Psychostimulant drugs increase glucose utilization in the shell of the rat nucleus accumbens

Francesco E. Pontieri, Vittorio Colangelo, Maurizio La Riccia, Carlo Pozzilli, Francesca Passarelli, Francesco Orzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a heterogeneous area, divided into a ‘shell’ and a ‘core’ on the basis of morphological and histochemical criteria. Moreover, the two portions have different anatomical connections. In order to test whether the two portions of NAc are functionally distinct, we measured local cerebral glucose utilization in rats administered intravenously with cocaine (1 mg kg-1) or amphetamine (0.5 mg kg-1). The results of the study show that, at these dosages, both drugs increase glucose utilization in the shell, but not in the core of NAc. This differential effect might reflect functional differences between the two portions of NAc, probably relevant to the abuse liability of psychostimulants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2561-2564
Number of pages4
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Amphetamine
  • Cerebral metabolism
  • Cocaine
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Locomotor activity
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Psychostimulants
  • Shell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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