Acute and chronic phencyclidine effects on locomotor activity, stereotypy and ataxia in rats

Sam Castellani, Perrie M. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Behavioral rating scales, developed to measure phencyclidine (PCP)-induced stereotypy and ataxia in rats, were tested using acute dose-response and chronic paradigms with concomitant assessment of locomotor activity by automated counters. Also, effects of chronic PCP on apomorphine-induced stereotypy were assessed as a test of dopamine supersensitivity. A linear dose-response effect was found for measures of all three behaviors through moderate dose levels (2-6 mg/kg), but only ataxia ratings continued to increase, showing a linear relationship through the higher (8 and 10 mg/kg) doses. Chronic daily PCP administration showed progressive augmentation of stereotypy, tolerance to ataxia at 10 min post-injection, and a biphasic increase followed by decrease to day 1 levels in locomotor activity over 14 days. No significant change was found in apomorphine stereotypy following chronic PCP treatment. The chronic behavioral changes demonstrated in this study may provide a model of PCP-induced psychological and cognitive changes seen following chronic usage in man.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 17 1981


  • Ataxia
  • Locomotor activity
  • Phencyclidine
  • Rating scale
  • Stereotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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