Send to

Choose Destination
Neuropsychobiology. 2008;57(1-2):70-9. doi: 10.1159/000135640. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Behavioral actions of intranasal application of dopamine: effects on forced swimming, elevated plus-maze and open field parameters.

Author information

Institute of Physiological Psychology, University of Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany.



Recently, we found evidence that intra-nasally administered dopamine (DA), can enter the brain, leading to an immediate increase in extracellular DA levels in striatal subregions. This offers a potential alternative approach to target the brain with exogenous DA, which otherwise cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Here, we examined whether intra-nasally applied DA also exerts behavioral activity on mesocortical and nigrostriatal dopaminergic functions.


Male Wistar rats (3-4 months) were tested for potential behavioral effects of intra-nasally applied DA (0.03, 0.3 or 3.0 mg/kg) in the forced swimming test (FST) for antidepressant-like activity, elevated plus-maze for anxiety-related behavior, and on motor activity in a novel and familiar environment.


Intra-nasally administered dopamine in a dose of 0.3 mg/kg exerted antidepressant-like activity in the FST, but had neither anxiolytic-like nor anxiogenic-like effects in the elevated plus-maze. Furthermore, intra-nasal dopamine stimulated locomotor activity in a familiar, but not novel, open field.


These results support the view that intra-nasally applied DA can act on the central nervous system by entering the brain via the nose-brain pathway, making this kind of application procedure a promising alternative for targeting the brain, and thus treating disorders involving mesocortical and/or nigrostriatal dopaminergic disturbances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center