Glutamatergic neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens can affect motor functions in opposite directions depending on the dopaminergic tone

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1994 Nov;18(7):1203-18. doi: 10.1016/0278-5846(94)90121-x.


1. Intracerebral cannulas were implanted stereotactically into the nucleus accumbens, dorsal striatum or nucleus entopeduncularis of male NMRI mice. 2. Monoamine-depleted mice were injected intracerebrally with the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist AP-5, the non-competitive NMDA antagonist MK-801 or the AMPA-kainate receptor antagonist CNQX. A marked locomotor stimulation was produced when AP-5 was injected into the nucleus accumbens, but not when injected into the dorsal striatum. Likewise, CNQX stimulated locomotor activity when injected into the nucleus accumbens. Neither AP-5 nor CNQX produced behavioral stimulation following injection into the nucleus entopeduncularis. 3. The tone in the monoaminergic systems influences the potency of competitive and non-competitive NMDA antagonists differently with regard to stimulation of locomotor activity. In the case of the competitive NMDA antagonist AP-5 the potency was higher in monoamine-depleted than in monoaminergically intact mice. In contrast, the potency of the non-competitive NMDA antagonist MK-801 was higher in monoaminergically intact than in monoamine-depleted animals. 4. A unilateral injection of AP-5 into the nucleus accumbens caused the animals to rotate: The rotation was predominantly ipsilateral in monoaminergically intact animals, whereas monoamine-depleted mice rotated exclusively contralaterally. When AP-5 was given to monoamine-depleted mice treated with the D-2 agonist quinpirole the animals rotated ipsilaterally, whereas monoamine-depleted mice treated with the D-1 agonist SKF 38393 still rotated contralaterally after AP-5 treatment. These data show that glutamatergic neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens can affect behavior in different directions depending on the degree of dopamine D-2 receptor stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate / pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Glutamates / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / cytology
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Movement / drug effects
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neostriatum / cytology
  • Neostriatum / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / drug effects
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / cytology
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / physiology
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Stereotyped Behavior / drug effects


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Glutamates
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Dizocilpine Maleate
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Dopamine