Effects of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor antagonists and catecholamine depleting agents on the locomotor stimulation induced by dizocilpine in mice

Izyaslav P. Lapin, Michael A Rogawski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Low doses of the uncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist dizocilpine (MK-801) induce locomotor stimulation in mice, whereas higher doses are associated with ataxia, stereotyped behaviors and catalepsy. We investigated the role of dopamine receptors and presynaptic dopamine neurons in the locomotor effects of dizocilpine. For comparison, we studied several other drugs that induce locomotor stimulation in mice. Pretreatment of male mice with haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) completely prevented the stimulation of normally coordinated locomotion induced by a non-intoxicating dose of dizocilpine (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.); haloperidol also attenuated the locomotor stimulation produced by phencyclidine (PCP, 1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.), d-amphetamine (2 and 5 mg/kg, i.p.) and diazepam (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.). Haloperidol (doses up to 2.5 mg/kg) did not attenuate the ataxia and decreased locomotion induced by higher doses of dizocilpine (1 and 2 mg/kg). The active cis isomer of flupenthixol (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), an antagonist of both D1 and D2 dopamine receptors, also diminished the stimulant actions of all of the test drugs, whereas its inactive trans form did not. The selective D1 antagonist R(±)-SCH 23390 (0.1 mg/kg) and the selective D2 antagonist raclopride (1 mg/kg) had little effect on the stimulatory effect of dizocilpine, although they did reduce the stimulation produced by PCP, d-amphetamine and diazepam. However, pretreatment with a combination of R(±)-SCH 23390 and raclopride completely prevented dizocilpine-induced locomotor stimulation. Pretreatment with α-methyl-p-tyrosine (AMPT, 50 and 250 mg/kg), an inhibitor of tyrosine hydroxylase, or with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OH-DA, 50 μg, i.c.v.), a neurotoxin that destroys brain dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons, did not attenuate the locomotor stimulation induced by dizocilpine, although these treatments did reduce the stimulant effects of d-amphetamine. In AMPT or 6-OH-DA pretreated mice, haloperidol (0.125 mg/kg) prevented the stimulatory effect of dizocilpine. These results support a role for dopamine receptors in the stimulation of normally coordinated locomotion by dizocilpine. However, the locomotor stimulant effect of dizocilpine, unlike that of d-amphetamine, can be expressed in the presence of D1 or D2 dopamine receptor blockade and does not appear to be dependent on intact presynaptic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • d-Amphetamine
  • Diazepam
  • Dopamine receptor antagonist
  • Flupenthixol
  • Haloperidol
  • NMDA receptor antagonist
  • Phencyclidine
  • Raclopride
  • SCH 23390
  • α-Methyl-p-tyrosine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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