Differential reactivity of dopaminergic neurons in the nucleus accumbens in response to different behavioral situations. An in vivo voltammetric study in free moving rats

Brain Res. 1986 Nov 12;397(2):395-400. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(86)90646-3.


The reactivity of dopaminergic (DA) terminals in the nucleus accumbens was investigated in male rats submitted to tail-pinch or various social interactions. The DA activity was assessed by measurement of the presynaptic metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) by using differential pulse voltammetry in free moving preparations. Tail-pinch lasting 5 min or 10 min was followed by increases in DA activity of 25% and 35%, respectively. Three types of social interaction were used: interaction with an aggressive male congener, interaction with a non-aggressive male congener or interaction with a female congener. The greatest increase in dopaminergic activity (40%) was observed after the aggressive interaction. The reactivity of the DA neurons within the nucleus accumbens is, therefore, dependent on the characteristics of the behavioral situation.

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Afferent Pathways / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Electrochemistry
  • Female
  • Male
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology
  • Pain
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Septal Nuclei / metabolism*
  • Social Behavior


  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Dopamine