Regional brain contents of serotonin, dopamine and their metabolites in the selectively bred high- and low-alcohol drinking lines of rats

M. A. Gongwer, J. M. Murphy, W. J. McBride, L. Lumeng, T. K. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

151 Scopus citations


The contents of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT) and their primary acid metabolites were assayed in ten brain regions of the selectively bred high-alcohol drinking (HAD) and low-alcohol drinking (LAD) lines of rats. Compared with the LAD line, the contents of 5-HT and/or 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were approximately 10-20% (p<0.05) lower in several brain regions of the HAD line (cerebral cortex, striatum, nucleus accumbens, septal nuclei, hippocampus and hypothalamus). The levels of DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid were also 10-20% lower in the nucleus accumbens and anterior striatum (p<0.05) of the HAD animals. These data are in agreement with previous findings that comparatively lower levels in 5-HT and DA systems are associated with high-alcohol drinking in rodents and support the involvement of certain 5-HT and DA pathways in the mediation of alcohol drinking behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-320
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989



  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid
  • 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • Dopamine
  • High-alcohol drinking (HAD) rats
  • Hornovanillic acid
  • Low-alcohol drinking (LAD) rats
  • Regional brain monoamines
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this