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J Neurochem. 2010 Oct;115(2):475-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06947.x. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

Neuropeptide S stimulates dopaminergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Neuropeptide S (NPS) is known to produce anxiolytic-like effects and facilitate extinction of conditioned fear. Catecholaminergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been suggested to be crucially involved in these brain functions. In the current study, we investigated the effect of NPS on the release of dopamine and serotonin in the mPFC by in vivo microdialysis in rats. Central administration of NPS dose-dependently enhanced extracellular levels of dopamine and its major metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, with maximal effects lasting up to 120 min. In contrast, no effect on serotonergic neurotransmission was detected. Dopamine release in the mPFC has been previously linked to modulation of anxiety states and fear extinction. The present results may thus provide a physiological and anatomical basis for the reported effects of NPS on these behaviors.

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