Sex-related olfactory stimuli induce a selective increase in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of male rats. A voltammetric study

Brain Res. 1991 Jul 12;553(2):313-7. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)90841-i.


Changes in the dopaminergic (DA) transmission in the nucleus accumbens were investigated in male rats exposed to sociosexual olfactory stimuli from different conspecifics: receptive female, non-receptive female and intact male. DAergic transmission was assessed by measurement of extracellular levels of DA and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC). Both compounds were recorded by using differential normal pulse voltammetry (DNPV) with electrochemically pretreated carbon fiber electrodes and numerical analysis of the catechol peak. Exposition to receptive female odors induced a marked and selective increase in DA release compared to control values. Exposition to non-receptive female odors and male odors induced an increase in DA release not significantly different from that following the change of environment. In conclusion, mesencephalic DAergic neurons reaching the nucleus accumbens appear to be involved in the perception of behaviorally significant olfactory cues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Microelectrodes
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Odorants*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Time Factors


  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Dopamine