Hypersensitivity to central serotonin receptor activation in scrapie-infected hamsters and the effect of serotonergic drugs on scrapie symptoms
Goudsmit, J.; Rohwer, R.G.; Silbergeld, E.K.; Gajdusek, D.C.
Brain Research 220(2): 372-377
ISSN/ISBN: 0006-8993 PMID: 6456788 DOI: 10.1016/0006-8993(81)91228-2
Low doses of the serotonin agonist, quipazine, and the serotonin precursor, L-5-hydroxytryptophan methyl ester, produce small but significant reductions in scrapie-induced ataxia and action jerks in hamsters. Higher doses of both drugs elicit a behavioral syndrome specific for central serotonin receptor activation. Scrapie-infected hamsters show a dramatic hypersensitivity to both drugs compared to control animals. This suggests that scrapie infection in hamsters causes a disturbance in the serotonergic pathway of the brain stem.