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Sample records for accumbens caudate nucleus

  1. Effect of haloperidol and clozapine on the density of "perforated" synapses in caudate, nucleus accumbens, and medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Meshul, C K; Janowsky, A; Casey, D E; Stallbaumer, R K; Taylor, B

    1992-01-01

    Perforated synapses, which contain a discontinuous density along the postsynaptic membrane, can increase or decrease in numbers following various behavioral and biochemical manipulations. We have previously established that 14-day treatment with haloperidol causes an increase in the number of perforated synapses within the caudate nucleus (dorsolateral region) but not the nucleus accumbens (Meshul and Casey 1989). This effect was reversed if the animals were withdrawn from the drug for an equivalent period of time. We have now further examined the effects of haloperidol administration, which is associated with a high incidence of extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) and tardive dyskinesia (TD), and assessed the effects of clozapine, which appears to have a lower potential for inducing EPS and TD. Administration of haloperidol for 2 weeks significantly increased the percentage of perforated synapses in the caudate, but not in the nucleus accumbens or layer VI of medial prefrontal cortex (MPCx). There was an increase in specific [125I]epidepride binding to D-2 receptors in the caudate nucleus and MPCx following haloperidol. Administration of clozapine for 2 weeks did not affect the percentage of perforated synapses in any of the three dopamine (DA)-rich regions that were examined. There was an increase in specific [3H]SCH 23390 binding to D-1 receptors and in specific [125I]epidepride binding to D-2 receptors only within MPCx following clozapine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1531388

  2. Acute Administration of Clozapine and Risperidone Altered Dopamine Metabolism More in Rat Caudate than in Nucleus Accumbens: A Dose-Response Relationship

    PubMed Central

    Batool, Farhat; Haleem, Muhammad A.; Haleem, Darakhshan J.

    2010-01-01

    The present study compares the extrapyramidal and neurochemical effects of clozapine and risperidone in rat caudate (corpus striatum) and nucleus accumbens (ventral striatum) dose-dependently. Animals injected with clozapine (2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 mg/kg IP) or risperidone (1.0, 2.5 and 5.0 mg/kg IP) in acute were sacrificed 1 h later to collect brain samples. Extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) in terms of locomotor activity and catalepsy were monitored in each animal after the drug or vehicle administration. Maximum cataleptic potentials were found only at high doses of clozapine (10.0 mg/kg; 60%) and risperidone (5.0 mg/kg; 100%). Neurochemical estimations were carried out by HPLC-EC. Both drugs at all doses significantly (p<0.01) increased the concentration of homovanillic acid (HVA), a metabolite of DA, in the caudate nucleus and decreased in nucleus accumbens. Levels of Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) significantly (p<0.01) increased in the caudate by clozapine administration and decreased in the nucleus accumbens by the administration of both drugs in a dose-dependent manner. 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), the predominant metabolite of serotonin significantly decreased in the caudate and nucleus accumbens in a similar fashion. Levels of tryptophan (TRP) were remained insignificant in caudate and nucleus accumbens by the injections of two drugs. In caudate, clozapine and risperidone administrations significantly (p<0.01) decreased HVA/DA ratio and increased DOPAC/DA ratio in nucleus accumbens at all doses. The findings suggest the evidence for DA/5-HT receptor interaction as an important link in the lower incidence of EPS. The possible role of serotonin1A receptors in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia is also discussed. PMID:21179339

  3. Interpretive monitoring in the caudate nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Yanike, Marianna; Ferrera, Vincent P

    2014-01-01

    In a dynamic environment an organism has to constantly adjust ongoing behavior to adapt to a given context. This process requires continuous monitoring of ongoing behavior to provide its meaningful interpretation. The caudate nucleus is known to have a role in behavioral monitoring, but the nature of these signals during dynamic behavior is still unclear. We recorded neuronal activity in the caudate nucleus in monkeys during categorization behavior that changed rapidly across contexts. We found that neuronal activity maintained representation of the identity and context of a recently categorized stimulus, as well as interpreted the behavioral meaningfulness of the maintained trace. The accuracy of this cognitive monitoring signal was highest for behavior for which subjects were prone to make errors. Thus, the caudate nucleus provides interpretive monitoring of ongoing behavior, which is necessary for contextually specific decisions to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03727.001 PMID:25415238

  4. Nucleus accumbens stimulation in pathological obesity.

    PubMed

    Harat, Marek; Rudaś, Marcin; Zieliński, Piotr; Birska, Julita; Sokal, Paweł

    2016-01-01

    One of the potential treatment methods of obesity is deep brain stimulation (DBS) of nucleus accumbens. We describe the case of 19 years old woman with hypothalamic obesity. She weighted 151.4 kg before DBS and the non-surgical methods proved to be inefficient. She was treated with implantation of DBS electrode to nucleus accumbens bilaterally. Results were measured with body mass index and neuropsychological tests. Follow-up was 14 months. Fourteen months after surgery weight was 138 kg, BMI was 48.3. Neuropsychological test results were intact. The presented case supports the thesis of treatment of obesity with nucleus accumbens stimulation. PMID:27154450

  5. 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. PMID:26428667

  6. 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. PMID:25102783

  7. Nucleus Accumbens Invulnerability to Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:23382149

  8. Compartmental organization of the peptide network in the human caudate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Manley, M S; Young, S J; Groves, P M

    1994-08-01

    The mammalian striatum may be divided into a striosomal compartment and a surrounding matrix region. We have examined the distribution of leucine enkephalin (LENK) and substance P (SP) immunoreactivity in relation to striosomes defined by calbindin-D (CABD) staining in alternate 70 microns serial sections from the human caudate nucleus. The distribution of LENK immunoreactivity showed a transition from dorsal to ventral striatum: dorsally, LENK-rich patches were present in a lightly stained matrix; mid-ventrally, annular patches of LENK staining with a lighter core were seen. These patches corresponded to striosomal regions defined by CABD-poor zones. In contrast, in the ventral caudate and nucleus accumbens, LENK-poor zones matched CABD-defined striosomes. CABD staining in the matrix was intense in the dorsal caudate, diminishing ventrally. SP-rich zones in dorsal caudate and SP-poor areas in the mid-ventral region overlapped striosomes. In the ventromedial sector, the SP staining pattern was complex and did not consistently correlate with striosomes. Computer-assisted three-dimensional reconstruction of the striosomal system in the human, based on regions of either high LENK or low CABD immunoreactivity, revealed the existence of considerable long-range order. Patches appeared aligned over several millimeters to form long, horizontal structures in the caudate nucleus, with occasional orthogonal interconnecting crossbridges. Our results are in accord with previous work in the human and in other species. These three-dimensional networks are strikingly similar across individuals and may relate to the segregation of and interactions between striatal circuits. PMID:7531455

  9. Increased R2* in the Caudate Nucleus of Asymptomatic Welders.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun-Young; Flynn, Michael R; Du, Guangwei; Li, Yunqing; Lewis, Mechelle M; Herring, Amy H; Van Buren, Eric; Van Buren, Scott; Kong, Lan; Fry, Rebecca C; Snyder, Amanda M; Connor, James R; Yang, Qing X; Mailman, Richard B; Huang, Xuemei

    2016-04-01

    Welding has been associated with neurobehavioral disorders. Welding fumes contain several metals including copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and iron (Fe) that may interact to influence welding-related neurotoxicity. Although welding-related airborne Fe levels are about 10-fold higher than Mn, previous studies have focused on Mn and its accumulation in the basal ganglia. This study examined differences in the apparent transverse relaxation rates [R2* (1/T2*), estimate of Fe accumulation] in the basal ganglia (caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus) between welders and controls, and the dose-response relationship between estimated Fe exposure and R2* values. Occupational questionnaires estimated recent and lifetime Fe exposure, and blood Fe levels and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained. Complete exposure and MRI R2* and R1 (1/T1: measure to estimate Mn accumulation) data from 42 subjects with welding exposure and 29 controls were analyzed. Welders had significantly greater exposure metrics and higher whole-blood Fe levels compared with controls. R2* in the caudate nucleus was significantly higher in welders after controlling for age, body mass index, respirator use, caudate R1, and blood metals of Cu and Mn, whereas there was no difference in R1 values in the basal ganglia between groups. The R2* in the caudate nucleus was positively correlated with whole-blood Fe concentration. This study provides the first evidence of higher R2* in the caudate nucleus of welders, which is suggestive of increased Fe accumulation in this area. Further studies are needed to replicate the findings and determine the neurobehavioral relevance. PMID:26769335

  10. 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. PMID:23399314

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Antibodies to human caudate nucleus neurons in Huntington's chorea.

    PubMed Central

    Husby, G; Li, L; Davis, L E; Wedege, E; Kokmen, E; Williams, R C

    1977-01-01

    Antibodies reacting with neuronal cytoplasmic antigens present in normal human caudate and subthalamic nuclei were detected in 37 of 80 probands afflicted with Huntington's disease (HD). IgG antibodies were detected by immunofluorescence using frozen sections of unfixed normal human and rat brain. Specificity of IgG binding was confirmed using pepsin F(ab')2 fragments of IgG isolated from positive sera. In vitro complement fixation of IgG antibody was detected in 22 of 31 sera tested. Neuronal cytoplasmic antigens reacting with positive HD sera were diminished after trypsin or RNAase treatment of tissue sections but were not removed by DNAase, neuraminidase, EDTA, or dithiothreitol treatment. Antibody staining of neurons could be removed after absorption with isolated caudate nucleus neurons or by using perchloroacetic acid extracts of caudate nucleus. Prevalence of antibody reacting with neuronal cytoplasm was 3% in 60 normal controls and 6% among a wide variety of patients with diverse neurological disorders. However, one-third of 33 patients with Parkinson's disease showed presence of antineuronal antibody. Among patients with HD, a significant association was noted between duration of clinical disease greater than 7 yr and titers of antibody of 1:2 or greater (P less than 0.001). When 115 family members of HD probands were tested, 30% of unaffected spouses showed presence of antineuronal antibody. 23.2% of first-degree relatives at risk for developing HD was also positive (P less than 0.001). 10.5% of second-degree relatives showed presence of antineuronal antibody. These data may support an environmental or infectious factor somehow involved in the ultimate expression of HD. Images PMID:140183

  14. 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. PMID:22325164

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-11

    Chronic opiate use induces opiate dependence, which is characterized by extremely unpleasant physical and emotional feelings after drug use is terminated. Both the rewarding effects of a drug and the desire to avoid withdrawal symptoms motivate continued drug use, and the nucleus accumbens is important for orchestrating both processes. While multiple inputs to the nucleus accumbens regulate reward, little is known about the nucleus accumbens circuitry underlying withdrawal. Here we identify the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus as a prominent input to the nucleus accumbens mediating the expression of opiate-withdrawal-induced physical signs and aversive memory. Activity in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus to nucleus accumbens pathway is necessary and sufficient to mediate behavioural aversion. Selectively silencing this pathway abolishes aversive symptoms in two different mouse models of opiate withdrawal. Chronic morphine exposure selectively potentiates excitatory transmission between the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus and D2-receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons via synaptic insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors. Notably, in vivo optogenetic depotentiation restores normal transmission at these synapses and robustly suppresses morphine withdrawal symptoms. This links morphine-evoked pathway- and cell-type-specific plasticity in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus to nucleus accumbens circuit to opiate dependence, and suggests that reprogramming this circuit holds promise for treating opiate addiction. PMID:26840481

  16. The Bivalent Side of the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Levita, Liat; Hare, Todd A.; Voss, Henning U.; Glover, Gary; Ballon, Douglas J.; Casey, B.J.

