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Brain Res. 1990 Jan 29;508(1):20-9.

The ventral pallidum plays a role in mediating cocaine and heroin self-administration in the rat.

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Division of Preclinical Neuroscience and Endocrinology, Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA 92037.


The hypothesis that the ventral pallidum is an important site mediating psychomotor stimulant and opiate reinforcement was tested in rats trained to self-administer i.v. cocaine or heroin. Ibotenic acid lesions of the ventral pallidum produced significant decreases in cocaine and heroin self-administration behavior maintained on a fixed-ratio 5 schedule of reinforcement, suggesting an attenuation of the reinforcing value of cocaine and heroin. On a progressive-ratio schedule, ventral pallidal lesions produced significant decreases in the highest ratio obtained in rats self-administering cocaine. Similar results were observed with heroin in a progressive-ratio procedure modified to produce higher levels of responding; lesions of the ventral pallidum produced a significant decrease in the highest ratio obtained. Further, the i.v. co-administration of naloxone and heroin produced a decrease in progressive-ratio responding relative to heroin alone using the modified progressive-ratio schedule. These results suggest that the ventral pallidum is an important site mediating the reinforcing effects of cocaine and heroin and that the nucleus accumbens-ventral pallidum circuit may be a common pathway for both stimulant and opiate reinforcement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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