Norepinephrine microinjections in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus increase extracellular dopamine and decrease acetylcholine in the nucleus accumbens: Relevance to feeding reinforcement

András Hajnal, Gregory P. Mark, Pedro V. Rada, László Lénárd, Bartley G. Hoebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Norepinephrine (NE) was microinjected into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), while microdialysis was used to monitor extracellular dopamine (DA) and acetylcholine (ACh) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The PVN is a site where exogenously administered NE can act through α2 receptors to elicit eating behavior and preference for carbohydrates. It was hypothesized that NE in the PVN acts on a behavior reinforcement system by altering the DA/ACh balance in the NAc. NE microinjections (80 nmol in 0.3 μl), which effectively elicited feeding in satiated rats in a separate test, caused a significant increase in extracellular DA (109%) and decrease in ACh (-27%) when the same animals were tested in the absence of food. In contrast when the food was available and ingested, ACh increased (51%) instead of decreasing. These results support the hypothesis that a functional link exists between the PVN and the NAc in which DA helps initiate and ACh helps stop appetitive behavior involved in the reinforcement of eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-674
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1997

Keywords

  • Acetylcholine
  • Dopamine
  • Feeding
  • Hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus
  • Microdialysis
  • Norepinephrine
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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