    2009-01-01

    An increasing body of evidence suggests that the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is engaged in both incentive reward processes and in adaptive responses to conditioned and unconditioned aversive stimuli. Yet, it has been argued that NAcc activation to aversive stimuli may be a consequence of the rewarding effects of their termination, i.e., relief. To address this question we used fMRI to delineate brain response to the onset and offset of unpleasant and pleasant auditory stimuli in the absence of learning or motor response. Increased NAcc activity was seen for the onset of both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli. Our results support the expanded bivalent view of NAcc function and call for expansion of current models of NAcc function that are solely focused on reward. PMID:18976715

  17. Bilateral caudate nucleus infarction associated with a missing A1 segment.

    PubMed

    Fukuoka, Takuya; Osawa, Aiko; Ohe, Yasuko; Deguchi, Ichiro; Maeshima, Shinichiro; Tanahashi, Norio

    2012-11-01

    We describe a case of bilateral caudate nucleus infarction caused by cardioembolic stroke associated with a variant circle of Willis. The patient was an 81-year-old man with atrial fibrillation who presented with a sudden disturbance of consciousness. When he became more alert a few days later, he was abulic with no spontaneous speech or activity. A magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain revealed cerebral infarction of bilateral caudate nucleus heads and the left frontal lobe. The left A1 segment was absent on 3-dimensional computed tomography angiography. One year later, abulia had completely resolved. Bilateral caudate nucleus infarction with variant circle of Willis is rare. PMID:22177927

  18. [The role of the nucleus accumbens in psychiatric disorders].

    PubMed

    Mavridis, I

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens is the most inferior part of the striatum and is mainly connected to the limbic system. It is neurochemically and immunohistochemically divided into a shell laterally and a core medially. As a functionally central structure between amygdala, basal ganglia, mesolimbic dopaminergic regions, mediodorsal thalamus and prefrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens appears to play a modulative role in the flow of the information from the amygdaloid complex to these regions. Dopamine is a major neurotransmitter of the nucleus accumbens and this nucleus has a modulative function to the amygdala-basal ganglia-prefrontal cortex circuit. Together with the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, nucleus accumbens consists a part of the cerebral circuit which regulates functions associated with effort. It is anatomically located in a unique way to serve emotional and behavioral components of feelings. It is considered as a neural interface between motivation and action, having a key-role in food intake, sexual behavior, reward-motivated behavior, stress-related behavior and substance-dependence. It is involved in several cognitive, emotional and psychomotor functions, altered in some psychopathology. Moreover it is involved in some of the commonest and most severe psychiatric disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders, as well as in addiction, including drugs abuse, alcoholism and smoking. Nucleus accumbens has also a role in other psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Because of its rich dopaminergic projections, this nucleus has been subject of many studies in animals as well as in humans, connecting its malfunction with the disturbed reward process observed in depression. Neuromodulation interventions targeting the nucleus accumbens are nowadays applied in strictly selected patients suffering from treatment

  19. Subcortical nuclei volumes in suicidal behavior: nucleus accumbens may modulate the lethality of acts.

    PubMed

    Gifuni, Anthony J; Ding, Yang; Olié, Emilie; Lawrence, Natalia; Cyprien, Fabienne; Le Bars, Emmanuelle; Bonafé, Alain; Phillips, Mary L; Courtet, Philippe; Jollant, Fabrice

    2016-03-01

    Previously, studies have demonstrated cortical impairments in those who complete or attempt suicide. Subcortical nuclei have less often been implicated in the suicidal vulnerability. In the present study, we investigated, with a specific design in a large population, variations in the volume of subcortical structures in patients with mood disorders who have attempted suicide. We recruited 253 participants: 73 suicide attempters with a past history of both mood disorders and suicidal act, 89 patient controls with a past history of mood disorders but no history of suicidal act, and 91 healthy controls. We collected 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging data from the caudate, pallidum, putamen, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, amygdala, ventral diencephalon, and thalamus. Surface-based morphometry (Freesurfer) analysis was used to comprehensively evaluate gray matter volumes. In comparison to controls, suicide attempters showed no difference in subcortical volumes when controlled for intracranial volume. However, within attempters negative correlations between the left (r = -0.35, p = 0.002), and right (r = -0.41, p < 0.0005) nucleus accumbens volumes and the lethality of the last suicidal act were found. Our study found no differences in the volume of eight subcortical nuclei between suicide attempters and controls, suggesting a lack of association between these regions and suicidal behavior in general. However, individual variations in nucleus accumbens structure and functioning may modulate the lethality of suicidal acts during a suicidal crisis. The known role of nucleus accumbens in action selection toward goals determined by the prefrontal cortex, decision-making or mental pain processing are hypothesized to be potential explanations. PMID:25759286

  20. Ultrastructural localization of tyrosine hydroxylase in tree shrew nucleus accumbens core and shell

    PubMed Central

    McCollum, Lesley A.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.

    2014-01-01

    Many behavioral, physiological, and anatomical studies utilize animal models to investigate human striatal pathologies. Although commonly used, rodent striatum may not present the optimal animal model for certain studies due to a lesser morphological complexity than that of non-human primates, which are increasingly restricted in research. As an alternative, the tree shrew could provide a beneficial animal model for studies of the striatum. The gross morphology of the tree shrew striatum resembles that of primates, with separation of the caudate and putamen by the internal capsule. The neurochemical anatomy of the ventral striatum, specifically the nucleus accumbens, has never been examined. This major region of the limbic system plays a role in normal physiological functioning and is also an area of interest for human striatal disorders. The current study uses immunohistochemistry of calbindin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) to determine the ultrastructural organization of the nucleus accumbens core and shell of the tree shrew (Tupaia glis belangeri). Stereology was used to quantify the ultrastructural localization of TH, which displays weaker immunoreactivity in the core and denser immunoreactivity in the shell. In both regions, synapses with TH-immunoreactive axon terminals were primarily symmetric and showed no preference for targeting dendrites versus dendritic spines. The results were compared to previous ultrastructural studies of TH and dopamine in rat and monkey nucleus accumbens. Tree shrew and monkey show no preference for the postsynaptic target in the shell, in contrast to rats which show a preference for synapsing with dendrites. Tree shrews have a ratio of asymmetric to symmetric synapses formed by TH-immunoreactive terminals that is intermediate between rats and monkey. The findings from this study support the tree shrew as an alternative model for studies of human striatal pathologies. PMID:24769226

  1. 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. PMID:26792192

  2. 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.

  3. Recognition of Chewing Behavior from Electroencephalogram Recorded in the Rat's Nucleus Accumbens.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xiaozhuo; Zhang, Hengyi; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2005-01-01

    Nucleus accumbens is used to be considered as the interface to motor nerve system. In this paper, our object is to study the relationship between the electro-activity of neurons in nucleus accumbens and the rat-behavior. We recorded neurons action potentials with multichannel microelectrodes, which were chronically implanted in a rat's nucleus accumbens, during rats-chewing behavior. Through digital signal processing, we found significant features associated with the chewing activity and we could recognize the chewing behavior easily from the electroencephalogram with these features. This study suggests that neurons action potentials in a nucleus accumbens are activated by specific animal actions. PMID:17282644

  4. Left nucleus accumbens atrophy in deficit schizophrenia: A preliminary study.

    PubMed

    De Rossi, Pietro; Dacquino, Claudia; Piras, Fabrizio; Caltagirone, Carlo; Spalletta, Gianfranco

    2016-08-30

    A question that remains to be answered is whether schizophrenia can be characterized by a single etiopathophysiology or whether separate sub-syndromes should be differentiated to define specific mechanisms for each sub-type. Individuals affected by the deficit subtype of schizophrenia (DSZ) display avolitional/amotivational features that respond poorly to conventional treatments. Characterizing DSZ from a neuroanatomical point of view may help clarify this issue and develop new treatment strategies. To determine if DSZ is associated with structural alterations in specific deep grey matter structures linked to its key clinical features, 22 DSZ patients, 22 non-deficit schizophrenia (NDSZ) patients and 22 healthy controls (HC) were recruited for a case-control cross-sectional study. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging was performed in all subjects and volumes of deep grey matter structures were measured using FreeSurfer. DSZ patients displayed smaller left accumbens volumes compared to both NDSZ patients and HC. Moreover, age and duration of illness were significantly associated with lower volume of the left accumbens in DSZ but not in NDSZ. Findings indicate that DSZ is associated with lower volume of the nucleus accumbens in the dominant hemisphere. This is consistent with the psychopathological features and functional impairments present in DSZ and thus indicates a potential mechanism. PMID:27322868

  5. Association between gray matter volume in the caudate nucleus and financial extravagance: findings from voxel-based morphometry.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Nouchi, Rui; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Iizuka, Kunio; Shinada, Takamitsu; Yamamoto, Yuki; Hanawa, Sugiko; Araki, Tsuyoshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Kunitoki, Keiko; Hanihara, Mayu; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2014-03-20

    Consumer behavior differs among individuals; one such common individual difference is financial extravagance. Recent research suggests that the activation of the caudate nucleus plays an important role in consumer behavior. However, to the best of our knowledge, no study has investigated the specific relationship between the caudate nucleus and consumer financial extravagance. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the association between individual differences in financial extravagance and regional gray matter volume in the caudate nucleus by using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We recruited 776 healthy, right-handed individuals (432 men and 344 women; mean age=20.7 ± 1.8) and used voxel-based morphometry and a financial extravagance questionnaire to determine the association between financial extravagance and gray matter structure in the caudate nucleus. Our measure of financial extravagance was based on the novelty seeking subscales of the Japanese version of the Temperament and Character Inventory. A multiple regression analysis including financial extravagance, age, sex, Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrix score, total intracranial volume, and novelty seeking subscales was conducted to examine what variables were related to regional gray matter volume in the region of interest within the caudate nucleus. A significant positive correlation was found between the obtained financial extravagance score and regional gray matter volume in the caudate nucleus. We found that structural variations in the caudate nucleus contributed to individual differences in financial extravagance. This finding may provide a new neuroscientific approach to understanding individual characteristics of consumers. PMID:24486253

  6. Cage-induced stereotypic behaviour in laboratory mice covaries with nucleus accumbens FosB/ΔFosB expression.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Danielle; Choleris, Elena; Ervin, Kelsy S J; Fureix, Carole; Harper, Laura; Reynolds, Kathryn; Niel, Lee; Mason, Georgia J

    2016-03-15

    Stereotypic behaviour (SB) occurs in certain human disorders (e.g. autism), and animals treated with stimulants or raised in impoverished conditions, including laboratory mice in standard cages. Dysfunctional cortico-basal ganglia pathways have been implicated in these examples, but for cage-induced forms of SB, the relative roles of ventral versus dorsal striatum had not been fully ascertained. Here, we used immunohistochemical staining of FosB and ΔFosB to assess long-term activation within the nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen of C57BL/6 mice. Housed in typical laboratory cages, these mice spontaneously developed different degrees of route-tracing, bar-mouthing and other forms of SB (spending 0% to over 50% of their active time budgets in this behaviour). The most highly stereotypic mice showed the most elevated FosB/ΔFosB activity in the nucleus accumbens. No such patterns occurred in the caudate-putamen. The cage-induced SB common in standard-housed mice thus involves elevated activity within the ventral striatum, suggesting an aetiology closer to compulsive gambling, eating and drug-seeking than to classic amphetamine stereotypies and other behaviours induced by motor loop over-activation. PMID:26731014

  7. 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. PMID:25569534

  8. 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.

