Damage to the nucleus accumbens shell but not core impairs ventral tegmental area stimulation-induced feeding

Weronika Trojniar*, K. Plucińska, B. Ignatowska-Jankowska, M. Jankowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Food intake is regulated not only by homeostatic requirements but also by emotional factors (e.g. palatability of food, alleviation of emotional tension etc.). The nucleus accumbens (Acb) is a part of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system which is responsible for a positive emotional aspect of various homeostasis-relevant stimuli. In the present work, we tested the Acb involvement in feeding behaviour using an experimental paradigm specifically designed to assess motivational vs motor aspect of food ingestion. In rats, feeding was evoked by electrical stimulation of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (a somatodendritic region of mesolimbic system) and assessed quantitatively with the use of the latency to feed/stimulation frequency curve-shift paradigm before and after electrolytic lesion of Acb. An impairment of stimulation-induced feeding manifesting as an elevation of the reaction threshold and a rightward, parallel shift of the stimulation frequency/reaction latency curve in the range of frequency which is sensitive to motivational aspects of food occurred after lesions localized mainly in the Acb shell. The lesions situated mainly in the Acb core were ineffective. The results obtained indicate that the Acb shell connected with the limbic system but not the motor-related Acb core affects motivational aspects of feeding behaviour.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrical stimulation
  • Food intake
  • Lesion
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Ventral tegmental area


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