Graf, Heiko; Metzger, Coraline D; Walter, Martin; Abler, Birgit
Investigating the effects of serotonergic antidepressants on neural correlates of visual erotic stimulation revealed decreased reactivity within the dopaminergic reward network along with decreased subjective sexual functioning compared with placebo. However, a global dampening of the reward system under serotonergic drugs is not intuitive considering clinical observations of their beneficial effects in the treatment of depression. Particularly, learning signals as coded in prediction error processing within the dopaminergic reward system can be assumed to be rather enhanced as antidepressant drugs have been demonstrated to facilitate the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions relying on learning processes. Within the same study sample, we now explored the effects of serotonergic and dopaminergic/noradrenergic antidepressants on prediction error signals compared with placebo by functional MRI. A total of 17 healthy male participants (mean age: 25.4 years) were investigated under the administration of paroxetine, bupropion and placebo for 7 days each within a randomized, double-blind, within-subject cross-over design. During functional MRI, we used an established monetary incentive task to explore neural prediction error signals within the bilateral nucleus accumbens as region of interest within the dopaminergic reward system. In contrast to diminished neural activations and subjective sexual functioning under the serotonergic agent paroxetine under visual erotic stimulation, we revealed unaffected or even enhanced neural prediction error processing within the nucleus accumbens under this antidepressant along with unaffected behavioural processing. Our study provides evidence that serotonergic antidepressants facilitate prediction error signalling and may support suggestions of beneficial effects of these agents on reinforced learning as an essential element in behavioural psychotherapy. PMID:26555033
Cone, Jackson J; Roitman, Jamie D.; Roitman, Mitchell F.
Environmental stimuli that signal food availability hold powerful sway over motivated behavior and promote feeding, in part, by activating the mesolimbic system. These food-predictive cues evoke brief (phasic) changes in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine concentration and in the activity of individual NAc neurons. Phasic fluctuations in mesolimbic signaling have been directly linked to goal-directed behaviors, including behaviors elicited by food-predictive cues. Food-seeking behavior is also ...
Spencer, Sade; Brown, Robyn M.; Quintero, Gabriel C; Kupchik, Yonatan M.; Thomas, Charles A.; Reissner, Kathryn J.; Kalivas, Peter W.
Relapse to cocaine seeking is associated with potentiated excitatory synapses in nucleus accumbens. α2δ-1 is an auxiliary subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels that affects calcium-channel trafficking and kinetics, initiates extracellular signaling cascades, and promotes excitatory synaptogenesis. Previous data demonstrate that repeated exposure to alcohol, nicotine, methamphetamine, and morphine upregulates α2δ-1 in reward-related brain regions, but it was unclear whether this alteration...
Molnár, Tünde; Héja, László; Emri, Zsuzsa; Simon, Ágnes; Nyitrai, Gabriella; Pál, Ildikó; Kardos, Julianna
Accumulating evidence suggests that different energy metabolites play a role not only in neuronal but also in glial signaling. Recently, astroglial Ca2+ transients evoked by the major citric acid cycle metabolite succinate (SUC) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) that enters the citric acid cycle via SUC have been described in the brain reward area, the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Cells responding to SUC by Ca2+ transient constitute a subset of ATP-responsive astrocytes that are activated in a neur...
Zsuzsa Emri; Julianna Kardos
Accumulating evidence suggests that different energy metabolites play a role not only in neuronal but also in glial signalling. Recently, astroglial Ca2+ transients evoked by the major citric acid cycle metabolite succinate (SUC) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) that enters the citric acid cycle via SUC have been described in the brain reward area, the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Cells responding to SUC by Ca2+ transient constitute a subset of ATP-responsive astrocytes that are activated in a neu...
Saddoris, Michael P.; Wang, Xuefei; Sugam, Jonathan A; Carelli, Regina M.
Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse is linked to long-lasting alterations in the function of limbic system structures, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Although cocaine acts via dopaminergic mechanisms within the NAc, less is known about whether phasic dopamine (DA) signaling in the NAc is altered in animals with cocaine self-administration experience or if these animals learn and interact normally with stimuli in their environment. Here, separate groups of rats self-administered either ...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Accumulating evidence suggests that glial signalling is activated by different brain functions. However, knowledge regarding molecular mechanisms of activation or their relation to neuronal activity is limited. The purpose of the present study is to identify the characteristics of ATP-evoked glial signalling in the brain reward area, the nucleus accumbens (NAc, and thereby to explore the action of citric acid cycle intermediate succinate (SUC. Results We described the burst-like propagation of Ca2+ transients evoked by ATP in acute NAc slices from rat brain. Co-localization of the ATP-evoked Ca2+ signalling with immunoreactivities of the astroglia-specific gap junction forming channel protein connexin43 (Cx43 and the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP indicated that the responsive cells were a subpopulation of Cx43 and GFAP immunoreactive astrocytes. The ATP-evoked Ca2+ transients were present under the blockade of neuronal activity, but were inhibited by Ca2+ store depletion and antagonism of the G protein coupled purinergic P2Y1 receptor subtype-specific antagonist MRS2179. Similarly, Ca2+ transients evoked by the P2Y1 receptor subtype-specific agonist 2-(Methylthioadenosine 5'-diphosphate were also blocked by MRS2179. These characteristics implied that intercellular Ca2+ signalling originated from the release of Ca2+ from internal stores, triggered by the activation of P2Y1 receptors. Inhibition by the gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid and by an antibody raised against the gating-associated segment of Cx43 suggested that intercellular Ca2+ signalling proceeded through gap junctions. We demonstrated for the first time that extracellular SUC also evoked Ca2+ transients (EC50 = 50-60 μM in about 15% of the ATP-responsive NAc astrocytes. By contrast to glial cells, electrophysiologically identified NAc neurons surrounded by ATP-responsive astrocytes were not activated simultaneously. Conclusions We
Dzirasa, Kafui; Coque, Laurent; Sidor, Michelle M.; Kumar, Sunil; Dancy, Elizabeth A.; Takahashi, Joseph S.; McClung, Colleen A.; Nicolelis, Miguel A.L.
Polymorphisms in circadian genes such as CLOCK convey risk for bipolar disorder. While studies have begun to elucidate the molecular mechanism whereby disruption of Clock alters cellular function within mesolimbic brain regions, little remains known about how these changes alter gross neural circuit function and generate mania-like behaviors in Clock-Δ19 mice. Here we show that the phasic entrainment of nucleus accumbens (NAC) low-gamma (30–55Hz) oscillations to delta (1–4Hz) oscillations is ...
Pan, Bo; Lian, Jiamei; Huang, Xu-Feng; Deng, Chao
The GABAA receptor is implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and regulated by PKA signalling. Current antipsychotics bind with D2-like receptors, but not the GABAA receptor. The cAMP-responsive element-binding protein 1 (CREB1) is also associated with PKA signalling and may be related to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. This study investigated the effects of antipsychotics in modulating D2-mediated PKA signalling and its downstream GABAA receptors and CREB1. Rats were treated orally with aripiprazole (0.75 mg/kg, ter in die (t.i.d.)), bifeprunox (0.8 mg/kg, t.i.d.), haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, t.i.d.) or vehicle for 1 week. The levels of PKA-Cα and p-PKA in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate putamen (CPu) were detected by Western blots. The mRNA levels of Gabrb1, Gabrb2, Gabrb3 and Creb1, and their protein expression were measured by qRT-PCR and Western blots, respectively. Aripiprazole elevated the levels of p-PKA and the ratio of p-PKA/PKA in the NAc, but not the PFC and CPu. Correlated with this elevated PKA signalling, aripiprazole elevated the mRNA and protein expression of the GABAA (β-1) receptor and CREB1 in the NAc. While haloperidol elevated the levels of p-PKA and the ratio of p-PKA/PKA in both NAc and CPu, it only tended to increase the expression of the GABAA (β-1) receptor and CREB1 in the NAc, but not the CPu. Bifeprunox had no effects on PKA signalling in these brain regions. These results suggest that aripiprazole has selective effects on upregulating the GABAA (β-1) receptor and CREB1 in the NAc, probably via activating PKA signalling. PMID:26894264
Molnár, Tünde; Héja, László; Emri, Zsuzsa; Simon, Agnes; Nyitrai, Gabriella; Pál, Ildikó; Kardos, Julianna
Accumulating evidence suggests that different energy metabolites play a role not only in neuronal but also in glial signaling. Recently, astroglial Ca(2+) transients evoked by the major citric acid cycle metabolite succinate (SUC) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) that enters the citric acid cycle via SUC have been described in the brain reward area, the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Cells responding to SUC by Ca(2+) transient constitute a subset of ATP-responsive astrocytes that are activated in a neuron-independent way. In this study we show that GHB-evoked Ca(2+) transients were also found to constitute a subset of ATP-responsive astrocytes in the NAc. Repetitive Ca(2+) dynamics evoked by GHB suggested that Ca(2+) was released from internal stores. Similarly to SUC, the GHB response was also characterized by an effective concentration of 50 μM. We observed that the number of ATP-responsive cells decreased with increasing concentration of either SUC or GHB. Moreover, the concentration dependence of the number of ATP-responsive cells were highly identical as a function of both [SUC] and [GHB], suggesting a mutual receptor for SUC and GHB, therefore implying the existence of a distinct GHB-recognizing astroglial SUC receptor in the brain. The SUC-evoked Ca(2+) signal remained in mice lacking GABA(B) receptor type 1 subunit in the presence and absence of the N-Methyl-d-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist (2R)-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV), indicating action mechanisms independent of the GABA(B) or NMDA receptor subtypes. By molecular docking calculations we found that residues R99, H103, R252, and R281 of the binding crevice of the kidney SUC-responsive membrane receptor SUCNR1 (GPCR91) also predict interaction with GHB, further implying similar GHB and SUC action mechanisms. We conclude that the astroglial action of SUC and GHB may represent a link between brain energy states and Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytic networks. PMID:22180742
Full Text Available Accumulating evidence suggests that different energy metabolites play a role not only in neuronal but also in glial signalling. Recently, astroglial Ca2+ transients evoked by the major citric acid cycle metabolite succinate (SUC and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB that enters the citric acid cycle via SUC have been described in the brain reward area, the nucleus accumbens (NAc. Cells responding to SUC by Ca2+ transient constitute a subset of ATP-responsive astrocytes that are activated in a neuron-independent way. In this study we show that GHB-evoked Ca2+ transients were also found to constitute a subset of ATP-responsive astrocytes in the NAc. Repetitive Ca2+ dynamics evoked by GHB suggested that Ca2+ was released from internal stores. Similarly to SUC, the GHB-response was also characterized by an effective concentration of 50 µM. We observed that the number of ATP-responsive cells decreased with increasing concentration of either SUC or GHB. Moreover, the concentration dependence of the number of ATP-responsive cells were highly identical as a function of both [SUC] and [GHB], suggesting a mutual receptor for SUC and GHB, therefore implying the existence of a distinct GHB-recognizing astroglial SUC receptor in the brain. The SUC-evoked Ca2+ signal remained in mice lacking GABAB receptor type 1 subunit in the presence and absence of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA receptor antagonist (2R-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV, indicating action mechanisms independent of the GABAB or NMDA receptor subtypes. By molecular docking calculations we found that residues R99, H103, R252 and R281 of the binding crevice of the kidney SUC-responsive membrane receptor SUCNR1 (GPCR91 also predict interaction with GHB, further implying similar GHB and SUC action mechanisms. We conclude that the astroglial action of SUC and GHB may represent a link between brain energy states and Ca2+ signalling in astrocytic networks.
Lloyd, Kevin; Dayan, Peter
Substantial evidence suggests that the phasic activity of dopamine neurons represents reinforcement learning's temporal difference prediction error. However, recent reports of ramp-like increases in dopamine concentration in the striatum when animals are about to act, or are about to reach rewards, appear to pose a challenge to established thinking. This is because the implied activity is persistently predictable by preceding stimuli, and so cannot arise as this sort of prediction error. Here, we explore three possible accounts of such ramping signals: (a) the resolution of uncertainty about the timing of action; (b) the direct influence of dopamine over mechanisms associated with making choices; and (c) a new model of discounted vigour. Collectively, these suggest that dopamine ramps may be explained, with only minor disturbance, by standard theoretical ideas, though urgent questions remain regarding their proximal cause. We suggest experimental approaches to disentangling which of the proposed mechanisms are responsible for dopamine ramps. PMID:26699940
Sangeeta MEHENDALE; Jing-tian XIE; Han H AUNG; Xiong-Fei GUAN; Chun-Su YUAN
AIM: To localize and characterize the response of single accumbal neurons to electrical stimulation of the gastric vagal fibers. METHODS: Unitary responses to electrical stimulation of the ventral and dorsal gastric vagal fibers which serve the proximal stomach were recorded extracellularly in the nucleus accumbens in anesthetized cats.RESULTS: The evoked units recorded in the nucleus accumbens consisted of phasic and tonic responses, with a mean latency of (396±43) ms. Convergence of ventral and dorsal gastric vagal inputs onto single phasic and tonic accumbal units was observed. For tonic inhibitory responses, convergence was exhibited when stimulation applied to both the ventral and dorsal gastric vagal branches resulted in a significantly longer inhibitory period than did stimulation of a single gastric vagal branch. Comparing the gastric vagally evoked accumbal unitary responses to the neuronal responses recorded in the nucleus tractus solitarius, parabrachial nucleus and hypothalamus in our previous studies, our data showed a higher percentage of single spike responses and shorter response duration's in the nucleus accumbens than in the other nuclei. This suggests that the synaptic drive from the gastric vagal inputs to the nucleus accumbens is less powerful than in the other structures. CONCLUSION: The present study localized and characterized gastric vagally evoked responses in the nucleus accumbens, which suggest that the nucleus accumbens may process gastric signals concerned with the ingestive process.
Cozzoli, Debra K; Kaufman, Moriah N; Nipper, Michelle A; Hashimoto, Joel G; Wiren, Kristine M; Finn, Deborah A
It is well established that binge alcohol consumption produces alterations in Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlus) and related signaling cascades in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) of adult male mice, but female and adolescent mice have not been examined. Thus, the first set of studies determined whether repeated binge alcohol consumption produced similar alterations in protein and mRNA levels of Group 1 mGlu-associated signaling molecules in the NAC of male and female adult and adolescent mice. The adult (9 weeks) and adolescent (4 weeks) C57BL/6J mice were exposed to 7 binge alcohol sessions every 3rd day while controls drank water. Repeated binge alcohol consumption produced sexually divergent changes in protein levels and mRNA expression for Group 1 mGlus and downstream signaling molecules in the NAC, but there was no effect of age. Binge alcohol intake decreased mGlu5 levels in females, whereas it decreased indices of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), 4E-binding protein 1, and p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase in males. Expression of genes encoding mGlu1, mGlu5, the NR2A subunit of the NMDA receptor, and Homer2 were all decreased by binge alcohol consumption in males, while females were relatively resistant (only phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 was decreased). The functional implication of these differences was investigated in a separate study by inhibiting mTOR in the NAC (via infusions of rapamycin) before binge drinking sessions. Rapamycin (50 and 100 ng/side) significantly decreased binge alcohol consumption in males, while consumption in females was unaffected. Altogether these results highlight that mTOR signaling in the NAC was necessary to maintain binge alcohol consumption only in male mice and that binge drinking recruits sexually divergent signaling cascades downstream of PI3K and presumably, Group 1 mGlus. Importantly, these findings emphasize that sex should be considered in the development
Thomas F. Tropea
Full Text Available Previous work from our group and others utilizing animal models have demonstrated long lasting structural and functional alterations in the meso-cortico-striatal dopamine pathway following prenatal cocaine treatment. We have shown that prenatal cocaine treatment results in augmented D1 -induced cyclic AMP (cAMP and cocaine-induced immediate-early gene expression in the striatum of adult mice. In this study we further examined basal as well as cocaine or D1-induced activation of a set of molecules known to be mediators of neuronal plasticity following psychostimulant treatment, with emphasis in the dorsal striatum (Str and nucleus accumbens (NAc of adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero. Basally, in the striatum of prenatal cocaine treated (PCOC mice there were significantly higher levels of a number of the transcription factors studied. Following acute administration of cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p. or D1 agonist (SKF 82958; 1 mg/kg, i.p. there were significantly higher levels of Ser133 P-CREB, Thr34 P-DARPP-32, and Thr202/Tyr204 P-ERK2 in the Str, that were significantly augmented in PCOC mice. In sharp contrast, in the NAc of those mice, we found increased P-CREB and P-ERK2 in PSAL mice, a response that was not evident in PCOC mice. Examination of Ser 845 P-GluA1 revealed increased levels in PSAL mice, but significantly decreased levels in PCOC mice in both the Str and NAc following acute administration of cocaine or D1 agonist. We also found significantly higher levels of the BDNF precursor, pro-BDNF and one of its receptors, TrkB in the Str of PCOC mice. These results suggest a persistent up-regulation of molecules critical to D1 and BDNF signaling in the Str of adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero. These molecular adaptations may underlie components of the behavioral deficits evident in exposed animals and a subset of exposed humans, and may represent a therapeutic target for ameliorating aspects of the prenatal cocaine-induced phenotype.
Wilkinson, Matthew B.; Dias, Caroline; Magida, Jane; Mazei-Robison, Michelle; Lobo, MaryKay; Kennedy, Pamela; Dietz, David; Covington, Herbert; Russo, Scott; Neve, Rachael; Ghose, Subroto; Tamminga, Carol; Nestler, Eric J.
Based on earlier gene expression and chromatin array data, we identified the protein, dishevelled-2 (DVL2), as being regulated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, in the mouse social defeat model of depression. Here, we validate these findings by showing that DVL2 mRNA and protein levels are downregulated in NAc of mice susceptible to social defeat stress, effects not seen in resilient mice. Other DVL isoforms, DVL1 and DVL3, show similar patterns of regulation. Downreg...
Full Text Available Background/Aim. Nucleus accumbens is a part of the ventral striatum also known as a drug active brain region, especially related with drug addiction. The aim of the study was to investigate the Golgi morphology of the nucleus accumbens neurons. Methods. The study was performed on the frontal and sagittal sections of 15 human brains by the Golgi Kopsch method. We classified neurons in the human nucleus accumbens according to their morphology and size into four types: type I - fusiform neurons; type II - fusiform neurons with lateral dendrite, arising from a part of the cell body; type III - pyramidal-like neuron; type IV - multipolar neuron. The medium spiny neurons, which are mostly noted regarding to the drug addictive conditions of the brain, correspond to the type IV - multipolar neurons. Results. Two regions of human nucleus accumbens could be clearly recognized on Nissl and Golgi preparations each containing different predominant neuronal types. Central part of nucleus accumbens, core region, has a low density of impregnated neurons with predominant type III, pyramidal-like neurons, with spines on secondary branches and rare type IV, multipolar neurons. Contrary to the core, peripheral region, shell of nucleus, has a high density of impregnated neurons predominantly contained of type I and type IV - multipolar neurons, which all are rich in spines on secondary and tertiary dendritic branches. Conclusion. Our results indicate great morphological variability of human nucleus accumbens neurons. This requires further investigations and clarifying clinical significance of this important brain region.
Kirschmann, Erin K. Z.; Mauna, Jocelyn C.; Willis, Cory M.; Foster, Rebecca L.; Chipman, Amanda M.; Thiels, Edda
Conditioned stimuli (CS) can modulate reward-seeking behavior. This modulatory effect can be maladaptive and has been implicated in excessive reward seeking and relapse to drug addiction. We previously demonstrated that exposure to an appetitive CS causes an increase in the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and cyclic-AMP…
Scofield, M D; Heinsbroek, J A; Gipson, C D; Kupchik, Y M; Spencer, S; Smith, A C W; Roberts-Wolfe, D; Kalivas, P W
The nucleus accumbens is a major input structure of the basal ganglia and integrates information from cortical and limbic structures to mediate goal-directed behaviors. Chronic exposure to several classes of drugs of abuse disrupts plasticity in this region, allowing drug-associated cues to engender a pathologic motivation for drug seeking. A number of alterations in glutamatergic transmission occur within the nucleus accumbens after withdrawal from chronic drug exposure. These drug-induced neuroadaptations serve as the molecular basis for relapse vulnerability. In this review, we focus on the role that glutamate signal transduction in the nucleus accumbens plays in addiction-related behaviors. First, we explore the nucleus accumbens, including the cell types and neuronal populations present as well as afferent and efferent connections. Next we discuss rodent models of addiction and assess the viability of these models for testing candidate pharmacotherapies for the prevention of relapse. Then we provide a review of the literature describing how synaptic plasticity in the accumbens is altered after exposure to drugs of abuse and withdrawal and also how pharmacological manipulation of glutamate systems in the accumbens can inhibit drug seeking in the laboratory setting. Finally, we examine results from clinical trials in which pharmacotherapies designed to manipulate glutamate systems have been effective in treating relapse in human patients. Further elucidation of how drugs of abuse alter glutamatergic plasticity within the accumbens will be necessary for the development of new therapeutics for the treatment of addiction across all classes of addictive substances. PMID:27363441
Luo, Yi-Xiao; Han, Hua; Shao, Juan; Gao, Yuan; Yin, Xi; Zhu, Wei-Li; Han, Ying; Shi, Hai-Shui
Neuropeptides play important roles in modulating the rewarding value of abused drugs. Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) was recently reported to modulate withdrawal syndrome of morphine, but the effects of TFF3 on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes are still elusive. In the present study, cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion and conditioned place preference (CPP) rat paradigms were provided to investigate the role of TFF3 in the reward response to cocaine. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to analyse the dopamine concentration. The results showed that systemic TFF3 administration (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) significantly augmented cocaine- induced hyperlocomotion and CPP formation, without any effects on locomotor activity and aversive or rewarding effects per se. TFF3 significantly augmented the increment of the dopamine concentration in the NAc and the activity of the mTOR signalling pathway induced by acute cocaine exposure (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in the NAc shell, but not the core. The Intra-NAc shell infusion of rapamycin blocked TFF3-induced hyperactivity in cocaine-treatment rats. These findings indicated that TFF3 could potentiate behavioural response to cocaine, which may be associated with regulating dopamine concentration. Furthermore, the findings indicated that mTOR signalling pathway in the NAc shell is important for TFF3-induced enhancement on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes. PMID:27282818
Harat, Marek; Rudaś, Marcin; Zieliński, Piotr; Birska, Julita; Sokal, Paweł
One of the potential treatment methods of obesity is deep brain stimulation (DBS) of nucleus accumbens. We describe the case of 19 years old woman with hypothalamic obesity. She weighted 151.4 kg before DBS and the non-surgical methods proved to be inefficient. She was treated with implantation of DBS electrode to nucleus accumbens bilaterally. Results were measured with body mass index and neuropsychological tests. Follow-up was 14 months. Fourteen months after surgery weight was 138 kg, BMI was 48.3. Neuropsychological test results were intact. The presented case supports the thesis of treatment of obesity with nucleus accumbens stimulation. PMID:27154450
Mavridis, Ioannis N
Music is a universal feature of human societies over time, mainly because it allows expression and regulation of strong emotions, thus influencing moods and evoking pleasure. The nucleus accumbens (NA), the most important pleasure center of the human brain (dominates the reward system), is the 'king of neurosciences' and dopamine (DA) can be rightfully considered as its 'crown' due to the fundamental role that this neurotransmitter plays in the brain's reward system. Purpose of this article was to review the existing literature regarding the relation between music and the NA. Studies have shown that reward value for music can be coded by activity levels in the NA, whose functional connectivity with auditory and frontal areas increases as a function of increasing musical reward. Listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the NA. The functional connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences. Musical stimuli can significantly increase extracellular DA levels in the NA. NA DA and serotonin were found significantly higher in animals exposed to music. Finally, passive listening to unfamiliar although liked music showed activations in the NA. PMID:25102783
Gray, C L; Norvelle, A; Larkin, T; Huhman, K L
Conditioned defeat (CD) is a behavioral response that occurs in Syrian hamsters after they experience social defeat. Subsequently, defeated hamsters no longer produce territorial aggression but instead exhibit heightened levels of avoidance and submission, even when confronted with a smaller, non-aggressive intruder. Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is hypothesized to act as a signal of salience for both rewarding and aversive stimuli to promote memory formation and appropriate behavioral responses to significant events. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that dopamine in the nucleus accumbens modulates the acquisition and expression of behavioral responses to social defeat. In Experiment 1, bilateral infusion of the non-specific D1/D2 receptor antagonist cis(z)flupenthixol (3.75 μg/150 nl saline) into the nucleus accumbens 5 min prior to defeat training significantly reduced submissive and defensive behavior expressed 24h later in response to a non-aggressive intruder. In Experiment 2, infusion of 3.75 μg cis-(Z)-flupenthixol 5 min before conditioned defeat testing with a non-aggressive intruder significantly increased aggressive behavior in drug-infused subjects. In Experiment 3, we found that the effect of cis-(Z)-flupenthixol on aggression was specific to defeated animals as infusion of drug into the nucleus accumbens of non-defeated animals did not significantly alter their behavior in response to a non-aggressive intruder. These data demonstrate that dopamine in the nucleus accumbens modulates both acquisition and expression of social stress-induced behavioral changes and suggest that the nucleus accumbens plays an important role in the suppression of aggression that is observed after social defeat. PMID:25721736
Chandra, Ramesh; Francis, T. Chase; Konkalmatt, Prasad; Amgalan, Ariunzaya; Gancarz, Amy M.; Dietz, David M.; Lobo, Mary Kay
An imbalance in molecular signaling cascades and transcriptional regulation in nucleus accumbens (NAc) medium spiny neuron (MSN) subtypes, those enriched in dopamine D1 versus D2 receptors, is implicated in the behavioral responses to psychostimulants. To provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms occurring in MSN subtypes by cocaine, we examined the transcription factor early growth response 3 (Egr3). We evaluated Egr3 because it is a target of critical cocaine-mediated signaling ...
Greer, Stephanie M.; Trujillo, Andrew J.; Glover, Gary H.; Knutson, Brian
The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) plays critical roles in healthy motivation and learning, as well as in psychiatric disorders (including schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Thus, techniques that confer control of NAcc activity might inspire new therapeutic interventions. By providing second-to-second temporal resolution of activity in small subcortical regions, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can resolve online changes in NAcc activity, which can then be pres...
