Acute toluene induces biphasic changes inrat spontaneous locomotor activity which are blocked by remoxipride

Arthur C. Riegel, Edward D. French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The behavioral hyperactivity elicited by most drugs of abuse has been linked to changes in mesolimbic dopamine neurotransmission. However, the locomotor stimulant effects of toluene, a constituent in many abused inhalants, has not been clearly associated with this site of action. The present study was designed to examine the hypothesis that toluene-induced hyperactivity is also dependent upon intact dopamine neurotransmission. Using photocell-equipped cages, 600-1200 mg/kg toluene produced an inverted U-shaped dose response. However, in the presence of 5 mg/kg remoxipride, a selective D2-dopamine antagonist toluene-induced hyperactivity was reduced by 57%. The effects of remoxipride appear to be selective as a pretreatment, as it did not reduce either spontaneous locomotor activity or the stimulatory effects of the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine. These results clearly show that toluene induces locomotor hyperactivity through a dopamine-dependent mechanism. Because the mesolimbic dopamine system has been shown to play a role in the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, its activation by toluene may also underlie the abuse potential of this and other inhalants. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-402
Number of pages4
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Inhalant abuse
  • Locomotor activity
  • Mesolimbic dopamine
  • Remoxipride
  • Scopolamine
  • Solvents
  • Toluene
  • Volatile substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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