Copulation increases dopamine activity in the medial preoptic area of male rats

Life Sci. 1993;52(11):935-40. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(93)90528-b.


Dopamine (DA) metabolites in microdialysates from the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of male rats increased during copulation. These increases were not observed during eating of a highly palatable food, or if the animal failed to copulate, or if the microdialysis probe was anterior or dorsal to the MPOA. The only two animals with measurable serotonin (5-HT) levels while the female was present were also the only two that either failed to copulate or copulated but failed to ejaculate. These data are consistent with previous evidence for a facilitative role of MPOA DA in the control of male sexual behavior; however, 5-HT activity in the MPOA may impair copulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Copulation*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Homovanillic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Preoptic Area / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Serotonin / metabolism


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