Differential effects of D- and L-amphetamine on behavior and on catecholamine disposition in dopamine and norepinephrine containing neurons of rat brain

Kenneth M. Taylor, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have compared the effects of D- and L-amphetamine on the disposition of intraventricularly administered [3H]norepinephrine and [3H]dopamine and on endogenous catecholamine in various regions of the rat brain. In behavioral experiments the effects of D- and L-amphetamine on locomotor activity and on compulsive gnawing behavior were also compared. In brain areas where norepinephrine is the predominant catecholamine, D-amphetamine but not its L-isomer inhibited [3H]catecholamine accumulation and lowered endogenous norepinephrine levels. In the corpus striatum, a dopaminergic brain region, both D- and L-amphetamine markedly reduced accumulation of [3H]catecholamines. D-Amphetamine was 10 times as potent as L-amphetamine in enhancing locomotor activity, but was only twice as active in evoking compulsive gnawing behavior. Our results suggest that brain norepinephrine is selectively involved in mediating amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation while a dopaminergic component may participate in eliciting the compulsive gnawing syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 7 1971


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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