Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

First Advisor

Marvin H. Malone

First Committee Member

Raymond M. Quock

Second Committee Member

Katherine K. Knapp

Third Committee Member

Francis W. Sayre

Fourth Committee Member

James Blakenship


The naturally occuring ergot alkaloids of the fungus, Claviceps purpurea, and their many derivatives have been of neuropharmacological interest for many years because of their ability to affect peripheral and central adrenergic and serotonergic systems. More recently, selected compounds such as lergotile (2-chloro-6-methyl ergoline-8-beta acetonitrile) and and bromocriptine (2-bromo-alpha-ergocryptine), have been given additional attention due to their possible therapeutic potential in the treatment of parkinson’s disease, acromegaly and other disorders. There have been considerable data published attempting to establish the mechanism(s) whereby the ergot compounds exert their effects. A large portion of these experiments involves the interaction of ergot compounds with dopaminergic systems. This is a logical course of study, since many of the actions of the ergot compounds mimic the actions of compounds known to affect dopaminergic neurons, e.g. antagonists such as the phenothiazines and butyrophenones and agonists such as levodopa and apomorphine. In the last decade, much attention also has been focused on the role of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) in the mediation of dopaminergic systems. There have been many conflicting reports published as to the role of serotonin but it is still uncertain whether or not serotonin does indeed play a role. The present study investigates two dopaminergic effects of the standard dopamine agonist apomorphine and the ergoline lergotrile and the similarities or differences that exist when serotonergic function is altered.