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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

GABAergic drugs and sexual motivation, receptivity and exploratory behaviors in the female rat.

Female rats were allowed to pace sexual interactions in a bilevel chamber, where a sexually vigorous male was tethered to the bottom level. Exploratory behaviors (sniffing, rearing), locomotor activity (expressed as number of level changes and periods of inactivity) as well as items of sexual motivation (latency to descend to the male's level, approaches towards the male and genital exploration) were recorded. In addition, sexual receptivity was evaluated in a non-paced situation. A test for motor impairment was also performed. The GABA transaminase inhibitor gamma-acetylene GABA reduced exploratory behaviors at doses much lower than those needed to reduce receptivity. The GABA reuptake inhibitor SKF 100330A did not affect any behavior category at doses of 15 and 30 mg/kg, but had a sedative action at 60 mg/kg. This was shown as impaired motor coordination and an almost total absence of activity in the bilevel chamber. Receptivity was not impaired, however. The mixed GABAA/ GABAB agonist progabide reduced exploratory behaviors and receptivity without producing motor impairment at a dose of 400 mg/kg. The GABAA agonist THIP impaired motor coordination and reduced receptivity and exploratory behaviors at a dose of 10 mg/kg. A larger dose, 20 mg/kg, had a strong sedative action. Only a small proportion of the animals descended to the males level. The GABAB agonist baclofen reduced receptivity at a dose that had no effect on motor coordination or exploratory behaviors. None of the drugs had a specific effect on sexual motivation. Whenever behaviors reflecting motivation were reduced, there were also other behavioral effects indicative of sedation. These data show that GABA receptor agonists, particularly the GABAB agonist baclofen, reduce sexual receptivity at doses that have only slight effect on motor functions or exploratory behaviors. In contrast, non-specific enhancement of GABAergic activity by a transaminase or reuptake inhibitor have effects on motor functions and exploratory behaviors at doses much lower than those needed to reduce receptivity.[1]


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