The effects of phencyclidine on an operant task were evaluated prior to and after neurotoxic lesions of the striatum in rats. Subjects were trained to respond on a fixed-interval 90-second schedule for water presentation. The degree to which phencyclidine disrupted responding was first evaluated (dose range 1.0-4.0 mg/kg). The subjects were then divided into three matched groups and received bilateral intraventricular injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) (100 μg), kainic acid (0.25 μg), or vehicle delivered stereotaxically. 6-OHDA was used to destroy the presynaptic neurons of the nigro-striatal pathway and kainic acid was employed to destroy the postsynaptic neurons whose cell bodies are located in the striatum. Following recovery, the phencyclidine dose-response curve was repeated in the fixed-interval paradigm. It was observed that 6-OHDA-induced damage resulted in a rightward shift of the dose-response curve indicating tolerance to phencyclidine and caused a significant depletion of striatal dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Kainic acid-induced damage resulted in a leftward shift in the dose-response curve indicating sensitivity to the schedule-disruptive effects of phencyclidine and produced a significant GABA depletion. The vehicle-treated rats exhibited no shift in their sensitivity to phencyclidine. These observations indicate that the effects of phencyclidine are mediated, at least in part, by striatal dopaminergic neurons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)