Quinpirole alters quadruped activity in rats from the second postnatal week
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The present study shows that the effects of quinpirole (1 mg/kg) during the second postnatal week but not before resemble the effect of the drug in adult rats in increasing quadruped activity, eliminating grooming, reducing lateral bending, and stimulating verticalized turning. Quinpirole also modifies the morphology of turning behavior, the primary form of coordinated quadruped locomotion in neonate laboratory rat pups. Under saline, turning involves lateral bending and straightening of the trunk. Under quinpirole, turning includes a vertical component of movement ("verticalized turning") instead of the normal lateral bending of the trunk. A similar trend of change in turning is induced by quinpirole in adult rats: An acute injection reduces lateral bending, and a chronic treatment increases verticalization. The induction of vertical turning in the second but not the first postnatal week may stem from the normal course of development since typical vertical movements of intact rats (supported rearing and wall climbing) develop only by the age of 11-14 postnatal days. Verticalized turning may be thus a drug-induced expression of an age-related tendency to perform vertical movements.
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