The dopaminergic system of ventral hippocampus is involved in the anxiety related behavior

  • Sahand Babapoor-Farrokhran
  • Mohammad-Reza Zarrindast
  • Ameneh Rezayof
Open Access
Poster presentation


Locomotor Activity Apomorphine Dopaminergic System Sulpiride Anxiety Related Behavior 
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In the previous studies, it has been shown that dopaminergic mechanisms are related to the production and elaboration of acute and chronic stress. The ventral hippocampus is one of the important brain sites involved in modulation of fear and anxiety.

Materials and methods

To test the effects of dopaminergic system in the ventral hippocampus (VH), we investigated the effect of apomorphine, sulpiride (D2 receptor antagonist) and SCH 23390 (D1 receptor antagonist) microinjections into the VH on the behaviors displayed by male Wistar rats in the elevated plus-maze. In these experiments, animals weighting 220?280 g at the time of surgery were used. Eight animals were used in each group of experiments. After bilaterally cannulating of the animals in the VH by stereotaxic instrument, they were allowed to recover 1-week before behavioral testing. All procedures were carried out in accordance with institutional guidelines for animal care and use. Test videotapes were scored for conventional indices of anxiety (percent open arm entries / time) and locomotor activity (closed arm entries).


Bilateral intra-VH injections of the different doses of apomorphine (0.1, 0.5, 1 microgram per rat) increased the percentage of open arm time (%OAT) and open arm entries (%OAE). The results suggest that apomorphine produces a significant anxiolytic effect without any changes in the locomotor activity. Similarly, intra-VH microinjections of sulpiride (0.2, 1, 5 micrograms per rat), but not SCH 23390 (0.01, 0.1, 1 microgram per rat), has increased (%OAE) indicating an anxiolytic action. The observed effect of sulpiride may be mediated through dopamine release from the dopaminergic terminals in the VH.


In conclusion, dopaminergic system of the VH can elicit anxiolytic behavior.



The project has been supported by Tehran university of medical sciences. This abstract is being presented on behalf of Dr. Zarrindast and Dr. Rezayof.


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Copyright information

© Babapoor-Farrokhran et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahand Babapoor-Farrokhran
    • 1
  • Mohammad-Reza Zarrindast
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ameneh Rezayof
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Iranian Center for Addiction StudiesTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.School of Biology, University College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and MathematicsSchool of Cognitive SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Institute for Cognitive Science StudiesTehranIran

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