Increased intracranial self-stimulation in rats after long-term administration of desipramine

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Science  06 Nov 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4521, pp. 683-685
DOI: 10.1126/science.7197394


The effects of long- and short-term administration of the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine on intracranial self-stimulation in rats were studied with electrodes in the A10 region of the dopamine-containing cell bodies of the ventromedial tegmentum. Long-term desipramine administration resulted in a significant shift to the left in the ascending portion of the rate--current intensity function, indicating that the activity of the mesolimbic dopamine system was enhanced. These findings point to a possible dopaminergic mechanism of action of antidepressants and support speculations concerning the role of dopamine-containing neurons in the pathophysiology of depression.

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