Pharmacological characterization of the physostigmine stimulus in rats

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1988;95(4):553-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00172975.


Rats were trained to discriminate 0.10 mg/kg SC physostigmine from saline in a two-lever food-reinforced task. There was generalization to the acetylcholine esterase inhibitor THA as well as to the muscarinic receptor agonists arecoline, oxotremorine and RS 86, but not to neostigmine or nicotine. The physostigmine cue was blocked by SC scopolamine hydrobromide and by ICV pirenzepine, but not by scopolamine methylbromide or by mecamylamine. These antagonism studies suggest that the discriminative cue elicited by physostigmine might be mainly mediated by central M1 receptors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Discrimination, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Generalization, Stimulus / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Parasympathomimetics / pharmacology
  • Physostigmine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Reinforcement Schedule


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Parasympathomimetics
  • Nicotine
  • Physostigmine