A physically active lifestyle is associated with better health in body and mind, and it is urgent that supporting agents for such lifestyles be developed. In rodents, voluntary locomotor activity as an active physical behavior may be mediated by dopaminergic neurons (DNs). Thiamine phosphate esters can stimulate DNs, and we thus hypothesized that thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD), a thiamine derivative, promotes locomotor activity via DNs in rats. Acute i.p. administration of TTFD enhanced rat locomotor activity in a normal cage. In vivo microdialysis revealed that TTFD-enhanced locomotor activity was synchronized with dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Antagonism of the dopamine D1 receptor, but not D2 receptor, in the mPFC fully suppressed TTFD-enhanced locomotor activity. Finally, we found a TTFD dose-dependent increase in voluntary wheel running. Our findings demonstrate that DNs in the mPFC mediates TTFD-enhanced locomotor activity, suggesting the potential of TTFD to induce active physical behavior.
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