Twenty years of dopamine research: individual differences in the response of accumbal dopamine to environmental and pharmacological challenges

European Journal of Pharmacology
M M M Verheij, Alexander R Cools


Individual differences in the dopaminergic system of the nucleus accumbens of rats have extensively been reported. These individual differences have frequently been used to explain individual differences in response to environmental and pharmacological challenges. Remarkably, only little attention is paid to the factors that underlie these individual differences. This review gives an overview of the studies that have been performed in our institute during the last 20 years to investigate individual differences in accumbal dopamine release. Data are summarised demonstrating that individual differences in accumbal dopamine release are due to individual differences in: the functional reactivity of the noradrenergic system, the accumbal concentration of vesicular monoamine transporters and tyrosine hydroxylase as well as in the quantal size of the presynaptic pools of dopamine. Our data are embedded in the available literature to create a model that illustrates the putative hardware giving rise to the individual-specific release of accumbal dopamine. An important role is contributed to individual differences in the reactivity of the: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes, the reactivity of second messenger systems as well in the amin...Continue Reading


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Jan 17, 2013·Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology·Michel M M VerheijAlexander R Cools
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