Effects of ethanol on striatal dopamine overflow and clearance: An in vivo electrochemical study

Yun Wang, Michael R. Palmer, Elizabeth J. Cline, Greg A. Gerhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is implicated in the reinforcing effects of ethanol and other abused drugs. Ethanol also alters DA overflow and uptake in vivo. Further studies of the role of DA in the behavioral and neurochemical effects of ethanol may help explain the pharmacological mechanisms by which these effects are produced. In these studies we used in vivo electrochemical recordings to investigate the effects of ethanol (EtOH) on the dynamics of evoked DA overflow and DA uptake in rat dorsal striatum. Local applications of EtOH from a multibarrel micropipette did not produce detectable changes in extracellular levels of endogenous DA in the dorsal striatum. EtOH application did attenuate potassium (K+)-evoked overflow of DA in a time-dependent fashion. In contrast, tyramine-induced DA overflow, a calcium-independent process thought to be carrier mediated, was not altered by local EtOH application in the dorsal striatum. Striatal uptake of locally applied exogenous DA was decreased by nomifensine, an effect that was attenuated by locally applied EtOH. Taken together, these data suggest that one of the effects of EtOH on DA-containing nerve endings in the rat striatum involves functional changes in the high-affinity DA transporter associated with these nerve endings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by USPHS grants NS09199, AG06434, AG00441, and NSC grant 80-0412-B016-35 of Republic of China.


  • Dopamine
  • Electrochemistry
  • Ethanol
  • In vivo
  • Nomifensine
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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