Noradrenergic projections from the dorsomedial medulla reach the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a structure implicated in both reward and feeding behavior. Despite this relationship, the effect of food reward on accumbens norepinephrine (NE) remains uninvestigated. In the course of assessing dopamine (DA) in the NAcc during sucrose ingestion [0.03, 0.1, and 0.3 M; Am. J. Physiol., Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 286 (2004) R31], we also analyzed NE in the microdialysis samples from 14 ad-libitum-fed male rats. In contrast to DA, which increased with sucrose concentration (+20-47%) during sham feeding, in the same animals, NE levels were reduced (approximately -20%), regardless of sucrose concentration. These results demonstrate a novel relationship between accumbens DA and NE during orosensory stimulation with a preferred nutrient.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience