Author(s): Karler R, Bedingfield JB, Thai DK, Calder LD
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Abstract Pharmacological studies have shown that a variety of neuroeffectors are involved in behavioral sensitization to amphetamine-induced stereotypy. In the present work, the effect of some of these drugs on sensitization was studied after intracortical administration in order to determine the role of the cortex in mediating their systemic effects. The dopamine antagonists sulpiride and spiperone were both ineffective against the acute response to amphetamine; nevertheless, both blocked the induction of sensitization, suggesting that the mesocortical dopamine pathway is not involved in the acute response but is necessary for the induction of sensitization. Both CPP, an NMDA receptor antagonist, and THIP, a GABA(A) agonist, blocked the acute response and the induction of sensitization to amphetamine. On the other hand, mecamylamine, the nicotinic cholinergic antagonist, failed to affect either the acute response or the induction of sensitization, which suggests that the cortex is not a locus of its activity. Anisomycin, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, and diltiazem, a calcium-channel blocker, were both ineffective against the acute response, but both blocked induction. All of the drugs, except CPP and THIP, were ineffective against the expression of sensitization; therefore, the ability of the other drugs to block expression must reside within another locus. Bicuculline injected intracortically in non-convulsant doses produced a stereotypy indistinguishable from that induced by amphetamine; and the effect was readily antagonized by CPP administered either systemically or intracortically. In contrast, sulpiride by either route of administration failed to block the bicuculline-induced stereotypy; we conclude, therefore, that the stereotypic effect of bicuculline is not mediated by dopamine. These results imply that amphetamine-induced stereotypy is mediated in the cortex by the removal of the inhibitory control of the excitatory system. The data also suggest that cortical dopamine, as well as the NMDA and GABA(A) systems, is important in sensitization to amphetamine. In general the data demonstrate that different neuroeffectors involved in sensitization exert their effects at different brain loci.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in Autism-Open Access