Psychotic Symptoms Associated with the use of Dopaminergic Drugs, in Patients with Cocaine Dependence or Abuse
Dopamine dysregulation syndrome in Parkinson's disease has been attributed to dopamine replacement therapies and/or a lesion of the dopaminergic system. Dopaminergic neuronal loss targets the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We hypothesize that dopamine replacement therapy is responsible for the potential reinforcement effect in Parkinson's disease, by acting on the neuronal reward circuitry. We previously demonstrated that the posterior (p) VTA, which projects to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), is implicated in the motivational effect of dopamine receptor agonists in 6-OHDA bilateral pVTA-lesioned drug-free animals. In the present study we investigated the implication of the anterior (a) VTA in the potential reinforcement effect of dopamine receptor agonists. Using the conditioned place preference (CPP) behavioral paradigm, we investigated the motivational effects of dopamine receptor agonists (bromocriptine and pramipexole), and cocaine in rats with a 6-OHDA bilateral lesion of the aVTA. Bromocriptine and pramipexole did not induce a significant CPP at 1mg/kg in both sham and bilateral 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. However bromocriptine induced CPP only at a dose of 3mg/kg in both animal groups. Moreover cocaine, which is known to increase dopamine release, induced reinforcing effects in both 6-OHDA-lesioned and sham rats. Our data show a lack of involvement of aVTA dopamine neurons in the motivational effects of bromocriptine, pramipexole and cocaine.