Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1998 Nov 1;111(1):25-33.

Subsensitivity to dopaminergic drugs in periadolescent rats: a behavioral and neurochemical analysis.

Author information

Department of Psychology (125 NI), 360 Huntington Ave., Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


It has been reported that post-natal day (PD) 30-40 rats respond differently to the behavioral effects of dopaminergic drugs when compared to younger or older rats. In this study, the behavioral effects of amphetamine (AMPH) on motor behavior and the effects of dopaminergic drugs on striatal acetylcholine (ACh) release were evaluated in periadolescent (PD35) and adult rats. AMPH increased dopamine (DA)-mediated motor behaviors (locomotor activity and stereotypy) in periadolescent and adult rats; however, these responses were of a lesser magnitude in periadolescent rats. In adult rats, cocaine and nomifensine inhibited ACh overflow in a dose-dependent manner. In periadolescent rats, ACh overflow was maximally inhibited at a lower drug concentration (5 microM) than in adult rats (10 microM) signifying increased sensitivity in these rats. Apomorphine inhibited ACh overflow in a dose-dependent fashion in slices from adult rats. In contrast, apomorphine did not consistently inhibit ACh overflow in striatal slices prepared from periadolescent rats. Collectively, the results of this study demonstrate behavioral subsensitivity to AMPH in periadolescent rats. Examination of the effects of DA reuptake blockers on DA modulation of striatal cholinergic neurons failed to reveal a corresponding subsensitivity. In fact, ACh release was more sensitive to DA reuptake blockers in periadolescent rats. This latter finding suggests that undisclosed factors override dopaminergic modulation of striatal neurons in the mediation of behavior in periadolescent rats. We propose that during periadolescence, DA transmission is transiently elevated. This results in post-synaptic supersensitivity of cholinergic receptors and consequently induces behavioral subsensitivity when challenged with dopaminergic drugs. Increased cholinergic tone may mediate behavioral subsensitivity despite drug-induced elevations in DA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center