as well as the selective D1 antagonist SCH 23390. In the current study, interactions were studied between scopolamine and selective agonists of D1 (SCH 38393) and D2 (quinpirole) receptors. Surprisingly, the D1 agonist SKF 38393 was found to significantly alleviate the scopolamine-induced choice accuracy deficit. In contrast, the D2 agonist quinpirole was not found to significantly alter the effects of scopolamine on choice accuracy but did have supra-additive effects of increasing choice latency. Both the D1 agonist SKF 38393 and the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 have been found to reverse the choice accuracy deficit caused by scopolamine and the deficit resulting from lesions of the medial projection from the basal forebrain to the cortex. Possible mechanisms for these effects are discussed.

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