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Brain Res. 1992 Apr 24;578(1-2):317-26.

Amphetamine regulation of mesolimbic dopamine/cholecystokinin neurotransmission.

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Karolinska Insitutet, Department of Pharmacology, Stockholm, Sweden.


The effects of acute and repeated amphetamine administration on mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons was assessed by studying DA and cholecystokinin (CCK) release in the nucleus accumbens (Acc), as well as effects on mRNA genes regulating DA and CCK synthesis in ventral tegmental area (VTA) cells in rats. Amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg) markedly increased extracellular levels of DA in the medial Acc (assessed by in vivo microdialysis) in drug-naive animals, about twice the amount released in animals repeatedly administered the drug for the previous 7 days (twice daily). CCK overflow was found to mirror the DA responses in that the very transient elevation of CCK monitored in drug-naive animals was attenuated in those with prior amphetamine use. The attenuation of both DA and CCK overflow in the medial Acc was found to be associated with a decrease in the number of CCK mRNA-positive VTA neurons (assessed by in situ hybridization histochemistry). Although the number of cells expressing CCK mRNA were decreased, the gene expression in those positive CCK and tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA cells in the VTA was significantly increased. The CCK mRNA neurons in the VTA were positively identified as those projecting to the medial Acc by the local perfusion of Fluoro-gold retrograde tracer via microdialysis probes located in the Acc.

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