Behavioural sensitisation to repeated d-amphetamine: effects of excitotoxic lesions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus

H.L Alderson, L.F.H Faulconbridge, L.P Gregory, M.P Latimer, P Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) interacts with anatomical systems thought to be involved in mediating sensitisation of the locomotor response to repeated d-amphetamine. The PPTg has direct and indirect connections with the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex, and also influences midbrain dopamine activity through direct projections to substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. In this experiment, the development of behavioural sensitisation to the locomotor stimulant effects of repeated d-amphetamine was examined in rats bearing excitotoxic lesions of the PPTg, and sham-lesioned controls. Rats were given repeated d-amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) treatment in an on-off procedure, with saline and d-amphetamine given on alternate days, such that rats received a total of seven d-amphetamine and seven saline treatments. Locomotor responses were measured in photocell cages. On the first day of d-amphetamine treatment, there was no difference between excitotoxin and sham-lesioned rats. Development of sensitisation to the locomotor stimulant effects of d-amphetamine was delayed in PPTg-lesioned rats, relative to the sham-lesioned control rats. However, there was no difference between lesion and control groups in the locomotion seen on saline-treatment days. These data suggest that the PPTg is involved in the development of behavioural sensitisation to the locomotor stimulant effects of repeated d-amphetamine, and indicate that traditional striatal circuitry models of the mechanisms underlying sensitisation should be extended to include the PPTg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Early online date2 Apr 2003
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2003


  • acetylcholine
  • corticostriatal
  • dopamine
  • mesopontine
  • rat

Cite this