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Neuroscience. 2000;100(4):741-8.

Dopamine and noradrenaline efflux in the prefrontal cortex in the light and dark period: effects of novelty and handling and comparison to the nucleus accumbens.

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Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


We used on-line microdialysis measurements of dopamine and noradrenaline extracellular concentrations in the medial prefrontal cortex of awake, freely moving rats during the dark and the light period of the day to study whether (i) basal efflux would be higher in the active, dark period than in the inactive, light period; (ii) the activation induced by environmental stimuli would be dependent on these conditions. When determined one day after cannula placement, noradrenaline and dopamine levels were higher during the dark. Maximal relative increases induced by novelty and handling were 150% and 175-200%, respectively, and were very similar in the light and the dark, but the net increases were higher in the dark. Separate groups were tested one week after cannula placement to ensure recovery of possibly disturbed circadian rhythms. While basal levels in the dark were now approximately twice those in the light, the maximal relative and net increases after both novelty and handling were very similar. Basal levels of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (one day after cannula placement) were not different in the light or dark, but were increased by novelty and handling to about 130% only in the light period, not in the dark. Thus, in the prefrontal cortex, dopamine strongly resembles noradrenaline, in that basal efflux was state dependent, whereas activation by stimuli was not. In the nucleus accumbens, basal dopamine efflux was not state dependent, but activation by stimuli was. These results suggest that there are differential effects of circadian phase on basal activity and responsiveness of the mesolimbic vs the mesocortical dopamine system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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