Dopaminergic neurons in the nitro-striatal and mesolimbic pathways: Mediation of specific effects of d-amphetamine

Shlomo Yehuda, Richard J. Wurtman

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The administration of d-amphetamine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) to rats causes stereotypy, hypothermia among animals placed in a cold environment, and paradoxical behavioral thermoregulation (i.e., animals in a cold environment choose not to place themselves under the beam emitted by a heat lamp). These effects are blocked in animals lesioned unilaterally in the mesolimbic dopaminergic projections to the olfactory tubercule and nucleus accumbens. In contrast, a unilateral lesion destroying the nigro-striatal projections within the caudate nucleus blocks none of these responses, and actually potentiates the induction of stereotypy by d-amphetamine. Both lesions cause the animal to exhibit rotational behavior in response to the subsequent administration of d-amphetamine. These observations suggest that the mesolimbic dopaminergic projections mediate some of the behavioral and visceral effects of d-amphetamine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1975

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Prof. W.H.J. Nauta and Dr. H. Karten for permission to use their facilities for carrying out our histological studies, and for their many helpful suggestions during the study. We thank Mr. J. Swan for his technical help in building the rotometer. These studies were supported in part by grants from The United States Public Health Service (to R.J. Wurtman) and by The Sloan Foundation (to Prof. H.L. Teuber).


  • Brain dopaminergic pathways
  • Hypothermia Turning behavior
  • Stereotypy
  • d-Amphetamine


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