Rationale: Impaired inhibitory control over behavior is a key feature in various psychiatric disorders, and recent studies indicated an important role for dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptors and the nucleus accumbens (Acb) in this respect.
Objective: The present experiments were designed to study the role of dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptors in the Acb in inhibitory response control.
Methods: Rats were trained in a five-choice serial reaction time task and received bilateral infusions into the Acb core or shell of either SCH 23390 or eticlopride (representing selective dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptor antagonists, respectively). Subsequently, the effects of systemic amphetamine on inhibitory response control were examined.
Results: Eticlopride into either the Acb core or shell did not affect premature responding, a measure for inhibitory response control, but increased reaction time and errors of omission. In contrast, SCH 23390 into both regions reduced premature responding, slightly improved attentional performance in the core and increased errors of omission in the shell. Amphetamine robustly increased premature responding which was dose-dependently blocked by eticlopride in the Acb core and attenuated by eticlopride in the shell. In addition, amphetamine slightly decreased accuracy and reaction time, and these effects were inhibited by eticlopride in both regions. SCH 23390 infusion into the Acb core or shell did not alter amphetamine's effects.
Conclusion: Our data provide evidence for the involvement of dopamine D(1) and D(2) receptors in the Acb core and shell in inhibitory response control and attentional performance.