Calcium channel activation and self-biting in mice

H. A. Jinnah, S. Yitta, T. Drew, B. S. Kim, J. E. Visser, J. D. Rothstein

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43 Scopus citations


The L type calcium channel agonist (±)Bay K 8644 has been reported to cause characteristic motor abnormalities in adult mice. The current study shows that administration of this drug can also cause the unusual phenomenon of self-injurious biting, particularly when given to young mice. Self-biting is provoked by injecting small quantities of (±)Bay K 8644 directly into the lateral ventricle of the brain, suggesting a central effect of the drug. Similar behaviors can be provoked by administration of another L type calcium channel agonist, FPL 64176. The self-biting provoked by (±)Bay K 8644 can be inhibited by pretreating the mice with dihydropyridine L type calcium channel antagonists such as nifedipine, nimodipine, or nitrendipine. However, self- biting is not inhibited by nondihydropyridine antagonists including diltiazem, flunarizine, or verapamil. The known actions of (±)Bay K 8644 as an L type calcium channel agonist, the reproduction of similar behavior with another L type calcium channel agonist, and the protection afforded by certain L type calcium channel antagonists implicate calcium channels in the mediation of the self-biting behavior. This phenomenon provides a model for studying the neurobiology of this unusual behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15228-15232
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 21 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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