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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17317

Title: Morphine-induced Locomotion and Dopamine Efflux in Mice: Role of M5 Muscarinic Receptors and Cholinergic Inputs to the Ventral Tegmental Area
Authors: Stephan, Steidl
Advisor: Yeomans, John S.
Department: Psychology
Keywords: acetylcholine
mesolimbic dopamine
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: M5 muscarinic receptors are associated with dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra, and provide an important excitatory input to the mesolimbic dopamine system. Here, I studied locomotion induced by systemic morphine (3, 10, 30 mg/kg, i.p.) in M5 knockout mice of the C57Bl/6 (B6) and CD1 x 129SvJ (129) background strains. M5 knockout mice of both strains showed reduced locomotion in response to 30 mg/kg morphine, while only B6 M5 knockout mice showed reduced locomotion in response to 10 mg/kg morphine. In B6 wild-type mice VTA pre-treatment with the non subtype-selective muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine (3 mg per side), but not the non subtype-selective nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine (5 mg per side), reduced locomotion in response to 30 mg/kg (i.p.) morphine to a similar extent as systemic M5 knockout, suggesting that the reduced morphine-induced locomotion in M5 knockout mice was due to the loss of M5 receptors on VTA dopamine neurons. By contrast, in M5 knockout mice, either intra-VTA atropine or mecamylamine alone increased locomotion by almost 3 times relative to saline, and potentiated morphine-induced locomotion. Therefore, in M5 knockout mice, more clearly than in wild-type mice, blockade of either VTA muscarinic or nicotinic receptors activated locomotion. Infusions of morphine (50 ng) into the VTA increased nucleus accumbens dopamine efflux in urethane-anesthetized wild-type mice. Either M5 knockout or pre-treatment with VTA scopolamine (50 ug) in wild-type mice blocked accumbal dopamine efflux in response to VTA morphine. Therefore, M5 receptors are critical for excitation of dopamine neurons by intra-VTA morphine, suggesting that the reduced locomotion produced by systemic morphine in M5 knockout mice was, in part, due to loss of M5-mediated excitation of VTA dopamine neurons by opiates. The locomotion data also show that in the absence of M5 receptors, cholinergic afferents to mesolimbic dopamine neurons are inhibitory. This supports and extends the conclusions from many studies that non-M5 muscarinic receptors inhibit, and M5 receptors excite, dopamine neurons. Loss of M5-mediated excitation results in reduced acute effects of opiates.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17317
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Psychology - Doctoral theses

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