Thomas A. Ban: Psychopharmacology. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1969

Leon S. Morra’s Extracts - 8

Part One, Chapter Two: Animal Pharmacology


2. Pharmacological Tests

 “…pharmacological tests can be divided into two major categories: direct testing and indirect testing. In direct testing it is the effect of the psychoactive substance on a particular activity which is measured… In indirect testing the effect of the drug is tested on an activity which has been induced by either a chemical or a physical stimulus."

            “The aim of direct testing is to establish objective and quantifiable criteria of psychotropic action… frequently employed direct pharmacological tests are the jiggle cage, actophotometer, runaway, revolving cylinder, rotating rod, inclined screen and swimming survival.”

            “…motor coordination is less impaired with anxiolytic drugs than with sedatives. The former, may however, interfere with motor control. They may also exert a taming effect… The taming effect, particularly characteristic of benzodiazepines was revealed by a decrease in defensive aggression…"

            “The third group of depressants are the neuroleptics with antipsychotic effects… The characteristic altered state induced by these antipsychotics is called catalepsy…"

            “In contrast to drugs which depress the CNS…stimulants…increase spontaneous motor activity… They also improve performance on the runway test…"

            “…improvement of swimming survival in a hopeless survival contingency may turn out to be a good measure of potential clinical antidepressant properties…"

            “The aim of indirect testing is to detect psychoactive properties… which cannot be revealed by direct testing..."

            “The indirect tests most extensively used in screening for psychoactive substances are the barbiturate or amphetamine potentiation or antagonism..."

            “The increased amphetamine toxicity in animals kept in crowded conditions is reversed by drugs which exert anxiolytic effect in humans..."

            “Antipsychotic drugs appear to inhibit caffeine–induced increase in motor activity…"

            “Antidepressants potentiate the action of both 5-hydrxytryptohane and 3, 4-dihydroxy- phenylalanine… antagonize the effects of reserpine… and tetrabenazine… potentiate monoamine precursors and antagonize monoamine releasers."

            “…the effects of tricyclic neuroleptics are characterized by …reduction of motor activity, cataleptogenic action, facilitation of reserpine-induced changes, anti-apomorphine potential and antagonism of noradrenaline, serotonin and acetylcholine effects. On the other hand, the effects of tricyclic antidepressants are characterized by facilitation of amphetamine-induced vomiting, potentiation of noradrenaline effects, interference with reserpine-induced changes and antagonism of tremorine, acetylcholine  and serotonin effects.”


León S. Morra

March 30, 2017