There is an acute interest in studying the functional characteristics of dopamine systems in the cortex of primates. In particular, the prefrontal cortical dopamine projections have received a great deal of attention. This system is essential for proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex, and dysfunction within the system may be involved in some psychiatric and neurological illnesses. In vivo assessments of cortical dopamine in the primate have been scarce. This has been due, in part, to technical difficulties associated with these studies and with quantifying the relatively low levels of dopamine found in cortical regions. In the present study, intracerebral microdialysis was utilized to assess the extracellular concentration of dopamine in cortical and subcortical areas of the pentobarbital‐anesthetized rhesus monkey. Basal extracellular dopamine levels were consistently detected in the medial prefrontal cortex, premotor cortex, and caudate‐putamen. The basal extracellular concentration of dopamine in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was reliably detected in 1 of 4 animals. Intravenous administration of amphetamine (1 mg/kg) enhanced extracellular dopamine levels in the caudate‐putamen area by more than 20‐fold. In cortical areas, amphetamine's effect was less profound: An increase of 400–500 percent over basal extracellular dopamine levels was observed in each region. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of microdialysis for detecting extracellular fluxes of dopamine in the cortex of nonhuman primates. They further provide direct evidence that the dopamine released within the prefrontal cortex and the premotor cortex of nonhuman primates responds to pharmacological manipulation. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- Prefrontal cortex
- Premotor cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience