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The effects of the putative, selective dopamine autoreceptor antagonist (+)-AJ 76 on yawning, penile grooming and mouth movements induced by small doses of apomorphine in male rats were examined. Yawning induced by 0.05mg/kg apomorphine was dose dependently blocked by (+)-AJ-76, significant decreases being observed at 0.86 and 3.5mg/kg of the drug. A dose of 0.86mg/kg (+)-AJ 76 caused a two fold shift to the right of the apomorphine dose response curve for yawning. In contrast, (+)-AJ 76 had no effect on penile grooming and vacuous mouth movements induced by small doses of apomorphine. This pattern of results is similar to that observed after bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine-induced lesions of the substantia nigra which also blocked apomorphine-induced yawning but spared penile grooming and mouth movements. Previous studies have suggested that (+)-AJ 76 is a selective dopamine autoreceptor antagonist that has little or no effect on behaviour mediated by post-synaptic dopamine receptors. Therefore, these data provide further support for the hypothesis that apomorphine-induced yawning is mediated by dopamine autoreceptors.


Journal article



Publication Date





1423 - 1425


Animals, Apomorphine, Behavior, Animal, Male, Naphthalenes, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Receptors, Dopamine, Tetrahydronaphthalenes, Yawning