, Volume 123, Issue 3, pp 280-288

Neuropharmacological evidence for the role of dopamine in ventral pallidum self-stimulation

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Abstract

The present study examines the role of dopaminergic neurotransmission in modulating the reinforcing effect of ventral pallidum (VP) intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). Fifty four adult rats were implanted with a monopolar moveable stimulating electrode in the VP. Rate-frequency functions were determined by logarithmically decreasing the number of pulses in a stimulation train from a value that sustained maximal responding to one that did not sustain responding. After the ICSS thresholds stabilized, the animals received treatments with several doses of cocaine and of various selective drugs acting at the level of DA receptor subtypes. Their effects on threshold and asymptotic rate were analyzed. Cocaine produced a significant decrease in ICSS threshold but had no significant effect on the asymptotic rate. A significant decrease in ICSS threshold was also seen with the D3 agonist 7-OH-DPAT. This was associated with a decrease rather than an increase in performance. D1 and D2DA receptor blockers (haloperidol, SCH-23390, raclopride and sulpiride) produced a dose dependent increase in ICSS threshold and a decrease in the maximal rate. The results suggest that DA plays a modulatory role in VP intracranial self-stimulation, and that D1, D2 and D3 receptors are involved in the mediation of this effect, although to different extents.