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Behav Neural Biol. 1989 Jan;51(1):80-91.

Attenuation of amphetamine-stereotypy by mesostriatal dopamine depletion enhances plasma corticosterone: implications for stereotypy as a coping response.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The relationship between amphetamine-induced stereotyped behavior and a neuroendocrine index of arousal, plasma corticosterone (CCS), was investigated. 6-Hydroxydopamine lesions of the caudate-putamen, which produced dopamine depletions of 60%, blocked stereotypy and prolonged the elevation in corticosterone associated with d-amphetamine treatment (5 mg/kg). Similar dopamine depleting lesions of the nucleus accumbens, which attenuated the locomotor, but not the stereotypic, response to AMPH did not have this effect on CCS. This pattern of results supports the hypothesis that stereotypy has a coping function which may serve to alter arousal and further suggests important differences between the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine projections in modulating the responsiveness of the neuroendocrine system. These results have implications for understanding the function of behavioral stereotypies common to a number of psychopathological conditions, including schizophrenia and childhood autism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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