Muscarinic receptor binding and behavioral effects of atropoine following chronic catecholamine depletion or acetylcholinesterase inhibition in rats.Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1980 Aug; 13(2):187-92.PB
Rats were subjected to one of two experimental treatments: (1) intraventricular infusion of the catecholamine neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), known to permanently reduce brain dopamine and norepinephrine levels, or (2) chronic administration of the irreversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP). Both treatments are believed to produce relative overactivity of cholinergic systems and to suppress forward locomotion. The anticholinergic agent atropine sulfate yielded excessive forward walking in otherwise chronically akinetic 6-OHDA-treated rats, whereas atropoine slightly decreased locomotion in controls. The hypothesis that such supersensitivity to atropine may be related to a reduction in the density of muscarinic cholinergic receptors was not supported: First, 3H-quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) binding to membrane preparations was not decreased in the 6-OHDA-treated rats; secondly, atropine did not induce excessive forward locomotion in the DFP-treated rats in which 3H-QNB binding was decreased. There were other changes in the DFP-treated rats consistent with muscarinic receptor alteration, including tolerance to the locomotor suppressive effects of DFP, cross tolerance to the cholinergic agonist pilocarpine, and exaggerated atropine-induced increases in core temperature and stereotypy. It is concluded that 6-OHDA and DFP produce different long-term changes in cholinergic brain systems and atropine-sensitive behaviors.