, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 185–190 | Cite as

Contralateral turning elicited by unilateral stimulation of dopamine D2 and D1 receptors in the nucleus accumbens of rats is due to stimulation of these receptors in the shell, but not the core, of this nucleus

  • N. Koshikawa
  • M. Kitamura
  • M. Kobayashi
  • A. R. Cools
Original Investigation


The goal of this study was to determine whether dopamine D2 and/or D1 receptors in the shell and the core of the nucleus accumbens of rats have a differential role in turning behaviour. Unilateral injection of a mixture of the dopamine D2 receptor agonist quinpirole (10 µg) and the dopamine D1 receptor agonist 1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine-7, 8-diol (SKF 38393, 5 µg) into the shell of the nucleus accumbens produced contralateral turning, when doses which per se were ineffective were injected. This effect was far greater than that found after similar injections into the core of the nucleus accumbens. The effect elicited from the shell was significantly attenuated by prior administration of either the dopamine D2 receptor antagonistl-sulpiride (25 ng/0.5 µl) or the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist (8-chloro-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-3-methyl-5-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine-7-ol (SCH 23390, 0.5 µg/0.5 µl) into the same region. These data together with the fact thatl-sulpiride is known to be a valid tool to differentiate the involvement of distinct regions within the shell underlie the conclusion that dopamine D2 and D1 receptors in the shell, but not the core, of the nucleus accumbens play a critical role in the contralateral turning induced by unilateral injection of dopamine receptor agonists into this nucleus. The results are discussed in view of the known output pathways of the shell.

Key words

SKF 38393 Quinpirole SCH 23390 l-Sulpiride Nucleus accumbens shell Nucleus accumbens core Turning behaviour Dopamine D1 and D2 receptors Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Koshikawa
    • 1
  • M. Kitamura
    • 1
  • M. Kobayashi
    • 1
  • A. R. Cools
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyNihon University School of DentistryTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PsychoneuropharmacologyUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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