Locomotor activity in relation to dopamine and noradrenaline in the nucleus accumbens, septal and frontal areas : a 6-hydroxydopamine study

The study and the method: The locomotor activity of adult male Sprague-Dawley was automatically recorded in a circular corridor - circadian changes are described as well as the response to the novel situation and its habituation over three hours. Four groups of animals were compared, - those with sham/vehicle operations and those with 6-OHDA dopamine (DA) depleting lesions in - the frontal cortex, the limbic septum, and the ventral tegmental area (VTA - A10). Results: 1/ Lesions of the VTA resulted in increased dark-phase activity, - and a large response to an apomorphine challenge in comparison to other lesion and control groups: 2/ Septal 6-OHDA lesions did not alter locomotion: 3/ After frontal DA depletion there was a small increase of locomotion after the apomorphine challenge, that might reflect increased receptor sensitivity in cortical or sub-cortical areas: (Table 1: HPLC measures of NA, DA and DOPAC for each group in the prefrontal cortex, septum and N. accumbens) Figure 1 illustrates the cumulative photocell counts per hour over 24 hours for the 4 groups:. Figure 2 illustrates the cumulative photocell counts every 10 minutes over 90 minutes post-apomorphine treatment - maximal at 20-30 minutes and habituating over 60 minutes (90 minutes for the VTA group): overall activity VTA >> Frontal > Septal > Controls. Conclusions: Along with correlations found for motor activity with cortical levels of DA and NA, these results are interpreted to support a role for DA, NA and the region of the frontal cortex in modulating locomotion that is primarily mediated by mesolimbic VTA - accumbens - DA activity.


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