Document Type


Publication Date




Source Publication

European Journal of Neuroscience

Source ISSN



Regional alterations in kinetics of catecholamine uptake are due in part to variations in clearance mechanisms. The rate of clearance is a critical determinant of the strength of catecholamine signaling. Catecholamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcc) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) is of particular interest due to involvement of these regions in cognition and motivation. Previous work has shown that catecholamine clearance in the NAcc is largely mediated by the dopamine transporter (DAT), but clearance in the BLA is less DAT‐dependent. A growing body of literature suggests that organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3) also contributes to catecholamine clearance in both regions. Consistent with different clearance mechanisms between regions, catecholamine clearance is more rapid in the NAcc than in the BLA, though mechanisms underlying this have not been resolved. We compared the expression of DAT and OCT3 and their contributions to catecholamine clearance in the NAcc and BLA. We found DAT protein levels were ~ 4‐fold higher in the NAcc than in the BLA, while OCT3 protein expression was similar between the two regions. Immunofluorescent labeling of the two transporters in brain sections confirmed these findings. Ex vivo voltammetry demonstrated that the magnitude of catecholamine release was greater, and the clearance rate was faster in the NAcc than in the BLA. Additionally, catecholamine clearance in the BLA was more sensitive to the OCT3 inhibitor corticosterone, while clearance in the NAcc was more cocaine sensitive. These distinctions in catecholamine clearance may underlie differential effects of catecholamines on behavioral outputs mediated by these regions.


Accepted version. European Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 52, No. 11 (December 2020): 4546-4562. DOI. © 2020 Wiley. Used with permission.

Gasser_14256acc.docx (1067 kB)
ADA Accessible Version

Included in

Neurosciences Commons