21 Citations (Scopus)


Mild-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently associated with prolonged dysfunction of reward circuitry, including motivation and salience, which suggests alterations of dopamine (DA) processing within the core and shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAC). Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in a rodent model of traumatic brain injury, we found that stimulus-evoked DA release is distinct in the core and shell of the NAC, with the shell being less responsive to tonic stimulation and more sensitive to the number of pulses when phasic stimulation is applied. Exposure to TBI was associated with major changes in both release and reuptake of DA in both the core and shell of NAC, with greater changes seen in the core. These alterations evolved over time, becoming most severe 1–2 weeks after injury with subsequent recovery, and the extent and progression of these abnormalities was correlated with severity of injury. Taken together, these data support behavior and anatomical studies suggesting the NAC core and striatum may subserve parallel functions, whereas the shell is distinct. These data offer a unique window on how different neurological systems respond to TBI and may help explain affective and cognitive changes that are seen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-190
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2017


  • dopamine
  • fast-scan cyclic voltammetry
  • nucleus accumbens
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is altered following traumatic brain injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this