Rats were treated chronically with 20 mg/kg/day cocaine (by intraperitoneal injection) for 16 days, followed by 7 days of cocaine wash-out. On the next day, rats were challenged with an acute dose of cocaine administered by one of two routes (systemic or intracranial), and extracellular dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (Acb) was measured by in vivo microdialysis. Rats acutely challenged systemically with 20 mg/kg cocaine showed enhanced Acb extracellular DA levels (compared to control rats that had not previously received chronic cocaine). However, rats acutely challenged with intracranial cocaine by perfusion of 10-5 M cocaine directly into the Acb did not. It is suggested that both the development and triggering of cocaine sensitization, as manifested by enhanced Acb DA content to subsequent acute cocaine challenge, may involve more than just neural mechanisms occurring locally within the Acb.
- Cocaine sensitization
- Nucleus accumbens
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)