Extra-hypothalamic dopamine is not involved in the effects of hyperprolactinemia on male copulatory behavior

P. C. Doherty, S. J. Lane, K. A. Pfeil, W. W. Morgan, A. Bartke, M. S. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    Experiments were performed to determine if the inhibition of copulatory behavior observed in male rats with chronically elevated serum prolactin levels (hyperprolactinemia) is associated with changes in central dopaminergic function in the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic systems. Chronic hyperprolactinemia, induced by ectopic pituitary grafts, inhibited sexual activity but was not associated with changes in locomotor activity, stereotyped behavior in response to various doses of apomorphine, or 3H-spiroperidol binding to striatal homogenates. However, open-field defecation was reduced in the pituitary grafted animals. The results of the present study show that changes in nigrostriatal dopamine receptor sensitivity do not contribute to the inhibition of sexual behavior in hyperprolactinemic male rats. In addition, these results also demonstrate that the effects of hyperprolactinemia are relatively specific to copulatory behavior and appear not to involve general behavioral suppression.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1101-1105
    Number of pages5
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1989


    • Copulatory behavior
    • Defecation
    • Dopamine receptors
    • Hyperprolactinemia
    • Locomotor activity
    • Stereotypy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Behavioral Neuroscience


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