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Eur J Pharmacol. 1992 Mar 3;212(2-3):299-300.

Chronic cocaine alters limbic extracellular dopamine. Neurochemical basis for addiction.

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  • 1Istituto di Farmacologia Medica, Universit√† La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.


The extracellular concentration of dopamine in the ventral striatum was measured daily by means of brain microdialysis. Chronic cocaine (10 mg/kg twice daily) altered the dopamine output compared to that in vehicle-injected rats, inducing a pronounced increase in the first 3 days followed by a clear-cut decrease. This reduction in the output of dopamine during chronic cocaine as well as during withdrawal may be neurochemical substrate for the addictive properties of cocaine.

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