Rats self-administer carbachol directly into the nucleus accumbens

Satoshi Ikemoto, Bradley S. Glazier, James M. Murphy, William J. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


The potential reinforcing effect of the muscarinic cholinergic agonist carbachol within the nucleus accumbens (ACB) was examined in female Wistar rats by using the technique of intracranial self-administration. Rats dose dependently self-administered solutions of 0.0-6.6 mM (in a volume of 100 nL per injection) directly into the ACB. Rats self-administered the 3.3 and 6.6 mM doses significantly more than the group given only vehicle. The caudate putamen did not support reliable self-administration of the 6.6-mM dose. Rats exhibited preference for the lever that produced infusions of 3.3 and 6.6 mM carbachol into the ACB over the lever that had no consequence. The self- infusion of the 6.6-mM dose into the ACB was inhibited by the coadministration of the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine (0.25 mM), but not by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (6.6 mM). The present results suggest that direct activation of muscarinic receptors within the ACB supports self-administration and could result from reinforcement or from elicitation of a novel stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-814
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Carbachol
  • Caudate putamen
  • Cholinergic muscarinic receptors
  • Intracerebral self-administration
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Reinforcement
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)

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