Presynaptic dopaminergic function is largely unaltered in mesolimbic and mesostriatal terminals of adult rats that were prenatally exposed to cocaine.
Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in brain slices and postmortem tissue content assessment were used to evaluate presynaptic dopaminergic function in the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens of adult male rats (180+ days old) that were prenatally treated with either cocaine or saline. Experiments were carried out to test whether there were differences in dopamine release, reuptake, autoreceptor function or the tissue levels of dopamine and its metabolites between cocaine- and saline-exposed rats. We report that presynaptic dopaminergic function remains largely intact in adult rats that were prenatally exposed to cocaine. The ability of terminals in the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens to release and regulate dopamine is unaltered by prenatal cocaine exposure. However the tissue content of dopamine in the caudate putamen was decreased, representing a diminution in the dopamine storage pool. We conclude, therefore, that behavioral changes that have previously been observed in rats that were prenatally exposed to cocaine are not mediated through alteration of presynaptic dopaminergic mechanisms in these brain regions.
Phillips, PEM; Johns, JM; Lubin, DA; Budygin, EA; Gainetdinov, RR; Lieberman, JA; Wightman, RM
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