Yohimbine interacts with the dopaminergic system to reverse sexual satiation: further evidence for a role of sexual motivation in sexual exhaustion

Eur J Pharmacol. 1999 May 7;372(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(99)00140-5.


The possible interaction of yohimbine with the dopaminergic system in the mediation of sexual behaviour expression in sexually exhausted male rats was investigated. The behavioural effects of the simultaneous injection of yohimbine (500 microg/kg) plus apomorphine (50 microg/kg) and those of the combined treatment of haloperidol (125 microg), a nonspecific dopamine receptor antagonist, with an effective dose of yohimbine (2000 microg/kg) on sexually satiated rats were evaluated. Data show that yohimbine and apomorphine, per se, dose-dependently reverse sexual exhaustion by increasing the percentage of sexually satiated rats copulating and resuming copulation after ejaculation. Injection of haloperidol simultaneous to an effective dose of yohimbine, blocked the ability of the latter to reverse sexual satiation. The combined treatment with subthreshold doses of apomorphine and yohimbine synergised to reverse the sexual inhibition characteristic of sexual exhaustion. Data suggest that the dopaminergic system might be the final pathway for the yohimbine-induced sexual behaviour expression in satiated rats. The possible role of sexual motivation in the sexual exhaustion phenomenon is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Copulation / drug effects
  • Copulation / physiology
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Ejaculation / drug effects
  • Ejaculation / physiology
  • Female
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Satiety Response / drug effects*
  • Satiety Response / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Walking
  • Yohimbine / pharmacology*


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Yohimbine
  • Haloperidol
  • Apomorphine
  • Dopamine