Age-Dependence of a 6-Hydroxydopamine Lesion on SKF 38393- and M-Chlorophenylpiperazine-Induced Oral Activity Responses of Rats

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Neonatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) treatment is associated with destruction of dopamine (DA) fibers and subsequent sprouting of serotonin (5-HT) fibers in the striatum of rats. Enhanced oral activity responses to SKF 38393 and m-chlorophenylpiperazine (ifm-CPP), respective agonists for the DA D1 receptor complex and 5-HT2C receptor complex, ensue. To study the ontogenetic nature of this effect, rats were treated at birth, 3 days, 7 days, 10 days or 14 days with 6-OHDA-HBr (200 μg i.c.v.; salt form), following desipramine-HCl pretreatment (20 mg/kg i.p., 1 h; base form). Another group of rats was treated at 35 days and again at 42 days with 6-OHDA-HBr (300 γg i.c.v.), following desipramine-HCl (20 mg/kg i.p., 1 h) and pargyline-HCl (50 mg/kg i.p., 30 min). In rats treated from birth to 10 days, 6-OHDA reduced striatal DA content at 5 months by ≥ 94%. Striatal 5-HT content was elevated by 28% to 51%, but only in rats treated with 6-OHDA at 7 days from birth or earlier. An enhanced oral activity response to SKF 38393-HCl (0.03 to 1.0 mg/kg i.p.) was absent in rats treated 7 days or later, and the change in SKF 38393 effect was correlated with a change in striatal DA content. An enhanced response to m-CPP-2HCl (0.3 to 6.0 mg/kg i.p.) was absent after treatment at 14 or 35 days, when striatal DA content was reduced only 44% to 63% and 5-HT content was not changed. Loss of the enhanced m-CPP response was not directly correlated with the magnitude of change in striatal content of either DA or 5-HT. The findings indicate that SKF 38393 and m-CPP-enhanced oral activity responses are dependent on the age at which 6-OHDA is administered to rats, and that the enhanced response to m-CPP can persist when there is no enhanced response to SKF 38393.