Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text


Multiple theories have been proposed for sensation seeking and vulnerability to impulse-control disorders [Zuckerman M, Kuhlman DM (2000) Personality and risk-taking: Common biosocial factors. J Pers 68:999-1029], and many of these rely on a dopamine system deficit. Available animal models reproduce only some behavioral symptoms and seem devoid of construct validity. We used lentivirus tools for over-expressing or silencing the dopamine transporter (DAT) and we evaluated the resulting behavioral profiles in terms of motivation and self-control. Wistar adult rats received stereotaxic inoculation of a lentivirus that allowed localized intra-accumbens delivery of a DAT gene enhancer/silencer, or the green fluorescent protein, GFP. These animals were studied for intolerance to delay, risk proneness and novelty seeking. As expected, controls shifted their demanding from a large reward toward a small one when the delivery of the former was increasingly delayed (or uncertain). Interestingly, in the absence of general locomotor effects, DAT over-expressing rats showed increased impulsivity (i.e. a more marked shift of demanding from the large/delayed toward the small/soon reward), and increased risk proneness (i.e. a less marked shift from the large/uncertain toward the small/sure reward), compared with controls. Rats with enhanced or silenced DAT expression did not show any significant preference for a novel environment. In summary, consistent with literature on comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and pathological gambling, we demonstrate that DAT over-expression in rats' nucleus accumbens leads to impulsive and risk prone phenotype. Thus, a reduced dopaminergic tone following altered accumbal DAT function may subserve a sensation-seeker phenotype and the vulnerability to impulse-control disorders. © 2009 IBRO.




Adriani, W., Boyer, F., Gioiosa, L., Macrì, S., Dreyer, J. L., & Laviola, G. (2009). Increased impulsive behavior and risk proneness following lentivirus-mediated dopamine transporter over-expression in rats’ nucleus accumbens. Neuroscience, 159(1), 47–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.11.042

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free