Eipper-Mains, Jodi E.; Kiraly, Drew D.; Duff, Michael O.; Horowitz, Michael J.; McManus, C. Joel; Eipper, Betty A.; Graveley, Brenton R.; Mains, Richard E
Genetic association studies, pharmacological investigations, and analysis of mice lacking individual genes have made it clear that cocaine administration and withdrawal have a profound impact on multiple neurotransmitter systems. The GABAergic medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) exhibit changes in the expression of genes encoding receptors for glutamate and in the signaling pathways triggered by dopamine binding to G-protein coupled dopamine receptors. Deep sequence analysis p...
Tobiansky, Daniel J; Will, Ryan G; Lominac, Kevin D; Turner, Jonathan M; Hattori, Tomoko; Krishnan, Krittika; Martz, Julia R; Nutsch, Victoria L; Dominguez, Juan M
The sex-steroid hormone estradiol (E2) enhances the psychoactive effects of cocaine, as evidenced by clinical and preclinical studies. The medial preoptic area (mPOA), a region in the hypothalamus, is a primary neural locus for neuroendocrine integration, containing one of the richest concentrations of estrogen receptors in the CNS and also has a key role in the regulation of naturally rewarding behaviors. However, whether estradiol enhances the neurochemical response to cocaine by acting in the mPOA is still unclear. Using neurotoxic lesions and microdialysis, we examined whether the mPOA modulates cocaine-induced neurochemical activity in the nucleus accumbens. Tract tracing and immunohistochemical staining were used to determine whether projections from the mPOA to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are sensitive to estrogen signaling. Finally, estradiol microinjections followed by microdialysis were used to determine whether estrogenic signaling in the mPOA modulates cocaine-induced changes of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. Results showed that lesions of the mPOA or microinjections of estradiol directly into the mPOA increased cocaine-induced release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that the mPOA modulates cocaine responsiveness via projections to both dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons in the VTA, and that these projections are sensitive to estrogenic stimulation. Taken together, these findings point to a novel estradiol-dependent pathway that modulates cocaine-induced neurochemical activity in the mesolimbic system. PMID:26647972
Bosch-Bouju, Clémentine; Larrieu, Thomas; Linders, Louisa; Manzoni, Olivier J; Layé, Sophie
Chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) is a clinically relevant model of mood disorders. The relationship between the CSDS model and a physiologically pertinent paradigm of synaptic plasticity is not known. Here, we found that cluster analysis of the emotional behavior states of mice exposed to CSDS allowed their segregation into anxious and non-anxious groups. Endocannabinoid-mediated spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) in the nucleus accumbens was attenuated in non-anxious mice and abolished in anxious mice. Anxiety-like behavior in stressed animals was specifically correlated with their ability to produce STDP. Pharmacological enhancement of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) signaling in the nucleus accumbens normalized the anxious phenotype and STDP in anxious mice. These data reveal that endocannabinoid modulation of synaptic efficacy in response to a naturalistic activity pattern is both a molecular correlate of behavioral adaptability and a crucial factor in the adaptive response to chronic stress. PMID:27452462
Goto, Yukiori; Grace, Anthony A.
The nucleus accumbens regulates goal-directed behaviors by integrating information from limbic structures and the prefrontal cortex. Here, we review recent studies in an attempt to provide an integrated view of the control of information processing in the nucleus accumbens in terms of the regulation of goal-directed behaviors and how disruption of these functions might underlie the pathological states in drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders. We propose a model that could account for...
Zhu, Yingjie; Wienecke, Carl F R; Nachtrab, Gregory; Chen, Xiaoke
Chronic opiate use induces opiate dependence, which is characterized by extremely unpleasant physical and emotional feelings after drug use is terminated. Both the rewarding effects of a drug and the desire to avoid withdrawal symptoms motivate continued drug use, and the nucleus accumbens is important for orchestrating both processes. While multiple inputs to the nucleus accumbens regulate reward, little is known about the nucleus accumbens circuitry underlying withdrawal. Here we identify the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus as a prominent input to the nucleus accumbens mediating the expression of opiate-withdrawal-induced physical signs and aversive memory. Activity in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus to nucleus accumbens pathway is necessary and sufficient to mediate behavioural aversion. Selectively silencing this pathway abolishes aversive symptoms in two different mouse models of opiate withdrawal. Chronic morphine exposure selectively potentiates excitatory transmission between the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus and D2-receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons via synaptic insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors. Notably, in vivo optogenetic depotentiation restores normal transmission at these synapses and robustly suppresses morphine withdrawal symptoms. This links morphine-evoked pathway- and cell-type-specific plasticity in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus to nucleus accumbens circuit to opiate dependence, and suggests that reprogramming this circuit holds promise for treating opiate addiction. PMID:26840481
Damez-Werno, Diane M; Sun, HaoSheng; Scobie, Kimberly N; Shao, Ningyi; Rabkin, Jaclyn; Dias, Caroline; Calipari, Erin S; Maze, Ian; Pena, Catherine J; Walker, Deena M; Cahill, Michael E; Chandra, Ramesh; Gancarz, Amy; Mouzon, Ezekiell; Landry, Joseph A; Cates, Hannah; Lobo, Mary-Kay; Dietz, David; Allis, C David; Guccione, Ernesto; Turecki, Gustavo; Defilippi, Paola; Neve, Rachael L; Hurd, Yasmin L; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J
Repeated cocaine exposure regulates transcriptional regulation within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and epigenetic mechanisms-such as histone acetylation and methylation on Lys residues-have been linked to these lasting actions of cocaine. In contrast to Lys methylation, the role of histone Arg (R) methylation remains underexplored in addiction models. Here we show that protein-R-methyltransferase-6 (PRMT6) and its associated histone mark, asymmetric dimethylation of R2 on histone H3 (H3R2me2a), are decreased in the NAc of mice and rats after repeated cocaine exposure, including self-administration, and in the NAc of cocaine-addicted humans. Such PRMT6 down-regulation occurs selectively in NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing dopamine D2 receptors (D2-MSNs), with opposite regulation occurring in D1-MSNs, and serves to protect against cocaine-induced addictive-like behavioral abnormalities. Using ChIP-seq, we identified Src kinase signaling inhibitor 1 (Srcin1; also referred to as p140Cap) as a key gene target for reduced H3R2me2a binding, and found that consequent Srcin1 induction in the NAc decreases Src signaling, cocaine reward, and the motivation to self-administer cocaine. Taken together, these findings suggest that suppression of Src signaling in NAc D2-MSNs, via PRMT6 and H3R2me2a down-regulation, functions as a homeostatic brake to restrain cocaine action, and provide novel candidates for the development of treatments for cocaine addiction. PMID:27506785
Owesson-White, Catarina A.; Ariansen, Jennifer; Stuber, Garret D.; Cleaveland, Nathan A.; Cheer, Joseph F.; Wightman, R. Mark; Carelli, Regina M.
Mesolimbic dopamine neurons projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are part of a complex circuit mediating cocaine-directed behaviors. However, the precise role of rapid (subsecond) dopamine release within the primary sub-regions of the NAc, the core and shell, and its relationship to NAc cell firing during this behavior remain unknown. Here, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) we report rapid dopamine signaling in both the core and shell, howeve...
Faure, Alexis; Richard, Jocelyn M.; Berridge, Kent C.
Background GABAergic signals to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell arise from predominantly subcortical sources whereas glutamatergic signals arise mainly from cortical-related sources. Here we contrasted GABAergic and glutamatergic generation of hedonics versus motivation processes, as a proxy for comparing subcortical and cortical controls of emotion. Local disruptions of either signals in medial shell of NAc generate intense motivated behaviors corresponding to desire and/or dread, along a ...
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Schüller, Thomas; Gruendler, Theo O J; Jocham, Gerhard; Klein, Tilmann A; Timmermann, Lars; Visser-Vandewalle, Veerle; Kuhn, Jens; Ullsperger, Markus
The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and thalamus are integral parts in models of feedback processing. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been successfully employed to alleviate symptoms of psychiatric conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome (TS). Common target structures are the NAcc and the ventral anterior and ventro-lateral nuclei (VA/VL) of the thalamus, for OCD and TS, respectively. The feedback related negativity (FRN) is an event-related potential associated with feedback processing reflecting posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) activity. Here we report on three cases where we recorded scalp EEG and local field potentials (LFP) from externalized electrodes located in the NAcc or thalamus (VA/VL) while patients engaged in a modified time estimation task, known to engage feedback processing and elicit the FRN. Additionally, scalp EEG were recorded from 29 healthy participants (HP) engaged in the same task. The signal in all structures (pMFC, NAcc, and thalamus) was differently modulated by positive and negative feedback. LFP activity in the NAcc showed a biphasic time course after positive feedback during the FRN time interval. Negative feedback elicited a much weaker and later response. In the thalamus a monophasic modulation was recorded during the FRN time interval. Again, this modulation was more pronounced after positive performance feedback compared to negative feedback. In channels outside the target area no modulation was observed. The surface-FRN was reliably elicited on a group level in HP and showed no significant difference following negative feedback between patients and HP. German Clinical Trial Register: Neurocognitive specification of dysfunctions within basal ganglia-cortex loops and their therapeutic modulation by deep brain stimulation in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, http://www.drks.de/DRKS00005316. PMID:25726897
In Sprague-Dawley rats by means of in vivo microdialysis combined with HPLC analysis, it was shown that presentation to rats during exploratory activity of a tone previously pared with footshock inhibited the exploration and prevented the exploration-induced increase in extracellular levels of citrulline (an NO co-product) in the medial n. accumbens. Intra-accumbal infusions of 20 μM bicuculline, a GABA(A)-receptor antagonist, firstly, partially restored the exploration-induced increase of extracellular citrulline levels in this brain area, which was inhibited by presentation of the tone, previously paired with foot-shock and, secondly, prevented the inhibition of exploratory behavior produced by this sound signal of danger. The data obtained indicate for the first time that signals of danger inhibit exploratory behavior and exploration-induced activation of the accumbal nitrergic system via GABA(A)-receptor mechanisms. PMID:25508395
Mele, A.; Avena, M.; Roullet, P.; Leonibus, E. de; Mandillo, S.; Sargolini, F.; Coccurello, R.; Oliverio, A.
Nucleus accumbens dopamine is known to play an important role in motor activity and in behaviours governed by drugs and natural reinforcers, as well as in non-associative forms of learning. At the same time, activation of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors has been suggested to promote intracellular event
Schüller, T.; Gründler, T.O.J.; Jocham, G.; Klein, T.A.; Timmermann, L.; Visser-Vandewalle, V.E.R.M.; Kuhn, J.
The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and thalamus are integral parts in models of feedback processing. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been successfully employed to alleviate symptoms of psychiatric conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome (TS). Common target structu
Zheng, Huiyuan; Townsend, R. Leigh; Shin, Andrew; Patterson, Laurel M.; Phifer, Curtis B.; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf
Nucleus accumbens mu-opioid receptor activation can strongly stimulate intake of high-fat food in satiated rats, and one of the mechanisms involves activation of lateral hypothalamic orexin neurons and orexin receptor-1 signaling in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Here, we tested the potential contribution of NPY/Y1R and α-MSH/MC3/4R-signaling to accumbens-induced high-fat feeding. Prior administration of the selective Y1R antagonist 1229U91 or the MC3/4R agonist MTII into the lateral ventric...
Podet, Adam; Lee, Min J.; Swann, Alan C.; Dafny, Nachum
The psychostimulant methylphenidate (MPD, Ritalin) is the prescribed drug of choice for treatment of ADHD. In recent years, the diagnosis rate of ADHD has increased dramatically, as have the number of MPD prescriptions. Repeated exposure to psychostimulants produces behavioral sensitization in rats, an experimental indicator of a drug’s potential liability. In studies on cocaine and amphetamine, this effect has been reported to involve the nucleus accumbens (NAc), one of the nuclei belonging ...
Lichtenberg, Nina T.; Kashtelyan, Vadim; Burton, Amanda C.; Bissonette, Gregory B.; Roesch, Matthew R.
The majority of work examining nucleus accumbens core (NAc) has focused on functions pertaining to behaviors guided by appetitive outcomes. These studies have pointed to NAc as being critical for motivating behavior toward desirable outcomes. For example, we have recently shown that lesions of NAc impaired performance on a reward-guided decision-making task that required rats to choose between differently valued rewards. Unfortunately, much less is known about the role that NAc plays in motiv...
Bello, Nicholas T.; Hajnal, Andras
Dopaminergic systems have been implicated in diabetes and obesity. Notwithstanding, the most basic relationship between dopamine and plasma insulin as well as glucose levels yet remains unknown. The present experiments were designed to investigate the effects of acute hyperinsulinemia on basal dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens of the rat under chloral hydrate anesthesia using acute microdialysis in combination with the hyperinsulinemic-glycemic clamping procedure. In Experiment 1, each...
Bruning, Johann E A; Breitfeld, Tino; Kahl, Evelyn; Bergado-Acosta, Jorge R; Fendt, Markus
Relief learning refers to the association of a stimulus with the relief from an aversive event. The thus-learned relief stimulus then can induce, e.g., an attenuation of the startle response or approach behavior, indicating positive valence. Previous studies revealed that the nucleus accumbens is essential for the acquisition and retrieval of relief memory. Here, we ask whether the nucleus accumbens is also the brain site for consolidation of relief memory into a long-term form. In rats, we blocked local protein synthesis within the nucleus accumbens by local infusions of anisomycin at different time points during a relief conditioning experiment. Accumbal anisomycin injections immediately after the relief conditioning session, but not 4 h later, prevented the consolidation into long-term relief memory. The retention of already consolidated relief memory was not affected by anisomycin injections. This identifies a time window and site for relief memory consolidation. These findings should complement our understanding of the full range of effects of adverse experiences, including cases of their distortion in humans such as post-traumatic stress disorder and/or phobias. PMID:26792192
Covey, Dan P; Bunner, Kendra D; Schuweiler, Douglas R; Cheer, Joseph F; Garris, Paul A
The reinforcing effects of abused drugs are mediated by their ability to elevate nucleus accumbens dopamine. Amphetamine (AMPH) was historically thought to increase dopamine by an action potential-independent, non-exocytotic type of release called efflux, involving reversal of dopamine transporter function and driven by vesicular dopamine depletion. Growing evidence suggests that AMPH also acts by an action potential-dependent mechanism. Indeed, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry demonstrates that AMPH activates dopamine transients, reward-related phasic signals generated by burst firing of dopamine neurons and dependent on intact vesicular dopamine. Not established for AMPH but indicating a shared mechanism, endocannabinoids facilitate this activation of dopamine transients by broad classes of abused drugs. Here, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry coupled to pharmacological manipulations in awake rats, we investigated the action potential and endocannabinoid dependence of AMPH-induced elevations in nucleus accumbens dopamine. AMPH increased the frequency, amplitude and duration of transients, which were observed riding on top of slower dopamine increases. Surprisingly, silencing dopamine neuron firing abolished all AMPH-induced dopamine elevations, identifying an action potential-dependent origin. Blocking cannabinoid type 1 receptors prevented AMPH from increasing transient frequency, similar to reported effects on other abused drugs, but not from increasing transient duration and inhibiting dopamine uptake. Thus, AMPH elevates nucleus accumbens dopamine by eliciting transients via cannabinoid type 1 receptors and promoting the summation of temporally coincident transients, made more numerous, larger and wider by AMPH. Collectively, these findings are inconsistent with AMPH eliciting action potential-independent dopamine efflux and vesicular dopamine depletion, and support endocannabinoids facilitating phasic dopamine signalling as a common action in drug reinforcement
Ross, Heather E.; Freeman, Sara M.; Spiegel, Lauren L.; Ren, Xianghui; Terwilliger, Ernest F.; Young, Larry J.
Oxytocin receptors in the nucleus accumbens have been implicated in the regulation of alloparental behavior and pair bond formation in the socially monogamous prairie vole. Oxytocin receptor density in the nucleus accumbens is positively correlated with alloparenting in juvenile and adult female prairie voles, and oxytocin receptor antagonist infused into the nucleus accumbens blocks this behavior. Furthermore, prairie voles have higher densities of oxytocin receptors in the accumbens than no...
M.X. Cohen; N. Axmacher; D. Lenartz; C.E. Elger; V. Sturm; T.E. Schlaepfer
The nucleus accumbens plays a key role in reinforcement-guided behaviors. Here, we report that electrophysiological oscillatory phase synchrony between the two nuclei accumbens may play a crucial role in using negative feedback to guide decision making. We recorded local field potentials from the hu
Hearing, Matthew C; Jedynak, Jakub; Ebner, Stephanie R; Ingebretson, Anna; Asp, Anders J; Fischer, Rachel A; Schmidt, Clare; Larson, Erin B; Thomas, Mark John
Drug-evoked plasticity at excitatory synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) drives behavioral adaptations in addiction. MSNs expressing dopamine D1 (D1R-MSN) vs. D2 receptors (D2R-MSN) can exert antagonistic effects in drug-related behaviors, and display distinct alterations in glutamate signaling following repeated exposure to psychostimulants; however, little is known of cell-type-specific plasticity induced by opiates. Here, we find that repeated morphine potentiates excitatory transmission and increases GluA2-lacking AMPA receptor expression in D1R-MSNs, while reducing signaling in D2-MSNs following 10-14 d of forced abstinence. In vivo reversal of this pathophysiology with optogenetic stimulation of infralimbic cortex-accumbens shell (ILC-NAc shell) inputs or treatment with the antibiotic, ceftriaxone, blocked reinstatement of morphine-evoked conditioned place preference. These findings confirm the presence of overlapping and distinct plasticity produced by classes of abused drugs within subpopulations of MSNs that may provide targetable molecular mechanisms for future pharmacotherapies. PMID:26739562
Full Text Available Music is among all cultures an important part of the live of most people. Music has psychological benefits and may generate strong emotional and physiological responses. Recently, neuroscientists have discovered that music influences the reward circuit of the nucleus accumbens, even when no explicit reward is present. In this clinical case study, we describe a 60-year old patient who developed a sudden and distinct musical preference for Johnny Cash following deep brain stimulation targeted at the nucleus accumbens for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. This case report substantiates the assumption that the nucleus accumbens is involved in musical preference, based on the observation of direct stimulation of the accumbens with deep brain stimulation. It also shows that accumbens DBS can change musical preference without habituation of its rewarding properties.
Graves, Steven M.; Clark, Mary J.; Traynor, John R.; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Napier, T. Celeste
Methamphetamine profoundly increases brain monoamines and is a widely abused psychostimulant. The effects of methamphetamine self-administration on neuron function are not known for the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in addictive behaviors, including drug-seeking. One therapeutic target showing preclinical promise at attenuating psychostimulant-seeking is 5-HT2C receptors; however, the effects of 5-HT2C receptor ligands on neuronal physiology are unclear. 5-HT2C receptor agonism decreases psychostimulant-mediated behaviors, and the putative 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonist, SB 206553, attenuates methamphetamine-seeking in rats. To ascertain the effects of methamphetamine, and 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism, on neuronal function in the nucleus accumbens, we evaluated methamphetamine, SB 206553, and the 5-HT2C receptor agonist and Ro 60-0175, on neuronal excitability within the accumbens shell subregion using whole-cell current-clamp recordings in forebrain slices ex vivo. We reveal that methamphetamine self-administration decreased generation of evoked action potentials. In contrast, SB 206553 and Ro 60-0175 increased evoked spiking, effects that were prevented by the 5-HT2C receptor antagonist, SB 242084. We also assessed signaling mechanisms engaged by 5-HT2C receptors, and determined that accumbal 5-HT2C receptors stimulated Gq, but not Gi/o. These findings demonstrate that methamphetamine-induced decreases in excitability of neurons within the nucleus accumbens shell were abrogated by both 5-HT2C inverse agonism and agonism, and this effect likely involved activation of Gq–mediated signaling pathways. PMID:25229719
Crespo, Jose A; Stöckl, Petra; Zorn, Katja; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald
Acquisition of drug-reinforced behavior is accompanied by a systematic increase of release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) rather than dopamine, the expected prime reward neurotransmitter candidate, in the nucleus accumbens core (AcbC), with activation of both muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors in the AcbC by ACh volume transmission being necessary for the drug conditioning. The present findings suggest that the AcbC ACh system is preferentially activated by drug reinforcers, because (1) acquisition of food-reinforced behavior was not paralleled by activation of ACh release in the AcbC whereas acquisition of morphine-reinforced behavior, like that of cocaine or remifentanil (tested previously), was, and because (2) local intra-AcbC administration of muscarinic or nicotinic ACh receptor antagonists (atropine or mecamylamine, respectively) did not block the acquisition of food-reinforced behavior whereas acquisition of drug-reinforced behavior had been blocked. Interestingly, the speed with which a drug of abuse distributed into the AcbC and was eliminated from the AcbC determined the size of the AcbC ACh signal, with the temporally more sharply delineated drug stimulus producing a more pronounced AcbC ACh signal. The present findings suggest that muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors in the AcbC are preferentially involved during reward conditioning for drugs of abuse vs sweetened condensed milk as a food reinforcer. PMID:18418362
Nucleus accumbens, an important component of brain-reward regions, is involved in the reinforcement, tolerance, addiction and expression of withdrawal syndrome of drug addiction. Previous studies of nucleus accumbens in functional anatomy, receptor activation and signal transduction, gene transcription and molecular expression, neuronal plasticity and changes in behavior help us understand the mechanism of drug addiction in the central nervous system, and provide us with basic principles for clinical treatment of drug withdrawal syndrome.%伏核是脑奖赏中枢的重要组成部分,参与成瘾药物的强化、耐受、成瘾过程及药物戒断综合征的表达.对伏核功能解剖、受体激动与信号转导、基因转录与分子表达、神经元可塑性与行为变化等方面的深入研究,将帮助我们揭示药物成瘾的中枢机制,进而为临床戒毒治疗提供理论依据.
Abbas Alimoradian; Javad Sajedianfard; Faegheh Baha-aldini Beigy; Mohammad Reza Panjehshahin; Ali Akbar Owji
Objective(s): The dopamine level of the nucleus accumbens changes during some stereotyped behaviors. To study dopamine level of the nucleus accumbens in intra infralimbic apomorphine-induced climbing, microdialysis probes were implanted into the nucleus accumbens shell of male Sprague Dawley rats weighting 275–400 g. Materials and Methods: The rats were divided into two groups (apomorphine and control) of least eleven rats in each group. Apomorphine at dose of 5 μg/0.5 μl or its vehicle w...
Gilman, Jodi M.; Kuster, John K.; Lee, Sang; Lee, Myung Joo; Kim, Byoung Woo; Makris, Nikos; van der Kouwe, Andre; Blood, Anne J.; Breiter, Hans C.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on y...
Thomas F Münte
Full Text Available The Nucleus accumbens (Nacc has been proposed to act as a limbic-motor interface. Here, using invasive intraoperative recordings in an awake patient suffering from obsessive-compulsive disease (OCD, we demonstrate that its activity is modulated by the quality of performance of the subject in a choice reaction time task designed to tap action monitoring processes. Action monitoring, that is, error detection and correction, is thought to be supported by a system involving the dopaminergic midbrain, the basal ganglia, and the medial prefrontal cortex. In surface electrophysiological recordings, action monitoring is indexed by an error-related negativity (ERN appearing time-locked to the erroneous responses and emanating from the medial frontal cortex. In preoperative scalp recordings the patient's ERN was found to be signifi cantly increased compared to a large (n= 83 normal sample, suggesting enhanced action monitoring processes. Intraoperatively, error-related modulations were obtained from the Nacc but not from a site 5 mm above. Importantly, crosscorrelation analysis showed that error-related activity in the Nacc preceded surface activity by 40 ms. We propose that the Nacc is involved in action monitoring, possibly by using error signals from the dopaminergic midbrain to adjust the relative impact of limbic and prefrontal inputs on frontal control systems in order to optimize goal-directed behavior.
Gancarz, Amy M.; Wang, Zi-Jun; Schroeder, Gabrielle L.; Damez-Werno, Diane; Braunscheidel, Kevin; Mueller, Lauren E.; Monica S Humby; Caccamise, Aaron; Martin, Jennifer A.; Dietz, Karen C.; Neve, Rachael L; Dietz, David M.
Cocaine addiction is a life-long relapsing disorder that results from long-term adaptations within the brain. We find that Activin-receptor signaling, including the transcription factor Smad3, is upregulated in the rat nucleus accumbens shell following withdrawal from cocaine. Direct genetic and pharmacological manipulations of this pathway bidirectionally alter cocaine seeking, while governing morphological plasticity in nucleus accumbens neurons. These findings reveal that Activin/Smad3 sig...
Nicholas A Donnelly
Full Text Available Actions expressed prematurely without regard for their consequences are considered impulsive. Such behaviour is governed by a network of brain regions including the prefrontal cortex (PFC and nucleus accumbens (NAcb and is prevalent in disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and drug addiction. However, little is known of the relationship between neural activity in these regions and specific forms of impulsive behaviour. In the present study we investigated local field potential (LFP oscillations in distinct sub-regions of the PFC and NAcb on a 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT, which measures sustained, spatially-divided visual attention and action restraint. The main findings show that power in gamma frequency (50-60 Hz LFP oscillations transiently increases in the PFC and NAcb during both the anticipation of a cue signalling the spatial location of a nose-poke response and again following correct responses. Gamma oscillations were coupled to low-frequency delta oscillations in both regions; this coupling strengthened specifically when an error response was made. Theta (7-9 Hz LFP power in the PFC and NAcb increased during the waiting period and was also related to response outcome. Additionally, both gamma and theta power were significantly affected by upcoming premature responses as rats waited for the visual cue to respond. In a subgroup of rats showing persistently high levels of impulsivity we found that impulsivity was associated with increased error signals following a nose-poke response, as well as reduced signals of previous trial outcome during the waiting period. Collectively, these in-vivo neurophysiological findings further implicate the PFC and NAcb in anticipatory impulsive responses and provide evidence that abnormalities in the encoding of rewarding outcomes may underlie trait-like impulsive behaviour.
Jonathan P Fadok
Full Text Available The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA is essential for learning in a pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm known as fear-potentiated startle (FPS. Mice lacking the ability to synthesize DA fail to learn the association between the conditioned stimulus and the fear-inducing footshock. Previously, we demonstrated that restoration of DA synthesis to neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA was sufficient to restore FPS. Here, we used a target-selective viral restoration approach to determine which mesocorticolimbic brain regions receiving DA signaling from the VTA require DA for FPS. We demonstrate that restoration of DA synthesis to both the basolateral amygdala (BLA and nucleus accumbens (NAc is required for long-term memory of FPS. These data provide crucial insight into the dopamine-dependent circuitry involved in the formation of fear-related memory.
