Lesions of the nucleus accumbens shell can reduce activity in the elevated plus-maze

Rachel Rutter Horsley, Christine Norman, Helen J. Cassaday

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9 Citations (SciVal)


Across different behavioural tasks, nucleus accumbens (n.acc) lesions have generated conflicting effects on locomotor activity and in particular, the relative roles of the n.acc shell and core subfields in this have been controversial. To date there is only one study examining effects of lesions to the medial n.acc on elevated plus-maze (EPM) behaviour; these lesions were shown to increase both locomotor and exploratory activity. Given the well-documented distinction between shell and core, the present study sought to extend previous research by testing lesions selective to each n.acc subfield in the EPM.

Results showed no statistical differences between core lesioned and sham-operated animals on any measure. In contrast, shell lesions consistently reduced locomotion and exploratory activity. This direction of effects is opposite to that previously observed after medial n.acc. lesions. In conclusion, locomotion and exploratory activity were clearly reduced by shell but not core lesions, consistent with other evidence for the functional heterogeneity of n.acc shell and core.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-914
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date20 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - 09 May 2007


  • anxiety
  • dopamine
  • electrolytic
  • elevated plus maze
  • lesion
  • locomotion
  • nucleus accumbens
  • rat


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