The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 259–266

Tactile skin stimulation increases dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens in rats

Authors

  • Kimiko Maruyama
    • Center for Medical ScienceInternational University of Health and Welfare
    • Department of RehabilitationInternational University of Health and Welfare Hospital
  • Rie Shimoju
    • Center for Medical ScienceInternational University of Health and Welfare
    • Department of Physical TherapyInternational University of Health and Welfare
  • Masato Ohkubo
    • Center for Medical ScienceInternational University of Health and Welfare
    • Department of Tokyo Judo TherapyTeikyo University of Science
  • Hitoshi Maruyama
    • Department of Physical TherapyInternational University of Health and Welfare
    • Center for Medical ScienceInternational University of Health and Welfare
    • Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesInternational University of Health and Welfare
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12576-012-0205-z

Cite this article as:
Maruyama, K., Shimoju, R., Ohkubo, M. et al. J Physiol Sci (2012) 62: 259. doi:10.1007/s12576-012-0205-z

Abstract

We investigated the effect of mild (non-noxious) tactile stimulation (stroking) of skin on dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats. A coaxial microdialysis probe was stereotaxically implanted in the NAc and perfused with modified Ringer’s solution. Dialysate output from consecutive 5-min periods was injected into a high-performance liquid chromatograph and DA was measured using an electrochemical detector. Bilateral tactile stimulation of the back for 5 min significantly increased DA release in conscious and anesthetized animals. Increased DA release was observed by stimulation of the contralateral, but not ipsilateral, back. DA secretion was also increased with stimulation of the forelimb, hindlimb, and abdomen. These effects were abolished after lesioning the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In contrast, noxious stimulation (pinching) of these areas had no effect on DA secretion. In conclusion, innocuous mechanical stimulation of the skin increases DA release in the contralateral NAc via the VTA.

Keywords

Tactile skin stimulationMassageDopamineNucleus accumbensVentral tegmental areaMicrodialysis

Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer 2012