Dopamine denervation of frontal cortex or nucleus accumbens does not affect acth-induced grooming behaviour

Adrian J. Dunn, Jonathan E. Alpert, Susan D. Iversen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Studies with dopamine (DA) receptor antagonists have implicated brain DA systems in the increased grooming behaviour elicited by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of ACTH or exposure to a novel environment. To evaluate the potential contributions of DA terminals innervating frontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, stereotaxically guided injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) were made into these regions of rat brain following peripheral administration of desmethylimipramine and pargyline. Despite an 88% mean reduction of DA, and 68% mean reduction of noradrenaline in frontal cortex, the amount of grooming behaviour observed either in a novel cage, or after i.c.v. injection of ACTH1-24 was not detectably altered. The lesions also did not affect locomotor activity measured during the scoring of grooming, in an open field, in photocell cages, or in a running wheel, even in the animals most severely depleted of DA. Following nucleus accumbens 6-OHDA infusions, depletions of DA as great as 99% were obtained. Animals with accumbens depletions greater than 90% showed the expected attenuation of amphetamine-stimulated locomotor activity. Nevertheless, they exhibited normal grooming scores in a novel cage, and in response to i.c.v. ACTH1-24. It is concluded that dopaminergic terminals in nucleus accumbens and probably those in frontal cortex are not necessary for the expression of novelty- or ACTH-induced grooming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-hydroxydopamine
  • ACTH
  • dopamine
  • frontal cortex
  • grooming behaviour
  • locomotor activity
  • nucleus accumbens
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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