The effects of neuropeptides on discrete-trial conditioned avoidance responding

Daniel Luttinger, Charles B. Nemeroff, Arthur J. Prange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The effects of intracerebroventricular administration of several peptides on discrete-trial, conditioned avoidance responding were assessed in the rat. Three peptides (neurotensin, bombesin and ß-endorphin) produced a neuroleptic-like effect (i.e. a decrease in avoidance responding with no effect on escape responding). A low dose (0.6 nmol) of each peptide elicited a significant effect. Neurotensin and bombesin produced a significant but partial decrease in avoidance responding; larger doses of these peptides did not produce a greater effect. ß-Endorphin elicited dose-related decrements in avoidance responding. In addition, the effect of neurotensin, but not bombesin or ß-endorphin, was antagonized by simultaneous administration of an equimolar dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone. Hence, the 3 peptides do not appear to produce decreases in avoidance responding by the same mechanism. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, bradykinin, substance P, des-Tyr1-γ-endorphin and melanotropin inhibiting factor did not significantly affect avoidance responding. These findings, taken together with previous findings, suggest that intracerebroventricular administration of certain endogenous peptides (neurotensin, bombesin and ß-endorphin) may exert neuroleptic-like effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 8 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • avoidance behavior
  • bombesin
  • neuropeptide
  • neurotensin
  • ß-endorphin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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