Locomotion Induced by Non-Contingent Intracranial Stimulation:

Publication Date

January 2004


Non-contingent experimenter-applied stimulation (nEAS) to the ventral mesencephalon, unlike contingent intracranial selfstimulation (ICSS), elicits high rates of general locomotion. This locomotion may be due to the nature of the presentation of stimulation, in that nEAS is non-contingent, while ICSS depends on a specific and focused response (e.g., bar pressing). Psychomotor stimulants also elicit high amounts of general locomotion, with the locomotion attributed to increased dopamine release. Interestingly, dopamine release decreases or is absent with repeated ICSS, but not nEAS. This suggests that the locomotion elicited by nEAS may be the result of DA release similar to that observed with psychomotor stimulants. To determine the relationship between locomotion induced by nEAS and psychomotor stimulants, locomotion elicited by nEAS was directly compared to that produced by cocaine, a psychomotor stimulant and indirect DA agonist. Six groups of rats were examined: (1) DA+ group: rats were implanted with a stimulating electrode in the ventral mesencephalon and activation of DA neurons was verified during surgery by monitoring DA release in the striatum; (2) DA− group: rats were also implanted with stimulating electrodes, but the location in the ventral mesencephalon did not elicitDArelease; (3) 10-mg/kg cocaine group: rats were exposed to a low dose (10 mg/kg) of cocaine; (4) 40-mg/kg cocaine group: rats were exposed to a high dose (40 mg/kg) of cocaine; (5) saline group: rats were injected with saline; and (6) naive group: rats received no treatment. The topography of behavior was assessed in all rats during four periods: a pre-treatment baseline, treatment, early post-treatment, and a late post-treatment end point. The results suggest that locomotion elicited by nEAS was stereotypic, dependent upon DA release and similar, but not identical, to psychomotor stimulant-induced locomotion.



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