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Behavioural evidence that different neurochemical mechanisms underly stretching-yawning and penile erection in male rats by SND 919, a new selective D-2 dopamine receptor agonist


, : Behavioural evidence that different neurochemical mechanisms underly stretching-yawning and penile erection in male rats by SND 919, a new selective D-2 dopamine receptor agonist. Psychopharmacology 113(2): 172-176

The behavioural effects induced in male Wistar rats by SND 919, a new drug reputed to have selective agonistic activity at D-2 dopamine (DA) receptors, were studied. The following aspects of behaviour were considered: motor activity, stretching-yawning (SY), penile erection (PE) and stereotyped behaviour (SB). Intraperitoneal injection (IP) of the drug (0.01-20 mg/kg) induced an SY syndrome in the form of a bell-shaped dose response curve, the effect being maximal at the dose of 0.1 mg/kg and disappearing completely at 10 mg/kg. SND 919 also potently elicited PE; this latter effect, however, was not coincident with SY induction, being maximal at 1 mg/kg and persisting at 10 and 20 mg/kg. SND 919-induced SY was potently antagonized by pretreatment not only with the D-2 antagonist, L-sulpiride (20 mg/kg), but also with the alpha-2 antagonist, yohimbine (1, 3 mg/kg), and the more selective alpha-2 antagonist, idazoxan (1, 2 and 5 mg/kg). While sulpiride also decreased SND 919-induced PE, idazoxan at all doses and yohimbine at 1 mg,/kg did not affect this behaviour. Inhibition of motor activity was induced by the D, agonist at low doses (0.05, 0.1 mg/kg), while at high doses (1, 10 and 20 mg/kg), it was actually replaced by a form of SB characterized by downward sniffing and licking. When, for comparison, the D-2 agonist, RU 24213 (0.1-20 mg/kg IP), was tested for PE, SY, motor activity and SB, it displayed a behavioural pattern very similar to that obtained with SND 919. Idazoxan (2 mg/kg), administered before RU 24213 (10 mg/kg), significantly antagonized the drug-induced SY, but not PE. The discussion centres on the specific neurochemical mechanisms presumably underlying the various forms of SND 919-induced behaviour and in particular, PE and SY, which seem to differ, at least with respect to alpha-2 involvement.

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