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Tuesday 15 May 2007

The reinforcing actions of a serotonin-3 receptor agonist within the ventral tegmental area: evidence for subregional and genetic differences and involvement of dopamine neurons.

By: Rodd ZA, Gryszowka VE, Toalston JE, Oster SM, Ji D, Bell RL, McBride WJ.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2007 Jun;321(3):1003-12

Studies from our laboratory indicated that local perfusion of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) with a serotonin-3 (5-HT(3)) receptor agonist increased dopamine (DA) neuronal activity and that the self-infusion of ethanol (EtOH) and cocaine into the posterior VTA could be inhibited with coadministration of a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist. The study tested the hypothesis that activating 5-HT(3) receptors within the VTA produces reinforcing effects. The study also examined whether there were differences between Wistar rats and a line of rats selectively bred for high alcohol consumption with regard to the self-infusion of a 5-HT(3) receptor agonist within the VTA. Adult female alcohol-preferring (P) and Wistar rats were allowed to self-infuse the 5-HT(3) receptor agonist 1-(m-chlorophenyl)-biguanide (CPBG) into the posterior or anterior VTA. Furthermore, experiments examined the effects of coinfusion of the 5-HT(3) antagonist ICS 205,930 (ICS), and the DA D(2,3) agonist quinpirole on the self-infusion of CPBG. Both Wistar and P rats readily self-administered CPBG into the posterior, but not anterior, VTA. P rats self-infused lower concentrations of CPBG (0.10 microM) than did Wistar rats (1.0 microM). Coinfusion of either ICS or quinpirole reduced CPBG self-infusion into the posterior VTA. The results of this study suggest that activation of 5-HT(3) receptors within the posterior VTA produces reinforcing effects and that these reinforcing effects are mediated through activation of DA neurons. Furthermore, the data suggest that selective breeding for alcohol-preference results in the posterior VTA being more sensitive to the reinforcing effects of CPBG.

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