Dopamine D1 activation shortens the duration of phases in stereotyped grooming sequences.

Rats frequently emit grooming actions in a highly stereotyped, syntactic chain in which three distinct phases of facially directed forearm movements are sequentially emitted in a rule-governed pattern and followed by body-directed licking. The present study evaluated the effects of the full dopamine D1 agonist, SKF 81297, and the partial dopamine D1 agonist, SKF 38393, on the duration of individual phases of stereotyped grooming chains.We found that systemic administration of SKF 81297 significantly shortened grooming chain duration. An examination of the fine temporal structure of syntactic grooming chain actions showed that duration changes were correlated with decreased numbers of actions in phases I and IV of the chain. Phases II and III were not changed in duration, although there were some structural distortions introduced. The partial D1 agonist, SKF 38393, had no effect on duration or number of component actions in the grooming chain. Based on these results, we hypothesize that the timing of syntactic grooming phase transitions may involve a D1-mediated internal clock process that is altered by full D1 agonist activation. By this model, SKF 81297 increases the speed of the clock used for the temporal control of grooming actions, and thus shortens phase durations.

Main Author: Matell, Matthew.
Other Authors: Berridge, Kent., Aldridge, J Wayne.
Language: English
Published: 2005
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