Alcohol stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin in the nucleus accumbens

K. Yoshimoto, W. J. McBride, L. Lumeng, T. K. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

423 Scopus citations


The effects of acute IP administration (0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg) and local perfusion (25, 50 or 100 mM) of ethanol on the extracellular concentrations of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT) and their metabolites in the nucleus accumbens (ACC) of the rat were studied with in vivo microdialysis coupled with a small-bore HPLC electrochemical detection procedure. The IP administration of 1.0 and 2.0 g/kg ethanol significantly (p<0.05) increased the extracellular levels of DA and 5-HT in the ACC whereas the 0.5 g/kg dose caused no change. In general, the extracellular levels of the 3 monoamine metabolites were not altered by IP ethanol except for a slight increase in the levels of homovanillic acid following the 2.0 g/kg dose. Local perfusion of 50 and 100 mM ethanol (but not 25 mM) through the microdialysis probe markedly increased (170-200% of control) the extracellular levels of DA in the ACC. Only the 100 mM concentration of ethanol altered the extracellular levels of 5-HT (2-fold increase), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. Addition of 100 μM ICS 205-930 (a 5-HT3 antagonist) to the perfusate markedly reduced the 100 mM ethanol-stimulated release of DA and 5-HT. Overall, the data suggest that ethanol can stimulate the release of both DA and 5-HT in the ACC and that the action of ethanol within the ACC may be mediated in part by 5-HT3 receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992


  • 5-HT receptors
  • Alcohol
  • Dopamine
  • In vivo release
  • Microdialysis
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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