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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1997 Sep;133(2):179-87.

Cross-sensitisation with d-amphetamine following repeated intra-perifornical sulpiride infusions.

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Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, UK.

Erratum in

  • Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1998 Feb;135(3):318.


Infusions of the dopamine D2/D3 receptor antagonist sulpiride within the perifornical region of the lateral hypothalamus have been reported to increase locomotor activity. The current investigation examined the effect of repeated lateral hypothalamic sulpiride infusions. In experiment la, rats were placed repeatedly in an activity chamber either prior to, or following an infusion of 10 micrograms sulpiride or vehicle. Repeated infusions of sulpiride prior to, but not following exposure to the activity chamber increased locomotor activity during subsequent sessions. In experiment 1b, repeated pretreatment with intra-perifornical sulpiride prior to placement within the activity chamber was found to engender a significant increase in conditioned activity when placed subsequently within the same chamber drug-free. Alternatively, pretreatment with sulpiride in the home cage was found subsequently to engender a significant increase in locomotor activity during a test session with intra-perifornical sulpiride. In experiment 2, repeated pretreatment with intra-perifornical sulpiride significantly increased the locomotor response to a subsequent systemic challenge with d-amphetamine. Animals pretreated in the home cage exhibited a moderate increase in activity over vehicle controls, while animals repeatedly pretreated immediately prior to placement in the activity chamber exhibited the largest response subsequently to d-amphetamine of any group. Experiment 3 showed that repeated sulpiride infusions either 1 mm anterior or 1 mm posterior to the perifornical region were without effect upon locomotor activity. These data are suggested to reflect an indirect action of intra-perifornical sulpiride upon the mesoaccumbens dopamine projection, via the level of the ventral tegmental area. Precise neural mechanisms are under current investigation.

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