  9. Nucleus accumbens core lesions enhance two-way active avoidance.

    PubMed

    Lichtenberg, N T; Kashtelyan, V; Burton, A C; Bissonette, G B; Roesch, M R

    2014-01-31

    The majority of work examining the nucleus accumbens core (NAc) has focused on functions pertaining to behaviors guided by appetitive outcomes. These studies have pointed to the NAc as being critical for motivating behavior toward desirable outcomes. For example, we have recently shown that lesions of the NAc impaired performance on a reward-guided decision-making task that required rats to choose between differently valued rewards. Unfortunately, much less is known about the role that the NAc plays in motivating behavior when aversive outcomes are predicted. To address this issue we asked if NAc lesions impact performance on a two-way active avoidance task in which rats must learn to shuttle back and forth in a behavioral training box in order to avoid a footshock predicted by an auditory tone. Although bilateral NAc lesions initially impaired reward-guided decision-making, we found that the same lesions improved acquisition and retention of two-way active avoidance. PMID:24275320

  10. Sensory Deviancy Detection Measured Directly Within the Human Nucleus Accumbens.

    PubMed

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Zaehle, Tino; Hinrichs, Hermann; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Voges, Jürgen; Garrido, Marta I; Dolan, Raymond J; Knight, Robert T

    2016-03-01

    Rapid changes in the environment evoke a comparison between expectancy and actual outcome to inform optimal subsequent behavior. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a key interface between the hippocampus and neocortical regions, is a candidate region for mediating this comparison. Here, we report event-related potentials obtained from the NAcc using direct intracranial recordings in 5 human participants while they listened to trains of auditory stimuli differing in their degree of deviation from repetitive background stimuli. NAcc recordings revealed an early mismatch signal (50-220 ms) in response to all deviants. NAcc activity in this time window was also sensitive to the statistics of stimulus deviancy, with larger amplitudes as a function of the level of deviancy. Importantly, this NAcc mismatch signal also predicted generation of longer latency scalp potentials (300-400 ms). The results provide direct human evidence that the NAcc is a key component of a network engaged in encoding statistics of the sensory environmental. PMID:25576536

  11. 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

  12. Top-down-directed synchrony from medial frontal cortex to nucleus accumbens during reward anticipation.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Michael X; Bour, Lo; Mantione, Mariska; Figee, Martijn; Vink, Matthijs; Tijssen, Marina A J; van Rootselaar, Anne-Fleur; van den Munckhof, Pepijn; Schuurman, P Richard; Denys, Damiaan

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens and medial frontal cortex (MFC) are part of a loop involved in modulating behavior according to anticipated rewards. However, the precise temporal landscape of their electrophysiological interactions in humans remains unknown because it is not possible to record neural activity from the nucleus accumbens using noninvasive techniques. We recorded electrophysiological activity simultaneously from the nucleus accumbens and cortex (via surface EEG) in humans who had electrodes implanted as part of deep-brain-stimulation treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Patients performed a simple reward motivation task previously shown to activate the ventral striatum. Spectral Granger causality analyses were applied to dissociate "top-down" (cortex → nucleus accumbens)- from "bottom-up" (nucleus accumbens → cortex)-directed synchronization (functional connectivity). "Top-down"-directed synchrony from cortex to nucleus accumbens was maximal over medial frontal sites and was significantly stronger when rewards were anticipated. These findings provide direct electrophysiological evidence for a role of the MFC in modulating nucleus accumbens reward-related processing and may be relevant to understanding the mechanisms of deep-brain stimulation and its beneficial effects on psychiatric conditions. PMID:21547982

  13. Caudate nucleus-dependent navigational strategies are associated with increased use of addictive drugs

    PubMed Central

    Bohbot, Veronique D; Balso, Daniel; Conrad, Kate; Konishi, Kyoko; Leyton, Marco

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the relationship between navigational strategies and the use of abused substances in a sample of healthy young adults. Navigational strategies were assessed with the 4-on-8 virtual maze (4/8VM), a task previously shown to dissociate between hippocampal-dependent spatial navigational strategies and caudate nucleus-dependent stimulus-response navigational strategies. Spatial strategies involve learning the spatial relationships between the landmarks in an environment, while response learning strategies involve learning a rigid set of stimulus-response type associations, e.g., see the tree, turn left. We have shown that spatial learners have increased gray matter and fMRI activity in the hippocampus compared with response learners, while response learners have increased gray matter and fMRI activity in the caudate nucleus. We were interested in the prevalence of use of substances of abuse in spatial and response learners because of the evidence that people who score high on traits such as novelty seeking, sensation seeking, reward seeking, and impulsivity, are more cue-responsive and more likely to use substances of abuse. Since response learners show increased activity and gray matter in the caudate nucleus of the striatum, which is a brain area involved in addiction, we hypothesized that response learners would have a greater use of abused substances than spatial learners. Fifty-five young adults were tested on the 4/8VM and completed a time-line follow-back assessment of drug and alcohol use. We found that response learners had smoked a significantly greater number of cigarettes in their lifetime than spatial learners, were more likely to have used cannabis, and had double the lifetime alcohol consumption. We discuss the possible relationship between substance abuse and response strategies as well as the implications for the hippocampus, risks of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and healthy cognition. © 2013 The Authors

  14. Higher landing accuracy in expert pilots is associated with lower activity in the caudate nucleus.

    PubMed

    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 relative expertise of pilots and brain regions involved

  15. Amygdala modulation of hippocampal-dependent and caudate nucleus-dependent memory processes.

    PubMed Central

    Packard, M G; Cahill, L; McGaugh, J L

    1994-01-01

    These experiments investigated the effects, on memory, of injections of d-amphetamine (10 micrograms/0.5 microliter) administered into the amygdala, hippocampus, or caudate nucleus immediately after training in cued or spatial water-maze tasks. In experiment 1, rats received an eight-trial training session on one of the two tasks followed by injections of d-amphetamine or saline. Retention was tested 24 hr later. On the spatial task, intrahippocampal, but not intracaudate, injections of d-amphetamine facilitated retention. In contrast, on the cued task intracaudate, but not intrahippocampal, injections of d-amphetamine facilitated retention. Posttraining intraamygdala injections of d-amphetamine enhanced retention of both tasks. In experiment 2, lidocaine (2% solution; 1.0 microliter) injected intraamygdally prior to the retention test did not block the memory enhancement induced by posttraining intraamygdala injections of d-amphetamine. The findings (i) provide further evidence of a dissociation between the roles of the hippocampus and caudate nucleus in different forms of memory, (ii) indicate that the modulatory role of the amygdala is not limited to either of the two different forms of memory represented in spatial and cued discriminations in a water maze, and (iii) are consistent with previous findings indicating that amygdala influences on memory storage are not mediated by lasting neural changes located within the amygdala. PMID:8078906

  16. Beyond Cytoarchitectonics: The Internal and External Connectivity Structure of the Caudate Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Kotz, Sonja A.; Anwander, Alfred; Axer, Hubertus; Knösche, Thomas R.

    2013-01-01

    While there is ample evidence on the functional and connectional differentiation of the caudate nucleus (CN), less is known about its potential microstructural subdivisions. However, this latter aspect is critical to the local information processing capabilities of the tissue. We applied diffusion MRI, a non-invasive in vivo method that has great potential for the exploration of the brain structure-behavior relationship, in order to characterize the local fiber structure in gray matter of the CN. We report novel evidence of a functionally meaningful structural tri-partition along the anterior-posterior axis of this region. The connectivity of the CN subregions is in line with connectivity evidence from earlier invasive studies in animal models. In addition, histological validation using polarized light imaging (PLI) confirms these results, corroborating the notion that cortico-subcortico-cortical loops involve microstructurally differentiated regions in the caudate nucleus. Methodologically speaking, the comparison with advanced analysis of diffusion MRI shows that diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) yields a simplified view of the CN fiber architecture which is refined by advanced high angular resolution imaging methods. PMID:23922939

  17. Cortical drive of low-frequency oscillations in the human nucleus accumbens during action selection

    PubMed Central

    Litvak, Vladimir; Rutledge, Robb B.; Zaehle, Tino; Schmitt, Friedhelm C.; Voges, Jürgen; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens is thought to contribute to action selection by integrating behaviorally relevant information from multiple regions, including prefrontal cortex. Studies in rodents suggest that information flow to the nucleus accumbens may be regulated via task-dependent oscillatory coupling between regions. During instrumental behavior, local field potentials (LFP) in the rat nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex are coupled at delta frequencies (Gruber AJ, Hussain RJ, O'Donnell P. PLoS One 4: e5062, 2009), possibly mediating suppression of afferent input from other areas and thereby supporting cortical control (Calhoon GG, O'Donnell P. Neuron 78: 181–190, 2013). In this report, we demonstrate low-frequency cortico-accumbens coupling in humans, both at rest and during a decision-making task. We recorded LFP from the nucleus accumbens in six epilepsy patients who underwent implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes. All patients showed significant coherence and phase-synchronization between LFP and surface EEG at delta and low theta frequencies. Although the direction of this coupling as indexed by Granger causality varied between subjects in the resting-state data, all patients showed a cortical drive of the nucleus accumbens during action selection in a decision-making task. In three patients this was accompanied by a significant coherence increase over baseline. Our results suggest that low-frequency cortico-accumbens coupling represents a highly conserved regulatory mechanism for action selection. PMID:25878159

  18. AUTS2 in the nucleus accumbens is essential for heroin-induced behavioral sensitization.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yongsheng; Xing, Bo; Dang, Wei; Ji, Yuanyuan; Yan, Peng; Li, Yunxiao; Qiao, Xiaomeng; Lai, Jianghua

    2016-10-01

    Autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2) is a gene associated with autism and mental retardation. Recent studies have suggested an association of the AUTS2 gene with heroin dependence, and reduced AUTS2 gene expression may confer increased susceptibility to heroin dependence. However, the functional role of the AUTS2 protein in regulating enduring neuroadaptations in response to heroin exposure has not been established. Here, we investigated the effects of acute and chronic heroin exposure on AUTS2 mRNA and protein expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate-putamen (CPu) to determine whether changes in AUTS2 expression are associated with heroin-induced locomotor sensitization in mice. Moreover, we explored whether AUST2 knockdown affects heroin-induced locomotor sensitization. AUTS2 mRNA and protein expression in the NAc, but not the CPu, was decreased after chronic heroin (1mg/kg) administration. In the NAc, the expression of heroin-induced locomotor sensitization was enhanced through the lentiviral-AUTS2-shRNA-mediated knockdown of AUTS2, while the overexpression of AUTS2 attenuated the locomotor-stimulant effects of heroin. Together, these results indicate that AUTS2 in the NAc, but not the CPu, suppresses the initiation and expression of heroin-induced behavioral sensitization, suggesting that AUST2 may be a potential target for the treatment of heroin dependence. PMID:27423627

  19. Cannabis use is quantitatively associated with nucleus accumbens and amygdala abnormalities in young adult recreational users.

    PubMed

    Gilman, Jodi M; Kuster, John K; Lee, Sang; Lee, Myung Joo; Kim, Byoung Woo; Makris, Nikos; van der Kouwe, Andre; Blood, Anne J; Breiter, Hans C

    2014-04-16

    Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on young adult recreational marijuana users and nonusing controls and conducted three independent analyses of morphometry in these structures: (1) gray matter density using voxel-based morphometry, (2) volume (total brain and regional volumes), and (3) shape (surface morphometry). Gray matter density analyses revealed greater gray matter density in marijuana users than in control participants in the left nucleus accumbens extending to subcallosal cortex, hypothalamus, sublenticular extended amygdala, and left amygdala, even after controlling for age, sex, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Trend-level effects were observed for a volume increase in the left nucleus accumbens only. Significant shape differences were detected in the left nucleus accumbens and right amygdala. The left nucleus accumbens showed salient exposure-dependent alterations across all three measures and an altered multimodal relationship across measures in the marijuana group. These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix of core reward structures and is consistent with animal studies of changes in dendritic arborization. PMID:24741043

  20. Cannabis Use Is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users

    PubMed Central

    Gilman, Jodi M.; Kuster, John K.; Lee, Sang; Lee, Myung Joo; Kim, Byoung Woo; Makris, Nikos; van der Kouwe, Andre; Blood, Anne J.

