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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1990 Sep;37(1):113-6.

Microinjections of a nicotinic agonist into dopamine terminal fields: effects on locomotion.

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Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Nicotine induces locomotion, a behavior associated with the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. The present study determined the effects on locomotion of direct microinjections of the nicotinic agonist cytisine into four DA terminal fields were nicotinic receptors have been localized: nucleus accumbens (NAS, n = 20), caudate putamen (CPU, n = 9), olfactory tubercle (OT, n = 8), and medial prefrontal cortex (MPC, n = 12). Male Long-Evans rats were injected with cytisine (0.1, 1, 10 and 100 nanomoles per 0.5 microliters per side) or vehicle through indwelling cannulae, and locomotor activity was recorded during a 60-minute test session; each animal was tested with each dose in counterbalanced order. NAS injections of the three highest doses of cytisine increased locomotion relative to vehicle injections; injections in the CPU, dorsal to the NAS, were ineffective, as were MPC and OT injections. The data support the notion that systemic nicotine may interact with dopaminergic projections to the NAS to produce increases in locomotor activity.

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