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Amino Acids. 2010 Apr;38(4):1051-5. doi: 10.1007/s00726-009-0313-0. Epub 2009 Jun 19.

beta-Alanine elevates dopamine levels in the rat nucleus accumbens: antagonism by strychnine.

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  • 1Addiction Biology Unit, Section of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, PO Box 410, 405 30, Göteborg, Sweden. mia.ericson@neuro.gu.se

Abstract

Glycine receptors (GlyRs) in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) have recently been suggested to be involved in the reinforcing and dopamine-elevating properties of ethanol via a neuronal circuitry involving the VTA. Apart from ethanol, both glycine and taurine have the ability to modulate dopamine output via GlyRs in the same brain region. In the present study, we wanted to explore whether yet another endogenous ligand for the GlyR, beta-alanine, had similar effects. To this end, we monitored dopamine in the nAc by means of in vivo microdialysis and found that local perfusion of beta-alanine increased dopamine output. In line with previous observations investigating ethanol, glycine and taurine, the competitive GlyR antagonist strychnine completely blocked the dopamine elevation. The present results suggest that beta-alanine has the ability to modulate dopamine levels in the nAc via strychnine-sensitive GlyRs, and are consistent with previous studies suggesting the importance of this receptor for modulating dopamine output.

PMID:
19543795
DOI:
10.1007/s00726-009-0313-0
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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