Latent inhibition (LI) is a behavioural phenomenon whereby preexposure to a stimulus without reinforcement interferes with the formation of subsequent associations to that stimulus. Using preexposure to a tone stimulus which subsequently serves as a conditioned stimulus for suppression of licking, we have confirmed that LI is disrupted by a low dose of amphetamine. Haloperidol was able to prevent this effect of amphetamine. Ondansetron, a selective and potent 5HT3 receptor antagonist, was also shown to be effective at blocking the amphetamine-induced disruption of LI at a dose of 0.01 mg/kg, but not at 0.1 mg/kg. In addition, it was demonstrated that ondansetron could enhance LI; using only ten preexposures, no LI was obtained in the saline group, but was apparent in animals given ondansetron, an effect which has been previously shown with haloperidol. Haloperidol, at the higher dose used, reduced suppression of licking, however, ondansetron at the effective dose had no such effect. It is concluded that ondansetron is able to attenuate increases in dopamine activity, produced pharmacologically with amphetamine without affecting baseline dopamine activity. The implications of these findings for a possible antipsychotic action of ondansetron are discussed.
- 5HT antagonists
- Latent inhibition