Serotonin microinfusion into the ventral tegmental area increases accumbens dopamine release

X. M. Guan, W. J. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Scopus citations


The effects of microinfusion of serotonin (5-HT) agents as well as glutamate and muscimol into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on dopamine (DA) release in the ipsilateral nucleus accumbens (ACC) were investigated in freely moving rats, using a push-pull perfusion procedure. The baseline values for DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were approximately 0.24, 8.4, 2.1 and 2.7 pmol/15 min, respectively, in the push-pull perfusate of the ACC. When microinfused into the VTA, glutamate (0.74 μg) significantly (p<0.05) increased the contents of DOPAC (110%) and HVA (90%) over baseline levels in the perfusate. On the other hand, 0.5 μg muscimol (a γ-amino-n-butyric acid, GABA, agonist) significantly, (p<0.05) decreased both DA (40%) and DOPAC (20%) levels relative to baseline values. Administration of 2 μg 5-HT into the VTA caused a significant (p<0.05) elevation in the perfusate levels of DOPAC (80%) and HVA (70%) over baseline values. A similar effect was obtained with a nonselective 5-HT1 agonist but not with a selective 5-HT1A agonist. The results suggest that 5-HT innervations in the VTA may have an excitatory action possibly via 5-HT1B rather than 5-HT1A receptors on the mesolimbic DA system projecting to the ACC and that this DA system may also be regulated by glutamatergic and GABAergic (via GABAA receptors) inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1989


  • (±)-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-N-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT)
  • 1-[3-(Trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-piperazine (TFMPP)
  • Glutamate
  • In vivo efflux of monoamine metabolites
  • In vivo release of dopamine
  • Microinfusion
  • Muscimol
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Serotonin
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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