Full Text Available Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and a leading cause of autism. The disease is caused by mutation of a single X-linked gene called fmr1 that codes for the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP, a 71 kDa protein, which acts mainly as a translation inhibitor. Fragile X patients suffer from cognitive and emotional deficits that coincide with abnormalities in dendritic spines. Changes in spine morphology are often associated with altered excitatory transmission and long-term plasticity, the most prominent deficit in fmr1-/y mice. The nucleus accumbens, a central part of the mesocortico-limbic reward pathway, is now considered as a core structure in the control of social behaviors. Although the socio-affective impairments observed in Fragile X suggest dysfunctions in the accumbens, the impact of the lack of FMRP on accumbal synapses has scarcely been studied. Here we report for the first time a new spike timing-dependent plasticity paradigm that reliably triggers NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP of excitatory afferent inputs of medium spiny neurons (MSN in the nucleus accumbens core region. Notably, we discovered that this LTP was completely absent in fmr1-/y mice. In the fmr1-/y accumbens intrinsic membrane properties of MSNs and basal excitatory neurotransmission remained intact in the fmr1-/y accumbens but the deficit in LTP was accompanied by an increase in evoked AMPA/NMDA ratio and a concomitant reduction of spontaneous NMDAR-mediated currents. In agreement with these physiological findings, we found significantly more filopodial spines in fmr1-/y mice by using an ultrastructural electron microscopic analysis of accumbens core medium spiny neuron spines. Surprisingly, spine elongation was specifically due to the longer longitudinal axis and larger area of spine necks, whereas spine head morphology and postsynaptic density size on spine heads remained unaffected in the fmr1-/y accumbens
Chandra, Ramesh; Francis, T Chase; Konkalmatt, Prasad; Amgalan, Ariunzaya; Gancarz, Amy M; Dietz, David M; Lobo, Mary Kay
An imbalance in molecular signaling cascades and transcriptional regulation in nucleus accumbens (NAc) medium spiny neuron (MSN) subtypes, those enriched in dopamine D1 versus D2 receptors, is implicated in the behavioral responses to psychostimulants. To provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms occurring in MSN subtypes by cocaine, we examined the transcription factor early growth response 3 (Egr3). We evaluated Egr3 because it is a target of critical cocaine-mediated signaling pathways and because Egr3-binding sites are found on promoters of key cocaine-associated molecules. We first used a RiboTag approach to obtain ribosome-associated transcriptomes from each MSN subtype and found that repeated cocaine administration induced Egr3 ribosome-associated mRNA in NAc D1-MSNs while reducing Egr3 in D2-MSNs. Using Cre-inducible adeno-associated viruses combined with D1-Cre and D2-Cre mouse lines, we observed that Egr3 overexpression in D1-MSNs enhances rewarding and locomotor responses to cocaine, whereas overexpression in D2-MSNs blunts these behaviors. miRNA knock-down of Egr3 in MSN subtypes produced opposite behavioral responses from those observed with overexpression. Finally, we found that repeated cocaine administration altered Egr3 binding to promoters of genes that are important for cocaine-mediated cellular and behavioral plasticity. Genes with increased Egr3 binding to promoters, Camk2α, CREB, FosB, Nr4a2, and Sirt1, displayed increased mRNA in D1-MSNs and, in some cases, a reduction in D2-MSNs. Histone and the DNA methylation enzymes G9a and Dnmt3a displayed reduced Egr3 binding to their promoters and reduced mRNA in D1-MSNs. Our study provides novel insight into an opposing role of Egr3 in select NAc MSN subtypes in cocaine action. PMID:25995477
Garbusow, Maria; Schad, Daniel J; Sebold, Miriam; Friedel, Eva; Bernhardt, Nadine; Koch, Stefan P; Steinacher, Bruno; Kathmann, Norbert; Geurts, Dirk E M; Sommer, Christian; Müller, Dirk K; Nebe, Stephan; Paul, Sören; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Zimmermann, Ulrich S; Walter, Henrik; Smolka, Michael N; Sterzer, Philipp; Rapp, Michael A; Huys, Quentin J M; Schlagenhauf, Florian; Heinz, Andreas
In detoxified alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol-related stimuli can promote relapse. However, to date, the mechanisms by which contextual stimuli promote relapse have not been elucidated in detail. One hypothesis is that such contextual stimuli directly stimulate the motivation to drink via associated brain regions like the ventral striatum and thus promote alcohol seeking, intake and relapse. Pavlovian-to-Instrumental-Transfer (PIT) may be one of those behavioral phenomena contributing to relapse, capturing how Pavlovian conditioned (contextual) cues determine instrumental behavior (e.g. alcohol seeking and intake). We used a PIT paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the effects of classically conditioned Pavlovian stimuli on instrumental choices in n = 31 detoxified patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence and n = 24 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Patients were followed up over a period of 3 months. We observed that (1) there was a significant behavioral PIT effect for all participants, which was significantly more pronounced in alcohol-dependent patients; (2) PIT was significantly associated with blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) in subsequent relapsers only; and (3) PIT-related NAcc activation was associated with, and predictive of, critical outcomes (amount of alcohol intake and relapse during a 3 months follow-up period) in alcohol-dependent patients. These observations show for the first time that PIT-related BOLD signals, as a measure of the influence of Pavlovian cues on instrumental behavior, predict alcohol intake and relapse in alcohol dependence. PMID:25828702
Wu, Binbin; Liang, Yuyuan; Dong, Zhanglei; Chen, Zhichuan; Zhang, Gaolong; Lin, Wenxuan; Wang, Sicong; Wang, Benfu; Ge, Ren-Shan; Lian, Qingquan
Propofol, a widely used anesthetic, can cause addictive behaviors in both human and experimental animals. In the present study, we examined the involvement of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling in the molecular process by which propofol may cause addiction. The propofol self-administration model was established by a fixed ratio 1 (FR1) schedule of reinforced dosing over successive 14days in rats. On day 15, the rats were treated with dexamethasone, a GR agonist (10-100μg/kg), or RU486, a GR antagonist (10-100μg/kg) at 1h prior to the last training. The animal behaviors were recorded automatically by the computer. The expression of dopamine D1 receptor in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was examined by Western blot and the concentrations of plasma corticosterone were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). To further examine the specificity of GR in the process, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist, spironolactone, and dexamethasone plus MR agonist, aldosterone, were also tested. Administration of dexamethasone (100μg/kg) or RU486 (⩾10mg/kg) significantly attenuated the rate of propofol maintained active nose-poke responses and infusions, which were accompanied by reductions in both plasma corticosterone level and the expression of D1 receptor in the NAc. Neither spironolactone alone nor dexamethasone combined with aldosterone affected the propofol-maintaining self-administrative behavior, indicating GR, but not MR, modulates the propofol reward in rats. In addition, neither the food-maintaining sucrose responses under FR1 schedule nor the locomotor activity was affected by any doses of dexamethasone or RU486 tested. These findings provide evidence that GR signaling may play an important role in propofol reward. PMID:27126557
Full Text Available Objective(s: The dopamine level of the nucleus accumbens changes during some stereotyped behaviors. To study dopamine level of the nucleus accumbens in intra infralimbic apomorphine-induced climbing, microdialysis probes were implanted into the nucleus accumbens shell of male Sprague Dawley rats weighting 275–400 g. Materials and Methods: The rats were divided into two groups (apomorphine and control of least eleven rats in each group. Apomorphine at dose of 5 μg/0.5 μl or its vehicle was microinjected into the infralimbic in apomorphine and control groups respectively. Then, changes in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens shell were monitored. The concentration of dopamine was measured by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Electochemical (HPLC-ECD. Finally, the stereotyped behaviors were recorded. Results: The mean of dopamine levels for all of after microinjection period in control and drug groups were 450% and 150% respectively compared to those of before microinjection period. However, there was no significant difference between groups of apomorphine and control. In addition, the return of dopamine level to the baseline was faster in apomorphine group than the control group. Conclusion: The intra infralimbic apomorphine -induced climbing at dose of 5 μg/0.5 μl was not modulated via the increase of dopamine level in the nucleus accumbens area.
Full Text Available Introduction. Memory and learning play an important role in human"s life that will become problematic in case disability is weak for any reason. There are many factors that facilitate process of mamory and learning of which accumbens nucleus plays an important role. Accumbens nucleus, which is a part of the limbic system, is one of many nuclei found of the septum in the mesencephalon. This study was performed to determine the effects of reversible Inactivation of a accumbens nuclei by lidocaein on memory storage in rat. Method s. Male wistar rats were surgically implancted with cannulae at the accumbens nuclei (Acb bilaterally one weak later they recived one trial PAL (1 mA 1.S sec and exactly at times zero, 60 and 120 minutes after posttraining, lidocaine was infused into the Acb. Retention was tested two days after training. Latency period before entering into the dark part of the shuttle box and duration of time in darkness were index for evaluation of retention. Results. A significant impaired retention performance was at zero and 60 minutes after posttrianing infusion of lidocaine into the Acb. Infusion administered 120 minutes after training had no effect. Discussion. This study has shown that Accumbens nucleus plays major role in praimary learning and memory and it is probable that by blocking this nucleus dopamine release is diminished which causes the learning process to be delayed consequently.
Salamone, J D
In recent years, considerable emphasis has been placed upon the putative role of nucleus accumbens dopamine systems in appetitive motivation and positive reinforcement. However, considerable evidence indicates that brain dopamine in general, and nucleus accumbens dopamine in particular, is involved in aspects of aversive motivation. Administration of dopamine antagonists or localized interference with nucleus accumbens dopamine systems has been shown to disrupt active avoidance behavior. In addition, accumbens dopamine release and metabolism is activated by a wide variety of stressful conditions. A review of the literature indicates that there are substantial similarities between the characteristics of dopaminergic involvement in appetitive and aversive motivation. There is conflicting evidence about the role of dopamine in emotion, and little evidence to suggest that the profound and consistent changes in instrumental behavior produced by interference with DA systems are due to direct dopaminergic mediation of positive affective responses such as hedonia. It is suggested that nucleus accumbens dopamine is involved in aspects of sensorimotor functions that are involved in both appetitive and aversive motivation. PMID:8037860
Aquili, Luca; Liu, Andrew W.; Shindou, Mayumi; Shindou, Tomomi; Wickens, Jeffery R.
Behavioral flexibility is vital for survival in an environment of changing contingencies. The nucleus accumbens may play an important role in behavioral flexibility, representing learned stimulus-reward associations in neural activity during response selection and learning from results. To investigate the role of nucleus accumbens neural activity…
Murakawa, K.; Hirose, N.; Takada, K.; Suzuki, T.; Nagase, H.; Cools, A.R.; Koshikawa, N.
The effects of the delta2-opioid receptor agonist, deltorphin II, on extracellular levels of dopamine in the rat nucleus accumbens were investigated in awake animals by in vivo brain microdialysis. In agreement with previous studies, perfusion of deltorphin II (50.0 nmol) into the nucleus accumbens
Sørensen, Gunnar; Wegener, Gregers; Hasselstrøm, Jørgen;
Increases in extracellular dopamine in the shell region of the nucleus accumbens are centrally involved in mediating reinforcement of addictive drugs. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its receptors are present in the nucleus accumbens and have been implicated in addiction mechanisms. This study further e...
Dossat, Amanda M; Diaz, Ryan; Gallo, Lindsay; Panagos, Alyssa; Kay, Kristen; Williams, Diana L
Recent evidence suggests that the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) neuronal projection to the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC) contributes to food intake control. To investigate the role of endogenous stimulation of GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R) in NAcC, we examined the effects of the GLP-1R antagonist exendin-(9-39) (Ex9) on meal pattern and microstructure of ingestive behavior in rats. Intra-NAcC Ex9 treatment selectively increased meal size relative to vehicle in rats consuming 0.25 M sucrose solution or sweetened condensed milk. Microstructural analysis revealed effects of NAcC Ex9 on initial lick rate and the size and duration of licking bursts in rats consuming 0.1 or 0.25 M sucrose, suggesting that blockade of NAcC GLP-1R increases palatability. Because NAcC Ex9 did not affect licking for nonnutritive saccharin (0.1%), we suggest that the presence of nutrients in the gut may be required for endogenous stimulation of NAcC GLP-1R. Consistent with this, we also found that the meal size-suppressive effects of intragastric nutrient infusion were attenuated by NAcC delivery of Ex9 at a dose that had no effect when delivered alone. Analysis of licking patterns revealed that NAcC Ex9 did not reverse intragastric nutrient-induced suppression of burst number but rather blunted the effect of nutrient infusion on meal size primarily by increasing the size and duration of licking bursts. Together, our results suggest that NAcC Ex9 influences taste evaluation. We conclude that GLP-1 released in NAcC in response to gastrointestinal nutrients reduces the hedonic value of food. PMID:23612998
Anagnostakis, Y; Spyraki, C
The effect of morphine, administered intrapallidally, on extracellular concentrations of DA, DOPAC, and HVA in the nucleus accumbens and striatum was studied in the behaving rat using the in vivo microdialysis technique. Unilateral application of morphine hydrochloride was performed through microdialysis probes into the rat ventral pallidum (10 microliters of 0, 2.6, 4.0, 13.0, and 26.0 mM) or globus pallidus (10 microliters of 0 and 26.0 mM). The levels of DA, DOPAC, and HVA were measured using the HPLC with EC detection in dialysates collected from the nucleus accumbens, anteromedial, and anterolateral striatum. Samples were taken every 45 min over 3 h before and over 5 h after morphine or vehicle administration. Administration of morphine into the ventral pallidum resulted in increased DOPAC and HVA concentrations in the nucleus accumbens. Pretreatment with naloxone (1 mg/kg, SC) abolished this effect of morphine. Administration of morphine into the globus pallidus resulted in increased DA, DOPAC, and HVA concentrations in the nucleus accumbens and DA in the anteromedial striatum. The levels of DA and metabolites in anterolateral striatum remained rather unchanged following morphine administered into the ventral pallidum or the globus pallidus. The changes in DA neurotransmission into the nucleus accumbens induced by morphine application into the ventral pallidum and globus pallidus are reminiscent of a phasic and tonic release of DA respectively. The results show that intrapallidal morphine increases DA neurotransmission in nucleus accumbens and suggest that the effect of morphine is mediated by ventral pallidum/mesolimbic and globus pallidus/thalamocortical pathways, depending on the site of injection. PMID:8055351
Gangarossa, Giuseppe; Espallergues, Julie; de Kerchove d'Exaerde, Alban; El Mestikawy, Salah; Gerfen, Charles R; Hervé, Denis; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Valjent, Emmanuel
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical brain region involved in many reward-related behaviors. The NAc comprises major compartments the core and the shell, which encompass several subterritories. GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) constitute the output neurons of the NAc core and shell. While the functional organization of the NAc core outputs resembles the one described for the dorsal striatum, a simple classification of the NAc shell neurons has been difficult to define due to the complexity of the compartmental segregation of cells. We used a variety of BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescence (EGFP) or the Cre-recombinase (Cre) under the control of the promoter of dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors and of adenosine A2a receptor to dissect the microanatomy of the NAc. Moreover, using various immunological markers we characterized in detail the distribution of MSNs in the mouse NAc. In addition, cell-type specific extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in the NAc subterritories was analyzed following acute administration of SKF81297 (a D1R-like agonist), quinpirole (a D2 receptors (D2R)-like agonist), apomorphine (a non-selective DA receptor agonist), raclopride (a D2R-like antagonist), and psychostimulant drugs, including cocaine and d-amphetamine. Each drug generated a unique topography and cell-type specific activation of ERK in the NAc. Our results show the existence of marked differences in the receptor expression pattern and functional activation of MSNs within the shell subterritories. This study emphasizes the anatomical and functional heterogeneity of the NAc, which will have to be considered in its further study. PMID:23423476
Burghardt, P R; Krolewski, D M; Dykhuis, K E; Ching, J; Pinawin, A M; Britton, S L; Koch, L G; Watson, S J; Akil, H
Obesity is a persistent and pervasive problem, particularly in industrialized nations. It has come to be appreciated that the metabolic health of an individual can influence brain function and subsequent behavioral patterns. To examine the relationship between metabolic phenotype and central systems that regulate behavior, we tested rats with divergent metabolic phenotypes (Low Capacity Runner: LCR vs. High Capacity Runner: HCR) for behavioral responses to the conflict between hunger and environmental novelty using the novelty suppressed feeding (NSF) paradigm. Additionally, we measured expression of mRNA, for peptides involved in energy management, in response to fasting. Following a 24-h fast, LCR rats showed lower latencies to begin eating in a novel environment compared to HCR rats. A 48-h fast equilibrated the latency to begin eating in the novel environment. A 24-h fast differentially affected expression of cocaine-amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) mRNA in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), where 24-h of fasting reduced CART mRNA in LCR rats. Bilateral microinjections of CART 55-102 peptide into the NAc increased the latency to begin eating in the NSF paradigm following a 24-h fast in LCR rats. These results indicate that metabolic phenotype influences how animals cope with the conflict between hunger and novelty, and that these differences are at least partially mediated by CART signaling in the NAc. For individuals with poor metabolic health who have to navigate food-rich and stressful environments, changes in central systems that mediate conflicting drives may feed into the rates of obesity and exacerbate the difficulty individuals have in maintaining weight loss. PMID:26926827
Cservenka, Anita; Casimo, Kaitlyn; Fair, Damien; Nagel, Bonnie
Adolescents with a family history of alcoholism (FHP) are at heightened risk for developing alcohol use disorders (AUDs). The nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a key brain region for reward processing, is implicated in the development of AUDs. Thus, functional connectivity of the NAcc may be an important marker of risk in FHP youth.
de Rover, Mischa; Lodder, Johannes C.; Smidt, Marten P.; Brussaard, Arjen B.
Pitx3 deficiency in mice affects cholinergic modulation of GABAergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens. J Neurophysiol 96: 2034-2041, 2006. First published July 12, 2006; doi:10.1152/jn.00333.2006. We investigated to what extent Pitx3 deficiency, causing hyperdopaminergic transmission in the nucleus
Haruno, Masahiko; Kimura, Minoru; Frith, Christopher D
Much decision-making requires balancing benefits to the self with benefits to the group. There are marked individual differences in this balance such that individualists tend to favor themselves whereas prosocials tend to favor the group. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this difference has important implications for society and its institutions. Using behavioral and fMRI data collected during the performance of the ultimatum game, we show that individual differences in social preferences for resource allocation, so-called "social value orientation," is linked with activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala elicited by inequity, rather than activity in insula, ACC, and dorsolateral pFC. Importantly, the presence of cognitive load made prosocials behave more prosocially and individualists more individualistically, suggesting that social value orientation is driven more by intuition than reflection. In parallel, activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, in response to inequity, tracked this behavioral pattern of prosocials and individualists. In addition, we conducted an impunity game experiment with different participants where they could not punish unfair behavior and found that the inequity-correlated activity seen in prosocials during the ultimatum game disappeared. This result suggests that the accumbens and amygdala activity of prosocials encodes "outcome-oriented emotion" designed to change situations (i.e., achieve equity or punish). Together, our results suggest a pivotal contribution of the nucleus accumbens and amygdala to individual differences in sociality. PMID:24564471
Millan, E. Zayra; McNally, Gavan P.
Extinction is the reduction in drug seeking when the contingency between drug seeking behavior and the delivery of drug reward is broken. Here, we investigated a role for the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). Rats were trained to respond for 4% (v/v) alcoholic beer in one context (Context A) followed by extinction in a second context (Context B).…
Full Text Available Gabriel C Quintero1–31Florida State University – Panama, Clayton, Panama; 2Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA; 3Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon, Republic of PanamaAbstract: Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR. These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance’s effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family, and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1 of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4
Uys, Joachim D; McGuier, Natalie S; Gass, Justin T; Griffin, William C; Ball, Lauren E; Mulholland, Patrick J
Alcohol use disorder is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by the loss of ability to control alcohol (ethanol) intake despite knowledge of detrimental health or personal consequences. Clinical and pre-clinical models provide strong evidence for chronic ethanol-associated alterations in glutamatergic signaling and impaired synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, the neural mechanisms that contribute to aberrant glutamatergic signaling in ethanol-dependent individuals in this critical brain structure remain unknown. Using an unbiased proteomic approach, we investigated the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure on neuroadaptations in postsynaptic density (PSD)-enriched proteins in the NAc of ethanol-dependent mice. Compared with controls, CIE exposure significantly changed expression levels of 50 proteins in the PSD-enriched fraction. Systems biology and functional annotation analyses demonstrated that the dysregulated proteins are expressed at tetrapartite synapses and critically regulate cellular morphology. To confirm this latter finding, the density and morphology of dendritic spines were examined in the NAc core of ethanol-dependent mice. We found that CIE exposure and withdrawal differentially altered dendrite diameter and dendritic spine density and morphology. Through the use of quantitative proteomics and functional annotation, these series of experiments demonstrate that ethanol dependence produces neuroadaptations in proteins that modify dendritic spine morphology. In addition, these studies identified novel PSD-related proteins that contribute to the neurobiological mechanisms of ethanol dependence that drive maladaptive structural plasticity of NAc neurons. PMID:25787124
Neuhofer, Daniela; Henstridge, Christopher M; Dudok, Barna; Sepers, Marja; Lassalle, Olivier; Katona, István; Manzoni, Olivier J
Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and a leading cause of autism. The disease is caused by mutation of a single X-linked gene called fmr1 that codes for the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a 71 kDa protein, which acts mainly as a translation inhibitor. Fragile X patients suffer from cognitive and emotional deficits that coincide with abnormalities in dendritic spines. Changes in spine morphology are often associated with altered excitatory transmission and long-term plasticity, the most prominent deficit in fmr1-/y mice. The nucleus accumbens, a central part of the mesocortico-limbic reward pathway, is now considered as a core structure in the control of social behaviors. Although the socio-affective impairments observed in Fragile X suggest dysfunctions in the accumbens, the impact of the lack of FMRP on accumbal synapses has scarcely been studied. Here we report for the first time a new spike timing-dependent plasticity paradigm that reliably triggers NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory afferent inputs of medium spiny neurons (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens core region. Notably, we discovered that this LTP was completely absent in fmr1-/y mice. In the fmr1-/y accumbens intrinsic membrane properties of MSNs and basal excitatory neurotransmission remained intact in the fmr1-/y accumbens but the deficit in LTP was accompanied by an increase in evoked AMPA/NMDA ratio and a concomitant reduction of spontaneous NMDAR-mediated currents. In agreement with these physiological findings, we found significantly more filopodial spines in fmr1-/y mice by using an ultrastructural electron microscopic analysis of accumbens core medium spiny neuron spines. Surprisingly, spine elongation was specifically due to the longer longitudinal axis and larger area of spine necks, whereas spine head morphology and postsynaptic density size on spine heads remained unaffected in the fmr1-/y accumbens. These findings
Quintero, Gabriel C
Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance's effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family), and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1) of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors at the level of the NAc. Also, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal induce the formation of subunit glutamate receptor 2 (GluA2), lacking the Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) at the level of the NAc
Quintero, Gabriel C
Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance’s effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family), and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1) of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors at the level of the NAc. Also, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal induce the formation of subunit glutamate receptor 2 (GluA2), lacking the Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) at the level of the NAc
Richardson, Nicole R; Gratton, Alain
We examined the changes in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopamine (DA) transmission associated with non-contingent meal presentations under conditions of high (fixed time-, FT-schedule) and low (variable time-, VT-schedule) predictability. Of interest were the changes in NAcc DA transmission associated with discrepancies between the time food is expected and when it is actually presented. We used in vivo voltammetry to monitor NAcc DA levels as rats received, on the first and second test days, 30-s meals of condensed milk on a VT-52 schedule (inter-meal intervals of 32, 35, 40, 45, 52, 64, and 95 s). On the third and subsequent days meals were presented first on a VT-52 s schedule and then on an FT-52 s schedule. On day 1, monotonic increases in NAcc DA signals were observed during both meal consumption and the intervals between VT meal presentations. By day 2, however, meal presentations on the VT schedule elicited biphasic DA signal fluctuations; DA signals increased prior to each meal presentation but then started to decline during the feeding bout that followed. Fixed-time meal presentations on day 3 disrupted this pattern, resulting in a concurrent escalation of DA signal fluctuations upon subsequent VT meal presentations. These findings provide further evidence that, in trained animals, NAcc DA transmission is activated by conditioned incentive cues rather than by primary rewards. They also suggest that the increases in NAcc DA transmission associated with reward expectancy are sensitive to temporal cues (e.g. interval timing) and to discrepancies between expected and actual outcomes. PMID:18513317
Ng, Enoch; Varaschin, Rafael K; Su, Ping; Browne, Caleb J; Hermainski, Joanna; Le Foll, Bernard; Pongs, Olaf; Liu, Fang; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Roder, John C; Wong, Albert H C
Calcium sensors detect intracellular calcium changes and interact with downstream targets to regulate many functions. Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1 (NCS-1) or Frequenin is widely expressed in the nervous system, and involved in neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and learning. NCS-1 interacts with and regulates dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) internalization and is implicated in disorders like schizophrenia and substance abuse. However, the role of NCS-1 in behaviors dependent on dopamine signaling in the striatum, where D2R is most highly expressed, is unknown. We show that Ncs-1 deletion in the mouse decreases willingness to work for food. Moreover, Ncs-1 knockout mice have significantly lower activity-dependent dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens core in acute slice recordings. In contrast, food preference, responding for conditioned reinforcement, ability to represent changes in reward value, and locomotor response to amphetamine are not impaired. These studies identify novel roles for NCS-1 in regulating activity-dependent striatal dopamine release and aspects of motivated behavior. PMID:26738968
Perrine, Shane A; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Desai, Kirtan; Kohler, Robert J; Eapen, Ajay T; Lisieski, Michael J; Angoa-Perez, Mariana; Kuhn, Donald M; Bosse, Kelly E; Conti, Alana C; Bissig, David; Berkowitz, Bruce A
A long-standing goal of substance abuse research has been to link drug-induced behavioral outcomes with the activity of specific brain regions to understand the neurobiology of addiction behaviors and to search for drug-able targets. Here, we tested the hypothesis that cocaine produces locomotor (behavioral) sensitization that correlates with increased calcium channel-mediated neuroactivity in brain regions linked with drug addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAC), anterior striatum (AST) and hippocampus, as measured using manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI). Rats were treated with cocaine for 5 days, followed by a 2-day drug-free period. The following day, locomotor sensitization was quantified as a metric of cocaine-induced neuroplasticity in the presence of manganese. Immediately following behavioral testing, rats were examined for changes in calcium channel-mediated neuronal activity in the NAC, AST, hippocampus and temporalis muscle, which was associated with behavioral sensitization using MEMRI. Cocaine significantly increased locomotor activity and produced behavioral sensitization compared with saline treatment of control rats. A significant increase in MEMRI signal intensity was determined in the NAC, but not AST or hippocampus, of cocaine-treated rats compared with saline-treated control rats. Cocaine did not increase signal intensity in the temporalis muscle. Notably, in support of our hypothesis, behavior was significantly and positively correlated with MEMRI signal intensity in the NAC. As neuronal uptake of manganese is regulated by calcium channels, these results indicate that MEMRI is a powerful research tool to study neuronal activity in freely behaving animals and to guide new calcium channel-based therapies for the treatment of cocaine abuse and dependence. PMID:26411897
Ruegsegger, Gregory N; Toedebusch, Ryan G; Will, Matthew J; Booth, Frank W
The exact role of opioid receptor signaling in mediating voluntary wheel running is unclear. To provide additional understanding, female rats selectively bred for motivation of low (LVR) versus high voluntary running (HVR) behaviors were used. Aims of this study were 1) to identify intrinsic differences in nucleus accumbens (NAc) mRNA expression of opioid-related transcripts and 2) to determine if nightly wheel running is differently influenced by bilateral NAc injections of either the mu-opioid receptor agonist D-Ala2, NMe-Phe4, Glyo5-enkephalin (DAMGO) (0.25, 2.5 μg/side), or its antagonist, naltrexone (5, 10, 20 μg/side). In Experiment 1, intrinsic expression of Oprm1 and Pdyn mRNAs were higher in HVR compared to LVR. Thus, the data imply that line differences in opioidergic mRNA in the NAc could partially contribute to differences in wheel running behavior. In Experiment 2, a significant decrease in running distance was present in HVR rats treated with 2.5 μg DAMGO, or with 10 μg and 20 μg naltrexone between hours 0-1 of the dark cycle. Neither DAMGO nor naltrexone had a significant effect on running distance in LVR rats. Taken together, the data suggest that the high nightly voluntary running distance expressed by HVR rats is mediated by increased endogenous mu-opioid receptor signaling in the NAc, that is disturbed by either agonism or antagonism. In summary, our findings on NAc opioidergic mRNA expression and mu-opioid receptor modulations suggest HVR rats, compared to LVR rats, express higher running levels mediated by an increase in motivation driven, in part, by elevated NAc opioidergic signaling. PMID:26044640
Owesson-White, CA; Roitman, MF; Sombers, LA; Belle, AM; Keithley, RB; Peele, JL; Carelli, RM; Wightman, RM
Mesolimbic dopamine neurons fire in both tonic and phasic modes resulting in detectable extracellular levels of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In the past, different techniques have targeted dopamine levels in the NAc to establish a basal concentration. In this study we used in vivo fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) in the NAc of awake, freely moving rats. The experiments were primarily designed to capture changes in dopamine due to phasic firing – that is, the measurement of dopa...
