The role of nucleus accumbens shell GABA receptors on ventral tegmental area intracranial self-stimulation and a potential role for the 5-HT(2C) receptor.


Journal Article

Brain γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)(2C) receptors are implicated in the neuronal regulation of reward- and aversion-related behaviour. Within the mesocorticolimbic pathways of the brain, relationships between GABA containing neurons and 5-HT(2C) receptor activity may be important in this context. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the role of NAc shell GABA receptors on ventral tegmental area intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and to examine the systemic effects of GABAergic ligands in this context. The second aim was to investigate the relationship between GABA receptor- and 5-HT(2C) receptor-related ICSS behaviour, using systemic administration of the selective agonist WAY 161503. Locomotor activity was assessed to compare the potential motor effects of drugs; feeding behaviour and intra-NAc injections of amphetamine (1.0 µg/side) were used as positive controls. When administered systemically the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol and antagonist picrotoxin did not selectively change ICSS reward thresholds, although the 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist WAY 161503 (1.0 mg/kg) decreased reward measures. Intra-NAc shell administration of muscimol (225 ng/side) and picrotoxin (125 ng/side), respectively, decreased and increased measures of reward. Intra-NAc shell baclofen (0-225 ng/side; GABA(B) receptor agonist) did not affect any ICSS measures although it increased feeding. Combining picrotoxin and WAY 161503 attenuated the effects of each. These results suggest that a 5-HT(2C) and GABA(A) receptor-mediated neuronal relationship in the NAc shell may be relevant for the regulation of brain reward pathways.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Hayes, DJ; Hoang, J; Greenshaw, AJ

Published Date

  • December 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1661 - 1675

PubMed ID

  • 21169393

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21169393

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1461-7285

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0269-8811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0269881110389212


  • eng