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Brain Res. 1989 Dec 11;504(1):145-8.

Age-related differences in the sensitivity of rats to a selective sigma ligand.

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Department of Psychology, Schrier Research Laboratory, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912.


Differences in sigma binding parameters and behavioral responses to injections of a selective sigma ligand were found in adult rats of different ages. Middle-aged rats (5-6 months old) had fewer sigma binding sites and sites with lower affinity for [3H]di-o-tolylguanidine than young adult animals (2-3 months old). The older animals also exhibited a decreased behavioral response to the selective sigma ligand, di-o-tolylguanidine (DTG). Unilateral microinjection of DTG into the substantia nigra of rats produced fewer net contralateral turns in middle-aged animals, compared to younger rats. Likewise, the postural changes produced by unilateral microinjection of DTG into the red nucleus were less pronounced in the older animals. These data suggest that changes in the number and affinity of sigma binding sites may affect movement and posture as an organism ages.

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