Indexed on: 02 Apr '04Published on: 02 Apr '04Published in: Journal of Neurochemistry
The effects of acute and repeated nicotine administration on the extracellular levels of dopamine (DA) in the corpus striatum and the nucleus accumbens were studied in conscious, freely moving rats by in vivo microdialysis. Acute intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of nicotine (1 mg/kg) increased DA outflow both in the corpus striatum and the nucleus accumbens. Repeated daily injection of nicotine (1 mg/kg, i.p.) for 10 consecutive days caused a significant increase in basal DA outflow both in the corpus striatum and the nucleus accumbens. Acute challenge with nicotine (1 mg/kg, i.p.) in animals treated repeatedly with this drug enhanced DA extracellular levels in both brain areas. However, the effect of nicotine was potentiated in the nucleus accumbens, but not in the corpus striatum. To test the hypothesis that stimulation of 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine, serotonin)(2C) receptors could affect nicotine-induced DA release, the selective 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist RO 60-0175 was used. Pretreatment with RO 60-0175 (1 and 3 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently prevented the enhancement in DA release elicited by acute nicotine in the corpus striatum, but was devoid of any significant effect in the nucleus accumbens. RO 60-0175 (1 and 3 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently reduced the stimulatory effect on striatal and accumbal DA release induced by an acute challenge with nicotine (1 mg/kg, i.p.) in rats treated repeatedly with this alkaloid. However, only the effect of 3 mg/kg RO 60-0175 reached statistical significance. The inhibitory effect of RO 60-0175 on DA release induced by nicotine in the corpus striatum and the nucleus accumbens was completely prevented by SB 242084 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) and SB 243213 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), two selective antagonists of 5-HT(2C) receptors. It is concluded that selective activation of 5-HT(2C) receptors can block the stimulatory action of nicotine on central DA function, an effect that might be relevant for the reported antiaddictive properties of RO 60-0175.