Tukey, David S.; Lee, Michelle; Xu, Duo; Eberle, Sarah E.; Goffer, Yossef; Manders, Toby R.; Ziff, Edward B.; Wang, Jing
Background Pain and natural rewards such as food elicit different behavioral effects. Both pain and rewards, however, have been shown to alter synaptic activities in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key component of the brain reward system. Mechanisms by which external stimuli regulate plasticity at NAc synapses are largely unexplored. Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from the NAc receive excitatory glutamatergic inputs and modulatory dopaminergic and cholinergic inputs from a variety of cortical an...
Carlezon, William A; Thomas, Mark J.
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical element of the mesocorticolimbic system, a brain circuit implicated in reward and motivation. This basal forebrain structure receives dopamine (DA) input from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and glutamate (GLU) input from regions including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (AMG), and hippocampus (HIP). As such, it integrates inputs from limbic and cortical regions, linking motivation with action. The NAc has a well-established role in mediating t...
Russo, Scott J.; Dietz, David M.; Dumitriu, Dani; Malenka, Robert C.; Nestler, Eric J.
Addictive drugs cause persistent restructuring of several neuronal cell types in the brain’s limbic regions thought to be responsible for long-term behavioral plasticity driving addiction. Although these structural changes are well documented in nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons, little is known regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Additionally, it remains unclear whether structural plasticity and its synaptic concomitants drive addictive behaviors, or whether they reflect home...
Dalley, Jeffrey W.; Fryer, Tim D; Brichard, Laurent; Robinson, Emma S J; Theobald, David E. H.; Lääne, Kristjan; Peña, Yolanda; Murphy, Emily R.; Shah, Yasmene; Probst, Katrin; Abakumova, Irina; Aigbirhio, Franklin I.; Richards, Hugh K.; Hong, Young; Baron, Jean-Claude
Stimulant addiction is often linked to excessive risk taking, sensation seeking, and impulsivity, but in ways that are poorly understood. We report here that a form of impulsivity in rats predicts high rates of intravenous cocaine self-administration and is associated with changes in dopamine (DA) function before drug exposure. Using positron emission tomography, we demonstrated that D2/3 receptor availability is significantly reduced in the nucleus accumbens of impulsive rats that were never...
Münte, Thomas F.; Marcus Heldmann; Hermann Hinrichs; Josep Marco-Pallares; Krämer, Ulrike M.; Volker Sturm; Hans-Jochen Heinze
The Nucleus accumbens (Nacc) has been proposed to act as a limbic-motor interface. Here, using invasive intraoperative recordings in an awake patient suffering from obsessive-compulsive disease (OCD), we demonstrate that its activity is modulated by the quality of performance of the subject in a choice reaction time task designed to tap action monitoring processes. Action monitoring, that is, error detection and correction, is thought to be supported by a system involving the dopaminergic mid...
Wolf, Marina E.
Plasticity of glutamate transmission in neuronal circuits involving the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is now recognized to play a critical role in cocaine addiction. NAc neurons are excited primarily by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPAR) and this is required for cocaine seeking. This review will briefly describe AMPAR properties and trafficking, with a focus on studies in NAc neurons, and then consider mechanisms by which cocaine may alter AMPAR transmission. Two examples will be discussed that ...
ALBERTSON, DAWN N.; Pruetz, Barb; Schmidt, Carl J.; KUHN, DONALD M.; Kapatos, Gregory; Bannon, Michael J.
Chronic cocaine abuse induces long-term neural adaptations as a consequence of alterations in gene expression. This study was undertaken to identify those transcripts differentially regulated in the nucleus accumbens of human cocaine abusers. Affymetrix microarrays were used to measure transcript abundance in 10 cocaine abusers and 10 control subjects matched for age, race, sex, and brain pH. As expected, gene expression of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) was increased in...
ALBERTSON, DAWN N.; Schmidt, Carl J.; Kapatos, Gregory; Bannon, Michael J.
Drug abuse is thought to induce long-term cellular and behavioral adaptations as a result of alterations in gene expression. Understanding the molecular consequences of addiction may contribute to the development of better treatment strategies. This study utilized highthroughput Affymetrix microarrays to identify gene expression changes in the post-mortem nucleus accumbens of chronic heroin abusers. These data were analyzed independently and in relation to our previously reported data involvi...
Ferguson, Deveroux; Shao, NingYi; Heller, Elizabeth; Feng, Jian; Neve, Rachael; Kim, Hee-Dae; Call, Tanessa; Magazu, Samantha; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J.
Previous studies have shown that chronic cocaine administration induces SIRT1, a Class III histone deacetylase, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, and that such induction influences the gene regulation and place conditioning effects of cocaine. To determine the mechanisms by which SIRT1 mediates cocaine-induced plasticity in NAc, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq), 1 d after 7 daily cocaine (20 mg/kg) or saline in...
Wakabayashi, Ken T.; Kiyatkin, Eugene A
The pattern of neural, physiological and behavioral effects induced by cocaine is consistent with metabolic neural activation, yet direct attempts to evaluate central metabolic effects of this drug have produced controversial results. Here, we used enzyme-based glucose sensors coupled with high-speed amperometry in freely moving rats to examine how intravenous cocaine at a behaviorally active dose affects extracellular glucose levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical structure within...
Chong, Samuel L; Claussen, Catherine M; Dafny, Nachum
Methylphenidate (MPD) is a psychostimulant that enhances dopaminergic neurotransmission in the central nervous system by using mechanisms similar to cocaine and amphetamine. The mode of action of brain circuitry responsible for an animal’s neuronal response to MPD is not fully understood. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been implicated in regulating the rewarding effects of psychostimulants. The present study used permanently implanted microelectrodes to investigate the acute and chronic effe...
Loriaux, Amy L.; Roitman, Jamie D.; Roitman, Mitchell F.
To appropriately respond to an affective stimulus, we must be able to track its value across changes in both the external and internal environment. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical component of reward circuitry, but recent work suggests that the NAc encodes aversion as well as reward. It remains unknown whether differential NAc activity reflects flexible changes in stimulus value when it is altered due to a change in physiological state. We measured the activity of individual NAc neu...
Goff, Bonnie; Gee, Dylan G.; Telzer, Eva H.; Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Gabard-Durnam, Laurel; Flannery, Jessica; Tottenham, Nim
Depression is a common outcome for those having experienced early life stress (ELS). For those individuals, depression typically increases during adolescence and appears to endure into adulthood, suggesting alterations in the development of brain systems involved in depression. Developmentally, the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a limbic structure associated with reward learning and motivation, typically undergoes dramatic functional change during adolescence; therefore, age-related changes in NAc...
Dossat, Amanda M.; Lilly, Nicole; Kay, Kristen; Williams, Diana L.
Central glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) stimulation suppresses food intake, and hindbrain GLP-1 neurons project to numerous feeding-relevant brain regions. One such region is the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which plays a role in reward and motivated behavior. Using immunohistochemical and retrograde tracing techniques in rats, we identified a robust projection from GLP-1 neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract to the NAc. We hypothesized that activation of NAc GLP-1Rs suppresses f...
Sharp, B M; H Chen; S. Gong; Wu, X; Liu, Z.; Hiler, K.; Taylor, W.L.; Matta, S.G.
Inbred Lewis and Fisher 344 rat strains differ greatly in drug self-administration; Lewis rats operantly self-administer drugs of abuse including nicotine, whereas Fisher self-administer poorly. As shown herein, operant food self-administration is similar. Based on their pivotal role in drug reward, we hypothesized that differences in basal gene expression in GABAergic neurons projecting from nucleus accumbens (NAcc) to ventral pallidum (VP) play a role in vulnerability to drug taking behavio...
Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Whereas studies have indicated the interaction between NMDA and cholinergic systems, this study was performed with the aim of determining the role of NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc in scopolamine-induced amnesia.Methods: In this study, at first rats were anesthetized with intra-peritoneal injection of ketamine hydrochloride plus xylazine, and then placed in a stereotaxic apparatus. Two stainless-steel cannulas were placed 2mm above nucleus accumbens shell. All animals were allowed to recover for one week, before beginning the behavioral testing. Then, animals were trained in a step-through type inhibitory avoidance task. The drugs were injected after successful training and before testing. The animals were tested 24h after training, and the step-through latency time was measured as the memory criterion in male Wistar rats. One-way analysis of variance and Tukey’s test were used for analysis of the data. p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.Results: Intra-nucleus accumbens (intra-NAc injection of scopolamine or NMDA caused impairment in memory in rats. Although, co-administration of an ineffective dose of NMDA with an ineffective dose of scopolamine had no significant effect on memory performance, effective doses of NMDA prevented the amnesic effect of scopolamine on inhibitory avoidance memory. On the other hand, intra-NAc injection of NMDA receptor antagonist, i.e., MK-801 caused no change in memory performance by itself, and its co-administration with an effective dose of scopolamine could not prevent the impairing effect of the latter drug. Conclusion: The finding of this study indicated that NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens are involved in the modulation of scopolamine-induced amnesia.
Ikegami, Aiko; Olsen, Christopher M; D’Souza, Manoranjan S.; Duvauchelle, Christine L.
Experiments were performed to examine the effects of cocaine self-administration and conditioning experience on operant behavior, locomotor activity, and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) dopamine (DA) responses. Sensory cues were paired with alternating cocaine and nonreinforcement during 12 (limited training) or 40 (long-term training) daily operant sessions. After limited training, NAcc DA responses to cocaine were significantly enhanced in the presence of cocaine-associ...
Ramaekers, J.; Evers, E.; Theunissen, E.; Kuypers, K.; Goulas, A.; Stiers, P.
Release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is essential for acute drug reward. The present study was designed to trace the reinforcing effect of dopamine release by measuring the functional connectivity (FC) between the NAcc and brain regions involved in a limbic cortical–subcortical circuit during a dopaminergic challenge. Twenty healthy volunteers received single doses of methylphenidate (40 mg) and placebo on separate test days according to a double-blind, cross-over study design....
Zhao, Changjiu; Eisinger, Brian Earl; Driessen, Terri M.; Gammie, Stephen C.
Motherhood involves a switch in natural rewards, whereby offspring become highly rewarding. Nucleus accumbens (NAC) is a key CNS region for natural rewards and addictions, but to date no study has evaluated on a large scale the events in NAC that underlie the maternal change in natural rewards. In this study we utilized microarray and bioinformatics approaches to evaluate postpartum NAC gene expression changes in mice. Modular Single-set Enrichment Test (MSET) indicated that postpartum (relat...
Stopper, Colin M.; WORDEN, LILA T.; Mingote, Susana; Port, Russell G.; Salamone, John D.; Font Hurtado, Laura; Pereira, Mariana; Farrar, Andrew M.
Rationale: Nucleus accumbens dopamine (DA) participates in the modulation of instrumental behavior, including aspects of behavioral activation and effort-related choice behavior. Rats with impaired accumbens DA transmission reallocate their behavior away from food-reinforced activities that have high response requirements, and instead select less-effortful types of food-seeking behavior. Although accumbens DA is considered a critical component of the brain circuitry regulating eff...
Smith, Wesley; Nair, Satish S; Xu, Dong; Nair, Jyotsna; Beitman, Bernard
Computational modeling using GENESIS platform has led to advances in fabricating a model to test the influence of molecular/proteomic adaptations on behavior due to reward. The nucleus accumbens is an area of the brain that processes information from other parts of the brain and is an integral element of the 'reward pathway' in the brain. A simplified model of the accumbens using one neuron is developed as part of a larger effort to study reward and chemical dependency with a focus on cocaine addiction. A preliminary model of a biologically realistic neuron was developed with inhibitory and excitatory afferents as well as intrasynapse dynamics. The neuron displayed characteristic behavior of a neuron found in the nucleus accumbens including bistability. The neuron has afferents from other neurons via dendrites which carry the inputs relating to behavioral aspects and to learning. To add behavioral aspects to the model, a methodology is developed to model contexts and their reinforcing effects on behavior, similar to cocaine addiction. Results using both the biological and behavioral modeling are encouraging for this preliminary model. PMID:17271623
We have previously found that MK-801, a noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist, prevents behavioral sensitization to nicotine. This study aimed to investigate the effect of MK-801 on a neurochemical component of nicotine sensitization by evaluating the effect of the drug on nicotine sensitization of nucleus accumbens dopamine (DA) release. Sprague-Dawley rats were pretreated with MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline 30 min before injection of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, s.c., once daily) for 7 consecutive days. Twenty-four hours after the last drug injection, animals were challenged with local perfusion of 5 mM nicotine into the shell of nucleus accumbens and DA release was monitored using in vivo microdialysis. In rats pretreated with chronic nicotine, local nicotine challenge induced a greater increase of accumbal DA release than in saline-treated animals (maximal DA response 969 ± 235% (mean ± SEM) of basal level vs. 520 ± 93%, P < 0.05). Co-administration of MK-801 with nicotine attenuated an increase of DA release elicited by local nicotine challenge, compared with nicotine alone (maximal DA response 427 ± 83% of basal level vs. 969 ± 235%, P < 0.01). These results suggest that MK-801 blocks the development of nicotine sensitization of nucleus accumbens DA release, further supporting the involvement of NMDA receptors in the development of behavioral sensitization to nicotine
Puga, L; Alcántara-Alonso, V; Coffeen, U; Jaimes, O; de Gortari, P
The thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), an anorexigenic factor that reduces food intake in food-restricted animals, may be involved in motivation for food. Injected centrally, TRH impairs acquisition of food-rewarded behavior. Through the TRH-R1 receptors, TRH injected in the nucleus accumbens increases dopamine content-perhaps the mechanism by which the peptide modulates food motivation. This, however, is still to be demonstrated. We sought to evaluate dopamine release by microdialysis after a TRH injection into the nucleus accumbens shell in free-moving fasted rats. In addition, we assessed dopamine content and turnover by HPLC and the relationship with the motivation for food by analyzing the performance of rats during a progressive-ratio (PR) operant-conditioning test. Finally, we determined serum leptin and triiodothyronine (T3) levels in order to evaluate the animals' metabolic response to food restriction and the impact of intra-accumbal TRH administration on circulating hormones. Intra-accumbal injections of TRH reduced food intake in food-restricted rats-compared to counterparts treated with saline-, without further decreasing T3 or leptin levels, which dropped due to their dietary regime. TRH-injected rats had lower breaking points on the PR schedule, which indicated lower motivation to eat. Accordingly, compared to saline-treated animals, dopamine release and turnover increased in the nucleus accumbens of TRH-injected rats, a finding that suggests a relationship between motivation for food and TRH-induced release of dopamine. PMID:27006143
Full Text Available Though accumulating evidence shows that the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5 mediates some of the actions of extracellular glutamate after cocaine use, the cellular events underlying this action are poorly understood. In this review, we will discuss recent results showing that mGluR5 receptors are key regulators of astrocyte activity. Synaptic release of glutamate activates mGluR5 expressed in perisynaptic astrocytes and generates intense Ca2+ signaling in these cells. Ca2+ oscillations, in turn, trigger the release from astrocytes of the gliotransmitter glutamate, which modulates neuronal excitability by activating NMDA receptors. By integrating these results with the most recent evidence demonstrating the importance of astrocytes in the regulation of neuronal excitability, we propose that astrocytes are involved in mediating some of the mGluR5-dependent drug-induced behaviors.
LIJing; LIYue-Hua; YUANXiao-Ru
AIM: To study the changes in the expression and phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein(CREB) in the rat nucleus accumbens after chronic ethanol intake and its withdrawal. METHODS: Ethanol wasgiven in drinking water at the concentration of 6 % (v/v), for one month. Changes in the levels of CREB andphospho-CREB (p-CREB) protein in the nucleus accumbens were measured by immunohistochemistry methods.RESULTS: Ethanol given to rats in drinking water decreased the level of p-CREB protein in the nucleus accumbens(-75 %) at the time of exposure to ethanol. The decrement of p-CREB protein in the nucleus accumbens remainedat 24 h (-35 %) and 72 h (-28 %) of ethanol withdrawal, which recovered toward control level after 7 d of ethanolwithdrawal. However, chronic ethanol, as well as ethanol withdrawal failed to produce any significant alteration inthe level of CREB protein in the nucleus accumbens. Naloxone (alone) treatment of rats had no effect on the levelsof CREB and p-CREB protein in the nucleus accumbens. However, when naloxone was administered concurrentlywith ethanol treatment, it antagonized the down-regulation of p-CREB protein in the nucleus accumbens (142 %) ofrats exposed to ethanol. CONCLUSION: A long-term intake of ethanol solution down-regulates the phosphoryla-tion of CREB in the nucleus accumbens, and those changes can be reversed by naloxone, which may be one kindof the molecular mechanisms associated with ethano1 dependence.
Alvarez-Jaimes, Lily; Stouffer, David G.; Parsons, Loren H
We employed in vivo microdialysis to characterize the effect of an ethanol challenge injection on endocannabinoid levels in the nucleus accumbens of ethanol-naïve and chronic ethanol-treated rats. Ethanol (0.75 and 2 g/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently increased dialysate 2-arachidonoylglycerol (to a maximum 157 ± 20% of baseline) and decreased anandamide (to a minimum 52 ± 9% of baseline) in ethanol-naïve rats. The endocannabinoid clearance inhibitor N-(4-hydrophenyl) arachidonoylamide (AM404; 3 mg...
Rewal, Mridula; Jurd, Rachel; Gill, T. Michael; He, Dao-Yao; Ron, Dorit; Janak, Patricia H.
Alcohol has subjective and behavioral effects at the pharmacological levels typically reached during the consumption of one or two alcoholic drinks. Here we provide evidence that an α4-subunit-containing gamma-amino-butyric acid A (GABAA) receptor contributes to the consumption of low-to-moderate levels of alcohol. Using viral-mediated RNA-interference (RNAi), we found that reduced expression of the α4 subunit in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell of rats decreased their free consumption of an...
Maier, Esther Y.; Ledesma, Ramon T.; Seiwell, Andrew P.; Duvauchelle, Christine L.
Cocaine is known to enhance nucleus accumbens dopamine (NAcc DA), serve as a positive reinforcer and produce negative effects, such as anxiety. The influence of diazepam on cocaine intake, cocaine-stimulated behavioral activity and NAcc DA was investigated using self-administration and experimenter-administered intravenous (i.v.) cocaine. In Experiment 1, rats were pretreated with diazepam (0.25 mg/kg) or saline (0.1 ml) 30 minutes prior to 20 daily 1-hr cocaine (0.75 mg/kg/inj) self-administ...
Todtenkopf, M S; Carreiras, T; Melloni, R H; Stellar, J R
The mesolimbic dopamine system has been intensely studied as the neural circuit mediating the locomotor response to psychostimulants and behavioral sensitization. In particular, the dopaminergic innervation of the nucleus accumbens has been implicated as a site responsible for the manifestations of behavioral sensitization. Previous studies have demonstrated an augmented release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens upon a systemic injection of a psychostimulant. In addition, alterations in the dopaminergic innervation patterns in this brain region have been demonstrated in animals that received repeated injections of cocaine. Furthermore, lesions of projection sites that have terminations in the nucleus accumbens have demonstrated alterations in psychostimulant induced locomotion, both acutely, as well as in sensitization paradigms. Since dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is believed to regulate several excitatory amino acid inputs, the present study examined the effects of a localized electrolytic lesion in the dorsomedial shell of the nucleus accumbens in order to better understand the functional role this brain region has in behavioral sensitization. All animals received bi-daily injections of 15 mg/kg i.p. cocaine. Only those demonstrating behavioral sensitization after a subsequent challenge dose were included in the analysis. Following acute exposure to cocaine, lesioned animals did not show any difference in their locomotor response when compared with sham controls. However, after repeated exposure to cocaine, sensitized animals demonstrated a significant attenuation in locomotor behavior when compared with sensitized sham controls. This decrease in horizontal locomotion persisted 2 days into withdrawal, yet dissipated in the sensitized animals that were challenged 2 weeks following their last injection. The data presented here demonstrate that the dorsomedial shell of the nucleus accumbens plays an important role in the initial stages of behavioral
Lichti, Cheryl F.; Fan, Xiuzhen; English, Robert D.; Zhang, Yafang; Li, Dingge; Kong, Fanping; Sinha, Mala; Andersen, Clark R.; Spratt, Heidi; Luxon, Bruce A.; Green, Thomas A.
Prior research demonstrated that environmental enrichment creates individual differences in behavior leading to a protective addiction phenotype in rats. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this phenotype will guide selection of targets for much-needed novel pharmacotherapeutics. The current study investigates differences in proteome expression in the nucleus accumbens of enriched and isolated rats and the proteomic response to cocaine self-administration using a liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) technique to quantify 1917 proteins. Results of complementary Ingenuity Pathways Analyses (IPA) and gene set enrichment analyses (GSEA), both performed using protein quantitative data, demonstrate that cocaine increases vesicular transporters for dopamine and glutamate as well as increasing proteins in the RhoA pathway. Further, cocaine regulates proteins related to ERK, CREB and AKT signaling. Environmental enrichment altered expression of a large number of proteins implicated in a diverse number of neuronal functions (e.g., energy production, mRNA splicing, and ubiquitination), molecular cascades (e.g., protein kinases), psychiatric disorders (e.g., mood disorders), and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases). Upregulation of energy metabolism components in EC rats was verified using RNA sequencing. Most of the biological functions and pathways listed above were also identified in the Cocaine X Enrichment interaction analysis, providing clear evidence that enriched and isolated rats respond quite differently to cocaine exposure. The overall impression of the current results is that enriched saline-administering rats have a unique proteomic complement compared to enriched cocaine-administering rats as well as saline and cocaine-taking isolated rats. These results identify possible mechanisms of the protective phenotype and provide fertile soil for developing novel pharmacotherapeutics. Proteomics data are available via
Beckley, Jacob T; Randall, Patrick K; Smith, Rachel J; Hughes, Benjamin A; Kalivas, Peter W; Woodward, John J
Abused inhalants are voluntarily inhaled at high concentrations to produce intoxicating effects. Results from animal studies show that the abused inhalant toluene triggers behaviors, such as self-administration and conditioned place preference, which are commonly associated with addictive drugs. However, little is known about how toluene affects neurons within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region within the basal ganglia that mediates goal-directed behaviors and is implicated in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. Here we report that toluene inhibits a component of the after-hyperpolarization potential, and dose-dependently inhibits N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated currents in rat NAc medium spiny neurons (MSN). Moreover, using the multivariate statistical technique, partial least squares discriminative analysis to analyze electrophysiological measures from rat NAc MSNs, we show that toluene induces a persistent depression of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-mediated currents in one subtype of NAc MSNs, and that the electrophysiological features of MSN neurons predicts their sensitivity to toluene. The CB1 receptor antagonist AM281 blocked the toluene-induced long-term depression of AMPA currents, indicating that this process is dependent on endocannabinoid signaling. The neuronal identity of recorded cells was examined using dual histochemistry and shows that toluene-sensitive NAc neurons are dopamine D2 MSNs that express preproenkephalin mRNA. Overall, the results from these studies indicate that physiological characteristics obtained from NAc MSNs during whole-cell patch-clamp recordings reliably predict neuronal phenotype, and that the abused inhalant toluene differentially depresses excitatory neurotransmission in NAc neuronal subtypes. PMID:25752326
Kim, Sang Eun [Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Shim, In Sop [Kyunghee University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Chung, June Key; Lee, Myung Chul [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)
We investigated the effect of ginseng total saponin (GTS) on nicotine-induced dopamine (DA) release in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of freely moving rats using in vivo microdialysis technique. Systemic pretreatment with GTS decreased striatal DA release induced by local infusion of nicotine into the striatum. However, GTS had no effect on the resting levels of extracellular DA in the striatum. GTS also blocked nicotine-induced DA release in the nucleus accumbens. The results of the present study suggest that GTS acts on the DA terminals to prevent DA release induced by nicotine. This may reflect the blocking effect of GTS on behavioral hyperactivity induced by psychostimulants.
