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Brain Res. 1987 Jun 2;412(2):233-43.

Lesions of the dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus, medial prefrontal cortex and pedunculopontine nucleus: effects on locomotor activity mediated by nucleus accumbens-ventral pallidal circuitry.


A GABAergic nucleus accumbens-ventral pallidum projection is believed to serve as the critical first-order accumbens efferent pathway underlying the behavioral expression of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) activity in the rat. In a series of experiments, we studied the effects of lesions of several ventral pallidal efferent terminal regions on the rat locomotor response to apomorphine following 6-hydroxydopamine denervation of the nucleus accumbens. Lesions of the dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus (DMT), but not the medial prefrontal cortex or the predunculopontine nucleus, significantly depressed the 'supersensitive' locomotor response to apomorphine. Lesions of the DMT did not depress baseline locomotion, but did diminish the locomotor activation produced by intracerebral injection of the gamma-aminobutyric acid antagonist picrotoxin into the ventral pallidum. These results suggest that accumbens-pallidothalamic circuitry plays a crucial role in translating the effects of mesolimbic DA activity to lower motor circuitry responsible for locomotor behavior in the rat.

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