Stimulation of metabotropic but not ionotropic glutamatergic receptors in the nucleus accumbens is required for the D-amphetamine-induced release of functional dopamine

Neuroscience. 2001;103(2):395-403. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(00)00578-9.


We have previously shown that a large part of the D-amphetamine-induced release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is not associated with an increase in locomotor activity, and that "functional" dopamine release (i.e. release of dopamine associated with locomotor activity) requires the distal facilitation of noradrenergic transmission through alpha1-adrenergic receptors in the prefrontal cortex. To determine the role of monosynaptic or polysynaptic projections from the prefrontal cortex to the nucleus accumbens in these amphetamine responses, either AMPA/kainate (6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, CNQX, 300microM), N-methyl-D-aspartate (D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphono-pentanoic acid, APV, 500microM) or metabotropic [(+)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxy-phenylglycine, MCPG, 10mM] glutamate receptor antagonists were infused through a dialysis probe in the rat nucleus accumbens. CNQX and MCPG but not APV reduced the "non-functional" release of dopamine evoked by local (3microM) and systemic D-amphetamine (2mg/kg i.p.) treatments. However, the locomotor hyperactivity and functional dopamine release induced by systemic D-amphetamine were abolished by MCPG, but neither by CNQX nor by APV. MCPG treatment also abolished the hyperlocomotor activity and functional dopamine release evoked by bilateral morphine injection into the ventral tegmental area. The dopamine release evoked by this morphine treatment was 16-fold lower than that induced by the systemic D-amphetamine injection, although similar behavioral activations were observed. Altogether, our results further aid the discrimination of functional and non-functional release of dopamine. We suggest that the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens is required for functional dopamine release following systemic D-amphetamine injection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate / pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione / pharmacology
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Benzoates / pharmacology
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Hyperkinesis / chemically induced
  • Hyperkinesis / drug therapy
  • Hyperkinesis / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid / metabolism
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Ventral Tegmental Area / metabolism


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Benzoates
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Morphine
  • Glycine
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Dopamine