    2014-01-01

    Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on young adult recreational marijuana users and nonusing controls and conducted three independent analyses of morphometry in these structures: (1) gray matter density using voxel-based morphometry, (2) volume (total brain and regional volumes), and (3) shape (surface morphometry). Gray matter density analyses revealed greater gray matter density in marijuana users than in control participants in the left nucleus accumbens extending to subcallosal cortex, hypothalamus, sublenticular extended amygdala, and left amygdala, even after controlling for age, sex, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Trend-level effects were observed for a volume increase in the left nucleus accumbens only. Significant shape differences were detected in the left nucleus accumbens and right amygdala. The left nucleus accumbens showed salient exposure-dependent alterations across all three measures and an altered multimodal relationship across measures in the marijuana group. These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix of core reward structures and is consistent with animal studies of changes in dendritic arborization. PMID:24741043

  1. The Nucleus Accumbens: Mechanisms of Addiction across Drug Classes Reflect the Importance of Glutamate Homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Scofield, M D; Heinsbroek, J A; Gipson, C D; Kupchik, Y M; Spencer, S; Smith, A C W; Roberts-Wolfe, D; Kalivas, P W

    2016-07-01

    The nucleus accumbens is a major input structure of the basal ganglia and integrates information from cortical and limbic structures to mediate goal-directed behaviors. Chronic exposure to several classes of drugs of abuse disrupts plasticity in this region, allowing drug-associated cues to engender a pathologic motivation for drug seeking. A number of alterations in glutamatergic transmission occur within the nucleus accumbens after withdrawal from chronic drug exposure. These drug-induced neuroadaptations serve as the molecular basis for relapse vulnerability. In this review, we focus on the role that glutamate signal transduction in the nucleus accumbens plays in addiction-related behaviors. First, we explore the nucleus accumbens, including the cell types and neuronal populations present as well as afferent and efferent connections. Next we discuss rodent models of addiction and assess the viability of these models for testing candidate pharmacotherapies for the prevention of relapse. Then we provide a review of the literature describing how synaptic plasticity in the accumbens is altered after exposure to drugs of abuse and withdrawal and also how pharmacological manipulation of glutamate systems in the accumbens can inhibit drug seeking in the laboratory setting. Finally, we examine results from clinical trials in which pharmacotherapies designed to manipulate glutamate systems have been effective in treating relapse in human patients. Further elucidation of how drugs of abuse alter glutamatergic plasticity within the accumbens will be necessary for the development of new therapeutics for the treatment of addiction across all classes of addictive substances. PMID:27363441

  2. The Nucleus Accumbens: A Switchboard for Goal-Directed Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    O'Donnell, Patricio

    2009-01-01

    Reward intake optimization requires a balance between exploiting known sources of rewards and exploring for new sources. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and associated basal ganglia circuits are likely candidates as neural structures responsible for such balance, while the hippocampus may be responsible for spatial/contextual information. Although studies have assessed interactions between hippocampus and PFC, and between hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens (NA), it is not known whether 3-way interactions among these structures vary under different behavioral conditions. Here, we investigated these interactions with multichannel recordings while rats explored an operant chamber and while they performed a learned lever-pressing task for reward in the same chamber shortly afterward. Neural firing and local field potentials in the NA core synchronized with hippocampal activity during spatial exploration, but during lever pressing they instead synchronized more strongly with the PFC. The latter is likely due to transient drive of NA neurons by bursting prefrontal activation, as in vivo intracellular recordings in anesthetized rats revealed that NA up states can transiently synchronize with spontaneous PFC activity and PFC stimulation with a bursting pattern reliably evoked up states in NA neurons. Thus, the ability to switch synchronization in a task-dependent manner indicates that the NA core can dynamically select its inputs to suit environmental demands, thereby contributing to decision-making, a function that was thought to primarily depend on the PFC. PMID:19352511

  3. 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

  4. Release into the cerebral ventricles of substances with possible transmitter function in the caudate nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Portig, P. J.; Vogt, Marthe

    1969-01-01

    1. One caudate nucleus of the anaesthetized cat was superfused by perfusing the anterior horn of one lateral cerebral ventricle. The perfusates were examined for their content in acetylcholine (ACh), dopamine, homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), at rest and after a variety of stimuli. 2. When prostigmine was added to the perfusion fluid, ACh appeared in the effluent; its concentration tended to rise in the course of an experiment. Various afferent stimuli, all of which caused evoked responses recorded from the contra-lateral caudate nucleus, increased the ACh content of the effluent. Effective stimuli were noise and electrical stimulation of afferent nerves or of certain regions of the brain including the ipsi-lateral substantia nigra. 3. The dopamine content of the effluent was extremely low (of the order of 50 pg/min) at rest, but, on occasion, rose sharply when the substantia nigra was stimulated electrically with trains of pulses repeated once every 3 sec. The results were inconsistent. 4. Since dopamine in tissue is rapidly transformed enzymically into HVA, the appearance of this acid in the perfusate was examined. 5. At rest, HVA was found to appear in the effluent at a rate of 2-8 ng/min. Its concentration was rapidly depressed by increasing the depth of anaesthesia. 6. Stimulation of the substantia nigra for periods of 3 or 4 min caused an increment in the HVA content of the effluent lasting 1 hr or more. It was frequently seen when two points of the substantia nigra were stimulated simultaneously, less regularly with only one stimulating electrode, and rarely if this was placed in the most caudal part of the substantia nigra. 7. These results strongly support the view that there is a dopaminergic nigro-striatal pathway. The following assumption would explain the erratic appearance of dopamine and the long duration of increments in HVA: many of the axons originating in the substantia nigra end either in the putamen or in parts of the

  5. Neuroelectric signatures of reward learning and decision-making in the human nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

    Learning that certain actions lead to risky rewards is critical for biological, social, and economic survival, but the precise neural mechanisms of such reward-guided learning remain unclear. Here, we show that the human nucleus accumbens plays a key role in learning about risks by representing reward value. We recorded electrophysiological activity directly from the nucleus accumbens of five patients undergoing deep brain stimulation for treatment of refractory major depression. Patients engaged in a simple reward-learning task in which they first learned stimulus-outcome associations (learning task), and then were able to choose from among the learned stimuli (choosing task). During the learning task, nucleus accumbens activity reflected potential and received reward values both during the cue stimulus and during the feedback. During the choosing task, there was no nucleus accumbens activity during the cue stimulus, but feedback-related activity was pronounced and similar to that during the learning task. This pattern of results is inconsistent with a prediction error response. Finally, analyses of cross-correlations between the accumbens and simultaneous recordings of medial frontal cortex suggest a dynamic interaction between these structures. The high spatial and temporal resolution of these recordings provides novel insights into the timing of activity in the human nucleus accumbens, its functions during reward-guided learning and decision-making, and its interactions with medial frontal cortex. PMID:19092783

  6. Reduction of Caudate Nucleus Volumes in Neuroleptic-Naïve Female Subjects with Schizotypal Personality Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Min-Seong; Levitt, James J.; McCarley, Robert W.; Seidman, Larry J.; Dickey, Chandlee C.; Niznikiewicz, Margaret A.; Voglmaier, Martina M.; Zamani, Payman; Long, Katherine R.; Kim, Sunnie S.; Shenton, Martha E.

    2009-01-01

    Background The caudate nucleus might contribute to the psychopathological and cognitive deficits observed in schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Here we focused on female patients, because this group is underrepresented in studies of SPD and schizophrenia, and we might learn more about the caudate and clinical and cognitive impairments that are unique to female patients diagnosed with SPD. Methods Magnetic resonance imaging scans, obtained on a 1.5-T magnet with 1.5-mm contiguous slices, were used to measure the caudate in 32 neuroleptic-naïve women with SPD and in 29 female normal comparison subjects. Subjects were group-matched for age, parental socioeconomic status, and intelligence quotient. Results We found significantly reduced left and right caudate relative volume (8.3%, 7.7%) in female SPD subjects compared with normal comparison subjects. In female SPD subjects, we found significant correlations between smaller total caudate relative volume and worse performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting test (nonperseverative errors) and on the California Verbal Learning Test (verbal memory and learning), and significant correlations between smaller total caudate relative volume and both positive and negative symptoms on the Structured Interview for Schizotypy. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that, for female SPD subjects, smaller caudate volume is associated with poorer cognitive performance and more schizotypal symptomatology. PMID:16460694

  7. Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity of the left caudate nucleus in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yunhui; Juhás, Michal; Greenshaw, Andrew J; Hu, Qiang; Meng, Xin; Cui, Hongsheng; Ding, Yongzhuo; Kang, Lu; Zhang, Yubo; Wang, Yuhua; Cui, Guangcheng; Li, Ping

    2016-06-01

    Altered brain activities in the cortico-striato-thalamocortical (CSTC) circuitry are implicated in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, whether the underlying changes occur only within this circuitry or in large-scale networks is still not thoroughly understood. This study performed voxel-based functional connectivity analysis on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from thirty OCD patients and thirty healthy controls to investigate whole-brain intrinsic functional connectivity patterns in OCD. Relative to the healthy controls, OCD patients showed decreased functional connectivity within the CSTC circuitry but increased functional connectivity in other brain regions. Furthermore, decreased left caudate nucleus-thalamus connectivity within the CSTC circuitry was positively correlated with the illness duration of OCD. This study provides additional evidence that CSTC circuitry may play an essential role and alteration of large-scale brain networks may be involved in the pathophysiology of OCD. PMID:27143323

  8. Nucleus accumbens dopaminergic neurotransmission switches its modulatory action in chronification of inflammatory hyperalgesia.

