Changes in monoamine turnover in forebrain areas associated with masculine sexual behavior: a microdialysis study

Brain Res. 1994 Oct 31;662(1-2):233-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(94)90817-6.


This report compares the changes in the main dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) metabolites, respectively dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and 5-hydroxy indoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in three relatively close brain regions, namely the nucleus accumbens (ACB), the medial preoptic area, and the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH), as well as DA in the ACB, of copulating male rats. All these neurochemicals remained fairly stable when the animals were exposed to non sexual social stimuli (castrated females), and they increased during mating with receptive females. There were regional differences in these copulation-related changes, however, with those in the MBH being shorter-lived. There were also differences in the time-course of the changes in DOPAC and 5-HIAA the latter being slower. It is suggested that they reflect the involvement of the DA and 5-HT innervation of diencephalic structures in, respectively the appetitive and consummatory/satiation mechanisms of sexual behavior. The physiological relevance of these neurochemical changes is supported by the lack of differences between the standard measures for sexual behavior recorded before surgery and during the dialysis session.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus, Middle / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism
  • Orchiectomy
  • Preoptic Area / metabolism
  • Prosencephalon / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serotonin / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Serotonin
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Dopamine