Amphetamine–induced rage reaction in mice and its mechanism

by Xu JH, Shen H, Zhang YP.
Department of Pharmacology,
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Zhejiang Medical University, Hangzhou.
Yao Xue Xue Bao 1992 ; 27(8):566-71


Rage reaction was induced in mice by ip amphetamine sulfate (APT) 15 mg/kg. Mice appeared hyperreactive after 6 min and then squeaked and fought each other. These manifestations were most distinct in 15-30 min and subsided after 40-70 min. At 20 degrees C and 25 degrees C, the occurrence of rage reaction was 85.0% and 90.0% respectively. The ED50 of APT for eliciting rage reaction was 11.8 +/- 2.1 mg/kg ip. No significant difference in the induction of rage reaction was observed between male and female mice but ambient temperature affected the occurrence of this reaction. Neuroleptic drugs (chlorpromazine, haloperidol, tardan and clozapine), anxiolytic drugs (diazepam and meprobamate) and reserpine suppressed the rage reaction induced by APT in mice. Phenobarbital and pentobarbital (at sedative doses), atropine, scopolamine, phentolamine and propranolol exerted no influence on APT–induced rage reaction. Amantadine, levodopa and apomorphine at lower doses potentiated the rage inducing effect of APT. Moreover, at higher doses amantadine or levodopa alone also evoked rage reaction similar to that induced by APT. Therefore, it may be deduced that the APT-induced rage reaction results from increased release of dopamine in limbic system and has nothing to do with the simultaneous epinephrine release. The available data indicate that the APT–induced rage reaction in mice deserves to be recommended as an animal model for screening potential neuroleptic drugs. The merits and shortcomings of this new model are discussed.