    PubMed

    Dias, Elayne Vieira; Sartori, César Renato; Marião, Paula Ramos; Vieira, André Schwambach; Camargo, Lilian Calili; Athie, Maria Carolina Pedro; Pagliusi, Marco Oreste; Tambeli, Claudia Herrera; Parada, Carlos Amilcar

    2015-10-01

    Dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens, a central component of the mesolimbic system, has been associated with acute pain modulation. As there is a transition from acute to chronic pain ('chronification'), modulatory structures may be involved in chronic pain development. Thus, this study aimed to elucidate the role of nucleus accumbens dopaminergic neurotransmission in chronification of pain. We used a rat model in which daily subcutaneous injection of prostaglandin E2 in the hindpaw for 14 days induces a long-lasting state of nociceptor sensitization that lasts for at least 30 days following the end of the treatment. Our findings demonstrated that the increase of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens by local administration of GBR12909 (0.5 nmol/0.25 μL), a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, blocked prostaglandin E2 -induced acute hyperalgesia. This blockade was prevented by a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist (raclopride, 10 nmol/0.25 μL) but not changed by a D1 receptor antagonist (SCH23390, 0.5, 3 or 10 nmol/0.25 μL), both co-administered with GBR12909 in the nucleus accumbens. In contrast, the induction of persistent hyperalgesia was facilitated by continuous infusion of GBR12909 in the nucleus accumbens (0.021 nmol/0.5 μL/h) over 7 days of prostaglandin E2 treatment. The development of persistent hyperalgesia was impaired by SCH23390 (0.125 nmol/0.5 μL/h) and raclopride (0.416 nmol/0.5 μL/h), both administered continuously in the nucleus accumbens over 7 days. Taken together, our data suggest that the chronification of pain involves the plasticity of dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens, which switches its modulatory role from antinociceptive to pronociceptive. PMID:26173870

  9. Histone arginine methylation in cocaine action in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Damez-Werno, Diane M; Sun, HaoSheng; Scobie, Kimberly N; Shao, Ningyi; Rabkin, Jaclyn; Dias, Caroline; Calipari, Erin S; Maze, Ian; Pena, Catherine J; Walker, Deena M; Cahill, Michael E; Chandra, Ramesh; Gancarz, Amy; Mouzon, Ezekiell; Landry, Joseph A; Cates, Hannah; Lobo, Mary-Kay; Dietz, David; Allis, C David; Guccione, Ernesto; Turecki, Gustavo; Defilippi, Paola; Neve, Rachael L; Hurd, Yasmin L; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J

    2016-08-23

    Repeated cocaine exposure regulates transcriptional regulation within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and epigenetic mechanisms-such as histone acetylation and methylation on Lys residues-have been linked to these lasting actions of cocaine. In contrast to Lys methylation, the role of histone Arg (R) methylation remains underexplored in addiction models. Here we show that protein-R-methyltransferase-6 (PRMT6) and its associated histone mark, asymmetric dimethylation of R2 on histone H3 (H3R2me2a), are decreased in the NAc of mice and rats after repeated cocaine exposure, including self-administration, and in the NAc of cocaine-addicted humans. Such PRMT6 down-regulation occurs selectively in NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing dopamine D2 receptors (D2-MSNs), with opposite regulation occurring in D1-MSNs, and serves to protect against cocaine-induced addictive-like behavioral abnormalities. Using ChIP-seq, we identified Src kinase signaling inhibitor 1 (Srcin1; also referred to as p140Cap) as a key gene target for reduced H3R2me2a binding, and found that consequent Srcin1 induction in the NAc decreases Src signaling, cocaine reward, and the motivation to self-administer cocaine. Taken together, these findings suggest that suppression of Src signaling in NAc D2-MSNs, via PRMT6 and H3R2me2a down-regulation, functions as a homeostatic brake to restrain cocaine action, and provide novel candidates for the development of treatments for cocaine addiction. PMID:27506785

  10. 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. PMID:23612998

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

    PubMed Central

    Dossat, Amanda M.; Diaz, Ryan; Gallo, Lindsay; Panagos, Alyssa; Kay, Kristen

    2013-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) neuronal projection to the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC) contributes to food intake control. To investigate the role of endogenous stimulation of GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R) in NAcC, we examined the effects of the GLP-1R antagonist exendin-(9–39) (Ex9) on meal pattern and microstructure of ingestive behavior in rats. Intra-NAcC Ex9 treatment selectively increased meal size relative to vehicle in rats consuming 0.25 M sucrose solution or sweetened condensed milk. Microstructural analysis revealed effects of NAcC Ex9 on initial lick rate and the size and duration of licking bursts in rats consuming 0.1 or 0.25 M sucrose, suggesting that blockade of NAcC GLP-1R increases palatability. Because NAcC Ex9 did not affect licking for nonnutritive saccharin (0.1%), we suggest that the presence of nutrients in the gut may be required for endogenous stimulation of NAcC GLP-1R. Consistent with this, we also found that the meal size-suppressive effects of intragastric nutrient infusion were attenuated by NAcC delivery of Ex9 at a dose that had no effect when delivered alone. Analysis of licking patterns revealed that NAcC Ex9 did not reverse intragastric nutrient-induced suppression of burst number but rather blunted the effect of nutrient infusion on meal size primarily by increasing the size and duration of licking bursts. Together, our results suggest that NAcC Ex9 influences taste evaluation. We conclude that GLP-1 released in NAcC in response to gastrointestinal nutrients reduces the hedonic value of food. PMID:23612998

  12. Rapid feedback processing in human nucleus accumbens and motor thalamus.

    PubMed

    Schüller, Thomas; Gruendler, Theo O J; Jocham, Gerhard; Klein, Tilmann A; Timmermann, Lars; Visser-Vandewalle, Veerle; Kuhn, Jens; Ullsperger, Markus

    2015-04-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and thalamus are integral parts in models of feedback processing. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been successfully employed to alleviate symptoms of psychiatric conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome (TS). Common target structures are the NAcc and the ventral anterior and ventro-lateral nuclei (VA/VL) of the thalamus, for OCD and TS, respectively. The feedback related negativity (FRN) is an event-related potential associated with feedback processing reflecting posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) activity. Here we report on three cases where we recorded scalp EEG and local field potentials (LFP) from externalized electrodes located in the NAcc or thalamus (VA/VL) while patients engaged in a modified time estimation task, known to engage feedback processing and elicit the FRN. Additionally, scalp EEG were recorded from 29 healthy participants (HP) engaged in the same task. The signal in all structures (pMFC, NAcc, and thalamus) was differently modulated by positive and negative feedback. LFP activity in the NAcc showed a biphasic time course after positive feedback during the FRN time interval. Negative feedback elicited a much weaker and later response. In the thalamus a monophasic modulation was recorded during the FRN time interval. Again, this modulation was more pronounced after positive performance feedback compared to negative feedback. In channels outside the target area no modulation was observed. The surface-FRN was reliably elicited on a group level in HP and showed no significant difference following negative feedback between patients and HP. German Clinical Trial Register: Neurocognitive specification of dysfunctions within basal ganglia-cortex loops and their therapeutic modulation by deep brain stimulation in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, http://www.drks.de/DRKS00005316. PMID:25726897

  13. Cannabinoid receptor 1-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Winters, Bradley D; Krüger, Juliane M; Huang, Xiaojie; Gallaher, Zachary R; Ishikawa, Masago; Czaja, Krzysztof; Krueger, James M; Huang, Yanhua H; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan

    2012-10-01

    Endocannabinoid signaling critically regulates emotional and motivational states via activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in the brain. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) functions to gate emotional and motivational responses. Although expression of CB1 in the NAc is low, manipulation of CB1 signaling within the NAc triggers robust emotional/motivational alterations related to drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders, and these effects cannot be exclusively attributed to CB1 located at afferents to the NAc. Rather, CB1-expressing neurons in the NAc, although sparse, appear to be critical for emotional and motivational responses. However, the cellular properties of these neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we generated a knock-in mouse line in which CB1-expressing neurons expressed the fluorescent protein td-Tomato (tdT). Using these mice, we demonstrated that tdT-positive neurons within the NAc were exclusively fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs). These FSIs were electrically coupled with each other, and thus may help synchronize populations/ensembles of NAc neurons. CB1-expressing FSIs also form GABAergic synapses on adjacent medium spiny neurons (MSNs), providing feed-forward inhibition of NAc output. Furthermore, the membrane excitability of tdT-positive FSIs in the NAc was up-regulated after withdrawal from cocaine exposure, an effect that might increase FSI-to-MSN inhibition. Taken together with our previous findings that the membrane excitability of NAc MSNs is decreased during cocaine withdrawal, the present findings suggest that the basal functional output of the NAc is inhibited during cocaine withdrawal by multiple mechanisms. As such, CB1-expressing FSIs are targeted by cocaine exposure to influence the overall functional output of the NAc. PMID:23012412

  14. Relationship of Dopamine of the Nucleus Accumbens with Intra-infralimbic Apomorphine Microinjection

    PubMed Central

    Alimoradian, Abbas; Sajedianfard, Javad; Baha-aldini Beigy, Faegheh; Panjehshahin, Mohammad Reza; Owji, Ali Akbar

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): The dopamine level of the nucleus accumbens changes during some stereotyped behaviors. To study dopamine level of the nucleus accumbens in intra infralimbic apomorphine-induced climbing, microdialysis probes were implanted into the nucleus accumbens shell of male Sprague Dawley rats weighting 275–400 g. Materials and Methods: The rats were divided into two groups (apomorphine and control) of least eleven rats in each group. Apomorphine at dose of 5 μg/0.5 μl or its vehicle was microinjected into the infralimbic in apomorphine and control groups respectively. Then, changes in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens shell were monitored. The concentration of dopamine was measured by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Electochemical (HPLC-ECD). Finally, the stereotyped behaviors were recorded. Results: The mean of dopamine levels for all of after microinjection period in control and drug groups were 450% and 150% respectively compared to those of before microinjection period. However, there was no significant difference between groups of apomorphine and control. In addition, the return of dopamine level to the baseline was faster in apomorphine group than the control group. Conclusion: The intra infralimbic apomorphine -induced climbing at dose of 5 μg/0.5 μl was not modulated via the increase of dopamine level in the nucleus accumbens area. PMID:23997899

  15. Optogenetically-induced tonic dopamine release from VTA-nucleus accumbens projections inhibits reward consummatory behaviors.

    PubMed

    Mikhailova, Maria A; Bass, Caroline E; Grinevich, Valentina P; Chappell, Ann M; Deal, Alex L; Bonin, Keith D; Weiner, Jeff L; Gainetdinov, Raul R; Budygin, Evgeny A

    2016-10-01

    Recent optogenetic studies demonstrated that phasic dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens may play a causal role in multiple aspects of natural and drug reward-related behaviors. The role of tonic dopamine release in reward consummatory behavior remains unclear. The current study used a combinatorial viral-mediated gene delivery approach to express ChR2 on mesolimbic dopamine neurons in rats. We used optical activation of this dopamine circuit to mimic tonic dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and to explore the causal relationship between this form of dopamine signaling within the ventral tegmental area (VTA)-nucleus accumbens projection and consumption of a natural reward. Using a two bottle choice paradigm (sucrose vs. water), the experiments revealed that tonic optogenetic stimulation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission significantly decreased reward consummatory behaviors. Specifically, there was a significant decrease in the number of bouts, licks and amount of sucrose obtained during the drinking session. Notably, activation of VTA dopamine cell bodies or dopamine terminals in the nucleus accumbens resulted in identical behavioral consequences. No changes in water intake were evident under the same experimental conditions. Collectively, these data demonstrate that tonic optogenetic stimulation of VTA-nucleus accumbens dopamine release is sufficient to inhibit reward consummatory behavior, possibly by preventing this circuit from engaging in phasic activity that is thought to be essential for reward-based behaviors. PMID:27421228

  16. Increased Turnover of Dopamine in Caudate Nucleus of Detoxified Alcoholic Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kumakura, Yoshitaka; Gjedde, Albert; Caprioli, Daniele; Kienast, Thorsten; Beck, Anne; Plotkin, Michail; Schlagenhauf, Florian; Vernaleken, Ingo; Gründer, Gerhard; Bartenstein, Peter; Heinz, Andreas; Cumming, Paul

    2013-01-01

    A previous study of the DOPA decarboxylase substrate 6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA (FDOPA) with positron emission tomography (PET) detected no difference of the net blood-brain transfer rate (Kinapp) between detoxified alcoholic patients and healthy controls. Instead, the study revealed an inverse correlation between Kinapp in left ventral striatum and alcohol craving scores. To resolve the influx and efflux phases of radiolabeled molecules, we independently estimated the unidirectional blood-brain FDOPA clearance rate (K) and the washout rate of [18F]fluorodopamine and its deaminated metabolites (kloss), and we also calculated the total distribution volume of decarboxylated metabolites and unmetabolized FDOPA as a steady-state index of the dopamine storage capacity (Vd) in brain. The craving scores in the 12 alcoholics correlated positively with the rate of loss (kloss) in the left ventral striatum. We conclude that craving is most pronounced in the individuals with relatively rapid dopamine turnover in the left ventral striatum. The blood-brain clearance rate (K), corrected for subsequent loss of radiolabeled molecules from brain, was completely normal throughout the brain of the alcoholics, in whom the volume of distribution (Vd) was found to be significantly lower in the left caudate nucleus. The magnitude of Vd in the left caudate head was reduced by 43% relative to the 16 controls, consistent with a 58% increase of kloss. We interpret the findings as indicating that a trait for rapid dopamine turnover in the ventral striatum subserves craving and reward-dependence, leading to an acquired state of increased dopamine turnover in the dorsal striatum of detoxified alcoholic patients. PMID:24040111

  17. Role of Mu and Delta Opioid Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens in Cocaine-Seeking Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Diana; Self, David W.

