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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Jun;227(3):459-66. doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-2965-4. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Effects of dopamine D2 agonist quinpirole on neuronal activity of anterior cingulate cortex and striatum in rats.

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Institute of Electronics Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.



The influence of acute D2 agonist quinpirole on locomotor activity has been effectively characterized. However, few studies have addressed the dynamic changes in neuronal activity of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and striatum (STR), two crucial regions for cognitive and motor functions, after quinpirole administration.


This study was conducted in order to acquire detailed information on the evoked activity of the neurons in the ACC and STR after acute quinpirole administration.


Multichannel electrophysiological recording was used for tracking neuronal activity in the ACC and STR of urethane-anesthetized rats after administration of saline or 0.05 or 0.5 mg/kg quinpirole.


In contrast to the responses to saline, quinpirole dose-dependently increased the ratio of neurons, the activity of which was inhibited in the ACC and STR. By examining the ensemble neuronal activities of inhibition-responded neurons, there was no significant activity difference among the "treatments" (saline and low- and high-dose quinpirole), the "periods" (the duration of 0-15 and 16-45 min after i.v. injection), and the interaction between "treatments" and "periods." Regarding activation-responded neurons, however, there was a significant "periods" difference in both ACC and STR, and the activity of 16-45 min was significantly higher than the activity of 0-15 min after high-dose quinpirole administration in ACC (p < 0.05) and STR (p < 0.001).


Dose-dependent ACC and STR neuronal responses to quinpirole may offer a possible mechanism for understanding the locomotor responses to quinpirole in behaving rats. The late excitatory effect of high-dose quinpirole in the STR further suggests that this region would be critical for the activation of locomotor activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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