Dopamine Transmission Increases in the Nucleus Accumbens of Male Rats During Their First Exposure to Sexually Receptive Female Rats

Brain Res. 1993 Jul 30;618(1):41-6. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)90426-n.


In vivo microdialysis was used to monitor extracellular concentrations of dopamine (DA), and its metabolites dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), in the nucleus accumbens of sexually naive male rats during their first exposure to sexually receptive or nonreceptive females. DA, DOPAC, and HVA increased progressively and significantly in males that copulated to ejaculation with receptive females. In contrast, DA, DOPAC, and HVA did not increase significantly in males exposed to non-receptive females, despite several attempts by these males to mount the non-receptive females. These results indicate that DA is released unconditionally in the nucleus accumbens of male rats by exposure to sexually receptive female rats, and that copulation with intromission, but not mounting alone, leads to further increases in DA release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Homovanillic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic Acid