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Brain Res. 1989 Dec 25;505(1):83-90.

Reserpine enhances amphetamine stereotypies without increasing amphetamine-induced changes in striatal dialysate dopamine.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


Indirect evidence suggests that amphetamine (AMPH) releases dopamine (DA) from an extravesicular, cytoplasmic pool. Disruption of vesicular DA storage by reserpine has been hypothesized to increase the concentration of extravesicular DA available for release by AMPH, which is consistent with the observation that reserpine does not prevent but augments the behavioral response to AMPH. In order to more directly test this hypothesis, the in vivo microdialysis technique was used to concurrently examine the behavioral and striatal dopaminergic response to AMPH (1.25 or 2.5 mg/kg) 24 h following reserpine pretreatment (2.5 mg/kg). Reserpine decreased tissue levels of DA by approximately 90% and reduced baseline dialysate DA concentrations by approximately 80%. Reserpine augmented the behavioural effects of AMPH, particularly increasing the occurrence and intensity of stereotypies. In contrast, reserpine did not alter the amount or duration of AMPH-induced DA release. This observation confirms that DA release by AMPH does not depend on vesicular stores but is inconsistent with the hypothesis that augmentation or behaviour by reserpine results from increased striatal DA release.

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