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that opioid receptors in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but not the nucleus accumbens (NAc), play a role in relapse to drug-seeking behavior. However, environmental stimuli that elicit relapse also release the endogenous opioid β-endorphin in the NAc. Using a within–session extinction/reinstatement paradigm in rats that self-administer cocaine, we found that NAc infusions of the mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonist DAMGO moderately reinstated responding on the cocaine-paired lever at low doses (1.0–3.0 ng/side), whereas the delta opioid receptor (DOR) agonist DPDPE induced greater responding at higher doses (300–3000 ng/side) that also enhanced inactive lever responding. Using doses of either agonist that induced responding on only the cocaine-paired lever, we found that DAMGO-induced responding was blocked selectively by pretreatment with the MOR antagonist CTAP, while DPDPE-induced responding was selectively blocked by the DOR antagonist naltrindole. Cocaine-primed reinstatement was blocked by intra-NAc CTAP but not naltrindole, indicating a role for endogenous MOR-acting peptides in cocaine-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. In this regard, intra-NAc infusions of β-endorphin (100–1000 ng/side) induced marked cocaine-seeking behavior, an effect blocked by intra-NAc pretreatment with the MOR but not DOR antagonist. Conversely, cocaine seeking elicited by the enkephalinase inhibitor thiorphan (1–10 μg/side) was blocked by naltrindole but not CTAP. MOR stimulation in more dorsal caudate-putamen sites was ineffective, while DPDPE infusions induced cocaine seeking. Together, these findings establish distinct roles for MOR and DOR in cocaine relapse, and suggest that NAc MOR could be an important therapeutic target to neutralize the effects of endogenous β-endorphin release on cocaine relapse. PMID:19279569

  18. CRF receptors in the nucleus accumbens modulate partner preference in prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Miranda M.; Liu, Yan; Ryabinin, Andrey E.; Bai, Yaohui; Wang, Zuoxin; Young, Larry J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests a role for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the regulation of pair bonding in prairie voles. We have previously shown that monogamous and non-monogamous vole species have dramatically different distributions of CRF receptor type 1 (CRF1) and CRF receptor type 2 (CRF2) in the brain, and that CRF1 and CRF2 receptor densities in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) are correlated with social organization. Monogamous prairie and pine voles have significantly lower levels of CRF receptor type 1 (CRF1), and significantly higher levels of type 2 (CRF2) binding, in NAcc than non-monogamous meadow and montane voles. Here, we report that microinjections of CRF directly into the NAcc accelerate partner preference formation in male prairie voles. Control injections of CSF into NAcc, and CRF into caudate-putamen, did not facilitate partner preference. Likewise, CRF injections into NAcc of non-monogamous meadow voles also did not facilitate partner preference. In prairie voles, this CRF-facilitation effect was blocked by co-injection of either CRF1 or CRF2 receptor antagonists into NAcc. Immunocytochemical staining for CRF and Urocortin-1 (Ucn-1), two endogenous ligands for CRF1 or CRF2 receptors in the brain, revealed that CRF, but not Ucn-1, immunoreactive fibers were present in NAcc. This supports the hypothesis that local CRF release into NAcc could activate CRF1 or CRF2 receptors in the region. Taken together, our results reveal a novel role for accumbal CRF systems in social behavior. PMID:17320879

  19. 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

  20. The involvement of nucleus accumbens dopamine in appetitive and aversive motivation.

    PubMed

    Salamone, J D

    1994-04-18

    In recent years, considerable emphasis has been placed upon the putative role of nucleus accumbens dopamine systems in appetitive motivation and positive reinforcement. However, considerable evidence indicates that brain dopamine in general, and nucleus accumbens dopamine in particular, is involved in aspects of aversive motivation. Administration of dopamine antagonists or localized interference with nucleus accumbens dopamine systems has been shown to disrupt active avoidance behavior. In addition, accumbens dopamine release and metabolism is activated by a wide variety of stressful conditions. A review of the literature indicates that there are substantial similarities between the characteristics of dopaminergic involvement in appetitive and aversive motivation. There is conflicting evidence about the role of dopamine in emotion, and little evidence to suggest that the profound and consistent changes in instrumental behavior produced by interference with DA systems are due to direct dopaminergic mediation of positive affective responses such as hedonia. It is suggested that nucleus accumbens dopamine is involved in aspects of sensorimotor functions that are involved in both appetitive and aversive motivation. PMID:8037860

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:25721736

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 Exp. 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 24 hr later in response to a non-aggressive intruder. In Exp. 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 Exp. 3, we found that the effect of cis(z)flupenthixol on aggression was specific to defeated animals as infusion of drug into the nucleus accumbens of non-defeated animals did not significantly alter their behavior in response to a non-aggressive intruder. These data demonstrate that dopamine in the nucleus accumbens modulates both acquisition and expression of social stress-induced behavioral changes and suggest that the nucleus accumbens plays an important role in the suppression of aggression that is observed after social defeat. PMID:25721736

  4. 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. PMID:26300300

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Modulation of medial geniculate nucleus neuronal activity by electrical stimulation of the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Barry, K M; Paolini, A G; Robertson, D; Mulders, W H A M

    2015-11-12

    Dysfunctional sensory gating has been proposed to result in the generation of phantom perceptions. In agreement, it has been recently suggested that tinnitus, a phantom perception of sound commonly associated with hearing loss, is the result of a breakdown of circuitry involving the limbic system and the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN) of the thalamus. In humans with tinnitus, structural changes and abnormal activity have been found to occur in the auditory pathway as well as parts of the limbic system such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, at present, no studies have been conducted on the influence of the NAc on the MGN. We investigated the functional connectivity between the NAc and MGN single neurons. Bipolar electrical stimulation was delivered to the NAc while recording single neuron activity in MGN in anesthetized Wistar rats. Histological analysis was used to confirm placement of electrodes. NAc electrical stimulation generally decreased spontaneous firing rates in MGN neurons and, in a limited number of neurons, caused an increase in firing rate. This suggests that NAc can modulate the activity of auditory neurons in the MGN and may play a role in the development of tinnitus. PMID:26349008

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Neurons in the nucleus accumbens promote selection bias for nearer objects.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Sara E; Nicola, Saleem M

    2014-10-15

    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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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)…

  16. 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…

  17. Distinct presynaptic control of dopamine release in striosomal and matrix areas of the cat caudate nucleus

    SciTech Connect

    Kemel, M.L.; Desban, M.; Glowinski, J.; Gauchy, C. )

    1989-11-01

    By use of a sensitive in vitro microsuperfusion method, the cholinergic presynaptic control of dopamine release was investigated in a prominent striosome (areas poor in acetylcholinesterase activity) located within the core of cat caudate nucleus and also in adjacent matrix area. The spontaneous release of ({sup 3}H)dopamine continuously synthesized from ({sup 3}H)tyrosine in the matrix area was found to be twice that in the striosomal area; the spontaneous and potassium-evoked releases of ({sup 3}H)dopamine were calcium-dependent in both compartments. With 10{sup {minus}6} M tetrodotoxin, 5 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} M acetylcholine stimulated ({sup 3}H)dopamine release in both striosomal and matrix areas, effects completely antagonized by atropine, thus showing the involvement of muscarinic receptors located on dopaminergic nerve terminals. Experiments without tetrodotoxin revealed a more complex regulation of dopamine release in the matrix: (i) in contrast to results seen in the striosome, acetylcholine induced only a transient stimulatory effect on matrix dopamine release. (ii) Although 10{sup {minus}6} M atropine completely abolished the cholinergic stimulatory effect on ({sup 3}H)dopamine release in striosomal area, delayed and prolonged stimulation of ({sup 3}H) dopamine release was seen with atropine in the matrix. The latter effect was completely abolished by the nicotinic antagonist pempidine. Therefore, in the matrix, in addition to its direct (tetrodotoxin-insensitive) facilitatory action on ({sup 3}H)dopamine release, acetylcholine exerts two indirect (tetrodotoxin-sensitive) opposing effects: an inhibition and a stimulation of ({sup 3}H)dopamine release mediated by muscarinic and nicotinic receptors, respectively.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2015-06-01

    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. Activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala underlies individual differences in prosocial and individualistic economic choices.

    PubMed

    Haruno, Masahiko; Kimura, Minoru; Frith, Christopher D

    2014-08-01

    Much decision-making requires balancing benefits to the self with benefits to the group. There are marked individual differences in this balance such that individualists tend to favor themselves whereas prosocials tend to favor the group. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this difference has important implications for society and its institutions. Using behavioral and fMRI data collected during the performance of the ultimatum game, we show that individual differences in social preferences for resource allocation, so-called "social value orientation," is linked with activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala elicited by inequity, rather than activity in insula, ACC, and dorsolateral pFC. Importantly, the presence of cognitive load made prosocials behave more prosocially and individualists more individualistically, suggesting that social value orientation is driven more by intuition than reflection. In parallel, activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, in response to inequity, tracked this behavioral pattern of prosocials and individualists. In addition, we conducted an impunity game experiment with different participants where they could not punish unfair behavior and found that the inequity-correlated activity seen in prosocials during the ultimatum game disappeared. This result suggests that the accumbens and amygdala activity of prosocials encodes "outcome-oriented emotion" designed to change situations (i.e., achieve equity or punish). Together, our results suggest a pivotal contribution of the nucleus accumbens and amygdala to individual differences in sociality. PMID:24564471

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. Role of nucleus accumbens shell neuronal ensembles in context-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Fabio C; Babin, Klil R; Leao, Rodrigo M; Goldart, Evan M; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T

    2014-05-28

    Environmental contexts previously associated with drug use provoke relapse to drug use in humans and reinstatement of drug seeking in animal models of drug relapse. We examined whether context-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking is mediated by activation of context-selected nucleus accumbens neurons. We trained rats to self-administer cocaine in Context A and extinguished their lever-pressing in a distinct Context B. On test day, reexposure to the cocaine-associated Context A reinstated cocaine seeking and increased expression of the neural activity marker Fos in 3.3% of accumbens shell and 1.6% of accumbens core neurons. To assess a causal role for these activated neurons, we used the Daun02 inactivation procedure to selectively inactivate these neurons. We trained c-fos-lacZ transgenic rats to self-administer cocaine in Context A and extinguished their lever-pressing in Context B. On induction day, we exposed rats to either Context A or a novel Context C for 30 min and injected Daun02 or vehicle into accumbens shell or core 60 min later. On test day, 3 d after induction day, the ability of Context A to reinstate cocaine seeking and increase neuronal activity in accumbens shell was attenuated when Daun02 was previously injected after exposure to Context A. Daun02 injections after exposure to the novel Context C had no effect on context-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking despite much greater numbers of Fos-expressing neurons induced by Context C. Daun02 injections in accumbens core had no effect. Our data suggest that context-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking is mediated by activation of context-selected accumbens shell but not core neuronal ensembles. PMID:24872549

  4. 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

  5. Endocannabinoid-Mediated Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Controls Vulnerability to Anxiety after Social Defeat Stress.

