Pharmacological analysis of 50 kHz vocalizations in the male rat
The production of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in rats has been associated with both positive social interactions and appetitive behavioural situations. Furthermore, there is significant evidence showing that these vocalizations are controlled by the meso-limbic dopamine system. The purpose of this study was to perform a pharmacological analysis of 50 kHz calls by using dopamine and two dopamine agonists amphetamine and apomorphine, to induce calls. The acoustic parameters of the different call types were compared across each agonist. All three agonists were able to significantly induce more 50 kHz vocalizations compared to the vehicle control. Furthermore, calls elicited by apomorphine had a significantly higher bandwidth compared to those elicited by dopamine and amphetamine. All three agonists also had significantly different pharmacokinetic properties. These observations suggest that the D2 receptor sub-type is involved in the length of call bandwidths.