Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell W. Brown

Committee Members

Wallace E. Dixon Jr., Otto Zinser


Neonatal administration of quinpirole produces significant increases in D2 receptor sensitivity that persists into adulthood. This phenomenon, known as D2 receptor priming, is consistent with pathology in schizophrenia. Rats were administered quinpirole or saline postnatally and raised to adulthood. In adulthood, rats were administered d-amphetamine sulfate or saline every other day and were placed in a locomotor arena where activity was measured over 7 trials. Results showed that D2-primed rats receiving amphetamine were higher in locomotor activity across all days of testing compared to other groups. This effect was more prominent in males than in females. After sensitization, cerebrospinal fluid was taken via microdialysis from the nucleus accumbens core and was analyzed for dopamine content. Analysis revealed D2 priming produced a 300% increase of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens core in response to amphetamine compared to controls. These results suggest that increases in D2 sensitivity may lead to increased reaction to amphetamine in psychotic individuals.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.