Role of catecholamines in the modafinil and amphetamine induced wakefulness, a comparative pharmacological study in the cat
by
Lin JS, Roussel B, Akaoka H, Fort P, Debilly G, Jouvet M
Departement de Medecine Experimentale,
INSERM U52, CNRS URA 1195,
Faculte de Medecine,
Universite Claude Bernard,
Lyon, France.
Brain Res 1992 Sep 25; 591(2):319-26


ABSTRACT

Seventeen adult cats were chronically implanted with electrodes for polygraphic recordings in order to assess the role of catecholamines in the arousal effects of oral administrations of modafinil, a presumed noradrenergic agonist, and amphetamine, a well-known catecholamine-releasing agent. Whereas both modafinil (1, 2.5 and 5 mg/kg) and amphetamine (0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg) caused a significant and dose-dependent increase in wakefulness and brain temperature, amphetamine, but not modafinil, elicited marked signs of behavioral excitation. Pretreatments with alpha-methyl-DL-p-tyrosine methyl ester (50 mg/kg, i.p.), an inhibitor of catecholamine synthesis, almost completely prevented the effects of amphetamine (0.25 and 1 mg/kg), but only slightly reduced the duration of the waking effect of modafinil (2.5 and 5 mg/kg). Pretreatments with phentolamine (10 mg/kg, i.p.), prazosin (1.5 mg/kg, per os) and propranolol (5 mg/kg, i.p.), an alpha-, alpha 1- and beta-receptor antagonist, respectively, attenuated significantly the arousal effect of modafinil (1 mg/kg, the same as below) but not of amphetamine (0.25 mg/kg, the same as below). Intraperitoneal injections of haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg), a dopamine-receptor antagonist, blocked significantly the arousal of amphetamine but not of modafinil. The effects of both modafinil and amphetamine were enhanced by a pretreatment with yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p.), an alpha 2-receptor antagonist. These results suggest that the arousal effect of modafinil does not depend on the availability of the endogenous catecholamines but results from an enhancement of alpha 1- and beta-receptor activity and that the waking and behavioral effects of amphetamine may be mainly due to an increase in dopamine release.


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