, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 155–163 | Cite as

Effects ofd-fenfluramine and metergoline on responding for conditioned reward and the response potentiating effect of nucleus accumbensd-amphetamine

  • P. J. Fletcher
Original Investigation


These studies investigated the effects of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) releaser, and re-uptake inhibitor,d-fenfluramine, and the non-selective 5-HT receptor antagonist metergoline, on responding for conditioned reward (CR), and on the potentiation of responding for CR following amphetamine injected into the nucleus accumbens. Water deprived rats were trained to associate a compound stimulus with water delivery during a conditioning phase. During a test phase, water was not delivered but the compound stimulus was delivered according to a random ratio 2 schedule following a response on one of two levers; responding on the other lever was not reinforced. Overall, rats responded at a higher rate on the lever delivering the CR.d-Amphetamine (1, 3 and 10 µg) injected into the nucleus accumbens dose-dependently enhanced responding on the CR lever. Treatment withd-fenfluramine (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) reduced responding for the CR, and abolished the potentiating effect ofd-amphetamine. Responding on the inactive lever was also reduced by 1 mg/kg but not 0.5 mg/kgd-fenfluramine. The reduction ofd-amphetamine's effect on responding for CR was prevented by prior treatment with the 5-HT receptor antagonist metergoline (1 mg/kg). Control experiments showed that changes in thirst and motor performance, as well as deficits in learning ability, cannot account for the effects ofd-fenfluramine in this paradigm. In a separate experiment, 1 mg/kg metergoline failed to enhance responding for CR, and to augment the response potentiating effect of a low dose (2 µg) ofd-amphetamine injected into the nucleus accumbens. Thus, elevating brain 5-HT activity appears to reduce the ability of secondary reinforcing stimuli to elicit and maintain behaviour, and antagonizes the effects of enhanced dopamine activity within the nucleus accumbens. However, reduced 5-HT function induced by blockade of 5-HT1/2 receptors does not appear to influence responding for CR, or the response potentiating effect ofd-amphetamine. These results suggest that 5-HT may play an important role in mediating incentive motivation.

Key words

Conditioned reward d-Fenfluramine d-Amphetamine Metergoline Nucleus accumbens 5-Hydroxytryptamine dopamine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Fletcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of BiopsychologyClarke Institute of PsychiatryTorontoCanada

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