Behavioral Studies on the Mechanism of Buspirone, an Atypical Anti-Anxiety Drug
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD
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Two experiments were conducted to investigate a possible serotonergic mechanism of action for the novel anxiolytic drug, buspirone, a compound known to have effects on several neurotransmitter systems. In the first experiment, a procedure was used in which food-maintained key-pecking in pigeons was punished with electric shock during one component of a multiple schedule. Each thirtieth response during the punishment component produced both food and shock, while in the nonpunishment component, only food was presented. Buspirone 0.1-3.0 mgkg and its analog MJ-13805 0.1-1.0 mgkg produced large increases in punished responding while having little effect on or decreasing rates of unpunished responding. When co-administered with doses of the serotonin agonists quipazine 0 .1-1. 0 mgkg or L-5HTP 0. 3-3.0 mgkg, the punishment-increasing effects of buspirone and MJ-13805 were only partially reversed, suggesting that these drugs do not act entirely as serotonin antagonists in producing their antianxiety effects. In the second experiment, the discriminative stimulus properties of buspirone were examined. Pigeons were trained to discriminate injections of buspirone 1.0 mgkg from saline in a two-key operant task. A four-component session was employed in which a period of blackout timeout preceded each three-minute component of food availability under a fixed-ratio 30 schedule.
- Medicine and Medical Research