Possible role of dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptors in behavioural activation and “contingent” reward evaluation in sodium-replete and sodium-depleted rats licking for NaCl solutions

Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.78). 12/2011; 101(1):99-106. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2011.12.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Based on the different effects of the dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptor antagonists SCH 23390 and raclopride on the measures of licking microstructure in rats, we suggested that the level of activation of reward-associated responses depends on dopamine D1-like receptor stimulation, and is updated, or "reboosted", on the basis of a dopamine D2-like receptor-mediated reward evaluation. To further test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of the dopamine D2-like receptor antagonist raclopride (0, 25, 125, 250μg/kg) and of the dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (0, 10, 20 and 40μg/kg) on the microstructure of licking for two different NaCl solutions (0.9% and 2.7%) in rats in sodium-replete status and in the sodium-depleted status induced by the diuretic drug furosemide. Rats were exposed to each solution for 180 seconds after the first lick. Both in sodium-replete and in sodium-depleted status, SCH 23390 produced a decrease of burst number, a measure of behavioural activation, without affecting their size, a measure of reward evaluation. Raclopride reduced burst number but appeared also to exert some effects on burst size. Sodium depletion resulted in an increased intake for both NaCl solutions due to an increase in burst number and size, and in a reduced sensitivity to the effect of raclopride on lick number. These results are not in contrast with the proposed hypothesis and are consistent with previous evidence suggesting a role for dopamine D2-like receptors in the increased NaCl appetite induced by sodium depletion.

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Paolo Stefano D'Aquila