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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-2072
    Keywords: Substance P ; Ventral mesencephalon ; Investigatory behavior ; Motor behavior ; Dopamine ; Rat
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In the present experiments the behavioral response to substance P (SP) microinfusion into the ventral tegmental area (VTA), substantia nigra (SN), and sensorimotor cortex (CX) was investigated in detail. The experiments were carried out using an eight-hole box to measure exploratory behavior and a video monitor for the analysis of spontaneous motor behavior. When infused into the VTA, SP (0.125, 0.5, 3.0 μg) augmented the frequency and total duration of hole-pokes, and tended to diminish the mean duration of hole-pokes. The strategy and organization of responses, as measured by the order of hole-visits and hole-switching, were unchanged by SP and there was no indication of stereotypy, measured by the number of hole-pokes per hole-visit. The open-field analysis revealed a marked increase in locomotion and rearing, both in the periphery and center of the arena; grooming was decreased by SP. The behavioral profile following SN infusions of SP (3.0 μg) was similar to that elicited by VTA infusions, with the exception that center rearing was not enhanced. SP administration into cortex (3 μg) had no significant effect on any behavioral measures. It is hypothesized that SP infused into the ventral mesencephalon results in an enhancement of approach response tendencies, suggesting that endogenous SP in this region may regulate spontaneous behavior. The possibility of an interaction between SP and meso-telencephalic dopamine neurons is discussed.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-2072
    Keywords: Neurotensin ; Ventral mesencephalon ; Investigatory behaviour ; Motor behavior ; Dopamine ; Rat
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The present experiments examined in detail the behavioral response to microinfusions of neurotensin (NT) into the ventral tegmental area (VTA), substantia nigra (SN) and hippocampus (HPC). The behavioral apparatus consisted of an eight-hole box in which investigatory and spontaneous motor behavior were recorded. Three doses (0.175, 0.5, 4.0 μg) of NT were injected into the VTA. The main effect of NT was a strong augmentation of rearing (frequency and duration) both in the periphery and center of the arena, accompanied by a small increase in locomotion and decreased grooming. NT had no effect on the strategy, organization, or duration of exploration but did augment frequency of hole visits towards the end of the session. NT injected into the SN and HPC had no effect on investigatory and spontaneous behavior with the exception of an increase in peripheral locomotion after HPC-NT injections. The results are discussed in terms of a modulatory role of endogenous NT on mesolimbic dopamine neurons.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-2072
    Keywords: Amphetamine ; Apomorphine ; Dopamine ; Exploration ; Locomotor activity ; Hole-board ; Rat
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In the present experiments, the effects of a wide range of doses of d-amphetamine and apomorphine were studied on investigatory behavior in an automated eight-hole box. Amphetamine (0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 3.0, 5.0 mg/kg) increased frequency and total duration of responses, and decreased mean duration in a dose-dependent manner. The strategy and organization of responses, as measured by the order of hole-visits and hole-switching, were unchanged at lower doses of amphetamine but were altered at higher doses. Perseverative hole-poking was observed at the highest dose (5.0) as indicated by increased number of hole-pokes per hole-visit. Apomorphine (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, 3.2 mg/kg) decreased mean duration of responses, but in contrast to amphetamine markedly diminished frequency. Locomotor activity was also measured at all doses of both drugs. Our observations indicate that these two stimulant drugs both of which increase motor activity, have markedly different effects on investigatory responses. It is likely that amphetamine increases prepotent response tendencies (i.e., hole-poking), although this does not necessarily reflect enhanced exploration. Further, the results obtained with amphetamine support predictions made by the Lyon-Robbins behavioral theory of amphetamine effects.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-2072
    Keywords: Opiates ; Nucleus accumbens ; Supersensitivity ; Chronic neuroleptic ; 6-OHDA lesion ; Mesolimbic dopamine neurones ; Rat
