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Neurosci Lett. 1997 May 23;227(3):153-6.

Changes in dopamine and acetylcholine release in the rat lateral hypothalamus during deprivation-induced drinking.

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  • 1Los Andes University, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Merida, Venezuela.


Neurochemical changes in the rat lateral hypothalamus during drinking were assessed in 20 min sampling intervals, using in vivo brain microdialysis. Water-deprived animals drank (11 +/- 1 ml) during the hour that water was available. Drinking was maximal (7.8 +/- 0.7 ml) during the first 20 min after water presentation and minimal during the last 20 min (0.5 +/- 0.4 ml). There was a local enhancement in DA turnover evidenced by an increase in the extracellular levels of dopamine (DA) (155 +/- 47% during the second sample after water presentation as compared to predrinking levels) and dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC) (132 +/- 9.7% in the sample that followed water removal). There was also an initial increase in the acetylcholine (ACh) release (145.1 +/- 21.7%) during the first 20 min after water presentation followed by a reduction (50.12 +/- 18%) 20 min later. These changes are congruous with previously published results suggesting that both neurochemical systems are involved in the regulation of water intake. Considering that the exogenous administration of cholinergic drugs in this hypothalamic area elicits drinking, the initial increase in ACh release could be interpreted as one of the neurochemical events driving this behavior. Since the local blockade of D2 receptors has been shown to result in drinking the progressive increase in DA turnover detected in this study, as well as the concomitant reduction in ACh release, could be involved in drinking attenuation.

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