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Studies on the neurotransmitter substrate of locomotion and place navigation occupy a central position in behavioral neuroscience. Active allothetic place avoidance (AAPA) is a task, in which animals are trained to avoid a room frame defined stable sector on a continuously rotating arena. The aim of the present study was to test the effect of the blockage of alpha1- and alpha2-adrenoceptors, using specific antagonists prazosin and idazoxan, on the locomotor activity and spatial behavior in the AAPA task. Both prazosin and idazoxan at the highest doses (4 and 6 mg/kg, respectively) were found to decrease the locomotor activity in the AAPA and they also impaired navigational performance. The results suggest that antagonizing alpha-adrenoceptors with systemically administered drugs affects locomotor activity together with avoidance behavior and does not cause a purely cognitive deficit in the AAPA task.


Ales Stuchlik, Karel Vales. Role of alpha1- and alpha2-adrenoceptors in the regulation of locomotion and spatial behavior in the active place avoidance task: a dose-response study. Neuroscience letters. 2008 Mar 15;433(3):235-40

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PMID: 18255226

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