Sensitivity to apomorphine-induced yawning and hypothermia in rats eating standard or high-fat chow

Michelle G. Baladi, Yvonne M. Thomas, Charles P. France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rationale: Feeding conditions modify sensitivity to indirect- and direct-acting dopamine receptor agonists as well as the development of sensitization to these drugs. Objectives: This study examined whether feeding condition affects acute sensitivity to apomorphine-induced yawning or changes in sensitivity that occur over repeated drug administration. Quinpirole-induced yawning was also evaluated to see whether sensitization to apomorphine confers cross-sensitization to quinpirole. Methods: Drug-induced yawning was measured in different groups of male Sprague Dawley rats (n=6/group) eating high (34.3%) fat or standard (5.7% fat) chow. Results: Five weeks of eating high-fat chow rendered otherwise drug-naïve rats more sensitive to apomorphine- (0.01-1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) and quinpirole- (0.0032-0.32 mg/kg, i.p.) induced yawning, compared with rats eating standard chow. In other rats, tested weekly with apomorphine, sensitivity to apomorphine-induced yawning increased (sensitization) similarly in rats with free access to standard or high-fat chow; conditioning to the testing environment appeared to contribute to increased yawning in both groups of rats. Food restriction decreased sensitivity to apomorphine-induced yawning across five weekly tests. Rats with free access to standard or high-fat chow and sensitized to apomorphine were cross-sensitized to quinpirole-induced yawning. The hypothermic effects of apomorphine and quinpirole were not different regardless of drug history or feeding condition. Conclusions: Eating high-fat chow or restricting access to food alters sensitivity to direct-acting dopamine receptor agonists (apomorphine, quinpirole), although the relative contribution of drug history and dietary conditions to sensitivity changes appears to vary among agonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Agonist-induced yawning
  • Dopamine receptor
  • Food restriction
  • High-fat food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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