6-Hydroxydopamine lesions of the nucleus accumbens, but not of the caudate nucleus, attenuate enhanced responding with reward-related stimuli produced by intra-accumbens d-amphetamine

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1986;90(3):390-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00179197.


Intra-accumbens d-amphetamine enhances responding for reward-related stimuli (conditioned reinforcers, CRs), whereas intra-caudate d-amphetamine has only weak and variable effects (Taylor and Robbins 1984). The present experiment further examined the involvement of the nucleus accumbens and the role of dopamine (DA) in this effect. Thirsty rats were trained to associate a flash of a light and movement of a dipper (CR) with water. After implantation of permanent guide cannulae aimed at the nucleus accumbens, they were assigned to one of four groups, receiving either bilateral 6-OHDA (4 mg/ml free base in 2 microliters 0.1% ascorbic acid/0.9% saline) or sham (vehicle) infusions into the nucleus accumbens or the caudate nucleus. In the test phase, two novel levers were available. Responding on one lever (CR lever) produced the light and dipper stimuli without water presentation, whereas responding on the other (NCR lever) had no effect. All four groups received four counterbalanced intra-accumbens infusions of d-amphetamine (3, 10, 20 micrograms/2 microliters) or vehicle. On the 5th test day, subjects were pretreated subcutaneously with apomorphine (0.1 mg/kg). Intra-accumbens d-amphetamine in both sham-lesioned groups produced a dose-dependent increase in responding on the CR lever, but no significant change on the NCR lever. No selective increases in responding on either lever were found in animals with 6-OHDA-induced depletion of DA (greater than 80%) in the nucleus accumbens following intra-accumbens d-amphetamine; however, in subjects with DA depletion of the posterior caudate nucleus (greater than 80%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Hydroxydopamines / pharmacology*
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / physiology
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Oxidopamine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reward*
  • Septal Nuclei / physiology*


  • Hydroxydopamines
  • Oxidopamine
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine