Dopaminergic antagonism within the nucleus accumbens or the amygdala produces differential effects on intravenous cocaine self-administration under fixed and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement

Brain Res. 1993 Oct 8;624(1-2):245-52. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)90084-z.


Bilateral intracerebral injections of the D1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390, were administered into the nucleus accumbens (NACC) or amygdala (AMY) immediately prior to an i.v. cocaine self-administration session. Injection into both sites produced a dose-dependent (0.1-2.0 micrograms/injection) increase in the rate of cocaine self-administration under a fixed ratio (FR) schedule of reinforcement (1.5 mg/kg/injection). However, injection into the AMY produced a significantly greater increase in rate of drug intake than within the NACC. In contrast, under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of cocaine reinforcement the D1 antagonist had very little effect within the AMY on break point (BP) but greatly reduced the BP following injection into the NACC. A locomotor activity study revealed that following systemic injection of cocaine (10 mg/kg i.p.), SCH 23390 (1.0 microgram/injection site) significantly reduced activity to comparable levels following injection into either brain site. This indicates that the dissociation of effects between the two neural sites within the cocaine self-administration paradigm does not appear to be due to greater locomotor reducing actions of the antagonist within the NACC. These results demonstrate that a significant contribution is made by AMY dopamine to cocaine reinforcement mechanisms, which appears to be different to that of the NACC. Moreover, they suggest that FR and PR schedules may measure different aspects of cocaine's CNS action which support self-administration behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Benzazepines / administration & dosage
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Cocaine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Antagonists*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Injections
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Self Administration*


  • Benzazepines
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Cocaine