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Exp Brain Res. 1989;76(3):572-80.

Regulation of dopamine function in the nucleus accumbens of the rat by the thalamic paraventricular nucleus and adjacent midline nuclei.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Bristol, UK.


The effects of unilateral treatments applied to non-dopamine containing output neurones of the thalamic paraventricular nucleus and adjacent midline nuclei (PV-MLT) were observed on dopamine (DA) utilisation of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The ratios of [metabolite]: [parent amine] were used as indices of DA utilisation. In general, these indices were observed to increase in NAc in a bilaterally symmetrical fashion immediately after infusion of low doses (5 microM) of a cell-selective chemical excitant (quisqualic acid, QUIS) into either rostral or caudal PV-MLT. Moreover, the increases appeared to be entirely due to changes in the tissue content of metabolite. Electrical stimulation of caudal PV-MLT also enhanced DA utilisation ratios in NAc but appeared to do so by decreasing the tissue content of DA itself. Attempts to lesion caudal PV-MLT neurones by infusion of a higher dose of QUIS (50 mM) followed by long-term recovery (7 days) produced ratios of DA utilisation in NAc that were no different from those of controls. DA utilisation ratios in NAc were no different from control values immediately after infusion into caudal PV-MLT of an 'intermediate' dose (10 mM) of another chemical excitant (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid, NMDA). Since DA utilisation ratios in this area were also unaffected by histologically verifiable lesions of caudal PV-MLT neurones produced 7 days after infusion of high doses (100 mM) of NMDA it is argued that the former treatment may lead to an acute firing inactivation of PV-MLT neurones.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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