Sombers Lab

Psychostimulant Induced Hyper-locomotor Activity

Psychostimulant induced hyper-locomotor activity is correlated with both striatal dopamine (DA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) dynamics

 Acute cocaine exposure is well known to induce increases in extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which receives dopamine input from the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Given that recent studies have shown that H2O2 can inhibit dopamine release in the striatum, the present study simultaneously quantifies fluctuations of H2O2 and DA in the NAc during cocaine-induced locomotor activity recorded using cameras with video tracking software. Preliminary data indicate that H2O2 concentrations in the NAc are increased during periods of movement, and decreased during resting periods after acute cocaine injection. Conversely, dopamine concentrations in the NAc are attenuated during rat movement (grey box), but enhanced during resting periods (white box) after acute cocaine injection. This line of study will help shed new light on the chemical mechanisms that underlie the motor-stimulant response of cocaine, and cocaine-induced sensitization.