Alterations in baseline activity and quinpirole sensitivity in putative dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area after withdrawal from cocaine pretreatment.
Using in vivo single-unit recording, we compared in rats the-effects of continuous infusion and once-a-day injections of cocaine on the activity of single putative dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. After a 7-day withdrawal, we determined: (1) the number of spontaneously active neurons and their bursting patterns and (2) sensitivity of these neurons to intravenous quinpirole. In the substantia nigra, continuous cocaine infusion reduced the number of neurons without affecting the bursting patterns; daily injections were without effects. In the ventral tegmental area, continuous infusion reduced the bursting activity without affecting the number of neurons, whereas injections increased number of neurons without changes in the bursting pattern. Acute sulpiride normalized all the changes in both cell body areas. The quinpirole sensitivity was selectively increased in the nigral neurons following withdrawal from continuous infusion. Possible role of D2/autoreceptor mechanisms in these changes is discussed.
Gao, WY; Lee, TH; King, GR; Ellinwood, EH
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