Author(s): Gessa GL, Muntoni F, Collu M, Vargiu L, Mereu G
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Abstract In unanesthetized rats the intravenous administration of low doses of ethanol (0.125-0.5 g/kg) produced a dose-dependent increase (30-80\%) in the firing rate of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA). In agreement with previous observations, a dose range between 0.5 and 2 g/mg of ethanol was needed to produce comparable stimulant responses in DA neurons of the Substantia Nigra Pars Compacta. However, in anesthetized rats, doses of ethanol up to 1 g/kg failed to activate VTA-DA neurons. The high sensitivity of VTA-DA neurons to ethanol activation suggests that they might be involved in the reinforcing properties of the drug.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy