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Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Oct 31;523(1-3):40-5. Epub 2005 Oct 14.

Local effects of acute ethanol on dopamine neurotransmission in the ventral striatum in C57BL/6 mice.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


In this study, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in brain slices was used to evaluate the effects of acute ethanol on dopamine terminal release and uptake in the nucleus accumbens of C57BL/6 mice. We found that pharmacologically relevant concentrations of ethanol (20 and 100 mM) did not alter electrically evoked dopamine release, while the highest concentration (200 mM) significantly decreased release (approximately 45%). No significant changes were observed in the rate of dopamine uptake after ethanol (20, 100 or 200 mM). In addition, it was established that a moderate dose (2 g/kg, i.p.) of ethanol did not alter the rate of dopamine synthesis, measured as L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) accumulation. However, a high dose (5 g/kg, i.p.) of ethanol significantly increased the levels of L-DOPA to 60% above the control value. These data are consistent with earlier findings obtained in brain slices from rats; dopamine release, but not clearance, is affected by acute ethanol.

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