ABSTRACT Our previous studies have shown that local perfusion of morphine causes an increase of extracellular ascorbic acid (AA) levels in nucleus accumbens (NAc) of freely moving rats. Lines of evidence showed that glutamatergic and GABAergic
were associated with morphine‐induced effects on the neurotransmission of the brain, especially on the release of AA. In the present study, the effects of morphine on the release of extracellular AA, γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate (Glu) in the NAc following bilateral
NAc lesions induced by kainic acid (KA) were studied by using the microdialysis technique, coupled to high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC‐ECD) and fluorescent detection (HPLC‐FD). The results showed that local perfusion of morphine (100 µM,
1 mM) in NAc dose‐dependently increased AA and GABA release, while attenuated Glu release in the NAc. Naloxone (0.4 mM) pretreated by local perfusion to the NAc, significantly blocked the effects of morphine. After NAc lesion by KA (1 µg), morphine‐induced
increase in AA and GABA were markedly eliminated, while decrease in Glu was not affected. The loss effect of morphine on AA and GABA release after KA lesion could be recovered by GABA agonist, musimol. These results indicate that morphine‐induced AA release may be mediated at least
by µ‐opioid receptor. Moreover, this effect of morphine possibly depend less on the glutamatergic afferents, but more on the GABAergic circuits within this nucleus. Finally, AA release induced by local perfusion of morphine may be GABA‐receptor mediated and synaptically
localized in the NAc.