Purposeless oral activity induced by meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP): Undefined tic-like behaviors?

Deborah S. Kreiss, Philippe De Deurwaerdère
Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2017-12-01; 292: 30-36
DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2017.05.007

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Kreiss DS(1), De Deurwaerdère P(2).

Author information:
(1)Washington and Lee University, Dept. of Psychology, Neuroscience Program,
Lexington, VA, United States.
(2)CNRS, Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, UMR 5293, F-33000 Bordeaux,
France. Electronic address: .

BACKGROUND: The pathophysiological hypothesis underlying tic disorders in
Tourette syndrome (TS) is that basal ganglia are not capable of properly
filtering cortical information, leading patients with difficulties in inhibiting
unwanted behaviors or impulses. One of the main challenges for furthering such a
hypothesis is to find appropriate animal models summarizing some aspects of the
METHODS: It has been established for more than 25 years in rodents that the
prototypical serotonin (5-HT) agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP) elicits
purposeless oral movements including chewing behavior. These bouts of oral
movements, originally thought to mimic human oral dyskinesia consequent to
long-term administration of antipsychotic drugs or parkinsonian tremor, could
correspond to an undefined form of tics. Here, we describe the nature of the
purposeless oral movements triggered by m-CPP and other agonists which could be
associated with obsessive compulsive disorders. We report the pharmacology of
this response with a focus on the 5-HT2C receptor subtype and the degree to which
the dopaminergic and cholinergic systems are involved. The orofacial dyskinetic
effects are related to the action of these compounds in associative/limbic
territories of the basal ganglia, rather than sensorimotor ones, as expected from
the human disease.
CONCLUSION: In spite of the low translational value of these oral movements, the
neurobiological analysis of these oral movements could help to a better
understanding of the pathophysiology of tics and compulsive disorders often
cormorbid with TS.


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