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We tested the effect of repeated treatment (twice daily for 14 days) of rats with the antidepressant drugs fluoxetine, desipramine and tranylcypromine, on the behavioural response to the non-selective dopamine (DA) receptor agonist, apomorphine, the D1-like receptor agonists, SKF 38393 and SKF 81297 and the D2-like receptor agonists, RU 24213 and quinpirole. Agonist-induced behaviour was monitored by automated activity meters and direct observation using a checklist scoring method. Fluoxetine, desipramine and tranylcypromine enhanced (albeit to a varying degree) the behavioural responses to apomorphine (0.75 mg/kg, s.c.), quinpirole (0.25 mg/kg, s.c.) and RU 24213 (0.75 mg/kg, s.c.). In contrast, fluoxetine, desipramine and tranylcypromine did not increase the behavioural responses to SKF 38393 (7.5 mg/kg, s.c.) and SKF 81297 (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.). Finally, fluoxetine, despiramine and tranylcypromine did not modify the behavioural responses to the concomitant administration of SKF 38393 (7.5 mg/kg, s.c.) and quinpirole (0.25 mg/kg, s.c.). Our data suggest that repeated administration of fluoxetine, desipramine and tranylcypromine increases central DA D2-like but not D1-like receptor function.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





252 - 257


2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine, Animals, Antidepressive Agents, Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation, Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic, Apomorphine, Behavior, Animal, Benzazepines, Desipramine, Dopamine Agonists, Fluoxetine, Male, Phenethylamines, Quinpirole, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Dopamine D1, Receptors, Dopamine D2, Tranylcypromine