We investigated the effect of ginseng total saponin (GTS) on nicotine-induced dopamine (DA) release in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of freely moving rats using in vivo microdialysis technique. Systemic pretreatment with GTS decreased striatal DA release induced by local infusion of nicotine into the striatum. However, GTS had no effect on the resting levels of extracellular DA in the striatum. GTS also blocked nicotine-induced DA release in the nucleus accumbens. The results of the present study suggest that GTS acts on the DA terminals to prevent DA release induced by nicotine. This may reflect the blocking effect of GTS on behavioral hyperactivity induced by psychostimulants
Hollis C. Karoly
Full Text Available Numerous questions surround the nature of reward processing in the developing adolescent brain, particularly in regard to polysubstance use. We therefore sought to examine incentive-elicited brain activation in the context of three common substances of abuse (cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol. Due to the role of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc in incentive processing, we compared activation in this region during anticipation of reward and loss using a monetary incentive delay (MID task. Adolescents (ages 14–18; 66% male were matched on age, gender, and frequency of use of any common substances within six distinct groups: cannabis-only (n = 14, tobacco-only (n = 34, alcohol-only (n = 12, cannabis + tobacco (n = 17, cannabis + tobacco + alcohol (n = 17, and non-using controls (n = 38. All groups showed comparable behavioral performance on the MID task. The tobacco-only group showed decreased bilateral nucleus accumbens (NAcc activation during reward anticipation as compared to the alcohol-only group, the control group, and both polysubstance groups. Interestingly, no differences emerged between the cannabis-only group and any of the other groups. Results from this study suggest that youth who tend toward single-substance tobacco use may possess behavioral and/or neurobiological characteristics that differentiate them from both their substance-using and non-substance-using peers.
Kerfoot, Erin C.; Williams, Cedric L.
The nucleus accumbens shell (NAC) receives axons containing dopamine-[beta]-hydroxylase that originate from brainstem neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Recent findings show that memory enhancement produced by stimulating NTS neurons after learning may involve interactions with the NAC. However, it is unclear whether these…
Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.
We studied the role of nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear conditioned stimulus A (CSA) in Stage I, which was then presented in compound with a neutral stimulus and paired with shock in Stage II. AcbSh lesions had no effect on fear-learning to CSA in Stage I, but selectively prevented learning…
Radhakishun, F.S.; Ree, J.M. van
The reduction of motor activity elicited in rats by a subcutaneous injection of a small dose of apomorphine was reversed by pretreatment of the nucleus accumbens with haloperidol (10 pg), sulpride (10 pg) or desenkephalin-γ-endorphin (DEγE) (100 pg or 10 ng). These doses of the compounds did not cha
Meshi, Dar; Morawetz, Carmen; Heekeren, Hauke R
Our reputation is important to us; we've experienced natural selection to care about our reputation. Recently, the neural processing of gains in reputation (positive social feedback concerning one's character) has been shown to occur in the human ventral striatum. It is still unclear, however, how individual differences in the processing of gains in reputation may lead to individual differences in real-world behavior. For example, in the real-world, one way that people currently maintain their reputation is by using social media websites, like Facebook. Furthermore, Facebook use consists of a social comparison component, where users observe others' behavior and can compare it to their own. Therefore, we hypothesized a relationship between the way the brain processes specifically self-relevant gains in reputation and one's degree of Facebook use. We recorded functional neuroimaging data while participants received gains in reputation, observed the gains in reputation of another person, or received monetary reward. We demonstrate that across participants, when responding to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others, reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use. However, nucleus accumbens activity in response to monetary reward did not predict Facebook use. Finally, a control step-wise regression analysis showed that Facebook use primarily explains our results in the nucleus accumbens. Overall, our results demonstrate how individual sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to the receipt of self-relevant social information leads to differences in real-world behavior. PMID:24009567
Willett, Jaime A; Will, Tyler; Hauser, Caitlin A; Dorris, David M; Cao, Jinyan; Meitzen, John
Sex differences exist in how the brain regulates motivated behavior and reward, both in normal and pathological contexts. Investigations into the underlying neural mechanisms have targeted the striatal brain regions, including the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens core and shell. These investigations yield accumulating evidence of sexually different electrophysiological properties, excitatory synaptic input, and sensitivity to neuromodulator/hormone action in select striatal regions both before and after puberty. It is unknown whether the electrical properties of neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell differ by sex, and whether sex differences in excitatory synaptic input are present before puberty. To test the hypothesis that these properties differ by sex, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on male and female medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in acute brain slices obtained from prepubertal rat nucleus accumbens shell. We analyzed passive and active electrophysiological properties, and miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs). No sex differences were detected; this includes those properties, such as intrinsic excitability, action potential afterhyperpolarization, threshold, and mEPSC frequency, that have been found to differ by sex in other striatal regions and/or developmental periods. These findings indicate that, unlike other striatal brain regions, the electrophysiological properties of nucleus accumbens shell MSNs do not differ by sex. Overall, it appears that sex differences in striatal function, including motivated behavior and reward, are likely mediated by other factors and striatal regions. PMID:27022621
Veeneman, Maartje M J; Damsteegt, Ruth; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J
The reinforcing and addictive properties of cocaine are thought to rely on the dopaminergic innervation of the striatum. The ventromedial [i.e. nucleus accumbens shell (NAcc) shell] and dorsolateral [dorsolateral striatum (DLS)] regions of the striatum are serially connected, and it is thought that
Tupala, E; Hall, H; Bergström, K; Särkioja, T; Räsänen, P; Mantere, T; Callaway, J; Hiltunen, J; Tiihonen, J
Alcohol acts through mechanisms involving the brain neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) with the nucleus accumbens as the key zone for mediating these effects. We evaluated the densities of DA D(2)/D(3) receptors and transporters in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala of post-mortem human brains by using [(125)l]epidepride and [(125)I]PE2I as radioligands in whole hemispheric autoradiography of Cloninger type 1 and 2 alcoholics and healthy controls. When compared with controls, the mean binding of [(125)I]epidepride to DA D(2)/D(3) receptors was 20% lower in the nucleus accumbens and 41% lower in the amygdala, and [(125)I]PE2I binding to DA transporters in the nucleus accumbens was 39% lower in type 1 alcoholics. These data indicate that dopaminergic functions in these limbic areas may be impaired among type 1 alcoholics, due to the substantially lower number of receptor sites. Our results suggest that such a reduction may result in the chronic overuse of alcohol as an attempt to stimulate DA function. PMID:11326293
The aim of this investigation was a neurochemical study of the effect of agonists of different types of GABA receptors - muscimol (type A receptor), baclofen (type B receptor), delta-aminolevulinic acid (DALA; GABA autoreceptor), and also of GABA itself - on tritium-labelled dopamine release, stimulated by potassium cations, from synaptosomes of the nuclei accumbenes of the rat brain
Kovalev, G.I.; Hetey, L.
The aim of this investigation was a neurochemical study of the effect of agonists of different types of GABA receptors - muscimol (type A receptor), baclofen (type B receptor), delta-aminolevulinic acid (DALA; GABA autoreceptor), and also of GABA itself - on tritium-labelled dopamine release, stimulated by potassium cations, from synaptosomes of the nuclei accumbenes of the rat brain.
Bosch, Oliver J; Dabrowska, Joanna; Modi, Meera E; Johnson, Zachary V; Keebaugh, Alaine C; Barrett, Catherine E; Ahern, Todd H; Guo, JiDong; Grinevich, Valery; Rainnie, Donald G; Neumann, Inga D; Young, Larry J
Loss of a partner can have severe effects on mental health. Here we explore the neural mechanisms underlying increased passive stress-coping, indicative of depressive-like behavior, following the loss of the female partner in the monogamous male prairie vole. We demonstrate that corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2 (CRFR2) in the nucleus accumbens shell mediates social loss-induced passive coping. Further, we show that partner loss compromises the oxytocin system through multiple mechanisms. Finally, we provide evidence for an interaction of the CRFR2 and oxytocin systems in mediating the emotional consequences of partner loss. Our results suggest that chronic activation of CRFR2 and suppression of striatal oxytocin signaling following partner loss result in an aversive emotional state that may share underlying mechanisms with bereavement. We propose that the suppression of oxytocin signaling is likely adaptive during short separations to encourage reunion with the partner and may have evolved to maintain long-term partnerships. Additionally, therapeutic strategies targeting these systems should be considered for treatment of social loss-mediated depression. PMID:26615473
Young, A M; Ahier, R G; Upton, R L; Joseph, M H; Gray, J A
Brain microdialysis was used to study changes in dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and the dorsal striatum during associative learning between two neutral stimuli, flashing light and tone, presented on a paired schedule during stage 1 of a sensory preconditioning paradigm. The tone was subsequently paired with mild footshock using standard aversive conditioning procedures and the formation of a conditioned association between the flashing light and the tone in stage 1 was assessed by measuring the ability of the flashing light to elicit the same conditioned response as the tone when presented at test. The first experiment used behavioural monitoring only, to establish stimulus parameters for subsequent microdialysis experiments. Animals receiving paired presentation of the light and tone in stage 1 showed a conditioned suppression of licking to the light as well as to the tone, indicating that associative learning between the flashing light and the tone had occurred during stage 1, whilst in a separate group of animals given the same stimuli over the same time period but on an explicitly non-paired schedule, the conditioned emotional response was seen to the tone, but not to the light, showing that no association had been formed between the two stimuli during stage 1. In dialysis experiments using the same procedure, we measured a two-fold rise in dopamine in the nucleus accumbens during paired presentation of flashing light and tone, but not during non-paired presentation of the two stimuli. On subsequent test presentation of the two stimuli, we saw increases in accumbal dopamine on presentation of the tone in both groups, reflecting the formation of an association with the footshock in both. However the flashing light elicited an increase in dopamine only in the group which had received paired presentation at stage 1. Thus accumbal dopamine release at test is correlated to the ability of the stimulus to evoke a conditioned response measured behaviourally
Heshmati, Mitra; Golden, Sam A; Pfau, Madeline L; Christoffel, Daniel J; Seeley, Elena L; Cahill, Michael E; Khibnik, Lena A; Russo, Scott J
Mefloquine continues to be a key drug used for malaria chemoprophylaxis and treatment, despite reports of adverse events like depression and anxiety. It is unknown how mefloquine acts within the central nervous system to cause depression and anxiety or why some individuals are more vulnerable. We show that intraperitoneal injection of mefloquine in mice, when coupled to subthreshold social defeat stress, is sufficient to produce depression-like social avoidance behavior. Direct infusion of mefloquine into the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, increased stress-induced social avoidance and anxiety behavior. In contrast, infusion into the ventral hippocampus had no effect. Whole cell recordings from NAc medium spiny neurons indicated that mefloquine application increases the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents, a synaptic adaptation that we have previously shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to social defeat stress. Together, these data demonstrate a role for the NAc in mefloquine-induced depression and anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:26471420
Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J.
Striatal dopamine receptor D1-expressing neurons have been classically associated with positive reinforcement and reward, whereas D2 neurons are associated with negative reinforcement and aversion. Here we demonstrate that the pattern of activation of D1 and D2 neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predicts motivational drive, and that optogenetic activation of either neuronal population enhances motivation in mice. Using a different approach in rats, we further show that activating NAc D2 neurons increases cue-induced motivational drive in control animals and in a model that presents anhedonia and motivational deficits; conversely, optogenetic inhibition of D2 neurons decreases motivation. Our results suggest that the classic view of D1–D2 functional antagonism does not hold true for all dimensions of reward-related behaviours, and that D2 neurons may play a more prominent pro-motivation role than originally anticipated. PMID:27337658
Tzeng, Wen-Yu; Cherng, Chian-Fang G; Wang, Shyi-Wu; Yu, Lung
This study aimed to assess the impact of companions on the rewarding effects of cocaine. Three cage mates, serving as companions, were housed with each experimental mouse throughout cocaine-place conditioning in a cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm using conditioning doses of 10 and 20mg/kg. The presence of companions decreased the magnitude of the CPP. At 20mg/kg, cocaine stimulated dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens as evidenced by a significant decrease in total (spontaneous and electrical stimulation-provoked) DA release in accumbal superfusate samples. The presence of companions prevented this cocaine-stimulated DA release; such a reduction in cocaine-induced DA release may account for the reduction in the magnitude of the CPP in the presence of the companions. Furthermore, cocaine pretreatment (2.5mg/kg) was found to prevent the companion-produced decreases in cocaine (10mg/kg/conditioning)-induced CPP as well as the cocaine (10mg/kg)-stimulated DA release. Moreover, the presence of methamphetamine (MA) (1mg/kg)-treated companions decreased cocaine (20mg/kg/conditioning)-induced CPP and prevented the cocaine (20mg/kg)-stimulated DA release. Finally, the presence of companions decreased the magnitude of the CPP could not seem to be accounted for by cocaine-stimulated corticosterone (CORT) release. Taken together, these results indicate that familiar companions, regardless of their pharmacological status, may exert dampening effects on CPP induced by moderate to high conditioning doses of cocaine, at least in part, by preventing cocaine-stimulated DA release in the nucleus accumbens. PMID:27001454
Marina E Wolf
Full Text Available In animal models of drug addiction, cocaine exposure has been shown to increase levels of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs in two brain regions that are critical for motivation and reward - the ventral tegmental area (VTA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc. This review compares CP-AMPAR plasticity in the two brain regions and addresses its functional significance. In VTA dopamine neurons, cocaine exposure results in synaptic insertion of high conductance CP-AMPARs in exchange for lower conductance calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs. This plasticity is rapid (hours, GluA2-dependent, and can be observed with a single cocaine injection. In addition to strengthening synapses and altering Ca2+ signaling, CP-AMPAR insertion affects subsequent induction of plasticity at VTA synapses. However, CP-AMPAR insertion is unlikely to mediate the increased dopamine cell activity that occurs during early withdrawal from cocaine exposure. Within the VTA, the group I metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR1 exerts a negative influence on CP-AMPAR accumulation. Acutely, mGluR1 stimulation elicits a form of LTD resulting from CP-AMPAR removal and CI-AMPAR insertion. In medium spiny neurons (MSNs of the NAc, extended access cocaine self-administration is required to increase CP-AMPAR levels. This is first detected after approximately a month of withdrawal and then persists. Once present in NAc synapses, CP-AMPARs mediate the expression of incubation of cue-induced cocaine craving. The mechanism of their accumulation may be GluA1-dependent, which differs from that observed in the VTA. However, similar to VTA, mGluR1 stimulation removes CP-AMPARs from MSN synapses. Loss of mGluR1 tone during cocaine withdrawal may contribute to CP-AMPAR accumulation in the NAc. Thus, results in both brain regions point to the possibility of using positive modulators of mGluR1 as a treatment for cocaine addiction.
Uys, Joachim D.; Grey, Angus C.; Wiggins, Armina; Schwacke, John H.; Schey, Kevin L.; Peter W Kalivas
Proteins in the nucleus accumbens mediate many cocaine-induced behaviors. In an effort to measure changes in nucleus accumbens protein expression as potential biomarkers for addiction, coronal tissue sections were obtained from rats that developed behavioral sensitization after daily administration of cocaine, or from daily saline-treated controls. The tissue sections were subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) profiling and tissue imaging. For...
Gilles Erwann Martin; Xincai eJi; Sucharita eSaha
It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g. the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different informatio...
Ikeda, H.; KAMEI, J.; N. Koshikawa; Cools, A R
Accumbal dopamine plays an important role in physiological responses and diseases such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and depression. Since the nucleus accumbens contains different neurotransmitters, it is important to know how they interact with dopaminergic function: this is because modifying accumbal dopamine has far-reaching consequences for the treatment of diseases in which accumbal dopamine is involved. This review provides a summary of these interactions, and our current knowl...
Clissold, Kara A.; Pratt, Wayne E.
Prior research has shown that glutamate and dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) core are critical for the learning of an instrumental response for food reinforcement. It has also been demonstrated that μ-opioid and adenosine A2A receptors within the NAcc impact feeding and motivational processes. In these experiments, we examined the potential roles of NAcc μ-opioid and A2A receptors on instrumental learning and performance. Sprague-Dawley rats were food restricted and trained ...
Beyene, Manna; Carelli, Regina M.; Wightman, R. Mark
The mesolimbic dopamine system is critically involved in modulating reward-seeking behavior and is transiently activated upon presentation of reward-predictive cues. It has previously been shown, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in behaving rats, that cues predicting a variety of reinforcers including food/water, cocaine or intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) elicit time-locked transient fluctuations in dopamine concentration in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. These dopamine transients ...
Hope, B.; Kosofsky, B.; Hyman, S E; Nestler, E J
Chronic treatment of rats with cocaine leads to long-term biochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region implicated in mediating the reinforcing effects of cocaine and other drugs of abuse. Immediate early genes (IEGs) and their protein products appear to play an important role in transducing extracellular stimuli into altered patterns of cellular gene expression and, therefore, into long-term changes in cellular functioning. We therefore examined changes in the mRNA level...
Gancarz, Amy M.; Dipesh Chaudhury; Mary Kay Lobo
Exposure to psychostimulants results in structural and synaptic plasticity in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). These cellular adaptations arise from alterations in genes that are highly implicated in the rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton, such as Tiam1. Previous studies have demonstrated a crucial role for dopamine receptor 1 (D1)-containing striatal MSNs in mediating psychostimulant induced plasticity changes. These D1-MSNs in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) positively regulate drug s...
Rodríguez-Borrero, E.; Rivera-Escalera, F.; Candelas, F.; Montalvo, J; Muñoz-Miranda, W.J.; Walker, J. R.; Maldonado-Vlaar, C.S.
It is known that changes in gene expression within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) occur during cocaine dependence development. However, identification of specific genes involved in cocaine conditioning awaits further investigation. We conducted a high throughput gene expression profile analysis of the NAc, during different stages of the environment-elicited cocaine conditioning. Rats were assigned to two different environmental conditions. Cocaine conditioned group received a cocaine injection (...
Liu, Xiaojie; Liu, Yong; Zhong, Peng; Wilkinson, Brianna; Qi, Jinshun; Olsen, Christopher M; Bayer, K. Ulrich; Liu, Qing-song
Addictive drugs such as cocaine induce synaptic plasticity in discrete regions of the reward circuit. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) is causally linked. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a central regulator of long-term synaptic plasticity, learning, and drug addiction. We examined whether blocking CaMKII activity in the VTA affected cocaine conditio...
Full Text Available Our reputation is important to us; we’ve experienced natural selection to care about our reputation. Recently, the neural processing of gains in reputation (positive social feedback concerning one’s character has been shown to occur in the human ventral striatum. It is still unclear, however, how individual differences in the processing of gains in reputation may lead to individual differences in real-world behavior. For example, in the real-world, one way that people currently maintain their reputation is by using social media websites, like Facebook. Furthermore, Facebook use consists of a social comparison component, where users observe others’ behavior and can compare it to their own. Therefore, we hypothesized a relationship between the way the brain processes specifically self-relevant gains in reputation and one’s degree of Facebook use. We recorded functional neuroimaging data while participants received gains in reputation, observed the gains in reputation of another person, or received monetary reward. We demonstrate that across participants, when responding to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others, reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use. However, nucleus accumbens activity in response to monetary reward did not predict Facebook use. Finally, a control step-wise regression analysis showed that Facebook use primarily explains our results in the nucleus accumbens. Overall, our results demonstrate how individual sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to the receipt of self-relevant social information leads to differences in real-world behavior.
Hoebel, Bartley G.; Barson, Jessica R.; Pedro Rada; Leibowitz, Sarah F.; Avena, Nicole M.
Evidence links dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell to the ingestion of palatable diets. Less is known, however, about the specific relation of DA to dietary fat and circulating triglycerides (TG), which are stimulated by fat intake and promote overeating. The present experiments tested in Sprague-Dawley rats whether extracellular levels of NAc DA increase in response to acute access to fat-rich food or peripheral injection of a fat emulsion and, if so, whether this is related t...
D’Souza, Manoranjan S.; Duvauchelle, Christine L.
Uncertainty and errors in predicting natural rewards influence associative learning and dopamine activity. The present study was conducted to determine the influence of cue-induced cocaine uncertainty, certainty and prediction error on nucleus accumbens dopamine (NAcc DA) in rats. For Certainty training, distinctive sensory cues were present during cocaine availability and alternate cues were paired with non-reinforced (saline) operant sessions. For Uncertainty training, all cues were equally...
Frolov, Alexander; Reyes-Vasquez, Cruz; Dafny, Nachum
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been shown to play a key role in the brain's response to methylphenidate (MPD). The present study focuses on neuronal recording from this structure. The study postulates that repetitive exposure to the same dose of MPD will elicit in some rats behavioral sensitization and in others tolerance. Furthermore, the study postulates that NAc neuronal activity recorded from animals expressing behavioral tolerance after repetitive MPD exposure will be significantly diff...
Sun, Ninglei; Laviolette, Steven R
The mesolimbic pathway comprising the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and projection terminals in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been identified as a critical neural system involved in processing both the rewarding and aversive behavioral effects of nicotine. Transmission through dopamine (DA) receptors functionally modulates these effects directly within the NAc. Nevertheless, the neuronal mechanisms within the NAc responsible for these bivalent behavioral effects are presently not known. Usin...
Muschamp, John W.; Van’t Veer, Ashlee; Parsegian, Aram; Gallo, Miranda S.; Chen, Melissa; Neve, Rachael L; Meloni, Edward G.; Carlezon, William A.
Stress triggers psychiatric conditions including depressive and anxiety disorders. The mechanisms by which stress produces persistent changes in behavior are not fully understood. Here we show in rats that stress (footshock) activates the transcription factor CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) within the nucleus accumbens shell (NAS), a brain area involved in encoding reward and aversion. To examine the behavioral significance of altered CREB function in the NAS, we used viral vecto...
Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Martin, Gilles E.
It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g., the prefrontal cortex (PFCx), the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different informatio...
Spiga, S.; Talani, G; Mulas, G.; Licheri, V; Fois, GR; Muggironi, G; Masala, N; Cannizzaro, C; Biggio, G; E. Sanna; Diana, M.
This paper examines the intimate neuroarchitecture of the nucleus accumbens shell region and how it affects synaptic plasticity in alcohol-dependent rats. To do so, a simultaneous morphometrical/immunofluorescence method was applied to visualize various types of dendritic spines and patch-clamp techniques to detect changes in synaptic currents. Using these tools, we show a selective loss of “long thin” spines accompanied by an impaired long-term depression (LTD) in alcohol-dependent rats. Dop...
Matthew R Holahan
Full Text Available Systemic administration of the noncompetitive NMDA-receptor antagonist, MK-801, has been proposed to model cognitive deficits similar to those seen in patients with schizophrenia. The present work investigated the ability of a dopamine-binding DNA aptamer to regulate these MK-801-induced cognitive deficits when injected into the nucleus accumbens. Rats were trained to bar press for chocolate pellet rewards then randomly assigned to receive an intra-accumbens injection of a DNA aptamer (200 nM; n = 7, tris buffer (n = 6 or a randomized DNA oligonucleotide (n = 7. Animals were then treated systemically with MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg and tested for their ability to extinguish their bar pressing response. Two control groups were also included that did not receive MK-801. Data revealed that injection of Tris buffer or the random oligonucleotide sequence into the nucleus accumbens prior to treatment with MK-801 did not reduce the MK-801-induced extinction deficit. Animals continued to press at a high rate over the entire course of the extinction session. Injection of the dopamine aptamer reversed this MK-801-induced elevation in lever pressing to levels as seen in rats not treated with MK-801. Tests for activity showed that the aptamer did not impair locomotor activity. Results demonstrate the in vivo utility of DNA aptamers as tools to investigate neurobiological processes in preclinical animal models of mental health disease.
Kim G T Pulman
Full Text Available Stimulation of either GABA(A or GABA(B receptors within the nucleus accumbens shell strongly enhances food intake in rats. However the effects of subtype-selective stimulation of GABA receptors on instrumental responses for food reward are less well characterized. Here we contrast the effects of the GABA(A receptor agonist muscimol and GABA(B receptor agonist baclofen on instrumental responding for food using a second order reinforcement schedule. Bilateral intra-accumbens administration of baclofen (220-440 pmol stimulated responding but a higher dose (660 pmol induced stereotyped oral behaviour that interfered with responding. Baclofen (220-660 pmol also stimulated intake of freely available chow. Muscimol (220-660 pmol was without effect on responding for food on this schedule but did stimulate intake of freely available chow. Unilateral administration of either baclofen or muscimol (220 pmol induced similar patterns of c-fos immunoreactivity in several hypothalamic sites but differed in its induction in the central nucleus of the amygdala. We conclude that stimulation of GABA(A or GABA(B receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell of rats produces clearly distinguishable effects on operant responding for food.
Zhao, Rui; Chen, Jiaojiao; Ren, Zhaoxiang; Shen, Hui; Zhen, Xuechu
Nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic projection from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dopaminergic input from the Ventral tegmental area (VTA). Recent studies have suggested a critical role for serine/threonine kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in cocaine-induced hyperactivity; however, the effect of GSK3β on the modulation of glutamatergic and dopaminergic afferents is unclear. In this study, we found that the GSK3 inhibitors, LiCl (100 mg/kg, i.p.) or SB216763 (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.), blocked the cocaine-induced hyperlocomotor activity in rats. By employing single-unit recordings in vivo, we found that pretreatment with either SB216763 or LiCl for 15 min reversed the cocaine-inhibited firing frequency of medium spiny neuron (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Preperfusion of SB216763 (5 μM) ameliorated the inhibitory effect of cocaine on both the α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) (up to 99 ± 6.8% inhibition) and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR)-mediate EPSC (up to 73 ± 9.7% inhibition) in the NAc in brain slices. The effect of cocaine on AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediate excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) were mimicked by the D1 -like receptor agonist SKF 38393 and blocked by the D1 -like receptor antagonist SCH 23390, whereas D2 -like receptor agonist or antagonist failed to mimic or to block the action of cocaine. Preperfusion of SB216763 for 5 min also ameliorated the inhibitory effect of SKF38393 on both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated components of EPSC, indicate the effect of SB216763 on cocaine was via the D1 -like receptor. Moreover, cocaine inhibited the presynaptic release of glutamate in the NAc, and SB216763 reversed this effect. In conclusion, D1 receptor-GSK3β pathway, which mediates glutamatergic transmission in the NAc core through a presynaptic mechanism, plays an important role in acute cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion. PMID:27377051
Warren, Brandon L; Sial, Omar K; Alcantara, Lyonna F; Greenwood, Maria A; Brewer, Jacob S; Rozofsky, John P; Parise, Eric M; Bolaños-Guzmán, Carlos A
Stressful early life experiences are implicated in lifelong health. However, little is known about the consequences of emotional stress (ES) or physical stress (PS) on neurobiology. Therefore, the following set of experiments was designed to assess changes in transcription and translation of key proteins within the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Male adolescent (postnatal day 35) or adult (8-week-old) mice were exposed to ES or PS using a witness social defeat paradigm. Then, 24 h after the last stress session, we measured levels of specific mRNAs and proteins within the NAc. Spine density was also assessed in separate groups of mice. Exposure to ES or PS disrupted extracellular signal-related kinase 2 (ERK2), reduced transcription of ΔFosB and had no effect on cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) mRNA. Western blots revealed that exposure to ES or PS decreased ERK2 phosphorylation in adolescents, whereas the same stress regimen increased ERK2 phosphorylation in adults. Exposure to ES or PS had no effect on ΔFosB or CREB phosphorylation. ES and PS increased spine density in the NAc of adolescent exposed mice, but only exposure to PS increased spine density in adults. Together, these findings demonstrate that exposure to ES or PS is a potent stressor in adolescent and adult mice and can disturb the integrity of the NAc by altering transcription and translation of important signaling molecules in an age-dependent manner. Furthermore, exposure to ES and PS induces substantial synaptic plasticity of the NAc. PMID:24943326
John A Clithero
Full Text Available To dissociate a choice from its antecedent neural states, motivation associated with the expected outcome must be captured in the absence of choice. Yet, the neural mechanisms that mediate behavioral idiosyncrasies in motivation, particularly with regard to complex economic preferences, are rarely examined in situations without overt decisions. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in a large sample of participants while they anticipated earning rewards from two different modalities: monetary and candy rewards. An index for relative motivation toward different reward types was constructed using reaction times to the target for earning rewards. Activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc and anterior insula (aINS predicted individual variation in relative motivation between our reward modalities. NAcc activation, however, mediated the effects of aINS, indicating the NAcc is the likely source of this relative weighting. These results demonstrate that neural idiosyncrasies in reward efficacy exist even in the absence of explicit choices, and extend the role of NAcc as a critical brain region for such choice-free motivation.
Loriaux, Amy L; Roitman, Jamie D; Roitman, Mitchell F
To appropriately respond to an affective stimulus, we must be able to track its value across changes in both the external and internal environment. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical component of reward circuitry, but recent work suggests that the NAc encodes aversion as well as reward. It remains unknown whether differential NAc activity reflects flexible changes in stimulus value when it is altered due to a change in physiological state. We measured the activity of individual NAc neurons when rats were given intraoral infusions of a hypertonic salt solution (0.45 M NaCl) across multiple sessions in which motivational state was manipulated. This normally nonpreferred taste was made rewarding via sodium depletion, which resulted in a strong motivation to seek out and consume salt. Recordings were made in three conditions: while sodium replete (REP), during acute sodium depletion (DEP), and following replenishment of salt to normal sodium balance (POST). We found that NAc neurons in the shell and core subregions responded differently across the three conditions. In the shell, we observed overall increases in NAc activity when the salt solution was nonpreferred (REP) but decreases when the salt solution was preferred (DEP). In the core, overall activity was significantly altered only after sodium balance was restored (POST). The results lend further support to the selective encoding of affective stimuli by the NAc and suggest that NAc shell is particularly involved in flexibly encoding stimulus value based on motivational state. PMID:21697439
A variety of clinical and animal data suggest that the repeated administration of cocaine and related psychomotor stimulants may be associated with a behavioral sensitization whereby the same dose of the drug results in increasing behavioral pathology. This investigation was designed to determine the effects of chronic cocaine administration on the binding of [3H]sulpiride, a relatively specific ligand for D2 dopaminergic receptors, in the rat brain using in vitro homogenate binding and light microscopic quantitative autoradiographic methodologies. Chronic daily injections of cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) for 15 days resulted in a significant decrease in the maximum concentration of sulpiride binding sites in the striatum and a significant increase in the maximum number of these binding sites in the nucleus accumbens. No significant differences in binding affinity were observed in either brain region. These data suggest that chronic cocaine administration may result in differential effects on D2 receptors in the nigro-striatal and mesolimbic dopaminergic systems
du Hoffmann, Johann; Nicola, Saleem M.
Dopamine receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) promotes vigorous environmentally-cued food-seeking in hungry rats. Rats fed ad libitum, however, respond to fewer food-predictive cues, particularly when the value of food reward is low. Here, we investigated whether this difference could be due to differences in the degree of dopamine receptor activation in the NAc. First, we observed that although rats given ad libitum access to chow in their home cages approached a food receptacle in response to reward-predictive cues, the number of such approaches declined as animals accumulated food rewards. Intriguingly, cued approach to food occurred in clusters, with several cued responses followed by successive non-responses. This pattern suggested that behavior was dictated by transitions between two states, responsive and non-responsive. Injection of D1 or D2 dopamine receptor agonists into the NAc dose-dependently increased cue responding by promoting transitions to the responsive state and by preventing transitions to the non-responsive state. In contrast, antagonists of either D1 or D2 receptors promoted long bouts of non-responding by inducing transitions to the non-responsive state and by preventing transitions to the responsive state. Moreover, locomotor behavior during the inter-trial interval was correlated with the responsive state, and was also increased by dopamine receptor agonists. These results suggest that activation of NAc dopamine receptors plays an important role in regulating the probability of approach to food under conditions of normative satiety. PMID:27471453
Resendez, Shanna L; Keyes, Piper C; Day, Jeremy J; Hambro, Caely; Austin, Curtis J; Maina, Francis K; Eidson, Lori N; Porter-Stransky, Kirsten A; Nevárez, Natalie; McLean, J William; Kuhnmuench, Morgan A; Murphy, Anne Z; Mathews, Tiffany A; Aragona, Brandon J
Prairie vole breeder pairs form monogamous pair bonds, which are maintained through the expression of selective aggression toward novel conspecifics. Here, we utilize behavioral and anatomical techniques to extend the current understanding of neural mechanisms that mediate pair bond maintenance. For both sexes, we show that pair bonding up-regulates mRNA expression for genes encoding D1-like dopamine (DA) receptors and dynorphin as well as enhances stimulated DA release within the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We next show that D1-like receptor regulation of selective aggression is mediated through downstream activation of kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) and that activation of these receptors mediates social avoidance. Finally, we also identified sex-specific alterations in KOR binding density within the NAc shell of paired males and demonstrate that this alteration contributes to the neuroprotective effect of pair bonding against drug reward. Together, these findings suggest motivational and valence processing systems interact to mediate the maintenance of social bonds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15325.001 PMID:27371827
Cauli, Omar; Mlili, Nisrin; Rodrigo, Regina; Felipo, Vicente
Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors by injecting (S)3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) increases motor activity by different mechanisms in control rats and in rats with chronic liver failure due to portacaval shunt. In control rats DHPG increases extracellular dopamine in NAcc and induces locomotion by activating the 'normal' circuit: NAcc-->ventral pallidum-->medial-dorsal thalamus-->prefrontal cortex, which is not activated in portacaval shunt rats. In these rats, DHPG activates an 'alternative' circuit: NAcc-->substantia nigra pars reticulata-->ventro-medial thalamus-->prefrontal cortex, which is not activated in control rats. The reasons by which liver failure leads to activation of this 'alternative' circuit remain unclear. The aim of this work was to assess whether hyperammonaemia could be responsible for the alterations found in chronic liver failure. We injected DHPG in NAcc of control or hyperammonaemic rats and analysed, by in vivo brain microdialysis, the neurochemical responses of the 'normal' and 'alternative' circuits. In hyperammonaemic rats DHPG injection in NAcc activates both the 'normal' and 'alternative' circuits. In hyperammonaemia, activation of the 'alternative' circuit and increased motor response following metabotropic glutamate receptors activation in NAcc seem due to an increase in extracellular glutamate which activates AMPA receptors. PMID:17587309
Wallin-Miller, Kathryn; Li, Grace; Kelishani, Diana; Wood, Ruth I
Recent studies have demonstrated that anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) modify cognitive processes such as decision making and behavioral flexibility. However, the neural mechanisms underlying these AAS-induced cognitive changes remain poorly understood. The mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, particularly the nucleus accumbens (Acb), is important for reward, motivated behavior, and higher cognitive processes such as decision making. Therefore, AAS-induced plasticity in the DA system is a potential structural substrate for the observed cognitive alterations. High doses of testosterone (the most commonly-used AAS) increase dendritic spine density in limbic regions including the amygdala and hippocampus. However, effects on Acb are unknown. This was the focus of the present study. Adolescent male Long-Evans rats were treated chronically for 8weeks with high-dose testosterone (7.5mg/kg in water with 13% cyclodextrin) or vehicle sc. Brains were stained by Golgi-Cox to analyze neuronal morphology in medium spiny neurons of the shell region of Acb (AcbSh). Eightweeks of testosterone treatment significantly decreased spine density in AcbSh compared to brains of vehicle-treated rats (F1,14=5.455, p<0.05). Testosterone did not significantly affect total spine number, dendritic length, or arborization measured by Sholl analysis. These results show that AAS alter neuronal morphology in AcbSh by decreasing spine density throughout the dendritic tree, and provides a potential mechanism for AAS to modify cognition and decision-making behavior. PMID:27238893
Hikida, Takatoshi; Morita, Makiko; Macpherson, Tom
The basal ganglia are key neural substrates not only for motor function, but also cognitive functions including reward and aversive learning. Critical for these processes are the functional role played by two projection neurons within nucleus accumbens (NAc); the D1- and D2-expressing neurons. Recently, we have developed a novel reversible neurotransmission blocking technique that specifically blocks neurotransmission from NAc D1- and D2-expressing neurons, allowing for in vivo analysis. In this review, we outline the functional dissociation of NAc D1- and D2-expressing neurons of the basal ganglia in reward and aversive learning, as well as drug addiction. These studies have revealed the importance of activation of NAc D1 receptors for reward learning and drug addiction, and inactivation of NAc D2 receptors for aversive learning and flexibility. Based on these findings, we propose a neural mechanism, in which dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area that send inputs to the NAc work as a switch between D1- and D2-expressing neurons. These basal ganglia neural mechanisms will give us new insights into the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26827817
Full Text Available The nucleus accumbens (NA has been hypothesized to be part of a circuit in which cue-evoked information about expected outcomes is mobilized to guide behavior. Here we tested this hypothesis using a Pavlovian reinforcer devaluation task, previously applied to assess outcome-guided behavior after damage to regions such as the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala that send projections to NA. Rats with sham lesions or neurotoxic lesions of either the core or shell subdivision of NA were trained to associate a 10 sec CS+ with delivery of three food pellets. After training, half of the rats in each lesion group received food paired with illness induced by LiCl injections; the remaining rats received food and illness unpaired. Subsequently, responding to the CS+ was assessed in an extinction probe test. Both sham and lesioned rats conditioned to the CS+ and formed a conditioned taste aversion. However only sham rats reduced their conditioned responding as a result of reinforcer devaluation; devalued rats with lesions of either core or shell showed levels of responding that were similar to lesioned, non-devalued rats. This impairment was not due to the loss of motivational salience conferred to the CS+ in lesioned rats as both groups responded similarly for the cue in conditioned reinforcement testing. These data suggest that NA core and shell are part of a circuit necessary for the use of cue-evoked information about expected outcomes to guide behavior.
Addy, Nii A.; Daberkow, David P.; Ford, Jeremy N.; Garris, Paul A.; Wightman, R. Mark
Repeated cocaine exposure and withdrawal leads to long-term changes, including behavioral and dopamine sensitization to an acute cocaine challenge, that are most pronounced after long withdrawal periods. However, the changes in dopamine neurotransmission after short withdrawal periods are less well defined. To study dopamine neurotransmission after 1-day withdrawal, we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) to determine whether repeated cocaine alters rapid dopamine release and uptake in th...
Kummer, Kai K; El Rawas, Rana; Kress, Michaela; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald
Both cocaine and social interaction place preference conditioning lead to increased neuronal expression of the immediate early gene EGR1 in the nucleus accumbens, a central region of the reward pathway, suggesting that both drug and natural rewards may be processed in similar brain regions. In order to gain novel insights into the intrinsic in vitro electrical activity of the nucleus accumbens and adjacent brain regions and to explore the effects of reward conditioning on network activity, we performed multielectrode array recordings of spontaneous firing in acute brain slices of mice conditioned to either cocaine or social interaction place preference. Cocaine conditioning increased the spike frequency of neurons in the septal nuclei, whereas social interaction conditioning increased the spike frequency in the nucleus accumbens compared to saline control animals. In addition, social interaction conditioning decreased the amount of active neuron clusters in the nucleus accumbens. Our findings suggest that place preference conditioning for both drug and natural rewards may induce persistent changes in neuronal network activity in the nucleus accumbens and the septum that are still preserved in acute slice preparations. PMID:25592253
Manago, Francesca; Castellano, Claudio; Oliverio, Alberto; Mele, Andrea; De Leonibus, Elvira
Recent evidence demonstrated that dopamine within the nucleus accumbens mediates consolidation of both associative and nonassociative memories. However, the specific contribution of the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, and of D1 and D2 receptors subtypes has not been yet clarified. The aim of this study was, therefore, to directly…
Zhang, L; Warren, R A
We have recorded excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by local electrical stimulation in 243 nucleus accumbens (nAcb) neurons in vitro during postnatal development from the day of birth (postnatal day 0; P0) to P27 and in young adults rats (P59-P71). An EPSC sensitive to glutamatergic antagonists was found in all neurons. In the majority of cases (189/243), the EPSC had two distinct components: an early one sensitive to 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and a late one that was sensitive to D-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) showing that early and late components of the EPSC were mediated by AMPA/kainate (KA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors respectively. During the first four postnatal days, the amplitudes of both the AMPA/KA and NMDA components of the EPSC were relatively small and then began to increase until the end of the second postnatal week. Whereas the amplitude of the early component appeared to stabilize from that point on, the late component began to decrease and became virtually undetectable in preparations from animals older than 3 weeks unless the AMPA/KA response was blocked with CNQX. In addition, the ratio between the amplitude of the NMDA and AMPA/KA receptor-mediated components of the EPSC followed a developmental pattern parallel to that of the NMDA receptor component showing an increase during the first two postnatal weeks followed by a decrease. Together, these results show that, during postnatal development, there is a period when NMDA receptor-mediated EPSC are preeminent and that time frame might represent a period during which the development of the nAcb might be sensitive to environmental manipulation. PMID:18554817
Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit
Acute stress results in release of glucocorticoids, which are potent modulators of learning and plasticity. This process is presumably mediated by the basolateral amygdala (BLA) where cannabinoids CB1 receptors have a key role in regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Growing attention has been focused on nucleus accumbens (NAc) plasticity, which regulates mood and motivation. The NAc integrates affective and context-dependent input from the BLA and ventral subiculum (vSub), respectively. As our previous data suggest that the CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU-38486 (RU) can prevent the effects of stress on emotional memory, we examined whether intra-BLA WIN and RU can reverse the effects of acute stress on NAc plasticity. Bilateral, ipsilateral, and contralateral BLA administration of RU or WIN reversed the stress-induced impairment in vSub-NAc long-term potentiation (LTP) and the decrease in cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) activity in the NAc. BLA CB1 receptors were found to mediate the preventing effects of WIN on plasticity, but not the preventing effects of RU, after stress. Inactivating the ipsilateral BLA, but not the contralateral BLA, impaired LTP. The possible mechanisms underlying the effects of BLA on NAc plasticity are discussed; the data suggest that BLA-induced changes in the NAc may be mediated through neural pathways in the brain's stress circuit rather than peripheral pathways. The results suggest that glucocorticoid and cannabinoid systems in the BLA can restore normal function of the NAc and hence may have a central role in the treatment of a variety of stress-related disorders. PMID:26289146
Wolf, Marina E.
Plasticity of glutamate transmission in neuronal circuits involving the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is now recognized to play a critical role in cocaine addiction. NAc neurons are excited primarily by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPAR) and this is required for cocaine seeking. This review will briefly describe AMPAR properties and trafficking, with a focus on studies in NAc neurons, and then consider mechanisms by which cocaine may alter AMPAR transmission. Two examples will be discussed that may be important in two different stages of addiction: learning about drugs and drug-related cues during the period of drug exposure, and persistent vulnerability to craving and relapse after abstinence is achieved. The first example is drawn from studies of cultured NAc neurons. Elevation of DA levels (as would occur following cocaine exposure) facilitates activity-dependent strengthening of excitatory synapses onto medium spiny neurons, the main cell type and projection neuron of the NAc. This occurs because activation of D1-class receptors primes AMPAR for synaptic insertion, creating a temporal window in which stimuli related to cocaine-taking are more efficacious at eliciting synaptic plasticity and thus being encoded into memory. The second example involves rat models of cocaine addiction. Cell surface and synaptic expression of AMPAR on NAc neurons is persistently increased after withdrawal from repeated cocaine exposure. We hypothesize that this increases the reactivity of NAc neurons to glutamate inputs from cortex and limbic structures, facilitating the ability of these inputs to trigger cocaine seeking and thus contributing to the persistent vulnerability to relapse that characterizes addiction. PMID:20361291
Ferguson, Deveroux; Shao, Ningyi; Heller, Elizabeth; Feng, Jian; Neve, Rachael; Kim, Hee-Dae; Call, Tanessa; Magazu, Samantha; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J
Previous studies have shown that chronic cocaine administration induces SIRT1, a Class III histone deacetylase, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, and that such induction influences the gene regulation and place conditioning effects of cocaine. To determine the mechanisms by which SIRT1 mediates cocaine-induced plasticity in NAc, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq), 1 d after 7 daily cocaine (20 mg/kg) or saline injections, to map SIRT1 binding genome-wide in mouse NAc. Our unbiased results revealed two modes of SIRT1 action. First, despite its induction in NAc, chronic cocaine causes depletion of SIRT1 from most affected gene promoters in concert with enrichment of H4K16ac (itself a deacetylation target of SIRT1), which is associated with increased expression of these genes. Second, we deduced the forkhead transcription factor (FOXO) family to be a downstream mechanism through which SIRT1 regulates cocaine action. We proceeded to demonstrate that SIRT1 induction causes the deacetylation and activation of FOXO3a in NAc, which leads to the induction of several known FOXO3a gene targets in other systems. Finally, we directly establish a role for FOXO3a in promoting cocaine-elicited behavioral responses by use of viral-mediated gene transfer: we show that overexpressing FOXO3a in NAc enhances cocaine place conditioning. The discovery of these two actions of SIRT1 in NAc in the context of behavioral adaptations to cocaine represents an important step forward in advancing our understanding of the molecular adaptations underlying cocaine action. PMID:25698746
Massart, Renaud; Barnea, Royi; Dikshtein, Yahav; Suderman, Matthew; Meir, Oren; Hallett, Michael; Kennedy, Pamela; Nestler, Eric J; Szyf, Moshe; Yadid, Gal
One of the major challenges of cocaine addiction is the high rate of relapse to drug use after periods of withdrawal. During the first few weeks of withdrawal, cue-induced cocaine craving intensifies, or "incubates," and persists over extended periods of time. Although several brain regions and molecular mechanisms were found to be involved in this process, the underlying epigenetic mechanisms are still unknown. Herein, we used a rat model of incubation of cocaine craving, in which rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (0.75 mg/kg, 6 h/d, 10 d), and cue-induced cocaine-seeking was examined in an extinction test after 1 or 30 d of withdrawal. We show that the withdrawal periods, as well as cue-induced cocaine seeking, are associated with broad, time-dependent enhancement of DNA methylation alterations in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). These gene methylation alterations were partly negatively correlated with gene expression changes. Furthermore, intra-NAc injections of a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor (RG108, 100 μm) abolished cue-induced cocaine seeking on day 30, an effect that persisted 1 month, whereas the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (500 μm) had an opposite effect on cocaine seeking. We then targeted two proteins whose genes were demethylated by RG108-estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) and cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5). Treatment with an intra-NAc injection of the ESR1 agonist propyl pyrazole triol (10 nm) or the CDK5 inhibitor roscovitine (28 μm) on day 30 of withdrawal significantly decreased cue-induced cocaine seeking. These results demonstrate a role for NAc DNA methylation, and downstream targets of DNA demethylation, in incubation of cocaine craving. PMID:26019323
Ken Taro Wakabayashi
Full Text Available The pattern of neural, physiological and behavioral effects induced by cocaine is consistent with metabolic neural activation, yet direct attempts to evaluate central metabolic effects of this drug have produced controversial results. Here, we used enzyme-based glucose sensors coupled with high-speed amperometry in freely moving rats to examine how intravenous cocaine at a behaviorally active dose affects extracellular glucose levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc, a critical structure within the motivation-reinforcement circuit. In drug-naive rats, cocaine induced a bimodal increase in glucose, with the first, ultra-fast phasic rise appearing during the injection (latency 6-8 s; ~50 µM or ~5% of baseline followed by a larger, more prolonged tonic elevation (~100 µM or 10% of baseline, peak ~15 min. While the rapid, phasic component of the glucose response remained stable following subsequent cocaine injections, the tonic component progressively decreased. Cocaine-methiodide, cocaine’s peripherally acting analog, induced an equally rapid and strong initial glucose rise, indicating cocaine’s action on peripheral neural substrates as its cause. However, this analog did not induce increases in either locomotion or tonic glucose, suggesting direct central mediation of these cocaine effects. Under systemic pharmacological blockade of dopamine transmission, both phasic and tonic components of the cocaine-induced glucose response were only slightly reduced, suggesting a significant role of non-dopamine mechanisms in cocaine-induced accumbal glucose influx. Hence, intravenous cocaine induces rapid, strong inflow of glucose into NAc extracellular space by involving both peripheral and central, non-dopamine drug actions, thus preventing a possible deficit resulting from enhanced glucose use by brain cells.
Full Text Available The nucleus accumbens (NAc is a critical brain region involved in many reward-related behaviors. The NAc comprises major compartments the core and the shell, which encompass several subterritories. GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs constitute the output neurons of the NAc core and shell. While the functional organization of the NAc core outputs resembles the one described for the dorsal striatum, a simple classification of the NAc shell neurons has been difficult to define due to the complexity of the compartmental segregation of cells. We used a variety of BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescence (EGFP or the Cre-recombinase (Cre under the control of the promoter of dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors and of adenosine A2a receptor to dissect the microanatomy of the NAc. Moreover, using various immunological markers we characterized in detail the distribution of MSNs in the mouse NAc. In addition, cell-type specific ERK phosphorylation in the NAc subterritories was analyzed following acute administration of SKF81297 (a D1R-like agonist, quinpirole (a D2R-like agonist, apomorphine (a non-selective DA receptor agonist, raclopride (a D2R-like antagonist, and psychostimulant drugs, including cocaine and d-amphetamine. Each drug generated a unique topography and cell-type specific activation of ERK in the NAc. Our results show the existence of marked differences in the receptor expression pattern and functional activation of MSNs within the shell subterritories. This study emphasizes the anatomical and functional heterogeneity of the NAc, which will have to be considered in its further study.
Chong, Samuel L; Claussen, Catherine M; Dafny, Nachum
Methylphenidate (MPD) is a psychostimulant that enhances dopaminergic neurotransmission in the central nervous system by using mechanisms similar to cocaine and amphetamine. The mode of action of brain circuitry responsible for an animal's neuronal response to MPD is not fully understood. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been implicated in regulating the rewarding effects of psychostimulants. The present study used permanently implanted microelectrodes to investigate the acute and chronic effects of MPD on the firing rates of NAc neuronal units in freely behaving rats. On experimental day 1 (ED1), following a saline injection (control), a 30 min baseline neuronal recording was obtained immediately followed by a 2.5 mg/kg i.p. MPD injection and subsequent 60 min neuronal recording. Daily 2.5 mg/kg MPD injections were given on ED2 through ED6 followed by 3 washout days (ED7 to ED9). On ED10, neuronal recordings were resumed from the same animal after a saline and MPD (rechallenge) injection exactly as obtained on ED1. Sixty-seven NAc neuronal units exhibited similar wave shape, form and amplitude on ED1 and ED10 and their firing rates were used for analysis. MPD administration on ED1 elicited firing rate increases and decreases in 54% of NAc units when compared to their baselines. Six consecutive MPD administrations altered the neuronal baseline firing rates of 85% of NAc units. MPD rechallenge on ED10 elicited significant changes in 63% of NAc units. These alterations in firing rates are hypothesized to be through mechanisms that include D1 and D2-like DA receptor induced cellular adaptation and homeostatic adaptations/deregulation caused by acute and chronic MPD administration. PMID:22248440
Manduca, Antonia; Servadio, Michela; Damsteegt, Ruth; Campolongo, Patrizia; Vanderschuren, Louk Jmj; Trezza, Viviana
Social play behavior is a highly rewarding form of social interaction displayed by young mammals. Social play is important for neurobehavioral development and it has been found to be impaired in several developmental psychiatric disorders. In line with the rewarding properties of social play, we have previously identified the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as an important site of action for endocannabinoid and opioid modulation of this behavior. NAc dopamine has a well-known role in certain components of reward processes, such as incentive motivation. However, its contribution to the positive emotional aspects of social interactions is less clear. Therefore, we investigated the role of dopaminergic neurotransmission in the NAc in social play behavior in rats. We found that intra-NAc infusion of the dopamine releaser/reuptake inhibitor amphetamine increased social play behavior that was dependent on activation of both D1 and D2 dopamine receptors. This increase in social play behavior was mimicked by intra-NAc infusion of the dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine, but not of the dopamine reuptake inhibitor GBR-12909. Blockade of either D1 or D2 NAc dopamine receptors reduced social play in animals highly motivated to play as a result of longer social isolation before testing. Last, blockade of NAc dopamine receptors prevented the play-enhancing effects of endocannabinoid and opioid receptor stimulation. These findings demonstrate an important modulatory role of NAc dopaminergic neurotransmission in social play. Thus, functional activity in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway plays an important role in adaptive social development, whereas abnormal NAc dopamine function may underlie the social impairments observed in developmental psychiatric disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or early-onset schizophrenia. PMID:26860202
Lo Iacono, Luisa; Valzania, Alessandro; Visco-Comandini, Federica; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Felsani, Armando; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Carola, Valeria
Much interest has been piqued regarding the quality of one's environment at early ages in modulating the susceptibility to drug addiction in adulthood. However, the molecular mechanisms that are engaged during early trauma and mediate the risk for drug addiction are poorly understood. In rodents, exposure to early-life stress alters the rewarding effects of cocaine, amphetamine, and morphine in adulthood. Recently, we demonstrated that the exposure of juvenile mice to social threat (Social Stress, S-S) promoted cocaine-seeking behavior and relapse of cocaine-seeking after periods of withdrawal, compared with unhandled controls (UN) and with juvenile mice that experienced only daily isolation in a novel environment (no social stress, NS-S). Interestingly, while the exposure to NS-S slightly increased cocaine-seeking behavior compared with UN, the same was not sufficient to promote cocaine reinstatement. In this study, we examined the long-term transcriptional changes that are induced by S-S compared to NS-S and linked the increased susceptibility of S-S mice to cocaine reinstatement. To this end, we performed genome-wide RNA sequencing analysis in the nucleus accumbens (NAC), which revealed that 89 transcripts were differentially expressed between S-S and NS-S mice. By Gene Ontology classification, these hits were enriched in genes that mediate cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and neuron/forebrain development. Eleven of these genes have been reported to be involved in substance use disorders, and the remaining genes are novel candidates in this area. We characterized 4 candidates with regard to their significant neurobiological relevance (ZIC1, ZIC2, FABP7, and PRDM12) and measured their expression in the NAC by immunohistochemistry. These findings provide insights into novel molecular mechanisms in NAC that might be associated with the risk of relapse in cocaine-dependent individuals. PMID:26706499
F Woodward Hopf
Full Text Available The MCH and dopamine receptor systems have been shown to modulate a number of behaviors related to reward processing, addiction, and neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. In addition, MCH and dopamine receptors can interact in a positive manner, for example in the expression of cocaine self-administration. A recent report (Chung et al., 2011a showed that the DA1/DA2 dopamine receptor activator apomorphine suppresses pre-pulse inhibition, a preclinical model for some aspects of schizophrenia. Importantly, MCH can enhance the effects of lower doses of apomorphine, suggesting that co-modulation of dopamine and MCH receptors might alleviate some symptoms of schizophrenia with a lower dose of dopamine receptor modulator and thus fewer potential side effects. Here, we investigated whether MCH and apomorphine could enhance action potential firing in vitro in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAshell, a region which has previously been shown to mediate some behavioral effects of MCH. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology, we found that MCH, which has no effect on firing on its own, was able to increase NAshell firing when combined with a subthreshold dose of apomorphine. Further, this MCH/apomorphine increase in firing was prevented by an antagonist of either a DA1 or a DA2 receptor, suggesting that apomorphine acts through both receptor types to enhance NAshell firing. The MCH/apomorphine-mediated firing increase was also prevented by an MCH receptor antagonist or a PKA inhibitor. Taken together, our results suggest that MCH can interact with lower doses of apomorphine to enhance NAshell firing, and thus that MCH and apomorphine might interact in vivo within the NAshell to suppress pre-pulse inhibition.
Full Text Available Motherhood involves a switch in natural rewards, whereby offspring become highly rewarding. Nucleus accumbens (NAC is a key CNS region for natural rewards and addictions, but to date no study has evaluated on a large scale the events in NAC that underlie the maternal change in natural rewards. In this study we utilized microarray and bioinformatics approaches to evaluate postpartum NAC gene expression changes in mice. Modular Single-set Enrichment Test (MSET indicated that postpartum (relative to virgin NAC gene expression profile was significantly enriched for genes related to addiction and reward in 5 of 5 independently curated databases (e.g., Malacards, Phenopedia. Over 100 addiction/reward related genes were identified and these included: Per1, Per2, Arc, Homer2, Creb1, Grm3, Fosb, Gabrb3, Adra2a, Ntrk2, Cry1, Penk, Cartpt, Adcy1, Npy1r, Htr1a, Drd1a, Gria1, and Pdyn. ToppCluster analysis found maternal NAC expression profile to be significantly enriched for genes related to the drug action of nicotine, ketamine, and dronabinol. Pathway analysis indicated postpartum NAC as enriched for RNA processing, CNS development/differentiation, and transcriptional regulation. Weighted Gene Coexpression Network Analysis identified possible networks for transcription factors, including Nr1d1, Per2, Fosb, Egr1, and Nr4a1. The postpartum state involves increased risk for mental health disorders and MSET analysis indicated postpartum NAC to be enriched for genes related to depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Mental health related genes included: Fabp7, Grm3, Penk, and Nr1d1. We confirmed via quantitative PCR Nr1d1, Per2, Grm3, Penk, Drd1a, and Pdyn. This study indicates for the first time that postpartum NAC involves large scale gene expression alterations linked to addiction and reward. Because the postpartum state also involves decreased response to drugs, the findings could provide insights into how to mitigate addictions.
Cao, Jinyan; Dorris, David M; Meitzen, John
Steroid sex hormones and genetic sex regulate the phenotypes of motivated behaviors and relevant disorders. Most studies seeking to elucidate the underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms have focused on how 17β-estradiol modulates the role of dopamine in striatal brain regions, which express membrane-associated estrogen receptors. Dopamine action is an important component of striatal function, but excitatory synaptic neurotransmission has also emerged as a key striatal substrate and target of estradiol action. Here, we focus on excitatory synaptic input onto medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatal region nucleus accumbens core (AcbC). In adult AcbC, miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency is increased in female compared with male MSNs. We tested whether increased mEPSC frequency in female MSNs exists before puberty, whether this increased excitability is due to the absence of estradiol or testosterone during the early developmental critical period, and whether it is accompanied by stable neuron intrinsic membrane properties. We found that mEPSC frequency is increased in female compared with male MSNs before puberty. Increased mEPSC frequency in female MSNs is abolished after neonatal estradiol or testosterone exposure. MSN intrinsic membrane properties did not differ by sex. These data indicate that neonatal masculinization via estradiol and/or testosterone action is sufficient for down-regulating excitatory synaptic input onto MSNs. We conclude that excitatory synaptic input onto AcbC MSNs is organized long before adulthood via steroid sex hormone action, providing new insight into a mechanism by which sex differences in motivated behavior and other AbcC functions may be generated or compromised. PMID:27285859
Neumann, Peter A; Wang, Yicun; Yan, Yijin; Wang, Yao; Ishikawa, Masago; Cui, Ranji; Huang, Yanhua H; Sesack, Susan R; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan
Exposure to cocaine induces addiction-associated behaviors partially through remodeling neurocircuits in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The paraventricular nucleus of thalamus (PVT), which projects to the NAc monosynaptically, is activated by cocaine exposure and has been implicated in several cocaine-induced emotional and motivational states. Here we show that disrupting synaptic transmission of select PVT neurons with tetanus toxin activated via retrograde trans-synaptic transport of cre from NAc efferents decreased cocaine self-administration in rats. This projection underwent complex adaptations after self-administration of cocaine (0.75 mg/kg/infusion; 2 h/d × 5 d, 1d overnight training). Specifically, 1d after cocaine self-administration, we observed increased levels of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-silent glutamatergic synapses in this projection, accompanied by a decreased ratio of AMPAR-to-NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated EPSCs. Furthermore, the decay kinetics of NMDAR EPSCs was significantly prolonged, suggesting insertion of new GluN2B-containing NMDARs to PVT-to-NAc synapses. After 45-d withdrawal, silent synapses within this projection returned to the basal levels, accompanied by a return of the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and NMDAR decay kinetics to the basal levels. In amygdala and infralimbic prefrontal cortical projections to the NAc, a portion of cocaine-generated silent synapses becomes unsilenced by recruiting calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) after drug withdrawal. However, the sensitivity of PVT-to-NAc synapses to CP-AMPAR-selective antagonists was not changed after withdrawal, suggesting that CP-AMPAR trafficking is not involved in the evolution of cocaine-generated silent synapses within this projection. Meanwhile, the release probability of PVT-to-NAc synapses was increased after short- and long-term cocaine withdrawal. These results reveal complex and profound alterations at PVT-to-NAc synapses after cocaine exposure and withdrawal. PMID:27074816
Hai-kang ZHAO; Chong-wang CHANG; Ning GENG; Li GAO; Jing WANG; Xin WANG; Ya-rong WANG; Xue-lian WANG; Guo-dong GAO
It has been reported that nucleus accumbens (NAc) lesions can help to prevent relapse in opioid addicts.This article aimed to investigate associations between personality changes and NAc lesions.Methods:The surgery group consisted of 78 patients who had received bilateral stereotactic lesions of the NAc to treat opioid addiction.Seventy two non-surgery opioid addicts were appropriately paired with the patients of the surgery group as the non-surgery group.All participants were interviewed in person and received urine tests,naloxone provocative tests and hair tests to determine the prevalence of relapse.Eysenck personality questionnaire (EPQ) and the health survey questionnaire (SF-36) were employed to assess personality and functional health,respectively.Results:In the surgery group,30 participants relapsed,and the non-relapse rate was 61.5％ (48/78).Compared with the Chinese normative data,the neuroticism (N) and psychoticism (P) dimensions of the EPQ in the non-surgery group were significantly higher,whereas the lie (L) dimension was significantly lower.There was no significant difference in all dimensions of the EPQ between the surgery group and the Chinese normative data.The N dimension in the relapse group and the L dimension in the surgery group were significantly lower than those of the non-surgery group.The P dimension in the relapse group was significantly higher than that of the non-relapse group.The extraversion (E) dimension was relatively stable between these groups.Conclusion:Although the influence of other factors cannot be excluded,it is apparent that surgically induced NAc lesions are associated with lower P and N dimensions for opioid addicts,and a higher P dimension is associated with a tendency to relapse.
Pelkonen, Anssi; Hiltunen, Mikko; Kiianmaa, Kalervo; Yavich, Leonid
The key neurochemical systems and structures involved in the predisposition to substance abuse and preference to ethanol (EtOH) are not known in detail but clearly dopamine (DA) is an important modulator of addiction. Recent data indicate that alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn), a pre-synaptic protein, plays a role in regulation of DA release from the pre-synaptic terminals in striatum and the expression of this protein is different after drug abuse or following abstinence. In the present work, we analysed stimulated DA overflow in the dorsal and ventral striatum in EtOH naïve alko alchohol (AA) and alko non-alchohol (ANA) rats selected for more than 100 generations for their differential EtOH preference. In the same structures, we studied the expression of alpha-syn using western blotting. AA rats, in comparison with ANA rats, showed a marked reduction of stimulated peak DA overflow and higher levels of alpha-syn in the nucleus accumbens core. In the same structure, DA re-uptake was increased in AA rats in comparison with ANA rats. The effects of EtOH at low (0.1 g/kg) and higher (3 mg/kg) doses on DA overflow measured in the nucleus accumbens shell were similar in both lines. These results indicate that high expression of alpha-syn may contribute to the reduced DA overflow and the possible activation of re-uptake in the nucleus accumbens core of AA rats in comparison with ANA rats. PMID:20533994
Jeanes, Zachary M.; Buske, Tavanna R.; Morrisett, Richard A.
Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is implicated in response to sensitization to psychomotor-stimulating agents, yet ethanol effects here are undefined. We studied the acute in vitro and in vivo effects of ethanol in medium spiny neurons from the shell NAc subregion of slices of C57BL/6 mice by using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSCs). Synaptic conditioning (l...
Radhakishun, F.S.; de Ree, J M
The reduction of motor activity elicited in rats by a subcutaneous injection of a small dose of apomorphine was reversed by pretreatment of the nucleus accumbens with haloperidol (10 pg), sulpride (10 pg) or desenkephalin-γ-endorphin (DEγE) (100 pg or 10 ng). These doses of the compounds did not change motor activity in placebo-treated rats. Pretreatment of the nucleus caudatus with the same neuroleptics or DEγE did not diminish the effect of subcutaneously administered low doses of apomorphi...
Jing LI; Wei-liang BIAN; Gui-qin XIE; Sheng-zhong CUI; Mei-ling WU; Yue-hua LI; Ling-li QUE; Xiao-ru YUAN
Aim: To investigate the effects of chronic ethanol intake on the locomotor activity and the levels of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase Ⅳ (CaM kinase Ⅳ) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats. Simultaneously, the effects of non-selective opioid antagonist (naloxone) on the CaM kinase Ⅳ expression in the NAc and ethanol consumption of rats were also observed. Methods: Ethanol was administered in drinking water at the concentrations of 6% (v/v), for 28 d. The locomotor activity of rats was investigated in the open-field apparatus. CaM kinase Ⅳ levels in the NAc were analyzed using Western blotting. Results: Rats consuming ethanol solution exhibited a significant decrease of ambulation activity, accompanied by a reduced frequency of explorative rearing in an open-field task on d 7 and d 14 of chronic ethanol ingestion, whereas presumed adaptation to the neurological effects of ethanol was observed on d 28. Chronic ethanol intake elicited a significant decrease of the CaM kinase Ⅳ expression in the nuclei, but not in the cytoplasm of the NAc on d 28. Naloxone treatment significantly attenu-ated ethanol intake of rats and antagonized the decrease of CaM kinase Ⅳ in the nuclei of NAc neurons. The cytosolic CaM kinase Ⅳ protein levels of the NAc also increased in rats exposed to ethanol plus naloxone. Conclusion: Chronic ethanol intake-induced changes in explorative behavior is mediated at least partly by changes in CaM kinase Ⅳ signaling in the nuclei of the NAc, and naloxone attenuates ethanol consumption through antagonizing the downregulation of CaM kinase Ⅳ in the NAc.
Parker, Kyle E.; McCall, Jordan G.; Will, Matthew J.
Previous research has demonstrated that administration of μ-opioid receptor agonists into the nucleus accumbens increases high-fat diet consumption in sated rats and has shown a role of basolateral amygdala (BLA) activity in mediating this response. The present experiments were conducted to examine the role of BLA opioid transmission in mediating high-fat feeding driven by either intra-accumbens opioid activation or 24-hr home cage food deprivation. Injection of the μ-opioid agonist, D-Ala2-N...
Full Text Available Alcohol consumption is known to lead to gene expression changes in the brain. After performing weighted gene co-expression network analyses (WGCNA on genome-wide mRNA and microRNA (miRNA expression in Nucleus Accumbens (NAc of subjects with alcohol dependence (AD; N = 18 and of matched controls (N = 18, six mRNA and three miRNA modules significantly correlated with AD were identified (Bonferoni-adj. p≤ 0.05. Cell-type-specific transcriptome analyses revealed two of the mRNA modules to be enriched for neuronal specific marker genes and downregulated in AD, whereas the remaining four mRNA modules were enriched for astrocyte and microglial specific marker genes and upregulated in AD. Gene set enrichment analysis demonstrated that neuronal specific modules were enriched for genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial dysfunction and MAPK signaling. Glial-specific modules were predominantly enriched for genes involved in processes related to immune functions, i.e. cytokine signaling (all adj. p≤ 0.05. In mRNA and miRNA modules, 461 and 25 candidate hub genes were identified, respectively. In contrast to the expected biological functions of miRNAs, correlation analyses between mRNA and miRNA hub genes revealed a higher number of positive than negative correlations (χ2 test p≤ 0.0001. Integration of hub gene expression with genome-wide genotypic data resulted in 591 mRNA cis-eQTLs and 62 miRNA cis-eQTLs. mRNA cis-eQTLs were significantly enriched for AD diagnosis and AD symptom counts (adj. p = 0.014 and p = 0.024, respectively in AD GWAS signals in a large, independent genetic sample from the Collaborative Study on Genetics of Alcohol (COGA. In conclusion, our study identified putative gene network hubs coordinating mRNA and miRNA co-expression changes in the NAc of AD subjects, and our genetic (cis-eQTL analysis provides novel insights into the etiological mechanisms of AD.
Mamdani, Mohammed; Williamson, Vernell; McMichael, Gowon O; Blevins, Tana; Aliev, Fazil; Adkins, Amy; Hack, Laura; Bigdeli, Tim; van der Vaart, Andrew D; Web, Bradley Todd; Bacanu, Silviu-Alin; Kalsi, Gursharan; Kendler, Kenneth S; Miles, Michael F; Dick, Danielle; Riley, Brien P; Dumur, Catherine; Vladimirov, Vladimir I
Alcohol consumption is known to lead to gene expression changes in the brain. After performing weighted gene co-expression network analyses (WGCNA) on genome-wide mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression in Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) of subjects with alcohol dependence (AD; N = 18) and of matched controls (N = 18), six mRNA and three miRNA modules significantly correlated with AD were identified (Bonferoni-adj. p≤ 0.05). Cell-type-specific transcriptome analyses revealed two of the mRNA modules to be enriched for neuronal specific marker genes and downregulated in AD, whereas the remaining four mRNA modules were enriched for astrocyte and microglial specific marker genes and upregulated in AD. Gene set enrichment analysis demonstrated that neuronal specific modules were enriched for genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial dysfunction and MAPK signaling. Glial-specific modules were predominantly enriched for genes involved in processes related to immune functions, i.e. cytokine signaling (all adj. p≤ 0.05). In mRNA and miRNA modules, 461 and 25 candidate hub genes were identified, respectively. In contrast to the expected biological functions of miRNAs, correlation analyses between mRNA and miRNA hub genes revealed a higher number of positive than negative correlations (χ2 test p≤ 0.0001). Integration of hub gene expression with genome-wide genotypic data resulted in 591 mRNA cis-eQTLs and 62 miRNA cis-eQTLs. mRNA cis-eQTLs were significantly enriched for AD diagnosis and AD symptom counts (adj. p = 0.014 and p = 0.024, respectively) in AD GWAS signals in a large, independent genetic sample from the Collaborative Study on Genetics of Alcohol (COGA). In conclusion, our study identified putative gene network hubs coordinating mRNA and miRNA co-expression changes in the NAc of AD subjects, and our genetic (cis-eQTL) analysis provides novel insights into the etiological mechanisms of AD. PMID:26381263
Bartley G. Hoebel
Full Text Available Evidence links dopamine (DA in the nucleus accumbens (NAc shell to the ingestion of palatable diets. Less is known, however, about the specific relation of DA to dietary fat and circulating triglycerides (TG, which are stimulated by fat intake and promote overeating. The present experiments tested in Sprague-Dawley rats whether extracellular levels of NAc DA increase in response to acute access to fat-rich food or peripheral injection of a fat emulsion and, if so, whether this is related to caloric intake or elevated circulating lipids. When rats consumed more calories of a high-fat meal compared with a low-fat meal, there was a significant increase in extracellular accumbens DA (155% vs. 119%. Systemic injection of a fat emulsion, which like a high-fat diet raises circulating TG but eliminates the factor of taste and allows for the control of caloric intake, also significantly increased extracellular levels of DA (127% compared to an equicaloric glucose solution (70% and saline (85%. Together, this suggests that a rise in circulating TG may contribute to the stimulatory effect of a high-fat diet on NAc DA.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: In this study, the effect of maternal deprivation (MD and chronic unpredictable stress (CUS in inducing depressive behaviors and associated molecular mechanism were investigated in rats. METHODS: Maternal deprivation was established by separating pups from their mothers for 6 hours daily from postnatal day 1 to day 14. Chronic unpredictable stress was established by water deprivation, elevated open platform, food deprivation, restraint stress and electric foot shock. The depressive behaviors were determined by use of sucrose preference test and forced swim test. RESULTS: Rats in MD/CUS group exhibited lower sucrose preference rate, longer immobility time, and lighter body weights than rats in other groups (MD/control, non-MD/CUS and non-MD/control group. Meanwhile, higher miR-504 expression and lower dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1 and D2 (DRD2 expression were observed in the nucleus accumbens of rats in the MD/CUS group than in the other three groups. MiR-504 expression correlated negatively with DRD1 gene expression and sucrose preference rate in the sucrose preference test, but correlated positively with immobility time in forced swim test. Both DRD2 mRNA and protein expression correlated negatively with immobility time in forced swim test. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that MD enhances behavioral vulnerability to stress during adulthood, which is associated with the upregulation of miR-504 and downregulation of DRD2 expression in the nucleus accumbens.
Baracz, Sarah J; Everett, Nicholas A; McGregor, Iain S; Cornish, Jennifer L
The psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH) is an addictive illicit drug. Systemic administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin modulates METH-related reward and METH-seeking behaviour. Recent findings demonstrated a reduction in METH-induced reward by oxytocin administration into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core. It is not known, however, if oxytocin acts in this region to reduce relapse to METH-seeking behaviour. Using the drug reinstatement paradigm in rats experienced at METH self-administration, we aimed to determine whether oxytocin pre-treatment within the NAc core would reduce relapse to METH use and if this could be reversed by the co-administration of the oxytocin receptor (OTR) antagonist desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5[D-Tyr2,Thr4]OVT. Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent surgery to implant an intravenous jugular vein catheter and bilateral microinjection cannulae in the NAc core. Rats were then trained to self-administer intravenous METH (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) by lever press during 2-hour fixed ratio 1 scheduled sessions for 20 days. Following extinction of lever press activity, the effect of microinjecting saline, oxytocin (0.5 pmol, 1.5 pmol, 4.5 pmol) or co-administration of oxytocin (1.5 pmol) and desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5[D-Tyr2,Thr4]OVT (1 nmol, 3 nmol) in the NAc core (500 nl/side) was examined on METH-primed (1 mg/kg, i.p.) reinstatement of drug-seeking behaviour. Our results showed oxytocin directly administered into the NAc core decreased METH-primed reinstatement in a dose-dependent manner. Co-administration of the selective OTR antagonist did not specifically reverse the inhibitory effects of oxytocin on METH priming, suggesting mediation by receptors other than the OTR. These findings highlight an important modulatory effect of oxytocin in the NAc core on relapse to METH seeking. PMID:25399704
Kyle K Pitchers
Full Text Available Natural reward and drugs of abuse converge upon the mesolimbic system which mediates motivation and reward behaviors. Drugs induce neural adaptations in this system, including transcriptional, morphological, and synaptic changes, which contribute to the development and expression of drug-related memories and addiction. Previously, it has been reported that sexual experience in male rats, a natural reward behavior, induces similar neuroplasticity in the mesolimbic system and affects natural reward and drug-related behavior. The current study determined whether sexual experience causes long-lasting changes in mating, or ionotropic glutamate receptor trafficking or function in the nucleus accumbens (NAc, following 3 different reward abstinence periods: 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month after final mating session. Male Sprague Dawley rats mated during 5 consecutive days (sexual experience or remained sexually naïve to serve as controls. Sexually experienced males displayed facilitation of initiation and performance of mating at each time point. Next, intracellular and membrane surface expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA: NR1 subunit and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA: GluA1, GluA2 subunits receptors in the NAc was determined using a bis(sulfosuccinimidylsuberate (BS(3 protein cross-linking assay followed by Western Blot analysis. NR1 expression was increased at 1 day abstinence both at surface and intracellular, but decreased at surface at 1 week of abstinence. GluA2 was increased intracellularly at 1 week and increased at the surface after 1 month of abstinence. Finally, whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiological recordings determined reduced AMPA/NMDA ratio of synaptic currents in NAc shell neurons following stimulation of cortical afferents in sexually experienced males after all reward abstinence periods. Together, these data show that sexual experience causes long-term alterations in glutamate receptor expression and
Macpherson, Tom; Morita, Makiko; Wang, Yanyan; Sasaoka, Toshikuni; Sawa, Akira; Hikida, Takatoshi
Considerable evidence has demonstrated a critical role for the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the acquisition and flexibility of behavioral strategies. These processes are guided by the activity of two discrete neuron types, dopamine D1- or D2-receptor expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-/D2-MSNs). Here we used the IntelliCage, an automated…
Uys, Joachim D; Grey, Angus C; Wiggins, Armina; Schwacke, John H; Schey, Kevin L; Kalivas, Peter W
Proteins in the nucleus accumbens mediate many cocaine-induced behaviors. In an effort to measure changes in nucleus accumbens protein expression as potential biomarkers for addiction, coronal tissue sections were obtained from rats that developed behavioral sensitization after daily administration of cocaine, or from daily saline-treated controls. The tissue sections were subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) profiling and tissue imaging. For profiling experiments, brain sections were manually spotted with matrix over the nucleus accumbens, a brain region known to regulate cocaine sensitization. Summed mass spectra (10,000 laser shots, grid) were acquired and spectra were aligned to reference peaks. Using bioinformatics tools, eight spectral features were found to be altered by cocaine treatment. Based on additional sequencing experiments with MALDI tandem MS and database searches of measured masses, secretoneurin (m/z 3653) was identified as having an increased expression. In addition, the distribution of m/z 3653 in the nucleus accumbens was determined by MALDI tissue imaging, and the increased expression of its precursor protein, secretogranin II, was verified by immunoblotting. PMID:19918966
Hamid, Arif A; Pettibone, Jeffrey R; Mabrouk, Omar S; Hetrick, Vaughn L; Schmidt, Robert; Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Kennedy, Robert T; Aragona, Brandon J; Berke, Joshua D
Dopamine cell firing can encode errors in reward prediction, providing a learning signal to guide future behavior. Yet dopamine is also a key modulator of motivation, invigorating current behavior. Existing theories propose that fast (phasic) dopamine fluctuations support learning, whereas much slower (tonic) dopamine changes are involved in motivation. We examined dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens across multiple time scales, using complementary microdialysis and voltammetric methods during adaptive decision-making. We found that minute-by-minute dopamine levels covaried with reward rate and motivational vigor. Second-by-second dopamine release encoded an estimate of temporally discounted future reward (a value function). Changing dopamine immediately altered willingness to work and reinforced preceding action choices by encoding temporal-difference reward prediction errors. Our results indicate that dopamine conveys a single, rapidly evolving decision variable, the available reward for investment of effort, which is employed for both learning and motivational functions. PMID:26595651
Blockade of Cannabinoid CB1 receptor attenuates the acquisition of morphine-induced conditioned place preference along with a downregulation of ERK, CREB phosphorylation, and BDNF expression in the nucleus accumbens and hippocampus.