    PubMed

    Bosch-Bouju, Clémentine; Larrieu, Thomas; Linders, Louisa; Manzoni, Olivier J; Layé, Sophie

    2016-08-01

    Chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) is a clinically relevant model of mood disorders. The relationship between the CSDS model and a physiologically pertinent paradigm of synaptic plasticity is not known. Here, we found that cluster analysis of the emotional behavior states of mice exposed to CSDS allowed their segregation into anxious and non-anxious groups. Endocannabinoid-mediated spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) in the nucleus accumbens was attenuated in non-anxious mice and abolished in anxious mice. Anxiety-like behavior in stressed animals was specifically correlated with their ability to produce STDP. Pharmacological enhancement of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) signaling in the nucleus accumbens normalized the anxious phenotype and STDP in anxious mice. These data reveal that endocannabinoid modulation of synaptic efficacy in response to a naturalistic activity pattern is both a molecular correlate of behavioral adaptability and a crucial factor in the adaptive response to chronic stress. PMID:27452462

  6. 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

  7. α2δ-1 signaling in nucleus accumbens is necessary for cocaine-induced relapse.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-18

    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

  8. The indirect pathway of the nucleus accumbens shell amplifies neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Wenjie; Centeno, Maria Virginia; Berger, Sara; Wu, Ying; Na, Xiaodong; Liu, Xianguo; Kondapalli, Jyothisri; Apkarian, A Vania; Martina, Marco; Surmeier, D James

    2016-01-01

    We examined adaptations in nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons in mouse and rat peripheral nerve injury models of neuropathic pain. Injury selectively increased excitability of NAc shell indirect pathway spiny projection neurons (iSPNs) and altered their synaptic connectivity. Moreover, injury-induced tactile allodynia was reversed by inhibiting and exacerbated by exciting iSPNs, indicating that they not only participated in the central representation of pain, but gated activity in ascending nociceptive pathways. PMID:26691834

  9. Encoding of both positive and negative reward prediction errors by neurons of the primate lateral prefrontal cortex and caudate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Asaad, Wael F; Eskandar, Emad N

    2011-12-01

    Learning can be motivated by unanticipated success or unexpected failure. The former encourages us to repeat an action or activity, whereas the latter leads us to find an alternative strategy. Understanding the neural representation of these unexpected events is therefore critical to elucidate learning-related circuits. We examined the activity of neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and caudate nucleus of monkeys as they performed a trial-and-error learning task. Unexpected outcomes were widely represented in both structures, and neurons driven by unexpectedly negative outcomes were as frequent as those activated by unexpectedly positive outcomes. Moreover, both positive and negative reward prediction errors (RPEs) were represented primarily by increases in firing rate, unlike the manner in which dopamine neurons have been observed to reflect these values. Interestingly, positive RPEs tended to appear with shorter latency than negative RPEs, perhaps reflecting the mechanism of their generation. Last, in the PFC but not the caudate, trial-by-trial variations in outcome-related activity were linked to the animals' subsequent behavioral decisions. More broadly, the robustness of RPE signaling by these neurons suggests that actor-critic models of reinforcement learning in which the PFC and particularly the caudate are considered primarily to be "actors" rather than "critics," should be reconsidered to include a prominent evaluative role for these structures. PMID:22159094

  10. Directed Communication between Nucleus Accumbens and Neocortex in Humans Is Differentially Supported by Synchronization in the Theta and Alpha Band

    PubMed Central

    Horschig, Jörn M.; Smolders, Ruud; Bonnefond, Mathilde; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; van den Munckhof, Pepijn; Schuurman, P. Richard; Cools, Roshan; Denys, Damiaan; Jensen, Ole

    2015-01-01

    Here, we report evidence for oscillatory bi-directional interactions between the nucleus accumbens and the neocortex in humans. Six patients performed a demanding covert visual attention task while we simultaneously recorded brain activity from deep-brain electrodes implanted in the nucleus accumbens and the surface electroencephalogram (EEG). Both theta and alpha oscillations were strongly coherent with the frontal and parietal EEG during the task. Theta-band coherence increased during processing of the visual stimuli. Granger causality analysis revealed that the nucleus accumbens was communicating with the neocortex primarily in the theta-band, while the cortex was communicating the nucleus accumbens in the alpha-band. These data are consistent with a model, in which theta- and alpha-band oscillations serve dissociable roles: Prior to stimulus processing, the cortex might suppress ongoing processing in the nucleus accumbens by modulating alpha-band activity. Subsequently, upon stimulus presentation, theta oscillations might facilitate the active exchange of stimulus information from the nucleus accumbens to the cortex. PMID:26394404

  11. 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

  12. TRH injected into the nucleus accumbens shell releases dopamine and reduces feeding motivation in rats.

    PubMed

    Puga, L; Alcántara-Alonso, V; Coffeen, U; Jaimes, O; de Gortari, P

    2016-06-01

    The thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), an anorexigenic factor that reduces food intake in food-restricted animals, may be involved in motivation for food. Injected centrally, TRH impairs acquisition of food-rewarded behavior. Through the TRH-R1 receptors, TRH injected in the nucleus accumbens increases dopamine content-perhaps the mechanism by which the peptide modulates food motivation. This, however, is still to be demonstrated. We sought to evaluate dopamine release by microdialysis after a TRH injection into the nucleus accumbens shell in free-moving fasted rats. In addition, we assessed dopamine content and turnover by HPLC and the relationship with the motivation for food by analyzing the performance of rats during a progressive-ratio (PR) operant-conditioning test. Finally, we determined serum leptin and triiodothyronine (T3) levels in order to evaluate the animals' metabolic response to food restriction and the impact of intra-accumbal TRH administration on circulating hormones. Intra-accumbal injections of TRH reduced food intake in food-restricted rats-compared to counterparts treated with saline-, without further decreasing T3 or leptin levels, which dropped due to their dietary regime. TRH-injected rats had lower breaking points on the PR schedule, which indicated lower motivation to eat. Accordingly, compared to saline-treated animals, dopamine release and turnover increased in the nucleus accumbens of TRH-injected rats, a finding that suggests a relationship between motivation for food and TRH-induced release of dopamine. PMID:27006143

  13. Chronic ethanol treatment potientials ethanol-induced increases in interstitial nucleus accumbens endocannabinoid levels in rats

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Jaimes, Lily; Stouffer, David G.; Parsons, Loren H.

    2013-01-01

    We employed in vivo microdialysis to characterize the effect of an ethanol challenge injection on endocannabinoid levels in the nucleus accumbens of ethanol-naïve and chronic ethanol-treated rats. Ethanol (0.75 and 2 g/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently increased dialysate 2-arachidonoylglycerol (to a maximum 157 ± 20% of baseline) and decreased anandamide (to a minimum 52 ± 9% of baseline) in ethanol-naïve rats. The endocannabinoid clearance inhibitor N-(4-hydrophenyl) arachidonoylamide (AM404; 3 mg/kg) potentiated ethanol effects on 2-arachidonoylglycerol levels but did not alter ethanol-induced decreases in anandamide. AM404 alone did not alter dialysate levels of either endocannabinoid. Then, we characterized the effect of ethanol challenge on nucleus accumbens endocannabinoid levels in rats previously maintained on an ethanol-containing liquid diet. Ethanol challenge produced a greater and more prolonged increase in 2-arach-idonoylglycerol (to a maximum 394 ± 135% of baseline) in ethanol-experienced than in ethanol-naïve rats. The profile in ethanol-experienced rats was similar to that produced by AM404 pre-treatment in ethanol-naïve rats. AM404 in ethanol-experienced rats led to a further enhancement in the 2-arachidonoylglycerol response to ethanol challenge (to a maximum 704 ± 174% of baseline). Our findings demonstrate that ethanol-induced increases in nucleus accumbens 2-arachidonoylglycerol are potentiated in animals with a history of ethanol consumption. PMID:19650871

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-06-01

    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

  15. 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

  16. Harmine augments electrically evoked dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell.

    PubMed

    Brierley, Daniel I; Davidson, Colin

    2013-01-01

    Harmine is a β-carboline alkaloid and major component of ayahuasca, a traditional South American psychoactive tea with anecdotal efficacy for treatment of cocaine dependence. Harmine is an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and interacts in vitro with several pharmacological targets which modulate dopamine (DA) neurotransmission. In vivo studies have demonstrated dopaminergic effects of harmine, attributed to monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) activity, however none have directly demonstrated a pharmacological mechanism. This study investigated the acute effects, and pharmacological mechanism(s), of harmine on electrically evoked DA efflux parameters in the nucleus accumbens both in the absence and presence of cocaine. Fast cyclic voltammetry in rat brain slices was used to measure electrically evoked DA efflux in accumbens core and shell. Harmine (300 nM) significantly augmented DA efflux (148±8% of baseline) in the accumbens shell. Cocaine augmented efflux in shell additive to harmine (260±35%). Harmine had no effect on efflux in the accumbens core or on reuptake in either sub-region. The effect of harmine in the shell was attenuated by the 5-HT(2A/2C) antagonist ketanserin. The MAOI moclobemide (10 µM) had no effect on DA efflux. These data suggest that harmine augments DA efflux via a novel, shell-specific, presynaptic 5-HT(2A) receptor-dependent mechanism, independent of MAOI activity. A DA-releasing 'agonist therapy' mechanism may thus contribute to the putative therapeutic efficacy of ayahuasca for cocaine dependence. PMID:23076833

  17. Framework for developing a hierarchical model of reward focusing on the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Smith, Wesley; Nair, Satish S; Xu, Dong; Nair, Jyotsna; Beitman, Bernard

    2004-01-01

    Computational modeling using GENESIS platform has led to advances in fabricating a model to test the influence of molecular/proteomic adaptations on behavior due to reward. The nucleus accumbens is an area of the brain that processes information from other parts of the brain and is an integral element of the 'reward pathway' in the brain. A simplified model of the accumbens using one neuron is developed as part of a larger effort to study reward and chemical dependency with a focus on cocaine addiction. A preliminary model of a biologically realistic neuron was developed with inhibitory and excitatory afferents as well as intrasynapse dynamics. The neuron displayed characteristic behavior of a neuron found in the nucleus accumbens including bistability. The neuron has afferents from other neurons via dendrites which carry the inputs relating to behavioral aspects and to learning. To add behavioral aspects to the model, a methodology is developed to model contexts and their reinforcing effects on behavior, similar to cocaine addiction. Results using both the biological and behavioral modeling are encouraging for this preliminary model. PMID:17271623

  18. Sensitivity of the Nucleus Accumbens to Violations in Expectation of Reward

    PubMed Central

    Spicer, Julie; Galvan, Adriana; Hare, Todd A; Voss, Henning; Glover, Gary; Casey, BJ

    2007-01-01

    This study examined whether ventral frontostriatal regions differentially code expected and unexpected reward outcomes. We parametrically manipulated the probability of reward and examined the neural response to reward and nonreward for each probability condition in the ventral striatum and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). By late trials of the experiment, subjects showed slower behavioral responses for the condition with the lowest probability of reward, relative to the condition with the highest probability of reward. At the neural level, both the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and OFC showed greater activation to rewarded relative to nonrewarded trials, but the accumbens appeared to be most sensitive to violations in expected reward outcomes. These data suggest distinct roles for frontostriatal circuitry in reward prediction and in responding to violations in expectations. PMID:17049884

  19. 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…

  20. Intrahypothalamic injection of cannabidiol increases the extracellular levels of adenosine in nucleus accumbens in rats.

