We examined the effects of the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG 7142 on dopamine metabolism in the core and shell subdivisions of the nucleus accumbens. FG 7142 (15 mg/kg i.p.) or vehicle was administered to adult male rats 30 min before they were killed. Selected brain regions, including samples from the whole nucleus accumbens as well as core and shell subdivisions, were collected and assayed for tissue concentrations of dopamine and its major metabolite, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid. Consistent with previous reports, FG 7142 administration increased dopamine utilization in the medial prefrontal cortex but not the whole nucleus accumbens. Examination of subdivisions revealed that FG 7142 produced increased dopamine utilization in the shell subdivision of the nucleus accumbens. No effect of FG 7142 on dopamine utilization in the core region of the nucleus accumbens was observed. These data are discussed in terms of in vivo microdialysis studies reporting increased dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens after FG 7142 administration.