Cholecystokinin (CCK) and dopamine (DA) co-exist in ventral tegmental neurons which project via the mesencephalic pathway to the nucleus accumbens of the rat. CCK and DA are located in separate neurons in the substantia nigra which projects via the nigrostriatal pathway to the caudate nucleus in the rat. The functional significance of this peptide-amine co-localization was investigated using behavioral and neurophysiological techniques. CCK injected directly into the nucleus accumbens potentiated apomorphine-induced stereotypy and dopamine-induced hyperlocomotion. CCK injected directly into the caudate nucleus had no effect on apomorphine-induced stereotypy or dopamine-induced hyperlocomotion CCK injected alone into either site did not induce stereotypy or hyperlocomotion. The dose-response curve to apomorphine induction of stereotypy was shifted to the left by CCK, indicating increased sensitivity to the dopaminergic agonist. Neurophysiological analysis of the firing rate of ventral tegmental neurons demonstrated that CCK produced a left-shift in the dose-response curve of apomorphine on inhibition of neuronal firing. These data suggest that CCK acts as a modulator of dopamine, increasing neuronal responses to dopaminergic agonists. The potentiation of dopamine by CCK may be specific to the mesolimbic neurons, where CCK and DA co-exist in the rat.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience