The effect of the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist raclopride on the pattern of licking microstructure induced by midazolam in the rat

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The role of dopamine in the effects of midazolam on ingestive behaviour was investigated using microstructural analysis of licking behaviour in the rat. Midazolam (1.8 mg/kg i.p.) was administered alone or in combination with the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist raclopride (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg i.p.). The effect on licking patterns during 60 s exposure to a range of concentrations of sucrose solution was recorded using an automated lickometer. Midazolam increased the total number of licks via an increase in mean bout duration, an effect consistent with the proposal that these drugs enhance palatability. Midazolam also decreased the intrabout lick rate, probably because of muscle relaxant effects. Pre-treatment with raclopride blocked midazolam-induced increases in mean bout duration, at doses that by themselves were ineffective, but did not reverse the decrease in intrabout lick rate. These data point to the interdependence of benzodiazepine and dopamine substrates in the mediation of palatability.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000