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J Neurochem. 1995 Jul;65(1):111-6.

Local influence of endogenous norepinephrine on extracellular dopamine in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Noradrenergic and dopaminergic projections converge in the medial prefrontal cortex and there is evidence of an interaction between dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) terminals in this region. We have examined the influence of drugs known to alter extracellular NE on extracellular NE and DA in medial prefrontal cortex using in vivo microdialysis. Local application of the NE uptake inhibitor desipramine (1.0 microM) delivered through a microdialysis probe increased extracellular DA (+149%) as well as NE (+201%) in medial prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, desipramine potentiated the tail shock-induced increase in both extracellular DA (stress alone, +64%; stress + desipramine, +584%) and NE (stress alone, +55%; stress + desipramine, +443%). In contrast, local application of desipramine did not affect extracellular DA in striatum, indicating that this drug does not influence DA efflux directly. Local application of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist idazoxan (0.1 or 5.0 mM) increased extracellular NE and DA in medial prefrontal cortex. Conversely, the alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine (0.2 mg/kg; i.p.) decreased extracellular NE and DA in medial prefrontal cortex. These results support the hypothesis that NE terminals in medial prefrontal cortex regulate extracellular DA in this region. This regulation may be achieved by mechanisms involving an action of NE on receptors that regulate DA release (heteroreceptor regulation) and/or transport of DA into noradrenergic terminals (heterotransporter regulation).

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