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Behav Brain Res. 2006 Mar 15;168(1):64-73. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Amphetamine-induced 50 kHz calls from rat nucleus accumbens: a quantitative mapping study and acoustic analysis.

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Department of Psychology and the Centre for Neuroscience, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ont. L2S 3A1, Canada.


Emission of 50 kHz ultrasonic calls in rats is known to be associated with appetitive behavioural situations and positive social interactions. The purpose of the study was to pharmacologically characterize amphetamine-induced 50 kHz calls and to perform quantitative mapping of this response in the nucleus accumbens. Injections of amphetamine into the nucleus accumbens induced species-typical 50 kHz calls in adult rats. The acoustic parameters of the calls were not affected by different amphetamine doses or combination of agents. The increase in the number of calls occurred predominantly from the accumbens shell and to a lesser degree from the core region. This effect was dose-dependent within the range of 1-20 microg of amphetamine and was reversed by pretreatment with D1 or D2 dopamine antagonists (SKF-83566 or raclopride) administered to the same brain site. However, another D2 dopamine receptor antagonist, haloperidol, which is known to increase the accumbens dopamine level, was ineffective in reversing the increase in call number at the dose studied. On the contrary, intraacumbens haloperidol, when injected alone, caused an increase in 50 kHz calls. It is concluded that the release of dopamine, predominantly in the accumbens shell region, is responsible for production of 50 kHz calls and the calls may indicate an appetitive state compatible with anticipation of reward and positive affect. Both D1 and D2 subtypes of dopamine receptors may be necessary to induce 50 kHz calls and signal the appetitive state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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