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J Chem Neuroanat. 1989 Sep-Oct;2(5):285-98.

Convergence of hippocampal and dopaminergic input onto identified neurons in the nucleus accumbens of the rat.

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University Department of Pharmacology, Oxford, UK.


The hippocampal input to the nucleus accumbens was interrupted by an electrolytic lesion of the fimbria-fornix. Boutons degenerating as a result of this lesion were found in asymmetric synaptic contact with dendritic spines and shafts in the medial part of the nucleus accumbens. Dopaminergic fibres and terminals in this area, identified using an antibody to tyrosine hydroxylase, established symmetrical synaptic contacts with dendritic shafts, spines and somata. In material where neurons in the nucleus accumbens had been Golgi-impregnated, it was found that the hippocampal and dopaminergic inputs converge onto the same neurons, and that the post-synaptic targets could be either spiny or aspiny neurons. It has been suggested that hippocampal dysfunction is involved in schizophrenia and this convergence of input from the hippocampus onto the same neurons that are post-synaptic to the dopaminergic input, which presumably originates from neurons in the ventral tegmental area, may provide an anatomical basis for the therapeutic effects of neuroleptic drugs which are dopamine antagonists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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