Dopamine deficiency in self-injurious behavior.

Article date: 1989/1/1

PubMed ID: 2697009

Journal name: Psychopharmacology bulletin (ISSN: 0048-5764)


Based on the report that patients with Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS) have a central deficiency of dopamine similar in magnitude to that seen in Parkinsonism, the age at which dopaminergic neurons are disrupted was proposed to explain the differing symptoms observed in these two disorders. To investigate this hypothesis, brain dopaminergic neurons were lesioned in neonatal and adult rats with 6-hydroxy-dopamine (6-OHDA). Results demonstrated that neonatally lesioned rats had learning deficits and elevated levels of serotonin in the striatum–characteristics observed in LNS. Administration of L-dopa produced self-injurious behavior (SIB) in neonatally lesioned but not adult lesioned rats. Subsequent studies revealed that the SIB induced by L-dopa was dependent upon activation of D1 receptors. The elevated susceptibility of neonatally lesioned rats for SIB was demonstrated further by the enhanced occurrence of SIB when muscimol was administered into the substantia nigra reticulata (SNR). Other studies demonstrated that adenosine agonists could antagonize SIB, suggesting that the reduced adenosine observed in LNS may contribute to this symptom. The basic work being performed should be relevant to LNS and to other developmental disorders exhibiting SIB.

Author List: Breese G R, Criswell H E, Duncan G E, Mueller R A

Publication Types: Journal Article; Review

Substances mentioned in the article: Dopamine;

Mesh terms: Animals; Dopamine/deficiency; Humans; Rats; Self Mutilation/chemically induced;

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