The effects of microinjection of phencyclidine (PCP) and dizocilpine, non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonists, and dopamine into the nucleus accumbens were examined in rats trained to discriminate PCP (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) from saline under a two-lever fixed ratio 20 schedule of food reinforcement. Microinjection of PCP (2-40 μg) and dizocilpine (2-12 μg) into the bilateral nucleus accumbens produced a dose-dependent increase in PCP-appropriate responding and fully substituted for systemically administered PCP, whereas microinjection of dopamine (1-4 μg) did not produce PCP-like discriminative stimulus effects. The performance of PCP discrimination was assessed after bilateral destruction of the dopaminergic nerve neurons in the nucleus accumbens with dopaminergic neurotoxin, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 4 μg/1 μl/side). The destruction of dopaminergic nerve neurons in the nucleus accumbens failed to prevent the performance of PCP discrimination. There was no difference in the average percentages of PCP-appropriate responding between vehicle and 6-OHDA-treated rats in the dose-response tests. These results suggest that the dopaminergic system in the nucleus accumbens does not play a critical role in the discriminative stimulus effects of PCP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience