Atropine acts in the ventral striatum to reduce raclopride-induced catalepsy

Shelda J. Alcock, Kim M. Hemsley, Ann D. Crocker

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8 Citations (Scopus)


While muscarinic receptor antagonists are used to reduce motor side effects associated with the use of antipsychotic drugs, their site of action remains unclear. The study investigated the site of action of the non-selective muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine on catalepsy induced by the selective dopamine D2 receptor antagonist, raclopride. Initially, catalepsy and striatal muscarinic receptor occupancy was assessed 2 h following subcutaneous injection of raclopride and either atropine or vehicle. Catalepsy was significantly reduced by doses of atropine that occupied more than 69% of muscarinic receptors. Next, atropine was injected bilaterally into the ventral striatum, which produced a significant reduction in catalepsy, while injections into the dorsal striatum and substantia nigra had no effect. The site of atropine's action was localised to a discrete area of the ventral striatum through the use of quantitative autoradiographic techniques. These findings provide further evidence for the importance of the ventral striatum in the expression of behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2001


  • Anticholinergic drug
  • Antipsychotic drug
  • Catalepsy
  • Receptor occupancy
  • Striatum
  • Ventral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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