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Neurosci Lett. 1995 Nov 10;200(1):29-32.

Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens during sexual behavior in prenatally stressed adult male rats.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, ROC.


In vivo microdialysis experiments were performed on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) during observation of sexual behavior (including motivation and copulation) to determine if there were any changes in NAc dopamine (DA) transmission in prenatally stressed (PS) adult male rats. Approximate 37% of control males and 83% of PS males did not exhibit copulation during the sexual behavior tests and no significant changes in NAc DA release were seen during exposure to estrous females. In contrast, both control and PS males that displayed copulatory behavior showed a marked increase in NAc DA release when presented with a sexually receptive female behind a screen and this increased further during actual copulation. The increase in DA release in copulatory PS males was not significantly different from that in sexually active control males. In addition, a similar extent in DA release induced by high potassium perfusate was observed in all rats. These results suggest that prenatal stress may result in a deficit in DA neurotransmission in the NAc and this deficit may possibly cause impaired male sexual behavior in rats.

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