Effects of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor agonists and antagonists on bombesin-induced behaviors

Zul Merali, Hugh Piggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Central administration of bombesin elicits excessive grooming and locomotor activity in rats. This grooming activity is one characterised by vigorous scratching of the face, nape and body flanks. Pretreatment with the D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390 inhibited the expression of bombesin-induced activity with grooming being more inhibited than locomotion. Blockade of D2 receptors with eticlopride significantly attenuated the behavioral responses to bombesin. When SCH 23390 and eticlopride were administered concurrently, it was apparent that D1 blockade had a greater effect on grooming and D2 blockade a larger effect on locomotion. Stimulation of D1 receptors by SKF 38393 elicited non-stereotyped locomotor activity and a form of grooming behavior characterised by vigorous washing of the face and ventral body surfaces. Co-administration of bombesin and SKF 38393 resulted in a form of grooming which resembled that elicited by SKF 38393 alone. The specific D2 agonist PPHT elicited a form of locomotion characterised by a downward oriented head posture and slow ambulatory activity around the cage perimeter. Co-administration of PPHT and bombesin resulted in a complete suppression of bombesin-induced behaviors and was largely indistinguishable from activity observed under PPHT alone conditions. These data implicate both D1 and D2 receptor based mechanisms in the modulation/mediation of the behavioral effects of bombesin. Part of the bombesin-induced behavioral effects may be explained by (indirect) activation of (a) dopamine system(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-293
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral effects
  • Bombesin
  • Dopamine D receptors
  • Dopamine D receptors
  • Eticlopride
  • Grooming behaviour
  • Locomotion
  • PPHT (2-(N-phenethyl-N-propyl)amino-5-hydroxytetralin)
  • SCH 23390
  • SK&F 38393


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