In vivo and in vitro aspects of imidazoline-2(1/2)sites within the central nervous system
The in vivo and in vitro characteristics of the I2 binding site were probed using the technique of drug discrimination and receptor autoradiography. Data presented in this thesis indicates the I2 ligand 2-BFI generates a cue in drug discrimination. Further studies indicated agmatine, a proposed endogenous imidazoline ligand, and a number of imidazoline and imidazole analogues of 2-BFI substitute significantly for 2-BFI. In addition to specific I2 ligands the administration of NRl's (noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors), the sympathomimetic d-amphetamine, the α1-adrenoceptor agonist methoxamine, but not the β1 agonist dobutamine or the β2 agonist salbutamol, gave rise to significant levels of substitution for the 2-BFI cue. The administration of the α1-adrenoceptor antagonist WB4101, prior to 2- BFI itself significantly reduced levels of 2-BFI appropriate responding. Administration of the reversible MAO-A inhibitors moclobemide and Ro41-1049, but not the reversible MAO-B inhibitors lazabemide and Ro16-6491, gave rise to potent dose dependent levels of substitution for the 2-BFI cue. Further studies indicated the administration of a number of β-carbolines and the structurally related indole alkaloid ibogaine also gave rise to dose dependent significant levels of substitution. Due to the relationship of indole alkaloids to serotonin the 5-HT releaser fenfluramine and a number of SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) were also administered and these compounds gave rise to significant partial (20-80% responses to the 2-BFI lever) levels of substitution. The autoradiographical studies reported here indicate [3H]2-BFI labels I2 sites within the rat arcuate nucleus, area postrema, pineal gland, interpeduncular nucleus and subfornical organ. Subsequent experiments confirmed that the drug discrimination dosing schedule significantly increases levels of [3H]2-BFI 12 binding within two of these nuclei. However, levels of [3H]2-BFI specific binding were significantly reduced within four of these nuclei after chronic treatment with the irreversible MAO inhibitors deprenyl and tranylcypromine but not pargyline, which only reduced levels significantly in two. Further autoradiographical studies indicated that the distribution of [3H]2-BFI within the C57/B mouse compares favourably to that within the rat. Comparison of these levels of binding to those from transgenic mice who over-express MAO-B indicates two possibly distinct populations of [3H]2-BFI 12 sites exist in mouse brain. The data presented here indicates the 2-BFI cue is associated with the selective activation of α1-adrenoceptors and possibly 5-HT receptors. 2-BFI trained rats recognise reversible MAO-A but not MAO-B inhibitors. However, data within this thesis indicates the autoradiographical distribution of I2 sites bears a closer resemblance to that of MAO-B not MAO-A and further studies using transgenic mice that over-express MAO-B suggests a non-MAO-B I2 site exists in mouse brain.
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