Effects of intrathecal administration of 8-OH-DPAT on genital reflexes and mating behavior in male rats

Physiol Behav. 1990 Apr;47(4):665-9. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(90)90075-f.


Systemic administration of the 5HT1A receptor agonist, 8-OH-DPAT, consistently decreases the threshold of ejaculatory behavior and enhances some aspects of arousal. Previous findings by others demonstrated the in copula ejaculatory behavior effect using intrathecal (IT) injection at the level of the lumbosacral spinal cord, but the dose used was in the range that produced results systemically. This study aimed at a) a more comprehensive study of the sexual effects of 8-OH-DPAT and b) use of IT doses of 8-OH-DPAT below those effective when administered systemically. The ex copula genital reflex test showed severe inhibition. At doses of 5 micrograms or more, significant inhibition of the percentage of rats displaying ejaculation occurred, and the two highest doses also significantly reduced the percentage of rats displaying erection. In the in copula mating test, 20 and 80 micrograms IT 8-OH-DPAT, significantly reduced ejaculation latency, intromission frequency and intercopulatory interval. Copulatory plugs, collected at the highest dose only, showed a trend towards weight reduction. We conclude that the facilitation of ejaculatory behavior and some measure of arousal by 8-OH-DPAT can be mediated directly via the lumbosacral spinal cord. An hypothesis for explaining the inhibitory effect on ejaculation ex copula is presented, but the inhibitory effect on erectile reflexes is without interpretation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • Animals
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Copulation / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ejaculation / drug effects*
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Male
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Serotonin / drug effects*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects*
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / pharmacology*


  • Naphthalenes
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin