Changes in extracellular concentrations of dopamine (l)A) were measured in vivo in the nucleus accumbens of the rat during intravenous self-administration of either cocaine (0.25, 0.5, 1.0 mg/infusion) or d-amphetamine (0.05, 0.1, 0.2 mg/infusion). Drug intake was limited to 12 self-administered infusions per session for each drug/dose combination. Changes in extracellular DA concentrations were measured by two different techniques: chronoamperometry in conjunction with chronically-implanted stearate-modified carbon paste electrodes, or intracerebral microdialysis with off-line analyses using high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED). Significant increases in extracellular DA concentrations were observed with both in vivo techniques during self-administration of each dose of cocaine or d-amphetamine. For each drug, the magnitude of change during the first hour of the test session was comparable across doses. However, the change observed over the first 2 h period, as measured by microdialysis and HPLC-ED, revealed a dose effect for cocaine, but no dose-response effect for d-amphetamine. The duration of the drug-induced elevation was increased significantly as a function of dose with both cocaine and d-amphetamine. Data from the microdialysis experiments indicated that the high dose of d-amphetamine (0.2 mg/infusion) produced a significantly greater increase in extracellular DA concentrations in the nucleus accumbens than did the high dose of cocaine ( 1.0 mg/infusion), but that comparable changes were induced by doses of 0.1 mg/infusion of d-amphetamine and 1.0 mg/infusion of cocaine, respectively. Each dose of both psychostimulant drugs also produced a significant decrease in dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels. The latter finding indicated that the electrochemical signal measured in these studies was not due to the oxidation of DOPAC. These results confirm that self-administration of cocaine or d-amphetamine by the rat is accompanied by a significant increase in extracellular DA concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. The fact that two different psychomotor stimulant drugs of abuse have qualitatively similar neurochemical correlates when self-administered, adds credence to the hypothesis that their reinforcing properties are related to dynamic changes in DA concentrations in the ventral striatal region of the brain.
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 1995|
- Intravenous self-administration
- Nucleus accumbens