To explore the mode of the locomotor stimulant action of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), rats with or without administration of opiate or catecholaminergic receptor antagonists were infused with TRH through previously implanted hypothalamic cannula. Administration of TRH, but not the normal saline or TSH, into the ventromedial hypothalamus caused an enhancement in both the gross movements (including stimulation of forward locomotion, head and body rearing) and fine movements (including increased grooming and head swaying). The locomotor stimulant action provoked by TRH was antagonized by pretreatment of ventromedial hypothalamus with either an alpha-adrenergic receptor antagonist (yohimbine), a dopaminergic receptor antagonist (haloperidol) or an opiate receptor antagonist (naloxone), but not with a beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist (propranolol). The results indicate that all the adrenergic, dopaminergic and opiate receptors in the ventromedial hypothalamus are involved in the TRH-induced hyperactivity in the rat.
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