The effects of different peripheral doses of four dopamine (DA) receptor antagonists on general activity and maternal behavior were examined in lactating female rats. Administration of the classic D1-like and D2-like DA receptor blocker haloperidol (0.1 and 0.05 mg/kg) disrupted pup retrieval and nest-building behaviors and reduced motor activity. Pimozide (0.5 and 0.2 mg/kg), which has more affinity for DA D2-like receptors, mildly disrupted pup retrieval while showing no significant influence on open-field behaviors. The putative DA D 4 receptor blocker, clozapine (1.5 and 1.0 mg/kg) reduced motor activity significantly, while only 1.0 mg/kg dose significantly decreased percent of rats displaying nest building. The DA D1-like receptor blocker SKF-83566 (0.2 and 0.1 mg/kg) significantly reduced pup retrieval, nest building and motor activity. These results suggest a role for DA receptors in ongoing maternal behavior that correlates directly with general activity.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2001
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