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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dopamine depletion reorganizes projections from the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum that mediate opioid-induced motor activity.

Motor activity elicited pharmacologically from the nucleus accumbens by the mu-opioid receptor agonist D-Ala-Tyr-Gly-NMePhe-Gly-OH (DAMGO) is augmented in rats sustaining dopamine depletions. GABAergic projections from the nucleus accumbens to ventral pallidum and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved because stimulation of GABAB receptors in the VTA (by baclofen) or GABAA receptors in the ventral pallidum (by muscimol) inhibit the motor response induced by the microinjection of DAMGO into the nucleus accumbens. The present study was done to determine which of these projections is mediating the augmented DAMGO-induced motor activity that follows 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nucleus accumbens. The inhibition of DAMGO-induced activation by pallidal injections of muscimol was markedly attenuated in lesioned animals, whereas the inhibition by VTA injections with baclofen was greatly enhanced. A similar switch in emphasis from pallidal to mesencephalic efferents was not observed for dopamine-induced motor activity, because muscimol microinjections inhibited the response elicited by dopamine microinjection into the nucleus accumbens in all subjects. The stimulation of mu-opioid receptors in the ventral pallidum also elicits motor activation, and this is blocked by baclofen microinjection into the VTA. However, after dopamine depletion in the nucleus accumbens, baclofen in the VTA was ineffective in blocking the motor response by DAMGO in the ventral pallidum. These data reveal that dopamine depletion in the nucleus accumbens produces a lesion-induced plasticity that alters the effect of mu-opioid receptor stimulation on efferent projections from the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum.[1]


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