Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurochem. 1999 Jul;73(1):179-86.

Orphanin FQ/nociceptin modulation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission determined by microdialysis.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90024-1759, USA.


Orphanin FQ has been reported to suppress extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens after intracerebroventricular administration. This study sought to provide evidence for an intra-ventral tegmental site of action for this effect using a dual-probe microdialysis experimental design. Orphanin FQ was applied to the ventral tegmental area of anesthetized rats by reverse dialysis while extracellular dopamine was sampled with a second dialysis probe in the nucleus accumbens. Orphanin FQ at a probe concentration of 1 mM (but not at 0.1 mM) significantly reduced nucleus accumbens dialysate dopamine levels. The receptor-inactive analogue, des-Phe1-orphanin FQ (1 mM), produced a small but significant increase in nucleus accumbens dialysate dopamine levels. Simultaneous measurement of ventral tegmental area dialysate amino acid content revealed significant increases in both GABA and glutamate during infusion of orphanin FQ (1 mM). To determine if increased GABA overflow mediates the action of orphanin FQ on mesolimbic neurons, orphanin FQ (10 nmol) was microinjected directly into the ventral tegmental area in the presence or absence of the GABA(A) receptor antagonist, bicuculline (1 nmol). Bicuculline transiently blocked the suppressive action of orphanin FQ on accumbens dialysate dopamine levels. These data indicate that orphanin FQ decreases dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens by inhibiting dopamine neuronal activity in the ventral tegmental area through a mechanism that may involve an increased overflow of GABA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center