Oxotremorine Delays and Scopolamine Accelerates Sexual Exhaustion When Applied to the Preoptic Area in Male Hamsters

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Acetylcholine (ACh) has not been tested for a role in the development of sexual exhaustion in males. However, male hamsters receiving infusions into the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the muscarinic agonist oxotremorine (OXO) or antagonist scopolamine (SCO) show changes in the postejaculatory interval, one of the measures that changes most consistently as exhaustion approaches. In addition, central SCO treatments cause changes in the patterning of intromissions that resemble those signaling exhaustion. To extend these observations and more thoroughly test the dependence of sexual exhaustion on ACh, male hamsters received MPOA treatments of OXO, SCO or the combination of the two before mating to exhaustion. Relative to placebo, OXO infusions caused small but consistent increases in ejaculation frequency and long intromission latency, delaying the appearance of exhaustion. Scopolamine treatments did the reverse, dramatically accelerating the development of exhaustion. Consistent with and possibly responsible for these changes were effects on the quality of performance prior to exhaustion. These included differences in overall copulatory efficiency (e.g., ejaculations/intromission), which was increased by OXO and decreased by SCO. They also extended to several standard measures of copulatory behavior, including intromission frequency, ejaculation latency and the postejaculatory interval: Most of these were increased by SCO and decreased by OXO. Finally, whereas most or all effects of OXO were counteracted by SCO, most or all of the responses to SCO resisted change by added OXO. This asymmetry in the responses to combined treatment raises the possibility that the effects of these drugs on sexual exhaustion and other elements of male behavior are mediated by distinct muscarinic receptors. Copyright 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior



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