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In the present study the functional relationship between enkephalinergic and dopaminergic neurones at the level of the nucleus accumbens was investigated. The study consisted of two experiments in which dopaminergic (DA) transmission was chronically inhibited, and the behavioural locomotor response to intra-accumbens opiate injections analysed. First, specific 6-OHDA lesion of the DA-A10 neurones (either in nucleus accumbens or ventral tegmental area) was found markedly to increase the behavioural excitatory effects induced by nucleus accumbens injection of opioid peptides or morphine. Specific lesion of the central noradrenergic neurones had no such effect. Second, chronic pharmacological blockade of DA activity either with reserpine or a neuroleptic (pipothiazine palmitate) similarly induced a strong enhancement of the behavioral response to intra-accumbens opiate injection. The results are discussed in terms of novel mechanisms underlying denervation supersensitivity, and may have important implications for the relation between dopamine dysfunction in mental illness and opiate addiction.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-2072
    Keywords: Enkephalin ; Ventral mesencephalon ; Investigatory behaviour ; Motor behaviour ; Dopamine ; Rat
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, originating in the ventral tegmental area and projecting to limbic forebrain regions, plays a crucial role in mediating several important aspects of behaviour. Proximal to these DA neurons are enkephalin-containing nerve fibers. In an attempt to characterize the behavioural role of enkephalinergic transmission in the VTA, the present experiment examined in detail the investigatory and motor responses to microinfusion of d-ala-met-enkephalin (DALA), a long lasting analogue of enkephalin, into the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Injections into the substantia nigra (SN) and the hippocampus (HPC) were also performed as controls for site specificity. The behavioural apparatus consisted of an eight-hole box monitored by a video camera. Four doses of DALA were injected in the VTA (0.05, 0.1, 1 and 2.5 μg/μl bilaterally in 1 μl volume) and one dose in the SN and HPC (0.1 μg/μl bilaterally in 1 μl volume). The effect of DALA injections in the VTA was characterized by an inverted U-shape dose-effect curve. The low doses (0.05 and 0.1) induced an increase in the frequency of hole visits accompanied by a decrease in the mean duration of visits, whereas the highest doses induced a decrease in hole visit frequency. Low doses of DALA had no effect on strategy or organization of exploration, whereas the high doses produced decreased switching between holes. After low doses of DALA, locomotor activity at the periphery of the testing box was not significantly affected but locomotor activity in the centre was increased. After high doses of DALA, locomotor activity in the center and at the periphery of the box were decreased. Frequency of rearing was either not affected or decreased by DALA treatment. DALA injected in the SN resulted in a small increase in frequency of hole visits and did not affect rearing and locomotor activity. DALA injection in the HPC had no effect on investigatory and spontaneous motor behaviour. The results are discussed in terms of a modulatory role of endogenous enkephalin on mesolimbic dopamine neurons.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-2072
    Keywords: Rat ; Operant behavior ; Fixed-interval ; Ventral tegmental area ; Neurotensin ; Substance P ; Neurokinin-α (substance K) ; d-Ala-Met-enkephalin ; Dopamine
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The neuropeptides neurotensin, substance P, neurokinin-α (substance K), and met-enkephalin are present endogenously in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), site of the A10 dopaminergic (DA) cell bodies. In the present study these four peptides were injected bilaterally into the VTA in the rat, and the effects on operant behavior were assessed. Cannulae aimed at the VTA were implanted in four groups of animals, which had been trained to bar-press for food reward on a fixed-interval, 40-s schedule. A fifth group, in which the effects of systemically administered amphetamine were assessed, was also tested. Response rate across the interval was measured, and the index of quarter-life was taken as an indication of the temporal pattern of resonding. In addition, a rate-dependency analysis was carried out for all data. Neurotensin (NT, 0.0175, 0.175, 0.5 μg in 1 μl) dose-dependently decreased response rates without affecting quarter-life, and reduced the number of reinforcements obtained. Substance P (SP, 0.1, 1.0, 3.0 μg) did not affect responding, and neurokinin-α (NKA, 0.1, 1.0, 3.0 μg) induced a small increase in responding. Quarter-life was not affected by SP or NKA, but responding on the nonreinforced lever was significantly increased by both peptides. d-Ala-met-enkephalin (DALA, 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 μg) induced a dose-dependent increase in responding which was also rate-dependent, and reduced quarter-life. DALA effects were similar to the classic pattern of responding observed after systemic amphetamine. These results suggest that although all these peptides elicit behavioral activation and may affect DA neuronal activity, the behavioral responses can be differentiated with respect to operant behavior.
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