, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 133–137 | Cite as

A role for the mesolimbic dopamine system in the reinforcing properties of diazepam

  • C. Spyraki
  • H. C. Fibiger
Original Investigations


The conditioned place preference paradigm was used to investigate the neurochemical and neuroanatomical substrates which mediate the rewarding properties of diazepam. The results confirmed that diazepam (1 and 2.5 mg/kg, IP) produced place preference for a distinctive environment that had previously been paired with injections of the drug. Pretreatment with haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg) antagonised the place preference induced by diazepam (1 mg/kg). Pretreatment with domperidone (2 mg/kg) failed to influence this effect of diazepam. Haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg) and domperidone (2 mg/kg) alone did not produce place aversion. In separate experiments the diazepam-induced place preference was examined in rats having 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the nucleus accumbens. These animals did not show preference for the compartment associated with diazepam. Depletion of central noradrenaline produced by systemic injections of DSP4 did not affect diazepam-induced place preference conditioning. These findings suggest that dopamine-containing neurons of the mesolimbic system are a component of the neural circuitry that mediates the reinforcing properties of diazepam.

Key words

Diazepam Haloperidol Domperidone 6-Hydroxydopamine DSP-4 Place conditioning Dopamine Noradrenaline Reward Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Spyraki
    • 1
  • H. C. Fibiger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Medical SchoolUniversity of Athens, GoudiAthensGreece
  2. 2.Division of Neurological Sciences, Department of PsychiatryThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver

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