Systemic cocaine challenge after chronic cocaine treatment reveals sensitization of extracellular dopamine levels in nucleus accumbens but direct cocaine perfusion into nucleus accumbens does not: Implications for the neural locus of cocaine sensitization

Jianping Chen, Ronen Marmur, William Paredes, Addy Pulles, Eliot L. Gardner

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Rats were treated chronically with 20 mg/kg/day cocaine (by intraperitoneal injection) for 16 days, followed by 7 days of cocaine wash-out. On the next day, rats were challenged with an acute dose of cocaine administered by one of two routes (systemic or intracranial), and extracellular dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (Acb) was measured by in vivo microdialysis. Rats acutely challenged systemically with 20 mg/kg cocaine showed enhanced Acb extracellular DA levels (compared to control rats that had not previously received chronic cocaine). However, rats acutely challenged with intracranial cocaine by perfusion of 10-5 M cocaine directly into the Acb did not. It is suggested that both the development and triggering of cocaine sensitization, as manifested by enhanced Acb DA content to subsequent acute cocaine challenge, may involve more than just neural mechanisms occurring locally within the Acb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)PL139-PL146
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 1996



  • Cocaine sensitization
  • Dopamine
  • Microdialysis
  • Nucleus accumbens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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