Krug, Ines


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Sensitization to apomorphine in pigeons : a multifactorial conditioning process

2015, Delius, Juan, Acerbo, Martin J., Krug, Ines, Lee, Jennifer M., Leydel, Rita

Apomorphine (apo), an unspecific direct dopamine agonist, elicits an intense and lasting pecking bout in pigeons. Apo yielded orderly dose–response functions, and repeated administrations led to sensitization. Strain and individual differences in sensitivity to apo were at least partly due to genetic factors. However, a strong cage-context dependency of the sensitization, which is indicative of conditioning, occurred in both pigeon strains studied. Apo-induced pecking and sensitization also occurred in total darkness. Pigeons could be conditioned to discriminate between an apo state and a non-apo state. A small dose of apo was effective as a conditioned stimulus when paired with a high dose as an unconditioned stimulus. The conditioned response (CR) was strongly specific to the context in which the sensitization to apo took place. The resistance to extinction of the CR could be increased through an oversensitization treatment. The incremental responses arising during the sensitization treatment and the CRs shown afterward by individual pigeons correlated significantly. The sensitization to apo in pigeons is well accounted for by a conditioning schema in which an interoceptive drug state is a conditional conditioned stimulus for the full expression of the incremental response. Variants of the scheme might also account for the sensitization of rodents to psychostimulants. A neural model that embodies the characteristics of the conditioning scheme has been proposed.


Cognitive effects of dopaminergic and glutamatergic blockade in nucleus accumbens in pigeons

2005-08, Gargiulo, Pascual Ángel, Acerbo, Martin Javier, Krug, Ines, Delius, Juan

In earlier studies it was found that glutamatergic transmission within the nucleus accumbens septi is involved in the performance of a learned visual shape discrimination in pigeons. This study examines what effects several kinds of glutamate and dopamine antagonists have on the same task. Pigeons were trained with the relevant discrimination, bilaterally implanted with cannulas into the nucleus accumbens and tested after various transmission blockers had been administered intracerebrally. SCH-23390, a D1 dopamine antagonist, at the dose used, had no effect, and Spiperone, a D2-dopamine and 5HT2a-serotonine antagonist, significantly decreased the error repeat trials. CNQX, a non-NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist, and Cycloleucine, an antagonist of the glycine allosteric site of NMDA receptors, had no effect. CGS-19755, a selective competitive NMDA antagonist, significantly impaired performance by significantly decreasing the percent correct trials and increasing the error repeat trials. CPPG, a II/III metabotropic glutamate antagonist, remarkably improved performance. MMPG, a III/II metabotropic glutamate antagonist, at the dose used, did not have any significant effect. The preparation employed may be a useful animal model of perceptual disturbances in schizophrenia.


Behavioural consequences of nucleus accumbens dopaminergic stimulation and glutamatergic blocking in pigeons

2002, Acerbo, Martı́n J., Gargiulo, Pascual A., Krug, Ines, Delius, Juan

Upon systemic administration of apomorphine, a potent dopamine agonist, pigeons show a bout of pecking behaviour. When the drug is repeatedly administered a sensitization takes place that is associated with pronounced discrimination learning. Here we show that intra-cerebral injections of apomorphine in the periphery of the nucleus accumbens of pigeons also elicit pecking. We additionally show that injections of 5-amino-phosphonohepatnoic acid, a NMDA-glutamate receptor blocker, into the Acc impairs the performance of a learned visual discrimination incorporating pecking as a choice response. We conclude that, as it is the case in mammals, the control mechanisms of learned sensory-motor behaviour in birds involves dopaminergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission within the nucleus accumbens area.