Electrophysiological techniques were used to determine the basal activity of A10 dopamine (DA) neurons in the rat ventral tegmental area after a 10-14 day withdrawal from repeated cocaine treatment (10.0 mg/kg i.p. twice daily for 14 days). The number of spontaneously active A10 DA cells was significantly decreased (42%) in the cocaine-treated rats. This decreased activity may underlie the diminished basal levels of synaptic DA within the nucleus accumbens previously reported in cocaine-withdrawn rats and may account for anhedonia, anergia and cocaine craving reported by withdrawn cocaine addicts. © 1992.
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