Compulsive, abnormal walking caused by anticholinergics in akinetic, 6-hydroxydopamine-treated rats

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Science  31 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4336, pp. 1461-1463
DOI: 10.1126/science.564552


In otherwise profoundly akinetic rats that had been severely depleted of brain catecholamines, anticholinergic drugs caused excessive walking. The effect did not appear until 10 days after surgery and then increased with time, suggesting that a phenomenon analogous to denervation supersensitivity may be involved. If the animals walked into corners, they were unable to turn around or back out. Their gait (extremely short steps) was reminiscent of that of patients with Parkinson's disease. The results are consistent with a mutually antagonistic interaction between cholinergic and dopaminergic brain systems and emphasize certain complexities in this interaction.