Locomotor activity and Y-maze spontaneous alternation were examined in three strains of inbred mice (A/J, DBA/2J and C57BL/6J) following various drug treatments. Although the strains exhibited different levels of locomotor activity, the level of spontaneous alternation was comparable among the strains. Scopolamine produced dose dependent increases in locomotor activity in the A and DBA/2 strains, but produced a transient inhibitory effect upon locomotor activity in C57BL/6. Nevertheless, spontaneous alternation was eliminated equally, regardless of strain. d-Amphetamine increased locomotor activity and reduced alternation significantly below chance levels (perseveration). α-Methyl-p-tyrosine (α-MpT) and FLA-63 reduced the locomotor stimulating effects of d-amphetamine; however, the effectiveness of these agents was found to be strain dependent. Neither α-MpT nor FLA-63 reduced the perseverative behavior. A subsequent study employing Swiss-Webster mice revealed that with pretreatment of reserpine, both α-MpT and FLA-63 eliminated the amphetamine-induced perseverative behavior. Results were interpreted in terms of (a) the role of cholinergic and catecholaminergic systems in modulating alternation behavior, (b) qualitative differences in the behavioral effects elicited by scopolamine and d-amphetamine, (c) strain-specificity regarding pharmacological effects, and (d) role of newly synthesized norepinephrine and dopamine in subserving amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and perseveration.

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Carleton University

Anisman, H, & Kokkinidis, L. (Larry). (1975). Effects of scopolamine, d-amphetamine and other drugs affecting catecholamines on spontaneous alternation and locomotor activity in mice. Psychopharmacologia, 45(1), 55–63. doi:10.1007/BF00426210