The dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF-82958 effectively increases eye blinking count in common marmosets

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Abstract

Eye blinking is a spontaneous behavior observed in all mammals, and has been used as a well-established clinical indicator for dopamine production in neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease and Tourette syndrome [1,2]. Pharmacological studies in humans and non-human primates have shown that dopamine agonists/antagonists increase/decrease eye blinking rate. Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) have recently attracted a great deal of attention as suitable experimental animals in the psychoneurological field due to their more developed prefrontal cortex than rodents, easy handling compare to other non-human primates, and requirement for small amounts of test drugs. In this study, we evaluated the effects of dopamine D1–4 receptors agonists on eye blinking in common marmosets. Our results show that the dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF-82958 and the non-selective dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine significantly increased common marmosets eye blinking count, whereas the dopamine D2 agonist (+)-PHNO and the dopamine D3 receptor agonist (+)-PD-128907 produced somnolence in common marmosets resulting in a decrease in eye blinking count. The dopamine D4 receptor agonists PD-168077 and A-41297 had no effect on common marmosets' eye blinking count. Finally, the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH 39166 completely blocked apomorphine-induced increase in eye blinking count. These results indicate that eye blinking in common marmosets may be a useful tool for in vivo screening of novel dopamine D1 receptor agonists as antipsychotics.

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