ACTH Induced Behaviors and their Modulation by Serotonergic Agonists differ in Neonatal and Weanling Rat Pups

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ACTH, Behavior, Serotonergic agonists, Rat

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Four-day-old (P4) and 21–22-day-old (P21–22) rat pups received an intracisternal injection of either ACTH1-16NH2 or saline followed by a subcutaneous (SC) injection of saline, the serotonergic (5HT)1A agonists 8-OH-DPAT or ipsapirone, the 5HT1B agonist TFMPP or the 5HT2 agonist DOI. The ontogeny of ACTH-induced behaviors including grooming, yawn and stretch as well as various serotonin-related behaviors were recorded via time-sampling at 20 s intervals for a test duration of 50 min. ACTH induced slight but significant increases in grooming at P4, along with a significant increase in yawning. At this age the 5HT1B agonist TFMPP induced substantial increases in grooming, with no effect of the other agonists on this behavior. All of the serotonergic agonists, however, decreased ACTH-induced yawning at P4. At P21–22 ACTH induced more robust grooming than that observed at P4, although different in nature from adult-typical ACTH-induced grooming. This ACTH-induced grooming at P21–22 was attenuated by all of the serotonergic agonists. ACTH-induced yawning at P21–22 was not affected by the serotonergic agonists while ACTH-induced stretching was increased by the 5HT1B agonist TFMPP at this age. These data provide additional evidence of differential mediation of various ACTH-induced behaviors, and support other reports of ontogenetic alterations in the response to serotonergic manipulations during the neonatal to weanling age period.

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Psychopharmacology, v. 100, issue 2, p. 151-158