Copulatory pelvic thrusting in the male rat is insensitive to the perispinal administration of glycine and GABA antagonists

G. Moralí, B. R. Komisaruk, C. Beyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The role of the inhibitory neurotransmitters glycine and GABA in the pacing of pelvic thrusting during copulation was assessed in male rats by an accelerometric technique. Either strychnine, an antagonist of glycine (10 μg), bicuculline, an antagonist of GABA (1 μg), or a combination of strychnine (5 μg) plus bicuculline (0.3 μg), and saline as control, were administered intrathecally to sexually active males. Administration of the antagonists either alone or in combination, at these dose levels, produced sensory effects (skin hyperalgesia, scratching or biting the skin) in all rats. Generalized motor seizures occurred in only a few animals. The incidence of ejaculations, but not of mounts, tended to decrease after treatment with the amino acids antagonists. On the other hand, the values of the instantaneous frequency, duration, and rhythmicity of the copulatory thrusting movements performed during mounts, intromissions or ejaculations did not differ significantly from the values obtained under saline treatment. These findings indicate that the duration and thythmicity of copulatory movements in the male rat are either controlled by synapses that are insensitive or inaccessible to strychnine and bicuculline, or these copulatory components are independent of glycinergic and GABAergic control and are under the control of other neurotransmitter systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Copulatory pelvic thrusting
  • GABA and glycine antagonists
  • Intrathecal treatments
  • Rat
  • Strychnine and bicuculline

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