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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Behavioural effects of D2/3 and D3 agonist drugs : implications for iatrogenic impulse control disorders Brodie, Hannah


The chronic use of dopamine agonist drugs to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s has been associated with the development of impulse control disorders. It is hypothesized that this mainly occurs through action at D3 receptors thereby inducing sensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine system, increasing impulsivity and risky decision making. Using a preclinical model, I tested the effects of chronic ropinirole, a commonly prescribed D2/3 receptor agonist, on performance on the rodent gambling task in healthy female rats. I subsequently investigated the effect of chronic D3 receptor activation via a selective agonist on rGT performance in male rats. The data I present in this thesis suggests that ropinirole does not have the same risk promoting effects in female rats as it does in males. Additionally, my data challenges the hypothesis that D3 receptors are solely responsible for the increase in risky decision making caused by ropinirole in males.

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