Strain-specific facilitation of dopamine efflux by delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the nucleus accumbens of rat: an in vivo microdialysis study

Neurosci Lett. 1991 Aug 5;129(1):136-80. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(91)90739-g.


This study tests the hypothesis that delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) has a strain-specific facilitatory effect on dopamine (DA) efflux in rat nucleus accumbens, a crucial forebrain convergence of reward-relevant DA neural fibers that has been implicated as a focal brain locus mediating the euphorigenic properties of drugs of abuse. The dependent variable is presynaptic DA efflux measured by in vivo microdialysis in the nucleus accumbens. The independent variables are: (1) intraperitoneal injections of delta 9-THC at 0.0 (vehicle), 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg; (2) Sprague-Dawley vs Lewis strain rat. Results show that delta 9-THC produces a dose-dependent, strain-specific enhancement of basal DA efflux in Lewis strain rats. These results suggest that genetic variation influences drug abuse vulnerability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / analysis
  • Animals
  • Dialysis
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Homovanillic Acid / analysis
  • Male
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reward
  • Species Specificity


  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Dronabinol
  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic Acid