Injections of 6-hydroxydopamine into the ventral tegmental area destroy mesolimbic dopamine neurons but spare the locomotor activating effects of nicotine in the rat

Neurosci Lett. 1994 Feb 28;168(1-2):111-4. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(94)90428-6.


The locomotor response to nicotine was assessed four weeks following destruction of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons in rats by infusion of 6-hydroxydopamine into the ventral tegmental area. Resulting depletions of nucleus accumbens (N.Acc.) DA of up to 100% of control concentrations did not block the acute locomotor response to nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, base, s.c.). Such depletions also did not prevent the progressive enhancement of nicotine's locomotor effects when injections were repeated daily for nine days. These results suggest that mesolimbic DA is not necessary for the elicitation of locomotor activation by nicotine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Oxidopamine / toxicity
  • Prefrontal Cortex / drug effects
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / drug effects
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / pathology
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Nicotine
  • Oxidopamine
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine