Dopamine signaling differences in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum exploited by nicotine

Tianxiang Zhang, Lifen Zhang, Yong Liang, Athanassios G. Siapas, Fuming Zhou, John A. Dani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dorsal striatum and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell of the ventral striatum have similar cellular components and are both richly innervated by dopamine neurons. Despite similarities that extend throughout the striatum, only the NAc shell has a conspicuous increase in basal dopamine upon the initial administration of psycho stimulant drugs such as nicotine. As measured by microdialysis, the elevated dopamine in the NAc shell is considered an identifying functional characteristic of addictive drugs. To examine this general functional difference between nicotine's action on the dorsolateral striatum and NAc shell, we directly monitored dopamine release in rat striatal slices using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. In addition, we separately monitored the in vivo unit firing activity of putative midbrain dopamine neurons from freely moving rats using chronic multiple tetrodes. Nicotine administration increased the firing frequency of dopamine neurons and specifically increased the number and the length of phasic burst firing. The frequency dependence for dopamine release in the dorsolateral striatum and NAc shell is fundamentally different, enabling mainly the NAc shell to capitalize on the nicotine-induced phasic burst firing by dopamine neurons. Although nicotine decreased low-frequency (tonic) dopamine release in both areas, the increased ratio of phasic bursts relative to tonic firing caused by nicotine boosted the basal dopamine concentration predominantly in the NAc shell. By favoring release from bursts while depressing release from tonic signals, nicotine spreads the range of dopamine signaling and effectively increases the signal-to-noise relationship along dopamine afferents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4035-4043
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

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Nucleus Accumbens
Nicotine
Dopamine
Dopaminergic Neurons
Corpus Striatum
Microdialysis
Mesencephalon
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Noise

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Dopamine signaling differences in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum exploited by nicotine. / Zhang, Tianxiang; Zhang, Lifen; Liang, Yong; Siapas, Athanassios G.; Zhou, Fuming; Dani, John A.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 29, No. 13, 01.04.2009, p. 4035-4043.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhang, Tianxiang ; Zhang, Lifen ; Liang, Yong ; Siapas, Athanassios G. ; Zhou, Fuming ; Dani, John A. / Dopamine signaling differences in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum exploited by nicotine. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 ; Vol. 29, No. 13. pp. 4035-4043.
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