Pergolide interactions with nicotine and pilocarpine in rats on the radial-arm maze

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1995 Dec;52(4):837-40. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(95)00165-s.


Antagonists of nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholinergic (ACh) receptors have significant interactions with dopaminergic (DA) ligands with regard to radial-arm maze choice accuracy. The current studies examined the interactions of agonists of nicotinic and muscarinic ACh receptors with the DA agonist pergolide. Pergolide given in a range from 0.03-1.0 mg/kg had no detectable effect on radial-arm maze choice accuracy when given alone. With this dose range there was a linear increase in response latency. Pergolide had significant interactive effects with the nicotinic and muscarinic agonists nicotine and pilocarpine. Given together with nicotine, pergolide produced a significantly elevated linear increase in accuracy relative to when it was given alone. With pilocarpine, pergolide had an inverted U-shaped effect improving choice accuracy at low to moderate doses of 0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg. These results support previous findings of DA-ACh interactions with regard to radial-arm maze choice accuracy. Combined DA-ACh treatment may be a useful treatment of cognitive dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Maze Learning / drug effects*
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Pergolide / pharmacology*
  • Pilocarpine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Pilocarpine
  • Pergolide
  • Nicotine