Nicotinic-dopaminergic relationships and radial-arm maze performance in rats.
Accurate performance on the radial-arm maze is dependent upon the integrity of nicotinic-cholinergic, muscarinic-cholinergic, and dopaminergic systems. Pharmacological blockade of these systems with mecamylamine, scopolamine, or haloperidol impairs choice accuracy in the maze. We have previously demonstrated that the performance deficit caused by muscarinic blockade is enhanced by coadministration of the nicotinic antagonist, mecamylamine, and is diminished by coadministration of the dopamine antagonist, haloperidol. In the present study, it was found that the choice accuracy deficit produced by nicotinic blockade is enhanced, not antagonized, by coadministration of haloperidol. Thus, although both nicotinic and muscarinic cholinergic systems are involved in radial-arm maze performance and antagonists of these receptors are additive in the deficits they cause, nicotinic and muscarinic interactions with dopaminergic systems are opposite in nature.
McGurk, SR; Levin, ED; Butcher, LL
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