Benzodiazepine-induced decreases in extracellular concentrations of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens after acute and repeated administration
- Cite this article as:
- Finlay, J.M., Damsma, G. & Fibiger, H.C. Psychopharmacology (1992) 106: 202. doi:10.1007/BF02801973
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In vivo microdialysis was used to assess the effects of acute and repeated injections of the benzodiazepine midazolam on extracellular dopamine (DA) concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. Acute administration of midazolam (5 mg/kg, SC) elicited a 22% decrease in extracellular DA in the nucleus accumbens but failed to affect DA concentrations in the striatum. Similarly, six spaced intravenous infusions of midazolam, at a dose that has previously been found to support self-administration (0.05 mg per infusion), produced a 50% decrease in extracellular DA in the nucleus accumbens. In order to assess the effects of subchronic midazolam injections, two groups of rats were given injections of saline or midazolam (5 mg/kg, SC) for 14 days (two injections per day). A subsequent challenge injection of midazolam (5 mg/kg) decreased extracellular DA in the nucleus accumbens by 25% in both groups, indicating that neither tolerance nor sensitization occurred during the repeated drug administration. These experiments indicate (1) that midazolam differentially affects meso-accumbens and nigrostriatal DA neurons, and (2) that the midazolam-induced decrease in extracellular DA in the nucleus accumbens is not affected by repeated drug administration. The data further suggest that the rewarding effects of midazolam are not associated with increased release of DA in the nucleus accumbens.