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Synapse. 2008 Mar;62(3):176-84.

Intranasal dopamine application increases dopaminergic activity in the neostriatum and nucleus accumbens and enhances motor activity in the open field.

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Institute of Physiological Psychology and Center for Biological and Medical Research, University of Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Dopamine (DA) plays an important role in a number of behavioral processes and neurological disorders. The intranasal administration of DA provides improved brain penetrability in comparison to systemic administration. We investigated the effects of intranasal administration of DA on the activity of dopaminergic neurons of the mesostriatal and mesolimbic systems and on motor activity. Rats previously implanted with guide-cannulae in the neostriatum (NS) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) were submitted to microdialysis procedure under urethane anesthesia. Vehicle or DA (0.03, 0.3, or 3.0 mg/kg) was administered bilaterally into the nostrils. In a separate study, animals received an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of vehicle or DA (0.03, 0.3, 3.0, or 30.0 mg/kg). Samples were collected every 10 min and analyzed for the content of DA and metabolites using high-performance liquid chromatography. For the open field study, rats were given intranasal vehicle or DA (0.03, 0.3, or 3.0 mg/kg) and placed into the field for 30 min. Motor activity (locomotion and rearing) and grooming were analyzed in blocks of 10 min using Ethovision. Intranasal DA (3.0 mg/kg) significantly increased DA levels in the NS and NAc immediately after administration. A comparable effect was obtained only after i.p. administration of 30 mg/kg DA. In the open field, the 3.0 mg/kg dose significantly decreased grooming behavior in the second 10 min interval and significantly increased locomotor activity in the third 10 min interval. The data indicate that intranasal administration of DA can influence dopaminergic functions and motor activity, and has a potential application in the therapy of diseases affecting the dopaminergic system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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