We previously demonstrated that lesions of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core enhanced locomotion and locomotor sensitization to repeated injections of nicotine in rats (Kelsey & Willmore, 2006). In this study, we compared the effects of separate lesions of the NAc core, NAc medial shell, and basolateral amygdala on context-specific locomotor sensitization to repeated injections of 0.4 mg/kg nicotine. Electrolytic lesions of the NAc core increased locomotion, and lesions of the core (but not the shell) and the basolateral amygdala enhanced context-specific locomotor sensitization by enhancing the development of sensitization in paired rats and decreasing expression in unpaired rats relative to sham-operated rats when challenged with an injection of 0.4 mg/kg nicotine in the locomotor chambers. These data are consistent with findings that the NAc core and the basolateral amygdala share a variety of behavioral functions and anatomical connections. The findings that lesions of these structures enhance context-specific locomotor sensitization while typically impairing other reward-related behaviors also indicate that the processes underlying locomotor sensitization and reward are not identical.
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2009|
- nucleus accumbens