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Brain Res Bull. 1997;42(4):303-8.

Release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens caused by stimulation of the subiculum in freely moving rats.

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Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


Stimulation of the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus activates the hippocampal-accumbens pathway and increases locomotor activity. Dopaminergic terminals in the nucleus accumbens have also been implicated in initiation of locomotor activity, and the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is critical for locomotor responses initiated from the subiculum to occur. We have demonstrated release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens using in vivo microdialysis after stimulation of the ventral subiculum with NMDA. Extracellular dopamine level in the nucleus accumbens was significantly increased by 40% over baseline as a result of NMDA stimulation of the ventral subiculum. This stimulation also caused more than a 40-fold increase in horizontal activity and total distance covered by the rats. Injection of saline into the subiculum caused neither a change in the dopamine level nor an increase in animal's activity. The dynamics of the measured changes in dopamine overflow correlated with the time course of locomotor changes. The results demonstrate that stimulation of the ventral subiculum causes release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens which parallels the increase in locomotor activity.

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