Quinpirole induces compulsive checking behavior in rats: A potential animal model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Henry Szechtman*, William Sulis, David Eilam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rats treated chronically with the dopamine agonist quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg, twice weekly x 10) met 5 criteria for performance of compulsive checking. Specifically, in a large open-field with single small objects in 4 of 25 locales, quinpirole rats revisited two places/objects excessively often and rapidly, compared with other locations in the environment or saline controls. They performed a ritual-like set of behavioral acts at these two places/objects and stopped in relatively few locales before returning to the preferred places/objects. Finally, they shifted their behavior to a new location when the object was moved there. Clomipramine (10 mg/kg, daily) postponed but did not prevent the development of the quinpirole effect. Quinpirole-induced compulsive checking may be an exaggeration of normal checking of home site in rats. Results suggest an animal model of obsessive- compulsive disorder and a role for dopamine in this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1485
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume112
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

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