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Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2013 Jan 1;5:261-76.

Presynaptic dopamine modulation by stimulant self-administration.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


The mesolimbic dopamine system is an essential participant in the initiation and modulation of various forms of goal-directed behavior, including drug reinforcement and addiction processes. Dopamine neurotransmission is increased by acute administration of all drugs of abuse, including the stimulants cocaine and amphetamine. Chronic exposure to these drugs via voluntary self-administration provides a model of stimulant abuse that is useful in evaluating potential behavioral and neurochemical adaptations that occur during addiction. This review describes commonly used methodologies to measure dopamine and baseline parameters of presynaptic dopamine regulation, including exocytotic release and reuptake through the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens core, as well as dramatic adaptations in dopamine neurotransmission and drug sensitivity that occur with acute non-contingent and chronic, contingent self-administration of cocaine and amphetamine.

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