Dopamine and serotonin release in dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens is differentially modulated by morphine in DBA/2J and C57BL/6J mice

Synapse. 2005 Apr;56(1):29-38. doi: 10.1002/syn.20122.


Numerous studies have demonstrated that genetic factors significantly influence opioid ability to induce behavioral modification in mice. This differential sensitivity has been extensively studied, particularly in the DBA/2J and C57BL/6J strains. In the present study, using the "in vivo" microdialysis technique in these strains, we investigated the effect of morphine administration on the extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and their metabolites in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum--areas thought to be involved in morphine-induced locomotor hyperactivity. In the nucleus accumbens, morphine (20 mg/kg) significantly increased extracellular levels of DA in both strains. However, in dorsal striatum the morphine-induced increase of extracellular DA was lower in DBA/2J mice than in C57BL/6J. Moreover, morphine significantly stimulated 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) release both in nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum of C57BL/6J mice, whereas it decreased 5-HT release without modifying 5-HIAA levels in DBA/2J mice. These results suggest that the different behavioral and biochemical responses to acute morphine described in these two strains could be mediated by different sensitivity of both the dopaminergic and the serotonergic systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Morphine / pharmacology*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity


  • Serotonin
  • Morphine
  • Dopamine