Levodopa enhances immobility induced by spinal cord electromagnetic stimulation in rats

Academic Article


  • Background The repetitive ElectroMagnetic Stimulation (rEMS) is an innocuous method applied to modulate neurocircuits in real-time to study the physiology of the central nervous system and treat neuropsychiatric conditions. Preliminary data suggest that spinal rEMS induces behavioral changes in awake rats. However, the mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain largely unknown. Methods Twenty-five male Wistar rats were divided into five subgroups of five animals each: one subgroup was drug-free, two subgroups received Levodopa + Benserazide 250 + 25 mg/kg for two or seven days, and the remaining two subgroups received Haloperidol 0.1 or 0.3 mg/kg for two days. The animals were restrained during sham rEMS (day 1) followed by real rEMS of the cervicothoracic region at a different day (day 2 or 7, depending on subgroup). Four behavioral parameters were quantified: Walking, Climbing, Grooming, and Cornering. Results rEMS reduced Walking and increased Cornering duration when applied over the cervicothoracic region of drug-free animals. A pretreatment with Levodopa + Benserazide for two or seven days induced an additional decrease in Walking after rEMS. This reduction was maximum after the treatment for seven days and associated with extinction of Climbing and increase in Cornering. A pretreatment with Haloperidol 0.1 mg/kg reduced Grooming after rEMS, but did not prevent the reduction in Walking. Conclusions Cervicothoracic rEMS induced complex immobility responses that are in part modulated by dopaminergic pathways in rats. Further studies are necessary to determine the specific mechanisms involved.
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    Author List

  • Sales PMG; de Andrade LMS; Pitcher MR; Rola FH; Gondim FDAA
  • Start Page

  • 196
  • End Page

  • 201
  • Volume

  • 633