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Eur J Neurosci. 2000 Oct;12(10):3596-604.

Laterodorsal tegmental stimulation elicits dopamine efflux in the rat nucleus accumbens by activation of acetylcholine and glutamate receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

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Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, 2109, Australia.


Cholinergic and glutamatergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) and neighbouring mesopontine nuclei are thought to influence mesolimbic dopaminergic neuronal activity involved in goal-directed behaviours. We measured the changes in dopamine oxidation current (corresponding with dopamine efflux) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in response to electrical stimulation of the LDT using in vivo chronoamperometry in urethane-anaesthetized rats. LDT stimulation (35 Hz pulse trains for 60 s, 1 s intertrain interval) evoked a three-component change in dopamine efflux in the NAc: (i) an initial stimulation time-locked increase in the dopamine signal above baseline, followed by (ii) an immediate decrease below baseline, and thereafter by (iii) a prolonged increase in the dopamine signal above baseline. Intra-VTA infusion of the nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine (5 microg/0.5 microL) or the ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonist kynurenate (10 microg/microL) attenuated the first LDT-elicited component. The second suppressive component was abolished by intra-LDT infusions of either the nonselective or the M2-selective muscarinic receptor antagonists scopolamine (100 microg/microL) and methoctramine (50 microg/microL), respectively. In contrast, intra-VTA infusions of scopolamine (200 microg/microL) resulted in a selective attenuation of the third facilitatory component, whereas both second and third components were abolished by systemic injections of scopolamine (5 mg/kg). These results suggest that the initial increase, subsequent decrease, and final prolonged increase in extracellular dopamine levels in the NAc are selectively mediated by LDT-elicited activation of (i) nicotinic and glutamatergic receptors in the VTA, (ii) muscarinic M2 autoreceptors on LDT cell bodies, and (iii) muscarinic receptors in the VTA, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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