Gender and Hormonal Differences in Cocaine-Induced Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell
Chamberlain, Kathryn N.
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Dopamine release triggered by midbrain neurons plays an important role in the nucleus accumbens shell, which is primarily associated with motivation and reward. The ovarian steroid hormone, estrogen, regulates the dopamine active transporters (DAT), and influences the release and metabolism of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens shell. Cocaine also influences extracellular dopamine release by blocking DAT, allowing dopamine to remain in the synapse longer. This study examined the role of both estrogen priming and cocaine infusion on extracellular dopamine release in estrogen-treated female, oil-treated female, estrogen-treated male, and oil-treated male rats before and after cocaine administration using fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV). Administration of cocaine significantly increased the dopamine response in the nucleus accumbens within all 4 groups. However, no significant difference was observed between the 4 groups.