Aspects of tic like behaviour and serotonergic control
Tic-like movements in rodents bear close similarities to those observed in humans both pharmacologically and morphologically. Pharmacologically, tics are modulated by serotonergic and dopaminergic systems and abnormalities of these systems have been reported in Tourette's Syndrome (TS). Therefore, serotonergic and dopaminergic modulation of tics induced by a thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH) analogue were studied as possible models for TS. The TRH analogue MK771 induced a variety of tic like movements in mice; blinking fore-paw-licking and fore-paw-tremor were quantified and serotonergic and dopaminergic modulation was investigated. The selective dopamine D1 receptor antagonists SCH23390 and SCH39166 and dopamine D2 antagonists raclopride and sulpiride had no effect on MK771 induced blinking. The D1 antagonists attenuated fore-paw-tremor and -licking while the D2 antagonists were generally without effect on these behaviours. Ketanserin (5-HT2A/ alpha-1 antagonist) and ritanserin (5-HT2A/2C antagonist) were able to attenuate MK771-induced blinking and ketanserin, mianserin (5-HT2A/2C antagonist) and prazosin (alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonist) were able to attenuate MK771-induced fore-paw-tremor and -licking. The 5-HT2C/2B antagonist SB200646A was without effect on blinking and fore-paw-licking but dose-dependently potentiated fore-paw-tremor. The 5-HT1A agonists 8-OH DPAT and buspirone attenuated blinking at the lower doses tested but were ineffective at the higher doses; the converse was found for fore-paw-licking and -tremor behaviours.