Microcatalepsy and disruption of forelimb usage during operant behavior: differences between dopamine D1 (SCH-23390) and D2 (raclopride) antagonists

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1994 Jun;115(1-2):24-30. doi: 10.1007/BF02244747.


In an experiment designed to distinguish between the behavioral consequences of treatment with SCH-23390, a D1 dopamine receptor blocker, and raclopride, a D2 antagonist, rats were trained to perform a water-reinforced forelimb operant response. Response rate and the duration of each forelimb contact with the operandum were recorded. In addition, the durations of the rat's visits to the reward well were detected by a photobeam which was blocked by the rat's muzzle as it remained at the reward well. In a between-groups dosing design, separate groups of rats (11-13 rats/group) received SCH-23390 (0, 0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.08, 0.12 mg/kg, IP, 30 min) or raclopride (0. 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8 mg/kg, IP, 30 min) for 21 consecutive days. Quantitative analyses indicated that for comparable amounts of operant rate reduction, raclopride had a significantly greater tendency than SCH-23390 to increase the duration of operant responses and to increase the maximum muzzle entry duration (i.e., to induce microcatalepsy). The results support the idea that at relatively low doses D2 antagonism is more likely than D1 antagonism to produce effects identified preclinically with extrapyramidal side effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzazepines / pharmacology*
  • Catalepsy / chemically induced*
  • Catalepsy / psychology
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Forelimb
  • Male
  • Movement / drug effects*
  • Raclopride
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Salicylamides / pharmacology*


  • Benzazepines
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Salicylamides
  • Raclopride