Increase of extracellular dopamine in the prefrontal cortex: a trait of drugs with antidepressant potential?

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1994 Jun;115(1-2):285-8. doi: 10.1007/BF02244785.


Drugs differing in their primary mechanism of action but having in common the ability to act as antidepressants such as fluoxetine (10 mg/kg SC), clomipramine (10 mg/kg IP), imipramine (10 mg/kg IP), desipramine (10 mg/kg IP) and (+/-) 8-OHDPAT (0.03 mg/kg SC) increase extracellular concentrations of dopamine in the rat prefrontal cortex but not in the medial nucleus accumbens. Buspirone (1 mg/kg SC) increased dopamine both in the prefrontal cortex and in the nucleus accumbens. Extracellular 5HT was increased by fluoxetine, clomipramine and imipramine but not by desipramine while 8-OHDPAT and buspirone decreased it. These results raise the possibility that the property of stimulating dopamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex has a role in the antidepressant properties of these drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Space / drug effects
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / drug effects
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine