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Sample records for accumbens caudate nucleus

  1. Genetic sex and the volumes of the caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens core and shell: original data and a review.

    PubMed

    Wong, Jordan E; Cao, Jinyan; Dorris, David M; Meitzen, John

    2016-11-01

    Sex differences are widespread across vertebrate nervous systems. Such differences are sometimes reflected in the neural substrate via neuroanatomical differences in brain region volume. One brain region that displays sex differences in its associated functions and pathologies is the striatum, including the caudate-putamen (dorsal striatum), nucleus accumbens core and shell (ventral striatum). The extent to which these differences can be attributed to alterations in volume is unclear. We thus tested whether the volumes of the caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens core, and nucleus accumbens shell differed by region, sex, and hemisphere in adult Sprague-Dawley rats. As a positive control for detecting sex differences in brain region volume, we measured the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the medial preoptic area (SDN-POA). As expected, SDN-POA volume was larger in males than in females. No sex differences were detected in the volumes of the caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens core or shell. Nucleus accumbens core volume was larger in the right than left hemisphere across males and females. These findings complement previous reports of lateralized nucleus accumbens volume in humans, and suggest that this may possibly be driven via hemispheric differences in nucleus accumbens core volume. In contrast, striatal sex differences seem to be mediated by factors other than striatal region volume. This conclusion is presented within the context of a detailed review of studies addressing sex differences and similarities in striatal neuroanatomy.

  2. Effects of diet and insulin on dopamine transporter activity and expression in rat caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens, and midbrain.

    PubMed

    Jones, Kymry T; Woods, Catherine; Zhen, Juan; Antonio, Tamara; Carr, Kenneth D; Reith, Maarten E A

    2017-03-01

    Food restriction (FR) and obesogenic (OB) diets are known to alter brain dopamine transmission and exert opposite modulatory effects on behavioral responsiveness to psychostimulant drugs of abuse. Mechanisms underlying these diet effects are not fully understood. In this study, we examined diet effects on expression and function of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in caudate-putamen (CPu), nucleus accumbens (NAc), and midbrain regions. Dopamine (DA) uptake by CPu, NAc or midbrain synapto(neuro)somes was measured in vitro with rotating disk electrode voltammetry or with [(3) H]DA uptake and was found to correlate with DAT surface expression, assessed by maximal [(3) H](-)-2-β-carbomethoxy-3-β-(4-fluorophenyl)tropane binding and surface biotinylation assays. FR and OB diets were both found to decrease DAT activity in CPu with a corresponding decrease in surface expression but had no effects in the NAc and midbrain. Diet treatments also affected sensitivity to insulin-induced enhancement of DA uptake, with FR producing an increase in CPu and NAc, likely mediated by an observed increase in insulin receptor expression, and OB producing a decrease in NAc. The increased expression of insulin receptor in NAc of FR rats was accompanied by increased DA D2 receptor expression, and the decreased DAT expression and function in CPu of OB rats was accompanied by decreased DA D2 receptor expression. These results are discussed as partial mechanistic underpinnings of diet-induced adaptations that contribute to altered behavioral sensitivity to psychostimulants that target the DAT.

  3. Why do we have a caudate nucleus?

    PubMed

    Villablanca, Jaime R

    2010-01-01

    In order to understand the physiological role of the caudate nucleus, we combine here our laboratory data on cats with reports of patients with selective damage to this nucleus. Cats with bilateral removal of the caudate nuclei showed a stereotyped behavior consisting of persistently approaching and then following a person, another cat, or any object, and attempting to contact the target. Simultaneously, the animals exhibited a friendly disposition and persistent docility together with purring and forelimbs treading/kneading. The magnitude and duration of this behavior was proportional to the extent of the removal reaching a maximum after ablations of 65% or more of the caudate tissue. These cats were hyperactive but they had lost the feline elegance of movements. Additional features of acaudate cats were: (1) postural and accuracy deficits (plus perseveration) in paw usage tasks including bar pressing for food reward; (2) cognitive and perceptual impairments on a T-maze battery of tasks and on the bar pressing tasks; (3) blockage or blunting of the species-specific behavioral response to a single injection of morphine; Unilateral caudate nucleus removal did not produce global behavioral effects, but only deficit in the contralateral paw contact placing reaction and paw usage/bar pressing. Moreover and surprisingly, we found hypertrophy of the ipsilateral caudate nucleus following prenatal focal neocortical removal. The findings in human were also behavioral (not neurological) and also occurred with unilateral caudate damage. The main manifestations consisted of loss of drive (apathy), obsessive-compulsive behavior, cognitive deficits, stimulus-bound perseverative behavior, and hyperactivity. Based on all of the above data we propose that the specific function of the caudate nucleus is to control approach-attachment behavior, ranging from plain approach to a target, to romantic love. This putative function would account well for the caudate involvement in the

  4. Roles of dopaminergic innervation of nucleus accumbens shell and dorsolateral caudate-putamen in cue-induced morphine seeking after prolonged abstinence and the underlying D1- and D2-like receptor mechanisms in rats

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jun; Li, Yonghui; Zhu, Ning; Brimijoin, Stephen; Sui, Nan

    2013-01-01

    Drug-associated cues can elicit relapse to drug seeking after abstinence. Studies with extinction–reinstatement models implicate dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAshell) and dorsolateral caudate-putamen (dlCPu) in cocaine seeking. However, less is known about their roles in cue-induced opiate seeking after prolonged abstinence. Using a morphine self-administration and abstinence–relapse model, we explored the roles of NAshell and dlCPu DA and the D1/D2-like receptor mechanisms underlying morphine rewarding and/or seeking. Acquisition of morphine self-administration was examined following 6-Hydroxydopamine hydrobromide (6-OHDA) lesions of the NAshell and dlCPu. For morphine seeking, rats underwent 3 weeks’ morphine self-administration followed by 3 weeks’ abstinence from morphine and the training environment. Prior to testing, 6-OHDA, D1 antagonist SCH23390, or D2 antagonist eticlopride was locally injected; then rats were exposed to morphine-associated contextual and discrete cues. Results show that acquisition of morphine self-administration was inhibited by NAshell (not dlCPu) lesions, while morphine seeking was attenuated by lesions of either region, by D1 (not D2) receptor blockade in NAshell, or by blockade of either D1 or D2 receptors in dlCPu. These data indicate a critical role of dopaminergic transmission in the NAshell (via D1-like receptors) and dlCPu (via D1- and D2-like receptors) in morphine seeking after prolonged abstinence. PMID:23151613

  5. Levo-tetrahydropalmatine attenuates the development and expression of methamphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization and the accompanying activation of ERK in the nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhao, N; Chen, Y; Zhu, J; Wang, L; Cao, G; Dang, Y; Yan, C; Wang, J; Chen, T

    2014-01-31

    Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) is an alkaloid purified from corydalis and has been used in many traditional Chinese herbal preparations for its analgesic, sedative, and hypnotic properties. Previous studies indicated that l-THP has modest antagonist activity against dopamine receptors and thus it might have potential therapeutic effects on drug addiction. However, whether and how l-THP contributes to methamphetamine (METH)-induced locomotor sensitization remains unclear. Therefore, the current study aims to examine the roles of l-THP in the development and expression of METH-induced locomotor sensitization as well as the accompanying extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), caudate putamen (CPu) and prefrontal cortex (PFc) in mice. We found that moderate doses of METH (0.5 and 2 mg/kg) induced hyper-locomotor activity in mice on all METH injection days whereas high dose of METH (5 mg/kg)-treated mice displayed only acute locomotor response to METH and severe stereotyped behaviors on the first day after drug injection. Interestingly, only 2 mg/kg dose of METH-induced locomotor sensitization which was accompanied by the activation of ERK1/2 in the NAc and CPu in mice. Although l-THP (5 and 10 mg/kg) per se did not induce obvious changes in locomotor activities in mice, its co-administration with METH could significantly attenuate acute METH-induced hyper-locomotor activity, the development and expression of METH-induced locomotor sensitization, and the accompanying ERK1/2 activation in the NAc and CPu. These results suggest that l-THP has potential therapeutic effect on METH-induced locomotor sensitization, and the underlying molecular mechanism might be related to its inhibitory effect on ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the NAc and CPu.

  6. Dynamic risk control by human nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Nachev, Parashkev; Lopez-Sosa, Fernando; Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier Jesus; Galarza, Ana; Avecillas, Josue; Pineda-Pardo, Jose Angel; Lopez-Ibor, Juan José; Reneses, Blanca; Barcia, Juan Antonio; Strange, Bryan

    2015-12-01

    Real-world decisions about reward often involve a complex counterbalance of risk and value. Although the nucleus accumbens has been implicated in the underlying neural substrate, its criticality to human behaviour remains an open question, best addressed with interventional methodology that probes the behavioural consequences of focal neural modulation. Combining a psychometric index of risky decision-making with transient electrical modulation of the nucleus accumbens, here we reveal profound, highly dynamic alteration of the relation between probability of reward and choice during therapeutic deep brain stimulation in four patients with treatment-resistant psychiatric disease. Short-lived phasic electrical stimulation of the region of the nucleus accumbens dynamically altered risk behaviour, transiently shifting the psychometric function towards more risky decisions only for the duration of stimulation. A critical, on-line role of human nucleus accumbens in dynamic risk control is thereby established.

  7. Dynamic risk control by human nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Sosa, Fernando; Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier Jesus; Galarza, Ana; Avecillas, Josue; Pineda-Pardo, Jose Angel; Lopez-Ibor, Juan José; Reneses, Blanca; Barcia, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Real-world decisions about reward often involve a complex counterbalance of risk and value. Although the nucleus accumbens has been implicated in the underlying neural substrate, its criticality to human behaviour remains an open question, best addressed with interventional methodology that probes the behavioural consequences of focal neural modulation. Combining a psychometric index of risky decision-making with transient electrical modulation of the nucleus accumbens, here we reveal profound, highly dynamic alteration of the relation between probability of reward and choice during therapeutic deep brain stimulation in four patients with treatment-resistant psychiatric disease. Short-lived phasic electrical stimulation of the region of the nucleus accumbens dynamically altered risk behaviour, transiently shifting the psychometric function towards more risky decisions only for the duration of stimulation. A critical, on-line role of human nucleus accumbens in dynamic risk control is thereby established. PMID:26428667

  8. Music and the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Mavridis, Ioannis N

    2015-03-01

    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.

  9. Nucleus accumbens invulnerability to methamphetamine neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Donald M; Angoa-Pérez, Mariana; Thomas, David M

    2011-01-01

    Methamphetamine (Meth) is a neurotoxic drug of abuse that damages neurons and nerve endings throughout the central nervous system. Emerging studies of human Meth addicts using both postmortem analyses of brain tissue and noninvasive imaging studies of intact brains have confirmed that Meth causes persistent structural abnormalities. Animal and human studies have also defined a number of significant functional problems and comorbid psychiatric disorders associated with long-term Meth abuse. This review summarizes the salient features of Meth-induced neurotoxicity with a focus on the dopamine (DA) neuronal system. DA nerve endings in the caudate-putamen (CPu) are damaged by Meth in a highly delimited manner. Even within the CPu, damage is remarkably heterogeneous, with ventral and lateral aspects showing the greatest deficits. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is largely spared the damage that accompanies binge Meth intoxication, but relatively subtle changes in the disposition of DA in its nerve endings can lead to dramatic increases in Meth-induced toxicity in the CPu and overcome the normal resistance of the NAc to damage. In contrast to the CPu, where DA neuronal deficiencies are persistent, alterations in the NAc show a partial recovery. Animal models have been indispensable in studies of the causes and consequences of Meth neurotoxicity and in the development of new therapies. This research has shown that increases in cytoplasmic DA dramatically broaden the neurotoxic profile of Meth to include brain structures not normally targeted for damage. The resistance of the NAc to Meth-induced neurotoxicity and its ability to recover reveal a fundamentally different neuroplasticity by comparison to the CPu. Recruitment of the NAc as a target of Meth neurotoxicity by alterations in DA homeostasis is significant in light of the numerous important roles played by this brain structure.

  10. Gustatory Reward and the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Norgren, R.; Hajnal, A.; Mungarndee, S.S.

    2011-01-01

    The concept of reward is central to psychology, but remains a cipher for neuroscience. Considerable evidence implicates dopamine in the process of reward and much of the data derives from the nucleus accumbens. Gustatory stimuli are widely used for animal studies of reward, but the connections between the taste and reward systems are unknown. In a series of experiments, our laboratory has addressed this issue using functional neurochemistry and neuroanatomy. First, using microdialysis probes, we demonstrated that sapid sucrose releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The effect is dependent on oral stimulation and concentration. We subsequently determined that this response was independent of the thalamocortical gustatory system, but substantially blunted by damage to the parabrachial limbic taste projection. Further experiments using c-fos histochemistry confirmed that the limbic pathway was the prime carrier for the gustatory afferent activity that drives accumbens dopamine release. PMID:16822531

  11. Atypical nucleus accumbens morphology in psychopathy: another limbic piece in the puzzle.

    PubMed

    Boccardi, Marina; Bocchetta, Martina; Aronen, Hannu J; Repo-Tiihonen, Eila; Vaurio, Olli; Thompson, Paul M; Tiihonen, Jari; Frisoni, Giovanni B

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathy has been associated with increased putamen and striatum volumes. The nucleus accumbens - a key structure in reversal learning, less effective in psychopathy - has not yet received specific attention. Moreover, basal ganglia morphology has never been explored. We examined the morphology of the caudate, putamen and accumbens, manually segmented from magnetic resonance images of 26 offenders (age: 32.5 ± 8.4) with medium-high psychopathy (mean PCL-R=30 ± 5) and 25 healthy controls (age: 34.6 ± 10.8). Local differences were statistically modeled using a surface-based radial distance mapping method (p<0.05; multiple comparisons correction through permutation tests). In psychopathy, the caudate and putamen had normal global volume, but different morphology, significant after correction for multiple comparisons, for the right dorsal putamen (permutation test: p=0.02). The volume of the nucleus accumbens was 13% smaller in psychopathy (p corrected for multiple comparisons <0.006). The atypical morphology consisted of predominant anterior hypotrophy bilaterally (10-30%). Caudate and putamen local morphology displayed negative correlation with the lifestyle factor of the PCL-R (permutation test: p=0.05 and 0.03). From these data, psychopathy appears to be associated with an atypical striatal morphology, with highly significant global and local differences of the accumbens. This is consistent with the clinical syndrome and with theories of limbic involvement.

  12. Soluble spiroperidol binding factors from bovine caudate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Winkler, M H; Berl, S

    1982-09-01

    Several properties of soluble spiroperidol binding factors separated from bovine caudate nucleus have been investigated by a previously unreported procedure. Data consistent with high particle weight and rapid binding equilibration are reported for high-affinity (+)butaclamol-sensitive components of a digitonin extract. A slower sedimenting component is found that also exhibits high affinity for spiroperidol but is not sensitive to (+)butaclamol. Centrifugation of a caudate nucleus homogenate yields a supernatant that appears to contain a component that exhibits spiroperidol binding that is more sensitive to displacement by (-) than by (+)butaclamol. The procedure used effects rapid separation of bound from unbound tritiated ligand on short columns of Sephadex G-15 followed by extrusion and sectioning of the Sephadex. The radioactivity remaining with each section is determined. The procedure is very rapid; the addition of active phases or the changing of the ionic environment, which may disturb the equilibrium, is avoided; and recovery of the protein free of bound ligand is easily affected.

  13. Paradoxical augmented relapse in alcohol-dependent rats during deep-brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Hadar, R; Vengeliene, V; Barroeta Hlusicke, E; Canals, S; Noori, H R; Wieske, F; Rummel, J; Harnack, D; Heinz, A; Spanagel, R; Winter, C

    2016-01-01

    Case reports indicate that deep-brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens may be beneficial to alcohol-dependent patients. The lack of clinical trials and our limited knowledge of deep-brain stimulation call for translational experiments to validate these reports. To mimic the human situation, we used a chronic-continuous brain-stimulation paradigm targeting the nucleus accumbens and other brain sites in alcohol-dependent rats. To determine the network effects of deep-brain stimulation in alcohol-dependent rats, we combined electrical stimulation of the nucleus accumbens with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and studied neurotransmitter levels in nucleus accumbens-stimulated versus sham-stimulated rats. Surprisingly, we report here that electrical stimulation of the nucleus accumbens led to augmented relapse behavior in alcohol-dependent rats. Our associated fMRI data revealed some activated areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex and caudate putamen. However, when we applied stimulation to these areas, relapse behavior was not affected, confirming that the nucleus accumbens is critical for generating this paradoxical effect. Neurochemical analysis of the major activated brain sites of the network revealed that the effect of stimulation may depend on accumbal dopamine levels. This was supported by the finding that brain-stimulation-treated rats exhibited augmented alcohol-induced dopamine release compared with sham-stimulated animals. Our data suggest that deep-brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens enhances alcohol-liking probably via augmented dopamine release and can thereby promote relapse. PMID:27327255

  14. Paradoxical augmented relapse in alcohol-dependent rats during deep-brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Hadar, R; Vengeliene, V; Barroeta Hlusicke, E; Canals, S; Noori, H R; Wieske, F; Rummel, J; Harnack, D; Heinz, A; Spanagel, R; Winter, C

    2016-06-21

    Case reports indicate that deep-brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens may be beneficial to alcohol-dependent patients. The lack of clinical trials and our limited knowledge of deep-brain stimulation call for translational experiments to validate these reports. To mimic the human situation, we used a chronic-continuous brain-stimulation paradigm targeting the nucleus accumbens and other brain sites in alcohol-dependent rats. To determine the network effects of deep-brain stimulation in alcohol-dependent rats, we combined electrical stimulation of the nucleus accumbens with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and studied neurotransmitter levels in nucleus accumbens-stimulated versus sham-stimulated rats. Surprisingly, we report here that electrical stimulation of the nucleus accumbens led to augmented relapse behavior in alcohol-dependent rats. Our associated fMRI data revealed some activated areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex and caudate putamen. However, when we applied stimulation to these areas, relapse behavior was not affected, confirming that the nucleus accumbens is critical for generating this paradoxical effect. Neurochemical analysis of the major activated brain sites of the network revealed that the effect of stimulation may depend on accumbal dopamine levels. This was supported by the finding that brain-stimulation-treated rats exhibited augmented alcohol-induced dopamine release compared with sham-stimulated animals. Our data suggest that deep-brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens enhances alcohol-liking probably via augmented dopamine release and can thereby promote relapse.

  15. Autoregulation of dopamine synthesis in subregions of the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Heidbreder, C A; Baumann, M H

    2001-01-05

    The discovery of a core-shell dichotomy within the nucleus accumbens has opened new lines of investigation into the neuronal basis of psychiatric disorders and drug dependence. In the present study, the autoregulation of dopamine synthesis in subdivisions of the rat nucleus accumbens was examined. We measured the accumulation of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) after the inhibition of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase with 3-hydroxylbenzylhydrazine (NSD-1015, 100 mg kg(-1)) as an in vivo index of dopamine synthesis. The effect of the dopamine D(1)/D(2) receptor agonist apomorphine (0, 20, 100, 500 microgram kg(-1)) and the dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor agonist quinpirole (0, 20, 100, 500 microgram kg(-1)) on dopamine synthesis was determined in the dorsolateral core, ventromedial shell, and rostral pole of the nucleus accumbens. DOPA accumulation was also measured in the frontal cortex, olfactory tubercle, and caudate nucleus of the same rats for comparative purposes. The results show that the three sectors of the nucleus accumbens had similar basal levels of DOPA. Both apomorphine and quinpirole produced a decrease in the dopamine synthesis rate in all brain regions examined. In general, the dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor agonist quinpirole produced a significantly greater decrease in DOPA accumulation than the dopamine D(1)/D(2) receptor agonist apomorphine. Within the nucleus accumbens, we found no core-shell differences in the agonist-induced suppression of dopamine synthesis, but the rostral pole was less sensitive to the highest dose of both dopamine agonists. These results suggest that differences in dopamine function between the core and shell might not involve region-specific differences in the receptor-mediated autoregulation of dopamine neurotransmission. Moreover, the blunted effect of dopamine agonists in the rostral pole illustrates that this region of the accumbens is functionally distinct, possibly due to a lower dopamine receptor reserve when

  16. Apathy in Parkinson's disease is associated with nucleus accumbens atrophy: a magnetic resonance imaging shape analysis.

    PubMed

    Carriere, Nicolas; Besson, Pierre; Dujardin, Kathy; Duhamel, Alain; Defebvre, Luc; Delmaire, Christine; Devos, David

    2014-06-01

    Apathy is characterized by lack of interest, loss of initiative, and flattening of affect. It is a frequent, very disabling nonmotor complication of Parkinson's disease (PD). The condition may notably occur when dopaminergic medications are tapered after the initiation of subthalamic stimulation and thus can be referred to as "dopaminergic apathy." Even in the absence of tapering, some patients may develop a form of apathy as PD progresses. This form is often related to cognitive decline and does not respond to dopaminergic medications (dopa-resistant apathy). We aimed at determining whether dopa-resistant apathy in PD is related to striatofrontal morphological changes. We compared the shape of the striatum (using spherical harmonic parameterization and sampling in a three-dimensional point distribution model [SPHARM-PDM]), cortical thickness, and fractional anisotropy (using tract-based spatial statistics) in 10 consecutive patients with dopamine-refractory apathy, 10 matched nonapathetic PD patients and 10 healthy controls. Apathy in PD was associated with atrophy of the left nucleus accumbens. The SPHARM-PDM analysis highlighted (1) a positive correlation between the severity of apathy and atrophy of the left nucleus accumbens, (2) greater atrophy of the dorsolateral head of the left caudate in apathetic patients than in nonapathetic patients, and (3) greater atrophy in the bilateral nucleus accumbens in apathetic patients than in controls. There were no significant intergroup differences in cortical thickness or fractional anisotropy. Dopa-resistant apathy in PD was associated with atrophy of the left nucleus accumbens and the dorsolateral head of the left caudate.

  17. Control of nucleus accumbens activity with neurofeedback.

    PubMed

    Greer, Stephanie M; Trujillo, Andrew J; Glover, Gary H; Knutson, Brian

    2014-08-01

    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 presented as "neurofeedback." In an fMRI-based neurofeedback experiment designed to elicit NAcc activity, we found that subjects could increase their own NAcc activity, and that display of neurofeedback significantly enhanced their ability to do so. Subjects were not as capable of decreasing their NAcc activity, however, and enhanced control did not persist after subsequent removal of neurofeedback. Further analyses suggested that individuals who recruited positive aroused affect were better able to increase NAcc activity in response to neurofeedback, and that NAcc neurofeedback also elicited functionally correlated activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. Together, these findings suggest that humans can modulate their own NAcc activity and that fMRI-based neurofeedback may augment their efforts. The observed association between positive arousal and effective NAcc control further supports an anticipatory affect account of NAcc function.

  18. Caudate nucleus and social cognition: neuropsychological and SPECT evidence from a patient with focal caudate lesion.

    PubMed

    Kemp, Jennifer; Berthel, Marie-Camille; Dufour, André; Després, Olivier; Henry, Audrey; Namer, Izzie J; Musacchio, Mariano; Sellal, François

    2013-02-01

    Most studies in social cognition have focused on developmental diseases or analyzed the consequences of acquired frontal lesions on the integrity of Theory of Mind (ToM), but, to our knowledge, none to date has addressed the eventual consequences of damage to the basal ganglia on ToM. To investigate the possible consequences of such lesions on social cognition, we tested a selected patient, MVG, a 44-year-old man with a focal caudate nucleus (CN) lesion following stroke. In the aftermath of this stroke, MVG shows loss of empathy and difficulties recognizing emotions in others. The dual aims of this study were first, to evaluate the implications of CN on ToM and recognition of emotion, and second, to discuss these results as a consequence of a disconnection of the sub-cortical orbito-frontal (OF) loop due to caudate damage. We performed a complete neuropsychological assessment of MVG, as well as different tasks evaluating social cognition, such as the Faux-Pas Test and the Reading the Eyes in the Mind Test. No deficits were found in the neuropsychological tests. However, on tasks assessing social cognition, MVG showed impairments in the "warm" or "affective" part of ToM as well as in the ability to recognize negative emotions (i.e., sadness and fear). These results indicate that damage to the head of the left CN can lead to impairment of ToM and emotion recognition. Furthermore, the data shows that, in MVG, such impairment appears to be due to a disconnection of the sub-cortical OF circuit resulting from damage to the CN. Neuro-imaging data tends to confirm this hypothesis by bringing out a hypo-perfusion in both, the territory of his left CN and prefrontal (i.e., ventromedial) brain areas.

  19. [The neuronal responses of the caudate nucleus in the cat to sensory stimulation].

    PubMed

    Rodionova, E I; Pigarev, I N

    1990-01-01

    Responses of caudate neurons to a large variety of visual and other sensory stimuli were studied in alert cats. Sharp drops in the spontaneous activity of the unknown origin and differences in the activity level were revealed in adjacent parts of the caudate nucleus. The following types of neurons were recorded: neurons responding to visual stimulation; neurons responding to somatic stimulation; neurons responding to combined visual-somatic stimulation. The best response was observed to moving visual stimuli that attracted the animal's attention, alimentary objects specifically. The caudate nucleus of each hemisphere contained representation of both contra- and ipsilateral half of the animal body. Cell responses to sensory stimuli from the caudate nucleus have been compared with those from some cortical areas.

  20. Relief memory consolidation requires protein synthesis within the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Bruning, Johann E A; Breitfeld, Tino; Kahl, Evelyn; Bergado-Acosta, Jorge R; Fendt, Markus

    2016-06-01

    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.

  1. Caudate nucleus signals for breaches of expectation in a movement observation paradigm.

    PubMed

    Schiffer, Anne-Marike; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2011-01-01

    The striatum has been established as a carrier of reward-related prediction errors. This prediction error signal concerns the difference between how much reward was predicted and how much reward is gained. However, it remains to be established whether general breaches of expectation, i.e., perceptual prediction errors, are also implemented in the striatum. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of caudate nucleus in breaches of expectation. Importantly, breaches were not related to the occurrence or absence of reward. Preceding the fMRI study, participants were trained to produce a sequence of whole-body movements according to auditory cues. In the fMRI session, they watched movies of a dancer producing the same sequences either according to the cue (88%) or not (12%). Caudate nucleus was activated for the prediction-violating movements. This activation was flanked by activity in posterior superior temporal sulcus, the temporo-parietal junction and adjacent angular gyrus, a network that may convey the deviating movement to caudate nucleus, while frontal areas may reflect adaptive adjustments of the current prediction. Alternative interpretations of caudate activity relating either to the saliency of breaches of expectation or to behavioral adaptation could be excluded by two control contrasts. The results foster the notion that neurons in the caudate nucleus code for a breach in expectation, and point toward a distributed network involved in detecting, signaling and adjusting behavior and expectations toward violated prediction.

  2. [Reactions of caudate nucleus neurons to presentation of acoustic clicks to cats in a chronic experiment].

    PubMed

    Litvinova, A N; Lukhanina, E P

    1980-01-01

    Background and evoked activities of the caudate nucleus neurons to repetitive auditory clicks were recorded extracellularly in chronic experiments with partial restrained cats. Four types of background neuronal activity were distinguished. 44% of recorded units altered their background activity during auditory click applications. Five types of neuronal responses were found: phasic activation, phasic inhibition, tonic activation, tonic inhibition, mixed tonic reactions. Tonic activation was predominant. The phasic responses persisted under prolonged presentation of clicks. Partial or total attenuation of tonic responses during frequent repetition of clicks occurred in 33% of responding units. The question is discussed on the convergence of specific and unspecific influences on the caudate nucleus neurons.

  3. Effects of systemic L-tyrosine on dopamine release from rat corpus striatum and nucleus accumbens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    During, Matthew J.; Acworth, Ian N.; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1988-01-01

    Intracerebral dialysis was used to monitor extracellular fluid from rat striatum and nucleus accumbens following the intraperitoneal administration of tyrosine. Dopamine concentrations in dialysates from both the striatum and the nucleus accumbens increased significantly in response to the tyrosine. The magnitude of the tyrosine effect was greater in the nucleus accumbens than in the striatum. Hence, mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons may be especially responsive to precursor availability.

  4. Responses evoked in the cerebellar cortex by stimulation of the caudate nucleus in the cat

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Mary; Williams, T. D.

    1968-01-01

    1. Responses evoked in the cerebellar cortex following stimulation of caudate nucleus are described. 2. The evoked responses recorded from the surface of the cerebellar cortex were found to be of two types, one with a short (4-6 msec) latency and one with a longer (12-17 msec) latency. 3. The short latency response was maximal in the lobulus simplex, the longer latency response was maximal in paramedian lobule. 4. Following lesions in the inferior olive the longer latency response was absent. 5. Recordings from within the cerebellar cortex showed that the short latency response was uniformly distributed throughout the grey matter, the longer latency response was maximal in the region of the Purkinje cell bodies. 6. It was concluded that the short latency response was due to activation via the mossy fibres and the longer latency response to activation via the climbing fibres. 7. It was found that responses could be evoked in the cerebellum following stimulation of only the latero-ventral part of the caudate nucleus; stimulation of the rest of the nucleus caused no response in the cerebellum. This division of the caudate nucleus into two parts is similar to the subdivision of the caudate nucleus made by other workers using different criteria. PMID:5698279

  5. Effects of cytotoxic nucleus accumbens lesions on instrumental conditioning in rats.

    PubMed

    de Borchgrave, R; Rawlins, J N P; Dickinson, A; Balleine, B W

    2002-05-01

    In two experiments the involvement of the nucleus accumbens in instrumental conditioning was investigated using rats as subjects. In experiment 1, extensive bilateral cytotoxic lesions of the nucleus accumbens mildly suppressed instrumental responding reinforced with food, but had no detectable effect on the sensitivity of the rats' performance either to outcome devaluation or to degradation of the instrumental contingency. In experiment 2, restricted accumbens lesions reliably attenuated the excitatory effect of systemically administered d-amphetamine on lever pressing for a conditioned reinforcer, and completely abolished Pavlovian-instrumental transfer. Taken together these results give a picture of the involvement of the rat nucleus accumbens in instrumental conditioning. They support the widely held theory that the nucleus accumbens mediates the excitatory effects of appetitively conditioned Pavlovian signals on instrumental performance and refute the hypothesis that the nucleus accumbens is part of the neural circuitry by which incentive value is attached to the representations of instrumental outcomes.

  6. [Extracellular aminoacids in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens in the rat during acute pain].

    PubMed

    Silva, Elizabeth; Hernández, Luis

    2007-06-01

    In the present experiments extracellular arginine, glutamate and aspartate were studied in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala and core of the nucleus accumbens during the formalin test (phase I). A combination of capillary zone electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence detection and microdialysis in freely moving rats was used. Glutamate and arginine significantly increased in the nucleus accumbens after formalin injection; glutamate, arginine and aspartate significantly increased in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala, after formalin injection. These experiments suggest that rapid neurotransmitters changes observed in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, are possibly related to immobility and emotional states such as anxiety, aversion and/or depression caused by pain.

  7. Characterization of a folate-induced hypermotility response after bilateral injection into the rat nucleus accumbens

    SciTech Connect

    Stephens, R.L. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The objective of these studies was to pharmacologically characterize the mechanism responsible for a folate-induced stimulation of locomotor activity in rats after bilateral injection into the nucleus accumbens region of the brain. Folic acid (FA) and 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid (FTHF) produced this hypermotility response after intra-accumbens injection, while other reduced folic acid derivatives dihydrofolic acid, tetrahydrofolic acid, and 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid were ineffective. Studies were designed to determine the role of catecholamines in the nucleus accumbens in the folate-induced hypermotility response. The findings suggest that the folate-induced response is dependent on intact neuronal dopamine stores, and is mediated by stimulation of dopamine receptors of the nucleus accumbens. However the folates do not appear to enhance dopaminergic neutransmission. Thus, FA and FTHF were inefficient at 1 mM concentrations in stimulating /sup 3/H-dopamine release from /sup 3/H-dopamine preloaded nucleus accumbens slices or dopamine from endogenous stores. Pteroic acid, the chemical precursor of folic acid which lacks the glutamate moiety, was ineffective in producing a stimulation of locomotor activity after intra-accumbens injection. Since glutamate is an excitatory amino acid (EAA), compounds characterized as EAA receptor antagonists were utilized to determine if the folate-induced hypermotility response is mediated by activation of EAA receptors in the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that activation of quisqualate receptors of the nucleus accumbens may mediate the folate-induced hypermotility response.

  8. Reward and reinforcement activity in the nucleus accumbens during learning

    PubMed Central

    Gale, John T.; Shields, Donald C.; Ishizawa, Yumiko; Eskandar, Emad N.

    2014-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens core (NAcc) has been implicated in learning associations between sensory cues and profitable motor responses. However, the precise mechanisms that underlie these functions remain unclear. We recorded single-neuron activity from the NAcc of primates trained to perform a visual-motor associative learning task. During learning, we found two distinct classes of NAcc neurons. The first class demonstrated progressive increases in firing rates at the go-cue, feedback/tone and reward epochs of the task, as novel associations were learned. This suggests that these neurons may play a role in the exploitation of rewarding behaviors. In contrast, the second class exhibited attenuated firing rates, but only at the reward epoch of the task. These findings suggest that some NAcc neurons play a role in reward-based reinforcement during learning. PMID:24765069

  9. Glutamatergic signaling by mesolimbic dopamine neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Patel, Jyoti C; Xenias, Harry; English, Daniel; Tadros, Ibrahim; Shah, Fulva; Berlin, Joshua; Deisseroth, Karl; Rice, Margaret E; Tepper, James M; Koos, Tibor

    2010-05-19

    Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission.

  10. Glutamatergic Signaling by Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Patel, Jyoti C.; Xenias, Harry; English, Daniel; Tadros, Ibrahim; Shah, Fulva; Berlin, Joshua; Deisseroth, Karl; Rice, Margaret E.; Tepper, James M.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission. PMID:20484653

  11. The nucleus accumbens: an interface between cognition, emotion, and action.

    PubMed

    Floresco, Stan B

    2015-01-03

    Nearly 40 years of research on the function of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has provided a wealth of information on its contributions to behavior but has also yielded controversies and misconceptions regarding these functions. A primary tenet of this review is that, rather than serving as a "reward" center, the NAc plays a key role in action selection, integrating cognitive and affective information processed by frontal and temporal lobe regions to augment the efficiency and vigor of appetitively or aversively motivated behaviors. Its involvement in these functions is most prominent when the appropriate course of action is ambiguous, uncertain, laden with distractors, or in a state of flux. To this end, different subregions of the NAc play dissociable roles in refining action selection, promoting approach toward motivationally relevant stimuli, suppressing inappropriate actions so that goals may be obtained more efficiently, and encoding action outcomes that guide the direction of subsequent ones.

  12. Early afferent reactions in caudate nucleus and neocortex during consolidation and extinction of conditioned.

    PubMed

    Makarova, I I

    2001-02-01

    Experiments in cats revealed a clear-cut dependence of the early complex (up to 100 msec) of evoked potentials recorded in the caudate nucleus and temporal cortex on biological relevance of the stimulus (presence or absence of alimentary signal), with constant physical parameters. The early complex of evoked potentials can reflect activity of the mechanisms preventing non-specific motor response to exteroceptive stimulus, although it does not exclude processing the stimulus-carried information during generation of evoked potentials.

  13. A thalamic input to the nucleus accumbens mediates opiate dependence

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yingjie; Wienecke, Carl F.R.; Nachtrab, Gregory; Chen, Xiaoke

    2016-01-01

    Chronic opiate use induces opiate dependence, which is characterized by extremely unpleasant physical and emotional feelings after drug use is terminated. Both rewarding effects of drug and the desire to avoid withdrawal symptoms motivate continued drug use1-3, and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is important for orchestrating both processes4,5. While multiple inputs to the NAc regulate reward6-9, little is known about the NAc circuitry underlying withdrawal. Here we identify the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) as a prominent input to the NAc mediating the expression of opiate withdrawal induced physical signs and aversive memory. Activity in the PVT to NAc pathway is necessary and sufficient to mediate behavioral 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 PVT and D2-receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D2-MSNs) via synaptic insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors. Notably, in vivo optogenetic depotentiation restores normal transmission at PVT→D2-MSNs synapses and robustly suppresses morphine withdrawal symptoms. These results link morphine-evoked pathway- and cell type-specific plasticity in the PVT→NAc circuit to opiate dependence, and suggest that reprogramming this circuit holds promise for treating opiate addiction. PMID:26840481

  14. Ultrastructural Changes of Caudate Nucleus in Mice Chronically Treated with Manganese.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Virginia; Hernández-Fonseca, Juan Pablo; Bonilla, Ernesto; Medina-Leendertz, Shirley; Mora, Marylu; Mosquera, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and induces functional and structural alterations during the intoxication by this metal. Therefore, the effects of chronic administration of Mn in the caudate nucleus of mice were evaluated by electron microscopy. Male albino mice were injected intraperitoneally with MnCl2 (5 mg/kg/d) 5 d per week during 9 weeks. The control group received only 0.9% of NaCl solution. The caudate nuclei were extracted and subsequently processed to be observed on a conventional transmission electron microscope at 2, 4, 6, and 9 weeks after treatment. A high percentage of vacuolated and swollen mitochondria were found throughout all the analyzed periods. Myelin disarrangement and ultrastructural alterations related to edema were observed increased in Mn-treated mice at week 9. Granular degeneration of myelin at week 9 accompanied with deposition of electron dense granules in the neuropil was also observed. Edema in neuropil and glial cells was detected from week 2 to week 9 accompanied by swollen mitochondria. Neuronal bodies, synaptic terminals, and perivascular cells were found swollen. Decreased electron density in postsynaptic areas and decreased and dispersed synaptic vesicles in presynaptic areas were noted in Mn-treated animals. Some neurons from Mn-treated mice showed cisternae dilation of the Golgi apparatus. These results suggest that Mn-treatment produces structural alterations in the caudate nucleus that could be responsible for some of the neurotoxic effects of this metal.

  15. Serotonin2C receptors in the nucleus accumbens are involved in enhanced alcohol-drinking behavior.

    PubMed

    Yoshimoto, Kanji; Watanabe, Yoshihisa; Tanaka, Masaki; Kimura, Minoru

    2012-04-01

    Dopamine and serotonin (5-HT) in the nucleus accumbens (ACC) and ventral tegmental area of the mesoaccumbens reward pathways have been implicated in the mechanisms underlying development of alcohol dependence. We used a C57BL/6J mouse model with increased voluntary alcohol-drinking behavior by exposing the mice to alcohol vapor for 20 consecutive days. In the alcohol-exposed mice, the expression of 5-HT(2C) receptor mRNA increased in the ACC, caudate nucleus and putamen, dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), hippocampus and lateral hypothalamus, while the protein level of 5-HT(2C) receptor significantly increased in the ACC. The expression of 5-HT(7) receptor mRNA increased in the ACC and DRN. Contents of 5-HT decreased in the ACC shell (ACC(S) ) and DRN of the alcohol-exposed mice. The basal extracellular releases of dopamine (DA) and 5-HT in the ACC(S) increased more in the alcohol-exposed mice than in alcohol-naïve mice. The magnitude of the alcohol-induced ACC(S) DA and 5-HT release in the alcohol-exposed mice was increased compared with the control mice. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration or local injection into ACC(S) of the 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonist, SB-242084, suppressed voluntary alcohol-drinking behavior in the alcohol-exposed mice. But the i.p. administration of the 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist, SB-258719, did not have significant effects on alcohol-drinking behavior in the alcohol-exposed mice. The effects of the 5-HT(2C) receptor antagonist were not observed in the air-exposed control mice. These results suggest that adaptations of the 5-HT system, especially the upregulation of 5-HT(2C) receptors in the ACC(S) , are involved in the development of enhanced voluntary alcohol-drinking behavior.

  16. Two years changes in the development of caudate nucleus are involved in restricted repetitive behaviors in 2-5-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Ting; Chang, Chen; Li, Yun; Qian, Lu; Xiao, Chao Yong; Xiao, Ting; Xiao, Xiang; Xiao, Yun Hua; Chu, Kang Kang; Lewis, Mark H; Ke, Xiaoyan

    2016-06-01

    Caudate nucleus volume is enlarged in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is associated with restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs). However, the trajectory of caudate nucleus volume in RRBs of young children remains unclear. Caudate nucleus volume was measured in 36 children with ASD and 18 matched 2-3-year-old subjects with developmentally delayed (DD) at baseline (Time 1) and at 2-year follow-up (Time 2). The differential growth rate in caudate nucleus volume was calculated. Further, the relationships between the development of caudate nucleus volume and RRBs were analyzed. Our results showed that caudate nucleus volume was significantly larger in the ASD group at both time points and the magnitude of enlargement was greater at Time 2. The rate of caudate nucleus growth during this 2-year interval was faster in children with ASD than DD. Right caudate nucleus volume growth was negatively correlated with RRBs. Findings from this study suggest developmental abnormalities of caudate nucleus volume in ASD. Longitudinal MRI studies are needed to explore the correlation between atypical growth patterns of caudate nucleus and phenotype of RRBs.

  17. Reduced volume of the nucleus accumbens in heroin addiction.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Christian L; Magon, Stefano; Sprenger, Till; Lang, Undine E; Huber, Christian G; Denier, Niklaus; Vogel, Marc; Schmidt, André; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Borgwardt, Stefan; Walter, Marc

    2015-12-01

    The neural mechanisms of heroin addiction are still incompletely understood, even though modern neuroimaging techniques offer insights into disease-related changes in vivo. While changes on cortical structure have been reported in heroin addiction, evidence from subcortical areas remains underrepresented. Functional imaging studies revealed that the brain reward system and particularly the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of drug addiction. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there was a volume difference of the NAcc in heroin addiction in comparison to healthy controls. A further aim was to correlate subcortical volumes with clinical measurements on negative affects in addiction. Thirty heroin-dependent patients under maintenance treatment with diacetylmorphine and twenty healthy controls underwent structural MRI scanning at 3T. Subcortical segmentation analysis was performed using FMRIB's Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool function of FSL. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory were used to assess trait anxiety and depressive symptoms, respectively. A decreased volume of the left NAcc was observed in heroin-dependent patients compared to healthy controls. Depression score was negatively correlated with left NAcc volume in patients, whereas a positive correlation was found between the daily opioid dose and the volume of the right amygdala. This study indicates that there might be structural differences of the NAcc in heroin-dependent patients in comparison with healthy controls. Furthermore, correlations of subcortical structures with negative emotions and opioid doses might be of future relevance for the investigation of heroin addiction.

  18. Oxytocin excites nucleus accumbens shell neurons in vivo.

    PubMed

    Moaddab, Mahsa; Hyland, Brian I; Brown, Colin H

    2015-09-01

    Oxytocin modulates reward-related behaviors. The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) is a major relay in the brain reward pathway and expresses oxytocin receptors, but the effects of oxytocin on the activity of NAcSh neurons in vivo are unknown. Hence, we used in vivo extracellular recording to show that intracerebroventricular (ICV) oxytocin administration (0.2μg) robustly increased medial NAcSh neuron mean firing rate; this increase was almost exclusively evident in slow-firing neurons and was not associated with any change in firing pattern. To determine whether oxytocin excitation of medial NAcSh neurons is modulated by drugs that impact the brain reward pathway, we next tested the effects of ICV oxytocin following repeated morphine treatment. In morphine-treated rats, ICV oxytocin did not affect the mean firing rate of medial NAcSh neurons. Taken together, these results show that oxytocin excites medial NAcSh neurons but does not do so after repeated morphine. This could be an important factor in oxytocin modulation of reward-related behaviors, such as drug addiction.

  19. Progressive hemifacial atrophy with agenesis of the head of the caudate nucleus.

    PubMed Central

    Leäo, M; da Silva, M L

    1994-01-01

    We describe a woman with right hemifacial atrophy, a high palate, partial left motor seizures, and mild atrophy of the left arm. CT scan showed asymmetrical lateral ventricles and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) showed atrophy of the right cerebral hemisphere and agenesis of the head of the right caudate nucleus. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Parry-Romberg syndrome associated with structural abnormalities of the basal nuclei documented by MRI. We suggest that a neurovascular aetiology can explain the spectrum of segmental defects associated with hemifacial atrophy. Images PMID:7891383

  20. Chronic ethanol self-administration in macaques shifts dopamine feedback inhibition to predominantly D2 receptors in nucleus accumbens core

    PubMed Central

    Siciliano, Cody A.; Calipari, Erin S.; Yorgason, Jordan T.; Mateo, Yolanda; Helms, Christa M.; Lovinger, David M.; Grant, Kathleen A.; Jones, Sara R.

    2015-01-01

    Background Given the high level of homology between nonhuman primates and humans in regard to anatomy, physiology and ethanol drinking patterns, nonhuman primates represent an unparalleled preclinical model for examining the neurobiological basis of ethanol abuse. Methods Here we examined the neurochemical consequences of chronic daily ethanol use using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in brain slices containing the nucleus accumbens core or dorsolateral caudate taken from male cynomolgus macaques following ethanol drinking. Results We found that in both regions the ability of ethanol to decrease dopamine release was unchanged, indicating that ethanol self-administration does not produce tolerance or sensitization to ethanol effects on dopamine release at the dopamine terminal at this time point. We also found that in the nucleus accumbens core, autoregulation of dopamine release was shifted from equal D2 and D3 receptor involvement in control animals to primarily D2 receptor-mediated in drinkers. Specifically, the effect quinpirole, a D2/D3 receptor agonist, on dopamine release was equal across groups; however, dopamine signals were reversed to a greater extent by the selective D3 receptor antagonist SB-277,011A in control animals, indicating a greater contribution of D2 receptors in quinpirole-induced inhibition following ethanol self-administration. In the dorsolateral caudate, the effects of quinpirole and reversal with SB-277,011A was not different between ethanol and control slices. Conclusions This work provides novel insight into the dopaminergic adaptations resulting from chronic ethanol use in nonhuman primates and indicates that alterations in D2/D3 dopamine autoreceptor signaling may be an important neurochemical adaptation to ethanol consumption during early use. PMID:26627912

  1. DeltaFosB in the nucleus accumbens is critical for reinforcing effects of sexual reward

    PubMed Central

    Pitchers, Kyle K.; Frohmader, Karla S.; Vialou, Vincent; Mouzon, Ezekiell; Nestler, Eric J.; Lehman, Michael N.; Coolen, Lique M.

    2010-01-01

    Sexual behavior in male rats is rewarding and reinforcing. However, little is known about the specific cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating sexual reward or the reinforcing effects of reward on subsequent expression of sexual behavior. The current study tests the hypothesis that ΔFosB, the stably expressed truncated form of FosB, plays a critical role in the reinforcement of sexual behavior and experience-induced facilitation of sexual motivation and performance. Sexual experience was shown to cause ΔFosB accumulation in several limbic brain regions including the nucleus accumbens (NAc), medial prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area and caudate putamen, but not the medial preoptic nucleus. Next, the induction of c-Fos, a downstream (repressed) target of ΔFosB, was measured in sexually experienced and naïve animals. The number of mating-induced c-Fos-IR cells was significantly decreased in sexually experienced animals compared to sexually naïve controls. Finally, ΔFosB levels and its activity in the NAc were manipulated using viral-mediated gene transfer to study its potential role in mediating sexual experience and experience-induced facilitation of sexual performance. Animals with ΔFosB over-expression displayed enhanced facilitation of sexual performance with sexual experience relative to controls. In contrast, the expression of ΔJunD, a dominant-negative binding partner of ΔFosB, attenuated sexual experience-induced facilitation of sexual performance, and stunted long-term maintenance of facilitation compared to GFP and ΔFosB over-expressing groups. Together, these findings support a critical role for ΔFosB expression in the NAc for the reinforcing effects of sexual behavior and sexual experience-induced facilitation of sexual performance. PMID:20618447

  2. Extended-access, but not limited-access, methamphetamine self-administration induces behavioral and nucleus accumbens dopamine response changes in rats.

    PubMed

    Le Cozannet, Romain; Markou, Athina; Kuczenski, Ronald

    2013-11-01

    To better understand the neurobiology of methamphetamine (METH) dependence and the cognitive impairments induced by METH use, we compared the effects of extended (12 h) and limited (1 h) access to METH self-administration on locomotor activity and object place recognition, and on extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen. Rats were trained to self-administer intravenous METH (0.05 mg/kg). One group had progressively extended access up to 12-h sessions. The other group had limited-access 1-h sessions. Microdialysis experiments were conducted during a 12-h and 1-h session, in which the effects of a single METH injection (self-administered, 0.05 mg/kg, i.v.) on extracellular dopamine levels were assessed in the nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen compared with a drug-naive group. The day after the last 12-h session and the following day experimental groups were assessed for their locomotor activities and in a place recognition procedure, respectively. The microdialysis results revealed tolerance to the METH-induced increases in extracellular dopamine only in the nucleus accumbens, but not in the caudate-putamen in the extended-access group compared with the control and limited-access groups. These effects may be associated with the increased lever-pressing and drug-seeking observed during the first hour of drug exposure in the extended-access group. This increase in drug-seeking leads to higher METH intake and may result in more severe consequences in other structures responsible for the behavioral deficits (memory and locomotor activity) observed in the extended-access group, but not in the limited-access group.

  3. Identification of 5-hydroxytryptamine1D binding sites in sheep caudate nucleus membranes.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, P J; Palmier, C; Briley, M

    1993-08-03

    Radioligand binding measurements were performed in membranes of sheep caudate nucleus using [3H]5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). [3H]5-HT labeled a population of high affinity binding sites with a Kd of 1.9 +/- 0.1 nM and a Bmax of 19.8 +/- 2.2 fmol/mg tissue. Combined 5-HTID/E binding sites were the predominant 5-HT1 subtype, accounting for 78% of the total population of 5-HT1 binding sites. 5-Carboxamidotryptamine (5-CT) and sumatriptan yielded inhibition curves which best fitted a two-site model with high affinity values of 0.8 and 10.1 nM, and 1000 and 206 nM for their low affinity components. The proportion of the high affinity 5-CT and sumatriptan binding sites was 79 and 72%. The binding affinity profile of 5-HT1D binding sites [5-CT > 5-HT > d-LSD > 5-MeOT > sumatriptan > RU 24,969 > metergoline > tryptamine = rauwolscine = methylsergide > yohimbine = methiothepin > TFMPP = 8-OH-DPAT > 2-methyl-5-HT > mCPP = quipazine = CP 93,129 > ketanserin > (-)-propranolol = haloperidol = ipsapirone] compares well to that reported for 5-HT1D receptor sites in human caudate and cortex (correlation coefficient: 0.99 and 0.98). The present results indicate that sheep caudate nucleus is a valid tissue for studying interaction of compounds with 5-HT1D binding sites in the relative absence of 5-HT1E binding sites.

  4. Encoding of aversion by dopamine and the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    McCutcheon, James E; Ebner, Stephanie R; Loriaux, Amy L; Roitman, Mitchell F

    2012-01-01

    Adaptive motivated behavior requires rapid discrimination between beneficial and harmful stimuli. Such discrimination leads to the generation of either an approach or rejection response, as appropriate, and enables organisms to maximize reward and minimize punishment. Classically, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the dopamine projection to it are considered an integral part of the brain's reward circuit, i.e., they direct approach and consumption behaviors and underlie positive reinforcement. This reward-centered framing ignores important evidence about the role of this system in encoding aversive events. One reason for bias toward reward is the difficulty in designing experiments in which animals repeatedly experience punishments; another is the challenge in dissociating the response to an aversive stimulus itself from the reward/relief experienced when an aversive stimulus is terminated. Here, we review studies that employ techniques with sufficient time resolution to measure responses in ventral tegmental area and NAc to aversive stimuli as they are delivered. We also present novel findings showing that the same stimulus - intra-oral infusion of sucrose - has differing effects on NAc shell dopamine release depending on the prior experience. Here, for some rats, sucrose was rendered aversive by explicitly pairing it with malaise in a conditioned taste aversion paradigm. Thereafter, sucrose infusions led to a suppression of dopamine with a similar magnitude and time course to intra-oral infusions of a bitter quinine solution. The results are discussed in the context of regional differences in dopamine signaling and the implications of a pause in phasic dopamine release within the NAc shell. Together with our data, the emerging literature suggests an important role for differential phasic dopamine signaling in aversion vs. reward.

  5. Nucleus accumbens GLP-1 receptors influence meal size and palatability.

    PubMed

    Dossat, Amanda M; Diaz, Ryan; Gallo, Lindsay; Panagos, Alyssa; Kay, Kristen; Williams, Diana L

    2013-06-15

    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.

  6. Opioids in the nucleus accumbens stimulate ethanol intake.

    PubMed

    Barson, Jessica R; Carr, Ambrose J; Soun, Jennifer E; Sobhani, Nasim C; Leibowitz, Sarah F; Hoebel, Bartley G

    2009-10-19

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) participates in the control of both motivation and addiction. To test the possibility that opioids in the NAc can cause rats to select ethanol in preference to food, Sprague-Dawley rats with ethanol, food, and water available, were injected with two doses each of morphine, the mu-receptor agonist [D-Ala(2),N-Me-Phe(4),Gly(5)-ol]-Enkephalin (DAMGO), the delta-receptor agonist D-Ala-Gly-Phe-Met-NH2 (DALA), the k-receptor agonist (+/-)-trans-U-50488 methanesulfonate (U-50,488H), or the opioid antagonist naloxone methiodide (m-naloxone). As an anatomical control for drug reflux, injections were also made 2mm above the NAc. The main result was that morphine in the NAc significantly increased ethanol and food intake, whereas m-naloxone reduced ethanol intake without affecting food or water intake. Of the selective receptor agonists, DALA in the NAc increased ethanol intake in preference to food. This is in contrast to DAMGO, which stimulated food but not ethanol intake, and the k-agonist U-50,488H, which had no effect on intake. When injected in the anatomical control site 2mm dorsal to the NAc, the opioids had no effects on ethanol intake. These results demonstrate that ethanol intake produced by morphine in the NAc is driven in large part by the delta-receptor. In light of other studies showing ethanol intake to increase enkephalin expression in the NAc, the present finding of enkephalin-induced ethanol intake suggests the existence of a positive feedback loop that fosters alcohol abuse. Naltrexone therapy for alcohol abuse may then act, in part, in the NAc by blocking this opioid-triggered cycle of alcohol intake.

  7. The Nucleus Accumbens and Ketamine Treatment in Major Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Chadi G; Jackowski, Andrea; Salas, Ramiro; Gupta, Swapnil; Sato, João R; Mao, Xiangling; Coplan, Jeremy D; Shungu, Dikoma C; Mathew, Sanjay J

    2017-03-29

    Animal models of depression repeatedly showed stress-induced nucleus accumbens (NAc) hypertrophy. Recently, ketamine was found to normalize this stress-induced NAc structural growth. Here, we investigated NAc structural abnormalities in major depressive disorder (MDD) in two cohorts. Cohort A included a cross-sectional sample of 34 MDD and 26 healthy control (HC) subjects, with high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to estimate NAc volumes. Proton MR spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) was used to divide MDD subjects into two subgroups: glutamate-based depression (GBD) and non-GBD. A separate longitudinal sample (cohort B) included 16 MDD patients who underwent MRI at baseline then 24 h following intravenous infusion of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg). In cohort A, we found larger left NAc volume in MDD compared to controls (Cohen's d=1.05), but no significant enlargement in the right NAc (d=0.44). Follow-up analyses revealed significant subgrouping effects on the left (d⩾1.48) and right NAc (d⩾0.95) with larger bilateral NAc in non-GBD compared to GBD and HC. NAc volumes were not different between GBD and HC. In cohort B, ketamine treatment reduced left NAc, but increased left hippocampal, volumes in patients achieving remission. The cross-sectional data provided the first evidence of enlarged NAc in patients with MDD. These NAc abnormalities were limited to patients with non-GBD. The pilot longitudinal data revealed a pattern of normalization of left NAc and hippocampal volumes particularly in patients who achieved remission following ketamine treatment, an intriguing preliminary finding that awaits replication.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 29 March 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.49.

  8. False labelling of dopaminergic terminals in the rabbit caudate nucleus: uptake and release of [3H]-5-hydroxytryptamine.

    PubMed Central

    Feuerstein, T. J.; Hertting, G.; Lupp, A.; Neufang, B.

    1986-01-01

    The effect of the catecholamine uptake inhibitor nomifensine and of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) uptake blocker 6-nitroquipazine on the accumulation of [3H]-5-HT (0.1 microM, 60 min incubation) and [3H]-dopamine (0.1 microM, 30 min incubation) into slices of hippocampus and caudate nucleus of the rabbit was investigated. In addition, the influence of nomifensine on the electrically evoked [3H]-5-HT release from caudate nucleus slices and of nomifensine and 6-nitroquipazine on [3H]-5-HT released from caudate nucleus slices was analysed. In hippocampal slices, which contain practically no dopaminergic but densely distributed 5-hydroxytryptaminergic and noradrenergic nerve terminals (ratio of dopamine:5-HT:noradrenaline about 1:30:25), nomifensine (1, 10 microM) did not affect the accumulation of [3H]-5-HT; 6-nitroquipazine (1 microM) reduced [3H]-5-HT uptake to about 35% of controls. In the caudate nucleus, however, where dopamine is the predominant monoamine (ratio of dopamine:5-HT:noradrenaline about 400:25:15) nomifensine (1, 10 microM) reduced the tritium accumulation to 65% whereas 6-nitroquipazine (1 microM) was ineffective. The combination of both drugs (1 microM each) led to a further decrease to about 15%. The uptake of [3H]-dopamine into hippocampal slices was blocked by both nomifensine (1 microM) and 6-nitroquipazine (1 microM) whereas in caudate nucleus slices only nomifensine (1, 10 microM) reduced the accumulation of [3H]-dopamine. The combination of both drugs was not more effective than nomifensine alone. The different effects of both uptake inhibitors in the hippocampus and caudate nucleus suggest a neurone specific rather than a substrate specific mode of action.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3742155

  9. Higher Landing Accuracy in Expert Pilots is Associated with Lower Activity in the Caudate Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Adamson, Maheen M.; Taylor, Joy L.; Heraldez, Daniel; Khorasani, Allen; Noda, Art; Hernandez, Beatriz; Yesavage, Jerome A.

    2014-01-01

    The most common lethal accidents in General Aviation are caused by improperly executed landing approaches in which a pilot descends below the minimum safe altitude without proper visual references. To understand how expertise might reduce such erroneous decision-making, we examined relevant neural processes in pilots performing a simulated landing approach inside a functional MRI scanner. Pilots (aged 20–66) were asked to “fly” a series of simulated “cockpit view” instrument landing scenarios in an MRI scanner. The scenarios were either high risk (heavy fog–legally unsafe to land) or low risk (medium fog–legally safe to land). Pilots with one of two levels of expertise participated: Moderate Expertise (Instrument Flight Rules pilots, n = 8) or High Expertise (Certified Instrument Flight Instructors or Air-Transport Pilots, n = 12). High Expertise pilots were more accurate than Moderate Expertise pilots in making a “land” versus “do not land” decision (CFII: d′ = 3.62±2.52; IFR: d′ = 0.98±1.04; p<.01). Brain activity in bilateral caudate nucleus was examined for main effects of expertise during a “land” versus “do not land” decision with the no-decision control condition modeled as baseline. In making landing decisions, High Expertise pilots showed lower activation in the bilateral caudate nucleus (0.97±0.80) compared to Moderate Expertise pilots (1.91±1.16) (p<.05). These findings provide evidence for increased “neural efficiency” in High Expertise pilots relative to Moderate Expertise pilots. During an instrument approach the pilot is engaged in detailed examination of flight instruments while monitoring certain visual references for making landing decisions. The caudate nucleus regulates saccade eye control of gaze, the brain area where the “expertise” effect was observed. These data provide evidence that performing “real world” aviation tasks in an fMRI provide objective data regarding the

  10. Increases in cytoplasmic dopamine compromise the normal resistance of the nucleus accumbens to methamphetamine neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Thomas, David M; Francescutti-Verbeem, Dina M; Kuhn, Donald M

    2009-06-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a neurotoxic drug of abuse that damages the dopamine (DA) neuronal system in a highly delimited manner. The brain structure most affected by METH is the caudate-putamen (CPu) where long-term DA depletion and microglial activation are most evident. Even damage within the CPu is remarkably heterogenous with lateral and ventral aspects showing the greatest deficits. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is largely spared of the damage that accompanies binge METH intoxication. Increases in cytoplasmic DA produced by reserpine, L-DOPA or clorgyline prior to METH uncover damage in the NAc as evidenced by microglial activation and depletion of DA, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and the DA transporter. These effects do not occur in the NAc after treatment with METH alone. In contrast to the CPu where DA, TH, and DA transporter levels remain depleted chronically, DA nerve ending alterations in the NAc show a partial recovery over time. None of the treatments that enhance METH toxicity in the NAc and CPu lead to losses of TH protein or DA cell bodies in the substantia nigra or the ventral tegmentum. These data show that increases in cytoplasmic DA dramatically broaden the neurotoxic profile of METH to include brain structures not normally targeted for damage by METH alone. The resistance of the NAc to METH-induced neurotoxicity and its ability to recover reveal a fundamentally different neuroplasticity by comparison to the CPu. Recruitment of the NAc as a target of METH neurotoxicity by alterations in DA homeostasis is significant in light of the important roles played by this brain structure.

  11. Antipsychotic treatment leading to dopamine supersensitivity persistently alters nucleus accumbens function.

    PubMed

    El Hage, Cynthia; Bédard, Anne-Marie; Samaha, Anne-Noël

    2015-12-01

    Chronic exposure to some antipsychotic medications can induce supersensitivity to dopamine receptor stimulation. This is linked to a worsening of clinical outcome and to antipsychotic treatment failure. Here we investigated the role of striatal subregions [nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate-putamen (CPu)] in the expression of antipsychotic-induced dopamine supersensitivity. We treated rats with haloperidol (HAL) or olanzapine (OLZ), using regimens that achieve clinically relevant kinetics of striatal D2 receptor occupancy. Under these conditions, HAL produces dopamine supersensitivity whereas OLZ does not. We then assessed behaviors evoked by the dopamine agonist amphetamine (AMPH). We either injected AMPH into the striatum or inhibited striatal function with microinjections of GABA receptor agonists prior to injecting AMPH systemically. HAL-treated rats were dopamine supersensitive, as indicated by sensitization to systemic AMPH-induced potentiation of both locomotor activity and operant responding for a conditioned reward (CR). Intra-CPu injections of AMPH had no effect on these behaviors, in any group. Intra-NAc injections of AMPH enhanced operant responding for CR in OLZ-treated and control rats, but not in HAL-treated rats. In HAL-treated rats, inhibition of the NAc also failed to disrupt systemic AMPH-induced potentiation of operant responding for CR. Furthermore, while intra-NAc AMPH enhanced locomotion in both HAL-treated and control animals, inhibition of the NAc disrupted systemic AMPH-induced locomotion only in control rats. Thus, antipsychotic-induced dopamine supersensitivity persistently disrupts NAc function, such that some behaviors that normally depend upon NAc dopamine no longer do so. This has implications for understanding dysfunctions in dopamine-mediated behaviors in patients undergoing chronic antipsychotic treatment.

  12. Nucleus accumbens μ-opioid receptors mediate social reward.

    PubMed

    Trezza, Viviana; Damsteegt, Ruth; Achterberg, E J Marijke; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2011-04-27

    Positive social interactions are essential for emotional well-being and proper behavioral development of young individuals. Here, we studied the neural underpinnings of social reward by investigating the involvement of opioid neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in social play behavior, a highly rewarding social interaction in adolescent rats. Intra-NAc infusion of morphine (0.05-0.1 μg) increased pinning and pouncing, characteristic elements of social play behavior in rats, and blockade of NAc opioid receptors with naloxone (0.5 μg) prevented the play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine (1 mg/kg, s.c.) administration. Thus, stimulation of opioid receptors in the NAc was necessary and sufficient for morphine to increase social play. Intra-NAc treatment with the selective μ-opioid receptor agonist [D-Ala(2),N-MePhe(4),Gly(5)-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO) (0.1-10 ng) and the μ-opioid receptor antagonist Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2) (CTAP) (0.3-3 μg) increased and decreased social play, respectively. The δ-opioid receptor agonist DPDPE ([D-Pen(2),D-Pen(5)]-enkephalin) (0.3-3 μg) had no effects, whereas the κ-opioid receptor agonist U69593 (N-methyl-2-phenyl-N-[(5R,7S,8S)-7-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)-1-oxaspiro[4.5]dec-8-yl]acetamide) (0.01-1 μg) decreased social play. Intra-NAc treatment with β-endorphin (0.01-1 μg) increased social play, but met-enkephalin (0.1-5 μg) and the enkephalinase inhibitor thiorphan (0.1-1 μg) were ineffective. DAMGO (0.1-10 ng) increased social play after infusion into both the shell and core subregions of the NAc. Last, intra-NAc infusion of CTAP (3 μg) prevented the development of social play-induced conditioned place preference. These findings identify NAc μ-opioid receptor stimulation as an important neural mechanism for the attribution of positive value to social interactions in adolescent rats. Altered NAc μ-opioid receptor function may underlie social impairments in psychiatric disorders such as autism

  13. N-methyl-norsalsolinol modulates serotonin metabolism in the rat caudate nucleus: correlation with behavioural changes.

    PubMed

    Thümen, Ansgar; Behnecke, Anne; Qadri, Fatimunnisa; Moser, Andreas

    2003-03-01

    In earlier studies the dihydroxylated tetrahydroisoquinoline derivative 2(N)-methyl-norsalsolinol (NMNorsal) was identified in patients with Parkinson's disease. In the present study, NMNorsal (20 or 40 mg/kg) was given intraperitoneally to rats kept under normal light-dark cycles. Using brain microdialysis technique, serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (HIAA), dopamine (DA), and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were determined in the dialysate from caudate nucleus in vivo and from tissue in vitro at various times following NMNorsal administration. Even after high-dose NMNorsal administration (40 mg/kg) and measurements up to 48 h after administration, levels of DA and its metabolite DOPAC were not modified. In contrast to the DA metabolism, 5-HT levels in the dialysate increased to approx. 2-fold during the 48 h following administration of a single high-dose of NMNorsal while HIAA decreased to approx. 50%. These changes of 5-HT and HIAA were nearly identical in the homogenate preparation of the caudate nucleus when compared to the amounts present in the dialysate. During assessment controls and low-dose-treated animals were almost always sleeping. Only high-dose NMNorsal-treated rats were active, with maximum activity after 48 h, however, behavioural activity was clearly different to the classical 5-HT behavioural syndrome. Taken together, increased 5-HT levels in the striatum found in our studies seem to be linked to the behavioural activity induced by high-dose NMNorsal, and NMNorsal appeared to perturb normal diurnal rhythms of spontaneous locomotor activity. The precise mechanism by which NMNorsal acts on 5-HT metabolism and behaviour is, however, unclear and further investigation is required.

  14. Excitant amino acid projections from rat amygdala and thalamus to nucleus accumbens

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, T.G.; Beart, P.M.

    1988-04-01

    High affinity uptake of D-(/sup 3/H)aspartate, (/sup 3/H)choline and (/sup 3/H)GABA was examined in synaptosomal-containing preparations of rat nucleus accumbens septi 7 to 10 days after unilateral or bilateral N-methyl-D-aspartate lesions confined to the parataenial nucleus of the thalamus or the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. Uptake of both D-(/sup 3/H)aspartate and (/sup 3/H)choline was significantly reduced (11% and 14% less than control, respectively) by unilateral lesion of the thalamus, whereas (/sup 3/H)GABA uptake was unaffected. Bilateral thalamic lesions significantly reduced D-(/sup 3/H)aspartate uptake (11% less than control) into homogenates of the nucleus accumbens, whilst (/sup 3/H)GABA uptake was unaltered. D-(/sup 3/H)aspartate uptake was significantly reduced (26% less than control) following unilateral lesion of the amygdala, whereas both (/sup 3/H)GABA and (/sup 3/H)choline uptake were unaffected. Bilateral amygdaloid lesions significantly increased D-(/sup 3/H)aspartate uptake (39% greater than control), whilst uptake of (/sup 3/H)GABA was not affected. The results implicate glutamate and/or aspartate as putative neurotransmitters in afferent projections from the basolateral amygdala and the parataenial thalamus to the nucleus accumbens. Thalamic afferents to the nucleus accumbens may also utilize acetylcholine as their transmitter.

  15. Ceftriaxone attenuates acute cocaine‐evoked dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of the rat

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, B A; Tallarida, C S; Scholl, J L; Forster, G L; Unterwald, E M; Rawls, S M

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Ceftriaxone is a β‐lactam antibiotic and glutamate transporter activator that reduces the reinforcing effects of psychostimulants. Ceftriaxone also reduces locomotor activation following acute psychostimulant exposure, suggesting that alterations in dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens contribute to its mechanism of action. In the present studies we tested the hypothesis that pretreatment with ceftriaxone disrupts acute cocaine‐evoked dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. Experimental Approach Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were pretreated with saline or ceftriaxone (200 mg kg−1, i.p. × 10 days) and then challenged with cocaine (15 mg kg−1, i.p.). Motor activity, dopamine efflux (via in vivo microdialysis) and protein levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the dopamine transporter and organic cation transporter as well as α‐synuclein, Akt and GSK3β were analysed in the nucleus accumbens. Key Results Ceftriaxone‐pretreated rats challenged with cocaine displayed reduced locomotor activity and accumbal dopamine efflux compared with saline‐pretreated controls challenged with cocaine. The reduction in cocaine‐evoked dopamine levels was not counteracted by excitatory amino acid transporter 2 blockade in the nucleus accumbens. Pretreatment with ceftriaxone increased Akt/GSK3β signalling in the nucleus accumbens and reduced levels of dopamine transporter, TH and phosphorylated α‐synuclein, indicating that ceftriaxone affects numerous proteins involved in dopaminergic transmission. Conclusions and Implications These results are the first evidence that ceftriaxone affects cocaine‐evoked dopaminergic transmission, in addition to its well‐described effects on glutamate, and suggest that its ability to attenuate cocaine‐induced behaviours, such as psychomotor activity, is due in part to reduced dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. PMID:26375494

  16. Social interaction reward decreases p38 activation in the nucleus accumbens shell of rats.

    PubMed

    Salti, Ahmad; Kummer, Kai K; Sadangi, Chinmaya; Dechant, Georg; Saria, Alois; El Rawas, Rana

    2015-12-01

    We have previously shown that animals acquired robust conditioned place preference (CPP) to either social interaction alone or cocaine alone. Recently it has been reported that drugs of abuse abnormally activated p38, a member of mitogen-activated protein kinase family, in the nucleus accumbens. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression of the activated form of p38 (pp38) in the nucleus accumbens shell and core of rats expressing either cocaine CPP or social interaction CPP 1 h, 2 h and 24 h after the CPP test. We hypothesized that cocaine CPP will increase pp38 in the nucleus accumbens shell/core as compared to social interaction CPP. Surprisingly, we found that 24 h after social interaction CPP, pp38 neuronal levels were decreased in the nucleus accumbens shell to the level of naïve rats. Control saline rats that received saline in both compartments of the CPP apparatus and cocaine CPP rats showed similar enhanced p38 activation as compared to naïve and social interaction CPP rats. We also found that the percentage of neurons expressing dopaminergic receptor D2R and pp38 was also decreased in the shell of the nucleus accumbens of social interaction CPP rats as compared to controls. Given the emerging role of p38 in stress/anxiety behaviors, these results suggest that (1) social interaction reward has anti-stress effects; (2) cocaine conditioning per se does not affect p38 activation and that (3) marginal stress is sufficient to induce p38 activation in the shell of the nucleus accumbens.

  17. Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens modulates the memory of social defeat in Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus).

    PubMed

    Gray, C L; Norvelle, A; Larkin, T; Huhman, K L

    2015-06-01

    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.

  18. Social interaction reward decreases p38 activation in the nucleus accumbens shell of rats

    PubMed Central

    Salti, Ahmad; Kummer, Kai K.; Sadangi, Chinmaya; Dechant, Georg; Saria, Alois; El Rawas, Rana

    2016-01-01

    We have previously shown that animals acquired robust conditioned place preference (CPP) to either social interaction alone or cocaine alone. Recently it has been reported that drugs of abuse abnormally activated p38, a member of mitogen-activated protein kinase family, in the nucleus accumbens. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression of the activated form of p38 (pp38) in the nucleus accumbens shell and core of rats expressing either cocaine CPP or social interaction CPP 1 h, 2 h and 24 h after the CPP test. We hypothesized that cocaine CPP will increase pp38 in the nucleus accumbens shell/core as compared to social interaction CPP. Surprisingly, we found that 24 h after social interaction CPP, pp38 neuronal levels were decreased in the nucleus accumbens shell to the level of naïve rats. Control saline rats that received saline in both compartments of the CPP apparatus and cocaine CPP rats showed similar enhanced p38 activation as compared to naïve and social interaction CPP rats. We also found that the percentage of neurons expressing dopaminergic receptor D2R and pp38 was also decreased in the shell of the nucleus accumbens of social interaction CPP rats as compared to controls. Given the emerging role of p38 in stress/anxiety behaviors, these results suggest that (1) social interaction reward has anti-stress effects; (2) cocaine conditioning per se does not affect p38 activation and that (3) marginal stress is sufficient to induce p38 activation in the shell of the nucleus accumbens. PMID:26300300

  19. Modulation of extracellular neurotransmitter levels in the nucleus accumbens by a taurine uptake inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Olive, M F; Mehmert, K K; Hodge, C W

    2000-12-15

    Using in vivo microdialysis, we examined the effect of local perfusion of the taurine uptake inhibitor guanidinoethyl sulfonate on extracellular levels of various neurotransmitters in the rat nucleus accumbens. Guanidinoethyl sulfonate (500 microM-50 mM) produced a concentration-dependent increase in extracellular taurine levels. While 500 microM and 5 mM concentrations of guanidinoethyl sulfonate were largely without effect, 50 mM guanidinoethyl sulfonate produced a significant decrease in extracellular levels of aspartate, glutamate and glycine, with no effect on extracellular dopamine levels. These results indicate that guanidinoethyl sulfonate can modulate extracellular amino acid levels in the nucleus accumbens.

  20. Behavioral Flexibility Is Increased by Optogenetic Inhibition of Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell during Specific Time Segments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aquili, Luca; Liu, Andrew W.; Shindou, Mayumi; Shindou, Tomomi; Wickens, Jeffery R.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  1. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Quintero, Gabriel C

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction

    PubMed Central

    Quintero, Gabriel C

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Promote Selection Bias for Nearer Objects

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Sara E.

    2014-01-01

    Both animals and humans often prefer rewarding options that are nearby over those that are distant, but the neural mechanisms underlying this bias are unclear. Here we present evidence that a proximity signal encoded by neurons in the nucleus accumbens drives proximate reward bias by promoting impulsive approach to nearby reward-associated objects. On a novel decision-making task, rats chose the nearer option even when it resulted in greater effort expenditure and delay to reward; therefore, proximate reward bias was unlikely to be caused by effort or delay discounting. The activity of individual neurons in the nucleus accumbens did not consistently encode the reward or effort associated with specific alternatives, suggesting that it does not participate in weighing the values of options. In contrast, proximity encoding was consistent and did not depend on the subsequent choice, implying that accumbens activity drives approach to the nearest rewarding option regardless of its specific associated reward size or effort level. PMID:25319709

  4. Individual Differences in Dopamine Efflux in Nucleus Accumbens Shell and Core during Instrumental Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Jingjun; Feenstra, Matthijs G. P.

    2006-01-01

    Combined activation of dopamine D1- and NMDA-glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens has been strongly implicated in instrumental learning, the process in which an individual learns that a specific action has a wanted outcome. To assess dopaminergic activity, we presented rats with two sessions (30 trials each) of a one-lever appetitive…

  5. The Role of the Nucleus Accumbens in Knowing when to Respond

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singh, Teghpal; McDannald, Michael A.; Takahashi, Yuji K.; Haney, Richard Z.; Cooch, Nisha K.; Lucantonio, Federica; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2011-01-01

    While knowing what to expect is important, it is equally important to know when to expect it and to respond accordingly. This is apparent even in simple Pavlovian training situations in which animals learn to respond more strongly closer to reward delivery. Here we report that the nucleus accumbens core, an area well-positioned to represent…

  6. Cytoarchitectural impairments in the medium spiny neurons of the Nucleus Accumbens core of hyperactive juvenile rats.

    PubMed

    González-Burgos, I; García-Martínez, S; Velázquez-Zamora, D A; Ponce-Rolón, R

    2010-10-01

    Dopaminergic activity in the Nucleus Accumbens has been strongly implicated in the motor hyperactivity associated with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Dopaminergic and glutamatergic terminals converge on the dendritic spines of medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens core, which modulate the excitatory glutamatergic activity. In this work, a Golgi study was carried out to investigate the effects of dopamine depletion on the cytoarchitecture of dendritic spines of nucleus accumbens core medium spiny neurons. The dopaminergic system of newborn male rats was lesioned intracisternally by using 6-hydroxydopamine, and subsequently, the motor activity, spine density, and the proportion of thin, stubby, mushroom, wide, branched, and double spines was compared to those in control and intact animals. Motor activity was significantly increased in the dopamine-depleted animals and while the spine density was reduced, there was no change in the proportion of the specific types of spines. Larger thin spines were observed in the dopamine-depleted animals. Indeed, dopamine depletion may lead to spine retraction due to the disregulation of spine development, and/or an increase in glutamatergic activity. The enlargement of thin spines may suggest a compensatory mechanism to increase the efficiency of synaptic inputs in response to a decrease in spines number. Together, the present findings suggest an alteration to the excitatory/inhibitory balance on dendritic spines of medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens core in hyperactive juvenile rats following early dopamine depletion.

  7. Good Vibrations: Cross-Frequency Coupling in the Human Nucleus Accumbens during Reward Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Michael X.; Axmacher, Nikolai; Lenartz, Doris; Elger, Christian E.; Sturm, Volker; Schlaepfer, Thomas E.

    2009-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens is critical for reward-guided learning and decision-making. It is thought to "gate" the flow of a diverse range of information (e.g., rewarding, aversive, and novel events) from limbic afferents to basal ganglia outputs. Gating and information encoding may be achieved via cross-frequency coupling, in which bursts of…

  8. Hedonic and Nucleus Accumbens Neural Responses to a Natural Reward Are Regulated by Aversive Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roitman, Mitchell F.; Wheeler, Robert A.; Tiesinga, Paul H. E.; Roitman, Jamie D.; Carelli, Regina M.

    2010-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a role in hedonic reactivity to taste stimuli. Learning can alter the hedonic valence of a given stimulus, and it remains unclear how the NAc encodes this shift. The present study examined whether the population response of NAc neurons to a taste stimulus is plastic using a conditioned taste aversion (CTA)…

  9. Activity of Caudate Nucleus Neurons in a Visual Fixation Paradigm in Behaving Cats

    PubMed Central

    Nagypál, Tamás; Gombkötő, Péter; Barkóczi, Balázs; Benedek, György; Nagy, Attila

    2015-01-01

    Beside its motor functions, the caudate nucleus (CN), the main input structure of the basal ganglia, is also sensitive to various sensory modalities. The goal of the present study was to investigate the effects of visual stimulation on the CN by using a behaving, head-restrained, eye movement-controlled feline model developed recently for this purpose. Extracellular multielectrode recordings were made from the CN of two cats in a visual fixation paradigm applying static and dynamic stimuli. The recorded neurons were classified in three groups according to their electrophysiological properties: phasically active (PAN), tonically active (TAN) and high-firing (HFN) neurons. The response characteristics were investigated according to this classification. The PAN and TAN neurons were sensitive primarily to static stimuli, while the HFN neurons responded primarily to changes in the visual environment i.e. to optic flow and the offset of the stimuli. The HFNs were the most sensitive to visual stimulation; their responses were stronger than those of the PANs and TANs. The majority of the recorded units were insensitive to the direction of the optic flow, regardless of group, but a small number of direction-sensitive neurons were also found. Our results demonstrate that both the static and the dynamic components of the visual information are represented in the CN. Furthermore, these results provide the first piece of evidence on optic flow processing in the CN, which, in more general terms, indicates the possible role of this structure in dynamic visual information processing. PMID:26544604

  10. Automatic segmentation of the caudate nucleus from human brain MR images.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yan; Bettinger, Keith; Shen, Lin; Reiss, Allan L

    2007-04-01

    We describe a knowledge-driven algorithm to automatically delineate the caudate nucleus (CN) region of the human brain from a magnetic resonance (MR) image. Since the lateral ventricles (LVs) are good landmarks for positioning the CN, the algorithm first extracts the LVs, and automatically localizes the CN from this information guided by anatomic knowledge of the structure. The face validity of the algorithm was tested with 55 high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets, and segmentation results were overlaid onto the original image data for visual inspection. We further evaluated the algorithm by comparing automated segmentation results to a "gold standard" established by human experts for these 55 MR datasets. Quantitative comparison showed a high intraclass correlation between the algorithm and expert as well as high spatial overlap between the regions-of-interest (ROIs) generated from the two methods. The mean spatial overlap +/- standard deviation (defined by the intersection of the 2 ROIs divided by the union of the 2 ROIs) was equal to 0.873 +/- 0.0234. The algorithm has been incorporated into a public domain software program written in Java and, thus, has the potential to be of broad benefit to neuroimaging investigators interested in basal ganglia anatomy and function.

  11. A case of musical preference for Johnny Cash following deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Mantione, Mariska; Figee, Martijn; Denys, Damiaan

    2014-01-01

    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 (NAcc), 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 (DBS) targeted at the NAcc. This case report substantiates the assumption that the NAcc is involved in musical preference, based on the observation of direct stimulation of the accumbens with DBS. It also shows that accumbens DBS can change musical preference without habituation of its rewarding properties. PMID:24834035

  12. Decreased iodine-123 IMP caudate nucleus uptake in patients with Huntington's disease

    SciTech Connect

    Nagel, J.S.; Johnson, K.A.; Ichise, M.; English, R.J.; Walshe, T.M.; Morris, J.H.; Holman, B.L.

    1988-07-01

    To determine whether I-123 isopropyl iodoamphetamine (IMP) uptake is reduced in the basal ganglia of patients with Huntington's disease compared with that in aged-matched normal and abnormal control subjects, a caudate ratio was defined that compared the average separation (in pixel units) between the midline and the left and right caudate heads to the width of the brain as measured on transaxial cross-sections of I-123 IMP SPECT brain images. For six patients with Huntington's disease, the average caudate ratio was 29.0% (SD +/- 2.7%), significantly higher than that for 12 normal volunteer subjects (average caudate ratio, 19.1% +/- 3.5%; p less than 0.001) and 13 patients with a variety of other neurologic disorders (average caudate ratio, 19.3 +/- 2.2%; p less than 0.001).

  13. Perimovement decrease of alpha/beta oscillations in the human nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Rutledge, Robb B.; Zaehle, Tino; Schmitt, Friedhelm C.; Kaufmann, Jörn; Voges, Jürgen; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J.; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel

    2016-01-01

    The human nucleus accumbens is thought to play an important role in guiding future action selection via an evaluation of current action outcomes. Here we provide electrophysiological evidence for a more direct, i.e., online, role during action preparation. We recorded local field potentials from the nucleus accumbens in patients with epilepsy undergoing surgery for deep brain stimulation. We found a consistent decrease in the power of alpha/beta oscillations (10–30 Hz) before and around the time of movements. This perimovement alpha/beta desynchronization was observed in seven of eight patients and was present both before instructed movements in a serial reaction time task as well as before self-paced, deliberate choices in a decision making task. A similar beta decrease over sensorimotor cortex and in the subthalamic nucleus has been directly related to movement preparation and execution. Our results support the idea of a direct role of the human nucleus accumbens in action preparation and execution. PMID:27486103

  14. Neuromodulatory action of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens: an in vivo intracellular study.

    PubMed

    Yim, C Y; Mogenson, G J

    1988-08-01

    Intracellular recordings were made from neurons in the nucleus accumbens in situ to determine how dopamine produces the selective neuromodulatory action in the accumbens observed in previous studies. Electrical stimulation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala was found to produce monosynaptically evoked depolarizing and hyperpolarizing postsynaptic potential sequences in a large proportion of the accumbens neurons sampled. Dopamine applied iontophoretically or released endogenously by stimulation of the ventral tegmental area produced consistent membrane depolarization and an increase in membrane conductance but not an increase in spontaneous activity of the accumbens neurons. Stimulation of the ventral tegmental area with trains of 10 pulses at 10 Hz prior to stimulation of the amygdala produced 8-58% reduction in the amplitude of the depolarizing postsynaptic potential but no change in the late hyperpolarizing postsynaptic potential. Although attenuation of the depolarizing postsynaptic potential amplitude from ventral tegmental area stimulation was often accompanied by membrane depolarization, it appeared that the two responses were not causally related. The effect of ventral tegmental area stimulation on the evoked depolarizing postsynaptic potential and the membrane potential were blocked by haloperidol indicating the involvement of dopamine. Iontophoretically applied dopamine produced responses similar to ventral tegmental area stimulation with two exceptions: (i) iontophoretically applied dopamine produced consistently stronger maximal attenuation of the depolarizing postsynaptic potential than did ventral tegmental area stimulation; and (ii) iontophoretically applied dopamine always attenuated both the depolarizing postsynaptic potential and hyperpolarizing postsynaptic potential whereas ventral tegmental area stimulation produced selective attenuation of the depolarizing postsynaptic potential only. These electrophysiological results are

  15. Role of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in reinstating methamphetamine seeking.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Angelica; Kalivas, Peter W

    2010-03-01

    Although the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex projection to the nucleus accumbens in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking has been well studied, it is not known if this projection plays a similar role in the reinstatement of cue- and methamphetamine-induced drug seeking in animals extinguished from methamphetamine self-administration. Accordingly, following extinction from long-access methamphetamine self-administration, rats were bilaterally microinjected with either a combination of the GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol or vehicle (artificial cerebrospinal fluid) into the infralimbic or prelimbic subcompartments of the medial prefrontal cortex or into the shell or core subcompartments of the nucleus accumbens. Similar to cocaine seeking, inactivation of either the prelimbic cortex or accumbens core eliminated cue- and methamphetamine-induced reinstatement, and inactivation of neither the infralimbic cortex nor shell subcompartments inhibited methamphetamine-induced drug seeking. However, in contrast to previous reports with cocaine, cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine seeking was inhibited by inactivation of the infralimbic cortex. In conclusion, although a primary role in reinstated drug seeking by the prelimbic and the accumbens core is similar between cocaine and methamphetamine, the recruitment of the infralimbic cortex by conditioned cues differs between these two psychostimulant drugs.

  16. The role of the nucleus accumbens in instrumental conditioning: Evidence of a functional dissociation between accumbens core and shell.

    PubMed

    Corbit, L H; Muir, J L; Balleine, B W

    2001-05-01

    In three experiments we examined the effect of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the nucleus accumbens core or shell subregions on instrumental performance, outcome devaluation, degradation of the instrumental contingency, Pavlovian conditioning, and Pavlovian-instrumental transfer. Rats were food deprived and trained to press two levers, one delivering food pellets and the other a sucrose solution. All animals acquired the lever-press response although the rate of acquisition and overall response rates in core-lesioned animals were depressed relative to that in the shell- or sham-lesioned animals. Furthermore, in shell- and sham-lesioned rats, post-training devaluation of one of the two outcomes using a specific satiety procedure produced a selective reduction in performance on the lever that, in training, delivered the prefed outcome. In contrast, the core-lesioned rats failed to show a selective devaluation effect and reduced responding on both levers. Subsequent tests revealed that these effects of core lesions were not caused by an impairment in their ability to recall the devalued outcome, to discriminate the two outcomes, or to encode the instrumental action-outcome contingencies to which they were exposed. Additionally, the core lesions did not have any marked effect on Pavlovian conditioning or on Pavlovian-instrumental transfer. Importantly, although shell-lesioned rats showed no deficit in any test of instrumental conditioning or in Pavlovian conditioning, they failed to show any positive transfer in the Pavlovian-instrumental transfer test. This double dissociation suggests that nucleus accumbens core and shell differentially mediate the impact of instrumental and Pavlovian incentive processes, respectively, on instrumental performance.

  17. Buprenorphine modulates methamphetamine-induced dopamine dynamics in the rat caudate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Frederico C; Gough, Bobby; Macedo, Tice R; Ribeiro, Carlos F; Ali, Syed F; Binienda, Zbigniew K

    2011-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) abuse and addiction present a major problem in the United States and globally. Oxidative stress associated with exposure to METH mediates to the large extent METH-evoked neurotoxicity. While there are currently no medications approved for treating METH addiction, its pharmacology provides opportunities for potential pharmacotherapeutic adjuncts to behavioral therapy in the treatment of METH addiction. Opioid receptor agonists can modulate the activity of dopamine neurons and could, therefore, modify the pharmacodynamic effects of METH in the dopaminergic system. Efficacy of the adjunctive medication with buprenorphine has been demonstrated in the treatment of cocaine addiction extending beyond opiate addiction. We investigated the interactions of morphine (10 mg/kg) and buprenorphine (0.01 and 10 mg/kg) with METH (2 mg/kg) affecting striatal dopaminergic transmission. The extracellular concentration of dopamine (DA) and its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) were determined using brain microdialysis coupled with high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED) in the caudate nucleus of adult, awake, male Sprague-Dawley rats. Compared to METH alone, extracellular DA release was prolonged for 140 min without changes in DA peak-effect by combined treatment with morphine/METH. Morphine did not change DOPAC efflux evoked by METH. On the other hand, both buprenorphine doses attenuated the METH-induced DA peak-effect. However, whereas high buprenorphine dose extended DA outflow for 190 min, the low-dose abbreviated DA release. High buprenorphine dose also shortened METH-induced decrease in DOPAC efflux. Data confirm that opiates modulate dopaminergic neurotransmission evoked by METH. Alteration of dopaminergic response to METH challenge under buprenorphine may suggest effectiveness of buprenorphine treatment in METH addiction.

  18. Habitual action video game playing is associated with caudate nucleus-dependent navigational strategies.

    PubMed

    West, Greg L; Drisdelle, Brandi Lee; Konishi, Kyoko; Jackson, Jonathan; Jolicoeur, Pierre; Bohbot, Veronique D

    2015-06-07

    The habitual playing of video games is associated with increased grey matter and activity in the striatum. Studies in humans and rodents have shown an inverse relationship between grey matter in the striatum and hippocampus. We investigated whether action video game playing is also associated with increased use of response learning strategies during navigation, known to be dependent on the caudate nucleus of the striatum, when presented in a dual solution task. We tested 26 action video game players (actionVGPs) and 33 non-action video game players (nonVGPs) on the 4-on-8 virtual maze and a visual attention event-related potential (ERP) task, which elicits a robust N-2-posterior-controlateral (N2pc) component. We found that actionVGPs had a significantly higher likelihood of using a response learning strategy (80.76%) compared to nonVGPs (42.42%). Consistent with previous evidence, actionVGPs and nonVGPs differed in the way they deployed visual attention to central and peripheral targets as observed in the elicited N2pc component during an ERP visual attention task. Increased use of the response strategy in actionVGPs is consistent with previously observed increases in striatal volume in video game players (VGPs). Using response strategies is associated with decreased grey matter in the hippocampus. Previous studies have shown that decreased volume in the hippocampus precedes the onset of many neurological and psychiatric disorders. If actionVGPs have lower grey matter in the hippocampus, as response learners normally do, then these individuals could be at increased risk of developing neurological and psychiatric disorders during their lifetime.

  19. Habitual action video game playing is associated with caudate nucleus-dependent navigational strategies

    PubMed Central

    West, Greg L.; Drisdelle, Brandi Lee; Konishi, Kyoko; Jackson, Jonathan; Jolicoeur, Pierre; Bohbot, Veronique D.

    2015-01-01

    The habitual playing of video games is associated with increased grey matter and activity in the striatum. Studies in humans and rodents have shown an inverse relationship between grey matter in the striatum and hippocampus. We investigated whether action video game playing is also associated with increased use of response learning strategies during navigation, known to be dependent on the caudate nucleus of the striatum, when presented in a dual solution task. We tested 26 action video game players (actionVGPs) and 33 non-action video game players (nonVGPs) on the 4-on-8 virtual maze and a visual attention event-related potential (ERP) task, which elicits a robust N-2-posterior-controlateral (N2pc) component. We found that actionVGPs had a significantly higher likelihood of using a response learning strategy (80.76%) compared to nonVGPs (42.42%). Consistent with previous evidence, actionVGPs and nonVGPs differed in the way they deployed visual attention to central and peripheral targets as observed in the elicited N2pc component during an ERP visual attention task. Increased use of the response strategy in actionVGPs is consistent with previously observed increases in striatal volume in video game players (VGPs). Using response strategies is associated with decreased grey matter in the hippocampus. Previous studies have shown that decreased volume in the hippocampus precedes the onset of many neurological and psychiatric disorders. If actionVGPs have lower grey matter in the hippocampus, as response learners normally do, then these individuals could be at increased risk of developing neurological and psychiatric disorders during their lifetime. PMID:25994669

  20. Effects of acute and chronic clozapine on dopamine release and metabolism in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of conscious rats.

    PubMed

    Invernizzi, R; Morali, F; Pozzi, L; Samanin, R

    1990-08-01

    1. The effect of single and repeated (once daily for 23 days) oral doses of 20 and 60 mg kg-1 clozapine on dopamine release and metabolism were studied by intracerebral dialysis in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of conscious rats. 2. The basal output of dopamine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of rats given clozapine 20 or 60 mg kg-1 chronically, measured one day after the last drug dose, was not significantly different from that of vehicle-treated animals. 3. Challenge doses of 20 or 60 mg kg-1 clozapine produced similar increases in dopamine levels in the striatum and nucleus accumbens of animals which had received vehicle or clozapine 20 or 60 mg kg-1 once daily for 23 days, except that 1 h after administration 60 mg kg-1 clozapine had a greater effect in the nucleus accumbens. 4. In animals treated chronically with clozapine 20 and 60 mg kg-1 or vehicle, DOPAC levels in the striatum and nucleus accumbens were increased to the same extent by challenge doses of clozapine (20 or 60 mg kg-1). In animals treated chronically with clozapine, a challenge dose of 60 mg kg-1 had significantly greater effect on HVA only in the nucleus accumbens. 5. When DOPAC and HVA were measured post mortem in the striatum and nucleus accumbens 2 h after various oral doses of clozapine, it was found that 10 mg kg-1 significantly increased dopamine metabolites only in the nucleus accumbens whereas 100 mg kg-1 had this effect in both regions. Clozapine, 30mgkg-' significantly raised DOPAC levels in both regions but HVA was elevated only in the nucleus accumbens. 6. There appeared to be no appreciable changes in dopamine release and metabolism nor any reduction in the effect of clozapine in the nucleus accumbens after chronic drug treatment. In fact the effect was greater in chronically treated rats, particularly in the nucleus accumbens of animals given 60mgkg' clozapine. 7. It was confirmed that measurement of

  1. Cell-Type Specific Increases in Female Hamster Nucleus Accumbens Spine Density following Female Sexual Experience

    PubMed Central

    Staffend, Nancy A.; Hedges, Valerie L.; Chemel, Benjamin R.; Watts, Val J.; Meisel, Robert L.

    2013-01-01

    Female sexual behavior is an established model of a naturally motivated behavior which is regulated by activity within the mesolimbic dopamine system. Repeated activation of the mesolimbic circuit by female sexual behavior elevates dopamine release and produces persistent postsynaptic alterations to dopamine D1 receptor signaling within the nucleus accumbens. Here we demonstrate that sexual experience in female Syrian hamsters significantly increases spine density and alters morphology selectively in D1 receptor expressing medium spiny neurons within the nucleus accumbens core, with no corresponding change in dopamine receptor binding or protein expression. Our findings demonstrate that previous life experience with a naturally motivated behavior has the capacity to induce persistent structural alterations to the mesolimbic circuit that can increase reproductive success and are analogous to the persistent structural changes following repeated exposure to many drugs of abuse. PMID:23934655

  2. α2δ-1 Signaling in Nucleus Accumbens Is Necessary for Cocaine-Induced Relapse

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Robyn M.; Quintero, Gabriel C.; Kupchik, Yonatan M.; Thomas, Charles A.; Reissner, Kathryn J.; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    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 generalized to cocaine. Here, we show that α2δ-1 protein was increased in nucleus accumbens after cocaine self-administration and extinction compared with saline controls. Furthermore, the endogenous ligand thrombospondin-1, responsible for the synaptogenic properties of the α2δ-1 receptor, was likewise elevated. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of EPSCs in nucleus accumbens, we demonstrated that gabapentin, a specific α2δ-1 antagonist, preferentially reduced the amplitude and increased the paired-pulse ratio of EPSCs evoked by electrical stimulation in slices from cocaine-experienced rats compared with controls. In vivo, gabapentin microinjected in the nucleus accumbens core attenuated cocaine-primed but not cue-induced reinstatement. Importantly, gabapentin's effects on drug seeking were not due to a general depression of spontaneous or cocaine-induced locomotor activity. Moreover, gabapentin had no effect on reinstatement of sucrose seeking. These data indicate that α2δ-1 contributes specifically to cocaine-reinstated drug seeking, and identifies this protein as a target for the development of cocaine relapse medications. These results also inform ongoing discussion in the literature regarding efficacy of gabapentin as a candidate addiction therapy. PMID:24948814

  3. Gene expression profile of the nucleus accumbens of human cocaine abusers: evidence for dysregulation of myelin

    PubMed Central

    Albertson, Dawn N.; Pruetz, Barb; Schmidt, Carl J.; Kuhn, Donald M.; Kapatos, Gregory; Bannon, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    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 the nucleus accumbens of cocaine abusers. The most robust and consistent finding, however, was a decrease in the expression of a number of myelin-related genes, including myelin basic protein (MBP), proteolipid protein (PLP), and myelin-associated oligodendrocyte basic protein (MOBP). The differential expression seen by microarray for CART as well as MBP, MOBP, and PLP was verified by RT–PCR. In addition, immunohistochemical experiments revealed a decrease in the number of MBP-immunoreactive oligodendrocytes present in the nucleus accumbens and surrounding white matter of cocaine abusers. These findings suggest a dysregulation of myelin in human cocaine abusers. PMID:15009677

  4. Grit Is Associated with Structure of Nucleus Accumbens and Gains in Cognitive Training.

    PubMed

    Nemmi, Federico; Nymberg, Charlotte; Helander, Elin; Klingberg, Torkel

    2016-11-01

    There is a long-standing interest in the determinants of successful learning in children. "Grit" is an individual trait, reflecting the ability to pursue long-term goals despite temporary setbacks. Although grit is known to be predictive of future success in real-world learning situations, an understanding of the underlying neural basis and mechanisms is still lacking. Here we show that grit in a sample of 6-year-old children (n = 55) predicts the working memory improvement during 8 weeks of training on working memory tasks (p = .009). In a separate neuroimaging analysis performed on a partially overlapping sample (n = 27), we show that interindividual differences in grit were associated with differences in the volume of nucleus accumbens (peak voxel p = .021, x = 12, y = 11, z = -11). This was also confirmed in a leave-one-out analysis of gray matter density in the nucleus accumbens (p = .018). The results can be related to previous animal research showing the role of the nucleus accumbens to search out rewards regardless of delays or obstacles. The results provide a putative neural basis for grit and could contribute a cross-disciplinary connection of animal neuroscience to child psychology.

  5. Estradiol in the Preoptic Area Regulates the Dopaminergic Response to Cocaine in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Response to anticipated reward in the nucleus accumbens predicts behavior in an independent test of honesty.

    PubMed

    Abe, Nobuhito; Greene, Joshua D

    2014-08-06

    This study examines the cognitive and neural determinants of honesty and dishonesty. Human subjects undergoing fMRI completed a monetary incentive delay task eliciting responses to anticipated reward in the nucleus accumbens. Subjects next performed an incentivized prediction task, giving them real and repeated opportunities for dishonest gain. Subjects attempted to predict the outcomes of random computerized coin-flips and were financially rewarded for accuracy. In some trials, subjects were rewarded based on self-reported accuracy, allowing them to gain money dishonestly by lying. Dishonest behavior was indexed by improbably high levels of self-reported accuracy. Nucleus accumbens response in the first task, involving only honest rewards, accounted for ∼25% of the variance in dishonest behavior in the prediction task. Individuals showing relatively strong nucleus accumbens responses to anticipated reward also exhibited increased dorsolateral prefrontal activity (bilateral) in response to opportunities for dishonest gain. These results address two hypotheses concerning (dis)honesty. According to the "Will" hypothesis, honesty results from the active deployment of self-control. According to the "Grace" hypothesis, honesty flows more automatically. The present results suggest a reconciliation between these two hypotheses while explaining (dis)honesty in terms of more basic neural mechanisms: relatively weak responses to anticipated rewards make people morally "Graceful," but individuals who respond more strongly may resist temptation by force of Will.

  7. Behavioral flexibility is increased by optogenetic inhibition of neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell during specific time segments

    PubMed Central

    Aquili, Luca; Liu, Andrew W.; Shindou, Mayumi; Shindou, Tomomi; Wickens, Jeffery R.

    2014-01-01

    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 in behavioral flexibility, we used light-activated halorhodopsin to inhibit nucleus accumbens shell neurons during specific time segments of a bar-pressing task requiring a win–stay/lose–shift strategy. We found that optogenetic inhibition during action selection in the time segment preceding a lever press had no effect on performance. However, inhibition occurring in the time segment during feedback of results—whether rewards or nonrewards—reduced the errors that occurred after a change in contingency. Our results demonstrate critical time segments during which nucleus accumbens shell neurons integrate feedback into subsequent responses. Inhibiting nucleus accumbens shell neurons in these time segments, during reinforced performance or after a change in contingencies, increases lose–shift behavior. We propose that the activity of nucleus shell accumbens shell neurons in these time segments plays a key role in integrating knowledge of results into subsequent behavior, as well as in modulating lose–shift behavior when contingencies change. PMID:24639489

  8. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell attenuates cocaine reinstatement through local and antidromic activation.

    PubMed

    Vassoler, Fair M; White, Samantha L; Hopkins, Thomas J; Guercio, Leonardo A; Espallergues, Julie; Berton, Olivier; Schmidt, Heath D; Pierce, R Christopher

    2013-09-04

    Accumbal deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising therapeutic modality for the treatment of addiction. Here, we demonstrate that DBS in the nucleus accumbens shell, but not the core, attenuates cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug seeking, an animal model of relapse, in male Sprague Dawley rats. Next, we compared DBS of the shell with pharmacological inactivation. Results indicated that inactivation using reagents that influenced (lidocaine) or spared (GABA receptor agonists) fibers of passage blocked cocaine reinstatement when administered into the core but not the shell. It seems unlikely, therefore, that intrashell DBS influences cocaine reinstatement by inactivating this nucleus or the fibers coursing through it. To examine potential circuit-wide changes, c-Fos immunohistochemistry was used to examine neuronal activation following DBS of the nucleus accumbens shell. Intrashell DBS increased c-Fos induction at the site of stimulation as well as in the infralimbic cortex, but had no effect on the dorsal striatum, prelimbic cortex, or ventral pallidum. Recent evidence indicates that accumbens DBS antidromically stimulates axon terminals, which ultimately activates GABAergic interneurons in cortical areas that send afferents to the shell. To test this hypothesis, GABA receptor agonists (baclofen/muscimol) were microinjected into the anterior cingulate, and prelimbic or infralimbic cortices before cocaine reinstatement. Pharmacological inactivation of all three medial prefrontal cortical subregions attenuated the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. These results are consistent with DBS of the accumbens shell attenuating cocaine reinstatement via local activation and/or activation of GABAergic interneurons in the medial prefrontal cortex via antidromic stimulation of cortico-accumbal afferents.

  9. Invigoration of reward-seeking by cue and proximity encoding in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    McGinty, Vincent B.; Lardeux, Sylvie; Taha, Sharif A.; Kim, James J.; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A key function of the nucleus accumbens is to promote vigorous reward-seeking, but the corresponding neural mechanism has not been identified despite many years of research. Here we study cued flexible approach behavior, a form of reward-seeking that strongly depends on the accumbens, and we describe a robust, single-cell neural correlate of behavioral vigor in the excitatory response of accumbens neurons to reward-predictive cues. Well before locomotion begins, this cue-evoked excitation predicts both the movement initiation latency and speed of subsequent flexible approach responses, but not of stereotyped, inflexible responses. Moreover, the excitation simultaneously signals the subject’s proximity to the approach target, a signal that appears to mediate greater response vigor on trials that begin with the subject closer to the target. These results demonstrate a neural mechanism for response invigoration whereby accumbens neuronal encoding of reward availability and target proximity together drive the onset and speed of reward-seeking locomotion. PMID:23764290

  10. Caudate infarcts.

    PubMed

    Caplan, L R; Schmahmann, J D; Kase, C S; Feldmann, E; Baquis, G; Greenberg, J P; Gorelick, P B; Helgason, C; Hier, D B

    1990-02-01

    Eighteen patients had caudate nucleus infarcts (10 left-sided; 8 right-sided). Infarcts extended into the anterior limb of the internal capsule in 9 patients, and also the anterior putamen in 5 patients. Thirteen patients had motor signs, most often a slight transient hemiparesis. Dysarthria was common (11 patients). Cognitive and behavioral abnormalities were frequent, and included abulia (10 patients), agitation and hyperactivity (7 patients), contralateral neglect (3 patients, all right caudate), and language abnormalities (2 patients, both left caudate). The majority of patients had risk factors for penetrating artery disease. Branch occlusion of Heubner's artery, or perforators from the proximal anterior or middle cerebral arteries were the posited mechanism of infarction.

  11. Interactions between Brainstem Noradrenergic Neurons and the Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Modulating Memory for Emotionally Arousing Events

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerfoot, Erin C.; Williams, Cedric L.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  12. Tickling increases dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in adolescent rats.

    PubMed

    Hori, Miyo; Shimoju, Rie; Tokunaga, Ryota; Ohkubo, Masato; Miyabe, Shigeki; Ohnishi, Junji; Murakami, Kazuo; Kurosawa, Mieko

    2013-03-27

    Adolescent rats emit 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations, a marker of positive emotion, during rough-and-tumble play or on tickling stimulation. The emission of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in response to tickling is suggested to be mediated by dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens; however, there is no direct evidence supporting this hypothesis. The present study aimed to elucidate whether play behavior (tickling) in adolescent rats can trigger dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens with hedonic 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations. The effect of tickling stimulation was compared with light-touch stimulation, as a discernible stimulus. We examined 35-40-day-old rats, which corresponds to the period of midadolescence. Tickling stimulation for 5 min significantly increased dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (118±7% of the prestimulus control value). Conversely, light-touch stimulation for 5 min did not significantly change dopamine release. In addition, 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations were emitted during tickling stimulation but not during light-touch stimulation. Further, tickling-induced 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations were significantly blocked by the direct application of SCH23390 (D1 receptor antagonist) and raclopride (D2/D3 receptor antagonist) into the nucleus accumbens. Our study demonstrates that tickling stimulation in adolescent rats increases dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, leading to the generation of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations.

  13. Effects of maternal separation and methamphetamine exposure on protein expression in the nucleus accumbens shell and core.

    PubMed

    Dimatelis, J J; Russell, V A; Stein, D J; Daniels, W M

    2012-09-01

    Early life adversity has been suggested to predispose an individual to later drug abuse. The core and shell sub-regions of the nucleus accumbens are differentially affected by both stressors and methamphetamine. This study aimed to characterize and quantify methamphetamine-induced protein expression in the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens in animals exposed to maternal separation during early development. Isobaric tagging (iTRAQ) which enables simultaneous identification and quantification of peptides with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) was used. We found that maternal separation altered more proteins involved in structure and redox regulation in the shell than in the core of the nucleus accumbens, and that maternal separation and methamphetamine had differential effects on signaling proteins in the shell and core. Compared to maternal separation or methamphetamine alone, the maternal separation/methamphetamine combination altered more proteins involved in energy metabolism, redox regulatory processes and neurotrophic proteins. Methamphetamine treatment of rats subjected to maternal separation caused a reduction of cytoskeletal proteins in the shell and altered cytoskeletal, signaling, energy metabolism and redox proteins in the core. Comparison of maternal separation/methamphetamine to methamphetamine alone resulted in decreased cytoskeletal proteins in both the shell and core and increased neurotrophic proteins in the core. This study confirms that both early life stress and methamphetamine differentially affect the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens and demonstrates that the combination of early life adversity and later methamphetamine use results in more proteins being affected in the nucleus accumbens than either treatment alone.

  14. mRNA changes in nucleus accumbens related to methamphetamine addiction in mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Li; Li, Jiaqi; Dong, Nan; Guan, Fanglin; Liu, Yufeng; Ma, Dongliang; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Chen, Teng

    2016-11-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that elicits aberrant changes in the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the nucleus accumbens of mice, indicating a potential role of METH in post-transcriptional regulations. To decipher the potential consequences of these post-transcriptional regulations in response to METH, we performed strand-specific RNA sequencing (ssRNA-Seq) to identify alterations in mRNA expression and their alternative splicing in the nucleus accumbens of mice following exposure to METH. METH-mediated changes in mRNAs were analyzed and correlated with previously reported changes in non-coding RNAs (miRNAs and lncRNAs) to determine the potential functions of these mRNA changes observed here and how non-coding RNAs are involved. A total of 2171 mRNAs were differentially expressed in response to METH with functions involved in synaptic plasticity, mitochondrial energy metabolism and immune response. 309 and 589 of these mRNAs are potential targets of miRNAs and lncRNAs respectively. In addition, METH treatment decreases mRNA alternative splicing, and there are 818 METH-specific events not observed in saline-treated mice. Our results suggest that METH-mediated addiction could be attributed by changes in miRNAs and lncRNAs and consequently, changes in mRNA alternative splicing and expression. In conclusion, our study reported a methamphetamine-modified nucleus accumbens transcriptome and provided non-coding RNA-mRNA interaction networks possibly involved in METH addiction.

  15. mRNA changes in nucleus accumbens related to methamphetamine addiction in mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Li; Li, Jiaqi; Dong, Nan; Guan, Fanglin; Liu, Yufeng; Ma, Dongliang; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Chen, Teng

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that elicits aberrant changes in the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the nucleus accumbens of mice, indicating a potential role of METH in post-transcriptional regulations. To decipher the potential consequences of these post-transcriptional regulations in response to METH, we performed strand-specific RNA sequencing (ssRNA-Seq) to identify alterations in mRNA expression and their alternative splicing in the nucleus accumbens of mice following exposure to METH. METH-mediated changes in mRNAs were analyzed and correlated with previously reported changes in non-coding RNAs (miRNAs and lncRNAs) to determine the potential functions of these mRNA changes observed here and how non-coding RNAs are involved. A total of 2171 mRNAs were differentially expressed in response to METH with functions involved in synaptic plasticity, mitochondrial energy metabolism and immune response. 309 and 589 of these mRNAs are potential targets of miRNAs and lncRNAs respectively. In addition, METH treatment decreases mRNA alternative splicing, and there are 818 METH-specific events not observed in saline-treated mice. Our results suggest that METH-mediated addiction could be attributed by changes in miRNAs and lncRNAs and consequently, changes in mRNA alternative splicing and expression. In conclusion, our study reported a methamphetamine-modified nucleus accumbens transcriptome and provided non-coding RNA-mRNA interaction networks possibly involved in METH addiction. PMID:27869204

  16. mRNA changes in nucleus accumbens related to methamphetamine addiction in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li; Li, Jiaqi; Dong, Nan; Guan, Fanglin; Liu, Yufeng; Ma, Dongliang; Goh, Eyleen L K; Chen, Teng

    2016-11-21

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that elicits aberrant changes in the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the nucleus accumbens of mice, indicating a potential role of METH in post-transcriptional regulations. To decipher the potential consequences of these post-transcriptional regulations in response to METH, we performed strand-specific RNA sequencing (ssRNA-Seq) to identify alterations in mRNA expression and their alternative splicing in the nucleus accumbens of mice following exposure to METH. METH-mediated changes in mRNAs were analyzed and correlated with previously reported changes in non-coding RNAs (miRNAs and lncRNAs) to determine the potential functions of these mRNA changes observed here and how non-coding RNAs are involved. A total of 2171 mRNAs were differentially expressed in response to METH with functions involved in synaptic plasticity, mitochondrial energy metabolism and immune response. 309 and 589 of these mRNAs are potential targets of miRNAs and lncRNAs respectively. In addition, METH treatment decreases mRNA alternative splicing, and there are 818 METH-specific events not observed in saline-treated mice. Our results suggest that METH-mediated addiction could be attributed by changes in miRNAs and lncRNAs and consequently, changes in mRNA alternative splicing and expression. In conclusion, our study reported a methamphetamine-modified nucleus accumbens transcriptome and provided non-coding RNA-mRNA interaction networks possibly involved in METH addiction.

  17. Baclofen antagonizes nicotine-, cocaine-, and morphine-induced dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of rat.

    PubMed

    Fadda, Paola; Scherma, Maria; Fresu, Alessandra; Collu, Maria; Fratta, Walter

    2003-10-01

    Evidence recently provided has suggested a specific involvement of the GABAergic system in modulating positive reinforcing properties of several drugs of abuse through an action on mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons. The GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen has been proposed as a potential therapeutic agent for the clinical treatment of several forms of drug addiction. In the present study, using the in vivo microdialysis technique, we investigated the effect of baclofen on nicotine, cocaine, and morphine-induced increase in extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the shell of the nucleus accumbens, a brain area supposedly involved in the modulation of the central effects of several drugs of abuse, of freely moving rats. As expected, nicotine (0.6 mg/kg s.c.), morphine (5 mg/kg s.c.), and cocaine (7.5 mg/kg i.p.) administration in rats induced a marked increase in extracellular DA concentrations in the nucleus accumbens, reaching a maximum value of +205 +/- 8.4%, +300 +/- 22.2%, and +370 +/- 30.7%, respectively. Pretreatment with baclofen (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg i.p.) dose-dependently reduced the nicotine-, morphine-, and cocaine-evoked DA release in the shell of the nucleus accumbens. Furthermore, baclofen alone did not elicit changes in basal DA extracellular levels up to 180 min. Taken together, our data are in line with previous reports demonstrating the ability of baclofen to modulate the mesolimbic DAergic transmission and indicate baclofen as a putative candidate in the pharmacotherapy of polydrug abuse.

  18. Open microsurgical autograft of adrenal medulla to the right caudate nucleus in two patients with intractable Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Madrazo, I; Drucker-Colín, R; Díaz, V; Martínez-Mata, J; Torres, C; Becerril, J J

    1987-04-02

    Recent experimental studies and one clinical case have suggested that grafting tissue from the adrenal medulla into the brain may ameliorate the signs of Parkinson's disease. We describe the treatment of two young patients (35 and 39 years old) with intractable and incapacitating Parkinson's disease, in whom fragments of the adrenal medulla were autotransplanted to the right caudate nucleus. Clinical improvement was noted in both patients at 15 and 6 days (respectively) after implantation and has continued in both. Rigidity and akinesia had virtually disappeared in the first patient at 10 months after surgery, and his tremor was greatly reduced. A similar degree of improvement was present in the second patient at three months. We conclude that autografting of the adrenal medulla to the right caudate nucleus was associated with a marked improvement in the signs of Parkinson's disease in two patients, but our results are preliminary and further work is necessary to see whether this procedure will be applicable over the long term in other types of patients with Parkinson's disease.

  19. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens for the treatment of addiction.

    PubMed

    Müller, Ulf J; Voges, Jürgen; Steiner, Johann; Galazky, Imke; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Möller, Michaela; Pisapia, Jared; Halpern, Casey; Caplan, Arthur; Bogerts, Bernhard; Kuhn, Jens

    2013-04-01

    Despite novel medications and other therapeutic strategies, addiction to psychotropic substances remains one of the most serious public health problems worldwide. In this review, beginning with an introduction of deep brain stimulation (DBS), we highlight the importance of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the context of the reward circuitry and addictive behavior. We will provide a short historic overview of other neurosurgical approaches to treat addiction and describe the experimental and preclinical data on DBS in addiction. Finally, we call attention to key ethical issues related to using DBS to treat addiction that are important for future research and the design of clinical trials.

  20. Stimulation of the nucleus accumbens as behavioral reward in awake behaving monkeys.

    PubMed

    Bichot, Narcisse P; Heard, Matthew T; Desimone, Robert

    2011-08-15

    It has been known that monkeys will repeatedly press a bar for electrical stimulation in several different brain structures. We explored the possibility of using electrical stimulation in one such structure, the nucleus accumbens, as a substitute for liquid reward in animals performing a complex task, namely visual search. The animals had full access to water in the cage at all times on days when stimulation was used to motivate them. Electrical stimulation was delivered bilaterally at mirror locations in and around the accumbens, and the animals' motivation to work for electrical stimulation was quantified by the number of trials they performed correctly per unit of time. Acute mapping revealed that stimulation over a large area successfully supported behavioral performance during the task. Performance improved with increasing currents until it reached an asymptotic, theoretically maximal level. Moreover, stimulation with chronically implanted electrodes showed that an animal's motivation to work for electrical stimulation was at least equivalent to, and often better than, when it worked for liquid reward while on water control. These results suggest that electrical stimulation in the accumbens is a viable method of reward in complex tasks. Because this method of reward does not necessitate control over water or food intake, it may offer an alternative to the traditional liquid or food rewards in monkeys, depending on the goals and requirements of the particular research project.

  1. Aripiprazole Increases the PKA Signalling and Expression of the GABAA Receptor and CREB1 in the Nucleus Accumbens of Rats.

    PubMed

    Pan, Bo; Lian, Jiamei; Huang, Xu-Feng; Deng, Chao

    2016-05-01

    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.

  2. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens core and shell contribute to cocaine priming-induced reinstatement of drug seeking

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Judy; Famous, Katie R.; Hopkins, Thomas J.; McMullen, Michael C.; Pierce, R. Christopher; Schmidt, Heath D.

    2011-01-01

    Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens play an important role in mediating the reinforcing effects of cocaine. However, there is a paucity of data regarding the role of accumbal muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. The goal of these experiments was to assess the role of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens core and shell in cocaine and sucrose priming-induced reinstatement. Rats were initially trained to self-administer cocaine or sucrose on a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement. Lever-pressing behavior was then extinguished and followed by a subsequent reinstatement phase during which operant responding was induced by either a systemic injection of cocaine in cocaine-experienced rats or non-contingent delivery of sucrose pellets in subjects with a history of sucrose self-administration. Results indicated that systemic administration of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist scopolamine (5.0 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently attenuated cocaine, but not sucrose, reinstatement. Furthermore, administration of scopolamine (36.0 μg) directly into the nucleus accumbens shell or core attenuated cocaine-priming induced reinstatement. In contrast, infusion of scopolamine (36.0 μg) directly into the accumbens core, but not shell, attenuated sucrose reinstatement, which suggests that muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in these two subregions of the nucleus accumbens have differential roles in sucrose seeking. Taken together, these results indicate that cocaine-priming induced reinstatement is mediated, in part, by increased signaling through muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the shell subregion of the nucleus accumbens. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the core of the accumbens, in contrast, appear to play a more general (i.e. not cocaine specific) role in motivated behaviors. PMID:21034738

  3. Extracellular citrulline levels in the nucleus accumbens during the acquisition and extinction of a classical conditioned reflex with pain reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Savel'ev, S A; Saul'skaya, N B

    2007-03-01

    Studies on Sprague-Dawley rats using in vivo microdialysis and HPLC showed that the acquisition and performance of a classical conditioned reflex with pain reinforcement was accompanied by increases in the concentrations of citrulline (a side product of nitric oxide formation) and arginine (the substrate of NO synthase) in the intercellular space of the nucleus accumbens. During extinction of the reflex, there was a decrease in the elevation of extracellular citrulline in this brain structure, which correlated with the extent of extinction of the reflex. Recovery of the reflex led to increases in arginine and citrulline levels in the nucleus accumbens. These data suggest that there is an increase in nitric oxide production in the nucleus accumbens during the acquisition and performance of a classical conditioned reflex with pain reinforcement, which decreases as the reflex is extinguished and recovers with recovery of the reflex.

  4. Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors 7 within the Nucleus Accumbens are Involved in Relief Learning in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kahl, Evelyn; Fendt, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Relief learning is an appetitive association of a formally neutral cue with relief induced by the offset of an aversive stimulus. Since the nucleus accumbens mediates relief learning and accumbal metabotropic glutamate receptors 7 (mGluR7) modulate appetitive-like processes, we hypothesized that accumbal mGluR7 may be involved in the modulation of relief learning. Therefore, we injected the allosteric mGluR7 agonist AMN082 into the nucleus accumbens and tested the effects of these injections on acquisition and expression of relief memory, as well as on the reactivity to electric stimuli. AMN082 injections blocked acquisition but not expression of relief memory. In addition, accumbal AMN082 injections strongly reduced the locomotor reactivity to electric stimuli indicating antinociceptive effects. These antinociceptive effects might be causal for the blockade of relief learning after AMN082 injections. Taken together, the present study indicates that functional activation of accumbal mGluR7 has antinociceptive effects that interfere with relief learning. PMID:27296637

  5. Disruption of glutamate receptor-interacting protein in nucleus accumbens enhances vulnerability to cocaine relapse.

    PubMed

    Briand, Lisa A; Kimmey, Blake A; Ortinski, Pavel I; Huganir, Richard L; Pierce, R Christopher

    2014-02-01

    Trafficking and stabilization of AMPA receptors at synapses in response to cocaine exposure is thought to be critical for expression of cocaine addiction and relapse. Glutamate receptor-interacting protein (GRIP) is a neuronal scaffolding protein that stabilizes GluA2 AMPARs at synapses but its role in cocaine addiction has not been examined. The current study demonstrates that conditional deletion of GRIP within the nucleus accumbens potentiates cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking without affecting operant learning, locomotor activity, or reinstatement of natural reward seeking. This is the first study to demonstrate a role for accumbal GRIP in behavior. Electrophysiological recordings revealed increased rectification of AMPAR-mediated currents in the nucleus accumbens and increased AMPAR sensitivity to the GluA2-lacking AMPAR antagonist, 1-naphthylacetyl spermine, indicative of an increased contribution of GluA2-lacking calcium-permeable AMPARs. In addition, accumbal GRIP deletion was associated with blunted long-term depression, similar to what is seen following cocaine self-administration. Taken together, these results indicate that GRIP may modulate addictive phenotypes through its regulation of synaptic AMPARs by controlling their subunit composition and susceptibility to LTD. These effects are associated with changes in vulnerability to cocaine relapse and highlight GRIP as a novel target for the development of cocaine addiction therapeutics.

  6. Prediction error as a linear function of reward probability is coded in human nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Abler, Birgit; Walter, Henrik; Erk, Susanne; Kammerer, Hannes; Spitzer, Manfred

    2006-06-01

    Reward probability has been shown to be coded by dopamine neurons in monkeys. Phasic neuronal activation not only increased linearly with reward probability upon expectation of reward, but also varied monotonically across the range of probabilities upon omission or receipt of rewards, therefore modeling discrepancies between expected and received rewards. Such a discrete coding of prediction error has been suggested to be one of the basic principles of learning. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show that the human dopamine system codes reward probability and prediction error in a similar way. We used a simple delayed incentive task with a discrete range of reward probabilities from 0%-100%. Activity in the nucleus accumbens of human subjects strongly resembled the phasic responses found in monkey neurons. First, during the expectation period of the task, the fMRI signal in the human nucleus accumbens (NAc) increased linearly with the probability of the reward. Second, during the outcome phase, activity in the NAc coded the prediction error as a linear function of reward probabilities. Third, we found that the Nac signal was correlated with individual differences in sensation seeking and novelty seeking, indicating a link between individual fMRI activation of the dopamine system in a probabilistic paradigm and personality traits previously suggested to be linked with reward processing. We therefore identify two different covariates that model activity in the Nac: specific properties of a psychological task and individual character traits.

  7. RAPID DOPAMINE TRANSMISSION WITHIN THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS DRAMATICALLY DIFFERS FOLLOWING MORPHINE AND OXYCODONE DELIVERY

    PubMed Central

    Mabrouk, Omar S.; Lovic, Vedran; Singer, Bryan F.; Kennedy, Robert T.; Aragona, Brandon J.

    2014-01-01

    While most drugs of abuse increase dopamine neurotransmission, rapid neurochemical measurements show that different drugs evoke distinct dopamine release patterns within the nucleus accumbens. Rapid changes in dopamine concentration following psychostimulant administration have been well studied; however, such changes have never been examined following opioid delivery. Here, we provide novel measures of rapid dopamine release following intravenous infusion of two opioids, morphine and oxycodone, in drug naïve rats using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and rapid (1 min) microdialysis coupled with mass spectrometry. In addition to measuring rapid dopamine transmission, microdialysis HPLC-MS measures changes in GABA, glutamate, monoamines, monoamine metabolites, and several other neurotransmitters. Although both opioids increased dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, their patterns of drug-evoked dopamine transmission differed dramatically. Oxycodone evoked a robust and stable increase in dopamine concentration and a robust increase in the frequency and amplitude of phasic dopamine release events. Conversely, morphine evoked a brief (~ 1 min) increase in dopamine that was coincident with a surge in GABA concentration and then both transmitters returned to baseline levels. Thus, by providing rapid measures of neurotransmission, this study reveals previously unknown differences in opioid-induced neurotransmitter signaling. Investigating these differences may be essential for understanding how these two drugs of abuse could differentially usurp motivational circuitry and powerfully influence behavior. PMID:25208732

  8. Reduced dopamine function within the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens enhances latent inhibition.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J D; Thur, K E; Horsley, R R; Spicer, C; Marsden, C A; Cassaday, H J

    2011-03-01

    Latent inhibition (LI) manifests as poorer conditioning to a CS that has previously been presented without consequence. There is some evidence that LI can be potentiated by reduced mesoaccumbal dopamine (DA) function but the locus within the nucleus accumbens of this effect is as yet not firmly established. Experiment 1 tested whether 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced lesions of DA terminals within the core and medial shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) would enhance LI under conditions that normally disrupt LI in controls (weak pre-exposure). LI was measured in a thirst motivated conditioned emotional response procedure with 10 pre-exposures (to a noise CS) and 2 conditioning trials. The vehicle-injected and core-lesioned animals did not show LI and conditioned to the pre-exposed CS at comparable levels to the non-pre-exposed controls. 6-OHDA lesions to the medial shell, however, produced potentiation of LI, demonstrated across two extinction tests. In a subsequent experiment, haloperidol microinjected into the medial shell prior to conditioning similarly enhanced LI. These results underscore the dissociable roles of core and shell subregions of the NAc in mediating the expression of LI and indicate that reduced DA function within the medial shell leads to enhanced LI.

  9. Olanzapine treatment of adolescent rats alters adult reward behaviour and nucleus accumbens function.

    PubMed

    Vinish, Monika; Elnabawi, Ahmed; Milstein, Jean A; Burke, Jesse S; Kallevang, Jonathan K; Turek, Kevin C; Lansink, Carien S; Merchenthaler, Istvan; Bailey, Aileen M; Kolb, Bryan; Cheer, Joseph F; Frost, Douglas O

    2013-08-01

    Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly used in children and adolescents to treat a variety of psychiatric disorders. However, little is known about the long-term effects of early life antipsychotic drug (APD) treatment. Most APDs are potent antagonists or partial agonists of dopamine (DA) D₂ receptors; atypical APDs also have multiple serotonergic activities. DA and serotonin regulate many neurodevelopmental processes. Thus, early life APD treatment can, potentially, perturb these processes, causing long-term behavioural and neurobiological sequelae. We treated adolescent, male rats with olanzapine (Ola) on post-natal days 28-49, under dosing conditions that approximate those employed therapeutically in humans. As adults, they exhibited enhanced conditioned place preference for amphetamine, as compared to vehicle-treated rats. In the nucleus accumbens core, DA D₁ receptor binding was reduced, D₂ binding was increased and DA release evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area was reduced. Thus, adolescent Ola treatment enduringly alters a key behavioural response to rewarding stimuli and modifies DAergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. The persistence of these changes suggests that even limited periods of early life Ola treatment may induce enduring changes in other reward-related behaviours and in behavioural and neurobiological responses to therapeutic and illicit psychotropic drugs. These results underscore the importance of improved understanding of the enduring sequelae of paediatric APD treatment as a basis for weighing the benefits and risks of adolescent APD therapy, especially prophylactic treatment in high-risk, asymptomatic patients.

  10. [Hemorrhage of the head of the left caudate nucleus: disorganization of speech and graphic expression, and disturbances in gestures (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Cambier, J; Elghozi, D; Strube, E

    1979-01-01

    A 72 year-old woman was found to have hemorrhage limited to the head of the left caudate nucleus. Clinical symptomatology consisted of disturbances in oral, written, and graphic expression. There were no difficulties in comprehension, dysarthria, or phonemic paraphrasing, but speech and graphic expression were incoherent. Perseverance of ideas, semantic inconsistencies, inability to keep a stable objective during speech and graphic activity, are the principal characteristics of a disorder which is related to a prelinguistic stage, and illustrate the role of the caudate nucleus in the selection processes which are a preliminary step for speech organization.

  11. Dopamine-dependent hyperactivity in the rat following manipulation of GABA mechanisms in the region of the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Pycock, C J; Horton, R W

    1979-01-01

    The effect of manipulation of GABA mechanisms in the region of the nucleus accumbens on dopamine-dependent locomotor hyperactivity in the rat has been studied. Two models of hyperactivity were used: (1) the injection of dopamine into the region of the nucleus accumbens in nialamide-pretreated animals and (2) the systemic administration of d-amphetamine. Both GABA and the GABA agonist 3-aminopropane sulphonic acid (3-APS) depressed hyperactivity in a dose-related manner. High concentrations of GABA (greater than 100 micrograms) were required to produce a significant effect and the response was short-lived possibly reflecting the efficient GABA inactivating mechanisms. 3-APS proved to be approximately 10 times more potent as compared to GABA in the dopamine-accumbens hyperactivity model. Conversely GABA receptor antagonism with low doses of either picrotoxin or bicuculline enhanced the mild locomotor response induced by a low dose of dopamine injected into the nucleus accumbens. However such results were difficult to evaluate fairly as higher doses of the GABA antagonists resulted in varying degrees of generalized seizures. Blockade of GABA uptake systems with cis-1, 3-aminocyclohexane carboxylic acid (ACHC), nipecotic acid or beta-alanine within the region of the nucleus accumbens produced dose-related depression of dopamine-dependent hyperactivity in both models. GABA uptake blockade (nipecotic acid) significantly enhanced the GABA-mediated depression of hyperactivity induced by bilateral injection of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens. The results demonstrate an inhibitory action of GABA and drugs facilitating GABA-ergic transmission on dopamine-dependent hyperactivity in the rat. Although open to criticisms of not being able to distinguish between true GABA effects and the results of non-specific neuronal depression the hyperactivity model underlines the potency of the GABA uptake blocking compounds and their possible potential for future clinical use.

  12. [Neuronal activity of the head of the caudate nucleus during formation of positive and inhibitory motor alimentary conditioned reflexes in cats].

    PubMed

    Driagin, Iu M

    1977-01-01

    Cellular activity of the caudate nucleus head was studied on 15 cats during motor alimentary conditioning, extinction and elaboration of differentiation response. Analysis of the dynamics of the appearance and stabilization of neuronal conditioned responses attests that the caudate nuclei are a part of the morpho-functional structure of the given conditioned reflex. A functional heterogeneity within the nuclels head has been shown on the basis of responses of the cells during conditioned and unconditioned behaviour. It has been assumed that cellular populations of the ventral segment of the caudate nucleus head are predominantly involved in providing for a normal course of the processes of extinction and detection of significant signals in this form of conditioned alimentary behaviour in cats.

  13. Nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self relative to gains for others predicts social media use.

    PubMed

    Meshi, Dar; Morawetz, Carmen; Heekeren, Hauke R

    2013-01-01

    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.

  14. Nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self relative to gains for others predicts social media use

    PubMed Central

    Meshi, Dar; Morawetz, Carmen; Heekeren, Hauke R.

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. The Role of Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Learning about Neutral versus Excitatory Stimuli during Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  16. Moderate intensity treadmill exercise alters food preference via dopaminergic plasticity of ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei; Wang, Hai Jun; Shang, Ning Ning; Liu, Jun; Li, Juan; Tang, Dong Hui; Li, Qiong

    2017-02-22

    Obesity has been associated with the excessive intake of palatable food as well as physical inactivity. To investigate the neurobiological mechanism underlying the exercised-induced prevention and treatment of obesity, the present study examined the effect of treadmill exercise on the preference for palatable food in mice. Levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens system were also analysed, as well as levels of dopamine, dopamine transporter, and D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens. Forty C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into a control group (CG, n=10) and a high-fat diet group (HG, N=30). Mice of the HG group were fed a high-fat diet for 12 weeks in order to induce a model of obesity, following which the obese mice were randomly divided into an obese control group (OG, n=11) and an obese+exercise group (OEG, n=12). OEG mice received 8 weeks of treadmill exercise intervention. Our results indicate that, relative to animals in the OG group, OEG mice exhibited significant decreases in the preference for high-fat diets and insulin resistance, along with increases in the preference for sucrose and milk, TH and D2 receptor expression, and levels of dopamine in the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens system. These results suggest that moderate-intensity treadmill exercise can alter food preference in obese mice, which may be mediated by dopaminergic plasticity of the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens and enhanced insulin sensitivity.

  17. Changes in dendritic spine density in the nucleus accumbens do not underlie ethanol sensitization.

    PubMed

    Nona, Christina N; Bermejo, Marie Kristel; Ramsey, Amy J; Nobrega, José N

    2015-12-01

    Behavioral sensitization to various drugs of abuse has been shown to change dendritic spine density and/or morphology of nucleus accumbens (NAc) medium spiny neurons, an effect seen across drug classes. However, is it not known whether behavioral sensitization to ethanol (EtOH) is also associated with structural changes in this region. Here we compared dendritic spine density and morphology between mice showing High vs. Low levels of EtOH sensitization and found that high levels of EtOH sensitization were not associated with changes in dendritic spine density or spine type. Unexpectedly, however, a significant increase in the density of stubby-type spines was seen in mice that were resistant to sensitization. Since the presence of this spine type has been associated with long-term depression and cognitive/learning deficits this may explain why these mice fail to sensitize and why they show poor performance in conditioning tasks, as previously shown. A possible causal role for structural plasticity in behavioral sensitization to various drugs has been debated. In the case of EtOH sensitization, our results suggest that drug-induced changes in structural plasticity in the accumbens neurons may not be the cause of sensitized behavior.

  18. Double dissociation of fornix and caudate nucleus lesions on acquisition of two water maze tasks: further evidence for multiple memory systems.

    PubMed

    Packard, M G; McGaugh, J L

    1992-06-01

    The present study examined the effect of lesions of the caudate nucleus or fimbria-fornix on the acquisition of two water maze tasks. In both tasks, two rubber balls with different visual patterns were used as platforms (i.e., cues). The "correct" cue was attached to a submerged rectangular platform and could be mounted by an animal to escape the water. The "incorrect" cue was attached to a thin round pedestal and could not be mounted. In a spatial version of the task, the correct cue was located in the same quadrant of the maze on all trials, whereas the visual pattern on the cue was varied from trial to trial. Lesions of the fornix, but not the caudate nucleus, impaired acquisition of this spatial task in relation to control animals. In a simultaneous visual discrimination version of the task, the correct cue on all trials was one with a specific visual pattern, and the spatial location of the correct cue was varied from trial to trial. Lesions of the caudate nucleus, but not the fornix, impaired acquisition of this visual discrimination task in relation to control animals. The double dissociation observed supports the hypothesis that the hippocampus and caudate nucleus are parts of systems that differ in the type of memory they mediate.

  19. Increased Dopamine Receptor Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell Ameliorates Anxiety during Drug Withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Radke, Anna K; Gewirtz, Jonathan C

    2012-01-01

    A number of lines of evidence suggest that negative emotional symptoms of withdrawal involve reduced activity in the mesolimbic dopamine system. This study examined the contribution of dopaminergic signaling in structures downstream of the ventral tegmental area to withdrawal from acute morphine exposure, measured as potentiation of the acoustic startle reflex. Systemic administration of the general dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine or a cocktail of the D1-like receptor agonist SKF82958 and the D2-like receptor agonist quinpirole attenuated potentiated startle during morphine withdrawal. This effect was replicated by apomorphine infusion into the nucleus accumbens shell. Finally, apomorphine injection was shown to relieve startle potentiation during nicotine withdrawal and conditioned place aversion to morphine withdrawal. These results suggest that transient activation of the ventral tegmental area mesolimbic dopamine system triggers the expression of anxiety and aversion during withdrawal from multiple classes of abused drugs. PMID:22692565

  20. Genetic risk for obesity predicts nucleus accumbens size and responsivity to real-world food cues.

    PubMed

    Rapuano, Kristina M; Zieselman, Amanda L; Kelley, William M; Sargent, James D; Heatherton, Todd F; Gilbert-Diamond, Diane

    2017-01-03

    Obesity is a major public health concern that involves an interaction between genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental cues (e.g., food marketing); however, the mechanisms that link these factors and contribute to unhealthy eating are unclear. Using a well-known obesity risk polymorphism (FTO rs9939609) in a sample of 78 children (ages 9-12 y), we observed that children at risk for obesity exhibited stronger responses to food commercials in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) than children not at risk. Similarly, children at a higher genetic risk for obesity demonstrated larger NAcc volumes. Although a recessive model of this polymorphism best predicted body mass and adiposity, a dominant model was most predictive of NAcc size and responsivity to food cues. These findings suggest that children genetically at risk for obesity are predisposed to represent reward signals more strongly, which, in turn, may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors later in life.

  1. Dnmt3a regulates emotional behavior and spine plasticity in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    LaPlant, Quincey; Vialou, Vincent; Covington, Herbert E; Dumitriu, Dani; Feng, Jian; Warren, Brandon L; Maze, Ian; Dietz, David M; Watts, Emily L; Iñiguez, Sergio D; Koo, Ja Wook; Mouzon, Ezekiell; Renthal, William; Hollis, Fiona; Wang, Hui; Noonan, Michele A; Ren, Yanhua; Eisch, Amelia J; Bolaños, Carlos A; Kabbaj, Mohamed; Xiao, Guanghua; Neve, Rachael L; Hurd, Yasmin L; Oosting, Ronald S; Fan, Gouping; Morrison, John H; Nestler, Eric J

    2010-09-01

    Despite abundant expression of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) in brain, the regulation and behavioral role of DNA methylation remain poorly understood. We found that Dnmt3a expression was regulated in mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc) by chronic cocaine use and chronic social defeat stress. Moreover, NAc-specific manipulations that block DNA methylation potentiated cocaine reward and exerted antidepressant-like effects, whereas NAc-specific Dnmt3a overexpression attenuated cocaine reward and was pro-depressant. On a cellular level, we found that chronic cocaine use selectively increased thin dendritic spines on NAc neurons and that DNA methylation was both necessary and sufficient to mediate these effects. These data establish the importance of Dnmt3a in the NAc in regulating cellular and behavioral plasticity to emotional stimuli.

  2. Genetic risk for obesity predicts nucleus accumbens size and responsivity to real-world food cues

    PubMed Central

    Rapuano, Kristina M.; Zieselman, Amanda L.; Kelley, William M.; Sargent, James D.; Heatherton, Todd F.

    2017-01-01

    Obesity is a major public health concern that involves an interaction between genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental cues (e.g., food marketing); however, the mechanisms that link these factors and contribute to unhealthy eating are unclear. Using a well-known obesity risk polymorphism (FTO rs9939609) in a sample of 78 children (ages 9–12 y), we observed that children at risk for obesity exhibited stronger responses to food commercials in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) than children not at risk. Similarly, children at a higher genetic risk for obesity demonstrated larger NAcc volumes. Although a recessive model of this polymorphism best predicted body mass and adiposity, a dominant model was most predictive of NAcc size and responsivity to food cues. These findings suggest that children genetically at risk for obesity are predisposed to represent reward signals more strongly, which, in turn, may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors later in life. PMID:27994159

  3. Mefloquine in the nucleus accumbens promotes social avoidance and anxiety-like behavior in mice.

    PubMed

    Heshmati, Mitra; Golden, Sam A; Pfau, Madeline L; Christoffel, Daniel J; Seeley, Elena L; Cahill, Michael E; Khibnik, Lena A; Russo, Scott J

    2016-02-01

    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.

  4. Bilateral deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens for comorbid obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Sachdev, Perminder Singh; Cannon, Elisabeth; Coyne, Terry J; Silburn, Peter

    2012-09-12

    We present the case of a 32-year-old Caucasian woman with severe treatment-refractory obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome. Both conditions were present prior to age 5 and impacted significantly on the patient's functioning. Multiple trials of evidence-based pharmacological and behavioural therapies had not achieved remission of symptoms. Bilateral deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens was undertaken to treat both illnesses but with a particular focus on OCD, as the patient identified this as the more debilitating of the two disorders. Following surgery there was an immediate improvement in OCD and tic severity. At follow-up 8 months later, there was a 90% improvement in OCD symptoms and a 57% improvement in tic severity. No intraoperative or postoperative complications or adverse events occurred and there were no undesired effects of stimulation.

  5. Synaptic and Behavioral Profile of Multiple Glutamatergic Inputs to the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Britt, Jonathan P.; Benaliouad, Faiza; McDevitt, Ross A.; Stuber, Garret D.; Wise, Roy A.; Bonci, Antonello

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Excitatory afferents to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are thought to facilitate reward seeking by encoding reward-associated cues. Selective activation of different glutamatergic inputs to the NAc can produce divergent physiological and behavioral responses, but mechanistic explanations for these pathway-specific effects are lacking. Here, we compared the innervation patterns and synaptic properties of ventral hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, and prefrontal cortex input to the NAc. Ventral hippocampal input was found to be uniquely localized to the medial NAc shell, where it was predominant and selectively potentiated following cocaine exposure. In vivo, bidirectional optogenetic manipulations of this pathway attenuated and enhanced cocaine-induced locomotion. Challenging the idea that any of these inputs encode motivationally-neutral information, activation of each discrete pathway reinforced instrumental behaviors. Finally, direct optical activation of medium spiny neurons proved to be capable of supporting self-stimulation, demonstrating that behavioral reinforcement is an explicit consequence of strong excitatory drive to the NAc. PMID:23177963

  6. Cocaine Exposure Reorganizes Cell-Type and Input-Specific Connectivity in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    MacAskill, Andrew F.; Cassel, John M.; Carter, Adam G.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to cocaine alters the structural and functional properties of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc). These changes suggest a rewiring of the NAc circuit, with an enhancement of excitatory synaptic connections onto MSNs. However, it is unknown how drug exposure alters the balance of long-range afferents onto different cell types in the NAc. Here we use whole-cell recordings, two-photon microscopy, optogenetics and pharmacogenetics to show how repeated cocaine alters connectivity in the mouse NAc medial shell. We first determine that cocaine selectively enhances amygdala innervation of D1-MSNs relative to D2-MSNs. We then show that amygdala activity is required for cocaine-induced changes to behavior and connectivity. Finally, we establish how heightened amygdala innervation can explain the structural and functional changes induced by cocaine. Our findings reveal how exposure to drugs of abuse fundamentally reorganizes cell-type and input-specific connectivity in the NAc. PMID:25108911

  7. A Primary Role for Nucleus Accumbens and Related Limbic Network in Vocal Tics.

    PubMed

    McCairn, Kevin W; Nagai, Yuji; Hori, Yukiko; Ninomiya, Taihei; Kikuchi, Erika; Lee, Ju-Young; Suhara, Tetsuya; Iriki, Atsushi; Minamimoto, Takafumi; Takada, Masahiko; Isoda, Masaki; Matsumoto, Masayuki

    2016-01-20

    Inappropriate vocal expressions, e.g., vocal tics in Tourette syndrome, severely impact quality of life. Neural mechanisms underlying vocal tics remain unexplored because no established animal model representing the condition exists. We report that unilateral disinhibition of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) generates vocal tics in monkeys. Whole-brain PET imaging identified prominent, bilateral limbic cortico-subcortical activation. Local field potentials (LFPs) developed abnormal spikes in the NAc and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Vocalization could occur without obvious LFP spikes, however, when phase-phase coupling of alpha oscillations were accentuated between the NAc, ACC, and the primary motor cortex. These findings contrasted with myoclonic motor tics induced by disinhibition of the dorsolateral putamen, where PET activity was confined to the ipsilateral sensorimotor system and LFP spikes always preceded motor tics. We propose that vocal tics emerge as a consequence of dysrhythmic alpha coupling between critical nodes in the limbic and motor networks. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  8. Phasic dopamine release in the rat nucleus accumbens predicts approach and avoidance performance

    PubMed Central

    Gentry, Ronny N.; Lee, Brian; Roesch, Matthew R.

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) is critical for reward processing, but significantly less is known about its role in punishment avoidance. Using a combined approach-avoidance task, we measured phasic DA release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats during presentation of cues that predicted reward, punishment or neutral outcomes and investigated individual differences based on avoidance performance. Here we show that DA release within a single microenvironment is higher for reward and avoidance cues compared with neutral cues and positively correlated with poor avoidance behaviour. We found that DA release delineates trial-type during sessions with good avoidance but is non-selective during poor avoidance, with high release correlating with poor performance. These data demonstrate that phasic DA is released during cued approach and avoidance within the same microenvironment and abnormal processing of value signals is correlated with poor performance. PMID:27786172

  9. Emotional environments retune the valence of appetitive versus fearful functions in nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Sheila M; Berridge, Kent C

    2008-04-01

    The nucleus accumbens mediates both appetitive motivation for rewards and fearful motivation toward threats, which are generated in part by glutamate-related circuits organized in a keyboard fashion. At rostral sites of the medial shell, localized glutamate disruptions typically generate intense appetitive behaviors in rats, but the disruption incrementally generates fearful behaviors as microinjection sites move more caudally. We found that exposure to stressful environments caused caudal fear-generating zones to expand rostrally, filling approximately 90% of the shell. Conversely, a preferred home environment caused fear-generating zones to shrink and appetitive-generating zones to expand caudally, filling approximately 90% of the shell. Thus, the emotional environments retuned the generation of motivation in corticolimbic circuits.

  10. Mefloquine in the nucleus accumbens promotes social avoidance and anxiety-like behavior in mice

    PubMed Central

    Heshmati, Mitra; Golden, Sam A.; Pfau, Madeline L.; Christoffel, Daniel J.; Seeley, Elena L.; Cahill, Michael E.; Khibnik, Lena A.; Russo, Scott J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Activation of D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens increases motivation.

    PubMed

    Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J

    2016-06-23

    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.

  12. Distinct Subpopulations of Nucleus Accumbens Dynorphin Neurons Drive Aversion and Reward.

    PubMed

    Al-Hasani, Ream; McCall, Jordan G; Shin, Gunchul; Gomez, Adrian M; Schmitz, Gavin P; Bernardi, Julio M; Pyo, Chang-O; Park, Sung Il; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine M; Crowley, Nicole A; Krashes, Michael J; Lowell, Bradford B; Kash, Thomas L; Rogers, John A; Bruchas, Michael R

    2015-09-02

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the dynorphinergic system are widely implicated in motivated behaviors. Prior studies have shown that activation of the dynorphin-kappa opioid receptor (KOR) system leads to aversive, dysphoria-like behavior. However, the endogenous sources of dynorphin in these circuits remain unknown. We investigated whether dynorphinergic neuronal firing in the NAc is sufficient to induce aversive behaviors. We found that photostimulation of dynorphinergic cells in the ventral NAc shell elicits robust conditioned and real-time aversive behavior via KOR activation, and in contrast, photostimulation of dorsal NAc shell dynorphin cells induced a KOR-mediated place preference and was positively reinforcing. These results show previously unknown discrete subregions of dynorphin-containing cells in the NAc shell that selectively drive opposing behaviors. Understanding the discrete regional specificity by which NAc dynorphinerigic cells regulate preference and aversion provides insight into motivated behaviors that are dysregulated in stress, reward, and psychiatric disease.

  13. Activation of D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens increases motivation

    PubMed Central

    Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J.

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Rat nucleus accumbens core astrocytes modulate reward and the motivation to self-administer ethanol after abstinence.

    PubMed

    Bull, Cecilia; Freitas, Kelen C C; Zou, Shiping; Poland, Ryan S; Syed, Wahab A; Urban, Daniel J; Minter, Sabrina C; Shelton, Keith L; Hauser, Kurt F; Negus, S Stevens; Knapp, Pamela E; Bowers, M Scott

    2014-11-01

    Our understanding of the active role that astrocytes play in modulating neuronal function and behavior is rapidly expanding, but little is known about the role that astrocytes may play in drug-seeking behavior for commonly abused substances. Given that the nucleus accumbens is critically involved in substance abuse and motivation, we sought to determine whether nucleus accumbens astrocytes influence the motivation to self-administer ethanol following abstinence. We found that the packing density of astrocytes that were expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein increased in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) during abstinence from EtOH self-administration. No change was observed in the nucleus accumbens shell. This increased NAcore astrocyte density positively correlated with the motivation for ethanol. Astrocytes can communicate with one another and influence neuronal activity through gap-junction hemichannels. Because of this, the effect of blocking gap-junction hemichannels on the motivation for ethanol was examined. The motivation to self-administer ethanol after 3 weeks abstinence was increased following microinjection of gap-junction hemichannel blockers into the NAcore at doses that block both neuronal and astrocytic channels. In contrast, no effect was observed following microinjection of doses that are not thought to block astrocytic channels or following microinjection of either dose into the nucleus accumbens shell. Additionally, the motivation for sucrose after 3 weeks abstinence was unaffected by NAcore gap-junction hemichannel blockers. Next, Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) were selectively expressed in NAcore astrocytes to test the effect of astrocyte stimulation. DREADD activation increased cytosolic calcium in primary astrocytes, facilitated responding for rewarding brain stimulation, and reduced the motivation for ethanol after 3 weeks abstinence. This is the first work to modulate drug-seeking behavior with

  15. Serotonergic antidepressants decrease hedonic signals but leave learning signals in the nucleus accumbens unaffected.

    PubMed

    Graf, Heiko; Metzger, Coraline D; Walter, Martin; Abler, Birgit

    2016-01-06

    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.

  16. Distinctive Profiles of Gene Expression in the Human Nucleus Accumbens Associated with Cocaine and Heroin Abuse

    PubMed Central

    Albertson, Dawn N; Schmidt, Carl J; Kapatos, Gregory; Bannon, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    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 involving human cocaine abusers, in order to determine which expression changes were drug specific and which may be common to the phenomenon of addiction. A significant decrease in the expression of numerous genes encoding proteins involved in presynaptic release of neurotransmitter was seen in heroin abusers, a finding not seen in the cocaine-abusing cohort. Conversely, the striking decrease in myelin-related genes observed in cocaine abusers was not evident in our cohort of heroin subjects. Overall, little overlap in gene expression profiles was seen between the two drug-abusing cohorts: out of the approximately 39 000 transcripts investigated, the abundance of only 25 was significantly changed in both cocaine and heroin abusers, with nearly one-half of these being altered in opposite directions. These data suggest that the profiles of nucleus accumbens gene expression associated with chronic heroin or cocaine abuse are largely unique, despite what are thought to be common effects of these drugs on dopamine neurotransmission in this brain region. A re-examination of our current assumptions about the commonality of molecular mechanisms associated with substance abuse seems warranted. PMID:16710320

  17. Nucleus accumbens shell and core dopamine: differential role in behavior and addiction.

    PubMed

    Di Chiara, Gaetano

    2002-12-02

    Drug addiction can be conceptualized as a disturbance of behavior motivated by drug-conditioned incentives. This abnormality has been explained by Incentive-Sensitization and Allostatic-Counteradaptive theories as the result of non-associative mechanisms acting at the stage of the expression of incentive motivation and responding for drug reinforcement. Each one of these theories, however, does not account per se for two basic properties of the motivational disturbance of drug addiction: (1). focussing on drug- at the expenses of non-drug-incentives; (2). virtual irreversibility. To account for the above aspects we have proposed an associative learning hypothesis. According to this hypothesis the basic disturbance of drug addiction takes place at the stage of acquisition of motivation and in particular of Pavlovian incentive learning. Drugs share with non-drug rewards the property of stimulating dopamine (DA) transmission in the nucleus accumbens shell but this effect does not undergo habituation upon repeated drug exposure, as instead is the case of non-drug rewards. Repetitive, non-decremental stimulation of DA transmission by drugs in the nucleus accumbens septi (NAc) shell abnormally strengthens stimulus-drug associations. Thus, stimuli contingent upon drug reward acquire powerful incentive properties after a relatively limited number of predictive associations with the drug and become particularly resistant to extinction. Non-contingent occurrence of drug-conditioned incentive cues or contexts strongly facilitates and eventually reinstates drug self-administration. Repeated drug exposure also induces a process of sensitization of drug-induced stimulation of DA transmission in the NAc core. The precise significance of this adaptive change for the mechanism of drug addiction is unclear given the complexity and uncertainties surrounding the role of NAc core DA in responding but might be more directly related to instrumental performance.

  18. Nitric oxide in the nucleus accumbens is involved in retrieval of inhibitory avoidance memory by nicotine.

    PubMed

    Zarrindast, Mohammad Reza; Piri, Morteza; Nasehi, Mohammad; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh

    2012-03-01

    In the present study, the possible effect of nitric oxide agents injected into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the presence or absence of nicotine on morphine state-dependent memory in adult male Wistar rats was investigated. As a model of memory, a step-through type inhibitory avoidance task was used. Post-training injection of morphine (4 and 6mg/kg) dose dependently induced the impairment of memory retention. Administration of morphine (4 and 6mg/kg) before retention induced state-dependent retrieval of the memory acquired under post-training morphine (6mg/kg) influence. Injection of nicotine before retention (0.25 and 0.5mg/kg) alone and nicotine (0.1, 0.25 and 0.5mg/kg) plus an ineffective dose of morphine (2mg/kg) reversed the post-training morphine-induced memory impairment. The amnesia elicited by morphine (6mg/kg) was also prevented by pre-retention intra-NAc administration of a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, l-NAME (0.24μg/rat, intra-NAc). Interestingly, an ineffective dose of nicotine (0.1mg/kg) in combination with low doses of l-NAME (0.06 and 0.12μg/rat, intra-NAc) synergistically improved memory performance impaired by morphine given after training. It is important to note that intra-NAc administration of l-NAME before retention impaired memory retrieval by itself. In contrast, pre-retention administration of l-arginine, a nitric oxide (NO) precursor (0.25 and 0.5μg/rat, intra-NAc), which had no effect alone, prevented the nicotine reversal of morphine effect on memory. The results suggest a possible role for nitric oxide of nucleus accumbens in the improving effect of nicotine on the morphine-induced amnesia and morphine state-dependent memory.

  19. Neural encoding of psychomotor activation in the nucleus accumbens core, but not the shell, requires cannabinoid receptor signaling

    PubMed Central

    Morra, Joshua T.; Glick, Stanley D.; Cheer, Joseph F.

    2010-01-01

    The current study aimed to further elucidate the role of endocannabinoid signaling in methamphetamine-induced psychomotor activation. Rats were treated with bilateral, intracranial microinjections of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists rimonabant (1 μg; 1 μl) or AM251 (1 μg; 1 μl), or vehicle (1 μl), followed by intravenous methamphetamine (3 mg/kg). Antagonist pretreatment in the nucleus accumbens core, but not shell, attenuated methamphetamine-induced stereotypy, while treatment in either brain region had no effect on drug-induced locomotion. In a parallel experiment, we recorded multiple single-units in the nucleus accumbens of behaving rats treated with intravenous rimonabant (0.3 mg/kg) or vehicle, followed by methamphetamine (0.01, 0.1, 1, 3 mg/kg; cumulative dosing). We observed robust, phasic changes in neuronal firing time-locked to the onset of methamphetamine-induced locomotion and stereotypy. Stereotypy encoding was observed in the core and was attenuated by CB1 receptor antagonism, while locomotor correlates were observed uniformly across the accumbens and were not affected by rimonabant. Psychomotor activation encoding was expressed predominantly by putative fast-spiking interneurons. We therefore propose that endocannabinoid modulation of psychomotor activation is preferentially driven by CB1 receptor-dependent interneuron activity in the nucleus accumbens core. PMID:20371830

  20. Deep brain stimulation of the medial septum or nucleus accumbens alleviates psychosis-relevant behavior in ketamine-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingyi; Leung, L Stan

    2014-06-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been shown to be effective for relief of Parkinson's disease, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans, but the effect of DBS on psychosis is largely unknown. In previous studies, we showed that inactivation of the medial septum or nucleus accumbens normalized the hyperactive and psychosis-related behaviors induced by psychoactive drugs. We hypothesized that DBS of the medial septum or nucleus accumbens normalizes the ketamine-induced abnormal behaviors and brain activity in freely moving rats. Male Long-Evans rats were subcutaneously injected with ketamine (3 mg/kg) alone, or given ketamine and DBS, or injected with saline alone. Subcutaneous injection of ketamine resulted in loss of gating of hippocampal auditory evoked potentials (AEPs), deficit in prepulse inhibition (PPI) and hyperlocomotion, accompanied by increased hippocampal gamma oscillations of 70-100 Hz. Continuous 130-Hz stimulation of the nucleus accumbens, or 100-Hz burst stimulation of the medial septum (1s on and 5s off) significantly attenuated ketamine-induced PPI deficit and hyperlocomotion. Medial septal stimulation also prevented the loss of gating of hippocampal AEPs and the increase in hippocampal gamma waves induced by ketamine. Neither septal or accumbens DBS alone without ketamine injection affected spontaneous locomotion or PPI. The results suggest that DBS of the medial septum or nucleus accumbens may be an effective method to alleviate psychiatric symptoms of schizophrenia. The effect of medial septal DBS in suppressing both hippocampal gamma oscillations and abnormal behaviors induced by ketamine suggests that hippocampal gamma oscillations are a correlate of disrupted behaviors.

  1. Glutamate and Opioid Antagonists Modulate Dopamine Levels Evoked by Innately Attractive Male Chemosignals in the Nucleus Accumbens of Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Catalán, María-José; Orrico, Alejandro; Hipólito, Lucía; Zornoza, Teodoro; Polache, Ana; Lanuza, Enrique; Martínez-García, Fernando; Granero, Luis; Agustín-Pavón, Carmen

    2017-01-01

    Sexual chemosignals detected by vomeronasal and olfactory systems mediate intersexual attraction in rodents, and act as a natural reinforcer to them. The mesolimbic pathway processes natural rewards, and the nucleus accumbens receives olfactory information via glutamatergic projections from the amygdala. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of the mesolimbic pathway in the attraction toward sexual chemosignals. Our data show that female rats with no previous experience with males or their chemosignals display an innate preference for male-soiled bedding. Focal administration of the opioid antagonist β-funaltrexamine into the posterior ventral tegmental area does not affect preference for male chemosignals. Nevertheless, exposure to male-soiled bedding elicits an increase in dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell and core, measured by microdialysis. Infusion of the opioid antagonist naltrexone in the accumbens core does not significantly affect dopamine efflux during exposure to male chemosignals, although it enhances dopamine levels 40 min after withdrawal of the stimuli. By contrast, infusion of the glutamate antagonist kynurenic acid in the accumbens shell inhibits the release of dopamine and reduces the time that females spend investigating male-soiled bedding. These data are in agreement with previous reports in male rats showing that exposure to opposite-sex odors elicits dopamine release in the accumbens, and with data in female mice showing that the behavioral preference for male chemosignals is not affected by opioidergic antagonists. We hypothesize that glutamatergic projections from the amygdala into the accumbens might be important to modulate the neurochemical and behavioral responses elicited by sexual chemosignals in rats.

  2. Glutamate and Opioid Antagonists Modulate Dopamine Levels Evoked by Innately Attractive Male Chemosignals in the Nucleus Accumbens of Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Catalán, María-José; Orrico, Alejandro; Hipólito, Lucía; Zornoza, Teodoro; Polache, Ana; Lanuza, Enrique; Martínez-García, Fernando; Granero, Luis; Agustín-Pavón, Carmen

    2017-01-01

    Sexual chemosignals detected by vomeronasal and olfactory systems mediate intersexual attraction in rodents, and act as a natural reinforcer to them. The mesolimbic pathway processes natural rewards, and the nucleus accumbens receives olfactory information via glutamatergic projections from the amygdala. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of the mesolimbic pathway in the attraction toward sexual chemosignals. Our data show that female rats with no previous experience with males or their chemosignals display an innate preference for male-soiled bedding. Focal administration of the opioid antagonist β-funaltrexamine into the posterior ventral tegmental area does not affect preference for male chemosignals. Nevertheless, exposure to male-soiled bedding elicits an increase in dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell and core, measured by microdialysis. Infusion of the opioid antagonist naltrexone in the accumbens core does not significantly affect dopamine efflux during exposure to male chemosignals, although it enhances dopamine levels 40 min after withdrawal of the stimuli. By contrast, infusion of the glutamate antagonist kynurenic acid in the accumbens shell inhibits the release of dopamine and reduces the time that females spend investigating male-soiled bedding. These data are in agreement with previous reports in male rats showing that exposure to opposite-sex odors elicits dopamine release in the accumbens, and with data in female mice showing that the behavioral preference for male chemosignals is not affected by opioidergic antagonists. We hypothesize that glutamatergic projections from the amygdala into the accumbens might be important to modulate the neurochemical and behavioral responses elicited by sexual chemosignals in rats. PMID:28280461

  3. The role of nucleus accumbens adenosine–opioid interaction in mediating palatable food intake

    PubMed Central

    Pritchett, Carolyn E.; Pardee, Alicia L.; McGuirk, Sophia R.; Will, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Nucleus accumbens µ-opioid stimulation leads to robust increases in the intake of highly palatable foods, such as a high-fat diet. While interactions between opioids and certain striatal neurotransmitters underlying this phenomenon have been explored, many potential interactions have not. Striatal adenosine has been shown to have a significant influence on striatal neurotransmission and locomotor activity behavior, however the interaction between opioids and adenosine on feeding behaviors has received less attention. The present study explored this interaction within the context of opioid-driven consumption of a high-fat diet. Specifically, intra-accumbens administration of selective A1 and A2A adenosine receptor ligands, with or without concurrent administration of the µ-opioid agonist DAla2,N,Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkaphalin (DAMGO), on high-fat consumption and associated locomotor activity was examined. The A1 receptor agonist 2-Chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA) had no effect on either baseline or DAMGO-induced locomotor or consumption behaviors associated with the high-fat diet. However, the A2A receptor agonist 2-p-(2 carboxyethyl)-phenethylamino-5′-N-ethylcarboxamido adenosine hydrochloride (CGS 21680) and the prodrug of the A2A receptor antagonist MSX-2, 3-(3-hydroxypropyl)-8-(m-methoxystyryl)-7-methyl-1-propargylxanthine phosphate disodium salt (MSX-3) produced the expected decrease and increase in locomotor activity, respectively. CGS 21680 had no effect on baseline or DAMGO-driven consumption of the high-fat diet. MSX-3 had no effect on DAMGO-induced locomotor activity but increased DAMGO-induced consumption. Lastly, the increased activity and consumption produced by MSX-3 alone was blocked by prior administration of the opioid antagonist naltrexone. In summary, these results suggest a potential role of striatal adenosine A2A receptors in mediating baseline and striatal opioid-mediated intake of a high-fat diet. PMID:19822132

  4. The role of nucleus accumbens adenosine-opioid interaction in mediating palatable food intake.

    PubMed

    Pritchett, Carolyn E; Pardee, Alicia L; McGuirk, Sophia R; Will, Matthew J

    2010-01-08

    Nucleus accumbens micro-opioid stimulation leads to robust increases in the intake of highly palatable foods, such as a high-fat diet. While interactions between opioids and certain striatal neurotransmitters underlying this phenomenon have been explored, many potential interactions have not. Striatal adenosine has been shown to have a significant influence on striatal neurotransmission and locomotor activity behavior, however the interaction between opioids and adenosine on feeding behaviors has received less attention. The present study explored this interaction within the context of opioid-driven consumption of a high-fat diet. Specifically, intra-accumbens administration of selective A1 and A2(A) adenosine receptor ligands, with or without concurrent administration of the micro-opioid agonist (D)-Ala(2),N,Me-Phe(4),Gly-ol(5)-enkaphalin (DAMGO), on high-fat consumption and associated locomotor activity was examined. The A1 receptor agonist 2-Chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA) had no effect on either baseline or DAMGO-induced locomotor or consumption behaviors associated with the high-fat diet. However, the A2(A) receptor agonist 2-p-(2 carboxyethyl)-phenethylamino-5'-N-ethylcarboxamido adenosine hydrochloride (CGS 21680) and the prodrug of the A2(A) receptor antagonist MSX-2, 3-(3-hydroxypropyl)-8-(m-methoxystyryl)-7-methyl-1-propargylxanthine phosphate disodium salt (MSX-3) produced the expected decrease and increase in locomotor activity, respectively. CGS 21680 had no effect on baseline or DAMGO-driven consumption of the high-fat diet. MSX-3 had no effect on DAMGO-induced locomotor activity but increased DAMGO-induced consumption. Lastly, the increased activity and consumption produced by MSX-3 alone was blocked by prior administration of the opioid antagonist naltrexone. In summary, these results suggest a potential role of striatal adenosine A2(A) receptors in mediating baseline and striatal opioid-mediated intake of a high-fat diet.

  5. [Autograft of the adrenal medulla to caudate nucleus as Parkinson disease treatment: long-term clinical evaluation].

    PubMed

    Madrazo, I; Franco-Bourland, R; Ostrosky-Solis, F; Aguilera Riestra, M C; Madrazo, M; Zarate, A

    1989-01-01

    This work presents the long-term evolution (12-27 months) of the patients with adrenomedullary autotransplants to the caudate nucleus for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Sixteen men and 6 women, mean age of 49.9 years, received brain implants of their own adrenal medulla using the procedure of Madrazo et al. (1). Nineteen of the transplanted patients suffered idiopathic Parkinson's disease and 3 of them parkinsonism. Before surgery 20 patients were on L-dopa and suffered collateral signs due to the drug. The degree of severity of their disease was evaluated pre and postoperatively, with and without medication, in their "on" and "off" periods, using the international scales of Schwab and England, Hoehn and Yahr, Madrazo, and the UPRS, and was documented by videotape. Biochemical analyses were made of lumbar and ventricular cerebrospinal fluid, and neuropsychological and neurophysiological evaluations were performed before and after surgery. In some patients, the location and viability of the adrenal medullary implants were demonstrated by brain scintigraphy using 131-I-metaiodobenzylguanidine, a chromaffin specific radiopharmaceutical. The clinical evaluations of 18 autotransplanted patients (4 died) showed their significant functional recovery both in their "on" and "off" periods, that for the first patients operated has remained stable for 27 months. Also, their response to L-dopa improved allowing the reduction of their postoperative doses of medication to 30% of their preoperative requirements, with the disappearance of the collateral effects of the drug.

  6. Pharmacological evidence for common mechanisms underlying the effects of neurotensin and neuroleptics on in vivo dopamine efflux in the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Blaha, C D; Phillips, A G

    1992-08-01

    The effects of the neuropeptide neurotensin and the typical neuroleptic haloperidol on dopamine efflux were compared in the posteromedial nucleus accumbens of the chloral hydrate-anesthetized rat using in vivo chronoamperometry. Both neurotensin and haloperidol administration elicited an immediate increase in dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid lactone, an agent known to block impulse flow in dopamine neurons, either prevented when given before neurotensin or reversed neurotensin-induced increases in accumbens dopamine efflux. Haloperidol-induced increases in accumbens dopamine efflux were similarly affected by gamma-hydroxybutyric acid lactone. The dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine reversed neurotensin- and haloperidol-induced increases in dopamine efflux. Amphetamine, administered during the peak dopamine stimulatory effects induced by neurotensin or haloperidol, resulted in increases above baseline which were significantly greater than the effects of amphetamine alone. These combined drug treatment effects on baseline dopamine efflux were additive, indicating that the effects of amphetamine were not potentiated by neurotensin or haloperidol pretreatments. These in vivo results suggest that neurotensin and haloperidol may augment dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens via common mechanisms of action which may involve activation of mesotelencephalic dopamine neuronal firing. The inability of neurotensin to block amphetamine-induced efflux in the nucleus accumbens further suggests that neurotensin blockade of amphetamine-elicited locomotor activity is mediated by an action of neurotensin postsynaptic to dopamine nerve terminals in the nucleus accumbens.

  7. SIRT1 Mediates Depression-Like Behaviors in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hee-Dae; Hesterman, Jennifer; Call, Tanessa; Magazu, Samantha; Keeley, Elizabeth; Armenta, Kristyna; Kronman, Hope; Neve, Rachael L.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2016-01-01

    Depression is a recurring and life-threatening illness that affects up to 120 million people worldwide. In the present study, we show that chronic social defeat stress, an ethologically validated model of depression in mice, increases SIRT1 levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region. Increases in SIRT1, a well characterized class III histone deacetylase, after chronic social defeat suggest a role for this enzyme in mediating depression-like behaviors. When resveratrol, a pharmacological activator of SIRT1, was directly infused bilaterally into the NAc, we observed an increase in depression- and anxiety-like behaviors. Conversely, intra-NAc infusions of EX-527, a SIRT1 antagonist, reduced these behaviors; EX-527 also reduced acute stress responses in stress-naive mice. Next, we increased SIRT1 levels directly in NAc by use of viral-mediated gene transfer and observed an increase in depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors when mice were assessed in the open-field, elevated-plus-maze, and forced swim tests. Using a Cre-inducible viral vector system to overexpress SIRT1 selectively in dopamine D1 or D2 subpopulations of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAc, we found that SIRT1 promotes depressive-like behaviors only when overexpressed in D1 MSNs, with no effect seen in D2 MSNs. Conversely, selective ablation of SIRT1 in the NAc using viral-Cre in floxed Sirt1 mice resulted in decreased depression- and anxiety-like behaviors. Together, these results demonstrate that SIRT1 plays an essential role in the NAc in regulating mood-related behavioral abnormalities and identifies a novel signaling pathway for the development of innovative antidepressants to treat major depressive disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this study, we demonstrate a pivotal role for SIRT1 in anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region. We show that stress stably induces SIRT1 expression in this brain region and that altering

  8. Changes in Appetitive Associative Strength Modulates Nucleus Accumbens, But Not Orbitofrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensemble Excitability.

    PubMed

    Ziminski, Joseph J; Hessler, Sabine; Margetts-Smith, Gabriella; Sieburg, Meike C; Crombag, Hans S; Koya, Eisuke

    2017-03-22

    Cues that predict the availability of food rewards influence motivational states and elicit food-seeking behaviors. If a cue no longer predicts food availability, then animals may adapt accordingly by inhibiting food-seeking responses. Sparsely activated sets of neurons, coined "neuronal ensembles," have been shown to encode the strength of reward-cue associations. Although alterations in intrinsic excitability have been shown to underlie many learning and memory processes, little is known about these properties specifically on cue-activated neuronal ensembles. We examined the activation patterns of cue-activated orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell ensembles using wild-type and Fos-GFP mice, which express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in activated neurons, after appetitive conditioning with sucrose and extinction learning. We also investigated the neuronal excitability of recently activated, GFP+ neurons in these brain areas using whole-cell electrophysiology in brain slices. Exposure to a sucrose cue elicited activation of neurons in both the NAc shell and OFC. In the NAc shell, but not the OFC, these activated GFP+ neurons were more excitable than surrounding GFP- neurons. After extinction, the number of neurons activated in both areas was reduced and activated ensembles in neither area exhibited altered excitability. These data suggest that learning-induced alterations in the intrinsic excitability of neuronal ensembles is regulated dynamically across different brain areas. Furthermore, we show that changes in associative strength modulate the excitability profile of activated ensembles in the NAc shell.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sparsely distributed sets of neurons called "neuronal ensembles" encode learned associations about food and cues predictive of its availability. Widespread changes in neuronal excitability have been observed in limbic brain areas after associative learning, but little is known about the excitability changes that

  9. Electrophysiological identification of mesencephalic ventromedial tegmental (VMT) neurons projecting to the frontal cortex, septum and nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Deniau, J M; Thierry, A M; Feger, J

    1980-05-12

    The electrophysiological properties of neurons located in the mesencephalic ventromedial tegmentum (VMT) and the organization of the efferents of these neurons to the frontal cortex, the septum, the nucleus accumbens and the head of the striatum were studied in ketamine-anesthetized rats. The projections of the VMT cells were determined through use of the antidromic activation method. Our results show that VMT projections to different target areas originate mainly from different VMT neurons. However, in some cases single VMT neurons were found to send axon collaterals to two different areas. Three branching patterns were observed: septum-cortex, septum--nucleus accumbens and septum--striatum. The occasional observation of temporally distinct antodromic responses from a single area was considered to result from activation of different branches of the arborizing axon. The distribution of antidromic response latencies for VMT projections to each structure is discussed in relation to the question of dopaminergic versus non-dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesocortical systems.

  10. Supersensitive Kappa Opioid Receptors Promotes Ethanol Withdrawal-Related Behaviors and Reduce Dopamine Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Jamie H.; Karkhanis, Anushree N.; Chen, Rong; Gioia, Dominic; Lopez, Marcelo F.; Becker, Howard C.; McCool, Brian A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Chronic ethanol exposure reduces dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens, which may contribute to the negative affective symptoms associated with ethanol withdrawal. Kappa opioid receptors have been implicated in withdrawal-induced excessive drinking and anxiety-like behaviors and are known to inhibit dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. The effects of chronic ethanol exposure on kappa opioid receptor-mediated changes in dopamine transmission at the level of the dopamine terminal and withdrawal-related behaviors were examined. Methods: Five weeks of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure in male C57BL/6 mice were used to examine the role of kappa opioid receptors in chronic ethanol-induced increases in ethanol intake and marble burying, a measure of anxiety/compulsive-like behavior. Drinking and marble burying were evaluated before and after chronic intermittent ethanol exposure, with and without kappa opioid receptor blockade by nor-binaltorphimine (10mg/kg i.p.). Functional alterations in kappa opioid receptors were assessed using fast scan cyclic voltammetry in brain slices containing the nucleus accumbens. Results: Chronic intermittent ethanol-exposed mice showed increased ethanol drinking and marble burying compared with controls, which was attenuated with kappa opioid receptor blockade. Chronic intermittent ethanol-induced increases in behavior were replicated with kappa opioid receptor activation in naïve mice. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry revealed that chronic intermittent ethanol reduced accumbal dopamine release and increased uptake rates, promoting a hypodopaminergic state of this region. Kappa opioid receptor activation with U50,488H concentration-dependently decreased dopamine release in both groups; however, this effect was greater in chronic intermittent ethanol-treated mice, indicating kappa opioid receptor supersensitivity in this group. Conclusions: These data suggest that the chronic intermittent ethanol-induced increase

  11. Latent inhibition-related dopaminergic responses in the nucleus accumbens are disrupted following neonatal transient inactivation of the ventral subiculum.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Francisca F; Louilot, Alain

    2011-06-01

    Schizophrenia would result from a defective connectivity between several integrative regions as a consequence of neurodevelopmental failure. Various anomalies reminiscent of early brain development disturbances have been observed in patients' left ventral subiculum of the hippocampus (SUB). Numerous data support the hypothesis of a functional dopaminergic dysregulation in schizophrenia. The common target structure for the action of antipsychotics appears to be a subregion of the ventral striatum, the dorsomedial shell part of the nucleus accumbens. Latent inhibition, a cognitive marker of interest for schizophrenia, has been found to be disrupted in acute patients. The present study set out to investigate the consequences of a neonatal functional inactivation of the left SUB by tetrodotoxin (TTX) in 8-day-old rats for the latent inhibition-related dopaminergic responses, as monitored by in vivo voltammetry in freely moving adult animals (11 weeks) in the left core and dorsomedial shell parts of the nucleus accumbens in an olfactory aversion procedure. Results obtained during the retention session of a three-stage latent inhibition protocol showed that the postnatal unilateral functional blockade of the SUB was followed in pre-exposed TTX-conditioned adult rats by a disruption of the behavioral expression of latent inhibition and induced a total and a partial reversal of the latent inhibition-related dopaminergic responses in the dorsomedial shell and core parts of the nucleus accumbens, respectively. The present data suggest that neonatal inactivation of the SUB has more marked consequences for the dopaminergic responses recorded in the dorsomedial shell part, than in the core part of the nucleus accumbens. These findings may provide new insight into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  12. An investigation of the origin of extracellular GABA in rat nucleus accumbens measured in vivo by microdialysis.

    PubMed

    Smith, S E; Sharp, T

    1994-01-01

    GABA transmission in the nucleus accumbens is believed to play a central role in motivational processes and the expression of psychostimulant drug action. Here we report measurements of extracellular GABA in nucleus accumbens of the rat and investigate its origin. Extracellular GABA was detected using microdialysis in combination with a novel HPLC-based assay. In the awake rat, GABA in the microdialysates (1) increased 10-fold following perfusion with 0.5 mM nipecotic acid, a GABA releasing agent and uptake blocker, (2) increased 7-fold following local perfusion with 50 mM KCl, (3) decreased 50% following perfusion with tetrodotoxin, (4) decreased 50% following perfusion with a Ca(2+(-free medium and (5) decreased 40% following perfusion with high (12.5 mM) MgCl. Finally, in the anaesthetized rat, GABA in the microdialysates decreased 50% following i.p. injection of 100 mg/kg 3-mercaptoproprionic acid, a GABA synthesis inhibitor. We conclude that GABA in microdialysates from nucleus accumbens of the rat (awake) responds appropriately to selected pharmacological agents and derives at least in part (50%) from neurones.

  13. Decreased functional magnetic resonance imaging activity in the hippocampus in favor of the caudate nucleus in older adults tested in a virtual navigation task.

    PubMed

    Konishi, Kyoko; Etchamendy, Nicole; Roy, Shumita; Marighetto, Aline; Rajah, Natasha; Bohbot, Véronique D

    2013-11-01

    The neuroimaging literature has shown consistent decreases in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity in the hippocampus of healthy older adults engaged in a navigation task. However, navigation in a virtual maze relies on spatial or response strategies known to depend on the hippocampus and caudate nucleus, respectively. Therefore, since the proportion of people using spatial strategies decreases with normal aging, we hypothesized that it was responsible for the observed decreases in fMRI activity in the hippocampus reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of aging on the hippocampus and caudate nucleus during navigation while taking into account individual navigational strategies. Young (N = 23) and older adults (N = 29) were tested using fMRI on the Concurrent Spatial Discrimination Learning Task, a radial task that dissociates between spatial and response strategies (in Stage 2) after participants reached criteria (in Stage 1). Success on Stage 2 requires that participants have encoded the spatial relationship between the target object and environmental landmarks, that is, the spatial strategy. While older adults required more trials, all participants reached criterion. fMRI results showed that, as a group, young adults had significant activity in the hippocampus as opposed to older adults who instead had significant activity in the caudate nucleus. Importantly, individual differences showed that the older participants who used a spatial strategy to solve the task had significant activity in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that the aging process involves a shift from using the hippocampus toward the caudate nucleus during navigation but that activity in the hippocampus is sustained in a subset of healthy older adults engaged in spatial strategies.

  14. Depletion of AADC activity in caudate nucleus and putamen of Parkinson’s disease patients; implications for ongoing AAV2-AADC gene therapy trial

    PubMed Central

    Ciesielska, Agnieszka; Samaranch, Lluis; San Sebastian, Waldy; Dickson, Dennis W.; Goldman, Samuel; Forsayeth, John; Bankiewicz, Krystof S.

    2017-01-01

    In Parkinson’s disease (PD), aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the conversion of L-DOPA (Sinemet) to dopamine (DA). Previous studies in PD animal models demonstrated that lesion of dopaminergic neurons is associated with profound loss of AADC activity in the striatum, blocking efficient conversion of L-DOPA to DA. Relatively few studies have directly analyzed AADC in PD brains. Thus, the aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of regional changes in AADC activity, DA, serotonin and their monoamine metabolites in the striatum of PD patients and experimentally lesioned animals (rat and MPTP-treated nonhuman primate, NHP). Striatal AADC activity was determined post mortem in neuropathologically confirmed PD subjects, animal models and controls. A regional analysis was performed for striatal AADC activity and monoamine levels in NHP tissue. Interestingly, analysis of putaminal AADC activity revealed that control human striatum contained much less AADC activity than rat and NHP striata. Moreover, a dramatic loss of AADC activity in PD striatum compared to controls was detected. In MPTP-treated NHP, caudate nucleus was almost as greatly affected as putamen, although mean DA turnover was higher in caudate nucleus. Similarly, DA and DA metabolites were dramatically reduced in different regions of PD brains, including caudate nucleus, whereas serotonin was relatively spared. After L-DOPA administration in MPTP-treated NHP, very poor conversion to DA was detected, suggesting that AADC in NHP nigrostriatal fibers is mainly responsible for L-DOPA to DA conversion. These data support further the rationale behind viral gene therapy with AAV2-hAADC to restore AADC levels in putamen and suggest further the advisability of expanding vector delivery to include coverage of anterior putamen and the caudate nucleus. PMID:28166239

  15. Selective serotonin receptor stimulation of the medial nucleus accumbens causes differential effects on food intake and locomotion.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Wayne E; Blackstone, Kaitlin; Connolly, Megan E; Skelly, Mary Jane

    2009-10-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that pharmacological manipulations of neural serotonin pathways influence ingestive behaviors. Despite the known role of the nucleus accumbens in directing appetitive and consummatory behavior, there has been little examination of the influences that serotonin receptors may play in modulating feeding within nucleus accumbens circuitry. In these experiments, the authors examined the effects of bilateral nucleus accumbens infusions of the 5-HT1/7 receptor agonist 5-CT (at 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, or 4.0 microg/0.5 microl/side), the 5-HT receptor agonist EMD 386088 (at 0.0, 1.0, and 4.0 microg/0.5 microl/side), or the 5-HT2C preferential agonist RO 60-0175 (at 0.0, 2.0, or 5.0 microg/0.5 microl/side) on food intake and locomotor activity in the rat. Intra-accumbens infusions of 5-CT caused a dose-dependent reduction of food intake and rearing behavior, both in food-restricted animals given 2-hr free access to Purina Protab RMH 3000 Chow, as well as in nondeprived rats offered 2-hr access to a highly palatable fat/sucrose diet. In contrast, stimulation of 5-HT receptors with EMD 386088 caused a dose-dependent increase of intake under both feeding conditions, without affecting measures of locomotion. Infusions of the moderately selective 5-HT2C receptor agonist RO 60-0175 had no effects on feeding or locomotor measures in food-restricted animals, but did reduce intake of the fat/sucrose in nonrestricted animals at the 2.0 microg, but not the 5.0 microg dose. Intra-accumbens infusions of selective antagonists for the 5-HT (SB 269970), 5-HT (SB 252585), and 5-HT2C (RS 102221) receptors did not affect locomotion, and demonstrated no lasting changes in feeding for any of the groups tested. These data are the first to suggest that the activation of different serotonin receptor subtypes within the feeding circuitry of the medial nucleus accumbens differentially influence consummatory behavior.

  16. Extrasynaptic δ-containing GABAA receptors in the nucleus accumbens dorsomedial shell contribute to alcohol intake

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Hong; Rewal, Mridula; Gill, T. Michael; Ron, Dorit; Janak, Patricia H.

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings suggest that extrasynaptic δ-subunit–containing GABAA receptors are sensitive to low-to-moderate concentrations of alcohol, raising the possibility that these receptors mediate the reinforcing effects of alcohol after consumption of one or a few drinks. We used the technique of viral-mediated RNAi to reduce expression of the GABAA receptor δ-subunit in adult rats in localized regions of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) to test the hypothesis that δ-subunit–containing GABAA receptors in the NAc are necessary for oral alcohol consumption. We found that knockdown of the δ-subunit in the medial shell region of the NAc, but not in the ventral or lateral shell or in the core, reduced alcohol intake. In contrast, δ-subunit knockdown in the medial shell did not affect intake of a 2% sucrose solution, suggesting that the effects of GABAA receptor δ-subunit reduction are specific to alcohol. These results provide strong evidence that extrasynaptic δ-subunit–containing GABAA receptors in the medial shell of the NAc are critical for the reinforcing effects of oral ethanol. PMID:21368141

  17. α4-Containing GABAA Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Mediate Moderate Intake of Alcohol

    PubMed Central

    Rewal, Mridula; Jurd, Rachel; Gill, T. Michael; He, Dao-Yao; Ron, Dorit; Janak, Patricia H.

    2009-01-01

    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 and preference for alcohol. The time course for the reduced alcohol intake paralleled the time course of α4 mRNA reductions achieved after viral-mediated RNAi for α4. Further, the reduction in drinking was region- and alcohol-specific: there was no effect of reductions in α4 expression in the NAc core on alcohol intake, and reductions in α4 expression in the NAc shell did not alter sucrose or water intake. These results indicate that the GABAAR α4 subunit in the NAc shell mediates alcohol intake. PMID:19144854

  18. Increased sensitivity to cocaine by cholinergic cell ablation in nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Hikida, Takatoshi; Kaneko, Satoshi; Isobe, Tomohiro; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Watanabe, Dai; Pastan, Ira; Nakanishi, Shigetada

    2001-01-01

    Chronic exposure to cocaine causes long-lasting behavioral changes associated with cocaine reinforcement and addiction. An important neural substrate for cocaine addiction is the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which receives dopaminergic input from the ventral tegmental area. Although the neural circuit of the NAc is controlled by several other neurotransmitters, their involvement in cocaine addiction remains elusive. In this investigation, we ablated cholinergic interneurons from the adult NAc with immunotoxin-mediated cell targeting and examined the role of acetylcholine transmitter in adaptive behavioral changes associated with cocaine reinforcement and addiction. Acute exposure to cocaine induced abnormal rotation in unilaterally cholinergic cell-eliminated mice. This abnormal turning was enhanced by repeated exposure of cocaine. In bilaterally cholinergic cell-eliminated mice, chronic cocaine administration induced a prominent and progressive increase in locomotor activity. Moreover, these mice showed robust conditioned place preference with a lower dose of cocaine, compared with wild-type littermates. This investigation demonstrates that acetylcholine in the NAc plays a key role in both acute and chronic actions of cocaine. PMID:11606786

  19. Individual Variations in Nucleus Accumbens Responses Associated with Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Misaki, Masaya; Suzuki, Hideo; Savitz, Jonathan; Drevets, Wayne C.; Bodurka, Jerzy

    2016-01-01

    Abnormal reward-related responses in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) have been reported for major depressive disorder (MDD) patients. However, variability exists in the reported results, which could be due to heterogeneity in neuropathology of depression. To parse the heterogeneity of MDD we investigated variation of NAcc responses to gain and loss anticipations using fMRI. We found NAcc responses to monetary gain and loss were significantly variable across subjects in both MDD and healthy control (HC) groups. The variations were seen as a hyperactive response subtype that showed elevated activation to the anticipation of both gain and loss, an intermediate response with greater activation to gain than loss, and a suppressed-activity with reduced activation to both gain and loss compared to a non-monetary condition. While these response variability were seen in both MDD and HC subjects, specific symptoms were significantly associated with the right NAcc variation in MDD. Both the hyper- and suppressed-activity subtypes of MDD patients had severe suicidal ideation and anhedonia symptoms. The intermediate subjects had less severity in these symptoms. These results suggest that differing propensities in reward responsiveness in the NAcc may affect the development of specific symptoms in MDD. PMID:26880358

  20. The role of nucleus accumbens dopamine in outcome encoding in instrumental and Pavlovian conditioning.

    PubMed

    Lex, Bjoern; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2010-02-01

    Considerable evidence suggests that dopamine in the core subregion of the nucleus accumbens is not only involved in Pavlovian conditioning but also supports instrumental performance. However, it is largely unknown whether NAc dopamine is required for outcome encoding which plays an important role both in Pavlovian stimulus-outcome learning and instrumental action-outcome learning. Therefore, we tested rats with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) induced dopamine depletion of the NAc core for their sensitivity to outcome devaluation in a Pavlovian and an instrumental task. Results indicate that 6-OHDA-lesioned animals were sensitive to outcome devaluation in an instrumental task. This finding provides support to the notion that NAc core dopamine may not be crucial in encoding action-outcome associations. However, during instrumental conditioning lever pressing rates in 6-OHDA-lesioned animals were markedly lower which could reflect an impaired behavioral activation. By contrast, after outcome-specific devaluation in a Pavlovian task, performance in 6-OHDA-lesioned animals was impaired, i.e. their magazine-directed responding was non-selectively reduced. One possibility to explain non-selective responding is that NAc core DA depletion impaired the ability of conditioned stimuli to activate the memory of the current value of the reinforcer.

  1. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is altered following traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuan-Hao; Huang, Eagle Yi-Kung; Kuo, Tung-Tai; Hoffer, Barry J; Miller, Jonathan; Chou, Yu-Ching; Chiang, Yung-Hsiao

    2017-04-21

    Mild-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently associated with prolonged dysfunction of reward circuitry, including motivation and salience, which suggests alterations of dopamine (DA) processing within the core and shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAC). Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in a rodent model of traumatic brain injury, we found that stimulus-evoked DA release is distinct in the core and shell of the NAC, with the shell being less responsive to tonic stimulation and more sensitive to the number of pulses when phasic stimulation is applied. Exposure to TBI was associated with major changes in both release and reuptake of DA in both the core and shell of NAC, with greater changes seen in the core. These alterations evolved over time, becoming most severe 1-2weeks after injury with subsequent recovery, and the extent and progression of these abnormalities was correlated with severity of injury. Taken together, these data support behavior and anatomical studies suggesting the NAC core and striatum may subserve parallel functions, whereas the shell is distinct. These data offer a unique window on how different neurological systems respond to TBI and may help explain affective and cognitive changes that are seen.

  2. Sexual behavior in male rats after radiofrequency or dopamine-depleting lesions in nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y C; Sachs, B D; Salamone, J D

    1998-06-01

    Considerable neurochemical evidence links dopamine (DA) in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) to male sexual behavior. The present experiments were conducted to extend this information to the male's sexual response to remote stimuli from estrous female (noncontact erection; NCE). Male rats were tested for copulation and NCE after either 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or radiofrequency (RF) lesions in NAcc). Males with an average 78% depletion of DA in NAcc had a lower incidence of NCE, longer latency to display NCE, and fewer erections. DA-depleted males also had less locomotor activity after injections of d-amphetamine, and reductions in apomorphine-induced yawning, but a normal incidence of penile erection. Males with RF lesions of the NAcc had longer NCE latencies. All males copulated to ejaculation after either 6-OHDA or RF lesions with little or no deficit, although the 6-OHDA-treated males had longer intromission latencies. The NCE deficit supports the hypothesized role of NAcc DA in arousal processes in responding to remote cues from estrous females. The minimal effect of lesions on copulation suggests that the presence of additional proximal stimulation during copulation may overcome the deficits induced by DA depletions or lesions in NAcc.

  3. Integrative Analysis of Sex-Specific microRNA Networks Following Stress in Mouse Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Pfau, Madeline L.; Purushothaman, Immanuel; Feng, Jian; Golden, Sam A.; Aleyasin, Hossein; Lorsch, Zachary S.; Cates, Hannah M.; Flanigan, Meghan E.; Menard, Caroline; Heshmati, Mitra; Wang, Zichen; Ma'ayan, Avi; Shen, Li; Hodes, Georgia E.; Russo, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Adult women are twice as likely as men to suffer from affective and anxiety disorders, although the mechanisms underlying heightened female stress susceptibility are incompletely understood. Recent findings in mouse Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) suggest a role for DNA methylation-driven sex differences in genome-wide transcriptional profiles. However, the role of another epigenetic process—microRNA (miR) regulation—has yet to be explored. We exposed male and female mice to Subchronic Variable Stress (SCVS), a stress paradigm that produces depression-like behavior in female, but not male, mice, and performed next generation mRNA and miR sequencing on NAc tissue. We applied a combination of differential expression, miR-mRNA network and functional enrichment analyses to characterize the transcriptional and post-transcriptional landscape of sex differences in NAc stress response. We find that male and female mice exhibit largely non-overlapping miR and mRNA profiles following SCVS. The two sexes also show enrichment of different molecular pathways and functions. Collectively, our results suggest that males and females mount fundamentally different transcriptional and post-transcriptional responses to SCVS and engage sex-specific molecular processes following stress. These findings have implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of stress-related disorders in women. PMID:28066174

  4. Nucleus Accumbens Core and Shell are Necessary for Reinforcer Devaluation Effects on Pavlovian Conditioned Responding.

    PubMed

    Singh, Teghpal; McDannald, Michael A; Haney, Richard Z; Cerri, Domenic H; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2010-01-01

    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-s 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.

  5. Ethanol inhibits excitatory neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of adolescent mice through GABAA and GABAB receptors.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Devesh; Chergui, Karima

    2013-07-01

    Age-related differences in various acute physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol have been demonstrated in humans and in other species. Adolescents are more sensitive to positive reinforcing properties of alcohol than adults, but the cellular mechanisms that underlie such a difference are not clearly established. We, therefore, assessed age differences in the ability of ethanol to modulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region importantly involved in reward mechanisms. We measured field excitatory postsynaptic potentials/population spikes (fEPSP/PS) in NAc slices from adolescent (22-30 days old) and adult (5-8 months old) male mice. We found that 50mM ethanol applied in the perfusion solution inhibits glutamatergic neurotransmission in the NAc of adolescent, but not adult, mice. This effect is blocked by the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor antagonist bicuculline and by the GABAB receptor antagonist CGP 55845. Furthermore, bicuculline applied alone produces a stronger increase in the fEPSP/PS amplitude in adult mice than in adolescent mice. Activation of GABAA receptors with muscimol produces a stronger and longer lasting depression of neurotransmission in adolescent mice as compared with adult mice. Activation of GABAB receptors with SKF 97541 also depresses neurotransmission more strongly in adolescent than in adult mice. These results demonstrate that an increased GABA receptor function associated with a reduced inhibitory tone underlies the depressant action of ethanol on glutamatergic neurotransmission in the NAc of adolescent mice.

  6. Increasing dopamine D2 receptor expression in the adult nucleus accumbens enhances motivation

    PubMed Central

    Trifilieff, Pierre; Feng, Bo; Urizar, Eneko; Winiger, Vanessa; Ward, Ryan D.; Taylor, Kathleen M.; Martinez, Diana M.; Moore, Holly; Balsam, Peter D.; Simpson, Eleanor H.; Javitch, Jonathan A.

    2014-01-01

    A decrease in dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) binding in the striatum is one of the most common findings in disorders that involve a dysregulation of motivation, including obesity, addiction, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Since disruption of D2R signaling in the ventral striatum – including the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) - impairs motivation, we sought to determine whether potentiating postsynaptic D2R-dependent signaling in the NAc would improve motivation. In this study, we used a viral vector strategy to overexpress postsynaptic D2Rs in either the NAc or the dorsal striatum. We investigated the effects of D2R overexpression on instrumental learning, willingness to work, use of reward value representations and modulation of motivation by reward associated cues. Overexpression of postsynaptic D2R in the NAc selectively increased motivation without altering consummatory behavior, the representation of the value of the reinforcer, or the capacity to use reward associated cues in flexible ways. In contrast, D2R overexpression in the dorsal striatum did not alter performance on any of the tasks. Thus, consistent with numerous studies showing that reduced D2R signaling impairs motivated behavior, our data show that post-synaptic D2R overexpression in the NAc specifically increases an animal’s willingness to expend effort to obtain a goal. Taken together, these results provide insight into the potential impact of future therapeutic strategies that enhance D2R signaling in the NAc. PMID:23711983

  7. Nucleus Accumbens Mediates Relative Motivation for Rewards in the Absence of Choice

    PubMed Central

    Clithero, John A.; Reeck, Crystal; Carter, R. McKell; Smith, David V.; Huettel, Scott A.

    2011-01-01

    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 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. PMID:21941472

  8. The involvement of norepinephrine in pain modulation in the nucleus accumbens of morphine-dependent rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Qu, Hui; Zhou, You; Wang, Yi; Zhang, Duo; Yang, Xu; Yang, ChunXiao; Xu, ManYing

    2015-01-12

    Opioids are effective analgesics used clinically for both acute and chronic pain management. However, repeated opioid treatment can induce serious side effects such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, respiratory depression, euphoria, dependence, hyperalgesia, and tolerance. The mechanism of noxious information transmission in the central nervous system following dependence is still not clear. Norepinephrine (NE), an important neurotransmitter, participates both in the process of opioid dependence and also pain modulation in the central nervous system. In this study, we examined the role of NE on the evoked discharges of pain-excitation neurons (PENs) and pain-inhibition neurons (PINs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats, following the development of morphine dependence. Our results revealed that NE inhibited the evoked discharges of PENs and attenuated the inhibition of PINs, while phentolamine enhanced the evoked discharges of PENs and facilitated the inhibition of PINs. These results indicate that the inhibitory action of NE on pain modulation acts via alpha adrenoceptors in the NAc of morphine-dependent rats.

  9. beta-Alanine elevates dopamine levels in the rat nucleus accumbens: antagonism by strychnine.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mia; Clarke, Rhona B C; Chau, PeiPei; Adermark, Louise; Söderpalm, Bo

    2010-04-01

    Glycine receptors (GlyRs) in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) have recently been suggested to be involved in the reinforcing and dopamine-elevating properties of ethanol via a neuronal circuitry involving the VTA. Apart from ethanol, both glycine and taurine have the ability to modulate dopamine output via GlyRs in the same brain region. In the present study, we wanted to explore whether yet another endogenous ligand for the GlyR, beta-alanine, had similar effects. To this end, we monitored dopamine in the nAc by means of in vivo microdialysis and found that local perfusion of beta-alanine increased dopamine output. In line with previous observations investigating ethanol, glycine and taurine, the competitive GlyR antagonist strychnine completely blocked the dopamine elevation. The present results suggest that beta-alanine has the ability to modulate dopamine levels in the nAc via strychnine-sensitive GlyRs, and are consistent with previous studies suggesting the importance of this receptor for modulating dopamine output.

  10. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Electrical and Optogenetic Deep Brain Stimulation at the Rat Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Albaugh, Daniel L.; Salzwedel, Andrew; Van Den Berge, Nathalie; Gao, Wei; Stuber, Garret D.; Shih, Yen-Yu Ian

    2016-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens (NAc-DBS) is an emerging therapy for diverse, refractory neuropsychiatric diseases. Although DBS therapy is broadly hypothesized to work through large-scale neural modulation, little is known regarding the neural circuits and networks affected by NAc-DBS. Using a healthy, sedated rat model of NAc-DBS, we employed both evoked- and functional connectivity (fc) MRI to examine the functional circuit and network changes achieved by electrical NAc stimulation. Optogenetic-fMRI experiments were also undertaken to evaluate the circuit modulation profile achieved by selective stimulation of NAc neurons. NAc-DBS directly modulated neural activity within prefrontal cortex and a large number of subcortical limbic areas (e.g., amygdala, lateral hypothalamus), and influenced functional connectivity among sensorimotor, executive, and limbic networks. The pattern and extent of circuit modulation measured by evoked-fMRI was relatively insensitive to DBS frequency. Optogenetic stimulation of NAc cell bodies induced a positive fMRI signal in the NAc, but no other detectable downstream responses, indicating that therapeutic NAc-DBS might exert its effect through antidromic stimulation. Our study provides a comprehensive mapping of circuit and network-level neuromodulation by NAc-DBS, which should facilitate our developing understanding of its therapeutic mechanisms of action. PMID:27601003

  11. Elevated Excitatory Input to the Nucleus Accumbens in Schizophrenia: A Postmortem Ultrastructural Study

    PubMed Central

    McCollum, Lesley A.; Walker, Courtney K.; Roche, Joy K.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.

    2015-01-01

    The cause of schizophrenia (SZ) is unknown and no single region of the brain can be pinpointed as an area of primary pathology. Rather, SZ results from dysfunction of multiple neurotransmitter systems and miswiring between brain regions. It is necessary to elucidate how communication between regions is disrupted to advance our understanding of SZ pathology. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a prime region of interest, where inputs from numerous brain areas altered in SZ are integrated. Aberrant signaling in the NAcc is hypothesized to cause symptoms of SZ, but it is unknown if these abnormalities are actually present. Electron microscopy was used to study the morphology of synaptic connections in SZ. The NAcc core and shell of 6 SZ subjects and 8 matched controls were compared in this pilot study. SZ subjects had a 19% increase in the density of asymmetric axospinous synapses (characteristic of excitatory inputs) in the core, but not the shell. Both groups had similar densities of symmetric synapses (characteristic of inhibitory inputs). The postsynaptic densities of asymmetric synapses had 22% smaller areas in the core, but not the shell. These results indicate that the core receives increased excitatory input in SZ, potentially leading to dysfunctional dopamine neurotransmission and cortico-striatal-thalamic stimulus processing. The reduced postsynaptic density size of asymmetric synapses suggests impaired signaling at these synapses. These findings enhance our understanding of the role the NAcc might play in SZ and the interaction of glutamatergic and dopaminergic abnormalities in SZ. PMID:25817135

  12. CHRONIC INTERMITTENT ETHANOL EXPOSURE REDUCES PRESYNAPTIC DOPAMINE NEUROTRANSMISSION IN THE MOUSE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS

    PubMed Central

    Karkhanis, Anushree N.; Rose, Jamie H.; Huggins, Kimberly N.; Konstantopoulos, Joanne K.; Jones, Sara R.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Increasing evidence suggests that chronic ethanol exposure decreases dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), contributing to a hypodopaminergic state during withdrawal. However, few studies have investigated adaptations in presynaptic DA terminals after chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure. In monkeys and rats, chronic ethanol exposure paradigms have been shown to increase DA uptake and D2 autoreceptor sensitivity. METHODS The current study examined the effects of ethanol on DA terminals in CIE exposed mice during two time-points after the cessation of CIE exposure. DA release and uptake were measured using fast scan cyclic voltammetry in NAc core slices from C57BL/6J mice, 0 and 72 hours following three weekly cycles (4 days of 16 hrs ethanol vapor/8 hrs room air/day + 3 days withdrawal) of CIE vapor exposure. RESULTS Current results showed that DA release was reduced, uptake rates were increased, and inhibitory D2-type autoreceptor activity was augmented following CIE exposure in mice. CONCLUSIONS Overall, these CIE-induced adaptations in the accumbal DA system reduce DA signaling and therefore reveal several potential mechanisms contributing to a functional hypodopaminergic state during alcohol withdrawal. PMID:25765483

  13. Delay of gratification in childhood linked to cortical interactions with the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Luerssen, Anna; Gyurak, Anett; Ayduk, Ozlem; Wendelken, Carter; Bunge, Silvia A

    2015-12-01

    Delay of gratification (DG) is the ability to forego immediate temptations in the service of obtaining larger, delayed rewards. An extensive body of behavioral research has revealed that DG ability in childhood is associated with a host of important outcomes throughout development, and that attentional focus away from temptations underlies this ability. In this study, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study to identify the neural underpinnings of individual differences in DG among children. We observed a relationship between behavior during the classic DG task, a well-studied and ecologically valid measure, and functional connectivity during a modified version of this task in the scanner. Specifically, greater attentional focus away from temptations was associated with stronger functional coupling between the nucleus accumbens, a brain region that supports approach behavior, and several regions within prefrontal and parietal cortex that support self-control. These results shed light on the network interactions that contribute to DG and that account for individual differences in this capacity.

  14. Biological substrates of reward and aversion: a nucleus accumbens activity hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Carlezon, William A; Thomas, Mark J

    2009-01-01

    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 the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and natural rewards such as food and sexual behavior. However, accumulating pharmacological, molecular, and electrophysiological evidence has raised the possibility that it also plays an important (and sometimes underappreciated) role in mediating aversive states. Here we review evidence that rewarding and aversive states are encoded in the activity of NAc medium spiny GABAergic neurons, which account for the vast majority of the neurons in this region. While admittedly simple, this working hypothesis is testable using combinations of available and emerging technologies, including electrophysiology, genetic engineering, and functional brain imaging. A deeper understanding of the basic neurobiology of mood states will facilitate the development of well-tolerated medications that treat and prevent addiction and other conditions (e.g., mood disorders) associated with dysregulation of brain motivation systems.

  15. Exposure to Cocaine Regulates Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Otaka, Mami; Ishikawa, Masago; Lee, Brian R.; Liu, Lei; Neumann, Peter A.; Cui, Ranji; Huang, Yanhua; Schlüter, Oliver M.; Dong, Yan

    2013-01-01

    Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) within the nucleus accumbens shell (NAc) function to gate and prioritize emotional/motivational arousals for behavioral output. The neuronal output NAc MSNs is mainly determined by the integration of membrane excitability and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic inputs. Whereas cocaine-induced alterations at excitatory synapses and membrane excitability have been extensively examined, the overall functional output of NAc MSNs following cocaine exposure still poorly defined because little is known about whether inhibitory synaptic input to these neurons is affected by cocaine. Here, our results demonstrate multidimensional alterations at inhibitory synapses in NAc neurons following cocaine self-administration in rats. Specifically, the amplitude of miniature (m) inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) was decreased after 21-d withdrawal from 5-d cocaine self-administration. Upon re-exposure to cocaine after 21-day withdrawal, whereas the amplitude of mIPSCs remained down-regulated, the frequency became significantly higher. Furthermore, the reversal potential of IPSCs, which was not significantly altered during withdrawal, became more hyperpolarized upon cocaine re-exposure. Moreover, the relative weight of excitatory and inhibitory inputs to NAc MSNs was significantly decreased after 1-d cocaine withdrawal, increased after 21-d withdrawal, and returned to the basal level upon cocaine re-exposure after 21-d withdrawal. These results, taken together with previous results showing cocaine-induced adaptations at excitatory synapses and intrinsic membrane excitability of NAc MSNs, may provide a relatively thorough picture of the functional state of NAc MSNs following cocaine exposure. PMID:23595733

  16. Acetylcholine enhancement in the nucleus accumbens prevents addictive behaviors of cocaine and morphine.

    PubMed

    Hikida, Takatoshi; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Pastan, Ira; Nakanishi, Shigetada

    2003-05-13

    Drug addiction poses serious social, medical, and economic problems, but effective treatments for drug addiction are still limited. Cocaine and morphine elevate dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and the overwhelming actions of dopamine are implicated in reinforcement and addiction of abusive drugs. In our previous studies, we reported the regulatory role of acetylcholine (ACh) in the NAc function by selectively ablating the NAc cholinergic neurons with use of immunotoxin-mediated cell targeting. These studies indicated that ACh and dopamine acted convergently but oppositely on the NAc circuit and that cholinergic cell ablation enhanced long-lasting behavioral changes of cocaine addiction. In this investigation, we showed that immunotoxin-mediated ablation of the NAc cholinergic neurons enhanced not only the sensitivity to morphine in conditioned place preference but also negative reinforcement of morphine withdrawal in conditioned place aversion. Remarkably, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors that act on the brain AChE suppressed both cocaine- and morphine-induced conditioned place preference and blocked the induction and persistence of cocaine-evoked hyperlocomotion. Importantly, this inhibition was abolished by ablation of the NAc cholinergic neurons. These results demonstrate that centrally active AChE inhibitors prevent long-lasting behavioral abnormalities associated with cocaine and morphine addictions by potentiating the actions of ACh released from the NAc cholinergic neurons. Centrally active AChE inhibitors could thus be approached as novel and potential therapeutic agents for drug addiction.

  17. Acute and prolonged effects of clocinnamox and methoclocinnamox on nucleus accumbens dopamine overflow.

    PubMed

    Zernig, G; Fibiger, H C

    1998-01-01

    The mu opioid antagonist clocinnamox (CCAM) insurmountably inhibits opioid self-administration. In contrast, CCAM's prodrug, methoclocinnamox (MCCAM), acts as a weak partial agonist in this paradigm when given acutely and inhibits opioid self-administration for up to 5 days. In vivo microdialysis was employed to determine if these effects are paralleled in basal and opioid-stimulated dopamine (DA) overflow in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAC). When given acutely, CCAM (10 mg/kg s.c.) was essentially without effect. CCAM also markedly attenuated the overflow of DA induced by heroin (0.5 mg/kg s.c.; 200% of DA baseline) 24 h later. In contrast, MCCAM (10 mg/kg s.c.) acutely increased NAC DA overflow to 200-245% baseline within 30 min. NAC DA remained at this elevated level for the whole 3-h period of the experiment. Even after 24 h, NAC DA overflow of MCCAM-pretreated animals remained elevated at 165% of VEH-treated animals. Administration of heroin did not result in any further elevation of NAC DA release under these conditions. Thus, the suggested therapeutic profile of MCCAM, i.e., an acute partial agonistic reinforcing effect followed by antagonism of the reinforcing effects of subsequently abused opioids, was confirmed in NAC DA overflow, a neurochemical correlate of the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse. The most parsimonious explanation for MCCAM's effect on NAC DA overflow is that it acted as an essentially irreversible partial agonist.

  18. Selecting danger signals: dissociable roles of nucleus accumbens shell and core glutamate in predictive fear learning.

    PubMed

    Li, Susan S Y; McNally, Gavan P

    2015-06-01

    Conditioned stimuli (CSs) vary in their reliability as predictors of danger. Animals must therefore select among CSs those that are appropriate to enter into an association with the aversive unconditioned stimulus (US). The actions of prediction error instruct this stimulus selection so that when prediction error is large, attention to the CS is maintained and learning occurs but when prediction is small attention to the CS is withdrawn and learning is prevented. Here we studied the role of glutamate acting at rat nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) and core (AcbC) α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors in this selection of danger signals. Using associative blocking and unblocking designs in rats, we show that antagonizing AcbSh AMPA receptors via infusions of 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulphamoyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline-2,3-dione (NBQX; 0.5 μg) prevents the unblocking of fear learning, whereas antagonizing AcbC AMPA receptors via infusions of NBQX (0.5 μg) prevents both the blocking and unblocking of fear learning. These results identify dissociable but complementary roles for AcbSh and AcbC glutamate acting at AMPA receptors in selecting danger signals: AcbSh AMPA receptors upregulate attention and learning to CSs that signal surprising USs, whereas AcbC AMPA receptors encode the predicted outcome of each trial.

  19. Lesions of the nucleus accumbens disrupt reinforcement omission effects in rats.

    PubMed

    Judice-Daher, Danielle M; Bueno, José Lino O

    2013-09-01

    The reinforcement omission effects (ROEs) have been attributed to both motivational and attentional consequences of the surprising reinforcement omission. Some studies have been showed amygdala is part of a circuit involved in the ROEs modulation. The view that amygdala lesions interfere with the ROEs is supported by evidence involving amygdala in responses correlated with motivational processes. These processes depend on the operation of separate amygdala areas and their connections with other brain systems. It has been suggested the interaction between the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens (NAC) is important to the modulation of motivational processes. Recent neuroimaging studies in human revealed reward delivery enhances activity of subcortical structures (NAC and amygdala), whereas reward omission reduces the activity in these same structures. The present study aimed to clarify whether the mechanisms related to ROEs depend on NAC. Prior to acquisition training, rats received bilateral excitotoxic lesions of NAC (NAC group) or sham lesions (Sham group). Following postoperative recovery, the rats were trained on a fixed-interval with limited hold signaled schedule of reinforcement. After acquisition of stable performance, the training was changed from 100% to 50% schedule of reinforcement. Both NAC and Sham groups presented the ROEs. However, after nonreinforcement, the response rates of the NAC group were lower than those registered in the Sham group. The performance of the NAC group decreased in the period following nonreinforcement when compared to the period preceding reinforcement omission. These findings suggest the NAC is part of the neural substrate involved in the ROEs modulation.

  20. Roles of nucleus accumbens and basolateral amygdala in autoshaped lever pressing.

    PubMed

    Chang, Stephen E; Wheeler, Daniel S; Holland, Peter C

    2012-05-01

    Initially-neutral cues paired with rewards are thought to acquire motivational significance, as if the incentive motivational value of the reward is transferred to the cue. Such cues may serve as secondary reinforcers to establish new learning, modulate the performance of instrumental action (Pavlovian-instrumental transfer, PIT), and be the targets of approach and other cue-directed behaviors. Here we examined the effects of lesions of the ventral striatal nucleus accumbens (ACb) and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) on the acquisition of discriminative autoshaped lever-pressing in rats. Insertion of one lever into the experimental chamber was reinforced by sucrose delivery, but insertion of another lever was not reinforced. Although sucrose was delivered independently of the rats' behavior, sham-lesioned rats rapidly came to press the reinforced but not the nonreinforced lever. Bilateral ACb lesions impaired the initial acquisition of sign-tracking but not its terminal levels. In contrast, BLA lesions produced substantial deficits in terminal levels of sign-tracking. Furthermore, whereas ACb lesions primarily affected the probability of lever press responses, BLA lesions mostly affected the rate of responding once it occurred. Finally, disconnection lesions that disrupted communication between ACb and BLA produced both sets of deficits. We suggest that ACb is important for initial acquisition of consummatory-like responses that incorporate hedonic aspects of the reward, while BLA serves to enhance such incentive salience once it is acquired.

  1. Intrinsic connectivity between the hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and ventral tegmental area in humans.

    PubMed

    Kahn, I; Shohamy, D

    2013-03-01

    Recent studies suggest that memory formation in the hippocampus is modulated by the motivational significance of events, allowing past experience to adaptively guide behavior. The effects of motivation on memory are thought to depend on interactions between the hippocampus, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Indeed, animal studies reveal anatomical pathways for circuit-level interaction between these regions. However, a homologue circuit connectivity in humans remains to be shown. We characterized this circuitry in humans by exploiting spontaneous low-frequency modulations in the fMRI signal (termed resting-state functional connectivity), which are thought to reflect functionally related regions and their organization into functional networks in the brain. We examined connectivity in this network across two datasets (hi-resolution, n = 100; standard resolution, n = 894). Results reveal convergent connectivity between the hippocampus, and both the NAcc and the VTA centered on ventral regions in the body of the hippocampus. Additionally, we found individual differences in the strength of connectivity within this network. Together, these results provide a novel task-independent characterization of circuitry underlying interactions between the hippocampus, NAcc, and VTA and provide a framework with which to understand how connectivity might reflect and constrain the effects of motivation on memory.

  2. Dopamine and opioid systems interact within the nucleus accumbens to maintain monogamous pair bonds

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Extinction and reinstatement of phasic dopamine signals in the nucleus accumbens core during Pavlovian conditioning.

    PubMed

    Sunsay, Ceyhun; Rebec, George V

    2014-10-01

    The prediction-error model of dopamine (DA) signaling has largely been confirmed with various appetitive Pavlovian conditioning procedures and has been supported in tests of Pavlovian extinction. Studies have repeatedly shown, however, that extinction does not erase the original memory of conditioning as the prediction-error model presumes, putting the model at odds with contemporary views that treat extinction as an episode of learning rather than unlearning of conditioning. Here, we combined fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) with appetitive Pavlovian conditioning to assess DA release directly during extinction and reinstatement. DA was monitored in the nucleus accumbens core, which plays a key role in reward processing. Following at least 4 daily sessions of 16 tone-food pairings, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was performed while rats received additional tone-food pairings followed by tone alone presentations (i.e., extinction). Acquisition memory was reinstated with noncontingent presentations of reward and then tested with cue presentation. Tone-food pairings produced transient (1- to 3-s) DA release in response to tone. During extinction, the amplitude of the DA response decreased significantly. Following presentation of 2 noncontingent food pellets, subsequent tone presentation reinstated the DA signal. Our results support the prediction-error model for appetitive Pavlovian extinction but not for reinstatement.

  4. Activin A is increased in the nucleus accumbens following a cocaine binge

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zi-Jun; Martin, Jennifer A.; Gancarz, Amy M.; Adank, Danielle N.; Sim, Fraser J.; Dietz, David M.

    2017-01-01

    Drug addiction is a long-lasting disease characterized by compulsive drug intake mediated in part by neuronal and biological adaptations in key brain areas, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc). While we previously demonstrated involvement of the activin 2a receptor in drug taking, the role of its ligand, activin A, in cocaine relapse is unknown. Activin A levels in the NAc were assessed via ELISA and immunohistochemistry (in neurons, astrocytes, and microglia) following a cocaine binge paradigm. Cocaine exposure significantly increased the levels of activin A in the NAc of animals that had self-administered cocaine prior to the 14-day withdrawal compared with levels in saline controls. This was accompanied by an increase in the proportion of IBA1+ microglia in the NAc that were immunopositive for activin A. In contrast, the proportions of NeuN+ neurons and GFAP+ astrocytes that were immunopositive for activin A remained unaltered. In conclusion, these data suggest that increased secretion of activin A, particularly from microglia, in the NAc represents a novel potential target for the treatment of cocaine relapse. PMID:28272550

  5. Morphine conditioned place preference depends on glucocorticoid receptors in both hippocampus and nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zhifang; Han, Huili; Wang, Meina; Xu, Lin; Hao, Wei; Cao, Jun

    2006-01-01

    Learned association between drugs of abuse and context is essential for the formation of drug conditioned place preference (CPP), which is believed to engage many brain regions including hippocampus and nucleus accumbens (NAc). The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we examined whether glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) of hippocampus and NAc influenced the formation of morphine CPP in Sprague Dawley rats. We found that systemic or intrahippocampal infused DMSO vehicle (DMSO 20% in saline) 30 min before daily morphine (10 mg/kg, s.c.) conditioning did not affect the formation of morphine CPP. In contrast, systemic administration (5 mg/kg, s.c.) or intrahippocampal infusion (0, 0.1, 1.0, 10, 20 microg per side) of the GR antagonist RU38486 blocked or impaired the formation of CPP in a dose-dependent manner, respectively. Furthermore, intra-NAc infused RU38486 (10 microg per side) but not DMSO vehicle also prevented the formation of CPP. These results demonstrate that both the GRs of hippocampus and NAc are necessary for the formation of morphine CPP, suggesting a neural network function of the GRs in forming the opiate-associated memory.

  6. Chronic cocaine administration induces opposite changes in dopamine receptors in the striatum and nucleus accumbens

    SciTech Connect

    Goeders, N.E.; Kuhar, M.J.

    1987-01-01

    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 (/sup 3/H)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.

  7. Inhibitory avoidance memory deficit induced by scopolamine: interaction with glutamatergic system in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Pakpour, Bahareh; Ahmadi, Shamseddin; Nayer-Nouri, Touraj; Oryan, Shahrbanoo; Zarrindast, Mohammad Reza

    2010-12-01

    The possible involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in amnesia induced by scopolamine was investigated. An inhibitory (passive) avoidance task was used for memory assessment in male Wistar rats. The results revealed that intra-NAc administration of a nonselective muscarinic acetylcholine antagonist, scopolamine (1 and 2 g/rat) impaired memory consolidation in the animals when tested 24 h later. Post-training intra-NAc administration of NMDA (0.005 and 0.01 g/rat) also impaired memory consolidation, whereas post-training intra-NAc administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801 (0.5, 1 and 1.5 g/rat) did not. Intra-NAc co-administration of an ineffective dose of NMDA with ineffective doses of scopolamine (0.25 and 0.5 g/rat) after training had no significant effect on memory consolidation, but intra-NAc injections of effective doses of NMDA (0.005 and 0.01 g/rat) prevented the amnesic effect of an effective dose of scopolamine (2 g/rat). In contrast, intra-NAc co-administration of MK-801 (0.5, 1 and 1.5 g/rat) along with an effective dose of scopolamine (2 g/rat) did not prevent the effect of the latter drug. It can be concluded that NMDA receptors in the NAc are involved in the modulation of memory consolidation that was affected by scopolamine.

  8. Activation of Dopamine Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Promotes Sucrose-Reinforced Cued Approach Behavior

    PubMed Central

    du Hoffmann, Johann; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Gamma-vinyl GABA inhibits methamphetamine, heroin, or ethanol-induced increases in nucleus accumbens dopamine.

    PubMed

    Gerasimov, M R; Ashby, C R; Gardner, E L; Mills, M J; Brodie, J D; Dewey, S L

    1999-10-01

    We examined the acute effect of the irreversible GABA-transaminase inhibitor, gamma-vinyl GABA (GVG, Sabril((R)), Vigabatrin((R))) on increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine (DA) following acute administration of methamphetamine, heroin, or ethanol. Methamphetamine (2.5 mg/kg) produced a dose-dependent increase (2, 700%) in NAc DA. GVG preadministration (300 or 600 mg/kg), however, inhibited this response by approximately 39 and 61%, respectively. The lower dose of methamphetamine (1.25 mg/kg), increased DA by 1, 700%. This response was inhibited to a similar extent (44%) regardless of the GVG dose preadministered (300 or 600 mg/kg). In addition, heroin-induced increases in NAc DA (0.5 mg/kg, 170%) were inhibited or completely abolished by GVG (150 or 300 mg/kg, 65 and 100%, respectively). Finally, at half the dose necessary for heroin, GVG (150 mg/kg) also completely abolished ethanol-induced increases in NAc DA following a 0.25 g/kg challenge dose (140%). Taken with our previous findings using nicotine or cocaine as the challenge drug, these results indicate that GVG attenuates increases in NAc DA by a mechanism common to many drugs of abuse. However, it appears unlikely that an acute dose of GVG can completely inhibit increases in NAc DA following challenges with a drug whose mechanism of action is mediated primarily through the DA reuptake site.

  10. Ventral hippocampal afferents to the nucleus accumbens regulate susceptibility to depression

    PubMed Central

    Bagot, Rosemary C.; Parise, Eric M.; Peña, Catherine J.; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Maze, Ian; Chaudhury, Dipesh; Persaud, Brianna; Cachope, Roger; Bolaños-Guzmán, Carlos A.; Cheer, Joseph; Deisseroth, Karl; Han, Ming-Hu; Nestler, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Enhanced glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a region critical for reward and motivation, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression; however, the afferent source of this increased glutamate tone is not known. The NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and basolateral amygdala (AMY). Here, we demonstrate that glutamatergic vHIP afferents to NAc regulate susceptibility to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS). We observe reduced activity in vHIP in mice resilient to CSDS. Furthermore, attenuation of vHIP-NAc transmission by optogenetic induction of long-term depression is pro-resilient, whereas acute enhancement of this input is pro-susceptible. This effect is specific to vHIP afferents to the NAc, as optogenetic stimulation of either mPFC or AMY afferents to the NAc is pro-resilient. These data indicate that vHIP afferents to NAc uniquely regulate susceptibility to CSDS, highlighting an important, novel circuit-specific mechanism in depression. PMID:25952660

  11. Molecular architecture of the cannabinoid signaling system in the core of the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Mátyás, Ferenc; Watanabe, Masahiko; Mackie, Ken; Katona, István; Freund, Tamás F

    2007-03-30

    Several abused drugs are known to alter glutamatergic signaling in reward pathways of the brain, and these plastic changes may contribute to the establishment of addiction-related behaviour. Glutamatergic synapses of the prefrontal cortical projections to the nucleus accumbens (nAcb)--which are suggested to be under endocannabinoid (eCB) control - play a central role in the addiction process. The most abundant eCB in the brain is 2-arachi-donoyl-glycerol (2-AG). It is synthesized by diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DGL-alpha), and exerts its action via type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1). However, the precise localization of DGL-alpha and CB1 - i.e. the sites of synthesis and action of 2AG - is still unknown. At the light microscopic level, immunocytochemistry revealed a granular pattern of DGL-alpha distribution in the core of the nAcb. Electron microscopic analysis confirmed that these granules corresponded to the heads of dendritic spines. On the other hand, presynaptic axon terminals forming excitatory synapses on these spineheads were found to express CB1 receptors. Our results demonstrate that the molecular constituents for a retrograde endocannabinoid control of glutamatergic transmission are available in the core of the nAcb, and their relative subcellular location is consistent with a role of 2-AG in addiction-related plasticity of cortical excitatory synapses in this reward area.

  12. Resting state functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens in youth with a family history of alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Cservenka, Anita; Casimo, Kaitlyn; Fair, Damien A; Nagel, Bonnie J

    2014-03-30

    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. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) was used to examine the intrinsic connectivity of the NAcc in 47 FHP and 50 family history negative (FHN) youth, ages 10-16 years old. FHP and FHN adolescents showed significant group differences in resting state synchrony between the left NAcc and bilateral inferior frontal gyri and the left postcentral gyrus (PG). Additionally, FHP youth differed from FHN youth in right NAcc functional connectivity with the left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), left superior temporal gyrus, right cerebellum, left PG, and right occipital cortex. These results indicate that FHP youth have less segregation between the NAcc and executive functioning brain regions, and less integration with reward-related brain areas, such as the OFC. The findings of the current study highlight that premorbid atypical connectivity of appetitive systems, in the absence of heavy alcohol use, may be a risk marker in FHP adolescents.

  13. Individual Variations in Nucleus Accumbens Responses Associated with Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms.

    PubMed

    Misaki, Masaya; Suzuki, Hideo; Savitz, Jonathan; Drevets, Wayne C; Bodurka, Jerzy

    2016-02-16

    Abnormal reward-related responses in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) have been reported for major depressive disorder (MDD) patients. However, variability exists in the reported results, which could be due to heterogeneity in neuropathology of depression. To parse the heterogeneity of MDD we investigated variation of NAcc responses to gain and loss anticipations using fMRI. We found NAcc responses to monetary gain and loss were significantly variable across subjects in both MDD and healthy control (HC) groups. The variations were seen as a hyperactive response subtype that showed elevated activation to the anticipation of both gain and loss, an intermediate response with greater activation to gain than loss, and a suppressed-activity with reduced activation to both gain and loss compared to a non-monetary condition. While these response variability were seen in both MDD and HC subjects, specific symptoms were significantly associated with the right NAcc variation in MDD. Both the hyper- and suppressed-activity subtypes of MDD patients had severe suicidal ideation and anhedonia symptoms. The intermediate subjects had less severity in these symptoms. These results suggest that differing propensities in reward responsiveness in the NAcc may affect the development of specific symptoms in MDD.

  14. Elevated Excitatory Input to the Nucleus Accumbens in Schizophrenia: A Postmortem Ultrastructural Study.

    PubMed

    McCollum, Lesley A; Walker, Courtney K; Roche, Joy K; Roberts, Rosalinda C

    2015-09-01

    The cause of schizophrenia (SZ) is unknown and no single region of the brain can be pinpointed as an area of primary pathology. Rather, SZ results from dysfunction of multiple neurotransmitter systems and miswiring between brain regions. It is necessary to elucidate how communication between regions is disrupted to advance our understanding of SZ pathology. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a prime region of interest, where inputs from numerous brain areas altered in SZ are integrated. Aberrant signaling in the NAcc is hypothesized to cause symptoms of SZ, but it is unknown if these abnormalities are actually present. Electron microscopy was used to study the morphology of synaptic connections in SZ. The NAcc core and shell of 6 SZ subjects and 8 matched controls were compared in this pilot study. SZ subjects had a 19% increase in the density of asymmetric axospinous synapses (characteristic of excitatory inputs) in the core, but not the shell. Both groups had similar densities of symmetric synapses (characteristic of inhibitory inputs). The postsynaptic densities of asymmetric synapses had 22% smaller areas in the core, but not the shell. These results indicate that the core receives increased excitatory input in SZ, potentially leading to dysfunctional dopamine neurotransmission and cortico-striatal-thalamic stimulus processing. The reduced postsynaptic density size of asymmetric synapses suggests impaired signaling at these synapses. These findings enhance our understanding of the role the NAcc might play in SZ and the interaction of glutamatergic and dopaminergic abnormalities in SZ.

  15. VTA glutamatergic inputs to nucleus accumbens drive aversion by acting on GABAergic interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Hui-Ling; Barker, David J.; Miranda-Barrientos, Jorge; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is best known for its dopamine neurons, some of which project to nucleus accumbens (nAcc). However, the VTA also has glutamatergic neurons that project to nAcc. The function of the mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic pathway remains unknown. Here, we report that nAcc photoactivation of mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic fibers promotes aversion. Although we found that these mesoaccumbens-glutamate-fibers lack GABA, the aversion evoked by their photoactivation depends on glutamate and GABA receptor signaling, and not on dopamine receptor signaling. We found that mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic-fibers establish multiple asymmetric synapses on single parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons, and that nAcc photoactivation of these fibers drives AMPA-mediated cellular firing of parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons. These parvalbumin-GABAergic-interneurons, in turn, inhibit nAcc medium spiny output neurons, as such, controlling inhibitory neurotransmission within nAcc. The mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic pathway is the first glutamatergic input to nAcc shown to mediate aversion, instead of reward, and the first pathway shown to establish excitatory synapses on nAcc parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons. PMID:27019014

  16. Differential Dopamine Regulation of Ca2+ Signaling and Its Timing Dependence in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Swapna, Immani; Bondy, Brian; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Dopamine action in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is thought to drive appetitive behavior and Pavlovian reward learning. However, it remains controversial how dopamine achieves these behavioral effects by regulating medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs) of the NAc, especially on a behaviorally relevant timescale. Metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-induced Ca2+ signaling dependent on the Ca2+- releasing messenger inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) plays a critical role in controlling neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity. Here, we show that transient dopamine application facilitates mGluR/IP3-induced Ca2+ signals within a time window of ~2–10 s in a subpopulation of MSNs in the NAc core. Dopamine facilitation of IP3-induced Ca2+ signaling is mediated by D1 dopamine receptors. In dopamine-insensitive MSNs, activation of A2A adenosine receptors causes enhancement of IP3-evoked Ca2+ signals, which is reversed by D2 dopamine receptor activation. These results show that dopamine differentially regulates Ca2+ signaling on the order of seconds in two distinct MSN subpopulations. PMID:27068462

  17. D1 and D2 specific dopamine antagonist modulate the caudate nucleus neuronal responses to chronic methylphenidate exposure.

    PubMed

    Venkataraman, Sidish; Claussen, Catherine; Dafny, Nachum

    2017-02-01

    The psychostimulant, methylphenidate (MPD), is the first line treatment as a pharmacotherapy to treat behavioral disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MPD is commonly misused in non-ADHD (normal) youth and young adults both as a recreational drug and for cognitive enhancing effects to improve their grades. MPD is known to act on the reward circuit; including the caudate nucleus (CN). The CN is comprised of medium spiny neurons containing largely dopamine (DA) D1 and D2 receptors. It has been widely shown that the DA system plays an important role in the response to MPD exposure. We investigated the role of both D1 and D2 DA receptors in the CN response to chronic MPD administration using specific D1 and D2 DA antagonist. Four groups of young adult, male SD rats were used: a saline (control) and three MPD dose groups (0.6, 2.5, and 10.0 mg/kg). The experiment lasted 11 consecutive days. Each MPD dose group was randomly divided into two subgroups to receive either a 0.4 mg/kg SCH-23390 selective D1 DA antagonist or a 0.3 mg/kg raclopride selective D2 DA antagonist prior to their final (repetitive) MPD rechallenge administration. It was observed that selective D1 DA antagonist (SCH-23390) given 30 min prior to the last MPD exposure at ED11 partially reduced or prevented the effect induced by MPD exposure in CN neuronal firing rates across all MPD doses. Selective D2 DA antagonist (raclopride) resulted in less obvious trends; some CN neuronal firing rates exhibited a slight increase in all MPD doses.

  18. Excessive disgust caused by brain lesions or temporary inactivations: Mapping hotspots of nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Chao-Yi; Berridge, Kent C.

    2014-01-01

    Disgust is a prototypical type of negative affect. In animal models of excessive disgust, only a few brain sites are known in which localized dysfunction (lesions or neural inactivations) can induce intense ‘disgust reactions’ (e.g., gapes) to a normally pleasant sensation such as sweetness. Here we aimed to map forebrain candidates more precisely to identify where either local neuronal damage (excitotoxin lesions) or local pharmacological inactivation (muscimol-baclofen microinjections) caused rats to emit excessive sensory disgust reactions to sucrose. Our study compared subregions of nucleus accumbens shell, ventral pallidum, lateral hypothalamus and adjacent extended amygdala. Results indicated the posterior half of ventral pallidum to be the only forebrain site where intense sensory disgust gapes to sucrose were induced by both lesions and temporary inactivations (this site was previously identified as a hedonic hotspot for enhancements of sweetness ‘liking’). By comparison, for the nucleus accumbens, temporary GABA inactivations in the caudal half of the medial shell also generated sensory disgust but lesions never did at any site. Further, even inactivations failed to induce disgust in the rostral half of accumbens shell (which also contains a hedonic hotspot). In other structures, neither lesions nor inactivations induced disgust as long as the posterior ventral pallidum remained spared. We conclude that the posterior ventral pallidum is an especially crucial hotspot for producing excessive sensory disgust by local pharmacological/lesion dysfunction. By comparison, the nucleus accumbens appears to segregate sites for pharmacological disgust induction and hedonic enhancement into separate posterior versus rostral halves of medial shell. PMID:25229197

  19. Three-dimensional organization of dendrites and local axon collaterals of shell and core medium-sized spiny projection neurons of the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    van Dongen, Yvette C; Mailly, Philippe; Thierry, Anne-Marie; Groenewegen, Henk J; Deniau, Jean-Michel

    2008-09-01

    Medium-sized spiny projection neurons (MSN) in the head of the primate caudate nucleus are thought to have preferred dendritic orientations that tend to parallel the orientations of the striosomes. Moreover, recurrent axon collaterals of MSN in the rat dorsal striatum have been categorized into two types, i.e., restricted and widespread. The nucleus accumbens (Acb) has a highly complex compartmental organization, and the spatial organization of dendritic and axonal arbors of MSN has not yet been systematically studied. In this study, using single-cell juxtacellular labeling with neurobiotin as well as anterograde neuroanatomical tracing with biotinylated dextran amine, we investigated the three-dimensional (3D) organization of dendrites and axons of MSN of the rat Acb in relation to subregional (shell-core) and compartmental (patch-matrix) boundaries. Our results show that dendritic arbors of MSN in both the Acb shell and core subregions are preferentially oriented, i.e., they are flattened in at least one of the 3D-planes. The preferred orientations are influenced by shell-core and patch-matrix boundaries, suggesting parallel and independent processing of information. Dendritic orientations of MSN of the Acb core are more heterogeneous than those of the shell and the dorsal striatum, suggesting a more complex distribution of striatal inputs within the core. Although dendrites respect the shell-core and patch-matrix boundaries, recurrent axon collaterals may cross these boundaries. Finally, different degrees of overlap between dendritic and axonal arborizations of individual MSN were identified, suggesting various possibilities of lateral inhibitory interactions within and between, functionally distinct territories of the Acb.

  20. Nucleus accumbens neuronal activity correlates to the animal's behavioral response to acute and chronic methylphenidate.

    PubMed

    Claussen, Catherine M; Chong, Samuel L; Dafny, Nachum

    2014-04-22

    Acute and chronic methylphenidate (MPD) exposure was recorded simultaneously for the rat's locomotor activity and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) neuronal activity. The evaluation of the neuronal events was based on the animal's behavior response to chronic MPD administration: 1) Animals exhibiting behavioral sensitization, 2) Animals exhibiting behavioral tolerance. The experiment lasted for 10days with four groups of animals; saline, 0.6, 2.5, and 10.0mg/kg MPD. For the main behavioral findings, about half of the animals exhibited behavioral sensitization or behavioral tolerance to 0.6, 2.5, and/or 10mg/kg MPD respectively. Three hundred and forty one NAc neuronal units were evaluated. Approximately 80% of NAc units responded to 0.6, 2.5, and 10.0mg/kg MPD. When the neuronal activity was analyzed based on the animals' behavioral response to chronic MPD exposure, significant differences were seen between the neuronal population responses recorded from animals that expressed behavioral sensitization when compared to the NAc neuronal responses recorded from animals exhibiting behavioral tolerance. Three types of neurophysiological sensitization and neurophysiological tolerance can be recognized following chronic MPD administration to the neuronal populations. Collectively, these findings show that the same dose of chronic MPD can elicit either behavioral tolerance or behavioral sensitization. Differential statistical analyses were used to verify our hypothesis that the neuronal activity recorded from animals exhibiting behavioral sensitization will respond differently to MPD compared to those animals exhibiting behavioral tolerance, thus, suggesting that it is essential to record the animal's behavior concomitantly with neuronal recordings.

  1. Gene expression changes in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-preferring rats following chronic ethanol consumption

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Richard L.; Kimpel, Mark W.; McClintick, Jeanette N.; Strother, Wendy N.; Carr, Lucinda G.; Liang, Tiebing; Rodd, Zachary A.; Mayfield, R. Dayne; Edenberg, Howard J.; McBride, William J.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of binge-like alcohol drinking on gene expression changes in the nucleus accumbens (ACB) of alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Adult male P rats were given ethanol under multiple scheduled access (MSA; three 1-hr dark-cycle sessions/day) conditions for 8 weeks. For comparison purposes, a second ethanol drinking group was given continuous/daily alcohol access (CA; 24 hr/day). A third group was ethanol-naïve (W group). Average ethanol intakes for the CA and MSA groups were approximately 9.5 and 6.5 g/kg/day, respectively. Fifteen hr after the last drinking episode, rats were euthanized, the brains extracted, and the ACB dissected. RNA was extracted and purified for microarray analysis. The only significant differences were between the CA and W groups (p < 0.01; Storey false discovery rate = 0.15); there were 374 differences in named genes between these 2 groups. There were 20 significant Gene Ontology (GO) categories, which included negative regulation of protein kinase activity, anti-apoptosis, and regulation of G-protein-coupled receptor signaling. Ingenuity® analysis indicated a network of transcription factors, involving oncogenes (Fos, Jun, Junb had higher expression in the ACB of the CA group), suggesting increased neuronal activity. There were 43 genes located within rat QTLs for alcohol consumption and preference; 4 of these genes (Tgfa, Hspa5, Mtus1 and Creb3l2) are involved in anti-apoptosis and increased transcription, suggesting that they may be contributing to cellular protection and maintaining high alcohol intakes. Overall, these findings suggest that chronic CA drinking results in genomic changes that can be observed during the early acute phase of ethanol withdrawal. Conversely, chronic MSA drinking, with its associated protracted withdrawal periods, results in genomic changes that may be masked by tight regulation of these genes following repeated experiences of ethanol withdrawal. PMID:19666046

  2. Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer effects in the nucleus accumbens relate to relapse in alcohol dependence.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  3. Family History Density of Alcoholism Relates to Left Nucleus Accumbens Volume in Adolescent Girls

    PubMed Central

    Cservenka, Anita; Gillespie, Alicia J; Michael, Paul G; Nagel, Bonnie J

    2015-01-01

    Objective: A family history of alcoholism is a significant risk factor for the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Because common structural abnormalities are present in reward and affective brain regions in alcoholics and those with familial alcoholism, the current study examined the relationship between familial loading of AUDs and volumes of the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) in largely alcohol-naive adolescents, ages 12–16 years (N = 140). Method: The amygdala and NAcc were delineated on each participant’s T1-weighted anatomical scan, using FMRIB Software Library’s FMRIB Integrated Registration & Segmentation Tool, and visually inspected for accuracy and volume outliers. In the 140 participants with accurate segmentation (75 male/65 female), subcortical volumes were represented as a ratio to intracranial volume (ICV). A family history density (FHD) score was calculated for each adolescent based on the presence of AUDs in first- and second-degree relatives (range: 0.03–1.50; higher scores represent a greater prevalence of familial AUDs). Multiple regressions, with age and sex controlled for, examined the association between FHD and left and right amygdala and NAcc volume/ICV. Results: There was a significant positive relationship between FHD and left NAcc volume/ICV (ΔR2 = .04, p = .02). Post hoc regressions indicated that this effect was only significant in females (ΔR2 = .11, p = .006). Conclusions: This finding suggests that the degree of familial alcoholism, genetic or otherwise, is associated with alterations in reward-related brain structure. Further work will be necessary to examine whether FHD is related to future alcohol-related problems and reward-related behaviors. PMID:25486393

  4. Locomotor conditioning by amphetamine requires cyclin-dependent kinase 5 signaling in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Singer, Bryan F; Neugebauer, Nichole M; Forneris, Justin; Rodvelt, Kelli R; Li, Dongdong; Bubula, Nancy; Vezina, Paul

    2014-10-01

    Intermittent systemic exposure to psychostimulants leads to several forms of long-lasting behavioral plasticity including nonassociative sensitization and associative conditioning. In the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), the protein serine/threonine kinase cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and its phosphorylation target, the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor kalirin-7 (Kal7), may contribute to the neuroadaptations underlying the formation of conditioned associations. Pharmacological inhibition of Cdk5 in the NAcc prevents the increases in dendritic spine density normally observed in this site following repeated cocaine. Mice lacking the Kal7 gene display similar effects. As increases in spine density may relate to the formation of associative memories and both Cdk5 and Kal7 regulate the generation of spines following repeated drug exposure, we hypothesized that either inhibiting Cdk5 or preventing its phosphorylation of Kal7 in the NAcc may prevent the induction of drug conditioning. In the present experiments, blockade in rats of NAcc Cdk5 activity with roscovitine (40 nmol/0.5 μl/side) prior to each of 4 injections of amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg; i.p.) prevented the accrual of contextual locomotor conditioning but spared the induction of locomotor sensitization as revealed on tests conducted one week later. Similarly, transient viral expression in the NAcc exclusively during amphetamine exposure of a threonine-alanine mutant form of Kal7 [mKal7(T1590A)] that is not phosphorylated by Cdk5 also prevented the accrual of contextual conditioning and spared the induction of sensitization. These results indicate that signaling via Cdk5 and Kal7 in the NAcc is necessary for the formation of context-drug associations, potentially through the modulation of dendritic spine dynamics in this site.

  5. Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens core reduces reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behaviour in rats.

    PubMed

    Baracz, Sarah J; Everett, Nicholas A; McGregor, Iain S; Cornish, Jennifer L

    2016-03-01

    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.

  6. Nucleus accumbens cocaine-amphetamine regulated transcript mediates food intake during novelty conflict.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  7. Taurine elevates dopamine levels in the rat nucleus accumbens; antagonism by strychnine.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mia; Molander, Anna; Stomberg, Rosita; Söderpalm, Bo

    2006-06-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (nAcc), is involved in reward-related behaviours and addictive processes, such as alcoholism and drug addiction. It was recently suggested that strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors (GlyR) in the nAcc regulate both basal and ethanol-induced mesolimbic DA activity via a neuronal loop involving endogenous activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the VTA. However, as the nAcc appears to contain few glycine-immunoreactive cell bodies or fibres, the question as to what may be the endogenous ligand for GlyRs in this brain region remains open. Here we have investigated whether the amino acid taurine could serve this purpose using in vivo microdialysis in awake, freely moving male Wistar rats. Local perfusion of taurine (1, 10 or 100 mm in the perfusate) increased DA levels in the nAcc. The taurine (10 mm)-induced DA increase was, similarly to that previously observed after ethanol, completely blocked by (i) perfusion of the competitive GlyR antagonist strychnine in the nAcc, (ii) perfusion of the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine (100 microm) in the VTA, and (iii) systemic administration of the acetylcholine-depleting drug vesamicol (0.4 mg/kg, i.p). The present results suggest that taurine may be an endogenous ligand for GlyRs in the nAcc and that the taurine-induced elevation of DA levels in this area, similarly to that observed after local ethanol, is mediated via a neuronal loop involving endogenous activation of nAChRs in the VTA.

  8. Rising taurine and ethanol concentrations in nucleus accumbens interact to produce dopamine release after ethanol administration.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mia; Chau, PeiPei; Clarke, Rhona B; Adermark, Louise; Söderpalm, Bo

    2011-07-01

    We have previously demonstrated that glycine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) are involved in modulating both basal and ethanol-induced dopamine output in the same brain region. Ethanol is known to induce a release of both taurine and dopamine in the nAc, but the relationship between these two neuromodulators has not been investigated thoroughly. In vivo microdialysis was used to measure the effects of systemic ethanol diluted in isotonic (0.9% NaCl) or hypertonic (3.6% NaCl) saline on accumbal taurine and dopamine levels. We found that ethanol given in a hypertonic solution, contrary to an isotonic solution, failed to increase concentrations both of taurine and dopamine in the nAc. However, a modest, non-dopamine elevating concentration of taurine in the nAc disclosed a dopamine-elevating effect of systemic ethanol also when given in a hypertonic solution. In a second experiment, we investigated the effects of ethanol on taurine and dopamine in normal rats and rats with decreased levels of endogenous taurine. Lowering the level of taurine, approximately 40% by adding 5% β-alanine in the drinking water, did not influence taurine or dopamine output over time. We conclude that the elevations of taurine and dopamine in the nAc are closely related, and that in order for ethanol to induce dopamine release, a simultaneous increase of extracellular taurine levels in the nAc is required. These data also provide support for the notion that the nAc is the primary target for ethanol in its dopamine-activating effect after systemic administration.

  9. Chronic alcohol drinking alters neuronal dendritic spines in the brain reward center nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Feng C; Anthony, Bruce; Dunn, Kenneth W; Lindquist, W Brent; Xu, Zao C; Deng, Ping

    2007-02-23

    Alcohol is known to affect glutamate transmission. However, how chronic alcohol affects the synaptic structure mediating glutamate transmission is unknown. Repeated alcohol exposure in a subject with familial alcoholic history often leads to alcohol addiction. The current study adopts alcohol-preferring rats, which are known to develop high drinking. Two-photon microscopy analysis indicates that chronic alcohol of 14 weeks either, under continuous alcohol (C-Alc) or with repeated deprivation (RD-Alc), causes dysmorphology--thickened, beaded, and disoriented dendrites that are reminiscent of reactive astrocytes--in a subpopulation of medium spiny neurons. The density of dendritic spines was found differentially lower in the nucleus accumbens of RD-Alc and C-Alc groups as compared with those of Water groups. Large-sized spines and multiple-headed spines were increased in the RD-Alc group. The NMDA receptor subunit NR1 proteins, as analyzed with Western blot, were upregulated in C-Alc, but not in RD-Alc. The upregulated NMDA receptor subunits of NR1 however, are predominantly a splice variant isoform with truncated exon 21, which is required for membrane-bound trafficking or anchoring into a spine synaptic site. These maladaptations may contribute to the transformation of spines. The changes, in density and head-size of spines and the corresponding NMDA receptors, demonstrated an alteration of microcircuitry for glutamate reception. The current study demonstrates for the first time that chronic alcohol exposure causes structural alteration of dendrites and their spines in the key reward brain region in animals that have a genetic background leading to alcohol addiction.

  10. In Vivo Voltammetric Monitoring of Catecholamine Release in Subterritories of the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jinwoo; Aragona, Brandon J.; Kile, Brian M.; Carelli, Regina M.; Wightman, R. Mark

    2010-01-01

    Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) at carbon-fiber microelectrodes has been used to demonstrate that sub-second changes in catecholamine concentration occur within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell during motivated behaviors, and these fluctuations have been attributed to rapid dopamine signaling. However, FSCV cannot distinguish between dopamine and norepinephrine, and caudal regions of the NAc shell receive noradrenergic projections. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the degree to which norepinephrine contributes to catecholamine release within rostral and caudal portion of NAc shell. Analysis of tissue content revealed that dopamine was the major catecholamine detectable in the rostral NAc shell, whereas both dopamine and norepinephrine were found in the caudal subregion. To examine releasable catecholamines, electrical stimulation was used to evoke release in anesthetized rats with either stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle, a pathway containing both dopaminergic and noradrenergic projections to the NAc, or the ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra, the origin of dopaminergic projections. The catecholamines were distinguished by their responses to different pharmacological agents. The dopamine autoreceptor blocker, raclopride, as well as the monoamine and dopamine transporter blockers, cocaine and GBR 12909, increased evoked catecholamine overflow in both the rostral and caudal NAc shell. The norepinephrine autoreceptor blocker, yohimbine, and the norepinephrine transporter blocker, desipramine, increased catecholamine overflow in the caudal NAc shell without significant alteration of evoked responses in the rostral NAc shell. Thus, the neurochemical and pharmacological results show that norepinephrine signaling is restricted to caudal portions of the NAc shell. Following raclopride and cocaine or raclopride and GBR 12909, robust catecholamine transients were observed within the rostral shell but these were far less apparent in the caudal

  11. Dissociation of prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens dopaminergic systems in conditional learning in rats.

    PubMed

    George, David N; Jenkins, Trisha A; Killcross, Simon

    2011-11-20

    There is converging evidence that the prefrontal and mesolimbic dopaminergic (DAergic) systems are involved in the performance of a variety of tasks that require the use of contextual, or task-setting, information to select an appropriate response from a number of candidate responses. Performance on tasks of this nature are impaired in schizophrenia and in rats exposed to psychotomimetics; impairments that are often attenuated by administration of dopamine (DA) antagonists. Rats were trained on either a complex instrumental discrimination task, that required the use of task-setting cues, or a simple discrimination task that did not. Following training, microdialysis probes were implanted unilaterally in either the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or nucleus accumbens (NAc) and samples were collected in freely moving animals during a behavioural test session. In Experiment 1, we found no difference in levels of DA in the mPFC of rats while they were performing the two discrimination tasks. Rats that performed the complex task did, however, show significantly higher mPFC DA levels relative to rats in the simple discrimination condition following the end of the behavioural test session. In Experiment 2, rats performing the conditional discrimination showed lower levels of DA in the NAc compared to the simple discrimination group both during the test session and after it. These results provide direct evidence that conditional discrimination tasks engage frontal and mesolimbic DAergic systems and are consistent with the proposal that regulation of fronto-striatal DA is involved in aspects of cognitive control that are known to be impaired in individuals with schizophrenia.

  12. SIRT1-FOXO3a regulate cocaine actions in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Deveroux; Shao, Ningyi; Heller, Elizabeth; Feng, Jian; Neve, Rachael; Kim, Hee-Dae; Call, Tanessa; Magazu, Samantha; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J

    2015-02-18

    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.

  13. Assessment of individual differences in the rat nucleus accumbens transcriptome following taste-heroin extended access.

    PubMed

    Imperio, Caesar G; McFalls, Ashley J; Colechio, Elizabeth M; Masser, Dustin R; Vrana, Kent E; Grigson, Patricia S; Freeman, Willard M

    2016-05-01

    Heroin addiction is a disease of chronic relapse that harms the individual through devaluation of personal responsibilities in favor of finding and using drugs. Only some recreational heroin users devolve into addiction but the basis of these individual differences is not known. We have shown in rats that avoidance of a heroin-paired taste cue reliably identifies individual animals with greater addiction-like behavior for heroin. Here rats received 5min access to a 0.15% saccharin solution followed by the opportunity to self-administer either saline or heroin for 6h. Large Suppressors of the heroin-paired taste cue displayed increased drug escalation, motivation for drug, and drug loading behavior compared with Small Suppressors. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of these individual differences in addiction-like behavior. We examined the individual differences in mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats that were behaviorally stratified by addiction-like behavior using next-generation sequencing. We hypothesized that based on the avoidance of the drug-paired cue there will be a unique mRNA profile in the NAc. Analysis of strand-specific whole genome RNA-Seq data revealed a number of genes differentially regulated in NAc based on the suppression of the natural saccharine reward. Large Suppressors exhibited a unique mRNA prolife compared to Saline controls and Small Suppressors. Genes related to immunity, neuronal activity, and behavior were differentially expressed among the 3 groups. In total, individual differences in avoidance of a heroin-paired taste cue are associated with addiction-like behavior along with differential NAc gene expression.

  14. Interacting Cannabinoid and Opioid Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Control Adolescent Social Play

    PubMed Central

    Manduca, Antonia; Lassalle, Olivier; Sepers, Marja; Campolongo, Patrizia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Marsicano, Giovanni; Kieffer, Brigitte; Vanderschuren, Louk J. M. J; Trezza, Viviana; Manzoni, Olivier J. J.

    2016-01-01

    Social play behavior is a highly rewarding, developmentally important form of social interaction in young mammals. However, its neurobiological underpinnings remain incompletely understood. Previous work has suggested that opioid and endocannabinoid neurotransmission interact in the modulation of social play. Therefore, we combined behavioral, pharmacological, electrophysiological, and genetic approaches to elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in social play, and how cannabinoid and opioid neurotransmission interact to control social behavior in adolescent rodents. Systemic administration of the 2-AG hydrolysis inhibitor JZL184 or the opioid receptor agonist morphine increased social play behavior in adolescent rats. These effects were blocked by systemic pretreatment with either CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) or mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonists. The social play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine or JZL184 treatment were also prevented by direct infusion of the CB1R antagonist SR141716 and the MOR antagonist naloxone into the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC). Searching for synaptic correlates of these effects in adolescent NAcC excitatory synapses, we observed that CB1R antagonism blocked the effect of the MOR agonist DAMGO and, conversely, that naloxone reduced the effect of a cannabinoid agonist. These results were recapitulated in mice, and completely abolished in CB1R and MOR knockout mice, suggesting that the functional interaction between CB1R and MOR in the NAcC in the modulation of social behavior is widespread in rodents. The data shed new light on the mechanism by which endocannabinoid lipids and opioid peptides interact to orchestrate rodent socioemotional behaviors. PMID:27899885

  15. Interacting Cannabinoid and Opioid Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Control Adolescent Social Play.

    PubMed

    Manduca, Antonia; Lassalle, Olivier; Sepers, Marja; Campolongo, Patrizia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Marsicano, Giovanni; Kieffer, Brigitte; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Trezza, Viviana; Manzoni, Olivier J J

    2016-01-01

    Social play behavior is a highly rewarding, developmentally important form of social interaction in young mammals. However, its neurobiological underpinnings remain incompletely understood. Previous work has suggested that opioid and endocannabinoid neurotransmission interact in the modulation of social play. Therefore, we combined behavioral, pharmacological, electrophysiological, and genetic approaches to elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in social play, and how cannabinoid and opioid neurotransmission interact to control social behavior in adolescent rodents. Systemic administration of the 2-AG hydrolysis inhibitor JZL184 or the opioid receptor agonist morphine increased social play behavior in adolescent rats. These effects were blocked by systemic pretreatment with either CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) or mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonists. The social play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine or JZL184 treatment were also prevented by direct infusion of the CB1R antagonist SR141716 and the MOR antagonist naloxone into the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC). Searching for synaptic correlates of these effects in adolescent NAcC excitatory synapses, we observed that CB1R antagonism blocked the effect of the MOR agonist DAMGO and, conversely, that naloxone reduced the effect of a cannabinoid agonist. These results were recapitulated in mice, and completely abolished in CB1R and MOR knockout mice, suggesting that the functional interaction between CB1R and MOR in the NAcC in the modulation of social behavior is widespread in rodents. The data shed new light on the mechanism by which endocannabinoid lipids and opioid peptides interact to orchestrate rodent socioemotional behaviors.

  16. Overexpression of CREB in the nucleus accumbens shell increases cocaine reinforcement in self-administering rats.

    PubMed

    Larson, Erin B; Graham, Danielle L; Arzaga, Rose R; Buzin, Nicole; Webb, Joseph; Green, Thomas A; Bass, Caroline E; Neve, Rachael L; Terwilliger, Ernest F; Nestler, Eric J; Self, David W

    2011-11-09

    Chronic exposure to addictive drugs enhances cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-regulated gene expression in nucleus accumbens (NAc), and these effects are thought to reduce the positive hedonic effects of passive cocaine administration. Here, we used viral-mediated gene transfer to produce short- and long-term regulation of CREB activity in NAc shell of rats engaging in volitional cocaine self-administration. Increasing CREB expression in NAc shell markedly enhanced cocaine reinforcement of self-administration behavior, as indicated by leftward (long-term) and upward (short-term) shifts in fixed ratio dose-response curves. CREB also increased the effort exerted by rats to obtain cocaine on more demanding progressive ratio schedules, an effect highly correlated with viral-induced modulation of BDNF protein in the NAc shell. CREB enhanced cocaine reinforcement when expressed either throughout acquisition of self-administration or when expression was limited to postacquisition tests, indicating a direct effect of CREB independent of reinforcement-related learning. Downregulating endogenous CREB in NAc shell by expressing a short hairpin RNA reduced cocaine reinforcement in similar tests, while overexpression of a dominant-negative CREB(S133A) mutant had no significant effect on cocaine self-administration. Finally, increasing CREB expression after withdrawal from self-administration enhanced cocaine-primed relapse, while reducing CREB levels facilitated extinction of cocaine seeking, but neither altered relapse induced by cocaine cues or footshock stress. Together, these findings indicate that CREB activity in NAc shell increases the motivation for cocaine during active self-administration or after withdrawal from cocaine. Our results also highlight that volitional and passive drug administration can lead to substantially different behavioral outcomes.

  17. Opposing Role for Egr3 in Nucleus Accumbens Cell Subtypes in Cocaine Action

    PubMed Central

    Chandra, Ramesh; Francis, T. Chase; Konkalmatt, Prasad; Amgalan, Ariunzaya; Gancarz, Amy M.; Dietz, David M.

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Ceftriaxone attenuates cocaine relapse after abstinence through modulation of nucleus accumbens AMPA subunit expression.

    PubMed

    LaCrosse, Amber L; Hill, Kristine; Knackstedt, Lori A

    2016-02-01

    Using the extinction-reinstatement model of cocaine relapse, we and others have demonstrated that the antibiotic ceftriaxone attenuates cue- and cocaine-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. Reinstatement is contingent on the release of glutamate in the nucleus accumbens core (NAc) and manipulations that reduce glutamate efflux or block post-synaptic glutamate receptors attenuate reinstatement. We have demonstrated that the mechanism of action by which ceftriaxone attenuates reinstatement involves increased NAc GLT-1 expression and a reduction in NAc glutamate efflux during reinstatement. Here we investigated the effects of ceftriaxone (100 and 200 mg/kg) on context-primed relapse following abstinence without extinction training and examined the effects of ceftriaxone on GluA1, GluA2 and GLT-1 expression. We conducted microdialysis during relapse to determine if an increase in NAc glutamate accompanies relapse after abstinence and whether ceftriaxone blunts glutamate efflux. We found that both doses of ceftriaxone attenuated relapse. While relapse was accompanied by an increase in NAc glutamate, ceftriaxone (200 mg/kg) was unable to significantly reduce NAc glutamate efflux during relapse despite its ability to upregulate GLT-1. GluA1 was reduced in the NAc by both doses of ceftriaxone while GluA2 expression was unchanged, indicating that ceftriaxone altered AMPA subunit composition following cocaine. Finally, GLT-1 was not altered in the PFC by ceftriaxone. These results indicate that it is possible to attenuate context-primed relapse to cocaine-seeking through modification of post-synaptic receptor properties without attenuating glutamate efflux during relapse. Furthermore, increasing NAc GLT-1 protein expression is not sufficient to attenuate glutamate efflux.

  19. Regulation of nucleus accumbens transcript levels in mice by early-life social stress and cocaine.

    PubMed

    Lo Iacono, Luisa; Valzania, Alessandro; Visco-Comandini, Federica; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Felsani, Armando; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Carola, Valeria

    2016-04-01

    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.

  20. Fornix deep brain stimulation circuit effect is dependent on major excitatory transmission via the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Erika K.; Kim, Joo Pyung; Settell, Megan L.; Han, Seong Rok; Blaha, Charles D.; Min, Hoon-Ki; Lee, Kendall H.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a circuit-based treatment shown to relieve symptoms from multiple neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. In order to treat the memory deficit associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), several clinical trials have tested the efficacy of DBS near the fornix. Early results from these studies indicated that patients who received fornix DBS experienced an improvement in memory and quality of life, yet the mechanisms behind this effect remain controversial. It is known that transmission between the medial limbic and corticolimbic circuits plays an integral role in declarative memory, and dysfunction at the circuit level results in various forms of dementia, including AD. Here, we aimed to determine the potential underlying mechanism of fornix DBS by examining the functional circuitry and brain structures engaged by fornix DBS. Methods A multimodal approach was employed to examine global and local temporal changes that occur in an anesthetized swine model of fornix DBS. Changes in global functional activity were measured by functional MRI (fMRI), and local neurochemical changes were monitored by fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) during electrical stimulation of the fornix. Additionally, intracranial microinfusions into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) were performed to investigate the global activity changes that occur with dopamine and glutamate receptor-specific antagonism. Results Hemodynamic responses in both medial limbic and corticolimbic circuits measured by fMRI were induced by fornix DBS. Additionally, fornix DBS resulted in increases in dopamine oxidation current (corresponding to dopamine efflux) monitored by FSCV in the NAc. Finally, fornix DBS-evoked hemodynamic responses in the amygdala and hippocampus decreased following dopamine and glutamate receptor antagonism in the NAc. Conclusions The present findings suggest that fornix DBS modulates dopamine release on presynaptic dopaminergic terminals in the NAc

  1. Gene expression changes in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-preferring rats following chronic ethanol consumption.

    PubMed

    Bell, Richard L; Kimpel, Mark W; McClintick, Jeanette N; Strother, Wendy N; Carr, Lucinda G; Liang, Tiebing; Rodd, Zachary A; Mayfield, R Dayne; Edenberg, Howard J; McBride, William J

    2009-11-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of binge-like alcohol drinking on gene expression changes in the nucleus accumbens (ACB) of alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Adult male P rats were given ethanol under multiple scheduled access (MSA; three 1-h dark cycle sessions/day) conditions for 8 weeks. For comparison purposes, a second ethanol drinking group was given continuous/daily alcohol access (CA; 24h/day). A third group was ethanol-naïve (W group). Average ethanol intakes for the CA and MSA groups were approximately 9.5 and 6.5 g/kg/day, respectively. Fifteen hours after the last drinking episode, rats were euthanized, the brains extracted, and the ACB dissected. RNA was extracted and purified for microarray analysis. The only significant differences were between the CA and W groups (p<0.01; Storey false discovery rate=0.15); there were 374 differences in named genes between these 2 groups. There were 20 significant Gene Ontology (GO) categories, which included negative regulation of protein kinase activity, anti-apoptosis, and regulation of G-protein coupled receptor signaling. Ingenuity analysis indicated a network of transcription factors, involving oncogenes (Fos, Jun, Junb had higher expression in the ACB of the CA group), suggesting increased neuronal activity. There were 43 genes located within rat QTLs for alcohol consumption and preference; 4 of these genes (Tgfa, Hspa5, Mtus1 and Creb3l2) are involved in anti-apoptosis and increased transcription, suggesting that they may be contributing to cellular protection and maintaining high alcohol intakes. Overall, these findings suggest that chronic CA drinking results in genomic changes that can be observed during the early acute phase of ethanol withdrawal. Conversely, chronic MSA drinking, with its associated protracted withdrawal periods, results in genomic changes that may be masked by tight regulation of these genes following repeated experiences of ethanol withdrawal.

  2. Adaptations in AMPA receptor transmission in the nucleus accumbens contributing to incubation of cocaine craving

    PubMed Central

    Loweth, Jessica A.; Tseng, Kuei Y.; Wolf, Marina E.

    2013-01-01

    Cue-induced cocaine craving in rodents intensifies or “incubates” during the first months of withdrawal from long access cocaine self-administration. This incubation phenomenon is relevant to human users who achieve abstinence but exhibit persistent vulnerability to cue-induced relapse. It is well established that incubation of cocaine craving involves complex neuronal circuits. Here we will focus on neuroadaptations in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a region of convergence for pathways that control cocaine seeking. A key adaptation is a delayed (~3–4 weeks) accumulation of Ca2+-permeable AMPAR receptors (CP-AMPARs) in synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSN) of the NAc. These CP-AMPARs mediate the expression of incubation after prolonged withdrawal, although different mechanisms must be responsible during the first weeks of withdrawal, prior to CP-AMPAR accumulation. The cascade of events leading to CP-AMPAR accumulation is still unclear. However, several candidate mechanisms have been identified. First, mGluR1 has been shown to negatively regulate CP-AMPAR levels in NAc synapses, and it is possible that a withdrawal-dependent decrease in this effect may help explain CP-AMPAR accumulation during incubation. Second, an increase in phosphorylation of GluA1 subunits (at the protein kinase A site) within extrasynaptic homomeric GluA1 receptors (CP-AMPARs) may promote their synaptic insertion and oppose their removal. Finally, elevation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the NAc may contribute to maintenance of incubation after months of withdrawal, although incubation-related increases in BDNF accumulation do not account for CP-AMPAR accumulation. Receptors and pathways that negatively regulate incubation, such as mGluR1, are promising targets for the development of therapeutic strategies to help recovering addicts maintain abstinence. PMID:23727437

  3. Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Nucleus Accumbens in Auditory and Visual Hallucinations in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Rolland, Benjamin; Amad, Ali; Poulet, Emmanuel; Bordet, Régis; Vignaud, Alexandre; Bation, Rémy; Delmaire, Christine; Thomas, Pierre; Cottencin, Olivier; Jardri, Renaud

    2015-01-01

    Both auditory hallucinations (AH) and visual hallucinations may occur in schizophrenia. One of the main hypotheses underlying their occurrence involves the increased activity of the mesolimbic pathway, which links the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). However, the precise contribution of the mesolimbic pathway in hallucinations across various sensory modalities has not yet been explored. We compared the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) of the NAcc among 16 schizophrenia patients with pure AH, 15 with both visuoauditory hallucinations (VAH), and 14 without hallucinations (NoH). A between-group comparison was performed using random-effects ANCOVA (rs-FC of the bilateral NAcc as the dependent variable, groups as the between-subjects factor, age and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores as covariates; q(false discovery rate [FDR]) < .05). Compared to the NoH group, the AH group exhibited significantly enhanced NAcc rs-FC with the left temporal superior gyrus, the cingulate gyri, and the VTA, whereas the VAH group, compared to the AH group, exhibited significantly enhanced NAcc rs-FC with the bilateral insula, putamen, parahippocampal gyri, and VTA. The strength in rs-FC between the NAcc and the VTA appeared to be positively associated with the presence of hallucinations, but the NAcc FC patterns changed with the complexity of these experiences (ie, 0, 1, or 2 sensory modalities), rather than with severity. This might support the aberrant salience hypothesis of schizophrenia. Moreover, these findings suggest that future clinical and neurobiological studies of hallucinations should evaluate not only the global severity of symptoms but also their sensorial features. PMID:25053649

  4. Nucleus accumbens serotonin transporters in alcoholics measured by whole-hemisphere autoradiography.

    PubMed

    Storvik, Markus; Tiihonen, Jari; Haukijärvi, Tuija; Tupala, Erkki

    2006-11-01

    Nucleus accumbens (NAC) is regulated by the dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways, and it is a brain area with a crucial role in the rewarding effects of ethanol. In this preliminary study, possible alterations of [3H]citalopram binding to serotonin transporter (SERT) were evaluated in the NAC of Cloninger type 1 and 2 alcoholics (nine and seven subjects, respectively), and nonalcoholic controls (10 subjects) by human postmortem whole-hemisphere autoradiography. The [3H]citalopram binding in the NAC was 35% higher in the alcoholics than in the controls; in the type 1 alcoholics, the binding was 54% and in the type 2 alcoholics it was 17% higher. Although the effect size showed medium effects (0.49-0.60), the results did not reach statistical significance due to large standard deviations. The [3H]citalopram binding declined significantly with age in the controls, but not in the alcoholics. In the controls, there was a significant positive correlation between the [3H]citalopram binding in the NAC and in the anterior cingulate gyrus, an area in which the [3H]citalopram binding has been shown to be lower among alcoholics. On the contrary, a significant negative correlation was observed in the type 2 alcoholics and no correlation in the type 1 alcoholics. In addition, there was a strong tendency toward a positive correlation between the SERT and dopamine transporter binding in the type 2 alcoholics, but not in the other groups. These preliminary results suggest a differential monoaminergic imbalance in type 1 and 2 alcoholism in brain areas important for the regulation of motivation, reward, and reinforcement.

  5. Beer self-administration provokes lateralized nucleus accumbens dopamine release in male heavy drinkers

    PubMed Central

    Oberlin, Brandon Gregg; Dzemidzic, Mario; Tran, Stella Maria; Soeurt, Christina Marie; O’Connor, Sean Joseph; Yoder, Karmen Kay; Kareken, David Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Although striatal dopamine (DA) is important in alcohol abuse, the nature of DA release during actual alcohol drinking is unclear, since drinking includes self-administration of both conditioned flavor stimuli (CS) of the alcoholic beverage and subsequent intoxication, the unconditioned stimulus (US). Objectives Here we used a novel self-administration analog to distinguish nucleus accumbens (NAcc) DA responses specific to the CS and US. Methods Right-handed male heavy drinkers (n=26) received 3 positron emission tomography (PET) scans with the D2/D3 radioligand [11C]raclopride (RAC), and performed a pseudo self-administration task that separately administered a flavor CS of either a habitually consumed beer or the appetitive control Gatorade®, concomitant with the US of ethanol intoxication (0.06 g/dL IV administration) or IV saline. Scan conditions were Gatorade flavor + saline (Gat&Sal); Gatorade flavor + ethanol (Gat&Eth); and beer flavor + ethanol (Beer&Eth). Results Ethanol (US) reduced RAC binding (inferring DA release) in the left (L) NAcc [Gat&Sal > Gat&Eth]. Beer flavor (CS) increased DA in the right (R) NAcc [Gat&Eth > Beer&Eth]. The combination of beer flavor and ethanol (CS + US), [Gat&Sal > Beer&Eth], induced DA release in bilateral NAcc. Self-reported intoxication during scanning correlated with L NAcc DA release. Relative to saline, infusion of ethanol increased alcoholic drink wanting. Conclusions Our findings suggest lateralized DA function in the NAcc, with L NAcc DA release most reflecting intoxication, R NAcc DA release most reflecting the flavor CS, and the conjoint CS+US producing a bilateral NAcc response. PMID:25163422

  6. Changes in dopamine transporter binding in nucleus accumbens following chronic self-administration cocaine: heroin combinations.

    PubMed

    Pattison, Lindsey P; McIntosh, Scot; Sexton, Tammy; Childers, Steven R; Hemby, Scott E

    2014-10-01

    Concurrent use of cocaine and heroin (speedball) has been shown to exert synergistic effects on dopamine neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), as observed by significant increases in extracellular dopamine levels and compensatory elevations in the maximal reuptake rate of dopamine. The present studies were undertaken to determine whether chronic self-administration of cocaine, heroin or a combination of cocaine:heroin led to compensatory changes in the abundance and/or affinity of high- and low-affinity DAT binding sites. Saturation binding of the cocaine analog [(125) I] 3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropan-2β-carboxylic acid methyl ester ([(125) I]RTI-55) in rat NAc membranes resulted in binding curves that were best fit to two-site binding models, allowing calculation of dissociation constant (Kd ) and binding density (Bmax ) values corresponding to high- and low-affinity DAT binding sites. Scatchard analysis of the saturation binding curves clearly demonstrate the presence of high- and low- affinity binding sites in the NAc, with low-affinity sites comprising 85 to 94% of the binding sites. DAT binding analyses revealed that self-administration of cocaine and a cocaine:heroin combination increased the affinity of the low-affinity site for the cocaine congener RTI-55 compared to saline. These results indicate that the alterations observed following chronic speedball self-administration are likely due to the cocaine component alone; thus further studies are necessary to elaborate upon the synergistic effect of cocaine:heroin combinations on the dopamine system in the NAc.

  7. Addiction and reward-related genes show altered expression in the postpartum nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Changjiu; Eisinger, Brian Earl; Driessen, Terri M.; Gammie, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    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 five of five 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 (WGCNA) 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 (BPD), 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. PMID:25414651

  8. The nucleus accumbens 5-HTR₄-CART pathway ties anorexia to hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Jean, A; Laurent, L; Bockaert, J; Charnay, Y; Dusticier, N; Nieoullon, A; Barrot, M; Neve, R; Compan, V

    2012-12-11

    In mental diseases, the brain does not systematically adjust motor activity to feeding. Probably, the most outlined example is the association between hyperactivity and anorexia in Anorexia nervosa. The neural underpinnings of this 'paradox', however, are poorly elucidated. Although anorexia and hyperactivity prevail over self-preservation, both symptoms rarely exist independently, suggesting commonalities in neural pathways, most likely in the reward system. We previously discovered an addictive molecular facet of anorexia, involving production, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), of the same transcripts stimulated in response to cocaine and amphetamine (CART) upon stimulation of the 5-HT(4) receptors (5-HTR(4)) or MDMA (ecstasy). Here, we tested whether this pathway predisposes not only to anorexia but also to hyperactivity. Following food restriction, mice are expected to overeat. However, selecting hyperactive and addiction-related animal models, we observed that mice lacking 5-HTR(1B) self-imposed food restriction after deprivation and still displayed anorexia and hyperactivity after ecstasy. Decryption of the mechanisms showed a gain-of-function of 5-HTR(4) in the absence of 5-HTR(1B), associated with CART surplus in the NAc and not in other brain areas. NAc-5-HTR(4) overexpression upregulated NAc-CART, provoked anorexia and hyperactivity. NAc-5-HTR(4) knockdown or blockade reduced ecstasy-induced hyperactivity. Finally, NAc-CART knockdown suppressed hyperactivity upon stimulation of the NAc-5-HTR(4). Additionally, inactivating NAc-5-HTR(4) suppressed ecstasy's preference, strengthening the rewarding facet of anorexia. In conclusion, the NAc-5-HTR(4)/CART pathway establishes a 'tight-junction' between anorexia and hyperactivity, suggesting the existence of a primary functional unit susceptible to limit overeating associated with resting following homeostasis rules.

  9. The Retrograde Connections and Anatomical Segregation of the Göttingen Minipig Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Meidahl, Anders C.; Orlowski, Dariusz; Sørensen, Jens C. H.; Bjarkam, Carsten R.

    2016-01-01

    Nucleus accumbens (NAcc) has been implicated in several psychiatric disorders such as treatment resistant depression (TRD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and has been an ongoing experimental target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in both rats and humans. In order to translate basic scientific results from rodents to the human setting a large animal model is needed to thoroughly study the effect of such therapeutic interventions. The aim of the study was, accordingly, to describe the basic anatomy of the Göttingen minipig NAcc and its retrograde connections. Tracing was carried out by MRI-guided stereotactic unilateral fluorogold injections in the NAcc of Göttingen minipigs. After 2 weeks the brains were sectioned and subsequently stained with Nissl-, autometallographic (AMG) development of myelin, and DARPP-32 and calbindin immunohistochemistry. The minipig NAcc was divided in a central core and an outer medial, ventral and lateral shell. We confirmed the NAcc to be a large and well-segregated structure toward its medial, ventral and lateral borders. The fluorogold tracing revealed inputs to NAcc from the medial parts of the prefrontal cortex, BA 25 (subgenual cortex), insula bilaterally, amygdala, the CA1-region of hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, subiculum, paraventricular and anterior parts of thalamus, dorsomedial parts of hypothalamus, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area (VTA), the retrorubral field and the dorsal and median raphe nuclei. In conclusion the Göttingen minipig NAcc is a large ventral striatal structure that can be divided into a core and shell with prominent afferent connections from several subrhinal and infra-/prelimbic brain areas. PMID:27994542

  10. Nucleus accumbens neuronal maturation differences in young rats bred for low versus high voluntary running behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Michael D; Toedebusch, Ryan G; Wells, Kevin D; Company, Joseph M; Brown, Jacob D; Cruthirds, Clayton L; Heese, Alexander J; Zhu, Conan; Rottinghaus, George E; Childs, Thomas E; Booth, Frank W

    2014-01-01

    We compared the nucleus accumbens (NAc) transcriptomes of generation 8 (G8), 34-day-old rats selectively bred for low (LVR) versus high voluntary running (HVR) behaviours in rats that never ran (LVRnon-run and HVRnon-run), as well as in rats after 6 days of voluntary wheel running (LVRrun and HVRrun). In addition, the NAc transcriptome of wild-type Wistar rats was compared. The purpose of this transcriptomics approach was to generate testable hypotheses as to possible NAc features that may be contributing to running motivation differences between lines. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and Gene Ontology analyses suggested that ‘cell cycle’-related transcripts and the running-induced plasticity of dopamine-related transcripts were lower in LVR versus HVR rats. From these data, a hypothesis was generated that LVR rats might have less NAc neuron maturation than HVR rats. Follow-up immunohistochemistry in G9–10 LVRnon-run rats suggested that the LVR line inherently possessed fewer mature medium spiny (Darpp-32-positive) neurons (P < 0.001) and fewer immature (Dcx-positive) neurons (P < 0.001) than their G9–10 HVR counterparts. However, voluntary running wheel access in our G9–10 LVRs uniquely increased their Darpp-32-positive and Dcx-positive neuron densities. In summary, NAc cellularity differences and/or the lack of running-induced plasticity in dopamine signalling-related transcripts may contribute to low voluntary running motivation in LVR rats. PMID:24665095

  11. Exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids control synaptic transmission in mice nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Robbe, David; Alonso, Gerard; Manzoni, Oliver J

    2003-11-01

    Addictive drugs are thought to alter normal brain function and cause the remodeling of synaptic functions in areas important to memory and reward. Excitatory transmission to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is involved in the actions of most drugs of abuse, including cannabis. We have explored the functions of the endocannabinoid system at the prefrontal cortex-NAc synapses. Immunocytochemistry showed cannabinoid receptor (CB1) expression on axonal terminals making contacts with NAc neurons. In NAc slices, synthetic cannabinoids inhibit spontaneous and evoked glutamate-mediated transmission through presynaptic activation of presynaptic K+ channels and GABA-mediated transmission most likely via a direct presynaptic action on the vesicular release machinery. How does synaptic activity lead to the production of endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) in the NAc? More generally, do eCBs participate in long-term synaptic plasticity in the brain? We found that tetanic stimulation (mimicking naturally occurring frequencies) of prelimbic glutamatergic afferents induced a presynaptic LTD dependent on eCB and CB1 receptors (eCB-LTD). Induction of eCB-LTD required postsynaptic activation of mGlu5 receptors and a rise in postsynaptic Ca2+ from ryanodine-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores. This retrograde signaling cascade involved postsynaptic eCB release and activation of presynaptic CB1 receptors. In the NAc, eCB-LTD might be part of a negative feedback loop, reducing glutamatergic synaptic strength during sustained cortical activity. The fact that this new form of LTD was occluded by an exogenous cannabinoid suggested that cannabis derivatives, such as marijuana, may alter normal eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. These data suggest a major role of the eCB system in long-term synaptic plasticity and give insights into how cannabis derivatives, such as marijuana, alter normal eCB functions in the brain reward system.

  12. Dysregulation of AMPA receptor transmission in the nucleus accumbens in animal models of cocaine addiction

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Marina E.

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. Nucleus accumbens responses differentiate execution and restraint in reward-directed behavior

    PubMed Central

    Loriaux, Amy L.

    2013-01-01

    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 substance abuse. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is ideally situated to integrate multiple cognitive and affective inputs to bias action via outputs through the basal ganglia. NAc neurons have been shown to respond to cues that predict reward availability, goal-directed behaviors aimed at obtaining them, and delivery of the reward itself. As these processes are typically associated, it is difficult to discern whether signals in the NAc are more closely related to processing reward-predictive aspects of goal-directed behavior or selection of behavioral response. To dissociate these possibilities, we recorded the activity of NAc neurons while rats performed a task in which two different cues both informed rats of reward availability but required them to either press a lever (Go) or withhold pressing (NoGo) to obtain the reward. Individual cue-responsive neurons showed either increases or decreases in activity at cue onset. Increases in activity were larger, and decreases smaller, when rats withheld lever pressing, whether correctly for NoGo trials or in error on Go trials. Thus NAc cue responses correlated with action, regardless of cue type or accuracy. PMID:24174652

  14. Ghrelin regulates phasic dopamine and nucleus accumbens signaling evoked by food-predictive stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Cone, Jackson J.; Roitman, Jamie D.; Roitman, Mitchell F.

    2015-01-01

    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 strongly influenced by physiological state (i.e. hunger vs. satiety). Ghrelin, a stomach hormone that crosses the blood-brain barrier, is linked to the perception of hunger and drives food intake, including intake potentiated by environmental cues. Notwithstanding, whether ghrelin regulates phasic mesolimbic signaling evoked by food-predictive stimuli is unknown. Here, rats underwent Pavlovian conditioning in which one cue predicted the delivery of rewarding food (CS+) and a second cue predicted nothing (CS−). After training, we measured the effect of ghrelin infused into the lateral ventricle (LV) on sub-second fluctuations in NAc dopamine using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and individual NAc neuron activity using in vivo electrophysiology in separate groups of rats. LV ghrelin augmented both phasic dopamine and phasic increases in the activity of NAc neurons evoked by the CS+. Importantly, ghrelin did not affect the dopamine nor NAc neuron response to the CS−, suggesting that ghrelin selectively modulated mesolimbic signaling evoked by motivationally significant stimuli. These data demonstrate that ghrelin, a hunger signal linked to physiological state, can regulate cue-evoked mesolimbic signals that underlie food-directed behaviors. PMID:25708523

  15. Nitric Oxide Donors Enhance the Frequency Dependence of Dopamine Release in Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Hartung, Henrike; Threlfell, Sarah; Cragg, Stephanie J

    2011-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is critically involved in normal as well as maladaptive motivated behaviors including drug addiction. Whether the striatal neuromodulator nitric oxide (NO) influences DA release in NAc is unknown. We investigated whether exogenous NO modulates DA transmission in NAc core and how this interaction varies depending on the frequency of presynaptic activation. We detected DA with cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes in mouse NAc in slices following stimuli spanning a full range of DA neuron firing frequencies (1–100 Hz). NO donors 3-morpholinosydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1) or z-1-[N-(3-ammoniopropyl)-N-(n-propyl)amino]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (PAPA/NONOate) enhanced DA release with increasing stimulus frequency. This NO-mediated enhancement of frequency sensitivity of DA release was not prevented by inhibition of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), DA transporters, or large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, and did not require glutamatergic or GABAergic input. However, experiments to identify whether frequency-dependent NO effects were mediated via changes in powerful acetylcholine–DA interactions revealed multiple components to NO modulation of DA release. In the presence of a nicotinic receptor antagonist (dihydro-β-erythroidine), NO donors increased DA release in a frequency-independent manner. These data suggest that NO in the NAc can modulate DA release through multiple GC-independent neuronal mechanisms whose net outcome varies depending on the activity in DA neurons and accumbal cholinergic interneurons. In the presence of accumbal acetylcholine, NO promotes the sensitivity of DA release to presynaptic activation, but with reduced acetylcholine input, NO will promote DA release in an activity-independent manner through a direct action on dopaminergic terminals. PMID:21508928

  16. New Rules Governing Synaptic Plasticity In Core Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Martin, Gilles E.

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens is a forebrain region responsible for drug reward and goal directed behaviors. It has long been believed that drugs of abuse exert their addictive properties on behavior by altering the strength of synaptic communication over long periods of time. To date, attempts at understanding the relationship between drugs of abuse and synaptic plasticity have relied on the high-frequency long-term potentiation model of Bliss and LØmo (1973). We examined synaptic plasticity using spike-timing-dependent plasticity, a stimulation paradigm that reflects more closely in vivo firing patterns of core NAcc medium spiny neurons and their afferents. In contrast to other brain regions, the same stimulation paradigm evoked bidirectional long-term plasticity. Long-term potentiation (tLTP) magnitude changed with delay between action potentials (APs) and excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs), and frequency, while that of long-term depression (tLTD) remained unchanged. We showed that tLTP depended on NMDA receptors, whereas tLTD relied on action potentials. Importantly, intracellular calcium signaling pathways mobilized during tLTP and tLTD were different. Thus, calcium-induced calcium release underlies tLTD but not tLTP. Finally, we found that the firing pattern of a subset of MSNs was strongly inhibited by dopamine receptor agonists. Surprisingly, these neurons were exclusively associated with tLTP but not with tLTD. Taken together, these data point to the existence of two subgroups of MSNs with distinct properties, each displaying unique abilities to undergo synaptic plasticity. PMID:23013293

  17. Imipramine Treatment and Resiliency Exhibit Similar Chromatin Regulation in the Mouse Nucleus Accumbens in Depression Models

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Matthew B.; Xiao, Guanghua; Kumar, Arvind; LaPlant, Quincey; Renthal, William; Sikder, Devanjan; Kodadek, Thomas J.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    Though it is a widely studied psychiatric syndrome, major depressive disorder remains a poorly understood illness, especially with regard to the disconnect between treatment initiation and the delayed onset of clinical improvement. We have recently validated chronic social defeat stress in mice as a model in which a depression-like phenotype is reversed by chronic, but not acute, antidepressant administration. Here, we use ChIP-chip assays—chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by genome wide promoter array analyses—to study the effects of chronic defeat stress on chromatin regulation in the mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region implicated in depression. Our results demonstrate that chronic defeat stress causes widespread and long-lasting changes in gene regulation, including alterations in repressive histone methylation and in phospho-CREB binding, in the NAc. We then show similarities and differences in this regulation to that observed in another mouse model of depression, prolonged adult social isolation. In the social defeat model, we observed further that most of the stress-induced changes in gene expression are reversed by chronic imipramine treatment, and that resilient mice—those resistant to the deleterious effects of defeat stress—show patterns of chromatin regulation in the NAc that overlap dramatically with those seen with imipramine treatment. These findings provide new insight into the molecular basis of depression-like symptoms and the mechanisms by which antidepressants exert their delayed clinical efficacy. They also raise the novel idea that certain individuals resistant to stress may naturally mount antidepressant-like adaptations in response to chronic stress. PMID:19535594

  18. Social interaction and cocaine conditioning in mice increase spontaneous spike frequency in the nucleus accumbens or septal nuclei as revealed by multielectrode array recordings.

    PubMed

    Kummer, Kai K; El Rawas, Rana; Kress, Michaela; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. Diazepam Inhibits Electrically Evoked and Tonic Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens and Reverses the Effect of Amphetamine.

    PubMed

    Gomez-A, Alexander; Fiorenza, Amanda M; Boschen, Suelen L; Sugi, Adam H; Beckman, Danielle; Ferreira, Sergio T; Lee, Kendall; Blaha, Charles D; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2017-02-15

    Diazepam is a benzodiazepine receptor agonist with anxiolytic and addictive properties. Although most drugs of abuse increase the level of release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, here we show that diazepam not only causes the opposite effect but also prevents amphetamine from enhancing dopamine release. We used 20 min sampling in vivo microdialysis and subsecond fast-scan cyclic voltammetry recordings at carbon-fiber microelectrodes to show that diazepam caused a dose-dependent decrease in the level of tonic and electrically evoked dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of urethane-anesthetized adult male Swiss mice. In fast-scan cyclic voltammetry assays, dopamine release was evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area. We observed that 2 and 3 mg of diazepam/kg reduced the level of electrically evoked dopamine release, and this effect was reversed by administration of the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist flumazenil in doses of 2.5 and 5 mg/kg, respectively. No significant effects on measures of dopamine re-uptake were observed. Cyclic voltammetry experiments further showed that amphetamine (5 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) caused a significant increase in the level of dopamine release and in the half-life for dopamine re-uptake. Diazepam (2 mg/kg) significantly weakened the effect of amphetamine on dopamine release without affecting dopamine re-uptake. These results suggest that the pharmacological effects of benzodiazepines have a dopaminergic component. In addition, our findings challenge the classic view that all drugs of abuse cause dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and suggest that benzodiazepines could be useful in the treatment of addiction to other drugs that increase the level of dopamine release, such as cocaine, amphetamines, and nicotine.

  20. Ketamine and imipramine in the nucleus accumbens regulate histone deacetylation induced by maternal deprivation and are critical for associated behaviors.

    PubMed

    Réus, Gislaine Z; Abelaira, Helena M; dos Santos, Maria Augusta B; Carlessi, Anelise S; Tomaz, Débora B; Neotti, Morgana V; Liranço, João Lucas G; Gubert, Carolina; Barth, Maurício; Kapczinski, Flávio; Quevedo, João

    2013-11-01

    Studies indicate that histone deacetylation is important for long term changes related to stress and antidepressant treatment. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of the classic antidepressant imipramine, and of an antagonist of the N-methyl-d-asparte (NMDA) receptor, ketamine, on behavior and histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity in the brains of maternally deprived adult rats. To this aim, deprived and non-deprived (control) male Wistar rats were divided into the following groups: non-deprived+saline; non-deprived+imipramine (30 mg/kg); non-deprived+ketamine (15 mg/kg); deprived+saline; deprived+imipramine (30 mg/kg); and deprived+ketamine (15 mg/kg). The drugs were administrated once a day for 14 days during their adult phase. Their behavior were then assessed using the forced swimming and open field tests. In addition, the HDAC activity was evaluated in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and nucleus accumbens using the kit ELISA-sandwich test. In deprived rats treated with saline, we observed an increase in the immobility time, but treatments with imipramine and ketamine were able to reverse this alteration, decreasing the immobility time. Also, there was a decrease on number of crossings with imipramine treatment in non-deprived rats, and an increase on number of crossings with ketamine treatment in deprived rats. The HDAC activity did not alter in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala by deprivation or via treatment with imipramine or ketamine. However, in the nucleus accumbens we observed an increase of HDAC activity in the deprived rats, and interestingly, imipramine and ketamine treatments were able to decrease HDAC activity in this brain area. These findings provide a novel insight into the epigenetic regulation of histone deacetylase in the nucleus accumbens caused by imipramine and ketamine, and indicate that molecular events are necessary to reverse specific stress-induced behavior.

  1. Amphetamine elevates nucleus accumbens dopamine via an action potential-dependent mechanism that is modulated by endocannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Covey, Dan P; Bunner, Kendra D; Schuweiler, Douglas R; Cheer, Joseph F; Garris, Paul A

    2016-06-01

    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.

  2. Up-regulation of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) in the rat nucleus accumbens after repeated electroconvulsive shock.

    PubMed

    Roh, Myoung-Sun; Cui, Feng Ji; Ahn, Yong Min; Kang, Ung Gu

    2009-10-01

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide regulates appetite, reward, and mood. CART expression is regulated via the protein kinase A (PKA) pathway, and electroconvulsive shock (ECS), an efficient antipsychotic and antidepressant measure, activates PKA-related signaling. Thus, we hypothesized that ECS may regulate the expression of CART. ECS given daily for five consecutive days increased CART mRNA and protein in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc), accompanied by an increase in CREB phosphorylation. Our results suggest that ECS-induced CART up-regulation might be associated with PKA-CREB signaling, but the causal direction remains to be elucidated in future studies.

  3. Cocaine withdrawal impairs metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chiung-Chun; Yeh, Che-Ming; Wu, Mei-Ying; Chang, Alice Y W; Chan, Julie Y H; Chan, Samuel H H; Hsu, Kuei-Sen

    2011-03-16

    Neuroadaptation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a central component of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, has been implicated in the development of cocaine-induced psychomotor sensitization and relapse to cocaine seeking. However, little is known about the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying such adaptation. Using a mouse model of behavioral sensitization, we show that animals withdrawn from repeated cocaine exposure have a selective deficit in the ability to elicit metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) in the shell of the NAc in response to bath application of the group I mGluR agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG). Experiments conducted in the presence of the selective mGluR1 antagonists 7-(hydroxyimino)cyclopropachromen-carboxylate ethyl ester and (S)-(+)-α-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid, or the mGluR5 antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine, demonstrated that the impaired DHPG-LTD is likely attributable to a loss of mGluR5 function. Quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed significant downregulation of mGluR5, but not mGluR1, mRNA and protein levels in the NAc shell. The inhibitory effect of repeated cocaine exposure on DHPG-LTD was selectively prevented when cocaine was coadministered with the selective D(1)-like DA receptor antagonist (R)-(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine. Furthermore, the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein in the NAc shell increased progressively after cocaine withdrawal, and the impairment of DHPG-LTD in the NAc shell was not found in slices from BDNF-knock-out mice after cocaine withdrawal. These results suggest that withdrawal from repeated cocaine exposure may result in increased BDNF levels in the NAc shell, which leads to a selective downregulation of mGluR5 and thereby impairs the induction of mGluR-dependent LTD.

  4. Sex Differences in Nucleus Accumbens Transcriptome Profiles Associated with Susceptibility versus Resilience to Subchronic Variable Stress

    PubMed Central

    Hodes, Georgia E.; Pfau, Madeline L.; Purushothaman, Immanuel; Ahn, H. Francisca; Golden, Sam A.; Christoffel, Daniel J.; Magida, Jane; Brancato, Anna; Takahashi, Aki; Flanigan, Meghan E.; Ménard, Caroline; Aleyasin, Hossein; Koo, Ja Wook; Lorsch, Zachary S.; Feng, Jian; Heshmati, Mitra; Wang, Minghui; Turecki, Gustavo; Neve, Rachel; Zhang, Bin; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Depression and anxiety disorders are more prevalent in females, but the majority of research in animal models, the first step in finding new treatments, has focused predominantly on males. Here we report that exposure to subchronic variable stress (SCVS) induces depression-associated behaviors in female mice, whereas males are resilient as they do not develop these behavioral abnormalities. In concert with these different behavioral responses, transcriptional analysis of nucleus accumbens (NAc), a major brain reward region, by use of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) revealed markedly different patterns of stress regulation of gene expression between the sexes. Among the genes displaying sex differences was DNA methyltransferase 3a (Dnmt3a), which shows a greater induction in females after SCVS. Interestingly, Dnmt3a expression levels were increased in the NAc of depressed humans, an effect seen in both males and females. Local overexpression of Dnmt3a in NAc rendered male mice more susceptible to SCVS, whereas Dnmt3a knock-out in this region rendered females more resilient, directly implicating this gene in stress responses. Associated with this enhanced resilience of female mice upon NAc knock-out of Dnmt3a was a partial shift of the NAc female transcriptome toward the male pattern after SCVS. These data indicate that males and females undergo different patterns of transcriptional regulation in response to stress and that a DNA methyltransferase in NAc contributes to sex differences in stress vulnerability. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Women have a higher incidence of depression than men. However, preclinical models, the first step in developing new diagnostics and therapeutics, have been performed mainly on male subjects. Using a stress-based animal model of depression that causes behavioral effects in females but not males, we demonstrate a sex-specific transcriptional profile in brain reward circuitry. This transcriptional profile can be altered by removal of an epigenetic

  5. Increased Extracellular Glutamate In the Nucleus Accumbens Promotes Excessive Ethanol Drinking in Ethanol Dependent Mice

    PubMed Central

    Griffin III, William C; Haun, Harold L; Hazelbaker, Callan L; Ramachandra, Vorani S; Becker, Howard C

    2014-01-01

    Using a well-established model of ethanol dependence and relapse, this study examined adaptations in glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and their role in regulating voluntary ethanol drinking. Mice were first trained to drink ethanol in a free-choice, limited access (2 h/day) paradigm. One group (EtOH mice) received repeated weekly cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure with intervening weeks of test drinking sessions, whereas the remaining mice (CTL mice) were similarly treated but did not receive CIE treatment. Over repeated cycles of CIE exposure, EtOH mice exhibited significant escalation in drinking (up to ∼3.5 g/kg), whereas drinking remained relatively stable at baseline levels (2–2.5 g/kg) in CTL mice. Using in vivo microdialysis procedures, extracellular glutamate (GLUEX) levels in the NAc were increased approximately twofold in EtOH mice compared with CTL mice, and this difference was observed 7 days after final CIE exposure, indicating that this hyperglutamatergic state persisted beyond acute withdrawal. This finding prompted additional studies examining the effects of pharmacologically manipulating GLUEX in the NAc on ethanol drinking in the CIE model. The non-selective glutamate reuptake antagonist, threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate (TBOA), was bilaterally microinjected into the NAc and found to dose-dependently increase drinking in nondependent (CTL) mice to levels attained by dependent (EtOH) mice. TBOA also further increased drinking in EtOH mice. In contrast, reducing glutamatergic transmission in the NAc via bilateral injections of the metabotropic glutamate receptor-2/3 agonist LY379268 reduced drinking in dependent (EtOH) mice to nondependent (CTL) levels, whereas having a more modest effect in decreasing ethanol consumption in CTL mice. Taken together, these data support an important role of glutamatergic transmission in the NAc in regulating ethanol drinking. Additionally, these results indicate that

  6. [Mediolateral gradient of the nucleus accumbens nitrergic activation during exploratory behavior].

    PubMed

    Saul'skaia, N B; Sudorgina, P V

    2012-04-01

    In Sprague-Dawley rats, by means of in vivo microdialysis combined with HPLC analysis it has been shown that an exploratory behavior in a new environment is accompanied by a rise in extracellular levels of citrulline (an NO co-product) in the mediolateral regions of the n. accumbens with the maximum observed in the medial n. accumbens. Infusions of 7-nitroindazole (0.5 mM), a neuronal NO synthase inhibitor, into the medial n. accumbens prevented the exploration-induced rise of extracellular citrulline levels in this area. The second presentation of the same chamber did not produce any significant changes of extracellular citrulline levels in the medial n. accumbens, although there was a tendency of a small increase. The presentation of a familiar chamber did not affect citrulline extracellular levels in this area. The data obtained indicate for the first time that exploratory activity in a new environment is accompanied by the nitrergic activation in the entire n. accumbens with the maximal activation in the medial part of this brain area.

  7. Repeated cocaine enhances ventral hippocampal-stimulated dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens and alters ventral hippocampal NMDA receptor subunit expression.

    PubMed

    Barr, Jeffrey L; Forster, Gina L; Unterwald, Ellen M

    2014-08-01

    Dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens is important for various reward-related cognitive processes including reinforcement learning. Repeated cocaine enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and phasic elevations of accumbal dopamine evoked by unconditioned stimuli are dependent on impulse flow from the ventral hippocampus. Therefore, sensitized hippocampal activity may be one mechanism by which drugs of abuse enhance limbic dopaminergic activity. In this study, in vivo microdialysis in freely moving adult male Sprague-Dawley rats was used to investigate the effect of repeated cocaine on ventral hippocampus-mediated dopaminergic transmission within the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens. Following seven daily injections of saline or cocaine (20 mg/kg, ip), unilateral infusion of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA, 0.5 μg) into the ventral hippocampus transiently increased both motoric activity and ipsilateral dopamine efflux in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens, and this effect was greater in rats that received repeated cocaine compared to controls that received repeated saline. In addition, repeated cocaine altered NMDA receptor subunit expression in the ventral hippocampus, reducing the NR2A : NR2B subunit ratio. Together, these results suggest that repeated exposure to cocaine produces maladaptive ventral hippocampal-nucleus accumbens communication, in part through changes in glutamate receptor composition. A behaviorally sensitizing regimen of cocaine (20 mg/kg, ip 7 days) also sensitized ventral hippocampus (hipp)-mediated dopaminergic transmission within the nucleus accumbens (Nac) to NMDA stimulation (bolts). This was associated with reduced ventral hippocampal NR2A:NR2B subunit ratio, suggesting that repeated exposure to cocaine produces changes in hippocampal NMDA receptor composition that lead to enhanced ventral hippocampus-nucleus accumbens communication.

  8. Nucleus accumbens core dopamine signaling tracks the need-based motivational value of food-paired cues.

    PubMed

    Aitken, Tara J; Greenfield, Venuz Y; Wassum, Kate M

    2016-03-01

    Environmental reward-predictive stimuli provide a major source of motivation for instrumental reward-seeking activity and this has been linked to dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core. This cue-induced incentive motivation can be quite general, not restricted to instrumental actions that earn the same unique reward, and is also typically regulated by one's current need state, such that cues only motivate actions when this is adaptive. But it remains unknown whether cue-evoked dopamine signaling is similarly regulated by need state. Here, we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to monitor dopamine concentration changes in the NAc core of rats during a Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer task in which the motivating influence of two cues, each signaling a distinct food reward (sucrose or food pellets), over an action earning a third unique food reward (polycose) was assessed in a state of hunger and of satiety. Both cues elicited a robust NAc dopamine response when hungry. The magnitude of the sucrose cue-evoked dopamine response correlated with the Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer effect that was selectively induced by this stimulus. Satiety attenuated these cue-evoked dopamine responses and behavioral responding, even though rats had never experienced the specific food rewards in this state. These data demonstrate that cue-evoked NAc core responses are sensitive to current need state, one critical variable that determines the current adaptive utility of cue-motivated behavior. Food-predictive stimuli motivate food-seeking behavior. Here, we show that food cues evoke a robust nucleus accumbens core dopamine response when hungry that correlates with the cue's ability to invigorate general food seeking. This response is attenuated when sated, demonstrating that food cue-evoked accumbens dopamine responses are sensitive to the need state information that determines the current adaptive utility of cue-motivated action.

  9. Local acamprosate modulates dopamine release in the rat nucleus accumbens through NMDA receptors: an in vivo microdialysis study.

    PubMed

    Cano-Cebrián, M J; Zornoza-Sabina, T; Guerri, C; Polache, A; Granero, L

    2003-02-01

    The effects of acamprosate on the in vivo dopamine extracellular levels in the nucleus accumbens and the involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in these effects were investigated. Microdialysis in freely moving rats was used to assess dopamine levels before and during simultaneous perfusion of acamprosate and/or different agonists or antagonists of NMDA receptors. Perfusion with acamprosate at concentrations of 0.5 and 5 mM provoked a concentration-dependent increase in extracellular dopamine in nucleus accumbens. The lowest concentration of acamprosate assayed (0.05 mM) had no effect on dopamine levels. Infusion of NMDA (25 and 500 microM) and the glutamate uptake blocker, L-trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxilic acid (PDC) (0.5 mM) into the NAc caused a significant increase in DA, whereas acamprosate (0.05 mM) co-infusion with these compounds blocked or attenuated the NMDA and PDC-induced increases in DA levels. Co-infusion of the selective antagonist of NMDA receptors, DL-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5) (400 microM) with acamprosate (0.5 mM), did not reduce the increase of DA levels induced by acamprosate. These results demonstrate that acamprosate is able to modulate DA extracellular levels in NAc via NMDA receptors and suggest that acamprosate acts as an antagonist of NMDA receptors.

  10. Effect of ethanol on (/sup 3/H)dopamine release in rat nucleus accumbens and striatal slices

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, V.A.; Lamm, M.C.; Taljaard, J.J.

    1988-05-01

    Ethanol (10-200 mM) transiently increased tritium overflow from superfused rat nucleus accumbens slices previously incubated with (/sup 3/H)dopamine (DA) and (/sup 14/C)choline. The effect was greater in striatal tissue and did not appear to be a non-specific membrane effect since (/sup 14/C)acetylcholine (ACh) release was not affected. Lack of antagonism by picrotoxin suggested that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors were not involved. Calcium was not a requirement and the DA uptake blocker, nomifensine, was without effect. Ethanol appeared to be causing (/sup 3/H)DA release into the cytoplasm. K+ -stimulated release of (/sup 3/H)DA and (/sup 14/C)ACh from nucleus accumbens and striatal slices was not affected. Clonidine-mediated inhibition of the K+-evoked release of (/sup 3/H)DA remained unaltered. Ethanol attenuated the isoproterenol-induced enhancement of (/sup 3/H)DA release. Ethanol therefore appeared to interact with components of the DA terminal causing a transient increase in the release of neurotransmitter without impairing K+-evoked release but apparently interfering with the isoproterenol-induced effect.

  11. Early stress and chronic methylphenidate cross-sensitize dopaminergic responses in the adolescent medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Jezierski, Grzegorz; Zehle, Stefanie; Bock, Joerg; Braun, Katharina; Gruss, Michael

    2007-12-01

    Methylphenidate (MP) is widely used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. However, basic research has been mainly focused on MP treatment in adult, behaviorally normal rodents. Here we analyzed MP-evoked changes of dopamine (DA) release in the limbic system of juvenile rodents with hyperactive and attention deficit-like symptoms. Using dual probe in vivo microdialysis, DA levels were quantified in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of juvenile and adolescent degus (Octodon degus). Acute stress- and acute MP-evoked dopaminergic responses in normal juvenile and adolescent animals were compared with (i) animals showing symptoms of hyperactivity and attention deficits induced by early life stress, i.e. repeated parental separation during the first 3 weeks of life, and (ii) animals chronically treated with MP during pre-adolescence. Our main results revealed that (i) early life stress and (ii) chronic MP treatment during pre-adolescence cross-sensitize limbic dopaminergic functions in adolescent animals. Furthermore, we demonstrated a unique pattern of acute MP-evoked DA release in the juvenile compared with the adolescent medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Our findings that the functional maturation of dopaminergic limbic function is significantly altered by early life experience, i.e. repeated parental separation and chronic MP treatment, allow novel insights into the etiology of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and into the long-term consequences of MP treatment on brain development.

  12. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell increases impulsive behavior and tissue levels of dopamine and serotonin.

    PubMed

    Sesia, Thibaut; Bulthuis, Vincent; Tan, Sonny; Lim, Lee Wei; Vlamings, Rinske; Blokland, Arjan; Steinbusch, Harry W M; Sharp, Trevor; Visser-Vandewalle, Veerle; Temel, Yasin

    2010-10-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is gaining interest as a target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in refractory neuropsychiatric disorders with impulsivity as core symptom. The nucleus accumbens is composed of two subterritories, core and shell, which have different anatomical connections. In animal models, it has been shown that DBS of the NAc changes impulsive action. Here, we tested the hypothesis that a change in impulsive action by DBS of the NAc is associated with changes in dopamine levels. Rats received stimulating electrodes either in the NAc core or shell, and underwent behavioral testing in a reaction time task. In addition, in a second experiment, the effect of DBS of the NAc core and shell on extracellular dopamine and serotonin levels was assessed in the NAc and medial prefrontal cortex. Control subjects received sham surgery. We have found that DBS of the NAc shell stimulation induced more impulsive action but less perseverative checking. These effects were associated with increased levels of dopamine and serotonin in the NAc, but not in the medial prefrontal cortex. DBS of the NAc core had no effect on impulsive action, but decreased perseverative responses indicative of a better impulse control. In these subjects, no effects were found on neurotransmitter levels. Our data point out that DBS of the NAc shell has negative effects on impulsive action which is accompanied by increases of dopamine and serotonin levels in the NAc, whereas DBS of the NAc core has beneficial behavioral effects.

  13. Investigating the dynamics of the brain response to music: A central role of the ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Karsten; Fritz, Thomas; Mildner, Toralf; Richter, Maxi; Schulze, Katrin; Lepsien, Jöran; Schroeter, Matthias L; Möller, Harald E

    2015-08-01

    Ventral striatal activity has been previously shown to correspond well to reward value mediated by music. Here, we investigate the dynamic brain response to music and manipulated counterparts using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Counterparts of musical excerpts were produced by either manipulating the consonance/dissonance of the musical fragments or playing them backwards (or both). Results show a greater involvement of the ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens both when contrasting listening to music that is perceived as pleasant and listening to a manipulated version perceived as unpleasant (backward dissonant), as well as in a parametric analysis for increasing pleasantness. Notably, both analyses yielded a ventral striatal response that was strongest during an early phase of stimulus presentation. A hippocampal response to the musical stimuli was also observed, and was largely mediated by processing differences between listening to forward and backward music. This hippocampal involvement was again strongest during the early response to the music. Auditory cortex activity was more strongly evoked by the original (pleasant) music compared to its manipulated counterparts, but did not display a similar decline of activation over time as subcortical activity. These findings rather suggest that the ventral striatal/nucleus accumbens response during music listening is strongest in the first seconds and then declines.

  14. Presynaptic control of dopamine metabolism in the nucleus accumbens. Lack of effect of buspirone as demonstrated using in vivo voltammetry.

    PubMed

    Louilot, A; Le Moal, M; Simon, H

    1987-05-18

    Buspirone is a non-benzodiazepine drug with anxiolytic properties. It has been reported to induce a marked increase in the metabolism of dopamine in the striatum and the nucleus accumbens which is similar to that induced by neuroleptics. It has been suggested that the effect observed in the striatum reflects an action of buspirone on dopaminergic autoreceptors in both terminals and cell bodies. In the present study, presynaptic effects of buspirone on dopaminergic metabolism in the nucleus accumbens were investigated, and they were compared to the effects of the classical neuroleptic, haloperidol. Dopaminergic terminals were isolated by infusion of tetrodotoxin into the median forebrain bundle in order to evaluate the effects of buspirone and haloperidol on presynaptic receptors. Changes in dopamine metabolism were determined by in vivo voltammetry. Buspirone administered after interruption of the impulse flow did not affect dopamine metabolism. In contrast haloperidol treatment led to an increase in metabolism of dopamine. It is concluded that buspirone did not act at the presynaptic level and furthermore on dopaminergic autoreceptors.

  15. Effect of local infusion of glutamate analogues into the nucleus accumbens of rats: an electrochemical and behavioural study.

    PubMed

    Svensson, L; Zhang, J; Johannessen, K; Engel, J A

    1994-04-18

    In vivo voltammetry at electrochemically pretreated carbon fibre electrodes was used to investigate the effect of local infusion of glutamate analogues on dopamine (DA) release in rat nucleus accumbens. Infusion of a low dose of NMDA or AMPA (1 mM/0.2 microliter), but not L-glutamate or kainate, was followed a few minutes later by a large but short-lived increase in the extracellular concentration of DA. The involvement of spreading depression was indicated since this response could be repeated only after a short refractory period, and the response magnitude did not seem to be dependent on the dose infused. Furthermore, the increase in DA release was accompanied by a marked negative shift in brain field potential and a similar increase in release could be induced by local infusion of K+. The infusion of NMDA, AMPA or kainate was followed by behavioural activation of the animals but not convulsions. The behavioural response induced by NMDA was dose-dependently reduced by haloperidol, which suggests the involvement of a DA-dependent mechanism in this effect. Co-infusion of the DA transport inhibitors, nomifensine or GBR 12909, failed to alter the DA response to NMDA, while this response was completely blocked by co-infusion of tetrodotoxin or pretreatment with reserpine. It is evident from this study that local infusion of NMDA or AMPA may induce spreading depression in rat nucleus accumbens and that this condition is associated with a vast release of DA and behavioural activation.

  16. Mining Affymetrix microarray data for long non-coding RNAs: altered expression in the nucleus accumbens of heroin abusers.

    PubMed

    Michelhaugh, Sharon K; Lipovich, Leonard; Blythe, Jason; Jia, Hui; Kapatos, Gregory; Bannon, Michael J

    2011-02-01

    Although recent data suggest that some long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) exert widespread effects on gene expression and organelle formation, lncRNAs as a group constitute a sizable but poorly characterized fraction of the human transcriptome. We investigated whether some human lncRNA sequences were fortuitously represented on commonly used microarrays, then used this annotation to assess lncRNA expression in human brain. A computational and annotation pipeline was developed to identify lncRNA transcripts represented on Affymetrix U133 arrays. A previously published dataset derived from human nucleus accumbens was then examined for potential lncRNA expression. Twenty-three lncRNAs were determined to be represented on U133 arrays. Of these, dataset analysis revealed that five lncRNAs were consistently detected in samples of human nucleus accumbens. Strikingly, the abundance of these lncRNAs was up-regulated in human heroin abusers compared to matched drug-free control subjects, a finding confirmed by quantitative PCR. This study presents a paradigm for examining existing Affymetrix datasets for the detection and potential regulation of lncRNA expression, including changes associated with human disease. The finding that all detected lncRNAs were up-regulated in heroin abusers is consonant with the proposed role of lncRNAs as mediators of widespread changes in gene expression as occur in drug abuse.

  17. Electrical stimulation of reward sites in the ventral tegmental area increases dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens of the rat.

    PubMed

    Fiorino, D F; Coury, A; Fibiger, H C; Phillips, A G

    1993-06-30

    In vivo microdialysis with HPLC-ED was used to measure dopamine (DA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the nucleus accumbens of the rat, prior, during, and after 15-min periods of electrical brain stimulation at sites in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) that supported intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). In the first experiment, both ICSS and yoked stimulation of the VTA evoked significant increases in extracellular concentrations of DA, its metabolites, and 5-HIAA. Comparable results from ICSS and yoked groups were interpreted as evidence that the rewarding properties of VTA stimulation were a causal factor in the elevated DA transmission in the nucleus accumbens, rather than intense operant behavior. Further evidence for this hypothesis came from a second set of data in which changes in extracellular DA levels during the measurement of rate/intensity functions for ICSS were positively correlated. 5-HIAA concentrations also increased during ICSS but these changes were not correlated with either ICSS rate or current intensity, suggesting that changes in serotonin metabolism were unlikely to subserve brain stimulation reward in the VTA. These results add to the growing body of evidence linking changes in extracellular DA in the mesolimbic DA system with both brain stimulation reward and the conditioned and unconditioned rewarding effects of biologically relevant stimuli.

  18. Systemically administered oxytocin decreases methamphetamine activation of the subthalamic nucleus and accumbens core and stimulates oxytocinergic neurons in the hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Carson, Dean S; Hunt, Glenn E; Guastella, Adam J; Barber, Lachlan; Cornish, Jennifer L; Arnold, Jonathon C; Boucher, Aurelie A; McGregor, Iain S

    2010-10-01

    Recent preclinical evidence indicates that the neuropeptide oxytocin may have potential in the treatment of drug dependence and drug withdrawal. Oxytocin reduces methamphetamine self-administration, conditioned place preference and hyperactivity in rodents. However, it is unclear how oxytocin acts in the brain to produce such effects. The present study examined how patterns of neural activation produced by methamphetamine were modified by co-administered oxytocin. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were pretreated with either 2 mg/kg oxytocin (IP) or saline and then injected with either 2 mg/kg methamphetamine (IP) or saline. After injection, locomotor activity was measured for 80 minutes prior to perfusion. As in previous studies, co-administered oxytocin significantly reduced methamphetamine-induced behaviors. Strikingly, oxytocin significantly reduced methamphetamine-induced Fos expression in two regions of the basal ganglia: the subthalamic nucleus and the nucleus accumbens core. The subthalamic nucleus is of particular interest given emerging evidence for this structure in compulsive, addiction-relevant behaviors. When administered alone, oxytocin increased Fos expression in several regions, most notably in the oxytocin-synthesizing neurons of the supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. This provides new evidence for central actions of peripheral oxytocin and suggests a self-stimulation effect of exogenous oxytocin on its own hypothalamic circuitry. Overall, these results give further insight into the way in which oxytocin might moderate compulsive behaviors and demonstrate the capacity of peripherally administered oxytocin to induce widespread central effects.

  19. Role of Dopamine Receptors Subtypes, D1-Like and D2-Like, within the Nucleus Accumbens Subregions, Core and Shell, on Memory Consolidation in the One-Trial Inhibitory Avoidance Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manago, Francesca; Castellano, Claudio; Oliverio, Alberto; Mele, Andrea; De Leonibus, Elvira

    2009-01-01

    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…

  20. Caudate nucleus infarction demonstrated by N-isopropyl-p iodoamphetamine SPECT imaging using a rotating gamma camera

    SciTech Connect

    Polak, J.F.; Mueller, S.P.; Holman, B.L.

    1986-10-01

    N-isopropyl p-iodoamphetamine (I-123 IMP) was used in two patients with previous unilateral basal ganglia infarcts documented by CT of the head. Tomographic images obtained with a commercially available rotating gamma camera equipped with a long-bore collimator showed corresponding areas of decreased uptake in the head of the caudate nuclei. Detection of such small areas of decreased perfusion is possible using SPECT and I-123 radiolabeled IMP.

  1. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell attenuates cue-induced reinstatement of both cocaine and sucrose seeking in rats.

    PubMed

    Guercio, Leonardo A; Schmidt, Heath D; Pierce, R Christopher

    2015-03-15

    Stimuli previously associated with drug taking can become triggers that can elicit craving and lead to relapse of drug-seeking behavior. Here, we examined the influence of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the nucleus accumbens shell on cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking, an animal model of relapse. Rats were allowed to self-administer cocaine (0.254 mg, i.v.) for 2 h daily for 21 days, with each infusion of cocaine being paired with a cue light. After 21 days of self-administration, cocaine-taking behavior was extinguished by replacing cocaine with saline in the absence of the cue light. Next, during the reinstatement phase, DBS was administered bilaterally into the nucleus accumbens shell through bipolar stainless steel electrodes immediately prior to re-exposure to cues previously associated with cocaine reinforcement. DBS continued throughout the 2 h reinstatement session. Parallel studies examined the influence of accumbens shell DBS on reinstatement induced by cues previously associated with sucrose reinforcement. Results indicated that DBS of the nucleus accumbens shell significantly attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine and sucrose seeking. Together, these results indicate that DBS of the accumbens shell disrupts cue-induced reinstatement associated with both a drug and a natural reinforcer.

  2. Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced catalepsy-like immobilization is mediated by decreased 5-HT neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens due to the action of glutamate-containing neurons.

    PubMed

    Sano, K; Mishima, K; Koushi, E; Orito, K; Egashira, N; Irie, K; Takasaki, K; Katsurabayashi, S; Iwasaki, K; Uchida, N; Egawa, T; Kitamura, Y; Nishimura, R; Fujiwara, M

    2008-01-24

    Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been reported to induce catalepsy-like immobilization, but the mechanism underlying this effect remains unclear. In the present study, in order to fully understand the neural circuits involved, we determined the brain sites involved in the immobilization effect in rats. THC dose-dependently induced catalepsy-like immobilization. THC-induced catalepsy-like immobilization is mechanistically different from that induced by haloperidol (HPD), because unlike HPD-induced catalepsy, animals with THC-induced catalepsy became normal again following sound and air-puff stimuli. THC-induced catalepsy was reversed by SR141716, a selective cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist. Moreover, THC-induced catalepsy was abolished by lesions in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and central amygdala (ACE) regions. On the other hand, HPD-induced catalepsy was suppressed by lesions in the caudate putamen (CP), substantia nigra (SN), globus pallidus (GP), ACE and lateral hypothalamus (LH) regions. Bilateral microinjection of THC into the NAc region induced catalepsy-like immobilization. This THC-induced catalepsy was inhibited by serotonergic drugs such as 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP), a 5-HT precursor, and 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeODMT), a 5-HT receptor agonist, as well as by anti-glutamatergic drugs such as MK-801 and amantadine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. THC significantly decreased 5-HT and glutamate release in the NAc, as shown by in vivo microdialysis. SR141716 reversed and MK-801 inhibited this decrease in 5-HT and glutamate release. These findings suggest that the THC-induced catalepsy is mechanistically different from HPD-induced catalepsy and that the catalepsy-like immobilization induced by THC is mediated by decreased 5-HT neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens due to the action of glutamate-containing neurons.

  3. GABAergic mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens septi regulating rat motor activity: the effect of chronic treatment with desipramine.

    PubMed

    Płaznik, A; Stefański, R; Kostowski, W

    1990-07-01

    The influence of chronic treatment with desipramine upon GABAergic mechanisms within the nucleus accumbens septi (NAS) affecting rat motor behavior was studied in the automatic open fields. It was shown that intra-accumbens injections of picrotoxin on one hand and muscimol and baclofen on the other, produced dose-dependent increase or decrease in rat motility, respectively. Locomotor stimulation usually observed after picrotoxin did not occur in rats given local injections of a solution containing both picrotoxin and GABA A receptor agonist muscimol. Muscimol (130 ng as a pure compound) blocked also hypermotility produced by intra-accumbens administration of dopamine releasing drug d-amphetamine (10 micrograms). This part of the experiment was summarized as indicating that both GABA A and GABA B receptor-related mechanisms, which are under negative control of dopaminergic neurons in the NAS, play an important role in regulating behavior in the rat. In the second part of the experiment it was observed that chronic treatment of rats with desipramine (DMI) (10 mg/kg, PO, twice daily for 21 days, rats were tested 24 hr after the last dose of the drug) significantly attenuated or blocked the inhibitory effect on locomotion of both baclofen and muscimol. The stimulatory influence of picrotoxin seemed also to be diminished, but it still attained the level of accepted statistical significance. On the basis of these and other data it is concluded that observed changes in the effects of GABAergic agonists in DMI-treated rats are probably due to an enhancement of local dopaminergic mechanisms, thus leading to the potentiation of a negative interaction between dopaminergic and GABAergic mechanisms within the NAS.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  4. BK Channels Mediate Dopamine Inhibition of Firing in a Subpopulation of Core Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Martin, Gilles E.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine, a key neurotransmitter mediating the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, is widely believed to exert some of its effects by modulating neuronal activity of nucleus accumbens (NAcc) medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Although its effects on synaptic transmission have been well documented, its regulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability is less understood. In this study, we examined the cellular mechanisms of acute dopamine effects on core accumbens MSNs evoked firing. We found that 0.5 μM A-77636 and 10 μM quinpirole, dopamine D1 (DR1s) and D2 receptor (D2Rs) agonists, respectively, markedly inhibited MSN evoked action potentials. This effect, observed only in about 25% of all neurons, was associated with spike-timing-dependent (STDP) long-term potentiation (tLTP), but not long-term depression (tLTD). Dopamine inhibited evoked firing by compromising subthreshold depolarization, not by altering action potentials themselves. Recordings in voltage-clamp mode revealed that all MSNs expressed fast (IA), slowly inactivating delayed rectifier (Idr), and large conductance voltage- and calcium-activated potassium (BKs) channels . Although A-77636 and quinpirole enhanced IA, its selective blockade by 0.5 μM phrixotoxin-1 had no effect on evoked firing. In contrast, exposing tissue to low TEA concentrations and to 10 μM paxilline, a selective BK channel blocker, prevented D1R agonist from inhibiting MSN firing. This result indicates that dopamine inhibits MSN firing through BK channels in a subpopulation of core accumbens MSNs exclusively associated with spike-timing-dependent long-term potentiation. PMID:25219484

  5. Effects of ventro-medial mesencephalic tegmentum (VMT) stimulation on the spontaneous activity of nucleus accumbens neurones: influence of the dopamine system.

    PubMed

    Le Douarin, C; Penit, J; Glowinski, J; Thierry, A M

    1986-01-22

    The effects of VMT-stimulation (100-500 microA, 0.6 ms; 1 Hz) on the spontaneous activity of neurones in the nucleus accumbens were analyzed in ketamine-anaesthetized rats. On spontaneously active cells (firing greater than 0.5 spikes/s), 3 types of responses were observed: either inhibition (36%), excitation (5%) or a composite sequence of excitation followed by inhibition (12%). Moreover, 14% of silent nucleus accumbens neurones were excited by single pulse VMT-stimulation. Finally, 3% of nucleus accumbens neurones recorded were driven antidromically by VMT-stimulation. Destruction of dopamine (DA) projections by 6-hydroxydopamine prevented the inhibitory responses to VMT stimulation in the great majority of cells studied, without affecting the excitatory responses. After systemic administration of haloperidol or sulpiride, the inhibitory responses to VMT stimulation were attenuated markedly, whilst the excitatory responses were, however, maintained. These results suggest that the inhibitory, but not the excitatory, effects of VMT-stimulation on nucleus accumbens neurones may be mediated by an activation of the mesolimbic DA system.

  6. Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D2-Receptor Expressing Neurons Control Behavioral Flexibility in a Place Discrimination Task in the IntelliCage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macpherson, Tom; Morita, Makiko; Wang, Yanyan; Sasaoka, Toshikuni; Sawa, Akira; Hikida, Takatoshi

    2016-01-01

    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…

  7. In vivo characterization of basal amino acid levels in subregions of the rat nucleus accumbens: effect of a dopamine D(3)/D(2) agonist.

    PubMed

    Hemmati, P; Shilliam, C S; Hughes, Z A; Shah, A J; Roberts, J C; Atkins, A R; Hunter, A J; Heidbreder, C A

    2001-09-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates that two subdivisions of the nucleus accumbens, the dorsolateral core and the ventromedial shell can be distinguished by morphological, immunohistochemical and chemoarchitectural differences. In the present study, we measured basal levels of amino acids in microdialysates from both the shell and core subterritories of the nucleus accumbens in freely moving rats using HPLC with fluorescence detection. The effect of the dopamine D(3)/D(2) receptor agonist quinelorane (30 microg/kg s.c.) was then investigated in both subregions. With the exception of glutamate, histidine, and serine, which showed similar levels in both subterritories, alanine, arginine, aspartate, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamine, and tyrosine were significantly higher in the shell compared with the core. In contrast, taurine levels were significantly lower in the shell than in the core. A particularly striking difference across subregions of the nucleus accumbens was observed for basal GABA levels with a shell/core ratio of 18.5. Among all the amino acids investigated in the present study, quinelorane selectively decreased dialysate GABA levels in the core subregion of the nucleus accumbens. The results of the present study point to specific profiles of both shell and core in terms of: (1) basal chemical neuroanatomical markers for amino acids; and (2) GABAergic response to the DA D(3)/D(2) agonist quinelorane.

  8. AMPA/Kainate, NMDA, and Dopamine D1 Receptor Function in the Nucleus Accumbens Core: A Context-Limited Role in the Encoding and Consolidation of Instrumental Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez, Pepe J.; Andrzejewski, Matthew E.; Sadeghian, Kenneth; Panksepp, Jules B.; Kelley, Ann E.

    2005-01-01

    Neural integration of glutamate- and dopamine-coded signals within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a fundamental process governing cellular plasticity underlying reward-related learning. Intra-NAc core blockade of NMDA or D1 receptors in rats impairs instrumental learning (lever-pressing for sugar pellets), but it is not known during which phase of…

  9. Modulation of Memory Consolidation by the Basolateral Amygdala or Nucleus Accumbens Shell Requires Concurrent Dopamine Receptor Activation in Both Brain Regions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaLumiere, Ryan T.; Nawar, Erene M.; McGaugh, James L.

    2005-01-01

    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…

  10. SR141716A reduces the reinforcing properties of heroin but not heroin-induced increases in nucleus accumbens dopamine in rats.

    PubMed

    Caillé, Stéphanie; Parsons, Loren H

    2003-12-01

    The present experiments tested the hypothesis that the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A alters heroin self-administration by attenuating heroin-induced increases in nucleus accumbens dopamine levels. SR141716A pretreatment dose-dependently (0.3-3 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced operant heroin self-administration by male Wistar rats under a fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement, and significantly lowered the breaking point of responding for heroin under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. These observations are consistent with recent reports that CB1 receptor inactivation reduces the rewarding properties of opiates. Operant responding for water reinforcement by water-restricted rats was unaltered by these SR141716A doses. Microdialysis tests revealed that heroin self-administration significantly increases interstitial dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens shell of vehicle-pretreated control rats. However, whereas SR141716A pretreatment dose-dependently reduced heroin self-administration, it did not alter the heroin-associated increase in nucleus accumbens dopamine. These findings suggest that the CB1 antagonist-induced attenuation of heroin reward does not involve dopaminergic mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens shell.

  11. No Evidence for Sex Differences in the Electrophysiological Properties and Excitatory Synaptic Input onto Nucleus Accumbens Shell Medium Spiny Neurons123

    PubMed Central

    Will, Tyler; Hauser, Caitlin A.; Cao, Jinyan

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. Reversal of morphine-induced cell-type–specific synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens shell blocks reinstatement

    PubMed Central

    Hearing, Matthew C.; Jedynak, Jakub; Ebner, Stephanie R.; Ingebretson, Anna; Asp, Anders J.; Fischer, Rachel A.; Schmidt, Clare; Larson, Erin B.; Thomas, Mark John

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Activation of muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens core is necessary for the acquisition of drug reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Jose A; Sturm, Katja; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald

    2006-05-31

    Neurotransmitter release in the nucleus accumbens core (NACore) during the acquisition of remifentanil or cocaine reinforcement was determined in an operant runway procedure by simultaneous tandem mass spectrometric analysis of dopamine, acetylcholine, and remifentanil or cocaine itself. Run times for remifentanil or cocaine continually decreased over the five consecutive runs of the experiment. Intra-NACore dopamine, acetylcholine, and drug peaked with each intravenous remifentanil or cocaine self-administration and decreased to pre-run baseline with half-lives of approximately 10 min. As expected, remifentanil or cocaine peaks did not vary between the five runs. Surprisingly, however, drug-contingent dopamine peaks also did not change over the five runs, whereas acetylcholine peaks did. Thus, the acquisition of drug reinforcement was paralleled by a continuous increase in acetylcholine overflow in the NACore, whereas the overflow of dopamine, the expected prime neurotransmitter candidate for conditioning in drug reinforcement, did not increase. Local intra-accumbens administration by reverse microdialysis of either atropine or mecamylamine completely and reversibly blocked the acquisition of remifentanil reinforcement. Our findings suggest that activation of muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the NACore by acetylcholine volume transmission is necessary during the acquisition phase of drug reinforcement conditioning.

  14. White-Matter Tract Connecting Anterior Insula to Nucleus Accumbens Correlates with Reduced Preference for Positively Skewed Gambles

    PubMed Central

    Leong, Josiah K.; Pestilli, Franco; Wu, Charlene C.; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; Knutson, Brian

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Individuals sometimes show inconsistent risk preferences, including excessive attraction to gambles featuring small chances of winning large amounts (called “positively skewed” gambles). While functional neuroimaging research indicates that nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and anterior insula (AIns) activity inversely predict risky choice, structural connections between these regions have not been described in humans. By combining diffusion-weighted MRI with tractography, we identified the anatomical trajectory of white-matter tracts projecting from the AIns to the NAcc and statistically validated these tracts using Linear Fascicle Evaluation (LiFE) and virtual lesions. Coherence of the right AIns-NAcc tract correlated with reduced preferences for positively skewed gambles. Further, diminished NAcc activity during gamble presentation mediated the association between tract structure and choice. These results identify an unreported tract connecting the AIns to the NAcc in humans and support the notion that structural connections can alter behavior by influencing brain activity as individuals weigh uncertain gains against uncertain losses. PMID:26748088

  15. Infralimbic prefrontal cortex interacts with nucleus accumbens shell to unmask expression of outcome-selective Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer

    PubMed Central

    Keistler, Colby; Barker, Jacqueline M.

    2015-01-01

    Although several studies have examined the subcortical circuitry underlying Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT), the role of medial prefrontal cortex in this behavior is largely unknown. Elucidating the cortical contributions to PIT will be key for understanding how reward-paired cues control behavior in both adaptive and maladaptive context (i.e., addiction). Here we use bilateral lesions in a rat model to show that infralimbic prefrontal cortex (ilPFC) is necessary for appropriate expression of PIT. Further, we show that ilPFC mediates this effect via functional connectivity with nucleus accumbens shell (NAcS). Together, these data provide the first demonstration that a specific cortico-striatal circuit is necessary for cue-invigorated reward seeking during specific PIT. PMID:26373829

  16. Predicting value of pain and analgesia: nucleus accumbens response to noxious stimuli changes in the presence of chronic pain

    PubMed Central

    Baliki, M.N.; Geha, P.Y.; Fields, H.L.; Apkarian, A.V.

    2010-01-01

    We compared brain activations in response to acute noxious thermal stimuli in controls and chronic back pain (CBP) patients. Pain perception and related cortical activation patterns were similar in the two groups. However, nucleus accumbens (NAc) activity differentiated the groups at a very high accuracy, exhibiting phasic and tonic responses with distinct properties. Positive phasic NAc activations at stimulus onset and offset tracked stimulus salience and, in normal subjects predicted reward (pain relief) magnitude at stimulus offset. In CBP, NAc activity correlated with different cortical circuitry than normals and phasic activity at stimulus offset was negative in polarity, suggesting that the acute pain relieves the ongoing back pain. The relieving effect was confirmed in a separate psychophysical study in CBP. Therefore, in contrast to somatosensory pathways, which reflect sensory properties of acute noxious stimuli, NAc activity in humans encodes its predicted value and predicts its analgesic potential on chronic pain. PMID:20399736

  17. Antagonism of κ opioid receptor in the nucleus accumbens prevents the depressive-like behaviors following prolonged morphine abstinence.

    PubMed

    Zan, Gui-Ying; Wang, Qian; Wang, Yu-Jun; Liu, Yao; Hang, Ai; Shu, Xiao-Hong; Liu, Jing-Gen

    2015-09-15

    The association between morphine withdrawal and depressive-like symptoms is well documented, however, the role of dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system and the underlying neural substrates have not been fully understood. In the present study, we found that four weeks morphine abstinence after a chronic escalating morphine regimen significantly induced depressive-like behaviors in mice. Prodynorphin mRNA and protein levels were increased in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) after four weeks of morphine withdrawal. Local injection of κ opioid receptor antagonist nor-Binaltorphimine (norBNI) in the NAc significantly blocked the expression of depressive-like behaviors without influencing general locomotor activity. Thus, the present study extends previous findings by showing that prolonged morphine withdrawal-induced depressive-like behaviors are regulated by dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system, and shed light on the κ opioid receptor antagonists as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of depressive-like behaviors induced by opiate withdrawal.

  18. Rapid induction of dopamine sensitization in the nucleus accumbens shell induced by a single injection of cocaine.

    PubMed

    Singer, Bryan F; Bryan, Myranda A; Popov, Pavlo; Robinson, Terry E; Aragona, Brandon J

    2017-05-01

    Repeated intermittent exposure to cocaine results in the neurochemical sensitization of dopamine (DA) transmission within the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Indeed, the excitability of DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is enhanced within hours of initial psychostimulant exposure. However, it is not known if this is accompanied by a comparably rapid change in the ability of cocaine to increase extracellular DA concentrations in the ventral striatum. To address this question we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) in awake-behaving rats to measure DA responses in the NAc shell following an initial intravenous cocaine injection, and then again 2-h later. Both injections quickly elevated DA levels in the NAc shell, but the second cocaine infusion produced a greater effect than the first, indicating sensitization. This suggests that a single injection of cocaine induces sensitization-related plasticity very rapidly within the mesolimbic DA system.

  19. Effects of alcohol on the membrane excitability and synaptic transmission of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Marty, Vincent N.; Spigelman, Igor

    2013-01-01

    Chronic and excessive alcohol drinking lead to alcohol dependence and loss of control over alcohol consumption, with serious detrimental health consequences. Chronic alcohol exposure followed by protracted withdrawal causes profound alterations in the brain reward system that leads to marked changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state. These long-lasting neuroadaptations are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a central component of the brain reward system, plays a critical role in alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes underlying alcohol-seeking behaviors. Here we review the findings that chronic alcohol exposure produces long-lasting neuroadaptive changes in various ion channels that govern intrinsic membrane properties and neuronal excitability, as well as excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the NAcc that underlie alcohol-seeking behavior during protracted withdrawal. PMID:22445807

  20. Lever pressing responses under a fixed-ratio schedule of mice with 6-hydroxydopamine-induced dopamine depletion in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Yuji; Nishizawa, Kayo; Kai, Nobuyuki; Kobayashi, Kazuto

    2011-02-02

    In order to investigate the relationship between dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens and operant behavior in mice, mice with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced dopamine depletion in the nucleus accumbens were tested for their performance in lever pressing tasks under FR schedules with 8 ratios from FR5 to FR120. The mice were given one 20-mg food pellet per completed FR schedule in FR5, FR10, and FR20; they were given 2 pellets in FR40, and one more cumulatively in the rest of the schedules. Before the 6-OHDA injection surgery, all mice were trained to press a lever under all FR schedules. Then, 6-OHDA or ascorbate was injected into the nucleus accumbens. Postoperatively, the mice were tested under each FR schedule, with 3 sessions per schedule. 6-OHDA-treated mice exhibited an increase in lever pressing latency, i.e., the time interval between the last presentation of the reward and the next lever press, and a decrease in inter-response intervals, i.e., the time interval between 2 lever presses excluding lever pressing latency, irrespective of the FR ratios. Furthermore, in these 6-OHDA-treated mice, the number of lever presses during the first 300s of the session decreased under FR schedules with low ratios (5, 10, and 20). Open field activity, food motivation, and the amount of food consumed were not affected by dopamine depletion in the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that the dopamine system in the nucleus accumbens had an important role in the control of lever pressing latency and inter-response intervals under FR reinforcement schedules.

  1. Mu opioid receptor antagonism in the nucleus accumbens shell blocks consumption of a preferred sucrose solution in an anticipatory contrast paradigm.

    PubMed

    Katsuura, Y; Taha, S A

    2014-03-07

    Binge eating, a central feature of multiple eating disorders, is characterized by excessive consumption occurring during discrete, often brief, intervals. Highly palatable foods play an important role in these binge episodes - foods chosen during bingeing are typically higher in fat or sugar than those normally consumed. Multiple lines of evidence suggest a central role for signaling by endogenous opioids in promoting palatability-driven eating. This role extends to binge-like feeding studied in animal models, which is reduced by administration of opioid antagonists. However, the neural circuits and specific opioid receptors mediating these effects are not fully understood. In the present experiments, we tested the hypothesis that endogenous opioid signaling in the nucleus accumbens promotes consumption in a model of binge eating. We used an anticipatory contrast paradigm in which separate groups of rats were presented sequentially with 4% sucrose and then either 20% or 0% sucrose solutions. In rats presented with 4% and then 20% sucrose, daily training in this paradigm produced robust intake of 20% sucrose, preceded by learned hypophagia during access to 4% sucrose. We tested the effects of site-specific infusions of naltrexone (a nonspecific opioid receptor antagonist: 0, 1, 10, and 50μg/side in the nucleus accumbens core and shell), naltrindole (a delta opioid receptor antagonist: 0, 0.5, 5, and 10μg/side in the nucleus accumbens shell) and beta-funaltrexamine (a mu opioid receptor antagonist: 0 and 2.5μg/side in the nucleus accumbens shell) on consumption in this contrast paradigm. Our results show that signaling through the mu opioid receptor in the nucleus accumbens shell is dynamically modulated during formation of learned food preferences, and promotes binge-like consumption of palatable foods based on these learned preferences.

  2. Dopamine fluctuations in the nucleus accumbens during maintenance, extinction, and reinstatement of intravenous D-amphetamine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Ranaldi, R; Pocock, D; Zereik, R; Wise, R A

    1999-05-15

    Moment-to-moment fluctuations of nucleus accumbens dopamine (DA) were determined in rats self-administering or passively receiving "yoked" intravenous infusions of D-amphetamine. The initial lever presses of each session caused elevations in DA concentration, usually to an initial peak that was not maintained throughout the rest of the session. As the initial ("loading") injections were metabolized, DA levels dropped toward baseline but were sustained at elevated plateaus by subsequent lever pressing that was spaced throughout the remainder of the 3 hr sessions. During this period, DA levels fluctuated phasically, time-locked to the cycle of periodic lever pressing. Consistent with the known pharmacological actions and dynamics of amphetamine, peak DA elevations were seen approximately 10-15 min after each injection, and the mean DA level was at a low point in the phasic cycle at the time of each new lever press. During extinction periods when saline was substituted for amphetamine, DA levels dropped steadily toward baseline levels despite a dramatic increase in (now-unrewarded) lever pressing. Noncontingent injections during extinction reinstated lever-pressing behavior and increased nucleus accumbens DA concentrations. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that under the conditions of this experiment-during periods of amphetamine intoxication in well-trained animals-the timing of amphetamine self-administration comes primarily under the control of extracellular DA concentrations. The probability of lever pressing during the maintenance phase is highest when DA concentrations fall near a characteristic trigger point, a trigger point that is significantly elevated above baseline, and falls as DA concentrations fall below or increase above that trigger point.

  3. Fibromyalgia Patients Had Normal Distraction Related Pain Inhibition but Cognitive Impairment Reflected in Caudate Nucleus and Hippocampus during the Stroop Color Word Test

    PubMed Central

    Martinsen, Sofia; Flodin, Pär; Berrebi, Jonathan; Löfgren, Monika; Bileviciute-Ljungar, Indre; Ingvar, Martin; Fransson, Peter; Kosek, Eva

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms causing cognitive problems in chronic pain patients are not well understood. We used the Stroop color word task (SCWT) to investigate distraction-induced analgesia, cognitive performance, and cerebral activation patterns in 29 fibromyalgia (FM) patients (mean age 49.8 years, range 25–64 years) and 31 healthy controls (HC) (mean age 46.3 years, range 20–63 years). In the first study, SCWT was used to investigate distraction-induced analgesia in FM patients. Two versions of the task were applied, one with only congruent color-word images and one with incongruent images. Pressure pain thresholds were assessed using a pressure algometer before, during, and following SCWT. In the second study, reaction times (RTs) were assessed and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate cerebral activation patterns in FM patients and HC during the SCWT. An event-related task mixing incongruent and congruent images was used. In study one, we found reduced pressure pain sensitivity during SCWT in both groups alike and no statistically significant differences were seen between the incongruent and congruent conditions. The study two revealed longer RTs during the incongruent compared to the congruent condition in both groups. FM patients had longer RTs than HC in both conditions. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between group and congruency; that is, the group differences in RTs were more pronounced during the incongruent condition. This was reflected in a reduced activation of the caudate nucleus, lingual gyrus, temporal areas, and the hippocampus in FM patients compared to HC. In conclusion, we found normal pain inhibition during SWTC in FM patients. The cognitive difficulties seen in FM patients, reflected in longer RTs, were related to reduced activation of the caudate nucleus and hippocampus during incongruent SCWT, which most likely affected the mechanisms of cognitive learning in FM patients. PMID:25275449

  4. Responses of single units in the inferior olive to stimulation of the limb nerves, peripheral skin receptors, cerebellum, caudate nucleus and motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sedgwick, E. M.; Williams, T. D.

    1967-01-01

    1. Extra- and intracellular responses of single units in the inferior olive following stimulation of the cerebellum, limb nerves, skin receptors, the caudate nucleus and cerebral cortex have been described. 2. Responses following cerebellar stimulation were assumed to be antidromic spikes when they occurred after a latency of less than 4 msec and followed stimulus frequencies greater than 220/sec. Other responses with longer latencies were thought to be transynaptic. Evidence for recurrent inhibition of the Renshaw type is given. 3. Following limb nerve stimulation two types of units have been observed; units responding after a short latency and to stimulation of one limb only and units responding with a long latency following stimulation of one or more of the limbs. 4. Units responding to stimulation of the limb nerve after a short latency could often be excited by hair movement and/or light touch on the pads. Other units were excited by pinching and others could not be excited by a physiological stimulus. The receptive field of these units was small and there was no evidence of fringe inhibition. 5. Most units observed represented the contralateral forelimb but there was a significant number of units representing the ipsilateral limbs. 6. The caudato-olivary pathway has been shown to be excitatory. Short latency limb units do not receive afferents from the caudate nucleus. 7. Afferents from the motor cortex excite units in the inferior olive. A remarkable correlation of latencies of responses from both the cerebral cortex and the limbs on to individual units has been described. 8. The results suggest a complex organization of neurones within the inferior olive. A possible plan of the organization of neurones is given and discussed. PMID:5340538

  5. Tio2-dopamine complex implanted unilaterally in the caudate nucleus improves motor activity and behavior function of rats with induced hemiparkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Aragón, Patricia; Domínguez-Marrufo, Leonardo Eduardo; Ibarra-Guerrero, Patricia; Hernandez-Ramírez, Heidi; Hernández-Téllez, Beatriz; López-Martínez, Irma Elena; Sánchez-Cervantes, Ivonne; Santiago-Jacinto, Patricia; García-Macedo, Jorge Alberto; Valverde-Aguilar, Guadalupe; Santiago, Julio

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by malfunction of dopaminergic systems, and the current symptomatic treatment is to replace lost dopamine. For investigating mechanisms of pathogenesis and alternative treatments to compensate lack of dopamine (DA) activity in PD, the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rat model of PD has been useful, these animals display apomorphine-induced contralateral rotational behavior, when they are examined after lesion. The purpose of this study was to assess Titania-dopamine (TiO2-DA) complexes implanted on the caudate nucleus for diminishing motor behavior alterations of the 6-OHDA rat model. Rats with 6-OHDA unilateral lesions received TiO2 alone or TiO2-DA implants, and were tested for open field (OF) gross motor crossing and rearing behaviors, and apomorphine-induced rotation (G) behavior. TiO2 complex have no effects on rearing OF and G behaviors, and a significant reducing effect on crossing motor behavior of normal rats compared to control non-treated rats throughout 56 days of observation. Interestingly, TiO2-DA treatment significant recovered motor crossing and rearing behaviors in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, and diminished the G behaviors during 56 days of examination. Additionally, in the 6-OHDA-lesioned rats TiO2 treatment had a moderate recovering effect only on crossing behavior compared to lesioned non treated rats. Our results suggest that continuous release of dopamine in the caudate nucleus from TiO2-DA complex is capable of reversing gross motor deficits observed in the 6-OHDA-lesioned rat model of PD. Thistype of delivery system of DA represents a promising therapy for PD in humans.

  6. Lesions of the dopaminergic innervation of the nucleus accumbens medial shell delay the generation of preference for sucrose, but not of sexual pheromones.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Hernández, José; Lanuza, Enrique; Martínez-García, Fernando

    2012-01-15

    Male sexual pheromones are rewarding stimuli for female mice, able to induce conditioned place preference. To test whether processing these natural reinforcing stimuli depends on the dopaminergic innervation of the nucleus accumbens, as for other natural rewards, we compare the effects of specific lesions of the dopaminergic innervation of the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens on two different appetitive behaviours, 'pheromone seeking' and sucrose preferential intake. Female mice, with no previous experience with either adult male chemical stimuli or with sucrose, received injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (or vehicle) in the medial shell of the accumbens. Then, we analyzed their preference for male soiled-bedding and their preferential intake of a sucrose solution, with particular emphasis on the dynamics of acquisition of both natural rewards. The results indicate that both lesioned and sham animals showed similar preference for male sexual pheromones, which was constant along the test (linear dynamics). In contrast, lesioned animals differed from sham operated mice in the dynamics of sucrose consumption in their first test of sucrose preference. Sham animals showed an initial sucrose preference followed by preference for water, which can be interpreted as sucrose neophobia. Lesioned animals showed no preference at the beginning of the test, and a delayed sucrose preference appeared followed by a delayed neophobia. The next day, during a second sucrose-preference test, both groups displayed comparable and sustained preferential sucrose intake. Therefore, dopamine in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens has a different role on the reward of sexual pheromones and sucrose.

  7. Subregion-specific role of glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens on drug context-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiaohu; Lasseter, Heather C; Ramirez, Donna R; Ponds, KaiCee L; Wells, Audrey M; Fuchs, Rita A

    2012-03-01

    The functional integrity of the nucleus accumbens (NAC) core and shell is necessary for contextual cocaine-seeking behavior in the reinstatement animal model of drug relapse; however, the neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood. The present study evaluated the contribution of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1 (mGluR1) and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptor populations to drug context-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. Rats were trained to lever press for un-signaled cocaine infusions in a distinct context followed by extinction training in a different context. Cocaine-seeking behavior (non-reinforced active lever pressing) was then assessed in the previously cocaine-paired and extinction contexts after JNJ16259685 (mGluR1 antagonist: 0.0, 0.6, or 30 pg/0.3 µl/hemisphere) or CNQX (AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist: 0.0, 0.03, or 0.3 µg/0.3 µl /hemisphere) administration into the NAC core, medial or lateral NAC shell, or the ventral caudate-putamen (vCPu, anatomical control). JNJ16259685 or CNQX in the NAC core dose-dependently impaired contextual cocaine-seeking behavior relative to vehicle. Conversely, CNQX, but not JNJ16259685, in the lateral or medial NAC shell attenuated, whereas CNQX or JNJ16259685 in vCPu failed to inhibit, this behavior. The manipulations failed to alter instrumental behavior in the extinction context, general motor activity or food-reinforced instrumental behavior in control experiments. Thus, glutamate-mediated changes in drug context-induced motivation for cocaine involve distinct neuropharmacological mechanisms within the core and shell subregions of the NAC, with the stimulation of mGlu1 and AMPA/kainate receptors in the NAC core and the stimulation of AMPA/kainate, but not mGlu1, receptors in the NAC shell being necessary for this phenomenon.

  8. Long-term high frequency deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens drives time-dependent changes in functional connectivity in the rodent limbic system.

    PubMed

    Ewing, Samuel G; Grace, Anthony A

    2013-05-01

    Deep brain stimulation of the ventral striatum is an effective treatment for a variety of treatment refractory psychiatric disorders yet the mechanism of action remains elusive. We examined how five days of stimulation affected rhythmic brain activity in freely moving rats in terms of oscillatory power within, and coherence between, selected limbic regions bilaterally. Custom made bipolar stimulating/recording electrodes were implanted, bilaterally, in the nucleus accumbens core. Local field potential (LFP) recording electrodes were implanted, bilaterally in the prelimbic and orbitofrontal cortices and mediodorsal thalamic nucleus. Stimulation was delivered bilaterally with 100 μs duration constant current pulses at a frequency of 130 Hz delivered at an amplitude of 100 μA using a custom-made stimulation device. Synchronized video and LFP data were collected from animals in their home cages before, during and after stimulation. Signals were processed to remove movement and stimulation artifacts, and analyzed to determine changes in spectral power within, and coherence between regions. Five days stimulation of the nucleus accumbens core yielded temporally dynamic modulation of LFP power in multiple bandwidths across multiple brain regions. Coherence was seen to decrease in the alpha band between the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and core of the nucleus accumbens. Coherence between each core of the nucleus accumbens bilaterally showed rich temporal dynamics throughout the five day stimulation period. Stimulation cessation revealed significant "rebound" effects in both power and coherence in multiple brain regions. Overall, the initial changes in power observed with short-term stimulation are replaced by altered coherence, which may reflect the functional action of DBS.

  9. [The effect of lesions of the caudate nucleus on the development of hypertonic blood pressure dysregulation due to learning stress].

    PubMed

    Hecht, K; Garibjan, A A; Treptow, K

    1976-01-01

    Male albino rats were used to study the effect of excluding the nucleus caudatus upon the development of a hypertensive dysregulation induced by the load of learning (stress). A 3-week stress exposure considerably restricted learning and memory processes in all the animals with nucleus caudatus lesions. Systolic blood pressure values and adrenal weights were within the physiological range. In animals with intact brains, the same stress exposure caused a certain restriction of learning processes and a rise of blood pressure and adrenal weight. The results described here show that the lesions of nucleus caudatus structures, similar to the exclusion of circumscribed areas of the hippocampus and the reticular formation, prevents spreading of stress-induced emotional excitation into visceral functional areas.

  10. A high-fat diet or galanin in the PVN decreases phosphorylation of CREB in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Bocarsly, Miriam E.; Avena, Nicole M.

    2013-01-01

    A high-fat diet (HFD) can increase hypothalamic galanin (GAL). GAL has recently been shown to inhibit opiate reward, which in turn, decreases cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We hypothesized that injection of GAL into the PVN, or consumption of a HFD, would be associated with a decrease in NAc CREB. In Exp. 1, GAL in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of naïve rats decreased phosphorylated-CREB (pCREB) in the NAc compared to saline injected controls. In Exp. 2, rats fed ad libitum HFD for 4 wks had reduced NAc pCREB levels compared to rats with sporadic tastes of the HFD. Body weight, serum triglyceride and leptin levels were also raised in the chronic HFD-fed rats. These data suggest that PVN GAL or chronic intake of a HFD can decrease NAc pCREB. The implications of these findings may help to explain the lack of opiate-like withdrawal that has been reported in response to overeating a high fat diet, thereby providing a potential mechanism underlying behavioral differences seen with addiction-like overconsumption of different types of palatable foods. PMID:23747305

  11. Depression-like behaviour in mice is associated with disrupted circadian rhythms in nucleus accumbens and periaqueductal grey.

    PubMed

    Landgraf, Dominic; Long, Jaimie E; Welsh, David K

    2016-05-01

    An association between circadian rhythms and mood regulation is well established, and disturbed circadian clocks are believed to contribute to the development of mood disorders, including major depressive disorder. The circadian system is coordinated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker in the hypothalamus that receives light input from the retina and synchronizes circadian oscillators in other brain regions and peripheral tissues. Lacking the tight neuronal network that couples single-cell oscillators in the SCN, circadian clocks outside the SCN may be less stable and more susceptible to disturbances, for example by clock gene mutations or uncontrollable stress. However, non-SCN circadian clocks have not been studied extensively in rodent models of mood disorders. In the present study, it was hypothesized that disturbances of local circadian clocks in mood-regulating brain areas are associated with depression-like behaviour in mice. Using the learned helplessness procedure, depression-like behaviour was evoked in mice bearing the PER2::LUC circadian reporter, and then circadian rhythms of PER2 expression were examined in brain slices from these mice using luminometry and bioluminescence imaging. It was found that helplessness is associated with absence of circadian rhythms in the nucleus accumbens and the periaqueductal grey, two of the most critical brain regions within the reward circuit. The current study provides evidence that susceptibility of mice to depression-like behaviour is associated with disturbed local circadian clocks in a subset of mood-regulating brain areas, but the direction of causality remains to be determined.

  12. The Sodium Channel β4 Auxiliary Subunit Selectively Controls Long-Term Depression in Core Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Gao, Guangping; Lasek, Amy W.; Homanics, Gregg E.; Guildford, Melissa; Tapper, Andrew R.; Martin, Gilles E.

    2017-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for generating the initial rapid depolarization of neuronal membrane potential during action potentials (APs) that enable cell-to-cell communication, the propagation of signals throughout the brain, and the induction of synaptic plasticity. Although all brain neurons express one or several variants coding for the core pore-forming sodium channel α subunit, the expression of the β (β1–4) auxiliary subunits varies greatly. Of particular interest is the β4 subunit, encoded by the Scn4b gene, that is highly expressed in dorsal and ventral (i.e., nucleus accumbens – NAc) striata compared to other brain regions, and that endows sodium channels with unique gating properties. However, its role on neuronal activity, synaptic plasticity, and behaviors related to drugs of abuse remains poorly understood. Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings with two-photon calcium imaging in Scn4b knockout (KO) and knockdown mice, we found that Scn4b altered the properties of APs in core accumbens medium spiny neurons (MSNs). These alterations are associated with a reduction of the probability of MSNs to evoke spike-timing-dependent long-term depression (tLTD) and a reduced ability of backpropagating APs to evoke dendritic calcium transients. In contrast, long-term potentiation (tLTP) remained unaffected. Interestingly, we also showed that amphetamine-induced locomotor activity was significantly reduced in male Scn4b KO mice compared to wild-type controls. Taken together, these data indicate that the Scn4b subunit selectively controls tLTD by modulating dendritic calcium transients evoked by backpropagating APs. PMID:28243192

  13. Increased impulsive behavior and risk proneness following lentivirus-mediated dopamine transporter over-expression in rats' nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Adriani, W; Boyer, F; Gioiosa, L; Macrì, S; Dreyer, J-L; Laviola, G

    2009-03-03

    Multiple theories have been proposed for sensation seeking and vulnerability to impulse-control disorders [Zuckerman M, Kuhlman DM (2000) Personality and risk-taking: Common biosocial factors. J Pers 68:999-1029], and many of these rely on a dopamine system deficit. Available animal models reproduce only some behavioral symptoms and seem devoid of construct validity. We used lentivirus tools for over-expressing or silencing the dopamine transporter (DAT) and we evaluated the resulting behavioral profiles in terms of motivation and self-control. Wistar adult rats received stereotaxic inoculation of a lentivirus that allowed localized intra-accumbens delivery of a DAT gene enhancer/silencer, or the green fluorescent protein, GFP. These animals were studied for intolerance to delay, risk proneness and novelty seeking. As expected, controls shifted their demanding from a large reward toward a small one when the delivery of the former was increasingly delayed (or uncertain). Interestingly, in the absence of general locomotor effects, DAT over-expressing rats showed increased impulsivity (i.e. a more marked shift of demanding from the large/delayed toward the small/soon reward), and increased risk proneness (i.e. a less marked shift from the large/uncertain toward the small/sure reward), compared with controls. Rats with enhanced or silenced DAT expression did not show any significant preference for a novel environment. In summary, consistent with literature on comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and pathological gambling, we demonstrate that DAT over-expression in rats' nucleus accumbens leads to impulsive and risk prone phenotype. Thus, a reduced dopaminergic tone following altered accumbal DAT function may subserve a sensation-seeker phenotype and the vulnerability to impulse-control disorders.

  14. Functional interaction of medial mediodorsal thalamic nucleus but not nucleus accumbens with amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex is essential for adaptive response selection after reinforcer devaluation.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, Alicia; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2010-01-13

    In nonhuman primates, reward-based decision making may be assessed through choices of objects overlying two different foods, one of which has been devalued by selective satiation. The most adaptive object choices yield the food of higher value. A large body of data identifies the amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo) as neural mediators of adaptive responses to reinforcer devaluation. More recent work in nonhuman primates reveals the critical role of the medial, magnocellular portion of the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MDm) as well. Because both the nucleus accumbens (NA) and the MDm are anatomically related to the amygdala and PFo, and because both regions are implicated in reward processing, we tested whether either region necessarily interacts with the amygdala and PFo to mediate reinforcer devaluation effects. We used a crossed-disconnection design in which monkeys received amygdala and PFo lesions in one hemisphere combined with either NA or MDm lesions in the contralateral hemisphere. Monkeys that sustained NA disconnection, like controls, showed robust shifts in object choices in response to reinforcer devaluation. In contrast, monkeys that sustained MDm disconnection failed to adjust their object choices. Thus, MDm, but not NA, works together with the amygdala and PFo to support reward-based decision making.

  15. Individual Differences in Ethanol Locomotor Sensitization Are Associated with Dopamine D1 Receptor Intra-Cellular Signaling of DARPP-32 in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Abrahao, Karina Possa; Oliveira Goeldner, Francine; Souza-Formigoni, Maria Lucia Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    In mice there are clear individual differences in the development of behavioral sensitization to ethanol, a progressive potentiation of its psychomotor stimulant effect. Variability in the behavioral responses to ethanol has been associated with alcohol preference. Here we investigated if the functional hyperresponsiveness of D1 receptors observed in ethanol sensitized mice leads to an increased activation of DARPP-32, a central regulatory protein in medium spiny neurons, in the nucleus accumbens - a brain region known to play a role in drug reinforcement. Swiss Webster mice received ethanol (2.2 g/kg/day) or saline i.p. administrations for 21 days and were weekly evaluated regarding their locomotor activity. From those treated with ethanol, the 33% with the highest levels of locomotor activity were classified as “sensitized” and the 33% with the lowest levels as "non-sensitized”. The latter presented similar locomotor levels to those of saline-treated mice. Different subgroups of mice received intra-accumbens administrations of saline and, 48 h later, SKF-38393, D1 receptor agonist 0.1 or 1 µg/side. Indeed, sensitized mice presented functional hyperresponsiveness of D1 receptors in the accumbens. Two weeks following the ethanol treatment, other subgroups received systemic saline or SKF 10 mg/kg, 20 min before the euthanasia. The nucleus accumbens were dissected for the Western Blot analyses of total DARPP-32 and phospho-Thr34-DARPP-32 expression. D1 receptor activation induced higher phospho-Thr34-DARPP-32 expression in sensitized mice than in non-sensitized or saline. The functionally hyperresponsiveness of D1 receptors in the nucleus accumbens is associated with an increased phospho-Thr34-DARPP-32 expression after D1 receptor activation. These data suggest that an enduring increase in the sensitivity of the dopamine D1 receptor intracellular pathway sensitivity represents a neurobiological correlate associated with the development of locomotor

  16. Differential sensitivity of ethanol-elicited ERK phosphorylation in nucleus accumbens of Sardinian alcohol-preferring and -non preferring rats.

    PubMed

    Rosas, Michela; Zaru, Alessandro; Sabariego, Marta; Giugliano, Valentina; Carboni, Ezio; Colombo, Giancarlo; Acquas, Elio

    2014-08-01

    Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) and -non preferring (sNP) rats have been selectively bred for opposite ethanol preference and consumption; sP rats represent a validated experimental tool to model several aspects of excessive ethanol drinking in humans. Phosphorylated Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinase (pERK) in dopamine-rich terminal areas plays a critical role in several psychopharmacological effects of addictive drugs, including ethanol. This study was aimed at investigating whether ethanol-elicited ERK activation may differ in key brain areas of ethanol-naïve sP and sNP rats. To this end, the effects of ethanol (0, 0.5, 1, and 2 g/kg, administered intra-gastrically [i.g.]) on ERK phosphorylation were assessed by pERK immunohistochemistry in the shell (AcbSh) and core (AcbC) of the nucleus accumbens (Acb) as well as in the prelimbic (PrL) and infralimbic (IL) prefrontal cortex (PFCx), in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BSTL) and in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). Ethanol (1 g/kg) significantly increased pERK immunoreactivity in AcbSh and AcbC of sP but not sNP rats. Conversely, ethanol failed to affect pERK expression in PrL and IL PFCx as well as in BSTL and CeA of both sP and sNP rats. These results suggest that selective breeding of these rat lines results in differential effects of acute ethanol on ERK phosphorylation in brain regions critical for the psychopharmacological effects of ethanol.

  17. 17β-estradiol modulates mitochondrial Ca²⁺ flux in rat caudate nucleus and brain stem.

    PubMed

    Petrović, S; Milošević, M; Drakulić, D; Grković, I; Stanojlović, M; Mitrović, N; Horvat, A

    2012-09-18

    The aim of this study was to examine the rapid non-genomic effect of 17β-estradiol (E2) on Ca(2+) transport in mitochondria isolated from the nerve terminals (synaptosomes) of caudate nuclei (NC) and brain stems (BS) of ovariectomised female rats. In physiological conditions no effect of E2 on Ca(2+) influx into synaptosomal mitochondria through ruthenium red (RR)-sensitive uniporter was observed. However, in the presence of uncoupling agent carbonyl cyanide4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP) (1μmol/l), pre-treatment with 0.5nmol/l E2 protected mitochondrial membrane potential and consequently increased Ca(2+) influx (2.3-fold in NC and 3.1-fold in BS). At the same time, 0.5nmol/l E2 by increasing the affinity of mitochondrial Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger for Na(+) inhibited mitochondrial Ca(2+) efflux in NC and BS by about 40%. Also, the specific binding of physiological E2 concentrations (0.1-10nmol/l) to isolated synaptosomal mitochondria was detected. Using membrane impermeable E2 bound to bovine serum albumin and selective inhibitor of mitochondrial Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger, we obtained that E2's action on mitochondrial Ca(2+) efflux at least partially is due to the direct effects on the mitochondrial membrane and/or Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger located in inner mitochondrial membrane. Our results implicate E2 as a modulator of Ca(2+) concentration in mitochondrial matrix, and ultimately in the cytosol. Given the vital role of Ca(2+) in regulation of total nerve cells activity, especially energy metabolism, neurotransmission and directing the cells toward survival or cell death, the effects on mitochondrial Ca(2+) transport could be one of the important modes of E2 neuromodulatory action independent of the genome.

  18. L-DOPA reverses altered gene expression of substance P but not enkephalin in the caudate-putamen of common marmosets treated with MPTP.

    PubMed

    Jolkkonen, J; Jenner, P; Marsden, C D

    1995-09-01

    The mRNA levels encoding neuropeptides were measured in the caudate nucleus, putamen and nucleus accumbens of common marmosets exposed to 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine pyridine (MPTP). Motor deficits induced by MPTP treatment were characterized by akinesia, postural abnormalities and rigidity. Seven days after MPTP treatment, there was a marked increase in levels of enkephalin mRNA in the caudate nucleus and putamen. In contrast, the hybridization signal for substance P mRNA was reduced. Alterations in the mRNA encoding neuropeptides were similar but less extensive in marmosets at 18-50 months following MPTP treatment. No significant changes in enkephalin or substance P mRNA in the nucleus accumbens were observed at either time. Treatment with L-DOPA plus carbidopa for 4 weeks reversed MPTP-induce motor deficits and other behavioural abnormalities. The decrease in substance P mRNA in the striatum of MPTP-treated animals was reversed by L-DOPA treatment and reached levels above those found in normal animals. In contrast, the increase in enkephalin mRNA in marmosets treated with MPTP was not altered by L-DOPA treatment. In the nucleus accumbens the levels of peptide mRNA were not affected by L-DOPA treatment. Loss of nigral dopamine cells in a primate species causes opposing alterations in the expression of enkephalin and substance P mRNA in the caudate nucleus and putamen. No changes were observed in the nucleus accumbens, which reflects the resistance of the mesolimbic neurons to MPTP toxicity. While the decrease in substance P mRNA was reversed by L-DOPA treatment, the increase in enkephalin mRNA was not. This may partly indicate the greater effect of L-DOPA on the direct GABA pathway compared to the indirect output pathway from the striatum.

  19. Descending projections from the nucleus accumbens shell excite activity of taste-responsive neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract in the hamster.

    PubMed

    Li, Cheng-Shu; Lu, Da-Peng; Cho, Young K

    2015-06-01

    The nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) and the parabrachial nuclei (PbN) are the first and second relays in the rodent central taste pathway. A series of electrophysiological experiments revealed that spontaneous and taste-evoked activities of brain stem gustatory neurons are altered by descending input from multiple forebrain nuclei in the central taste pathway. The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) is a key neural substrate of reward circuitry, but it has not been verified as a classical gustatory nucleus. A recent in vivo electrophysiological study demonstrated that the NAcSh modulates the spontaneous and gustatory activities of hamster pontine taste neurons. In the present study, we investigated whether activation of the NAcSh modulates gustatory responses of the NST neurons. Extracellular single-unit activity was recorded from medullary neurons in urethane-anesthetized hamsters. After taste response was confirmed by delivery of sucrose, NaCl, citric acid, and quinine hydrochloride to the anterior tongue, the NAcSh was stimulated bilaterally with concentric bipolar stimulating electrodes. Stimulation of the ipsilateral and contralateral NAcSh induced firings from 54 and 37 of 90 medullary taste neurons, respectively. Thirty cells were affected bilaterally. No inhibitory responses or antidromic invasion was observed after NAcSh activation. In the subset of taste cells tested, high-frequency electrical stimulation of the NAcSh during taste delivery enhanced taste-evoked neuronal firing. These results demonstrate that two-thirds of the medullary gustatory neurons are under excitatory descending influence from the NAcSh, which is a strong indication of communication between the gustatory pathway and the mesolimbic reward pathway.

  20. Differential Dopamine Release Dynamics in the Nucleus Accumbens Core and Shell Reveal Complementary Signals for Error Prediction and Incentive Motivation

    PubMed Central

    Cacciapaglia, Fabio; Wightman, R. Mark; Carelli, Regina M.

    2015-01-01

    Mesolimbic dopamine (DA) is phasically released during appetitive behaviors, though there is substantive disagreement about the specific purpose of these DA signals. For example, prediction error (PE) models suggest a role of learning, while incentive salience (IS) models argue that the DA signal imbues stimuli with value and thereby stimulates motivated behavior. However, within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) patterns of DA release can strikingly differ between subregions, and as such, it is possible that these patterns differentially contribute to aspects of PE and IS. To assess this, we measured DA release in subregions of the NAc during a behavioral task that spatiotemporally separated sequential goal-directed stimuli. Electrochemical methods were used to measure subsecond NAc dopamine release in the core and shell during a well learned instrumental chain schedule in which rats were trained to press one lever (seeking; SL) to gain access to a second lever (taking; TL) linked with food delivery, and again during extinction. In the core, phasic DA release was greatest following initial SL presentation, but minimal for the subsequent TL and reward events. In contrast, phasic shell DA showed robust release at all task events. Signaling decreased between the beginning and end of sessions in the shell, but not core. During extinction, peak DA release in the core showed a graded decrease for the SL and pauses in release during omitted expected rewards, whereas shell DA release decreased predominantly during the TL. These release dynamics suggest parallel DA signals capable of supporting distinct theories of appetitive behavior. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopamine signaling in the brain is important for a variety of cognitive functions, such as learning and motivation. Typically, it is assumed that a single dopamine signal is sufficient to support these cognitive functions, though competing theories disagree on how dopamine contributes to reward-based behaviors. Here, we have

  1. Cue-Evoked Dopamine Release Rapidly Modulates D2 Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens During Motivated Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Owesson-White, Catarina; Belle, Anna M.; Herr, Natalie R.; Peele, Jessica L.; Gowrishankar, Preethi; Carelli, Regina M.

    2016-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons that project from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) fire in response to unpredicted rewards or to cues that predict reward delivery. Although it is well established that reward-related events elicit dopamine release in the NAc, the role of rapid dopamine signaling in modulating NAc neurons that respond to these events remains unclear. Here, we examined dopamine's actions in the NAc in the rat brain during an intracranial self-stimulation task in which a cue predicted lever availability for electrical stimulation of the VTA. To distinguish actions of dopamine at select receptors on NAc neurons during the task, we used a multimodal sensor that probes three aspects of neuronal communication simultaneously: neurotransmitter release, cell firing, and identification of dopamine receptor type. Consistent with prior studies, we first show dopamine release events in the NAc both at cue presentation and after lever press (LP). Distinct populations of NAc neurons encode these behavioral events at these same locations selectively. Using our multimodal sensor, we found that dopamine-mediated responses after the cue involve exclusively a subset of D2-like receptors (D2Rs), whereas dopamine-mediated responses proximal to the LP are mediated by both D1-like receptors (D1R) and D2Rs. These results demonstrate for the first time that dopamine-mediated responses after cues that predict reward availability are specifically linked to its actions at a subset of neurons in the NAc containing D2Rs. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Successful reward procurement typically involves the completion of a goal-directed behavior in response to appropriate environmental cues. Although numerous studies link the mesolimbic dopamine system with these processes, how dopamine's effects are mediated on the receptor level within a key neural substrate, the nucleus accumbens, remains elusive. Here, we used a unique multimodal sensor that reveals three aspects of

  2. Nucleus Accumbens AMPA Receptors Are Necessary for Morphine-Withdrawal-Induced Negative-Affective States in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Shayla E.; Puttick, Daniel J.; Sawyer, Allison M.; Potter, David N.; Mague, Stephen; Carlezon, William A.

    2016-01-01

    Dependence is a hallmark feature of opiate addiction and is defined by the emergence of somatic and affective withdrawal signs. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) integrates dopaminergic and glutamatergic inputs to mediate rewarding and aversive properties of opiates. Evidence suggests that AMPA glutamate-receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity within the NAc underlies aspects of addiction. However, the degree to which NAc AMPA receptors (AMPARs) contribute to somatic and affective signs of opiate withdrawal is not fully understood. Here, we show that microinjection of the AMPAR antagonist NBQX into the NAc shell of morphine-dependent rats prevented naloxone-induced conditioned place aversions and decreases in sensitivity to brain stimulation reward, but had no effect on somatic withdrawal signs. Using a protein cross-linking approach, we found that the surface/intracellular ratio of NAc GluA1, but not GluA2, increased with morphine treatment, suggesting postsynaptic insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPARs. Consistent with this, 1-naphthylacetyl spermine trihydrochloride (NASPM), an antagonist of GluA2-lacking AMPARs, attenuated naloxone-induced decreases in sensitivity to brain stimulation reward. Naloxone decreased the surface/intracellular ratio and synaptosomal membrane levels of NAc GluA1 in morphine-dependent rats, suggesting a compensatory removal of AMPARs from synaptic zones. Together, these findings indicate that chronic morphine increases synaptic availability of GluA1-containing AMPARs in the NAc, which is necessary for triggering negative-affective states in response to naloxone. This is broadly consistent with the hypothesis that activation of NAc neurons produces acute aversive states and raises the possibility that inhibiting AMPA transmission selectively in the NAc may have therapeutic value in the treatment of addiction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Morphine dependence and withdrawal result in profound negative-affective states that play a major role in the

  3. Dopamine in nucleus accumbens: salience modulation in latent inhibition and overshadowing.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J D; Thur, K E; Marsden, C A; Cassaday, H J

    2011-12-01

    Latent inhibition (LI) is demonstrated when non-reinforced pre-exposure to a to-be-conditioned stimulus retards later learning. Learning is similarly retarded in overshadowing, in this case using the relative intensity of competing cues to manipulate associability. Electrolytic/excitotoxic lesions to shell accumbens (NAc) and systemic amphetamine both reliably abolish LI. Here a conditioned emotional response procedure was used to demonstrate LI and overshadowing and to examine the role of dopamine (DA) within NAc. Experiment 1 showed that LI but not overshadowing was abolished by systemic amphetamine (1.0 mg/kg i.p.). In Experiment 2, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) was used to lesion DA terminals within NAc: both shell- and core- (plus shell-)lesioned rats showed normal LI and overshadowing. Experiment 3 compared the effects of amphetamine microinjected at shell and core coordinates prior to conditioning: LI, but not overshadowing, was abolished by 10.0 but not 5.0 µg/side amphetamine injected in core but not shell NAc. These results suggest that the abolition of LI produced by NAc shell lesions is not readily reproduced by regionally restricted DA depletion within NAc; core rather than shell NAc mediates amphetamine-induced abolition of LI; overshadowing is modulated by different neural substrates.

  4. ARPP-21, a cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein enriched in dopamine-innervated brain regions. I. Purification and characterization of the protein from bovine caudate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Hemmings, H C; Greengard, P

    1989-03-01

    ARPP-21 (cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr = 21,000 as determined by SDS/PAGE) is a major cytosolic substrate for cAMP-stimulated protein phosphorylation in dopamine-innervated regions of rat CNS (Walaas et al., 1983c). This acidic phosphoprotein has now been identified in bovine caudate nucleus cytosol and purified to homogeneity from this source. The purification procedure involved diethylaminoethyl-cellulose chromatography, ammonium sulfate fractionation, phenyl-Sepharose CL-4B chromatography, and fast protein liquid chromatography using Mono Q anion-exchange resin. Two isoforms of ARPP-21 (ARPP-21A and ARPP-21B) were obtained, which were present in approximately equal amounts in the starting material. ARPP-21A was purified 2610-fold with a final yield of 20% and ARPP-21B was purified 2940-fold with a final yield of 21%. The purified preparations of both isoforms were judged to be homogenous by SDS/PAGE. ARPP-21A and ARPP-21B yielded identical 2-dimensional thin-layer tryptic phosphopeptide maps, identical amino acid compositions and closely related, but distinct, reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatograms of tryptic digests. The amino acid composition of ARPP-21 showed a high content of glutamic acid/glutamine, and no methionine, tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, or histidine. ARPP-21 was stable to heat denaturation and to 50% (vol/vol) ethanol treatment and was partially soluble at pH 2. The Mr determined for ARPP-21 by SDS/PAGE was 21,000. The Stokes radius of ARPP-21 was 26.3 A, and the sedimentation coefficient of ARPP-21 was 1.3 S; these values yield a calculated molecular mass of 13,700 Da and a frictional ratio of 1.7, indicative of an elongated tertiary structure. ARPP-21 was an excellent substrate for cAMP-dependent protein kinase and was either not phosphorylated or only poorly phosphorylated by cGMP-dependent protein kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase I, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, casein kinase II, or

  5. Injections of the selective adenosine A2A antagonist MSX-3 into the nucleus accumbens core attenuate the locomotor suppression induced by haloperidol in rats

    PubMed Central

    Ishiwari, Keita; Madson, Lisa J.; Farrar, Andrew M.; Mingote, Susana M.; Valenta, John P.; DiGianvittorio, Michael D.; Frank, Lauren E.; Correa, Merce; Hockemeyer, Jörg; Müller, Christa; Salamone, John D.

    2009-01-01

    There is considerable evidence of interactions between adenosine A2A receptors and dopamine D2 receptors in striatal areas, and antagonists of the A2A receptor have been shown to reverse the motor effects of DA antagonists in animal models. The D2 antagonist haloperidol produces parkinsonism in humans, and also induces motor effects in rats, such as suppression of locomotion. The present experiments were conducted to study the ability of the adenosine A2A antagonist MSX-3 to reverse the locomotor effects of acute or subchronic administration of haloperidol in rats. Systemic (i.p.) injections of MSX-3 (2.5–10.0 mg/kg) were capable of attenuating the suppression of locomotion induced by either acute or repeated (i.e., 14 day) administration of 0.5 mg/kg haloperidol. Bilateral infusions of MSX-3 directly into the nucleus accumbens core (2.5 µg or 5.0 µg in 0.5 µl per side) produced a dose-related increase in locomotor activity in rats treated with 0.5 mg/kg haloperidol either acutely or repeatedly. There were no overall significant effects of MSX-3 infused directly into the dorsomedial nucleus accumbens shell or the ventrolateral neostriatum. These results indicate that antagonism of adenosine A2A receptors can attenuate the locomotor suppression produced by DA antagonism, and that this effect may be at least partially mediated by A2A receptors in the nucleus accumbens core. These studies suggest that adenosine and dopamine systems interact to modulate the locomotor and behavioral activation functions of nucleus accumbens core. PMID:17223207

  6. Monitoring of extracellular dopamine levels in the dorsal striatum and the nucleus accumbens with 5-minute on-line microdialysis in freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Saigusa, T; Fusa, K; Okutsu, H; Koshikawa, N

    2001-06-01

    We report a reliable 5-min on-line monitoring of dopamine released from the dorsal striatum and the nucleus accumbens of rats using in vivo brain microdialysis. The detection limit for dopamine was approximately 20 fg in a 10-microl injection sample using high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection set-up. Basal levels of dopamine in the dorsal striatum and the nucleus accumbens 4 h after probe insertion were 2.65 +/- 0.30 pg/5 min and 1.57 +/- 0.31 pg/5 min, respectively, whereas those of 20 h after probe insertion were lower: 0.97 +/- 0.21 pg/5 min and 0.51 +/- 0.09 pg/5 min, respectively. Infusion of the sodium channel blocker, tetrodotoxin (TTX; 2 microM), essentially suppressed levels of dopamine in both brain areas. At 4 h after probe insertion, TTX perfused for 4 h via dialysis probe reduced levels of dopamine to 0.47 +/- 0.08 pg/5 min (80% reduction) in the dorsal striatum and to 0.56 +/- 0.19 pg/5 min (65% reduction) in the nucleus accumbens. At 20 h after probe insertion, a similar TTX perfusion more rapidly reduced levels of dopamine to 0.05 +/- 0.01 pg/5 min (95% reduction) in the dorsal striatum and to 0.08 +/- 0.01 pg/5 min (85 % reduction) in the nucleus accumbens. These results suggest that relatively fast changes in extracellular dopamine levels in these two brain areas can reliably be followed by this in vivo microdialysis technique.

  7. Hippocampus and nucleus accumbens activity during neutral word recognition related to trait physical anhedonia in patients with schizophrenia: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung Suk; Chun, Ji Won; Kang, Jee In; Kang, Dong-Il; Park, Hae-Jeong; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2012-07-30

    Emotional memory dysfunction may be associated with anhedonia in schizophrenia. This study aimed to investigate the neurobiological basis of emotional memory and its relationship with anhedonia in schizophrenia specifically in emotional memory relate brain regions of interest (ROIs) including the amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Fourteen patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy subjects performed a word-image associative encoding task, during which a neutral word was presented with a positive, neutral, or control image. Subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing the recognition task. Correlation analyses were performed between the percent signal change (PSC) in the ROIs and the anhedonia scores. We found no group differences in recognition accuracy and reaction time. The PSC of the hippocampus in the positive and neutral conditions, and the PSC in the nucleus accumbens in the control condition, appeared to be negatively correlated with the Physical Anhedonia Scale (PAS) scores in patients with schizophrenia, while significant correlations with the PAS scores were not observed in healthy subjects. This study provides further evidences of the role of the hippocampus and nucleus accumbens in trait physical anhedonia and possible associations between emotional memory deficit and trait physical anhedonia in patients with schizophrenia.

  8. Effects of bupropion on the forced swim test and release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens in ACTH-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Kitamura, Yoshihisa; Yagi, Takahiko; Kitagawa, Kouhei; Shinomiya, Kazuaki; Kawasaki, Hiromu; Asanuma, Masato; Gomita, Yutaka

    2010-08-01

    The dopamine reuptake inhibitor bupropion has clinically been proven to improve depression and treatment-resistant depression. We examined its influence on the duration of immobility during the forced swim test in adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-treated rats and further analyzed the possible role of dopamine receptors in this effect. Additionally, the mechanism by which bupropion acts in this model was explored specifically in relation to the site of action through the use of microinjections into the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Bupropion significantly decreased the duration of immobility in normal and ACTH-treated rats. This effect was blocked by D2 and D3 receptor antagonists in normal rats. Furthermore, infusions of bupropion into the nucleus accumbens, but not medial prefrontal cortex, decreased the immobility of normal and ACTH-treated rats during the forced swim test. Bupropion treatment plus repeated ACTH treatment significantly increased the extracellular dopamine concentration. These findings suggest the antidepressant-like effect of bupropion to be related to levels of dopamine in the rat nucleus accumbens.

  9. Effects on serotonin of (-)nicotine and dimethylphenylpiperazinium in the dorsal raphe and nucleus accumbens of freely behaving rats.

    PubMed

    Ma, Z; Strecker, R E; McKenna, J T; Thakkar, M M; McCarley, R W; Tao, R

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the neurochemical mechanism underlying the effect of nicotine and dimethylphenylpiperazinium (DMPP) on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) release in the dorsal raphe nucleus and nucleus accumbens of freely behaving rats. For comparison, lobeline, cytisine and RJR-2403 were also investigated. It was found that all drugs, when infused locally, evoked an increase of 5-HT in the dorsal raphe nucleus. However, the magnitudes of the 5-HT increase were comparatively different between the drugs in the ranking of their potency: DMPP>RJR 2403>nicotine>lobeline>cytisine. Both methyllycaconitine, a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist and methyllycaconitine, a selective alpha7-containing nAChR antagonist blocked the effects of nicotine and DMPP, suggesting that alpha7 subunit mediated the increases in 5-HT. However, DMPP was reported to increase 5-HT using non-nAChR mechanism [Lendvai B, Sershen H, Lajtha A, Santha E, Baranyi M, Vizi ES (1996) Differential mechanisms involved in the effect of nicotinic agonists DMPP and lobeline to release [3H]5-HT from rat hippocampal slices. Neuropharmacology 35:1769-1777]. To test if 5-HT carriers were involved, a selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram (1 microM) was infused into the dorsal raphe nucleus before administration of nicotine or DMPP. As a result, citalopram significantly blocked the effect of DMPP, whereas it had no influence on nicotine. Finally, the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) was used to test whether the increases in 5-HT were depolarization-dependent. Administration of 8-OH-DPAT (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.) produced significant decreases in 5-HT in the animals treated with nicotine. In contrast, the effect of DMPP was not altered by 8-OH-DPAT, suggesting that the increases in 5-HT were independent of cell membrane depolarization. In conclusion, there are different mechanisms involved in nicotine- and DMPP-evoked increases in 5-HT. This

  10. Violence as a source of pleasure or displeasure is associated with specific functional connectivity with the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Porges, Eric C.; Decety, Jean

    2013-01-01

    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 (AI), brainstem, ventral tegmental area (VTA), 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 (FC) seeded in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) (a structure known to be responsive to anticipating both positive and negative outcomes) with the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and anterior insular cortex (AIC) (regions involved in positive feelings and visceral somatic representations). Displeasure ratings of MMA were related to increased FC 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. PMID:23964226

  11. Increased expression of proenkephalin and prodynorphin mRNAs in the nucleus accumbens of compulsive methamphetamine taking rats

    PubMed Central

    Cadet, Jean Lud; Krasnova, Irina N.; Walther, Donna; Brannock, Christie; Ladenheim, Bruce; McCoy, Michael T.; Collector, Daniel; Torres, Oscar V.; Terry, Ndeah; Jayanthi, Subramaniam

    2016-01-01

    Addiction is associated with neuroadaptive changes in the brain. In the present paper, we used a model of methamphetamine self-administration during which we used footshocks to divide rats into animals that continue to press a lever to get methamphetamine (shock-resistant) and those that significantly reduce pressing the lever (shock-sensitive) despite the shocks. We trained male Sprague-Dawley rats to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) for 9 hours daily for 20 days. Control group self-administered saline. Subsequently, methamphetamine self-administration rats were punished by mild electric footshocks for 10 days with gradual increases in shock intensity. Two hours after stopping behavioral experiments, we euthanized rats and isolated nucleus accumbens (NAc) samples. Affymetrix Array experiments revealed 24 differentially expressed genes between the shock-resistant and shock-sensitive rats, with 15 up- and 9 downregulated transcripts. Ingenuity pathway analysis showed that these transcripts belong to classes of genes involved in nervous system function, behavior, and disorders of the basal ganglia. These genes included prodynorphin (PDYN) and proenkephalin (PENK), among others. Because PDYN and PENK are expressed in dopamine D1- and D2-containing NAc neurons, respectively, these findings suggest that mechanisms, which impact both cell types may play a role in the regulation of compulsive methamphetamine taking by rats. PMID:27841313

  12. Nucleus accumbens mu opioid receptors mediate immediate postictal decrease in locomotion after an amygdaloid kindled seizure in rats.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingyi; Boyce, Richard; Leung, L Stan

    2010-02-01

    Postictal movement dysfunction is a common symptom in patients with epilepsy. We investigated the involvement of opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) in amygdaloid kindling-induced postictal decrease in locomotion (PDL) in rats. Seizures were induced by daily electrical stimulation of the basolateral amygdala until four consecutive stage 5 seizures were elicited. Locomotion was quantified before and after infusion of an opioid receptor antagonist or saline into the NAC. Whereas PDL was induced after a stage 5 seizure in saline-infused rats, pre-infusion of the mu opioid receptor antagonist H-D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2) (CTAP, 5 microg/1 microL/side) into the NAC prevented PDL. Pre-infusion of delta (naltrindole, 30 microg/1 microL/side), kappa (nor-binaltorphimine, 1.8 microg/1 microL/side), or nonselective (naloxone, 10 microg/1 microL/side) opioid receptor antagonists did not block PDL, but late postictal hyperactivity was blocked by naltrindole. None of the antagonists affected amygdaloid evoked afterdischarge duration. It is suggested that mu opioid receptors in the NAC participate in amygdaloid seizure-induced PDL without affecting seizure duration.

  13. The nucleus accumbens is involved in both the pursuit of social reward and the avoidance of social punishment

    PubMed Central

    Kohls, Gregor; Perino, Michael T.; Taylor, James M.; Madva, Elizabeth N.; Cayless, Sarah J.; Troiani, Vanessa; Price, Elinora; Faja, Susan; Herrington, John D.; Schultz, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    Human social motivation is characterized by the pursuit of social reward and the avoidance of social punishment. The ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens (VS/Nacc), in particular, has been implicated in the reward component of social motivation, i.e., the ‘wanting’ of social incentives like approval. However, it is unclear to what extent the VS/Nacc is involved in avoiding social punishment like disapproval, an intrinsically pleasant outcome. Thus, we conducted an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study using a social incentive delay task with dynamic video stimuli instead of static pictures as social incentives in order to examine participants' motivation for social reward gain and social punishment avoidance. As predicted, the anticipation of avoidable social punishment (i.e., disapproval) recruited the VS/Nacc in a manner that was similar to VS/Nacc activation observed during the anticipation of social reward gain (i.e., approval). Stronger VS/Nacc activity was accompanied by faster reaction times of the participants to obtain those desired outcomes. This data support the assumption that dynamic social incentives elicit robust VS/Nacc activity, which likely reflects motivation to obtain social reward and to avoid social punishment. Clinical implications regarding the involvement of the VS/Nacc in social motivation dysfunction in autism and social phobia are discussed. PMID:23911778

  14. Role of melanin-concentrating hormone in the nucleus accumbens shell in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li-Li; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Jian-feng; Wang, Jun; Zhu, Wei-li; Zhao, Li-yan; Xue, Yan-xue; Lu, Lin; Shi, Jie

    2013-09-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide and its receptor is extensively expressed throughout the brain. MCH has been suggested to regulate the rewarding and reinforcing effects of psychostimulants by potentiating the dopaminergic system within the midbrain. Moreover, MCH and its receptor can regulate ERK activity. The present study investigated the role of MCH in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine (Meth). We found that the development of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization was attenuated by MCH infused into the NAc shell but not core. Moreover, the elevation of ERK phosphorylation in the NAc shell induced by Meth was inhibited by locally infused MCH. Infusion of the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonist SNAP 94847 into the NAc shell but not core augmented the initiation of locomotor sensitization and amplitude of elevated phosphorylated ERK levels induced by Meth. The expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization and ERK alterations after 1 wk withdrawal were not affected by either MCH or SNAP 94847 infused into the NAc shell or core. These results indicate that MCH in the NAc shell plays a critical role in the development but not expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization in rats, which might be mediated by the ERK signalling pathway. Our study suggests that MCH might be a potential target for the treatment of Meth addiction.

  15. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β in the nucleus accumbens core is critical for methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chun-Mei; Wang, Jun; Wu, Ping; Xue, Yan-Xue; Zhu, Wei-Li; Li, Qian-Qian; Zhai, Hai-Feng; Shi, Jie; Lu, Lin

    2011-07-01

    As a ubiquitous serine/threonine protein kinase, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) has been considered to be important in the synaptic plasticity that underlies dopamine-related behaviors and diseases. We recently found that GSK-3β activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core is critically involved in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. The present study further explored the association between the changes in GSK-3β activity in the NAc and the chronic administration of methamphetamine. We also examined whether blocking GSK-3β activity in the NAc could alter the initiation and expression of methamphetamine (1 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced locomotor sensitization in rats using systemic administration of lithium chloride (LiCl, 100 mg/kg, i.p) and brain region-specific administration of the GSK-3β inhibitor SB216763 (1 ng/side). We found that GSK-3β activity increased in the NAc core, but not NAc shell, after chronic methamphetamine administration. The initiation and expression of methamphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization was attenuated by systemic administration of LiCl and direct infusion of SB216763 into the NAc core, but not NAc shell. These results indicate that GSK-3β activity in the NAc core mediates the initiation and expression of methamphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization, suggesting that GSK-3β may be a potential target for the treatment of psychostimulant addiction.

  16. Acamprosate blocks the increase in dopamine extracellular levels in nucleus accumbens evoked by chemical stimulation of the ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Cano-Cebrián, M J; Zornoza-Sabina, T; Guerri, C; Polache, A; Granero, L

    2003-10-01

    Recently, we have shown that acamprosate is able to modulate extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and may act as an antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Neurochemical studies show that chemical stimulation (using NMDA) of the ventral subiculum (vSub) of the hippocampus produces robust and sustained increases in extracellular DA levels in the NAc, an effect mediated through ionotropic glutamate (iGlu) receptors. The present study examines whether acamprosate locally infused in the NAc of rats could block or attenuate the increase in NAc extracellular DA elicited by chemical stimulation (with 5 mM NMDA) of the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus. The stimulation of the vSub during perfusion of artificial cerebrospinal fluid in NAc induced a significant and persistent increase in NAc DA levels. Reverse dialysis of 0.05 mM acamprosate in NAc blocked the increase in DA evoked by the chemical stimulation of the vSub. These data support the possibility that the antagonism at the NMDA receptors in NAc can explain, at least in part, the mechanism of action of this drug.

  17. Observational learning in mice can be prevented by medial prefrontal cortex stimulation and enhanced by nucleus accumbens stimulation.

    PubMed

    Jurado-Parras, M Teresa; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M

    2012-02-21

    The neural structures involved in ongoing appetitive and/or observational learning behaviors remain largely unknown. Operant conditioning and observational learning were evoked and recorded in a modified Skinner box provided with an on-line video recording system. Mice improved their acquisition of a simple operant conditioning task by observational learning. Electrical stimulation of the observer's medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) at a key moment of the demonstration (when the demonstrator presses a lever in order to obtain a reward) cancels out the benefits of observation. In contrast, electrical stimulation of the observer's nucleus accumbens (NAc) enhances observational learning. Ongoing cognitive processes in the demonstrator could also be driven by electrical stimulation of these two structures, preventing the proper execution of the ongoing instrumental task (mPFC) or stopping pellet intake (NAc). Long-term potentiation (LTP) evoked in these two cortical structures did not prevent the acquisition or retrieval process--namely, mPFC and/or NAc stimulation only prevented, or modified, the ongoing behavioral process. The dorsal hippocampus was not involved in either of these two behavioral processes. Thus, both ongoing observational learning and performance of an instrumental task require the active contribution of the mPFC and/or the NAc.

  18. Optogenetic versus electrical stimulation of dopamine terminals in the nucleus accumbens reveals local modulation of presynaptic release

    PubMed Central

    Melchior, James R.; Ferris, Mark J.; Stuber, Garret D.; Riddle, David R.; Jones, Sara R.

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens is highly heterogeneous, integrating regionally distinct afferent projections and accumbal interneurons, resulting in diverse local microenvironments. Dopamine (DA) neuron terminals similarly express a heterogeneous collection of terminal receptors that modulate DA signaling. Cyclic voltammetry is often used to probe DA terminal dynamics in brain slice preparations; however, this method traditionally requires electrical stimulation to induce DA release. Electrical stimulation excites all of the neuronal processes in the stimulation field, potentially introducing simultaneous, multi-synaptic modulation of DA terminal release. We used optogenetics to selectively stimulate DA terminals and used voltammetry to compare DA responses from electrical and optical stimulation of the same area of tissue around a recording electrode. We found that with multiple pulse stimulation trains, optically stimulated DA release increasingly exceeded that of electrical stimulation. Furthermore, electrical stimulation produced inhibition of DA release across longer duration stimulations. The GABAB antagonist, CGP 55845, increased electrically stimulated DA release significantly more than light stimulated release. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide, inhibited single pulse electrically stimulated DA release while having no effect on optically stimulated DA release. Our results demonstrate that electrical stimulation introduces local multi-synaptic modulation of DA release that is absent with optogenetically targeted stimulation. PMID:26011081

  19. The nucleus accumbens is involved in both the pursuit of social reward and the avoidance of social punishment.

    PubMed

    Kohls, Gregor; Perino, Michael T; Taylor, James M; Madva, Elizabeth N; Cayless, Sarah J; Troiani, Vanessa; Price, Elinora; Faja, Susan; Herrington, John D; Schultz, Robert T

    2013-09-01

    Human social motivation is characterized by the pursuit of social reward and the avoidance of social punishment. The ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens (VS/Nacc), in particular, has been implicated in the reward component of social motivation, i.e., the 'wanting' of social incentives like approval. However, it is unclear to what extent the VS/Nacc is involved in avoiding social punishment like disapproval, an intrinsically pleasant outcome. Thus, we conducted an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study using a social incentive delay task with dynamic video stimuli instead of static pictures as social incentives in order to examine participants' motivation for social reward gain and social punishment avoidance. As predicted, the anticipation of avoidable social punishment (i.e., disapproval) recruited the VS/Nacc in a manner that was similar to VS/Nacc activation observed during the anticipation of social reward gain (i.e., approval). Stronger VS/Nacc activity was accompanied by faster reaction times of the participants to obtain those desired outcomes. This data support the assumption that dynamic social incentives elicit robust VS/Nacc activity, which likely reflects motivation to obtain social reward and to avoid social punishment. Clinical implications regarding the involvement of the VS/Nacc in social motivation dysfunction in autism and social phobia are discussed.

  20. The absence of VGLUT3 predisposes to cocaine abuse by increasing dopamine and glutamate signaling in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Sakae, D Y; Marti, F; Lecca, S; Vorspan, F; Martín-García, E; Morel, L J; Henrion, A; Gutiérrez-Cuesta, J; Besnard, A; Heck, N; Herzog, E; Bolte, S; Prado, V F; Prado, M A M; Bellivier, F; Eap, C B; Crettol, S; Vanhoutte, P; Caboche, J; Gratton, A; Moquin, L; Giros, B; Maldonado, R; Daumas, S; Mameli, M; Jamain, S; El Mestikawy, S

    2015-11-01

    Tonically active cholinergic interneurons (TANs) from the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are centrally involved in reward behavior. TANs express a vesicular glutamate transporter referred to as VGLUT3 and thus use both acetylcholine and glutamate as neurotransmitters. The respective roles of each transmitter in the regulation of reward and addiction are still unknown. In this study, we showed that disruption of the gene that encodes VGLUT3 (Slc17a8) markedly increased cocaine self-administration in mice. Concomitantly, the amount of dopamine (DA) release was strongly augmented in the NAc of VGLUT3(-/-) mice because of a lack of signaling by metabotropic glutamate receptors. Furthermore, dendritic spines and glutamatergic synaptic transmission on medium spiny neurons were increased in the NAc of VGLUT3(-/-) mice. Increased DA and glutamate signaling in the NAc are hallmarks of addiction. Our study shows that TANs use glutamate to reduce DA release and decrease reinforcing properties of cocaine in mice. Interestingly, we also observed an increased frequency of rare variations in SLC17A8 in a cohort of severe drug abusers compared with controls. Our findings identify VGLUT3 as an unexpected regulator of drug abuse.

  1. Oxytocin reverses amphetamine-induced deficits in social bonding: evidence for an interaction with nucleus accumbens dopamine.

    PubMed

    Young, Kimberly A; Liu, Yan; Gobrogge, Kyle L; Wang, Hui; Wang, Zuoxin

    2014-06-18

    Drug addiction has devastating consequences on social behaviors and can lead to the impairment of social bonding. Accumulating evidence indicates that alterations in oxytocin (OT) and dopamine (DA) neurotransmission within brain reward circuitry may be involved. We investigated this possibility, as well as the therapeutic potential of OT for drug-induced social deficits, using the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)-a socially monogamous rodent that forms enduring pair bonds between adult mates. We demonstrate that repeated exposure to the commonly abused psychostimulant amphetamine (AMPH) inhibits the formation of partner preferences (an index of pair bonding) in female prairie voles. AMPH exposure also altered OT and DA neurotransmission in regions that mediate partner preference formation: it decreased OT and DA D2 receptor immunoreactivity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), respectively, and increased NAcc DA levels. Administration of OT directly into the mPFC of AMPH-exposed voles restored partner preferences, and altered NAcc DA levels, and this effect was dependent on OT receptor activation. Together, these data suggest that repeated AMPH exposure impairs pair bonding through an OT-mediated mechanism, and that OT and DA systems within brain reward circuitry may interact to mediate the complex relationship between drug abuse and social bonding. Further, these results provide empirical support for the idea that the central OT system may represent an important target for the treatment of social deficits in addiction.

  2. Time-limited modulation of appetitive Pavlovian memory by D1 and NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Dalley, Jeffrey W.; Lääne, Kristjan; Theobald, David E. H.; Armstrong, Hannah C.; Corlett, Philip R.; Chudasama, Yogita; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2005-01-01

    Recent research has implicated the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in consolidating recently acquired goal-directed appetitive memories, including spatial learning and other instrumental processes. However, an important but unresolved issue is whether this forebrain structure also contributes to the consolidation of fundamental forms of appetitive learning acquired by Pavlovian associative processes. In addition, although dopaminergic and glutamatergic influences in the NAc have been implicated in instrumental learning, it is unclear whether similar mechanisms operate during Pavlovian conditioning. To evaluate these issues, the effects of posttraining intra-NAc infusions of D1, D2, and NMDA receptor antagonists, as well as d-amphetamine, were determined on Pavlovian autoshaping in rats, which assesses learning by discriminated approach behavior to a visual conditioned stimulus predictive of food reward. Intracerebral infusions were given either immediately after each conditioning session to disrupt early memory consolidation or after a delay of 24 h. Findings indicate that immediate, but not delayed, infusions of both D1 (SCH 23390) and NMDA (AP-5) receptor antagonists significantly impair learning on this task. By contrast, amphetamine and the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride were without significant effect. These findings provide the most direct demonstration to date that D1 and NMDA receptors in the NAc contribute to, and are necessary for, the early consolidation of appetitive Pavlovian learning. PMID:15833811

  3. Individual Differences in Nucleus Accumbens Activity to Food and Sexual Images Predict Weight Gain and Sexual Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Demos, K. E.; Heatherton, T. F.; Kelley, W. M.

    2012-01-01

    Failures of self-regulation are common, leading to many of the most vexing problems facing contemporary society, from overeating and obesity to impulsive sexual behavior and HIV/AIDS. One reason that people may be prone to engaging in unwanted behaviors is because of heightened sensitivity to cues related to those behaviors; people may overeat because of hyper responsiveness to food cues, addicts may relapse following exposure to their drug of choice, and some people might engage in impulsive sexual activity because they are easily aroused by erotic stimuli. An open question is the extent to which individual differences in neural cue reactivity relate to actual behavioral outcomes. Here we show that individual differences in human reward-related brain activity in the nucleus accumbens to food and sexual images predict subsequent weight gain and sexual activity six months later. These findings suggest that heightened reward responsivity in the brain to food and sexual cues is associated with indulgence in overeating and sexual activity, respectively, and provide evidence for a common neural mechanism associated with appetitive behaviors. PMID:22514316

  4. Cocaine and Amphetamine Induce Overlapping but Distinct Patterns of AMPAR Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jedynak, Jakub; Hearing, Matthew; Ingebretson, Anna; Ebner, Stephanie R; Kelly, Matthew; Fischer, Rachel A; Kourrich, Saïd; Thomas, Mark J

    2016-01-01

    Repeated exposure to psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine can promote drug-seeking and -taking behavior. In rodent addiction models, persistent changes in excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) appear to drive this drug-induced behavioral plasticity. To study whether changes in glutamatergic signaling are shared between or exclusive to specific psychostimulant drugs, we examined synaptic transmission from mice following repeated amphetamine or cocaine administration. Synaptic transmission mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors was potentiated in the NAc shell 10–14 days following repeated amphetamine or cocaine treatment. This synaptic enhancement was depotentiated by re-exposure to amphetamine or cocaine. By contrast, in the NAc core only repeated cocaine exposure enhanced synaptic transmission, which was subsequently depotentiated by an additional cocaine but not amphetamine injection during drug abstinence. To better understand the drug-induced depotentiation, we replicated these in vivo findings using an ex vivo model termed ‘challenge in the bath,' and showed that drug-induced decreases in synaptic strength occur rapidly (within 30 min) and require activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and protein synthesis in the NAc shell, but not NAc core. Overall, these data demonstrate the specificity of neuronal circuit changes induced by amphetamine, introduce a novel method for studying drug challenge-induced plasticity, and define NAc shell medium spiny neurons as a primary site of persistent AMPA-type glutamate receptor plasticity by two widely used psychostimulant drugs. PMID:26068728

  5. Role of Nucleus Accumbens in Neuropathic Pain: Linked Multi-Scale Evidence in the Rat Transitioning to Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Pei-Ching; Pollema-Mays, Sarah Lynn; Centeno, Maria Virginia; Procissi, Daniel; Contini, Massimos; Baria, Alex Tomas; Martina, Macro; Apkarian, Apkar Vania

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent evidence implicating the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as causally involved in the transition to chronic pain in humans, underlying mechanisms of this involvement remain entirely unknown. Here we elucidate mechanisms of NAc reorganizational properties (longitudinally and cross-sectionally), in an animal model of neuropathic pain (spared nerve injury, SNI). We observed inter-related changes: 1) In resting-state fMRI, functional connectivity of the NAc to dorsal striatum and cortex was reduced 28 days (but not 5 days) after SNI; 2) contralateral to SNI injury, gene expression of NAc dopamine 1A, 2, and κ-opioid receptors decreased 28 days after SNI; 3) In SNI (but not sham) covariance of gene expression was upregulated at 5 days and settled to a new state at 28 days; and 4) NAc functional connectivity correlated with dopamine receptor gene expression and with tactile allodynia. Moreover, interruption of NAc activity (via lidocaine infusion) reversibly alleviated neuropathic pain in SNI animals. Together, these results demonstrate macroscopic (fMRI) and molecular reorganization of NAc and indicate that NAc neuronal activity is necessary for full expression of neuropathic pain-like behavior. PMID:24607959

  6. Oxytocin Reverses Amphetamine-Induced Deficits in Social Bonding: Evidence for an Interaction with Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yan; Gobrogge, Kyle L.; Wang, Hui

    2014-01-01

    Drug addiction has devastating consequences on social behaviors and can lead to the impairment of social bonding. Accumulating evidence indicates that alterations in oxytocin (OT) and dopamine (DA) neurotransmission within brain reward circuitry may be involved. We investigated this possibility, as well as the therapeutic potential of OT for drug-induced social deficits, using the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)—a socially monogamous rodent that forms enduring pair bonds between adult mates. We demonstrate that repeated exposure to the commonly abused psychostimulant amphetamine (AMPH) inhibits the formation of partner preferences (an index of pair bonding) in female prairie voles. AMPH exposure also altered OT and DA neurotransmission in regions that mediate partner preference formation: it decreased OT and DA D2 receptor immunoreactivity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), respectively, and increased NAcc DA levels. Administration of OT directly into the mPFC of AMPH-exposed voles restored partner preferences, and altered NAcc DA levels, and this effect was dependent on OT receptor activation. Together, these data suggest that repeated AMPH exposure impairs pair bonding through an OT-mediated mechanism, and that OT and DA systems within brain reward circuitry may interact to mediate the complex relationship between drug abuse and social bonding. Further, these results provide empirical support for the idea that the central OT system may represent an important target for the treatment of social deficits in addiction. PMID:24948805

  7. Differential Gene Expression in the Nucleus Accumbens and Frontal Cortex of Lewis and Fischer 344 Rats Relevant to Drug Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Higuera-Matas, A; Montoya, G. L; Coria, S.M; Miguéns, M; García-Lecumberri, C; Ambrosio, E

    2011-01-01

    Drug addiction results from the interplay between social and biological factors. Among these, genetic variables play a major role. The use of genetically related inbred rat strains that differ in their preference for drugs of abuse is one approach of great importance to explore genetic determinants. Lewis and Fischer 344 rats have been extensively studied and it has been shown that the Lewis strain is especially vulnerable to the addictive properties of several drugs when compared with the Fischer 344 strain. Here, we have used microarrays to analyze gene expression profiles in the frontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats. Our results show that only a very limited group of genes were differentially expressed in Lewis rats when compared with the Fischer 344 strain. The genes that were induced in the Lewis strain were related to oxygen transport, neurotransmitter processing and fatty acid metabolism. On the contrary genes that were repressed in Lewis rats were involved in physiological functions such as drug and proton transport, oligodendrocyte survival and lipid catabolism. These data might be useful for the identification of genes which could be potential markers of the vulnerability to the addictive properties of drugs of abuse. PMID:21886580

  8. Nucleus accumbens shell and core dopamine responsiveness to sucrose in rats: role of response contingency and discriminative/conditioned cues.

    PubMed

    Bassareo, V; Cucca, F; Musio, P; Lecca, D; Frau, R; Di Chiara, G

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated by microdialysis the role of response contingency and food-associated cues in the responsiveness of dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens shell and core to sucrose feeding. In naive rats, single-trial non-contingent presentation and feeding of sucrose pellets increased dialysate shell dopamine and induced full habituation of dopamine responsiveness to sucrose feeding 24 and 48 h later. In rats trained to respond for sucrose pellets on a fixed ratio 1 (FR1) schedule, dialysate dopamine increased in the shell but not in the core during active responding as well as under extinction in the presence of sucrose cues. In rats yoked to the operant rats, the presentation of sucrose cues also increased dialysate dopamine selectively in the shell. In contrast, non-contingent sucrose presentation and feeding in FR1-trained and in yoked rats increased dialysate dopamine to a similar extent in the shell and core. It is concluded that, whereas non-contingent sucrose feeding activated dopamine transmission in the shell and core, response-contingent feeding activated, without habituation, dopamine transmission selectively in the shell as a result of the action of sucrose conditioned cues. These observations are consistent with a critical role of conditioned cues acquired during training and differential activation of shell vs. core dopamine for response-contingent sucrose feeding.

  9. Enhanced ability of TRPV1 channels in regulating glutamatergic transmission after repeated morphine exposure in the nucleus accumbens of rat.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haitao; Jia, Dong; Wang, Yuan; Qu, Liang; Wang, Xuelian; Song, Jian; Heng, Lijun; Gao, Guodong

    2017-04-01

    Glutamatergic projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) drive drug-seeking behaviors during opioids withdrawal. Modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission provides a novel pharmacotherapeutic avenue for treatment of opioids dependence. Great deals of researches have verified that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels alters synaptic transmitter release and regulate neural plasticity. In the present study, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were adopted to examine the activity of TRPV1 Channels in regulating glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in NAc of rat during morphine withdrawal for 3days and 3weeks. The data showed that the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and the amplitudes of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) were increased during morphine withdrawal after applied with capsaicin (TRPV1 agonist). Capsaicin decreased the paired pulse ratio (PPR) and increased sEPSCs frequency but not their amplitudes suggesting a presynaptic locus of action during morphine withdrawal. All these effects were fully blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist Capsazepine. Additionally, In the presence of AM251 (CB1 receptor antagonist), depolarization-induced release of endogenous cannabinoids activated TRPV1 channels to enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission during morphine withdrawal. The functional enhancement of TRPV1 Channels in facilitating glutamatergic transmission was not recorded in dorsal striatum. Our findings demonstrate the ability of TRPV1 in regulating excitatory glutamatergic transmission is enhanced during morphine withdrawal in NAc, which would deepen our understanding of glutamatergic modulation during opioids withdrawal.

  10. Violence as a source of pleasure or displeasure is associated with specific functional connectivity with the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Porges, Eric C; Decety, Jean

    2013-01-01

    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 (AI), brainstem, ventral tegmental area (VTA), 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 (FC) seeded in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) (a structure known to be responsive to anticipating both positive and negative outcomes) with the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and anterior insular cortex (AIC) (regions involved in positive feelings and visceral somatic representations). Displeasure ratings of MMA were related to increased FC 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.

  11. Hampered long-term depression and thin spine loss in the nucleus accumbens of ethanol-dependent rats.

    PubMed

    Spiga, Saturnino; Talani, Giuseppe; Mulas, Giovanna; Licheri, Valentina; Fois, Giulia R; Muggironi, Giulia; Masala, Nicola; Cannizzaro, Carla; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico; Diana, Marco

    2014-09-02

    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.

  12. Sex differences in interactions between nucleus accumbens and visual cortex by explicit visual erotic stimuli: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W

    2015-01-01

    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.

  13. Positive reinforcement mediated by midbrain dopamine neurons requires D1 and D2 receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Elizabeth E; Boivin, Josiah R; Saunders, Benjamin T; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl; Janak, Patricia H

    2014-01-01

    The neural basis of positive reinforcement is often studied in the laboratory using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), a simple behavioral model in which subjects perform an action in order to obtain exogenous stimulation of a specific brain area. Recently we showed that activation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons supports ICSS behavior, consistent with proposed roles of this neural population in reinforcement learning. However, VTA dopamine neurons make connections with diverse brain regions, and the specific efferent target(s) that mediate the ability of dopamine neuron activation to support ICSS have not been definitively demonstrated. Here, we examine in transgenic rats whether dopamine neuron-specific ICSS relies on the connection between the VTA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region also implicated in positive reinforcement. We find that optogenetic activation of dopaminergic terminals innervating the NAc is sufficient to drive ICSS, and that ICSS driven by optical activation of dopamine neuron somata in the VTA is significantly attenuated by intra-NAc injections of D1 or D2 receptor antagonists. These data demonstrate that the NAc is a critical efferent target sustaining dopamine neuron-specific ICSS, identify receptor subtypes through which dopamine acts to promote this behavior, and ultimately help to refine our understanding of the neural circuitry mediating positive reinforcement.

  14. Administration of the Glial Condition Medium in the Nucleus Accumbens Prolong Maintenance and Intensify Reinstatement of Morphine-Seeking Behavior.

    PubMed

    Arezoomandan, Reza; Khodagholi, Fariba; Haghparast, Abbas

    2016-04-01

    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.

  15. ADOLESCENT INTERMITTENT ETHANOL EXPOSURE ENHANCES ETHANOL ACTIVATION OF THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS WHILE BLUNTING THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX RESPONSES IN ADULT RAT

    PubMed Central

    LIU, W.; CREWS, F. T.

    2016-01-01

    The brain continues to develop through adolescence when excessive alcohol consumption is prevalent in humans. We hypothesized that binge drinking doses of ethanol during adolescence will cause changes in brain ethanol responses that persist into adulthood. To test this hypothesis Wistar rats were treated with an adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE; 5 g/kg, i.g. 2 days on–2 days off; P25–P54) model of underage drinking followed by 25 days of abstinence during maturation to young adulthood (P80). Using markers of neuronal activation c-Fos, EGR1, and phophorylated extracellar signal regulated kinase (pERK1/2), adult responses to a moderate and binge drinking ethanol challenge, e.g., 2 or 4 g/kg, were determined. Adult rats showed dose dependent increases in neuronal activation markers in multiple brain regions during ethanol challenge. Brain regional responses correlated are consistent with anatomical connections. AIE led to marked decreases in adult ethanol PFC (prefrontal cortex) and blunted responses in the amygdala. Binge drinking doses led to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) activation that correlated with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) activation. In contrast to other brain regions, AIE enhanced the adult NAc response to binge drinking doses. These studies suggest that adolescent alcohol exposure causes long-lasting changes in brain responses to alcohol that persist into adulthood. PMID:25727639

  16. Chronic intermittent ethanol exposure and withdrawal leads to adaptations in nucleus accumbens core postsynaptic density proteome and dendritic spines.

    PubMed

    Uys, Joachim D; McGuier, Natalie S; Gass, Justin T; Griffin, William C; Ball, Lauren E; Mulholland, Patrick J

    2016-05-01

    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.

  17. Cocaine and Amphetamine Induce Overlapping but Distinct Patterns of AMPAR Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons.

    PubMed

    Jedynak, Jakub; Hearing, Matthew; Ingebretson, Anna; Ebner, Stephanie R; Kelly, Matthew; Fischer, Rachel A; Kourrich, Saïd; Thomas, Mark J

    2016-01-01

    Repeated exposure to psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine can promote drug-seeking and -taking behavior. In rodent addiction models, persistent changes in excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) appear to drive this drug-induced behavioral plasticity. To study whether changes in glutamatergic signaling are shared between or exclusive to specific psychostimulant drugs, we examined synaptic transmission from mice following repeated amphetamine or cocaine administration. Synaptic transmission mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors was potentiated in the NAc shell 10-14 days following repeated amphetamine or cocaine treatment. This synaptic enhancement was depotentiated by re-exposure to amphetamine or cocaine. By contrast, in the NAc core only repeated cocaine exposure enhanced synaptic transmission, which was subsequently depotentiated by an additional cocaine but not amphetamine injection during drug abstinence. To better understand the drug-induced depotentiation, we replicated these in vivo findings using an ex vivo model termed 'challenge in the bath,' and showed that drug-induced decreases in synaptic strength occur rapidly (within 30 min) and require activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and protein synthesis in the NAc shell, but not NAc core. Overall, these data demonstrate the specificity of neuronal circuit changes induced by amphetamine, introduce a novel method for studying drug challenge-induced plasticity, and define NAc shell medium spiny neurons as a primary site of persistent AMPA-type glutamate receptor plasticity by two widely used psychostimulant drugs.

  18. Molecular changes in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens are associated with blocking the behavioral sensitization to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Xiongzhao; Huang, Can; Zhang, Xiuwu

    2015-11-05

    Previous studies have demonstrated that cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization is associated with persistent functional and structural alterations in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc); however, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes have not been elucidated. In this study, the behavioral sensitization to cocaine was established in Sprague Dawley rats and was measured by locomotion and behavioral rating. The brain tissue homogenization was used for measuring the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the expression and activity of integrin-linked kinase (ILK), level of protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation at serine 473 and threonine 308, and the expression of p75(NTR), TrkA, and TrkB protein. The Results showed that cocaine sensitization was associated with increased BDNF, ILK activity, phospho-Akt Ser(473), p75(NTR), and TrkB protein levels in the mPFC and NAc core. The combination of pergolide and ondansetron normalized not only behavioral sensitization, but also the increases in these molecular markers. Dual immunofluoresence staining showed that ILK expression is co-distributed with p75(NTR) and TrkA expression in both the mPFC and NAc core. Results suggested that the BDNF-TrkA/p75(NTR)-ILK-Akt signaling pathway may be active in cocaine sensitization and associated neural plasticity in the mPFC and NAc core.

  19. Decreased approach behavior and nucleus accumbens immediate early gene expression in response to Parkinsonian ultrasonic vocalizations in rats

    PubMed Central

    Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A.; Holt, Lauren R.; Blue, Katherine V.; Ciucci, Michelle R.; Johnson, Aaron M.

    2015-01-01

    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 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 to 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

  20. Individual differences in nucleus accumbens dopamine receptors predict development of addiction-like behavior: a computational approach.

    PubMed

    Piray, Payam; Keramati, Mohammad Mahdi; Dezfouli, Amir; Lucas, Caro; Mokri, Azarakhsh

    2010-09-01

    Clinical and experimental observations show individual differences in the development of addiction. Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that dopamine receptor availability in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predisposes drug reinforcement. Here, modeling striatal-midbrain dopaminergic circuit, we propose a reinforcement learning model for addiction based on the actor-critic model of striatum. Modeling dopamine receptors in the NAc as modulators of learning rate for appetitive--but not aversive--stimuli in the critic--but not the actor--we define vulnerability to addiction as a relatively lower learning rate for the appetitive stimuli, compared to aversive stimuli, in the critic. We hypothesize that an imbalance in this learning parameter used by appetitive and aversive learning systems can result in addiction. We elucidate that the interaction between the degree of individual vulnerability and the duration of exposure to drug has two progressive consequences: deterioration of the imbalance and establishment of an abnormal habitual response in the actor. Using computational language, the proposed model describes how development of compulsive behavior can be a function of both degree of drug exposure and individual vulnerability. Moreover, the model describes how involvement of the dorsal striatum in addiction can be augmented progressively. The model also interprets other forms of addiction, such as obesity and pathological gambling, in a common mechanism with drug addiction. Finally, the model provides an answer for the question of why behavioral addictions are triggered in Parkinson's disease patients by D2 dopamine agonist treatments.

  1. Antagonism of nucleus accumbens M(2) muscarinic receptors disrupts operant responding for sucrose under a progressive ratio reinforcement schedule.

    PubMed

    Cousens, Graham A; Beckley, Jacob T

    2007-07-19

    Diverse cholinergic signaling mechanisms regulate the excitability of striatal principal neurons and modulate striatal-dependent behavior. These effects are mediated, in part, by action at muscarinic receptors (mAChR), subtypes of which exhibit distinct patterns of expression across striatal neuronal populations. Non-selective mAChR blockade within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been shown to disrupt operant responding for food and to inhibit food consumption. However, the specific receptor subtypes mediating these effects are not known. Thus, we evaluated effects of intra-NAc infusions of pirenzepine and methoctramine, mAChR antagonisits with distinct binding affinity profiles, on operant responding for sucrose reward under a progressive ratio (PR) reinforcement schedule. Moderate to high doses of methoctramine disrupted operant responding and reduced behavioral breakpoint. In contrast, pirenzepine failed to impact operant performance at any dose tested. Methoctramine failed to affect latencies to complete appetitive-consummatory response sequences or to impact measures of acoustic startle, suggesting that its' disruptive effects on operant behavior were not consequent to gross motor impairment. Since methoctramine has a greater affinity for M(2) receptors compared to pirenzepine, which has a greater relative affinity for M(1) and M(3) receptors, these findings suggest that M(2) mAChRs within the NAc regulate behavioral processes underling the acquisition of reward.

  2. Role of nucleus accumbens in neuropathic pain: linked multi-scale evidence in the rat transitioning to neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Chang, Pei-Ching; Pollema-Mays, Sarah Lynn; Centeno, Maria Virginia; Procissi, Daniel; Contini, Massimo; Baria, Alex Tomas; Martina, Marco; Apkarian, Apkar Vania

    2014-06-01

    Despite recent evidence implicating the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as causally involved in the transition to chronic pain in humans, underlying mechanisms of this involvement remain entirely unknown. Here we elucidate mechanisms of NAc reorganizational properties (longitudinally and cross-sectionally), in an animal model of neuropathic pain (spared nerve injury [SNI]). We observed interrelated changes: (1) In resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional connectivity of the NAc to dorsal striatum and cortex was reduced 28days (but not 5days) after SNI; (2) Contralateral to SNI injury, gene expression of NAc dopamine 1A, 2, and κ-opioid receptors decreased 28days after SNI; (3) In SNI (but not sham), covariance of gene expression was upregulated at 5days and settled to a new state at 28days; and (4) NAc functional connectivity correlated with dopamine receptor gene expression and with tactile allodynia. Moreover, interruption of NAc activity (via lidocaine infusion) reversibly alleviated neuropathic pain in SNI animals. Together, these results demonstrate macroscopic (fMRI) and molecular reorganization of NAc and indicate that NAc neuronal activity is necessary for full expression of neuropathic pain-like behavior.

  3. Calcium-Permeable AMPA Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Regulate Depression-Like Behaviors in the Chronic Neuropathic Pain State

    PubMed Central

    Goffer, Yossef; Xu, Duo; Eberle, Sarah E.; D'amour, James; Lee, Michelle; Tukey, David; Froemke, Robert C.; Ziff, Edward B.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is a salient emotional feature of chronic pain. Depression alters the pain threshold and impairs functional recovery. To date, however, there has been limited understanding of synaptic or circuit mechanisms that regulate depression in the pain state. Here, we demonstrate that depression-like behaviors are induced in a rat model of chronic neuropathic pain. Using this model, we show that chronic pain selectively increases the level of GluA1 subunits of AMPA-type glutamate receptors at the synapses of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key component of the brain reward system. We find, in addition, that this increase in GluA1 levels leads to the formation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CPARs). Surprisingly, pharmacologic blockade of these CPARs in the NAc increases depression-like behaviors associated with pain. Consistent with these findings, an AMPA receptor potentiator delivered into the NAc decreases pain-induced depression. These results show that transmission through CPARs in the NAc represents a novel molecular mechanism modulating the depressive symptoms of pain, and thus CPARs may be a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of pain-induced depression. More generally, these findings highlight the role of central glutamate signaling in pain states and define the brain reward system as an important region for the regulation of depressive symptoms of pain. PMID:24285907

  4. Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Accumbens Core Affects Trait Impulsivity in a Baseline-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Schippers, Maria C.; Bruinsma, Bastiaan; Gaastra, Mathijs; Mesman, Tanja I.; Denys, Damiaan; De Vries, Taco J.; Pattij, Tommy

    2017-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens (NA) is explored as a treatment for refractory psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depressive disorder (MDD), and substance use disorder (SUD). A common feature of some of these disorders is pathological impulsivity. Here, the effects of NAcore DBS on impulsive choice and impulsive action, two distinct forms of impulsive behavior, were investigated in translational animal tasks, the delayed reward task (DRT) and five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), respectively. In both tasks, the effects of NAcore DBS were negatively correlated with baseline impulsive behavior, with more pronounced effects in the 5-CSRTT. To further examine the effects of DBS on trait impulsive action, rats were screened for high (HI) and low (LI) impulsive responding in the 5-CSRTT. NAcore DBS decreased impulsive, premature responding in HI rats under conventional conditions. However, upon challenged conditions to increase impulsive responding, NAcore DBS did not alter impulsivity. These results strongly suggest a baseline-dependent effect of DBS on impulsivity, which is in line with clinical observations. PMID:28386221

  5. Distinct Effects of Enriched Environment on Dopamine Clearance in Nucleus Accumbens Shell and Core Following Systemic Nicotine Administration

    PubMed Central

    ZHU, JUN; BARDO, MICHAEL T.; DWOSKIN, LINDA P.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment during development may reduce drug abuse liability by modulating dopamine transporter (DAT) function. Nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core respond differentially to regulate the rewarding properties and locomotor stimulant effects of psychostimulants. The current study evaluated dopamine (DA) clearance (CLDA) in the NAc shell and core using in vivo voltammetry in rats raised in an enriched condition (EC) or an impoverished condition (IC) and determined the effect of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg) on CLDA. Baseline CLDA in NAc shell and core was not different between EC and IC rats. In the saline control group, CLDA in NAc shell was greater across time in IC when compared with EC rats, whereas CLDA in NAc core was greater in EC rats when compared with IC rats. Consistent with these findings, opposite effects of enrichment on DA clearance in shell and core were obtained following acute nicotine administration. In NAc shell, nicotine increased CLDA in EC rats, but not in IC rats. Conversely, in NAc core, nicotine increased CLDA in IC rats, but not in EC rats. The current results demonstrate that environmental enrichment differentially regulates the response to nicotine in NAc shell and core via alterations in DAT function, which may explain how environmental enrichment reduces the behavioral response to nicotine. PMID:23065942

  6. Nicotine addiction reduces the large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels expression in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lan; Wu, Yu-Mei; Guo, Yan-Yan; Yang, Qi; Feng, Bin; Song, Qian; Liu, Shui-Bing; Zhao, Da-Qing; Zhao, Ming-Gao

    2013-06-01

    Large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BKCa) are widely expressed in the central nervous system and play important roles in neural activities. Nicotine exposure leads to long-lasting changes in behavioral and neuronal plasticity. However, little is known the roles of BKCa in the development of nicotine addiction. In the present study, a significant reduction in BKCa channel expression was found in nucleus accumbens (NAc) from nicotine addiction mice. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from NAc neurons of the addicted animals revealed a pronounced reduction in the fast after-hyperpolarization of action potentials mediated by BKCa channels that led to hyperexcitability of the NAc neurons. Activation of BKCa channels in the NAc reversed drug-seeking behaviors which were detected by conditioned place preference test. Furthermore, knockdown of BKCa channels using short hairpin RNAs significantly increased the drug-seeking behavior. These findings provide direct evidence that alterations of BKCa channels in the NAc play critical roles in the development of nicotine addiction and that modulation of the BKCa channels may be potential therapeutics for drug addiction.

  7. Increased expression of proenkephalin and prodynorphin mRNAs in the nucleus accumbens of compulsive methamphetamine taking rats.

    PubMed

    Cadet, Jean Lud; Krasnova, Irina N; Walther, Donna; Brannock, Christie; Ladenheim, Bruce; McCoy, Michael T; Collector, Daniel; Torres, Oscar V; Terry, Ndeah; Jayanthi, Subramaniam

    2016-11-14

    Addiction is associated with neuroadaptive changes in the brain. In the present paper, we used a model of methamphetamine self-administration during which we used footshocks to divide rats into animals that continue to press a lever to get methamphetamine (shock-resistant) and those that significantly reduce pressing the lever (shock-sensitive) despite the shocks. We trained male Sprague-Dawley rats to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) for 9 hours daily for 20 days. Control group self-administered saline. Subsequently, methamphetamine self-administration rats were punished by mild electric footshocks for 10 days with gradual increases in shock intensity. Two hours after stopping behavioral experiments, we euthanized rats and isolated nucleus accumbens (NAc) samples. Affymetrix Array experiments revealed 24 differentially expressed genes between the shock-resistant and shock-sensitive rats, with 15 up- and 9 downregulated transcripts. Ingenuity pathway analysis showed that these transcripts belong to classes of genes involved in nervous system function, behavior, and disorders of the basal ganglia. These genes included prodynorphin (PDYN) and proenkephalin (PENK), among others. Because PDYN and PENK are expressed in dopamine D1- and D2-containing NAc neurons, respectively, these findings suggest that mechanisms, which impact both cell types may play a role in the regulation of compulsive methamphetamine taking by rats.

  8. Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens in multi-year abstinent heroin addicts.

    PubMed

    Zou, Feng; Wu, Xinhuai; Zhai, Tianye; Lei, Yu; Shao, Yongcong; Jin, Xiao; Tan, Shuwen; Wu, Bing; Wang, Lubin; Yang, Zheng

    2015-11-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies suggest that abnormal brain functional connectivity may be the neural underpinning of addiction to illicit drugs and of relapse after successful cessation therapy. Aberrant brain networks have been demonstrated in addicted patients and in newly abstinent addicts. However, it is not known whether abnormal brain connectivity patterns persist after prolonged abstinence. In this cross-sectional study, whole-brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance images (8 min) were collected from 30 heroin-addicted individuals after a long period of abstinence (more than 3 years) and from 30 healthy controls. We first examined the group differences in the resting-state functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region implicated in relapse-related processes, including craving and reactivity to stress following acute and protracted withdrawal from heroin. We then examined the relation between the duration of abstinence and the altered NAc functional connectivity in the heroin group. We found that, compared with controls, heroin-dependent participants exhibited significantly greater functional connectivity between the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the NAc and weaker functional connectivity between the NAc and the left putamen, left precuneus, and supplementary motor area. However, with longer abstinence time, the strength of NAc functional connectivity with the left putamen increased. These results indicate that dysfunction of the NAc functional network is still present in long-term-abstinent heroin-dependent individuals.

  9. Adolescent intermittent ethanol exposure enhances ethanol activation of the nucleus accumbens while blunting the prefrontal cortex responses in adult rat.

    PubMed

    Liu, W; Crews, F T

    2015-05-07

    The brain continues to develop through adolescence when excessive alcohol consumption is prevalent in humans. We hypothesized that binge drinking doses of ethanol during adolescence will cause changes in brain ethanol responses that persist into adulthood. To test this hypothesis Wistar rats were treated with an adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE; 5 g/kg, i.g. 2 days on-2 days off; P25-P54) model of underage drinking followed by 25 days of abstinence during maturation to young adulthood (P80). Using markers of neuronal activation c-Fos, EGR1, and phophorylated extracellar signal regulated kinase (pERK1/2), adult responses to a moderate and binge drinking ethanol challenge, e.g., 2 or 4 g/kg, were determined. Adult rats showed dose dependent increases in neuronal activation markers in multiple brain regions during ethanol challenge. Brain regional responses correlated are consistent with anatomical connections. AIE led to marked decreases in adult ethanol PFC (prefrontal cortex) and blunted responses in the amygdala. Binge drinking doses led to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) activation that correlated with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) activation. In contrast to other brain regions, AIE enhanced the adult NAc response to binge drinking doses. These studies suggest that adolescent alcohol exposure causes long-lasting changes in brain responses to alcohol that persist into adulthood.

  10. Activity of D1/2 Receptor Expressing Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Regulates Running, Locomotion, and Food Intake

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xianglong; Ottenheimer, David; DiLeone, Ralph J.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Nucleus accumbens core dopamine signaling tracks the need-based motivational value of food-paired cues

    PubMed Central

    Aitken, Tara J.; Greenfield, Venuz Y.; Wassum, Kate M.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental reward-predictive stimuli provide a major source of motivation for instrumental reward-seeking activity and this has been linked to dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This cue-induced incentive motivation can be quite general, not restricted to instrumental actions that earn the same unique reward, and is also typically regulated by one’s current need state, such that cues only motivate actions when this is adaptive. But it is unknown whether cue-evoked dopamine signaling is similarly regulated by need state. Here we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to monitor dopamine concentration changes in the NAc core of rats during a Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT) task in which the motivating influence of two cues, each signaling a distinct food reward (sucrose or food pellets), over an action earning a third unique food reward (grape-flavored polycose) was assessed in a state of hunger and of satiety. Both cues elicited a robust NAc dopamine response when hungry. The magnitude of the sucrose cue-evoked dopamine response correlated with the PIT effect that was selectively induced by this stimulus. Satiety attenuated these cue-evoked dopamine responses and behavioral responding, even though rats had never experienced the specific food rewards in this state. These data demonstrate that cue-evoked NAc core responses are sensitive to current need state, one critical variable that determines the current adaptive utility of cue-motivated behavior. PMID:26715366

  12. The origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs controls synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Martin, Gilles E.

    2015-01-01

    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 information (e.g., spatial, emotional and cognitive). Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term potentiation (tLTP) and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute Ethyl Alcohol (EtOH) has little effects on higher order information coming from the PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength. PMID:26257641

  13. Electrical resistance increases at the tissue-electrode interface as an early response to nucleus accumbens deep brain stimulation.

    PubMed

    Kale, Rajas P; Kouzani, Abbas Z; Berk, Julian; Walder, Ken; Berk, Michael; Tye, Susannah J

    2016-08-01

    The therapeutic actions of deep brain stimulation are not fully understood. The early inflammatory response of electrode implantation is associated with symptom relief without electrical stimulation, but is negated by anti-inflammatory drugs. Early excitotoxic necrosis and subsequent glial scarring modulate the conductivity of the tissue-electrode interface, which can provide some detail into the inflammatory response of individual patients. The feasibility of this was demonstrated by measuring resistance values across a bipolar electrode which was unilaterally implanted into the nucleus accumbens of a rat while receiving continuous deep brain stimulation with a portable back-mounted device using clinical parameters (130Hz, 200μA, 90μs) for 3 days. Daily resistance values rose significantly (p<;0.0001), while hourly resistance analysis demonstrated a plateau after an initial spike in resistance, which was then followed by a steady increase (p<;0.05; p<;0.0001). We discuss that the biphasic nature of the inflammatory response may contribute to these observations and conclude that this method may translate to a safe predictive screening for more effective clinical deep brain stimulation.

  14. An examination of nucleus accumbens cell firing during extinction and reinstatement of water reinforcement behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Hollander, Jonathan A; Ijames, Stephanie G; Roop, Richard G; Carelli, Regina M

    2002-03-08

    Electrophysiological recording procedures were used to examine nucleus accumbens (Acb) cell firing in rats (n = 13) during water reinforcement sessions consisting of three phases. During phase one (maintenance), a lever press resulted in water reinforcement (fixed ratio 1; 0.05 ml/press) paired with an auditory stimulus (0.5 s). Of 128 Acb neurons recorded during maintenance, 40 cells (31%) exhibited one of three types of neuronal firing patterns described previously [J. Neurosci. 14 (12) (1994) 7735-7746; J. Neurosci. 20 (11) (2000) 4255-4266]. Briefly, Acb neurons exhibited increases in firing rate within seconds preceding the reinforced response (type PR) or increases (type RFe) or decreases (type RFi) in activity seconds following response completion. In phase two (extinction), subsequent lever pressing had no programmed consequences (i.e., water reinforcement and the auditory stimulus were not presented). After 30 min of no responding, animals were given water reinforcement/auditory stimulus 'primes' to reestablish lever pressing behavior during the third phase (reinstatement). Results indicated that all types of phasic neurons (PR, RFe and RFi) exhibited an attenuated firing rate during extinction, and in some cases recovery of patterned discharges were observed during reinstatement. No significant changes in cell firing were observed for any cell type during presentation of the stimulus prime used to reestablish operant responding following extinction. These findings are discussed in terms of how Acb neurons process information related to 'natural' reinforcers versus drugs of abuse.

  15. Reduction of 3-methoxytyramine concentrations in the caudate nucleus of rats after exposure to high-energy iron particles: Evidence for deficits in dopaminergic neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, W.A.; Dalton, T.K.; Joseph, J.A.; Rabin, B.M.

    1990-01-01

    The prospect of long-term space travel raises a number of questions about the safety of astronauts asked to venture on prolonged journeys. The problems of microgravity are well known, but the hazards of exposure to radation are less understood. Most space travel has involved a few days to many months in low-altitude, equatorial orbits, where the dangers of radiation are lessened by the magnetic field surrounding the earth. Travel to polar or geostationary orbits or travel to the moon or the planets has a far greater radiation hazard. Almost nothing is known about possible risks to behavior and brain function after radiation exposure, such as found after the emission of solar flares or from long-term exposure from galactic cosmic radiation. Exposure to low doses of high-energy iron particles can alter motor behavior. The ability of rats to hang from a wire has been reported to be significantly degraded after exposure to doses as low as 0.5 Gy. In addition, deficits in the ability of acetylcholine to regulate dopamine release in the caudate nucleus (an area in the brain important for motor function) have been found. These results provide further evidence that exposure to heavy particles can degrade motor behavior through an action on dopaminergic mechanisms and that this can occur after doses much lower than those needed for low-LET radiation.

  16. Nucleus accumbens shell excitability is decreased by methamphetamine self-administration and increased by 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Steven M.; Clark, Mary J.; Traynor, John R.; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Napier, T. Celeste

    2014-01-01

    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

  17. Nucleus accumbens shell excitability is decreased by methamphetamine self-administration and increased by 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism.

    PubMed

    Graves, Steven M; Clark, Mary J; Traynor, John R; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Napier, T Celeste

    2015-02-01

    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.

  18. Intermittent-access binge consumption of sweet high-fat liquid does not require opioid or dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lardeux, Sylvie; Kim, James J.; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2015-01-01

    Binge eating disorders are characterized by episodes of intense consumption of high-calorie food. In recently developed animal models of binge eating, rats given intermittent access to such food escalate their consumption over time. Consumption of calorie-dense food is associated with neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens, including dopamine release and alterations in dopamine and opioid receptor expression. Therefore, we hypothesized that binge-like consumption on intermittent access schedules is dependent on opioid and/or dopamine neurotransmission in the accumbens. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether injection of dopamine and opioid receptor antagonists into the core and shell of the accumbens reduced consumption of a sweet high-fat liquid in rats with and without a history of intermittent binge access to the liquid. Although injection of a μ opioid agonist increased consumption, none of the antagonists (including μ opioid, δ opioid, κ opioid, D1 dopamine and D2 dopamine receptor antagonists, as well as the broad-spectrum opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone) reduced consumption, and this was the case whether or not the animals had a prior history of intermittent access. These results suggest that consumption of sweet, fatty food does not require opioid or dopamine receptor activation in the accumbens even under intermittent access conditions that resemble human binge episodes. PMID:26097003

  19. Intermittent-access binge consumption of sweet high-fat liquid does not require opioid or dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Lardeux, Sylvie; Kim, James J; Nicola, Saleem M

    2015-10-01

    Binge eating disorders are characterized by episodes of intense consumption of high-calorie food. In recently developed animal models of binge eating, rats given intermittent access to such food escalate their consumption over time. Consumption of calorie-dense food is associated with neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens, including dopamine release and alterations in dopamine and opioid receptor expression. Therefore, we hypothesized that binge-like consumption on intermittent access schedules is dependent on opioid and/or dopamine neurotransmission in the accumbens. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether injection of dopamine and opioid receptor antagonists into the core and shell of the accumbens reduced consumption of a sweet high-fat liquid in rats with and without a history of intermittent binge access to the liquid. Although injection of a μ opioid agonist increased consumption, none of the antagonists (including μ opioid, δ opioid, κ opioid, D1 dopamine and D2 dopamine receptor antagonists, as well as the broad-spectrum opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone) reduced consumption, and this was the case whether or not the animals had a prior history of intermittent access. These results suggest that consumption of sweet, fatty food does not require opioid or dopamine receptor activation in the accumbens even under intermittent access conditions that resemble human binge episodes.

  20. Role of dopamine receptors subtypes, D1-like and D2-like, within the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, on memory consolidation in the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task.

    PubMed

    Managò, Francesca; Castellano, Claudio; Oliverio, Alberto; Mele, Andrea; De Leonibus, Elvira

    2009-01-01

    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 compare the effect of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor blockade within the core and the shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens on memory consolidation. Using the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task in CD1 mice, we demonstrated that SCH 23390 (vehicle, 12.5, 25, 50 ng/side) administration within the core, but not the shell, impaired step-through latency 24 h after the administration if injected immediately, but not 120 min post-training. Interestingly, sulpiride (vehicle, 25, 50 ng/side) injection in both the core and the shell of the accumbens affected step-through latency 24 h later; also, in this case the impairment was time dependent. These data provide the most complete and direct demonstration to date that early consolidation of aversive memory requires D2 receptor activation in both nucleus accumbens subregions, and D1 activation selectively in the nucleus accumbens core.

  1. Imaging and Quantitative Analysis of the Interstitial Space in the Caudate Nucleus in a Rotenone-Induced Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease Using Tracer-based MRI

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Deyong; Li, Jingbo; Li, Hongfu; Fu, Yu; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by pathological changes within several deep structures of the brain, including the substantia nigra and caudate nucleus. However, changes in interstitial fluid (ISF) flow and the microstructure of the interstitial space (ISS) in the caudate nucleus in PD have not been reported. In this study, we used tracer-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to quantitatively investigate the alterations in ISS and visualize ISF flow in the caudate nucleus in a rotenone-induced rat model of PD treated with and without madopar. In the rotenone-induced rat model, the ISF flow was slowed and the tortuosity of the ISS was significantly decreased. Administration of madopar partially prevented these changes of ISS and ISF. Therefore, our data suggest that tracer-based MRI can be used to monitor the parameters related to ISF flow and ISS microstructure. It is a promising technique to investigate the microstructure and functional changes in the deep brain regions of PD. PMID:28203477

  2. Competitor suppresses neuronal representation of food reward in the nucleus accumbens/medial striatum of domestic chicks.

    PubMed

    Amita, Hidetoshi; Matsushima, Toshiya

    2014-07-15

    To investigate the role of social contexts in controlling the neuronal representation of food reward, we recorded single neuron activity in the medial striatum/nucleus accumbens of domestic chicks and examined whether activities differed between two blocks with different contexts. Chicks were trained in an operant task to associate light-emitting diode color cues with three trial types that differed in the type of food reward: no reward (S-), a small reward/short-delay option (SS), and a large reward/long-delay alternative (LL). Amount and duration of reward were set such that both of SS and LL were chosen roughly equally. Neurons showing distinct cue-period activity in rewarding trials (SS and LL) were identified during an isolation block, and activity patterns were compared with those recorded from the same neuron during a subsequent pseudo-competition block in which another chick was allowed to forage in the same area, but was separated by a transparent window. In some neurons, cue-period activity was lower in the pseudo-competition block, and the difference was not ascribed to the number of repeated trials. Comparison at neuronal population level revealed statistically significant suppression in the pseudo-competition block in both SS and LL trials, suggesting that perceived competition generally suppressed the representation of cue-associated food reward. The delay- and reward-period activities, however, did not significantly different between blocks. These results demonstrate that visual perception of a competitive forager per se weakens the neuronal representation of predicted food reward. Possible functional links to impulse control are discussed.

  3. Alcohol intoxications during adolescence increase motivation for alcohol in adult rats and induce neuroadaptations in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Alaux-Cantin, Stéphanie; Warnault, Vincent; Legastelois, Rémi; Botia, Béatrice; Pierrefiche, Olivier; Vilpoux, Catherine; Naassila, Mickaël

    2013-04-01

    Adolescent alcohol binge drinking constitutes a major vulnerability factor to develop alcoholism. However, mechanisms underlying this susceptibility remain unknown. We evaluated the effect of adolescent binge-like ethanol intoxication on vulnerability to alcohol abuse in Sprague-Dawley rats. To model binge-like ethanol intoxication, every 2 days, rats received an ethanol injection (3.0 g/kg) for 2 consecutive days across 14 days either from postnatal day 30 (PND30) to 43 (early adolescence) or from PND 45 to PND 58 (late adolescence). In young adult animals, we measured free ethanol consumption in the two-bottle choice paradigm, motivation for ethanol in the operant self-administration task and both ethanol's rewarding and aversive properties in the conditioned place preference (CPP) and taste aversion (CTA) paradigms. While intermittent ethanol intoxications (IEI) during late adolescence had no effect on free-choice 10% ethanol consumption, we found that IEI during early adolescence promoted free-choice 10% ethanol consumption, enhanced motivation for ethanol in the self-administration paradigm and induced a loss of both ethanol-induced CPP and CTA in young adults. No modification in either sucrose self-administration or amphetamine-induced CPP was observed. As the nucleus accumbens (Nac) is particularly involved in addictive behavior, we analyzed IEI-induced long-term neuroadaptations in the Nac using c-Fos immunohistochemistry and an array of neurotransmission-related genes. This vulnerability to ethanol abuse was associated with a lower c-Fos immunoreactivity in the Nac and enduring alterations of the expression of Penk and Slc6a4, 2 neurotransmission-related genes that have been shown to play critical roles in the behavioral effects of ethanol and alcoholism.

  4. mu-Opioid receptor stimulation in the nucleus accumbens elevates fatty tastant intake by increasing palatability and suppressing satiety signals.

    PubMed

    Katsuura, Yoshihiro; Heckmann, Jennifer A; Taha, Sharif A

    2011-07-01

    Infusion of a μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist into the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) drives voracious food intake, an effect hypothesized to occur through increased tastant palatability. While intake of many palatable foods is elevated by MOR stimulation, this manipulation has a preferential effect on fatty food ingestion. Consumption of high-fat foods is increased by NAcc MOR stimulation even in rats that prefer a carbohydrate-rich alternative under baseline conditions. This suggests that NAcc MOR stimulation may not simply potentiate palatability signals and raises the possibility that mechanisms mediating fat intake may be distinct from those underlying intake of other tastants. The present study was conducted to investigate the physiological mechanisms underlying the effects of NAcc MOR stimulation on fatty food intake. In experiment 1, we analyzed lick microstructure in rats ingesting Intralipid to identify the changes underlying feeding induced by infusion of a MOR-specific agonist into the NAcc. MOR stimulation in the NAcc core, but not shell, increased burst duration and first-minute licks, while simultaneously increasing the rate and duration of Intralipid ingestion. These results suggest that MOR activation in the core increases Intralipid palatability and attenuates inhibitory postingestive feedback. In experiment 2, we measured the effects of MOR stimulation in the NAcc core on consumption of nonnutritive olestra. A MOR-specific agonist dose dependently increased olestra intake, demonstrating that caloric signaling is not required for hyperphagia induced by NAcc MOR stimulation. Feeding induced by drug infusion in both experiments 1 and 2 was blocked by a MOR antagonist. In experiment 3, we determined whether MOR activation in the NAcc core could attenuate satiety-related signaling caused by infusion of the melanocortin agonist MTII into the third ventricle. Suppression of intake caused by MTII was reversed by MOR stimulation. Together, our results suggest

  5. Role of dopamine and GABA in the control of motor activity elicited from the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Wong, L S; Eshel, G; Dreher, J; Ong, J; Jackson, D M

    1991-04-01

    The application of 1.2 and 12.0 micrograms/side of the GABAA receptor agonist 3-aminopropane sulphonic acid bilaterally into the nucleus accumbens (Acb) of rats nonsignificantly depressed locomotor activity as assessed in automated Animex activity cages, while the highest dose (60 micrograms/side) significantly stimulated activity. The GABAA receptor antagonists picrotoxinin (0.0625 and 0.125 micrograms/saide) and bicuculline (0.895 micrograms/side) produced forward locomotion around the cage accompanied by a number of other behaviours. The GABAB agonist baclofen (0.023 and 0.092 micrograms/side) induced a short-lasting (18 min) locomotor depression. None of the GABAB antagonists tested (2-hydroxysaclofen 2.6 micrograms/side, two novel beta-(benzo[b]furan) analogues of baclofen 9G or 9H each 6.8 micrograms/side, 4-aminobutylphosphonic acid 1.32 micrograms/side and phaclofen 0.535 and 2 micrograms/side) significantly affected locomotor activity. In rats pretreated with reserpine and alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine, picrotoxinin (0.0625 and 0.125 micrograms/side) did not significantly alter locomotor activity. Furthermore, when picrotoxinin (0.0625 micrograms/side) was combined with either the selective dopamine (DA) D1 agonist SKF38393 or the selective D2 agonist quinpirole, no significant alteration in locomotor function occurred. When SKF38393 and quinpirole were coadministered, significant stimulation occurred which was further enhanced by the addition of picrotoxinin. It is concluded that GABAA receptors, together with D1 and D2 receptors, play a major role in modulating the control of motor function by the Acb of rats.

  6. Taurine activates strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in neurons freshly isolated from nucleus accumbens of young rats.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Zhenglin; Krnjević, Kresimir; Wang, Fushun; Ye, Jiang Hong

    2004-01-01

    Although functional glycine receptors (GlyRs) are present in the mature nucleus accumbens (NAcc), an important area of the mesolimbic dopamine system involved in drug addiction, their role has been unclear because the NAcc contains little glycine. However, taurine, an agonist of GlyRs, is abundant throughout the brain, especially during early development. In the present study on freshly dissociated NAcc neurons from young Sprague-Dawley rats (12- to 21-day old), we found that both glycine and taurine can strongly depolarize NAcc neurons and modulate their excitability. In voltage-clamped NAcc neurons, glycine and taurine elicited chloride currents (IGly and ITau) with an EC50 of 0.12 and 1.25 mM, respectively. The reversal potential of IGly or ITau was 0 mV in conventional whole cell mode and -30 mV in gramicidin-perforated mode. At concentrations <1 mM, both glycine and taurine were very effectively antagonized by strychnine and by picrotoxin (with an IC50 of 60 nM and 36.5 microM for IGly, and 40 nM and 42.2 microM for ITau) but were insensitive to 10 microM bicuculline. The currents elicited by taurine (< or =1 mM) showed complete cross-desensitization with IGly, but none with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-induced currents (IGABA). However, ITau elicited by very concentrated taurine (10 mM) showed partial cross-desensitization with IGABA, and it was substantially antagonized by 10 microM bicuculline. These results indicate that taurine binds mainly to GlyRs in NAcc, but it could be a partial agonist of GABAA receptors. By activating GlyRs, taurine may play an important physiological role in the control of NAcc function, especially during development.

  7. Implications for glycine receptors and astrocytes in ethanol-induced elevation of dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Adermark, Louise; Clarke, Rhona B C; Olsson, Torsten; Hansson, Elisabeth; Söderpalm, Bo; Ericson, Mia

    2011-01-01

    Elevated dopamine levels are believed to contribute to the rewarding sensation of ethanol (EtOH), and previous research has shown that strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) are involved in regulating dopamine release and in mediating the reinforcing effects of EtOH. Furthermore, the osmoregulator taurine, which is released from astrocytes treated with EtOH, can act as an endogenous ligand for the glycine receptor, and increase extracellular dopamine levels. The aim of this study was to address if EtOH-induced swelling of astrocytes could contribute to elevated dopamine levels by increasing the extracellular concentration of taurine. Cell swelling was estimated by optical sectioning of fluorescently labeled astrocytes in primary cultures from rat, and showed that EtOH (25-150 mM) increased astrocyte cell volumes in a concentration- and ion-dependent manner. The EtOH-induced cell swelling was inhibited in cultures treated with the Na(+) /K(+) /2Cl⁻ cotransporter blocker furosemide (1 mM), Na(+) /K(+) -ATPase inhibitor ouabain (0.1 mM), potassium channel inhibitor BaCl₂ (50 µM) and in cultures containing low extracellular sodium concentration (3 mM). In vivo microdialysis performed in the nAc of awake and freely moving rats showed that local treatment with EtOH enhanced the concentrations of dopamine and taurine in the microdialysate, while glycine and β-alanine levels were not significantly modulated. EtOH-induced dopamine release was antagonized by local treatment with the glycine receptor antagonist strychnine (20 µM) or furosemide (100 µM or 1 mM). Furosemide also prevented EtOH-induced taurine release in the nAc. In conclusion, our data suggest that extracellular concentrations of dopamine and taurine are interconnected and that swelling of astrocytes contributes to the acute rewarding sensation of EtOH.

  8. Rising taurine and ethanol concentrations in nucleus accumbens interact to produce the dopamine-activating effects of alcohol.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mia; Chau, Peipei; Adermark, Louise; Söderpalm, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol misuse and addiction is a worldwide problem causing enormous individual suffering as well as financial costs for the society. To develop pharmacological means to reduce suffering, we need to understand the mechanisms underlying the effects of ethanol in the brain. Ethanol is known to increase extracellular levels of both dopamine and taurine in the nucleus accumbens (nAc), a part of the brain reward system, but the two events have not been connected. In previous studies we have demonstrated that glycine receptors in the nAc are involved in modulating both basal- and ethanol-induced dopamine output in the same brain region. By means of in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats we here demonstrate that the endogenous glycine receptor ligand taurine mimics ethanol in activating the brain reward system. Furthermore, administration of systemic ethanol diluted in an isotonic (0.9% NaCl) or hypertonic (3.6% NaCl) saline solution was investigated with respect to extracellular levels of taurine and dopamine in the nAc. We found that ethanol given in a hypertonic solution, contrary to an isotonic solution, failed to increase concentrations of both taurine and dopamine in the nAc. However, a modest, non-dopamine elevating concentration of taurine in the nAc disclosed a dopamine elevating effect of systemic ethanol also when given in a hypertonic solution. We conclude that the elevations of taurine and dopamine in the nAc are closely related and that in order for ethanol to induce dopamine release, a simultaneous increase of extracellular taurine levels in the nAc is required. These data also -provide support for the notion that the nAc is the primary target for ethanol in its dopamine-activating effect after systemic administration and that taurine is a prominent participant in activating the brain reward system.

  9. Opioid Receptor Antagonism in the Nucleus Accumbens Fails to Block the Expression of Sugar-Conditioned Flavor Preferences in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Bernal, Sonia Y.; Touzani, Khalid; Gerges, Meri; Abayev, Yana; Sclafani, Anthony; Bodnar, Richard J.

    2009-01-01

    In our prior studies, systemic administration of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (NTX) did not block flavor preference conditioning by the sweet taste or post-oral actions of sugar despite reducing intake. Because opioid signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is implicated in food reward, this study determined if NTX administered into the NAc would block the expression of sugar-conditioned preferences. In Experiment 1, food-restricted rats with bilateral NAc shell or core cannulae were trained to drink a fructose (8%) + saccharin (0.2%) solution mixed with one flavor (CS+) and a less-preferred 0.2% saccharin solution mixed with another flavor (CS−) during one-bottle sessions. Two-bottle tests with the two flavors mixed in saccharin solutions occurred 10 min following total bilateral NAc shell or core doses of 0, 1, 25 and 50 μg of NTX. The rats preferred the CS+ over CS− following vehicle (80%) and all NTX doses in the shell and core. The CS+ preference was reduced to 64% and 72% by 50 μg NTX in the shell and core, although only the core effect was significant. In Experiment 2, food-restricted rats were trained to drink one flavored saccharin solution (CS+) paired with an intragastic (IG) glucose (8%) infusion and a second flavored saccharin solution (CS−) paired with an IG water infusion. In subsequent two-bottle tests, the rats displayed significant preferences for the CS+ (81-91%) that were unaltered by any NTX dose in the shell or core. CS+ intake, however, was reduced by NTX in the shell, but not the core. These data indicate that accumbal opioid antagonism slightly attenuated, but did not block the expression of sugar-conditioned flavor preferences. Therefore, while opioid drugs can have potent effects on sugar intake they appear less effective in altering sugar-conditioned flavor preferences. PMID:20006967

  10. Uncovering the role of the nucleus accumbens in schizophrenia: A postmortem analysis of tyrosine hydroxylase and vesicular glutamate transporters

    PubMed Central

    McCollum, Lesley A.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.

    2016-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is often implicated in schizophrenia (SZ) pathology, but with little evidence to support its role. This study examined postmortem human tissue to determine if abnormalities are present in the dopaminergic or glutamatergic systems in the NAcc in SZ. We compared the protein levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and vesicular glutamate transporters vGLUT1 and vGLUT2 in control (n = 7) and schizophrenia (n = 13) subjects using western blot analysis. The SZ subjects were further divided by treatment status: SZ on-drug (SZ-ON, n = 6) and SZ off-drug (SZ-OFF, n = 7), to assess the effects of antipsychotic treatment. TH protein levels were similar between control and SZ subjects, and there was no difference between SZ-ON and SZ-OFF subjects. Protein levels of vGLUT1 were similar in control and SZ subjects, and there was no difference in vGLUT1 protein levels between SZ-ON and SZ-OFF subjects. In contrast, vGLUT2 protein levels were significantly elevated in the SZ group (25% increase). Protein levels of vGLUT2 did not differ between SZ-ON and SZ-OFF subjects. Similar levels of TH suggest the presynaptic DA pathway may be normal in the NAcc in SZ. The elevated vGLUT2 protein levels, but not vGLUT1, suggest the NAcc receives increased glutamatergic input in SZ, possibly from thalamic or other subcortical origins. The similarity between SZ-ON and SZ-OFF subjects suggests that the results are not caused by APD treatment. These findings provide further insight into the role of the NAcc in SZ. PMID:26386900

  11. MC4-R signaling within the nucleus accumbens shell, but not the lateral hypothalamus, modulates ethanol palatability in rats

    PubMed Central

    Lerma-Cabrera, Jose M.; Carvajal, Francisca; Chotro, Gabriela; Gaztañaga, Mirari; Navarro, Montserrat; Thiele, Todd E.; Cubero, Inmaculada

    2012-01-01

    The Melanocortin (MC) system is one of the crucial neuropeptidergic systems that modulate energy balance. The roles of endogenous MC and MC-4 receptor (MC4-R) signaling within the hypothalamus in the control of homeostatic aspects of feeding are well established. Additional evidence points to a key role for the central MC system in ethanol consumption. Recently, we have shown that nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not lateral hypothalamic (LH), infusion of a selective MC4-R agonist decreases ethanol consumption. Given that MC signaling might contribute to non-homeostatic aspects of feeding within limbic circuits, we assessed here whether MC4-R signaling within the NAc and the lateral hypothalamus (LH) alters normal ingestive hedonic and/or aversive responses to ethanol in rats as measured by a taste reactivity test. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were given NAc- or LH- bilateral infusion of the selective MC4-R agonist cyclo (NH-CH2-CH2-CO-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Glu)-NH2 (0, 0.75 or 1.5 µg/0.5µl/site) and following 30 min, the animals received 1 ml of ethanol solution (6% w/v) intraoral for 1 minute and aversive and hedonic behaviors were recorded. We found that NAc-, but not LH-administration, of a selective MC4-R agonist decreased total duration of hedonic reactions and significantly increased aversive reactions relative to saline-infused animals which support the hypothesis that MC signaling within the NAc may contribute to ethanol consumption by modulating non-homeostatic aspects (palatability) of intake. PMID:23146409

  12. Nucleus accumbens response to incentive stimuli anticipation in children of alcoholics: relationships with precursive behavioral risk and lifetime alcohol use.

    PubMed

    Yau, Wai-Ying Wendy; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Weiland, Barbara J; Samudra, Preeti G; Zucker, Robert A; Heitzeg, Mary M

    2012-02-15

    Children of alcoholics (COAs) are at elevated risk to develop alcohol and other substance use disorders. The neurobiological underpinnings of this heightened vulnerability are presently not well understood. This study investigated whether, in humans, COAs have different functioning of the mesolimbic reward circuitry beyond previous substance use confounds and examined potential group differences in neural response in relation to alcohol use and behavioral risk. We studied 20 18- to 22-year-old COAs and 20 controls, developmentally well characterized for substance use and selected to match on sex, age, IQ, lifetime substance use and associated problems, and precursive (ages 12-14 years) externalizing behavioral risk. None met criteria for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV diagnosis. Neural responses to anticipation of reward and loss were assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging during a monetary incentive delay task. Overall, COAs showed reduced ventral striatum activation during anticipation of monetary reward and loss compared with controls. However, additional analysis revealed that blunted nucleus accumbens (NAcc) response was only observed in COAs who have not demonstrated any problem drinking behavior. In addition, uniquely in COAs, NAcc activation was positively correlated with precursive externalizing risk, as well as current and lifetime alcohol consumption. These findings suggest a multilevel developmental process whereby lower precursive behavioral risk appears protective of later problem alcohol use in COAs, which is further associated with a blunted NAcc response to incentive anticipation, potentially reflecting a resilience mechanism. Moreover, the results suggest that a close association between motivational responses, alcohol consumption, and behavioral risk may underlie addiction vulnerability in COAs.

  13. Nicotine Withdrawal Increases Stress-Associated Genes in the Nucleus Accumbens of Female Rats in a Hormone-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Oscar V.; Pipkin, Joseph A.; Ferree, Patrick; Carcoba, Luis M.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Previous work led to our hypothesis that sex differences produced by nicotine withdrawal are modulated by stress and dopamine systems in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). We investigated our hypothesis by studying intact females to determine whether the mechanisms that promote withdrawal are ovarian-hormone mediated. Methods: Female rats were ovariectomized (OVX) or received sham surgery (intact) on postnatal day (PND 45–46). On PND 60, they received sham surgery (controls) or were prepared with nicotine pumps. Fourteen days later, half of the rats had their pumps removed (nicotine withdrawal) and the other half received sham surgery (nicotine exposure). Twenty-four hours later, the rats were tested for anxiety-like behavior using the elevated plus maze and light/dark transfer procedures. The NAcc was then dissected for analysis of several genes related to stress (CRF, UCN, CRF-R1, CRF-R2, CRF-BP, and Arrb2) or receptors for dopamine (Drd1 and Drd2) and estradiol (Esr2). Results: During withdrawal, intact females displayed an increase in anxiety-like behavior in both tests and CRF, UCN, and Drd1 gene expression. During nicotine exposure, intact females displayed a decrease in CRF-R1, CRF-R2, Drd3, and Esr2 gene expression and an increase in CRF-BP. This pattern of results was absent in OVX females. Conclusions: Nicotine withdrawal produced an increase in anxiety-like behavior and stress-associated genes in intact females that is distinct from changes produced by nicotine exposure. The latter effects were absent in OVX females, suggesting that stress produced by withdrawal is ovarian-hormone mediated. These findings have important implications towards understanding tobacco use liability among females. PMID:25762751

  14. The Inhibitory Effects of Nesfatin-1 in Ventromedial Hypothalamus on Gastric Function and Its Regulation by Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Shengli; Guo, Feifei; Sun, Xiangrong; Zhang, Nana; Gong, Yanling; Xu, Luo

    2017-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nesfatin-1 signaling in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) on gastric functions, as well as the regulation of these effects by nucleus accumbens (NAc) projections to VMH. Methods: The expression of c-fos in nesfatinergic VMH neurons induced by gastric distension (GD) was measured using the double fluoro-immunohistochemical staining. The firing rates of neurons were monitored with single-unit extracellular electric discharge recording. The projection of nesfatinergic neurons from NAc to VMH was observed by fluorogold retrograde tracer combined with fluoro-immunohistochemical staining. The effect of nesfatin-1 in VMH or electric stimulation in NAc on gastric function was studied by measuring food intake, gastric acid output, gastric motility, and gastric emptying, and the ability of the melanocortin-3/4 receptor antagonist SHU9119 or the anti-nesfatin-1 antibody to block nesfatin-1 in the VMH was assessed. Results: Expression of c-fos was observed in VMH nesfatinergic neurons following GD in rats. Further, nesfatin-1 delivery to single GD-responsive neurons changed the firing rates of these neurons in the VMH. In awake, behaving rats, intra-VMH administration of nesfatin-1 inhibited food intake, gastric acid output, gastric motility, and gastric emptying. These effects were abolished by SHU9119. Fluorogold retrograde tracing showed nesfatinergic neural projection from the NAc to the VMH. Electrical stimulation of NAc modified the firing rates of the VMH neurons and inhibited food intake and gastric functions. The pretreatment with an anti-nesfatin-1 antibody in the VMH reversed the effects of NAc electrical stimulation on the VMH neuronal firing rates and gastric function. Conclusions: Nesfatin-1 in the VMH inhibited food intake, gastric acid output, gastric motility, and gastric emptying. A nesfatinergic pathway between NAc and VMH transmitted metabolism-regulating signals. PMID:28105016

  15. Mu opioid receptor modulation in the nucleus accumbens lowers voluntary wheel running in rats bred for high running motivation.

    PubMed

    Ruegsegger, Gregory N; Toedebusch, Ryan G; Will, Matthew J; Booth, Frank W

    2015-10-01

    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.

  16. Ethanol Is Self-Administered Into the Nucleus Accumbens Shell, But Not the Core: Evidence of Genetic Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Engleman, Eric A.; Ding, Zheng-Ming; Oster, Scott M.; Toalston, Jamie E.; Bell, Richard L.; Murphy, James M.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2010-01-01

    Background A previous study indicated that selectively bred alcohol-preferring (P) rats self-administered ethanol (EtOH) directly into the posterior ventral tegmental area at lower concentrations than Wistar rats. The present study was undertaken to determine involvement of the nucleus accumbens (Acb) with EtOH reinforcement, and a relationship between genetic selection for high alcohol preference and sensitivity of the Acb to the reinforcing effects of EtOH. Methods Adult P and Wistar rats were assigned to groups that self-infused 0 to 300 mg% EtOH into the Acb shell (AcbSh) or Acb Core (AcbC). Rats were placed into 2-lever (active and inactive) operant chambers and given EtOH for the first 4 sessions (acquisition), artificial cerebro-spinal fluid (aCSF) for sessions 5 and 6 (extinction), and EtOH again in session 7 (reinstatement). Responding on the active lever produced a 100-nl injection of the infusate. Results Alcohol-preferring rats self-infused 75 to 300 mg% EtOH, whereas Wistar rats reliably self-infused 100 and 300 mg% EtOH into the AcbSh. Both P and Wistar rats reduced responding on the active lever when aCSF was substituted for EtOH, and reinstated responding in session 7 when EtOH was restored. EtOH was not self-infused into the AcbC by P or Wistar rats. Conclusions The present results indicate that the AcbSh, but not AcbC, is a neuroanatomical structure that mediates the reinforcing actions of EtOH. The data also suggest that, compared to Wistar rats, the AcbSh of P rats is more sensitive to the reinforcing effects of EtOH. PMID:19764930

  17. Arginine Vasopressin gene expression changes within the nucleus accumbens during environment elicited cocaine-conditioned response in rats

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Borrero, E.; Rivera-Escalera, F.; Candelas, F.; Montalvo, J.; Muñoz-Miranda, W.J.; Walker, J.R.; Maldonado-Vlaar, C.S.

    2009-01-01

    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 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) prior to being placed in the activity chambers. Control rats received saline injections before being exposed to their environment. Both groups received a saline injection in their home cage. Conditioning training lasted for 10 days. Animals were then re-exposed to their previously paired environments only on day 12 (test session). We found that the gene for arginine vasopressin (AVP) was differentially expressed on experimental subjects during all stages of environment-elicited cocaine conditioning. To further validate our molecular results, biochemical and immunolocalization experiments were conducted. We found the presence of AVP within accumbal fibers and changes in AVP protein levels following cocaine conditioning. Moreover, we tested the effects of accumbal microinfusions of either AVP receptor V1A agonist [pGlu4, Cyt6, Arg8] AVP 4-9 1.0 ng/0.5μl, or V1A antagonist (CH2) 5[Tyr (Me) 2] AVP, 1.0 ng/0.5μl or vehicle solution (0.9% saline solution) during different stages of the cocaine conditioning. Blockade of V1A receptors within the NAc during acquisition interrupted the expression of the conditioned response, while activation leads to an increase in this response. Our findings propose a new role for AVP in cocaine addiction. PMID:19596360

  18. Repeated Cocaine Exposure Decreases Dopamine D2-Like Receptor Modulation of Ca2+ Homeostasis in Rat Nucleus Accumbens Neurons

    PubMed Central

    PEREZ, MARIELA F.; FORD, KERSTIN A.; GOUSSAKOV, IVAN; STUTZMANN, GRACE E.; HU, XIU-TI

    2013-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a limbic structure in the forebrain that plays a critical role in cognitive function and addiction. Dopamine modulates activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAc. Both dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptors (including D1R or D1,5R and D2R or D2,3,4R, respectively) are thought to play critical roles in cocaine addiction. Our previous studies demonstrated that repeated cocaine exposure (which alters dopamine transmission) decreases excitability of NAc MSNs in cocaine-sensitized, withdrawn rats. This decrease is characterized by a reduction in voltage-sensitive Na+ currents and high voltage-activated Ca2+ currents, along with increased voltage-gated K+ currents. These changes are associated with enhanced activity in the D1R/cAMP/PKA/protein phosphatase 1 pathway and diminished calcineurin function. Although D1R-mediated signaling is enhanced by repeated cocaine exposure, little is known whether and how the D2R is implicated in the cocaine-induced NAc dysfunction. Here, we performed a combined electrophysiological, biochemical, and neuroimaging study that reveals the cocaine-induced dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis with involvement of D2R. Our novel findings reveal that D2R stimulation reduced Ca2+ influx preferentially via the L-type Ca2+ channels and evoked intracellular Ca2+ release, likely via inhibiting the cAMP/PKA cascade, in the NAc MSNs of drug-free rats. However, repeated cocaine exposure abolished the D2R effects on modulating Ca2+ homeostasis with enhanced PKA activity and led to a decrease in whole-cell Ca2+ influx. These adaptations, which persisted for 21 days during cocaine abstinence, may contribute to the mechanism of cocaine withdrawal. PMID:20665696

  19. Effects of ethanol exposure and withdrawal on dendritic morphology and spine density in the nucleus accumbens core and shell.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Veronica L; McCool, Brian A; Hamilton, Derek A

    2015-01-12

    Exposure to drugs of abuse can result in profound structural modifications on neurons in circuits involved in addiction that may contribute to drug dependence, withdrawal and related processes. Structural alterations on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been observed following exposure to and withdrawal from a variety of drugs; however, relatively little is known about the effects of alcohol exposure and withdrawal on structural alterations of NAc MSNs. In the present study male rats were chronically exposed to vaporized ethanol for 10 days and underwent 1 or 7 days of withdrawal after which the brains were processed for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic length, branching and spine density. MSNs of the NAc shell and core underwent different patterns of changes following ethanol exposure and withdrawal. At 1 day of withdrawal there were modest reductions in the dendritic length and branching of MSNs in both the core and the shell compared to control animals exposed only to air. At 7 days of withdrawal the length and branching of shell MSNs was reduced, whereas the length and branching of core MSNs were increased relative to the shell. The density of mature spines was increased in the core at 1 day of withdrawal, whereas the density of less mature spines was increased in both regions at 7 days of withdrawal. Collectively, these observations indicate that MSNs of the NAc core and shell undergo distinct patterns of structural modifications following ethanol exposure and withdrawal suggesting that modifications in dendritic structure in these regions may contribute differentially to ethanol withdrawal.

  20. Chronic alcohol consumption leads to neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens that are not fully reversed by withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Pedro A; Neves, João; Vilela, Manuel; Sousa, Sérgio; Cruz, Catarina; Madeira, M Dulce

    2014-01-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY)- and acetylcholine-containing interneurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) seem to play a major role in the rewarding effects of alcohol. This study investigated the relationship between chronic alcohol consumption and subsequent withdrawal and the expression of NPY and acetylcholine in the NAc, and the possible involvement of nerve growth factor (NGF) in mediating the effects of ethanol. Rats ingesting an aqueous ethanol solution over 6months and rats subsequently deprived from ethanol during 2months were used to estimate the total number and the somatic volume of NPY and cholinergic interneurons, and the numerical density of cholinergic varicosities in the NAc. The tissue content of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and catecholamines were also determined. The number of NPY interneurons increased during alcohol ingestion and returned to control values after withdrawal. Conversely, the number and the size of cholinergic interneurons, and the amount of ChAT were unchanged in ethanol-treated and withdrawn rats, but the density of cholinergic varicosities was reduced by 50% during alcohol consumption and by 64% after withdrawal. The concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine were unchanged both during alcohol consumption and after withdrawal. The administration of NGF to withdrawn rats significantly increased the number of NPY-immunoreactive neurons, the size of cholinergic neurons and the density of cholinergic varicosities. Present data show that chronic alcohol consumption leads to long-lasting neuroadaptive changes of the cholinergic innervation of the NAc and suggest that the cholinergic system is a potential target for the development of therapeutic strategies in alcoholism and abstinence.

  1. Caudal Nucleus Accumbens Core Is Critical in the Regulation of Cue-Elicited Approach-Avoidance Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Hamel, Laurie; Thangarasa, Tharshika; Samadi, Osai

    2017-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is thought to be a site of integration of positively and negatively valenced information and action selection. Functional differentiation in valence processing has previously been found along the rostrocaudal axis of the shell region of the NAc in assessments of unconditioned motivation. Given that the core region of the NAc has been implicated in the elicitation of motivated behavior in response to conditioned cues, we sought to assess the role of caudal, intermediate, and rostral sites within this subregion in cue-elicited approach-avoidance decisions. Rats were trained to associate visuo-tactile cues with appetitive, aversive, and neutral outcomes. Following the successful acquisition of the cue-outcome associations, rats received microinfusions of GABAA and GABAB receptor agonists (muscimol/baclofen) or saline into the caudal, intermediate, or rostral NAc core and were then exposed to a superimposition of appetitively and aversively valenced cues versus neutral cues in a “conflict test,” as well as to the appetitive versus neutral cues, and aversive cues versus neutral cues, in separate conditioned preference/avoidance tests. Disruption of activity in the intermediate to caudal parts of the NAc core resulted in a robust avoidance bias in response to motivationally conflicting cues, as well as a potentiated avoidance of aversive cues as compared with control animals, coupled with an attenuated conditioned preference for the appetitive cue. These results suggest that the caudal NAc core may have the capacity to exert bidirectional control over appetitively and aversively motivated responses to valence signals. PMID:28275709

  2. Cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization in rats correlates with nucleus accumbens activity on manganese-enhanced MRI.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  3. BDNF contributes to both rapid and homeostatic alterations in AMPA receptor surface expression in nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons

    PubMed Central

    Reimers, Jeremy M.; Loweth, Jessica A.; Wolf, Marina E.

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in plasticity at glutamate synapses and the effects of repeated cocaine exposure. We recently showed that intracranial injection of BDNF into the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key region for cocaine addiction, rapidly increases AMPA receptor (AMPAR) surface expression. To further characterize BDNF’s role in both rapid AMPAR trafficking and slower, homeostatic changes in AMPAR surface expression, we investigated the effects of acute (30 min) and long-term (24 h) treatment with BDNF on AMPAR distribution in NAc medium spiny neurons from postnatal rats co-cultured with mouse prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons to restore excitatory inputs. Immunocytochemical studies showed that acute BDNF treatment increased cell surface GluA1 and GluA2 levels, as well as their co-localization, on NAc neurons. This effect of BDNF, confirmed using a protein crosslinking assay, was dependent on ERK but not AKT signaling. In contrast, long-term BDNF treatment decreased AMPAR surface expression on NAc neurons. Based on this latter result, we tested the hypothesis that BDNF plays a role in AMPAR “scaling down” in response to a prolonged increase in neuronal activity produced by bicuculline (24 h). Supporting this hypothesis, decreasing BDNF signaling with the extracellular BDNF scavenger TrkB-Fc prevented the scaling down of GluA1 and GluA2 surface levels in NAc neurons normally produced by bicuculline. In conclusion, BDNF exerts bidirectional effects on NAc AMPAR surface expression, depending on duration of exposure. Furthermore, BDNF’s involvement in synaptic scaling in the NAc differs from its previously described role in the visual cortex. PMID:24712995

  4. Adolescent nicotine-induced dendrite remodeling in the nucleus accumbens is rapid, persistent, and D1-dopamine receptor dependent.

    PubMed

    Ehlinger, D G; Bergstrom, H C; Burke, J C; Fernandez, G M; McDonald, C G; Smith, R F

    2016-01-01

    Chronic nicotine exposure during adolescence induces dendritic remodeling of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) shell. While nicotine-induced dendritic remodeling has frequently been described as persistent, the trajectory of dendrite remodeling is unknown. Specifically, no study to date has characterized the structural plasticity of dendrites in the NAcc immediately following chronic nicotine, leaving open the possibility that dendrite remodeling emerges gradually over time. Further, the neuropharmacological mechanisms through which nicotine induces dendrite remodeling are not well understood. To address these questions, rats were co-administered chronic nicotine (0.5 mg/kg) and the D1-dopamine receptor (D1DR) antagonist SCH-23390 (0.05 mg/kg) subcutaneously every other day during adolescence. Brains were then processed for Golgi-Cox staining either 1 day or 21 days following drug exposure and dendrites from MSNs in the NAcc shell digitally reconstructed in 3D. Spine density was also measured at both time points. Our morphometric results show (1) the formation of new dendritic branches and spines 1 day following nicotine exposure, (2) new dendritic branches, but not spine density, remains relatively stable for at least 21 days, (3) the co-administration of SCH-23390 completely blocked nicotine-induced dendritic remodeling of MSNs at both early and late time points, suggesting the formation of new dendritic branches in response to nicotine is D1DR-dependent, and (4) SCH-23390 failed to block nicotine-induced increases in spine density. Overall this study provides new insight into how nicotine influences the normal trajectory of adolescent brain development and demonstrates a persistent form of nicotine-induced neuroplasticity in the NAcc shell that develops rapidly and is D1DR dependent.

  5. Neuropeptide Y response to alcohol is altered in nucleus accumbens of mice selectively bred for drinking to intoxication

    PubMed Central

    Barkley-Levenson, Amanda M.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.; Crabbe, John C.

    2016-01-01

    The High Drinking in the Dark (HDID) mice have been selectively bred for drinking to intoxicating blood alcohol levels and represent a genetic model of risk for binge-like drinking. Presently, little is known about the specific genetic factors that promote excessive intake in these mice. Previous studies have identified neuropeptide Y (NPY) as a potential target for modulating alcohol intake. NPY expression differs in some rodent lines that have been selected for high and low alcohol drinking phenotypes, as well as inbred mouse strains that differ in alcohol preference. Alcohol drinking and alcohol withdrawal also produce differential effects on NPY expression in the brain. Here, we assessed brain NPY protein levels in HDID mice of two replicates of selection and control heterogeneous stock (HS) mice at baseline (water drinking) and after binge-like alcohol drinking to determine whether selection is associated with differences in NPY expression and its sensitivity to alcohol. NPY levels did not differ between HDID and HS mice in any brain region in the water-drinking animals. HS mice showed a reduction in NPY levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) – especially in the shell – in ethanol-drinking animals vs. water-drinking controls. However, HDID mice showed a blunted NPY response to alcohol in the NAc core and shell compared to HS mice. These findings suggest that the NPY response to alcohol has been altered by selection for drinking to intoxication in a region-specific manner. Thus, the NPY system may represent a potential target for altering binge-like alcohol drinking in these mice. PMID:26779672

  6. An Evaluation of Neuroplasticity and Behavior After Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Accumbens in an Animal Model of Depression

    PubMed Central

    Falowski, Steven M.; Sharan, Ashwini; Reyes, Beverly A. S.; Sikkema, Carl; Szot, Patricia; Van Bockstaele, Elisabeth J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Recent interest has demonstrated the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) as a potential target for the treatment of depression with deep brain stimulation (DBS). OBJECTIVE To demonstrate that DBS of the NAcc is an effective treatment modality for depression and that chemical and structural changes associated with these behavioral changes are markers of neuroplasticity. METHODS A deep brain stimulator was placed in the NAcc of male Wistar-Kyoto rats. Groups were divided into sham (no stimulation), intermittent (3 h/d for 2 weeks), or continuous (constant stimulation for 2 weeks). Exploratory and anxietylike behaviors were evaluated with the open-field test before and after stimulation. Tissue samples of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were processed with Western blot analysis of markers of noradrenergic activity that included the noradrenergic synthesizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. Analysis of tissue levels for catecholamines was achieved with high-performance liquid chromatography. Morphological properties of cortical pyramidal neurons were assessed with Golgi-Cox staining. RESULTS Subjects undergoing intermittent and continuous stimulation of the NAcc exhibited an increase in exploratory behavior and reduced anxietylike behaviors. Tyrosine hydroxylase expression levels were decreased in the PFC after intermittent and continuous DBS, and dopamine and norepinephrine levels were decreased after continuous stimulation. Golgi-Cox staining indicated that DBS increased the length of apical and basilar dendrites in pyramidal neurons of the PFC. CONCLUSION Deep brain stimulation induces behavioral improvement in and neurochemical and morphological alterations of the PFC that demonstrate changes within the circuitry of the brain different from the target area of stimulation. This observed dendritic plasticity may underlie the therapeutic efficacy of this treatment. PMID:21566538

  7. Effects of morphine withdrawal on the membrane properties of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaobo; Shi, Meimei; Ling, Hengli; Wei, Chunling; Liu, Yihui; Liu, Zhiqiang; Ren, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) undergo persistent alterations in their biological and physiological characteristics upon exposure to drugs of abuse. Previous studies demonstrated that the biochemical, morphological, and intrinsic physiological properties of MSNs are heterogeneous and provided new insights into the physiological and molecular roles of individual MSNs in addictive behaviors. However, it remains unclear whether MSNs in the NAc shell (NAcSh), an important region for mediating behavioral sensitization, are electrophysiologically heterogeneous and how such heterogeneity is relevant to neuroadaptation associated with drug addiction. Here, the membrane properties, i.e., the intrinsic excitability and spike adaptation, of MSNs in the NAcSh from saline- or morphine-treated rats were investigated in vitro by whole-cell recording. In saline-treated rats, three distinct cell types were identified by their membrane properties: type I neurons showed high levels of intrinsic excitability and rapid spike adaptation; type II neurons showed moderate levels of intrinsic excitability and relatively slow spike frequency adaptation; type III neurons showed low levels of intrinsic excitability and putative strong spike adaptation. MSNs in rats undergoing withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment (10-14 days after the last injection) also exhibited the typical firing behaviors of these three types of neurons. However, the membrane properties of the MSNs were differentially altered after withdrawal. There was an enhancement in intrinsic excitability in type II MSNs and a promotion of spike adaptation in type I MSNs. The apamin-sensitive afterhyperpolarization current (I(AHP)) and the apamin-insensitive I(AHP) of the NAcSh MSNs were attenuated after chronic morphine withdrawal. These findings suggest that individual MSNs in the NAcSh manifest unique electrophysiological properties, which might contribute to psychostimulant-induced neuroadaptation.

  8. Dynamics of rapid dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens during goal-directed behaviors for cocaine versus natural rewards.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Courtney M; Wightman, R Mark; Carelli, Regina M

    2014-11-01

    Electrophysiological studies show that distinct subsets of nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons differentially encode information about goal-directed behaviors for intravenous cocaine versus natural (food/water) rewards. Further, NAc rapid dopamine signaling occurs on a timescale similar to phasic cell firing during cocaine and natural reward-seeking behaviors. However, it is not known whether dopamine signaling is reinforcer specific (i.e., is released during responding for only one type of reinforcer) within discrete NAc locations, similar to neural firing dynamics. Here, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) was used to measure rapid dopamine release during multiple schedules involving sucrose reward and cocaine self-administration (n = 8 rats) and, in a separate group of rats (n = 6), during a sucrose/food multiple schedule. During the sucrose/cocaine multiple schedule, dopamine increased within seconds of operant responding for both reinforcers. Although dopamine release was not reinforcer specific, more subtle differences were observed in peak dopamine concentration [DA] across reinforcer conditions. Specifically, peak [DA] was higher during the first phase of the multiple schedule, regardless of reinforcer type. Further, the time to reach peak [DA] was delayed during cocaine-responding compared to sucrose. During the sucrose/food multiple schedule, increases in dopamine release were also observed relative to operant responding for both natural rewards. However, peak [DA] was higher relative to responding for sucrose than food, regardless of reinforcer order. Overall, the results reveal the dynamics of rapid dopamine signaling in discrete locations in the NAc across reward conditions, and provide novel insight into the functional role of this system in reward-seeking behaviors.

  9. Gamma Aminobutyric Acidergic and Neuronal Structural Markers in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Underlie Trait-like Impulsive Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Caprioli, Daniele; Sawiak, Stephen J.; Merlo, Emiliano; Theobald, David E.H.; Spoelder, Marcia; Jupp, Bianca; Voon, Valerie; Carpenter, T. Adrian; Everitt, Barry J.; Robbins, Trevor W.; Dalley, Jeffrey W.

    2014-01-01

    Background Pathological forms of impulsivity are manifest in a number of psychiatric disorders listed in DSM-5, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and substance use disorder. However, the molecular and cellular substrates of impulsivity are poorly understood. Here, we investigated a specific form of motor impulsivity in rats, namely premature responding, on a five-choice serial reaction time task. Methods We used in vivo voxel-based magnetic resonance imaging and ex vivo Western blot analyses to investigate putative structural, neuronal, and glial protein markers in low-impulsive (LI) and high-impulsive rats. We also investigated whether messenger RNA interference targeting glutamate decarboxylase 65/67 (GAD65/67) gene expression in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcbC) is sufficient to increase impulsivity in LI rats. Results We identified structural and molecular abnormalities in the NAcbC associated with motor impulsivity in rats. We report a reduction in gray matter density in the left NAcbC of high-impulsive rats, with corresponding reductions in this region of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65/67) and markers of dendritic spines and microtubules. We further demonstrate that the experimental reduction of de novo of GAD65/67 expression bilaterally in the NAcbC is sufficient to increase impulsivity in LI rats. Conclusions These results reveal a novel mechanism of impulsivity in rats involving gamma aminobutyric acidergic and structural abnormalities in the NAcbC with potential relevance to the etiology and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and related disorders. PMID:23973096

  10. Repeated cocaine administration suppresses HVA-Ca2+ potentials and enhances activity of K+ channels in rat nucleus accumbens neurons.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiu-Ti; Basu, Somnath; White, Francis J

    2004-09-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important forebrain area involved in sensitization, withdrawal effects, and self-administration of cocaine. However, little is known about cocaine-induced alterations in the neuronal excitability and whole cell neuroplasticity in this region that may affect behaviors. Our recent investigations have demonstrated that repeated cocaine administration decreases voltage-sensitive sodium and calcium currents (VSSCs and VSCCs, respectively) in freshly dissociated NAc neurons of rats. In this study, current-clamp recordings were performed in slice preparations to determine the effects of chronic cocaine on evoked Ca(2+) potentials and voltage-sensitive K(+) currents in NAc neurons. Repeated cocaine administration with 3-4 days of withdrawal caused significant alterations in Ca(2+) potentials, including suppression of Ca(2+)-mediated spikes, increase in the intracellular injected current intensity required for generation of Ca(2+) potentials (rheobase), reduced duration of Ca(2+) plateau potentials, and abolishment of secondary Ca(2+) potentials associated with the primary Ca(2+) plateau potential. Application of nickel (Ni(2+)), which blocks low-voltage activated T-type Ca(2+) channels, had no impact on evoked Ca(2+) plateau potentials in NAc neurons, indicating that these Ca(2+) potentials are high-voltage activated (HVA). In addition, repeated cocaine pretreatment also hyperpolarized the resting membrane potential, increased the amplitude of afterhyperpolarization in Ca(2+) spikes, and enhanced the outward rectification observed during membrane depolarization. These findings indicate that repeated cocaine administration not only suppressed HVA-Ca(2+) potentials but also significantly enhanced the activity of various K(+) channels in NAc neurons. They also demonstrate an integrative role of whole cell neuroplasticity during cocaine withdrawal, by which the subthreshold membrane excitability of NAc neurons is significantly decreased.

  11. Synergistic elevations in nucleus accumbens extracellular dopamine concentrations during self-administration of cocaine/heroin combinations (Speedball) in rats.

    PubMed

    Hemby, S E; Co, C; Dworkin, S I; Smith, J E

    1999-01-01

    The abuse of cocaine/opiate combinations (speedball) represents a growing trend in illicit drug use. Delineation of neurobiological substrates mediating the reinforcing effects of the combination may increase our knowledge of reinforcement mechanisms and provide useful new information for the development of pharmacotherapies. Several studies suggest dopaminergic innervations of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have a central role in the brain processes underlying drug reinforcement. The present study was undertaken to determine the relationship between the self-administration of cocaine/heroin combinations and NAc extracellular dopamine concentrations ([DA]e) using in vivo microdialysis and microbore high-pressure liquid chromatography. Rats were assigned randomly to one of three groups to self-administer i.v. cocaine (125, 250, and 500 micrograms/infusion; n = 5), heroin (4.5, 9, and 18 micrograms/infusion; n = 5), or cocaine/heroin combinations (125/4.5; 250/9, and 500/18 micrograms/infusion; n = 4) under a fixed ratio (FR) 10: 20-s time-out schedule of reinforcement/multicomponent dosing session. After stable rates of responding were engendered and maintained, microdialysis samples were collected in 10-min intervals during the self-administration session. Self-administration of cocaine/heroin combinations produced synergisitic elevations in NAc [DA]e (1000% baseline) compared with cocaine (400% baseline) and heroin (not significantly different from baseline levels). Neither the number of infusions nor the interinfusion intervals was significantly different between the groups across the self-administration session. Moreover, cocaine concentrations were not significantly different between the cocaine and cocaine/heroin groups. These results demonstrate that heroin interacts with cocaine to produce synergistic elevations in [DA]e, providing a neurochemical basis for understanding the abuse liability of cocaine/opiate combinations.

  12. Selective modulation of GABAergic tonic current by dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-dependent rats.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jing; Marty, Vincent N; Mulpuri, Yatendra; Olsen, Richard W; Spigelman, Igor

    2014-07-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a key structure of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system and plays an important role in mediating alcohol-seeking behaviors. Alterations in glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling were recently demonstrated in the NAcc of rats after chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) treatment, a model of alcohol dependence. Here we studied dopamine (DA) modulation of GABAergic signaling and how this modulation might be altered by CIE treatment. We show that the tonic current (I(tonic)) mediated by extrasynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABA(A)Rs) of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAcc core is differentially modulated by DA at concentrations in the range of those measured in vivo (0.01-1 μM), without affecting the postsynaptic kinetics of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). Use of selective D1 receptor (D1R) and D2 receptor (D2R) ligands revealed that I(tonic) potentiation by DA (10 nM) is mediated by D1Rs while I(tonic) depression by DA (0.03-1 μM) is mediated by D2Rs in the same MSNs. Addition of guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDPβS) to the recording pipettes eliminated I(tonic) decrease by the selective D2R agonist quinpirole (5 nM), leaving intact the quinpirole effect on mIPSC frequency. Recordings from CIE and vehicle control (CIV) MSNs during application of D1R agonist (SKF 38393, 100 nM) or D2R agonist (quinpirole, 2 nM) revealed that SKF 38393 potentiated I(tonic) to the same extent, while quinpirole reduced I(tonic) to a similar extent, in both groups of rats. Our data suggest that the selective modulatory effects of DA on I(tonic) are unaltered by CIE treatment and withdrawal.

  13. Phenotype-dependent inhibition of glutamatergic transmission on nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons by the abused inhalant toluene.

    PubMed

    Beckley, Jacob T; Randall, Patrick K; Smith, Rachel J; Hughes, Benjamin A; Kalivas, Peter W; Woodward, John J

    2016-05-01

    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.

  14. Valproate Inhibits Methamphetamine Induced Hyperactivity via Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens Core.

    PubMed

    Xing, Bo; Liang, Xiao-Ping; Liu, Peng; Zhao, Yan; Chu, Zheng; Dang, Yong-Hui

    2015-01-01

    Valproate (VPA) has recently been shown to influence the behavioral effects of psycho-stimulants. Although glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a key role in mediating dopamine (DA)-dependent behaviors, there is less direct evidence that how VPA acts on the GSK3β signaling in the functionally distinct sub-regions of the NAc, the NAc core (NAcC) and the NAc shell (NAcSh), during psycho-stimulant-induced hyperactivity. In the present study, we applied locomotion test after acute methamphetamine (MA) (2 mg/kg) injection to identify the locomotor activity of rats received repeated VPA (300 mg/kg) pretreatment. We next measured phosphor-GSK3β at serine 9 and total GSK3β levels in NAcC and NAcSh respectively to determine the relationship between the effect of VPA on MA-induced hyperlocomotor and changes in GSK3β activity. We further investigated whether microinjection of VPA (300 μg/0.5 μl/side, once daily for 7 consecutive days) into NAcC or NAcSh could affect hyperactivity induced by MA. Our data indicated that repeated VPA treatment attenuated MA-induced hyperlocomotor, and the effect was associated with decreased levels of phosphorylated GSK3β at Ser 9 in the NAcC. Moreover, repeated bilateral intra-NAcC, but not intra-NAcSh VPA treatment, significantly attenuated MA-induced hyperactivity. Our results suggested that GSK3β activity in NAcC contributes to the inhibitory effects of VPA on MA-induced hyperactivity.

  15. Relief learning requires a coincident activation of dopamine D1 and NMDA receptors within the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Bergado Acosta, Jorge R; Kahl, Evelyn; Kogias, Georgios; Uzuneser, Taygun C; Fendt, Markus

    2017-03-01

    Relief learning is the association of a stimulus with the offset of an aversive event. Later, the now conditioned relief stimulus induces appetitive-like behavioral changes. We previously demonstrated that the NMDA receptors within the nucleus accumbens (NAC) are involved in relief learning. The NAC is also important for reward learning and it has been shown that reward learning is mediated by an interaction of accumbal dopamine and NMDA glutamate receptors. Since conditioned relief has reward-like properties, we hypothesized that (a) acquisition of relief learning requires the activation of dopamine D1 receptors in the NAC, and (b) if D1 receptors are involved in this process as expected, a concurrent dopamine D1 and NMDA receptor activation may mediate this learning. The present study tested these hypotheses. Therefore, rats received intra-NAC injections of the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 and the NMDA antagonist AP5, either separately or together, at different time points of a relief conditioning procedure. First, we showed that SCH23390 dose-dependently blocked acquisition and the expression of conditioned relief. Next, we demonstrated that co-injections of SCH23390 and AP5 into the NAC, at doses that were ineffective when applied separately, blocked acquisition but not consolidation or expression of relief learning. Notably, neither of the injections affected the locomotor response of the animals to the aversive stimuli suggesting that their perception is not changed. This data indicates that a co-activation of dopamine D1 and NMDA receptors in the NAC is required for acquisition of relief learning.

  16. Protection genes in nucleus accumbens shell affect vulnerability to nicotine self-administration across isogenic strains of adolescent rat.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Luo, Rui; Gong, Suzhen; Matta, Shannon G; Sharp, Burt M

    2014-01-01

    Classical genetic studies show the heritability of cigarette smoking is 0.4-0.6, and that multiple genes confer susceptibility and resistance to smoking. Despite recent advances in identifying genes associated with smoking behaviors, the major source of this heritability and its impact on susceptibility and resistance are largely unknown. Operant self-administration (SA) of intravenous nicotine is an established model for smoking behavior. We recently confirmed that genetic factors exert strong control over nicotine intake in isogenic rat strains. Because the processing of afferent dopaminergic signals by nucleus accumbens shell (AcbS) is critical for acquisition and maintenance of motivated behaviors reinforced by nicotine, we hypothesized that differential basal gene expression in AcbS accounts for much of the strain-to-strain variation in nicotine SA. We therefore sequenced the transcriptome of AcbS samples obtained by laser capture microdissection from 10 isogenic adolescent rat strains and compared all RNA transcript levels with behavior. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis, a systems biology method, found 12 modules (i.e., unique sets of genes that covary across all samples) that correlated (p<0.05) with amount of self-administered nicotine; 9 of 12 correlated negatively, implying a protective role. PCR confirmed selected genes from these modules. Chilibot, a literature mining tool, identified 15 genes within 1 module that were nominally associated with cigarette smoking, thereby providing strong support for the analytical approach. This is the first report demonstrating that nicotine intake by adolescent rodents is associated with the expression of specific genes in AcbS of the mesolimbic system, which controls motivated behaviors. These findings provide new insights into genetic mechanisms that predispose or protect against tobacco addiction.

  17. Environmental enrichment alters protein expression as well as the proteomic response to cocaine in rat nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Neuropeptide Y response to alcohol is altered in nucleus accumbens of mice selectively bred for drinking to intoxication.

    PubMed

    Barkley-Levenson, Amanda M; Ryabinin, Andrey E; Crabbe, John C

    2016-04-01

    The High Drinking in the Dark (HDID) mice have been selectively bred for drinking to intoxicating blood alcohol levels and represent a genetic model of risk for binge-like drinking. Presently, little is known about the specific genetic factors that promote excessive intake in these mice. Previous studies have identified neuropeptide Y (NPY) as a potential target for modulating alcohol intake. NPY expression differs in some rodent lines that have been selected for high and low alcohol drinking phenotypes, as well as inbred mouse strains that differ in alcohol preference. Alcohol drinking and alcohol withdrawal also produce differential effects on NPY expression in the brain. Here, we assessed brain NPY protein levels in HDID mice of two replicates of selection and control heterogeneous stock (HS) mice at baseline (water drinking) and after binge-like alcohol drinking to determine whether selection is associated with differences in NPY expression and its sensitivity to alcohol. NPY levels did not differ between HDID and HS mice in any brain region in the water-drinking animals. HS mice showed a reduction in NPY levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) - especially in the shell - in ethanol-drinking animals vs. water-drinking controls. However, HDID mice showed a blunted NPY response to alcohol in the NAc core and shell compared to HS mice. These findings suggest that the NPY response to alcohol has been altered by selection for drinking to intoxication in a region-specific manner. Thus, the NPY system may represent a potential target for altering binge-like alcohol drinking in these mice.

  19. Local Control of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Medial Nucleus Accumbens by a Glutamatergic Projection from the Infralimbic Cortex.

    PubMed

    Quiroz, César; Orrú, Marco; Rea, William; Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Yepes, Gabriel; Britt, Jonathan P; Ferré, Sergi

    2016-01-20

    It is generally assumed that infralimbic cortex (ILC) and prelimbic cortex, two adjacent areas of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents, provide selective excitatory glutamatergic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, respectively. It is also generally believed that mPFC influences the extracellular levels of dopamine in the NAc primarily by an excitatory collateral to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, we first established the existence of a selective functional connection between ILC and the posteromedial portions of the VTA (pmVTA) and the mNAc shell (pmNAc shell), by measuring striatal neuronal activation (immunohistochemical analysis of ERK1/2 phosphorylation) and glutamate release (in vivo microdialysis) upon ILC electrical stimulation. A novel optogenetic-microdialysis approach allowed the measurement of extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell upon local light-induced stimulation of glutamatergic terminals from ILC. Cortical electrical and local optogenetic stimulation produced significant increases in the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell. Local blockade of glutamate release by perfusion of an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in the pmNAc shell blocked the dopamine release induced by local optogenetic stimulation but only partially antagonized dopamine release induced by cortical electrical stimulation. The results demonstrate that ILC excitatory afferents directly modulate the extracellular concentration of dopamine in the pmNAc shell, but also support the involvement of an indirect mechanism of dopamine control, through a concomitant ILC-mediated activation of the pmVTA. Significance statement: We established the existence of a functional connection between the infralimbic cortex (ILC) and the posteromedial portions of the ventral tegmental area (pmVTA) and the medial nucleus acumbens shell (pmNAc shell). A novel optogenetic

  20. Local Control of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Medial Nucleus Accumbens by a Glutamatergic Projection from the Infralimbic Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Quiroz, César; Orrú, Marco; Rea, William; Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Yepes, Gabriel; Britt, Jonathan P.

    2016-01-01

    It is generally assumed that infralimbic cortex (ILC) and prelimbic cortex, two adjacent areas of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents, provide selective excitatory glutamatergic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, respectively. It is also generally believed that mPFC influences the extracellular levels of dopamine in the NAc primarily by an excitatory collateral to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, we first established the existence of a selective functional connection between ILC and the posteromedial portions of the VTA (pmVTA) and the mNAc shell (pmNAc shell), by measuring striatal neuronal activation (immunohistochemical analysis of ERK1/2 phosphorylation) and glutamate release (in vivo microdialysis) upon ILC electrical stimulation. A novel optogenetic-microdialysis approach allowed the measurement of extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell upon local light-induced stimulation of glutamatergic terminals from ILC. Cortical electrical and local optogenetic stimulation produced significant increases in the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell. Local blockade of glutamate release by perfusion of an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in the pmNAc shell blocked the dopamine release induced by local optogenetic stimulation but only partially antagonized dopamine release induced by cortical electrical stimulation. The results demonstrate that ILC excitatory afferents directly modulate the extracellular concentration of dopamine in the pmNAc shell, but also support the involvement of an indirect mechanism of dopamine control, through a concomitant ILC-mediated activation of the pmVTA. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We established the existence of a functional connection between the infralimbic cortex (ILC) and the posteromedial portions of the ventral tegmental area (pmVTA) and the medial nucleus acumbens shell (pmNAc shell). A novel optogenetic

  1. Caudate nucleus-dependent response strategies in a virtual navigation task are associated with lower basal cortisol and impaired episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Bohbot, Véronique D; Gupta, Melini; Banner, Harrison; Dahmani, Louisa

    2011-09-01

    The present research examined the relationship between endogenous glucocorticoids, navigational strategies in a virtual navigation task, and performance on standard neuropsychological assessments of memory. Healthy young adult participants (N=66, mean age: 21.7) were tested on the 4 on 8 virtual maze (4/8 VM) and standard neuropsychological tests such as the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (RO) and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT), which measure episodic memory. The 4/8 VM differentiates between navigational strategies, where participants either use a hippocampal-dependent spatial strategy by building relationships between landmarks, or a caudate nucleus-dependent stimulus-response strategy by automatizing a pattern of open and closed arms to learn the location of objects within the maze. Degree of stress was assessed by administering the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) questionnaire. Cortisol samples were taken on two consecutive days upon waking, 30 min after waking, at 11 am, 4 pm, and 9 pm. There was a significant difference in basal levels of cortisol between spatial and response learners. Interestingly, response learners had significantly lower cortisol levels throughout the day. The two groups did not differ in terms of perceived stress as measured with the PSS questionnaire. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between PSS scores and salivary cortisol levels, indicating that the higher cortisol levels in the spatial group were not associated with greater perceived stress. In addition, participants who spontaneously used a spatial strategy performed significantly better on the RAVLT and RO. These data indicate that the cortisol levels in the spatial group may be optimal in terms of episodic memory performance whereas the cortisol levels in the response group may be associated with poorer memory. These results are suggestive of an inverted U-shaped curve describing the effects of basal levels of circulating cortisol on memory in young adults.

  2. Chronic Methamphetamine Self-Administration Dysregulates Oxytocin Plasma Levels and Oxytocin Receptor Fibre Density in the Nucleus Accumbens Core and Subthalamic Nucleus of the Rat.

    PubMed

    Baracz, S J; Parker, L M; Suraev, A S; Everett, N A; Goodchild, A K; McGregor, I S; Cornish, J L

    2016-04-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin attenuates reward and abuse for the psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH). Recent findings have implicated the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and subthalamic nucleus (STh) in oxytocin modulation of acute METH reward and relapse to METH-seeking behaviour. Surprisingly, the oxytocin receptor (OTR) is only modestly involved in both regions in oxytocin attenuation of METH-primed reinstatement. Coupled with the limited investigation of the role of the OTR in psychostimulant-induced behaviours, we primarily investigated whether there are cellular changes to the OTR in the NAc core and STh, as well as changes to oxytocin plasma levels, after chronic METH i.v. self-administration (IVSA) and after extinction of drug-taking. An additional aim was to examine whether changes to central corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and plasma corticosterone levels were also apparent because of the interaction of oxytocin with stress-regulatory mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to lever press for i.v. METH (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule or received yoked saline infusions during 2-h sessions for 20 days. An additional cohort of rats underwent behavioural extinction for 15 days after METH IVSA. Subsequent to the last day of IVSA or extinction, blood plasma was collected for enzyme immunoassay, and immunofluorescence was conducted on NAc core and STh coronal sections. Rats that self-administered METH had higher oxytocin plasma levels, and decreased OTR-immunoreactive (-IR) fibres in the NAc core than yoked controls. In animals that self-administered METH and underwent extinction, oxytocin plasma levels remained elevated, OTR-IR fibre density increased in the STh, and a trend towards normalisation of OTR-IR fibre density was evident in the NAc core. CRF-IR fibre density in both brain regions and corticosterone plasma levels did not change across treatment groups. These findings demonstrate that oxytocin systems, both centrally

  3. Modulation of nucleus accumbens connectivity by alcohol drinking and naltrexone in alcohol-preferring rats: A manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Mateusz; Canals, Santiago; Sommer, Wolfgang H; Hyytiä, Petri

    2016-03-01

    The nonselective opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone is now used for the treatment of alcoholism, yet naltrexone's central mechanism of action remains poorly understood. One line of evidence suggests that opioid antagonists regulate alcohol drinking through interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine system. Hence, our goal here was to examine the role of the nucleus accumbens connectivity in alcohol reinforcement and naltrexone's actions using manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI). Following long-term free-choice drinking of alcohol and water, AA (Alko Alcohol) rats received injections of MnCl2 into the nucleus accumbens for activity-dependent tracing of accumbal connections. Immediately after the accumbal injections, rats were imaged using MEMRI, and then allowed to drink either alcohol or water for the next 24h. Naltrexone was administered prior to the active dark period, and the second MEMRI was performed 24h after the first scan. Comparison of signal intensity at 1 and 24h after accumbal MnCl2 injections revealed an ipsilateral continuum through the ventral pallidum, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, globus pallidus, and lateral hypothalamus to the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Activation was also seen in the rostral part of the insular cortex and regions of the prefrontal cortex. Alcohol drinking resulted in enhanced activation of these connections, whereas naltrexone suppressed alcohol-induced activity. These data support the involvement of the accumbal connections in alcohol reinforcement and mediation of naltrexone's suppressive effects on alcohol drinking through their deactivation.

  4. Serotonin 1A, 1B, and 7 receptors of the rat medial nucleus accumbens differentially regulate feeding, water intake, and locomotor activity.

    PubMed

    Clissold, Kara A; Choi, Eugene; Pratt, Wayne E

    2013-11-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) signaling has been widely implicated in the regulation of feeding behaviors in both humans and animal models. Recently, we reported that co-stimulation of 5-HT1&7 receptors of the anterior medial nucleus accumbens with the drug 5-CT caused a dose-dependent decrease in food intake, water intake, and locomotion in rats (Pratt et al., 2009). The current experiments sought to determine which of three serotonin receptor subtypes (5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, or 5-HT7) might be responsible for these consummatory and locomotor effects. Food-deprived rats were given 2-h access to rat chow after stimulation of nucleus accumbens 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, or 5-HT7 receptors, or blockade of the 5-HT1A or 5-HT1B receptors. Stimulation of 5-HT1A receptors with 8-OH-DPAT (at 0.0, 2.0, 4.0, and 8.0 μg/0.5 μl/side) caused a dose-dependent decrease in food and water intake, and reduced rearing behavior but not ambulation. In contrast, rats that received the 5-HT1B agonist CP 93129 (at 0.0, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 μg/0.5 μl/side) showed a significant dose-dependent decrease in water intake only; stimulation of 5-HT7 receptors (AS 19; at 0.0, 1.0, and 5.0 μg/0.5 μl/side) decreased ambulatory activity but did not affect food or water consumption. Blockade of 5-HT1A or 5-HT1B receptors had no lasting effects on measures of food consumption. These data suggest that the food intake, water intake, and locomotor effects seen after medial nucleus accumbens injections of 5-CT are due to actions on separate serotonin receptor subtypes, and contribute to growing evidence for selective roles of individual serotonin receptors within the nucleus accumbens on motivated behavior.

  5. Selective serotonin receptor stimulation of the medial nucleus accumbens differentially affects appetitive motivation for food on a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, Wayne E.; Schall, Megan A.; Choi, Eugene

    2012-01-01

    Previously, we reported that stimulation of selective serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtypes in the nucleus accumbens shell differentially affected consumption of freely available food. Specifically, activation of 5-HT6 receptors caused a dose-dependent increase in food intake, while the stimulation of 5-HT1/7 receptor subtypes decreased feeding [34]. The current experiments tested whether similar pharmacological activation of nucleus accumbens serotonin receptors would also affect appetitive motivation, as measured by the amount of effort non-deprived rats exerted to earn sugar reinforcement. Rats were trained to lever press for sugar pellets on a progressive ratio 2 schedule of reinforcement. Across multiple treatment days, three separate groups (N = 8–10) received bilateral infusions of the 5-HT6 agonist EMD 386088 (at 0.0, 1.0 and 4.0 μg/0.5 μl/side), the 5-HT1/7 agonist 5-CT (at 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 4.0 μg/0.5 μl/side), or the 5-HT2C agonist RO 60-0175 fumarate (at 0, 2.0, or 5.0 μg/0.5 μl/side) into the anterior medial nucleus accumbens prior to a 1-hr progressive ratio session. Stimulation of 5-HT6 receptors caused a dose-dependent increase in motivation as assessed by break point, reinforcers earned, and total active lever presses. Stimulation of 5-HT1/7 receptors increased lever pressing at the 0.5 μg dose of 5-CT, but inhibited lever presses and break point at 4.0 μg/side. Injection of the 5- HT2C agonist had no effect on motivation within the task. Collectively, these experiments suggest that, in addition to their role in modulating food consumption, nucleus accumbens 5-HT6 and 5-HT1/7 receptors also differentially regulate the appetitive components of food-directed motivation. PMID:22306095

  6. Selective serotonin receptor stimulation of the medial nucleus accumbens differentially affects appetitive motivation for food on a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Wayne E; Schall, Megan A; Choi, Eugene

    2012-03-09

    Previously, we reported that stimulation of selective serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtypes in the nucleus accumbens shell differentially affected consumption of freely available food. Specifically, activation of 5-HT(6) receptors caused a dose-dependent increase in food intake, while the stimulation of 5-HT(1/7) receptor subtypes decreased feeding [34]. The current experiments tested whether similar pharmacological activation of nucleus accumbens serotonin receptors would also affect appetitive motivation, as measured by the amount of effort non-deprived rats exerted to earn sugar reinforcement. Rats were trained to lever press for sugar pellets on a progressive ratio 2 schedule of reinforcement. Across multiple treatment days, three separate groups (N=8-10) received bilateral infusions of the 5-HT(6) agonist EMD 386088 (at 0.0, 1.0 and 4.0 μg/0.5 μl/side), the 5-HT(1/7) agonist 5-CT (at 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 4.0 μg/0.5 μl/side), or the 5-HT(2C) agonist RO 60-0175 fumarate (at 0, 2.0, or 5.0 μg/0.5 μl/side) into the anterior medial nucleus accumbens prior to a 1-h progressive ratio session. Stimulation of 5-HT(6) receptors caused a dose-dependent increase in motivation as assessed by break point, reinforcers earned, and total active lever presses. Stimulation of 5-HT(1/7) receptors increased lever pressing at the 0.5 μg dose of 5-CT, but inhibited lever presses and break point at 4.0 μg/side. Injection of the 5-HT(2C) agonist had no effect on motivation within the task. Collectively, these experiments suggest that, in addition to their role in modulating food consumption, nucleus accumbens 5-HT(6) and 5-HT(1/7) receptors also differentially regulate the appetitive components of food-directed motivation.

  7. Nucleus Accumbens Shell and mPFC but Not Insula Orexin-1 Receptors Promote Excessive Alcohol Drinking

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Kelly; Wegner, Scott A.; Yu, Ji Hwan; Mototake, Arisa; Hu, Bing; Hopf, Frederic W.

    2016-01-01

    Addiction to alcohol remains a major social and economic problem, in part because of the high motivation for alcohol that humans exhibit and the hazardous binge intake this promotes. Orexin-1-type receptors (OX1Rs) promote reward intake under conditions of strong drives for reward, including excessive alcohol intake. While systemic modulation of OX1Rs can alter alcohol drinking, the brain regions that mediate this OX1R enhancement of excessive drinking remain unknown. Given the importance of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and anterior insular cortex (aINS) in driving many addictive behaviors, including OX1Rs within these regions, we examined the importance of OX1Rs in these regions on excessive alcohol drinking in C57BL/6 mice during limited-access alcohol drinking in the dark cycle. Inhibition of OX1Rs with the widely used SB-334867 within the medial NAc Shell (mNAsh) significantly reduced drinking of alcohol, with no effect on saccharin intake, and no effect on alcohol consumption when infused above the mNAsh. In contrast, intra-mNAsh infusion of the orexin-2 receptor TCS-OX2-29 had no impact on alcohol drinking. In addition, OX1R inhibition within the aINS had no effect on excessive drinking, which was surprising given the importance of aINS-NAc circuits in promoting alcohol consumption and the role for aINS OX1Rs in driving nicotine intake. However, OX1R inhibition within the mPFC did reduce alcohol drinking, indicating cortical OXR involvement in promoting intake. Also, in support of the critical role for mNAsh OX1Rs, SB within the mNAsh also significantly reduced operant alcohol self-administration in rats. Finally, orexin ex vivo enhanced firing in mNAsh neurons from alcohol-drinking mice, with no effect on evoked EPSCs or input resistance; a similar orexin increase in firing without a change in input resistance was observed in alcohol-naïve mice. Taken together, our results suggest that OX1Rs within the mNAsh and mPFC, but not the aINS, play a central role in

  8. Histamine H3 receptor activation inhibits dopamine synthesis but not release or uptake in rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Aquino-Miranda, Guillermo; Escamilla-Sánchez, Juan; González-Pantoja, Raúl; Bueno-Nava, Antonio; Arias-Montaño, José-Antonio

    2016-07-01

    We studied the effect of activating histamine H3 receptors (H3Rs) on rat nucleus accumbens (rNAcc) dopaminergic transmission by analyzing [(3)H]-dopamine uptake by synaptosomes, and dopamine synthesis and depolarization-evoked [(3)H]-dopamine release in slices. The uptake of [(3)H]-dopamine by rNAcc synaptosomes was not affected by the H3R agonist RAMH (10(-10)-10(-6) M). In rNAcc slices perfusion with RAMH (1 μM) had no significant effect on [(3)H]-dopamine release evoked by depolarization with 30 mM K(+) (91.4 ± 4.5% of controls). The blockade of dopamine D2 autoreceptors with sulpiride (1 μM) enhanced K(+)-evoked [(3)H]-dopamine release (168.8 ± 15.5% of controls), but under this condition RAMH (1 μM) also failed to affect [(3)H]-dopamine release. Dopamine synthesis was evaluated in rNAcc slices incubated with the l-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) decarboxylase inhibitor NSD-1015 (1 mM). Forskolin-induced DOPA accumulation (220.1 ± 10.4% of controls) was significantly reduced by RAMH (41.1 ± 6.5% and 43.5 ± 9.1% inhibition at 100 nM and 1 μM, respectively), and this effect was prevented by the H3R antagonist ciproxifan (10 μM). DOPA accumulation induced by preventing cAMP degradation with IBMX (iso-butyl-methylxantine, 1 mM) or by activating receptors for the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)/pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) with PACAP-27 (1 μM) was reduced (IBMX) or prevented (PACAP-27) by RAMH (100 nM). In contrast, DOPA accumulation induced by 8-Bromo-cAMP (1 mM) was not affected by RAMH (100 nM). These results indicate that in rNAcc H3Rs do not modulate dopamine uptake or release, but regulate dopamine synthesis by inhibiting cAMP formation and thus PKA activation. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Histamine Receptors'.

  9. Methamphetamine causes differential alterations in gene expression and patterns of histone acetylation/hypoacetylation in the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Martin, Tracey A; Jayanthi, Subramaniam; McCoy, Michael T; Brannock, Christie; Ladenheim, Bruce; Garrett, Tiffany; Lehrmann, Elin; Becker, Kevin G; Cadet, Jean Lud

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) addiction is associated with several neuropsychiatric symptoms. Little is known about the effects of METH on gene expression and epigenetic modifications in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAC). Our study investigated the effects of a non-toxic METH injection (20 mg/kg) on gene expression, histone acetylation, and the expression of the histone acetyltransferase (HAT), ATF2, and of the histone deacetylases (HDACs), HDAC1 and HDAC2, in that structure. Microarray analyses done at 1, 8, 16 and 24 hrs after the METH injection identified METH-induced changes in the expression of genes previously implicated in the acute and longterm effects of psychostimulants, including immediate early genes and corticotropin-releasing factor (Crf). In contrast, the METH injection caused time-dependent decreases in the expression of other genes including Npas4 and cholecystokinin (Cck). Pathway analyses showed that genes with altered expression participated in behavioral performance, cell-to-cell signaling, and regulation of gene expression. PCR analyses confirmed the changes in the expression of c-fos, fosB, Crf, Cck, and Npas4 transcripts. To determine if the METH injection caused post-translational changes in histone markers, we used western blot analyses and identified METH-mediated decreases in histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (H3K9ac) and lysine 18 (H3K18ac) in nuclear sub-fractions. In contrast, the METH injection caused time-dependent increases in acetylated H4K5 and H4K8. The changes in histone acetylation were accompanied by decreased expression of HDAC1 but increased expression of HDAC2 protein levels. The histone acetyltransferase, ATF2, showed significant METH-induced increased in protein expression. These results suggest that METH-induced alterations in global gene expression seen in rat NAC might be related, in part, to METH-induced changes in histone acetylation secondary to changes in HAT and HDAC expression. The causal role that HATs and HDACs might

  10. Targeted Epigenetic Remodeling of the Cdk5 Gene in Nucleus Accumbens Regulates Cocaine- and Stress-Evoked Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Peter J.; Burek, Dominika D.; Lombroso, Sonia I.; Peña, Catherine J.; Neve, Rachael L.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have implicated epigenetic remodeling in brain reward regions following psychostimulant or stress exposure. It has only recently become possible to target a given type of epigenetic remodeling to a single gene of interest, and to probe the functional relevance of such regulation to neuropsychiatric disease. We sought to examine the role of histone modifications at the murine Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5) locus, given growing evidence of Cdk5 expression in nucleus accumbens (NAc) influencing reward-related behaviors. Viral-mediated delivery of engineered zinc finger proteins (ZFP) targeted histone H3 lysine 9/14 acetylation (H3K9/14ac), a transcriptionally active mark, or histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2), which is associated with transcriptional repression, specifically to the Cdk5 locus in NAc in vivo. We found that Cdk5-ZFP transcription factors are sufficient to bidirectionally regulate Cdk5 gene expression via enrichment of their respective histone modifications. We examined the behavioral consequences of this epigenetic remodeling and found that Cdk5-targeted H3K9/14ac increased cocaine-induced locomotor behavior, as well as resilience to social stress. Conversely, Cdk5-targeted H3K9me2 attenuated both cocaine-induced locomotor behavior and conditioned place preference, but had no effect on stress-induced social avoidance behavior. The current study provides evidence for the causal role of Cdk5 epigenetic remodeling in NAc in Cdk5 gene expression and in the control of reward and stress responses. Moreover, these data are especially compelling given that previous work demonstrated opposite behavioral phenotypes compared with those reported here upon Cdk5 overexpression or knockdown, demonstrating the importance of targeted epigenetic remodeling tools for studying more subtle molecular changes that contribute to neuropsychiatric disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Addiction and depression are highly heritable diseases, yet it has been

  11. Prolonged nicotine exposure down-regulates presynaptic NMDA receptors in dopaminergic terminals of the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Salamone, Alessia; Zappettini, Stefania; Grilli, Massimo; Olivero, Guendalina; Agostinho, Paula; Tomé, Angelo R; Chen, Jiayang; Pittaluga, Anna; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Marchi, Mario

    2014-04-01

    The presynaptic control of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) by glutamate and acetylcholine has a profound impact on reward signaling. Here we provide immunocytochemical and neurochemical evidence supporting the co-localization and functional interaction between nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors in dopaminergic terminals of the NAc. Most NAc dopaminergic terminals possessed the nAChR α4 subunit and the pre-exposure of synaptosomes to nicotine (30 μM) or to the α4β2-containing nAChR agonist 5IA85380 (10 nM) selectively inhibited the NMDA (100 μM)-evoked, but not the 4-aminopyridine (10 μM)-evoked, [(3)H] dopamine outflow; this inhibition was blunted by mecamylamine (10 μM). Nicotine and 5IA85380 pretreatment also inhibited the NMDA (100 μM)-evoked increase of calcium levels in single nerve terminals, an effect prevented by dihydro-β-erythroidine (1 μM). This supports a functional interaction between α4β2-containing nAChR and NMDA receptors within the same terminal, as supported by the immunocytochemical co-localization of α4 and GluN1 subunits in individual NAc dopaminergic terminals. The NMDA-evoked [(3)H]dopamine outflow was blocked by MK801 (1 μM) and inhibited by the selective GluN2B-selective antagonists ifenprodil (1 μM) and RO 25-6981 (1 μM), but not by the GluN2A-preferring antagonists CPP-19755 (1 μM) and ZnCl2 (1 nM). Notably, nicotine pretreatment significantly decreased the density of biotin-tagged GluN2B proteins in NAc synaptosomes. These results show that nAChRs dynamically and negatively regulate NMDA receptors in NAc dopaminergic terminals through the internalization of GluN2B receptors.

  12. Phosphorylation of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor is increased in the nucleus accumbens during both acute and extended morphine withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Reeves, Turi; Kapernaros, Katherine; Neubert, John K.; Caudle, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Opioid withdrawal causes a dysphoric state that can lead to complications in pain patients and can propagate use in drug abusers and addicts. Opioid withdrawal changes the activity of neurons in the nucleus accumbens, an area rich in both opioid-binding mu opioid receptors and glutamate-binding NMDA receptors. Because the accumbens is an area important for reward and aversion, plastic changes in this area during withdrawal could alter future behaviors in animals. We discovered an increase in phosphorylation of serine 897 in the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor (pNR1) during acute morphine withdrawal. This serine can be phosphorylated by protein kinase A (PKA) and dephosphorylated by calcineurin. We next demonstrated that this increased pNR1 change is associated with an increase in NR1 surface expression. NR1 surface expression and pNR1 levels during acute withdrawal were both reduced by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (dizocilpine hydrogen maleate) and the PKA inhibitor H-89(N-[2-[[3-(4-bromophenyl)-2-propenyl]amino]ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide dihydrochloride hydrate). We also found that pNR1 levels remained high after an extended morphine withdrawal period of 2 months, correlated with reward-seeking behavior for palatable food, and were associated with a decrease in accumbal calcineurin levels. These data suggest that NR1 phosphorylation changes during the acute withdrawal phase can be long lasting and may reflect a permanent change in NMDA receptors in the accumbens. These altered NMDA receptors in the accumbens could play a role in long-lasting behaviors associated with reward and opioid use. PMID:26377910

  13. The effect of electroacupuncture on extinction responding of heroin-seeking behavior and FosB expression in the nucleus accumbens core.

    PubMed

    Hu, Airong; Lai, Miaojun; Wei, Jianzi; Wang, Lina; Mao, Huijuan; Zhou, Wenhua; Liu, Sheng

    2013-02-08

    Augmentation of extinction with learning enhancing therapy may offer an effective strategy to combat heroin relapse. Our lab previously found that electroacupuncture (EA) not only significantly reduced cue-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking but also exhibited a promoting effect on the ability of learning and memory. In the present study, we further investigated the effects of EA on the extinction of heroin-seeking behavior in rats with a history of intravenous heroin self-administration. We trained Sprague-Dawley rats to nose-poke for i.v. heroin either daily for 4h or 25 infusions for 14 consecutive days; then the rats underwent 7 daily 3h extinction sessions in the operant chamber. To assess EA's effects on the extinction response of heroin-associated cues, 2Hz EA was administered 1h before each of the 7 extinction sessions. We also applied immunohistochemistry to detect FosB-positive nuclei in the nucleus accumbens core. We found that EA treatment facilitated the extinction response of heroin seeking but did not alter the locomotor activity in an open field testing environment. EA stimulation attenuated the FosB expression in the core of the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in the learning and execution of motor responses. Altogether, these results suggest that EA may provide a novel nonpharmacological approach to enhance extinction learning when combined with extinction therapy for the treatment of heroin addiction.

  14. Stress-Induced Locomotor Sensitization to Amphetamine in Adult, but not in Adolescent Rats, Is Associated with Increased Expression of ΔFosB in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro de Oliveira, Paulo E.; Leão, Rodrigo M.; Bianchi, Paula C.; Marin, Marcelo T.; Planeta, Cleopatra da Silva; Cruz, Fábio C.

    2016-01-01

    While clinical and pre-clinical evidence suggests that adolescence is a risk period for the development of addiction, the underlying neural mechanisms are largely unknown. Stress during adolescence has a huge influence on drug addiction. However, little is known about the mechanisms related to the interaction among stress, adolescence and addiction. Studies point to ΔFosB as a possible target for this phenomenon. In the present study, adolescent and adult rats (postnatal day 28 and 60, respectively) were restrained for 2 h once a day for 7 days. Three days after their last exposure to stress, the animals were challenged with saline or amphetamine (1.0 mg/kg i.p.) and amphetamine-induced locomotion was recorded. Immediately after the behavioral tests, rats were decapitated and the nucleus accumbens was dissected to measure ΔFosB protein levels. We found that repeated restraint stress increased amphetamine-induced locomotion in both the adult and adolescent rats. Furthermore, in adult rats, stress-induced locomotor sensitization was associated with increased expression of ΔFosB in the nucleus accumbens. Our data suggest that ΔFosB may be involved in some of the neuronal plasticity changes associated with stress induced-cross sensitization with amphetamine in adult rats. PMID:27672362

  15. SKF 83959 is an antagonist of dopamine D1-like receptors in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens: a key to its antiparkinsonian effect in animals?

    PubMed

    Cools, A R; Lubbers, L; van Oosten, R V; Andringa, G

    2002-02-01

    SKF 83959 that has a unique antiparkinson profile in animal models of Parkinson's disease is an in vitro dopamine D1 antagonist of receptors coupled to adenylyl cyclase. We hypothesized that SKF 83959, among others, interacts with dopamine D1 receptors coupled to adenylyl cyclase in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex. Effects of intra-accumbal injections of SKF 83959 on locomotor activity were compared to effects of the dopamine D1 agonist SKF 81297 and the dopamine D1 antagonist SCH 39166. Similarly to SCH 39166, SKF 83959 did not affect locomotor activity, but counteracted SKF 81297-induced locomotor activity. Effects of unilateral intra-prefrontal injections of SKF 83959 on rotational behaviour were compared to the effects of the dopamine D1 agonist SKF 81297 and the dopamine D1 antagonists SCH 23390 and SCH 39166 in rats selected on basis of their high locomotor response to novelty and pretreated with a subcutaneous injection of 0.75 mg/kg dexamphetamine. Like SCH 39166 and SCH 23390, SKF 83959 induced a bias for contralateral rotating and blocked the SKF 81297-induced bias for ipsilateral rotating. In conclusion, SKF 83959 is an in vivo antagonist of dopamine D1 receptors that are coupled to adenylyl cyclase in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex. The role of these receptors in the antiparkinson profile of SKF 83959 is discussed.

  16. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Profiling Reveals Epigenetic Changes in the Rat Nucleus Accumbens Associated With Cross-Generational Effects of Adolescent THC Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Corey T; Szutorisz, Henrietta; Garg, Paras; Martin, Qammarah; Landry, Joseph A; Sharp, Andrew J; Hurd, Yasmin L

    2015-01-01

    Drug exposure during critical periods of development is known to have lasting effects, increasing one's risk for developing mental health disorders. Emerging evidence has also indicated the possibility for drug exposure to even impact subsequent generations. Our previous work demonstrated that adolescent exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), in a Long-Evans rat model affects reward-related behavior and gene regulation in the subsequent (F1) generation unexposed to the drug. Questions, however, remained regarding potential epigenetic consequences. In the current study, using the same rat model, we employed Enhanced Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing to interrogate the epigenome of the nucleus accumbens, a key brain area involved in reward processing. This analysis compared 16 animals with parental THC exposure and 16 without to characterize relevant systems-level changes in DNA methylation. We identified 1027 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) associated with parental THC exposure in F1 adults, each represented by multiple CpGs. These DMRs fell predominantly within introns, exons, and intergenic intervals, while showing a significant depletion in gene promoters. From these, we identified a network of DMR-associated genes involved in glutamatergic synaptic regulation, which also exhibited altered mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens. These data provide novel insight into drug-related cross-generational epigenetic effects, and serve as a useful resource for investigators to explore novel neurobiological systems underlying drug abuse vulnerability. PMID:26044905

  17. Clozapine and cocaine effects on dopamine and serotonin release in nucleus accumbens during psychostimulant behavior and withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Broderick, Patricia A; Hope, Omotola; Okonji, Catherine; Rahni, David N; Zhou, Yueping

    2004-01-01

    There is an increasing awareness that a psychosis, similar to that of schizophrenic psychosis, can be derived from cocaine addiction. Thus, the prototypical atypical antipsychotic medication, clozapine, a 5-HT(2)/DA(2) antagonist, was studied for its effects on cocaine-induced dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) release in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of behaving male Sprague-Dawley laboratory rats with In Vivo Microvoltammetry, while animals' locomotor (forward ambulations), an A(10) behavior, was monitored at the same time with infrared photobeams. Release mechanisms for monoamines were determined by using a depolarization blocker, gamma-butyrolactone (gammaBL). BRODERICK PROBE microelectrodes selectively detected release of DA and 5-HT within seconds and sequentially in A(10) nerve terminals, NAcc. Acute and subacute studies were performed for each treatment group. Acute studies are defined as single injection of drug(s) after a stable baseline of each monoamine and locomotor behavior has been achieved. Subacute studies are defined as 24-h follow-up studies on each monoamine and locomotor behavior, in the same animal at which time, no further drug was administered. Results showed that (1) acute administration of cocaine (10 mg/kg ip) (n=5) significantly increased both DA and 5-HT release above baseline (P<.001) while locomotion was also significantly increased above baseline (P<.001). In subacute studies, DA release decreased significantly below baseline (P<.001) and significant decreases in 5-HT release occurred at the 15-min mark and at each time point during the second part of the hour (P<.05); the maximum decrease in 5-HT was 40% below baseline. Locomotor behavior, on the other hand, increased significantly above baseline (P<.05). (2) Acute administration of clozapine/cocaine (20 and 10 mg/kg ip, respectively; n=6) produced a significant block of the cocaine-induced increase in DA (P<.001) and 5-HT release (P<.001). Cocaine-induced locomotion was blocked

  18. Multiple amygdaloid divisions of arcopallium send convergent projections to the nucleus accumbens and neighboring subpallial amygdala regions in the domestic chicken: a selective pathway tracing and reconstruction study.

    PubMed

    Hanics, János; Teleki, Gyöngyi; Alpár, Alán; Székely, Andrea D; Csillag, András

    2017-01-01

    Retrograde tracing with choleratoxin B, injected into the nucleus accumbens (Ac) and bed nucleus of stria terminalis, lateral part (BSTL), yielded labeled perikarya in a ring-shaped area of arcopallium, including dorsal and hilar subdivisions, with a wedge-shaped node of dense accumulation in the amygdalopiriform area (APir). Also, the position of source neurons for this arcopallio-subpallial pathway was verified by anterograde tracing. Three subregions of arcopallium (amygdalopiriform, dorsal, hilar) were injected with dextran (10 kDa), and fibers and terminal fields were detected in Ac, BSTL and extended amygdala (EA). Most abundant projections to Ac arose from APir. The study enabled precise description of the main output fiber streams: the dorsal stream follows the dorsal border of arcopallium and, continuing in the ventral amygdalofugal tract, it traverses the EA and the BSTL before reaching the Ac. The ventral stream of fibers enters the EA along the ventral subpallial border and terminates in the basal nucleus and ventral pallidum. The course of the pathway was reconstructed in 3D. Retrogradely labeled arcopallial neurons were devoid of DARPP-32. DARPP-32 was present in the Ac but not the BSTL. No colocalization between the calcium binding proteins calbindin, parvalbumin and calretinin, and retrogradely labeled neurons was detected, despite a considerable territorial overlap. This finding further supports the excitatory nature of the arcopallial-accumbens pathway. Conjoint and convergent amygdalar input to EA, including BSTL, as well as to Ac subregions likely transmits fear and aggression related signals to both viscerolimbic (EA) and learned reward- and motivation-related (Ac) ventrobasal forebrain regions.

  19. N-Methyl-d-aspartate Modulation of Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Release by Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors: Fast Cyclic Voltammetry Studies in Rat Brain Slices in Vitro.

    PubMed

    Yavas, Ersin; Young, Andrew M J

    2017-02-15

    The N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, phencyclidine, induces behavioral changes in rodents mimicking symptoms of schizophrenia, possibly mediated through dysregulation of glutamatergic control of mesolimbic dopamine release. We tested the hypothesis that NMDA receptor activation modulates accumbens dopamine release, and that phencyclidine pretreatment altered this modulation. NMDA caused a receptor-specific, dose-dependent decrease in electrically stimulated dopamine release in nucleus accumbens brain slices. This decrease was unaffected by picrotoxin, making it unlikely to be mediated through GABAergic neurones, but was decreased by the metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist, (RS)-α-methyl-4-sulfonophenylglycine, indicating that NMDA activates mechanisms controlled by these receptors to decrease stimulated dopamine release. The effect of NMDA was unchanged by in vivo pretreatment with phencyclidine (twice daily for 5 days), with a washout period of at least 7 days before experimentation, which supports the hypothesis that there is no enduring direct effect of PCP at NMDA receptors after this pretreatment procedure. We propose that NMDA depression of accumbal dopamine release is mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors located pre- or perisynaptically, and suggest that NMDA evoked increased extrasynaptic spillover of glutamate is sufficient to activate these receptors that, in turn, inhibit dopamine release. Furthermore, we suggest that enduring functional changes brought about by subchronic phencyclidine pretreatment, modeling deficits in schizophrenia, are downstream effects consequent on chronic blockade of NMDA receptors, rather than direct effects on NMDA receptors themselves.

  20. Optogenetic inhibition of cortical afferents in the nucleus accumbens simultaneously prevents cue-induced transient synaptic potentiation and cocaine-seeking behavior

    PubMed Central

    Stefanik, Michael T.; Kupchik, Yonatan M.; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2017-01-01

    Animal models of relapse reveal that the motivation to seek drug is regulated by enduring morphological and physiological changes in the nucleus accumbens, as well as transient synaptic potentiation in the accumbens core (NAcore) that parallels drug-seeking behavior. The current study sought to examine the link between the behavioral and synaptic consequences of cue-induced cocaine seeking by optically silencing glutamatergic afferents to the NAcore from the prelimbic cortex (PL). Adeno-associated virus coding for the inhibitory opsin archaerhodopsin was microinjected into PL, and optical fibers were targeted to NAcore. Animals were trained to self-administer cocaine followed by extinction training, and then underwent cue-induced reinstatement in the presence or absence of 15 min of optically-induced inhibition of PL fibers in NAcore. Inhibiting the PL-to-NAcore projection blocked reinstated behavior and was paralleled by decreased dendritic spine head diameter and AMPA/NMDA ratio relative to sham-laser control rats. Interestingly, while spine density was elevated after extinction training, no further effects were observed by cued reinstatement or optical inhibition. These findings validate the critical role for PL afferents to the NAcore in simultaneously regulating both reinstated behavior and the associated transient synaptic potentiation. PMID:25663648

  1. Extracellular dopamine and its metabolites in the nucleus accumbens of Fisher and Lewis rats: Basal levels and cocaine-induced changes

    SciTech Connect

    Strecker, R.E.; Eberle, W.F.; Ashby, C.R. Jr.

    1995-11-01

    Rats of the Lewis (LEW) strain show a greater preference for drugs of abuse than do Fisher 344 (F344) rats. The in vivo microdialysis procedure was used to examine basal and cocaine-evoked extracellular (EC) levels of dopamine (DA), DOPAC, and HVA in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of F344 and LEW rats. The basal EC levels of the DA metabolites DOPAC and HVA in the NAc were markedly lower in LEW than in F344 rats. Although the increase in ECDA after 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg, i/p. of cocaine was similar in both strains, LEW rats had a smaller peak DA elevation followed by a slower return to basal DA levels at the 30 mg/kg dose. The neurochemical differences observed may contribute to the strain differences in the behavioral response to cocaine. 20 refs., 3 figs.

  2. Reduced G-protein coupling to the GABAB receptor in the nucleus accumbens and the medial prefrontal cortex of the rat after chronic treatment with nicotine.

    PubMed

    Amantea, Diana; Tessari, Michela; Bowery, Norman G

    2004-01-30

    The effect of repeated administration of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, daily, s.c., for 14 days) on GABAB receptor density, affinity and G-protein coupling was investigated in the mesocorticolimbic system of the rat brain. Baclofen-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding autoradiography revealed that the level of G-protein coupling to GABAB receptors was significantly reduced in the medial prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens of nicotine-treated rats as compared to vehicle-injected controls. By contrast, GABAB receptor density and affinity, as revealed by [3H]GABA saturation binding autoradiography, were not altered by the nicotine exposure in any of the regions examined. Reduced G-protein coupling to the GABAB receptor may result in disinhibition of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic neurones, which would contribute to the development of sensitised dopaminergic responses to repeated administration of nicotine.

  3. Early social isolation disrupts latent inhibition and increases dopamine D2 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiao; Li, Nanxin; Xue, Xiaofang; Shao, Feng; Wang, Weiwen

    2012-04-04

    Adolescence is a critical period for neurodevelopment. In the present study, we investigated the effects of peri-adolescent social isolation on latent inhibition (LI) and dopamine D2 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of young adult rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into adolescent isolation (ISO; isolated housing, 21-34 days of age) and social housing (SOC) groups. LI was tested at postnatal day 56. After behavioral testing, the number of dopamine D2 receptor-expressing cells was determined using immunohistochemistry. Adolescent social isolation impaired LI and increased the number of cells expressing the D2 receptor in the mPFC and NAc. The results suggest that adolescent social isolation produces profound effects on cognitive and dopaminergic function in adult rats, and could be used as an animal model of various neurodevelopmental disorders.

  4. Neural correlates of Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer in the nucleus accumbens shell are selectively potentiated following cocaine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Saddoris, Michael P; Stamatakis, Alice; Carelli, Regina M

    2011-06-01

    During Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT), learned Pavlovian cues significantly modulate ongoing instrumental actions. This phenomenon is suggested as a mechanism under which conditioned stimuli may lead to relapse in addicted populations. Following discriminative Pavlovian learning and instrumental conditioning with sucrose, one group of rats (naive) underwent electrophysiological recordings in the nucleus accumbens core and shell during a single PIT session. Other groups, following Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning, were subsequently trained to self-administer cocaine with nosepoke responses, or received yoked saline infusions and nosepoked for water rewards, and then performed PIT while electro