Altered mesoaccumbens and nigro-striatal dopamine physiology is associated with stereotypy development in a non-rodent species

S. D. McBride, A. Hemmings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Stress-induced changes in mesoaccumbens dopamine neurophysiology have been associated with the development of stereotypic behaviour in in-bred strains of laboratory rodents. This experiment evaluated whether similar changes are associated with environmentally-induced stereotypic behaviour in a higher-vertebrate species, the horse. D1- and D2-like dopamine receptor densities (Bmax) and dissociation constants (Kd) were measured in control (n = 9) and stereotypy (n = 9) horses in the nucleus accumbens, caudate nucleus, putamen, substantia nigra and ventral tegmentum brain regions. Results revealed that stereotypy horses had significantly higher (P < 0.05) dopamine D1 and D2 receptor densities (Bmax) in the nucleus accumbens compared to non-stereotypy controls. D1 receptor densities (Bmax) and D2 receptor affinity (Kd) were also significantly lower in the caudate nucleus brain region of stereotypy horses (P < 0.05). No other significant results were observed. These results demonstrate that stereotypy horses have increased activity within the mesoaccumbens dopamine pathway and, thus, that the development of environmentally-induced stereotypy may be associated with changes in motivational systems within the animal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume159
Issue number1
Early online date02 Dec 2004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2005

Keywords

  • equine
  • stereotypy
  • crib-biting
  • dopamine
  • accumbens
  • NUCLEUS-ACCUMBENS DOPAMINE
  • FOOD-INTAKE
  • BEHAVIOR
  • HORSES
  • AMPHETAMINE
  • HALOPERIDOL
  • WELFARE
  • REWARD
  • RATS
  • MICROINJECTIONS

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