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Dev Psychobiol. 1994 Sep;27(6):409-24.

Development of uncoupling between D1- and D2-mediated motor behavior in rats depleted of dopamine as neonates.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


The D1- and D2-mediation of stimulated motor behavior was studied in pups (Days 10-11) and weanlings (Days 20-21) that had been depleted of dopamine (DA) on postnatal Day 3. Administration of the D1-like agonist SKF 38393 (30.0 mg/kg) or the D2-like agonist quinpirole (3.0 mg/kg) increased the incidence of sniffing and locomotion in intact and DA-depleted animals tested at either age. However, the ability of selective DA antagonists to reduce these stimulated responses interacted with both the depletion and the age at the time of testing. When tested as pups, both the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 (0.2 or 0.4 mg/kg) and the D2 antagonist clebopride (10.0 mg/kg) suppressed the behaviors induced by either class of DA agonist. When tested as weanlings, intact animals exhibited the profile of pups (i.e., either antagonist blocked each agonist). In DA-depleted weanlings, however, only the D1 antagonist blocked the D1 agonist-induced responses and only the D2 antagonist blocked the D2 agonist-induced responses. These data demonstrate that the interactions between D1 and D2 receptors in the expression of stimulated motor behaviors are altered following DA depletions in neonates. Moreover, this change in receptor function occurs sometime between 7 and 13 days after the DA depletion.

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