Effects of 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nucleus accumbens septi and olfactory tubercle on feeding, locomotor activity, and amphetamine anorexia in the rat

J Comp Physiol Psychol. 1978 Oct;92(5):917-27. doi: 10.1037/h0077542.


Bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nucleus accumbens septi (NAS) and olfactory tubercle (OT) caused enhanced intake of wet mash in 23-hr-food-deprived rats tested in photocell activity cages during restricted 30-min sessions. This mild hyperphagia was accompanied by a significant hypoactivity in the group with NAS/OT lesions. No hyperphagia was observed during a prolonged 120-min test session or in free-feeding tests conducted in the home cage. Anorexia induced by d-amphetamine (.5 and 1.5 mg/kg) was unaltered by the lesion, although the locomotor stimulant action of the drug was attenuated. A second experiment showed that the NAS/OT lesion also enhanced food intake in the photocell cages during 30-min sessions with dry food pellets but that food-associated drinking was concomitantly reduced. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the behavioral changes caused by mesolimbic neuron destruction result in part from an inability to switch from one behavioral activity to another.

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia / chemically induced*
  • Attention / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxydopamines / pharmacology*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / drug effects
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Septal Nuclei / physiology*


  • Hydroxydopamines
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Dopamine