Zhang, Jianbo; Wang, Na; Chen, Bo; Wang, Yi'nan; He, Jing; Cai, Xintong; Zhang, Hongbo; Wei, Shuguang; Li, Shengbin
Cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) is highly expressed in the mesocorticolimbic system and associated with drug craving and relapse. Clinical trials suggest that CB1R antagonists may represent new therapies for drug addiction. However, the downstream signaling of CB1R is not fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between CB1R and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and hippocampus in morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), which is used to assess the morphine-induced reward memory. The protein level of CB1R, ERK, CREB, and BDNF were detected by western blotting. Additionally, a CB1R antagonist, AM251, was used to study whether blockade of CB1R altered the CPP and above-mentioned molecules. We found an increase of CB1R expression in the NAc and hippocampus of the mice following morphine CPP, but not those after repeated morphine in home cage without context exposure (NO-CPP). Both morphine CPP and NO-CPP induced an upregulation of ERK, CREB phosphorylation and BDNF expression. Furthermore, pretreatment with AM251 before morphine attenuated the CPP acquisition and CB1R expression as well as the activation of ERK-CREB-BDNF cascade. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that (1) Repeated morphine with context exposures but not merely the pharmacological effects of morphine increased CB1R expression both in the NAc and hippocampus. (2) CB1R antagonist mediated blockade of ERK-CREB-BDNF signaling activation in the NAc and hippocampus may be an important mechanism underlying the attenuation of morphine CPP. PMID:27461790
Clissold, Kara A; Pratt, Wayne E
Prior research has shown that glutamate and dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) core are critical for the learning of an instrumental response for food reinforcement. It has also been demonstrated that μ-opioid and adenosine A2A receptors within the NAcc impact feeding and motivational processes. In these experiments, we examined the potential roles of NAcc μ-opioid and A2A receptors on instrumental learning and performance. Sprague-Dawley rats were food restricted and trained to lever press following daily intra-accumbens injections of the A2A receptor agonist CGS 21680 (at 0.0, 6.0, or 24.0ng/side), the A2A antagonist pro-drug MSX-3 (at 0.0, 1.0, or 3.0μg/side), the μ-opioid agonist DAMGO (at 0.0, 0.025, or 0.025μg/side), or the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (at 0.0, 2.0 or 20.0μg/side). After five days, rats continued training without drug injections until lever pressing rates stabilized, and were then tested with a final drug test to assess potential performance effects. Stimulation, but not inhibition, of NAcc adenosine A2A receptors depressed lever pressing during learning and performance tests, but did not impact lever pressing on non-drug days. Both μ-opioid receptor stimulation and blockade inhibited learning of the lever-press response, though only naltrexone treatment caused impairments in lever-pressing after the task had been learned. The effect of A2A receptor stimulation on learning and performance were consistent with known effects of adenosine on effort-related processes, whereas the pattern of lever presses, magazine approaches, and pellet consumption following opioid receptor manipulations suggested that their effects may have been driven by drug-induced shifts in the incentive value of the sugar reinforcer. PMID:25101542
Full Text Available The ventral subiculum of the hippocampus projects both to the basolateral amygdala, which is typically, associated with a response to aversive stimuli, as well as to the nucleus accumbens, which is typically associated with a response to appetitive stimuli. Traditionally, studies of the responses to emotional events focus on either negative or positive affect-related processes, however, emotional experiences often affect both. The ability of high-level processing brain regions (e.g. medial prefrontal cortex to modulate the balance between negative and positive affect-related regions was examined extensively. In contrast, the ability of low-level processing areas (e.g. periaqueductal grey - PAG to do so, has not been sufficiently studied. To address whether midbrain structures have the ability to modulate limbic regions, we first examined the ventral subiculum stimulation’s (vSub ability to induce plasticity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA and nucleus accumbens (NAcc simultaneously in rats. Further, dorsal PAG (dPAG priming ability to differentially modulate vSub stimulation induced plasticity in the BLA and the NAcc was subsequently examined. vSub stimulation resulted in plasticity in both the BLA and the NAcc simultaneously. Moreover, depending on stimulus intensity, differential dPAG priming effects on LTP in these two regions were observed. The results demonstrate that negative and positive affect-related processes may be simultaneously modulated. Furthermore, under some conditions lower-level processing areas, such as the dPAG, may differentially modulate plasticity in these regions and thus affect the long-term emotional outcome of the experience.
Objective: To explore the neural mechanism underlying the craving of heroin addicts induced by picture-cue and the correlation between the brain activation degree in nucleus accumbens (NAc)/ the ventral striatum and the scores of patients self-report craving. Methods: Twelve active heroin addicts and 12 matched healthy controls underwent fMRI scan while viewing drug-related pictures and neutral pictures presented in a block design paradigm after anatomical scanning in GE 3.0 T scanner. The fMRI data were analyzed with SPM 5. The change of craving scores was tested by Wilcoxon signed rank test. The Pearson correlation between the activation of NAc/the ventral striatum and the heroin craving score was tested by SPSS 13.0. Results: The craving scores of heroin addicts ranged from 0 to 3.70 (median 0.15) before exposed to drug cue and 0 to 5.10 (median 3.25) after viewing drug-related pictures and showed statistical significance (Z=-2.666, P<0.05). There were 16 activated brain areas when heroin dependent patients exposed to visual drug-related cue vs. neutral visual stimuli. The activation brain regions belonged to two parts, one was limbic system (amygdale, hippocampus, putamen, anterior cingulate cortex and caudate), another was brain cortex (middle frontal cortex, inferior frontal cortex, precentral gyrus, middle temporal cortex, inferior temporal cortex, fusiform gyrus, precuneus and middle occipital gyrus). The MR signal activation magnitude of heroin addicts ranged from 0.19 to 3.50. The result displayed a significant positive correlation between the cue-induced fMRI activation in NAc/the ventral striatum and heroin craving severity (r=0.829, P<0.05). Conclusion: Heroin shared the same neural circuitry in part with other drugs of abuse for cue-induced craving, including brain reward circuitry, visualspatial attention circuit and working memory region. In addition, the dysfunction of NAc/the ventral striatum may attribute to heroin-related cue induced craving
Hu, Xiu-Ti; Ford, Kerstin; White, Francis J
Our previous studies have demonstrated that repeated cocaine (COC) administration reduces voltage-sensitive sodium and calcium currents (I(Na) or VSSCs and I(Ca) or VSCCs, respectively) in medium spiny nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons of rats. The present findings further indicate that chronic COC-induced I(Na) reduction in NAc neurons is regulated by decreased dephosphorylation and enhanced phosphorylation of Na(+) channels. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings revealed that dephosphorylation of Na(+) channels by calcineurin (CaN) enhanced I(Na), while inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) by phosphorylated dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein (M(r)=32 kDa) (DARPP-32) at the site of threonine 34 (p-Thr.34-DARPP-32) suppressed I(Na), in freshly dissociated NAc neurons of saline-pretreated rats. However, the effects of CaN on enhancing I(Na) were significantly attenuated, and the action of p-Thr.34-DARPP-32 to decrease I(Na) was mimicked, although not potentiated, by repeated COC pretreatment. Dephosphorylation of Na(+) channels by PP1 also enhanced I(Na), but this effect of PP1 on I(Na) was not apparently affected by repeated COC administration. Western blot analysis indicates that the protein levels of CaN and DARPP-32 were significantly decreased and increased, respectively, while the PP1 levels were unchanged, in the COC-withdrawn NAc as compared to saline-pretreated controls. Combined with previous findings, our results indicate that both CaN and PP1 modulate the increase in I(Na) via enhancing dephosphorylation, while p-Thr.34-DARPP-32 reduces I(Na) by inhibiting PP1-induced dephosphorylation, thereby stabilizing the phosphorylation state, of Na(+) channels in NAc neurons. They also suggest that chronic COC-induced I(Na) reduction may be attributed to a reduction in Ca(2+) signaling, which disrupts the physiological balance of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Na(+) channels. PMID:15726118
A Single Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Infusion into the Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Attenuates Cocaine Self-Administration-Induced Phosphorylation of Synapsin in the Nucleus Accumbens during Early Withdrawal
Sun, Wei-Lun; Eisenstein, Sarah A.; Zelek-Molik, Agnieszka; McGinty, Jacqueline F.
Background: Dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex-nucleus accumbens pathway has been implicated in cocaine addiction. We have previously demonstrated that one intra-dorsomedial prefrontal cortex brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) infusion immediately following the last cocaine self-administration session caused a long-lasting inhibition of cocaine-seeking and normalized the cocaine-induced disturbance of glutamate transmission in the nucleus accumbens after extinction and a cocaine pri...
Collins, Anne L; Greenfield, Venuz Y; Bye, Jeffrey K; Linker, Kay E; Wang, Alice S; Wassum, Kate M
Prolonged mesolimbic dopamine concentration changes have been detected during spatial navigation, but little is known about the conditions that engender this signaling profile or how it develops with learning. To address this, we monitored dopamine concentration changes in the nucleus accumbens core of rats throughout acquisition and performance of an instrumental action sequence task. Prolonged dopamine concentration changes were detected that ramped up as rats executed each action sequence and declined after earned reward collection. With learning, dopamine concentration began to rise increasingly earlier in the execution of the sequence and ultimately backpropagated away from stereotyped sequence actions, becoming only transiently elevated by the most distal and unexpected reward predictor. Action sequence-related dopamine signaling was reactivated in well-trained rats if they became disengaged in the task and in response to an unexpected change in the value, but not identity of the earned reward. Throughout training and test, dopamine signaling correlated with sequence performance. These results suggest that action sequences can engender a prolonged mode of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core and that such signaling relates to elements of the motivation underlying sequence execution and is dynamic with learning, overtraining and violations in reward expectation. PMID:26869075
D’Ascenzo, Marcello; Podda, Maria Vittoria; Grassi, Claudio
Cocaine addiction is characterized by compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences and high rate of relapse during periods of abstinence. Increasing consensus suggests that addiction to drugs of abuse usurps learning and memory mechanisms normally related to natural rewards, ultimately producing long-lasting neuroadaptations in the mesocorticolimbic system. This system, formed in part by the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens (NAc), has a central role in the development and expr...
Bossert, Jennifer M.; Poles, Gabriela C.; Wihbey, Kristina A.; Koya, Eisuke; Shaham, Yavin
In humans, exposure to environmental contexts previously associated with heroin intake can provoke drug relapse, but the neuronal mechanisms mediating this relapse are unknown. Using a drug relapse model, we found previously that reexposing rats to heroin-associated contexts, after extinction of drug-reinforced responding in different contexts, reinstates heroin seeking. This effect is attenuated by inhibition of glutamate transmission in the ventral tegmental area and medial accumbens shell,...
Janine Maria Prast
Full Text Available We investigated if counterconditioning with dyadic (i.e., one-to-one social interaction, a strong inhibitor of the subsequent reacquisition of cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP, differentially modulates the activity of the diverse brain regions oriented along a mediolateral corridor reaching from the interhemispheric sulcus to the anterior commissure, i.e., the nucleus of the vertical limb of the diagonal band, the medial septal nucleus, the major island of Calleja, the intermediate part of the lateral septal nucleus, and the medial accumbens shell and core. We also investigated the involvement of the lateral accumbens core and the dorsal caudate putamen. The anterior cingulate 1 (Cg1 region served as a negative control. Contrary to our expectations, we found that all regions of the accumbens corridor showed increased expression of the early growth response protein 1 (EGR1, Zif268 in rats 2 h after reacquisition of CPP for cocaine after a history of cocaine CPP acquisition and extinction. Previous counterconditioning with dyadic social interaction inhibited both the reacquisition of cocaine CPP and the activation of the whole accumbens corridor. EGR1 activation was predominantly found in dynorphin-labeled cells, i.e., presumably D1 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs, with D2-MSNs (immunolabeled with an anti-DRD2 antibody being less affected. Cholinergic interneurons or GABAergic interneurons positive for parvalbumin, neuropeptide Y or calretinin were not involved in these CPP-related EGR1 changes. Glial cells did not show any EGR1 expression either. The present findings could be of relevance for the therapy of impaired social interaction in substance use disorders, depression, psychosis, and autism spectrum disorders.
SusanneEla Fleur; Geoffreyvan der Plasse; MatthijsFeenstra; AndriesKalsbeek
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an effective therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and is currently under investigation as a treatment for eating disorders. DBS of this area is associated with altered food intake and pharmacological treatment of OCD is associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore we examined if DBS of the NAc-shell (sNAc) influences glucose metabolism. Male Wistar rats were subjected to DBS, or sham stimulation...
Parker, Kyle E.; Johns, Howard W.; Floros, Ted G.; Will, Matthew J.
Previous research has demonstrated a dissociation of certain neural mediators that contribute to the increased consumption of a high-fat diet that follows intra-accumbens (Acb) administration of µ-opioid receptor agonists vs. 24-h food deprivation. These two models, both which induce rapid consumption of the diet, have been shown to involve a distributed corticolimbic circuitry, including the amygdala. Specifically, the central amygdala (CeA) has been shown to be involved in high-fat feeding ...
Aragona, Brandon J.; Cleaveland, Nathan A.; Stuber, Garret D.; Day, Jeremy J.; Carelli, Regina M.; Wightman, R. Mark
Preferential enhancement of dopamine transmission within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell is a fundamental aspect of the neural regulation of cocaine reward. Despite its importance, the nature of this effect is poorly understood. Here, we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to examine specific transmission processes underlying cocaine-evoked increases in dopamine transmission within the NAc core and shell. Initially, we examined altered terminal dopamine concentrations following global autorec...
Hobson, Benjamin D.; Merritt, Kathryn E.; Bachtell, Ryan K.
Adenosine receptors co-localize with dopamine receptors on medium spiny nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons where they antagonize dopamine receptor activity. It remains unclear whether adenosine receptor stimulation in the NAc restores cocaine-induced enhancements in dopamine receptor sensitivity. The goal of these studies was to determine whether stimulating A1 or A2A receptors in the NAc reduces the expression of cocaine sensitization. Rats were sensitized with 7 daily treatments of cocaine (15...
Bristow, L. J.; Bennett, G. W.
1. The effect of intra-accumbens injection of histamine and related compounds on the spontaneous motor activity of the rat has been investigated. 2. Microinjections of histamine (1-200 micrograms) induced dose-dependent, biphasic changes in rat activity consisting of an initial brief hypoactivity response followed by a marked hyperactivity phase. The histamine metabolite, n-tele-methylhistamine was without effect. 3. Pretreatment with the H1-receptor antagonist mepyramine (10 micrograms) bloc...
LaLumiere, Ryan T; Nawar, Erene M.; McGaugh, James L.
Previous findings indicate that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) interact in influencing memory consolidation. The current study investigated whether this interaction requires concurrent dopamine (DA) receptor activation in both brain regions. Unilateral, right-side cannulae were implanted into the BLA and the ipsilateral NAc shell or core in male Sprague-Dawley rats (∼300 g). One week later, the rats were trained on an inhibitory avoidance (IA) task and, 48 h la...
SIGNAL WORDS TOPIC FACT SHEET NPIC fact sheets are designed to answer questions that are commonly asked by the ... making decisions about pesticide use. What are Signal Words? Signal words are found on pesticide product labels, ...
Bermudez-Rattoni, Federico; Ramirez-Lugo, Leticia; Zavala-Vega, Sergio
Animals recognize a taste cue as aversive when it has been associated with post-ingestive malaise; this associative learning is known as conditioned taste aversion (CTA). When an animal consumes a new taste and no negative consequences follow, it becomes recognized as a safe signal, leading to an increase in its consumption in subsequent…
Full Text Available Abstract Background Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF is typically considered to mediate aversive aspects of stress, fear and anxiety. However, CRF release in the brain is also elicited by natural rewards and incentive cues, raising the possibility that some CRF systems in the brain mediate an independent function of positive incentive motivation, such as amplifying incentive salience. Here we asked whether activation of a limbic CRF subsystem magnifies the increase in positive motivation for reward elicited by incentive cues previously associated with that reward, in a way that might exacerbate cue-triggered binge pursuit of food or other incentives? We assessed the impact of CRF microinjections into the medial shell of nucleus accumbens using a pure incentive version of Pavlovian-Instrumental transfer, a measure specifically sensitive to the incentive salience of reward cues (which it separates from influences of aversive stress, stress reduction, frustration and other traditional explanations for stress-increased behavior. Rats were first trained to press one of two levers to obtain sucrose pellets, and then separately conditioned to associate a Pavlovian cue with free sucrose pellets. On test days, rats received microinjections of vehicle, CRF (250 or 500 ng/0.2 μl or amphetamine (20 μg/0.2 μl. Lever pressing was assessed in the presence or absence of the Pavlovian cues during a half-hour test. Results Microinjections of the highest dose of CRF (500 ng or amphetamine (20 μg selectively enhanced the ability of Pavlovian reward cues to trigger phasic peaks of increased instrumental performance for a sucrose reward, each peak lasting a minute or so before decaying after the cue. Lever pressing was not enhanced by CRF microinjections in the baseline absence of the Pavlovian cue or during the presentation without a cue, showing that the CRF enhancement could not be explained as a result of generalized motor arousal, frustration or stress
Roitman, Jamie D.; Loriaux, Amy L.
Our behavior is powerfully driven by environmental cues that signal the availability of rewarding stimuli. We frequently encounter stimuli—a bowl of candy or an alert from our smartphone—that trigger actions to obtain those rewards, even though there may be positive outcomes associated with not acting. The inability to restrain one's action in the presence of reward-associated cues is one type of impulsive behavior and a component of such maladaptive behaviors as overeating, gambling, and sub...
Full Text Available Cannabis is one of the most widely used intoxicants; almost half of all 18 year olds in the USA and in most European countries admit to having tried it at least once, and ~10% of that age group are regular users. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, produces euphoria and relaxation and impairs motor coordination, time sense, and short term memory. In the hippocampus, CBs inhibit GABA release from a subset of interneurons and inhibit glutamate release from principal neurons. Cannabinoids are reported to produce both rapid and long-term changes in synaptic transmission. Our study was carried out on ten male rats out of which brains of six of them were used as the representative sample for electron microscope analysis, while 4 were used for light microspcopy performed by Golgi method. Three were exposed to THC and 3 were controls. Axodendric synapses in the core and shell of the accumbens nucleus (AN were studied under electron microscope. The results have shown widening of the synaptic cleft in the shell of AN. This result is a leading point to our further investigations which are going to involve a behavioral component, and different aspects of morphological studies. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III 41020
Han, Xiao; Albrechet-Souza, Lucas; Doyle, Michelle R.; Shimamoto, Akiko; DeBold, Joseph F.; Miczek, Klaus A.
Rationale Social defeat stress results in escalation of cocaine taking and long-term neural adaptations in rats. How the intensity and timing of social defeat stress determine these effects, particularly in mice, have not been well characterized. Objective This study investigated the effects of mild vs. moderate intensities and durations of social stress on intravenous cocaine self-administration as well as on dopamine (DA) release in nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) by using in vivo microdialysis. Methods Adult male CFW mice experienced 10 days of social defeat stress, either mild (15 attack bites in ca. 1.8 min) or moderate (30 attack bites in ca. 3.6 min), and compared to controls that were handled daily. Subsequently, the socially stressed mice were assessed for either (1) intravenous cocaine self-administration, using several unit doses (0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.0 mg/kg/infusion) under limited access conditions, or (2) neural sensitization, as determined by in vivo microdialysis of DA in the NAcSh in response to acute d-amphetamine challenge. Results Social defeat stress resulted in escalated cocaine self-administration in both mild and moderate socially stressed groups. In addition, social defeat stress led to increased DA release after d-amphetamine challenge. Conclusions These data suggest that both mild and moderate socially stressed mice exhibit increased cocaine taking compared to controls, and this increase is associated with escalated dopaminergic responses in the NAcSh. PMID:25216798
Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W
Men tend to have greater positive responses than women to explicit visual erotic stimuli (EVES). However, it remains unclear, which brain network makes men more sensitive to EVES and which factors contribute to the brain network activity. In this study, we aimed to assess the effect of sex difference on brain connectivity patterns by EVES. We also investigated the association of testosterone with brain connection that showed the effects of sex difference. During functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, 14 males and 14 females were asked to see alternating blocks of pictures that were either erotic or non-erotic. Psychophysiological interaction analysis was performed to investigate the functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NA) as it related to EVES. Men showed significantly greater EVES-specific functional connection between the right NA and the right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). In addition, the right NA and the right LOC network activity was positively correlated with the plasma testosterone level in men. Our results suggest that the reason men are sensitive to EVES is the increased interaction in the visual reward networks, which is modulated by their plasma testosterone level. PMID:25971857
Full Text Available The appraisal of violent stimuli is dependent on the social context and the perceiver’s individual characteristics. To identify the specific neural circuits involved in the perception of violent videos, forty-nine male participants were scanned with functional MRI while watching video-clips depicting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA and Capoeira as a baseline. Prior to scanning, a self-report measure of pleasure or displeasure when watching MMA was collected. Watching MMA was associated with activation of the anterior insula, brainstem, ventral tegmental area, striatum, medial and lateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, somatosensory cortex, and supramarginal gyrus. While this pattern of brain activation was not related to participants’ reported experience of pleasure or displeasure, pleasurable ratings of MMA predicted increased functional connectivity seeded in the nucleus accumbens (a structure known to be responsive to anticipating both positive and negative outcomes with the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insular cortex (regions involved in positive feelings and visceral somatic representations. Displeasure ratings of MMA were related to increased functional connectivity with regions of the prefrontal cortex and superior parietal lobule, structures implicated in cognitive control and executive attention. These data suggest that functional connectivity is an effective approach to investigate the relationship between subjective feelings of pleasure and pain of neural structures known to respond to both the anticipation of positive and negative outcomes.
Spiga, Saturnino; Talani, Giuseppe; Mulas, Giovanna; Licheri, Valentina; Fois, Giulia R; Muggironi, Giulia; Masala, Nicola; Cannizzaro, Carla; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico; Diana, Marco
Alcoholism involves long-term cognitive deficits, including memory impairment, resulting in substantial cost to society. Neuronal refinement and stabilization are hypothesized to confer resilience to poor decision making and addictive-like behaviors, such as excessive ethanol drinking and dependence. Accordingly, structural abnormalities are likely to contribute to synaptic dysfunctions that occur from suddenly ceasing the use of alcohol after chronic ingestion. Here we show that ethanol-dependent rats display a loss of dendritic spines in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) shell, accompanied by a reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining and postsynaptic density 95-positive elements. Further analysis indicates that "long thin" but not "mushroom" spines are selectively affected. In addition, patch-clamp experiments from Nacc slices reveal that long-term depression (LTD) formation is hampered, with parallel changes in field potential recordings and reductions in NMDA-mediated synaptic currents. These changes are restricted to the withdrawal phase of ethanol dependence, suggesting their relevance in the genesis of signs and/or symptoms affecting ethanol withdrawal and thus the whole addictive cycle. Overall, these results highlight the key role of dynamic alterations in dendritic spines and their presynaptic afferents in the evolution of alcohol dependence. Furthermore, they suggest that the selective loss of long thin spines together with a reduced NMDA receptor function may affect learning. Disruption of this LTD could contribute to the rigid emotional and motivational state observed in alcohol dependence. PMID:25122682
Zhu, Xianglong; Ottenheimer, David; DiLeone, Ralph J
While weight gain is clearly promoted by excessive energy intake and reduced expenditure, the underlying neural mechanisms of energy balance remain unclear. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is one brain region that has received attention for its role in the regulation of energy balance; its D1 and D2 receptor containing neurons have distinct functions in regulating reward behavior and require further examination. The goal of the present study is to investigate how activation and inhibition of D1 and D2 neurons in the NAc influences behaviors related to energy intake and expenditure. Specific manipulation of D1 vs. D2 neurons was done in both low expenditure and high expenditure (wheel running) conditions to assess behavioral effects in these different states. Direct control of neural activity was achieved using a designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) strategy. Activation of NAc D1 neurons increased food intake, wheel running and locomotor activity. In contrast, activation of D2 neurons in the NAc reduced running and locomotion while D2 neuron inhibition had opposite effects. These results highlight the importance of considering both intake and expenditure in the analysis of D1 and D2 neuronal manipulations. Moreover, the behavioral outcomes from NAc D1 neuronal manipulations depend upon the activity state of the animals (wheel running vs. non-running). The data support and complement the hypothesis of specific NAc dopamine pathways facilitating energy expenditure and suggest a potential strategy for human weight control. PMID:27147989
Pultorak, Joshua D; Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A; Holt, Lauren R; Blue, Katherine V; Ciucci, Michelle R; Johnson, Aaron M
Many individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) have difficulty producing normal speech and voice, resulting in problems with interpersonal communication and reduced quality of life. Translational animal models of communicative dysfunction have been developed to assess disease pathology. However, it is unknown whether acoustic feature changes associated with vocal production deficits in these animal models lead to compromised communication. In rodents, male ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) have a well-established role in functional inter-sexual communication. To test whether acoustic deficits in USVs observed in a PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) knockout (KO) PD rat model compromise communication, we presented recordings of male PINK1 KO USVs and normal wild-type (WT) USVs to female rat listeners. We measured approached behavior and immediate early gene expression (c-Fos) in brain regions implicated in auditory processing and sexual motivation. Our results suggest that females show reduced approach in response to PINK1 KO USVs compared with WT. Moreover, females exposed to PINK1 KO USVs had lower c-Fos immunolabeling in the nucleus accumbens, a region implicated in sexual motivation. These results are the first to demonstrate that vocalization deficits in a rat PD model result in compromised communication. Thus, the PINK1 KO PD model may be valuable for assessing treatments aimed at restoring vocal communicative function. PMID:26313334
Arezoomandan, Reza; Khodagholi, Fariba; Haghparast, Abbas
Accumulating evidence suggested that glial cells are involved in synaptic plasticity and behavioral changes induced by drugs abuse. The role of these cells in maintenance and reinstatement of morphine (MRP) conditioned place preference (CPP) remains poorly characterized. The aim of present study was to investigate the direct role of glial cells in nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the maintenance and reinstatement of MRP-seeking behavior. CPP induced with injection of MRP (5 mg/kg, s.c. for 3 days), lasted for 7 days after cessation of MRP treatment and priming dose of MRP (1 mg/kg, s.c.) reinstated the extinguished MRP-induced CPP. The astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) and neuroglia conditioned medium (NCM) exposed to MRP (10 and 100 µM) have been microinjected into the NAc. Intra-NAc administration of ACM during extinction period failed to change the maintenance of MRP-CPP, but MRP 100-treated ACM could slightly increase the magnitude of reinstatement. In contrast to ACM, intra-NAc administration of MRP 100-treated NCM caused slower extinction by 3 days and significantly increased the magnitude of reinstatement. Our findings suggest the involvement of glial cells activation in the maintenance and reinstatement of MRP-seeking behaviors, and provides new evidence that these cells might be a potential target for the treatment of MRP addiction. PMID:26547198