Volume 77 (2013) Issue 11 Pages 2175-2180
Changes in the extracellular concentration of dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) resulting from the voluntary ingestion of either corn oil, mineral oil, or 1% linoleic acid diluted with mineral oil as a vehicle were measured in rats by using in vivo microdialysis after they had been trained to establish a preference for corn oil. Ingesting the mineral oil caused no significant change in DA level in the NAc shell, whereas corn oil ingestion significantly increased the DA level during 0–15 min of the test session, reaching the maximum level of 129.8 ± 6.2% compared with the baseline after 10 min. Ingesting linoleic acid also resulted in a significant increase in DA level during 0–20 min, reaching 125.9 ± 9.0% after 10 min. Similar results were obtained in the BLA. Despite its very low calorie content, a low concentration of non-esterified fatty acid increased the DA levels equivalent to those resulting from corn oil in the brain's reward system.