    PubMed

    Mijangos-Moreno, Stephanie; Poot-Aké, Alwin; Arankowsky-Sandoval, Gloria; Murillo-Rodríguez, Eric

    2014-07-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a constituent of Cannabis sativa that promotes wakefulness as well as enhances endogenous levels of wake-related neurotransmitters, including dopamine. However, at this date, the effects of CBD on the sleep-inducing molecules, such as adenosine (AD), are unknown. Here, we report that intrahypothalamic injection of CBD (10μg/1μL) increases the extracellular levels of AD collected from nucleus accumbens. Furthermore, the pharmacodynamic of this drug shows that effects on the contents of AD last 2h post-injection. These preliminary findings suggest that CBD promotes the endogenous accumulation of AD. PMID:24800644

  1. 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. PMID:21704383

  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. 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. PMID:26894264

  4. The effect of microinjections of amphetamine into the neostriatum and the nucleus accumbens on self-stimulation behaviour.

    PubMed

    Broekkamp, C L; Pijnenburg, A J; Cools, A R; Van Rossum, J M

    1975-05-28

    The effect of micro-injections of dexamphetamine chloride into the neostriatum, the nucleus accumbens, the anterior hypothalamus, and the ventricular system on self-stimulation with electrodes in the ventral tegmentum was studied. Unilateral injections of 10 mug into the anterior hypothalamus produced no effect. Injections into the neostriatum tended to depress the self-stimulation rate, whereas injections into the nucleus accumbens increased the rate markedly. Bilateral injections (2 times 2.5 mug and 2 times 5 mug amph.) into the nucleus accumbens were more effective than unilateral injections and were as effective as systemic injections of 1 mg/kg amphetamine (i.p.). Bilateral injections into the neostriatum also increased the self-stimulation rate. Injections of 10 mug into the ventricular system resulted in a smaller increase which was not statistically significant. These results are discussed in relation to the involvement of the dopaminergic system in the maintenance of self-stimulation behaviour. PMID:1161977

  5. Infection of male rats with Toxoplasma gondii results in enhanced delay aversion and neural changes in the nucleus accumbens core

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Donna; Soh, Linda Jing Ting; Lim, Lee Wei; Daniel, Tan Chia Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Vyas, Ajai

    2015-01-01

    Rats infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii exhibit reduced avoidance of predator odours. This behavioural change is likely to increase transmission of the parasite from rats to cats. Here, we show that infection with T. gondii increases the propensity of the infected rats to make more impulsive choices, manifested as delay aversion in an intertemporal choice task. Concomitantly, T. gondii infection causes reduction in dopamine content and neuronal spine density of the nucleus accumbens core, but not of the nucleus accumbens shell. These results are consistent with a role of the nucleus accumbens dopaminergic system in mediation of choice impulsivity and goal-directed behaviours. Our observations suggest that T. gondii infection in rats causes a syndromic shift in related behavioural constructs of innate aversion and making foraging decisions. PMID:25994671

  6. Subcellular and subsynaptic localization of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens of cocaine-treated rats

    PubMed Central

    Mitrano, D.A.; Arnold, C.; Smith, Y.

    2008-01-01

    There is significant pharmacological and behavioral evidence that group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1a and mGluR5) in the nucleus accumbens play an important role in the neurochemical and pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie addiction to psychostimulants. To further address this issue, we undertook a detailed ultrastructural analysis to characterize changes in the subcellular and subsynaptic localization of mGluR1a and mGluR5 in the core and shell of nucleus accumbens following acute or chronic cocaine administration in rats. After a single cocaine injection (30mg/kg) and 45 minutes withdrawal, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of plasma membrane-bound mGluR1a in accumbens shell dendrites. Similarly, the proportion of plasma membrane-bound mGluR1a was decreased in large dendrites of accumbens core neurons following chronic cocaine exposure (i.e. 1 week treatment followed by three weeks withdrawal). However, neither acute nor chronic cocaine treatments induced significant change in the localization of mGluR5 in accumbens core and shell, which is in contrast with the significant reduction of plasma membrane-bound mGluR1a and mGluR5 induced by local intra-accumbens administration of the group I mGluR agonist, DHPG. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that cocaine-induced glutamate imbalance (Smith et al., 1995; Pierce et al., 1996; Reid et al., 1997) has modest effects on the trafficking of group I mGluRs in the nucleus accumbens. These results provide valuable information on the neuroadaptive mechanisms of accumbens group I mGluRs in response to cocaine administration. PMID:18479833

  7. The dorsomedial shell of the nucleus accumbens facilitates cocaine-induced locomotor activity during the induction of behavioral sensitization.

    PubMed

    Todtenkopf, M S; Carreiras, T; Melloni, R H; Stellar, J R

    2002-04-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system has been intensely studied as the neural circuit mediating the locomotor response to psychostimulants and behavioral sensitization. In particular, the dopaminergic innervation of the nucleus accumbens has been implicated as a site responsible for the manifestations of behavioral sensitization. Previous studies have demonstrated an augmented release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens upon a systemic injection of a psychostimulant. In addition, alterations in the dopaminergic innervation patterns in this brain region have been demonstrated in animals that received repeated injections of cocaine. Furthermore, lesions of projection sites that have terminations in the nucleus accumbens have demonstrated alterations in psychostimulant induced locomotion, both acutely, as well as in sensitization paradigms. Since dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is believed to regulate several excitatory amino acid inputs, the present study examined the effects of a localized electrolytic lesion in the dorsomedial shell of the nucleus accumbens in order to better understand the functional role this brain region has in behavioral sensitization. All animals received bi-daily injections of 15 mg/kg i.p. cocaine. Only those demonstrating behavioral sensitization after a subsequent challenge dose were included in the analysis. Following acute exposure to cocaine, lesioned animals did not show any difference in their locomotor response when compared with sham controls. However, after repeated exposure to cocaine, sensitized animals demonstrated a significant attenuation in locomotor behavior when compared with sensitized sham controls. This decrease in horizontal locomotion persisted 2 days into withdrawal, yet dissipated in the sensitized animals that were challenged 2 weeks following their last injection. The data presented here demonstrate that the dorsomedial shell of the nucleus accumbens plays an important role in the initial stages of behavioral

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21146557

  9. Does incentive-elicited nucleus accumbens activation differ by substance of abuse? An examination with adolescents.

    PubMed

    Karoly, Hollis C; Bryan, Angela D; Weiland, Barbara J; Mayer, Andrew; Dodd, Andrew; Feldstein Ewing, Sarah W

    2015-12-01

    Numerous questions surround the nature of reward processing in the developing adolescent brain, particularly in regard to polysubstance use. We therefore sought to examine incentive-elicited brain activation in the context of three common substances of abuse (cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol). Due to the role of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) in incentive processing, we compared activation in this region during anticipation of reward and loss using a monetary incentive delay (MID) task. Adolescents (ages 14-18; 66% male) were matched on age, gender, and frequency of use of any common substances within six distinct groups: cannabis-only (n=14), tobacco-only (n=34), alcohol-only (n=12), cannabis+tobacco (n=17), cannabis+tobacco+alcohol (n=17), and non-using controls (n=38). All groups showed comparable behavioral performance on the MID task. The tobacco-only group showed decreased bilateral nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activation during reward anticipation as compared to the alcohol-only group, the control group, and both polysubstance groups. Interestingly, no differences emerged between the cannabis-only group and any of the other groups. Results from this study suggest that youth who tend toward single-substance tobacco use may possess behavioral and/or neurobiological characteristics that differentiate them from both their substance-using and non-substance-using peers. PMID:26070843

  10. 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

  11. Protein Expression in the Nucleus Accumbens of Rats Exposed to Developmental Vitamin D Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    McGrath, John; Iwazaki, Takeshi; Eyles, Darryl; Burne, Thomas; Cui, Xiaoying; Ko, Pauline; Matsumoto, Izuru

    2008-01-01

    Introduction Developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency is a candidate risk factor for schizophrenia. Animal models have confirmed that DVD deficiency is associated with a range of altered genomic, proteomic, structural and behavioural outcomes in the rat. Because the nucleus accumbens has been implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, in the current study we examined protein expression in this region in adult rats exposed to DVD deficiency Methods Female Sprague Dawley rats were maintained on a vitamin D deficient diet for 6 weeks, mated and allowed to give birth, after which a diet containing vitamin D was reintroduced. Male adult offspring (n = 8) were compared to control male (n = 8). 2-D gel electrophoresis-based proteomics and mass spectroscopy were used to investigate differential protein expression. Results There were 35 spots, mapped to 33 unique proteins, which were significantly different between the two groups. Of these, 22 were down-regulated and 13 up-regulated. The fold changes were uniformly small, with the largest FC being −1.67. Within the significantly different spots, three calcium binding proteins (calbindin1, calbindin2 and hippocalcin) were altered. Other proteins associated with DVD deficiency related to mitochondrial function, and the dynamin-like proteins. Conclusions Developmental vitamin D deficiency was associated with subtle changes in protein expression in the nucleus accumbens. Disruptions in pathways related to calcium-binding proteins and mitochondrial function may underlie some of the behavioural features associated with animal models of developmental vitamin D deficiency PMID:18545652

  12. Cholecystokinin release mediated by 5-HT3 receptors in rat cerebral cortex and nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed Central

    Paudice, P.; Raiteri, M.

    1991-01-01

    1. The effects of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) on the release of cholexystokinin-like immunoreactivity (CCK-LI) were examined in synaptosomes prepared from rat cerebral cortex and nucleus accumbens and depolarized by superfusion with 15 mM KCl. 2. In both areas 5-HT, tested between 0.1 and 100 nM, increased the calcium-dependent, depolarization-evoked CCK-LI release in a concentration-related manner. The concentration-response curves did not differ significantly between the two brain areas (EC50: 0.4 +/- 0.045 nM and 0.48 +/- 0.053 nM, respectively, in cortical and n. accumbens synaptosomes; maximal effect: about 60% at 10 nM 5-HT). 3. The 5-HT1/5-HT2 receptor antagonist methiothepin (300 nM) did not affect the CCK-LI release elicited by 10 nM 5-HT. However, the effects of 10 nM 5-HT were antagonized in a concentration-dependent manner by the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists (3 alpha-tropanyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylic acid ester (ICS 205-930; 0.1-100 nM; IC50: 3.56 +/- 0.42 nM in the cortex and 3.90 +/- 0.50 nM in the n. accumbens) and ondasetron (IC50: 8.15 +/- 0.73 nM in the cerebral cortex). 5-HT (10 nM) was also strongly antagonized by 100 nM 1 alpha H, 3 alpha 5 alpha H-tropan-3-yl-3,5-dichlorobenzoate (MDL 72222) another blocker of the 5-HT3 receptor. Moreover, the 5-HT3 receptor agonist 1-phenylbiguanide (tested in the cerebral cortex between 0.1 and 100 nM) enhanced CCK-LI release in a manner almost identical to that of 5-HT (EC50 = 0.64 +/- 0.071 nM). 4. It is concluded that 5-HT can act as a potent releaser of CCK-LI in rat cerebrocortex and nucleus accumbens through the activation of receptors of the 5-HT3 type situated on the CCK-releasing terminals. This interaction may provide a rationale for the clinical development of both 5-HT3 and CCK receptor antagonists as novel anxiolytic drugs. PMID:1933141

  13. Increased extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of the rat during associative learning of neutral stimuli.

    PubMed

    Young, A M; Ahier, R G; Upton, R L; Joseph, M H; Gray, J A

    1998-04-01

    Brain microdialysis was used to study changes in dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and the dorsal striatum during associative learning between two neutral stimuli, flashing light and tone, presented on a paired schedule during stage 1 of a sensory preconditioning paradigm. The tone was subsequently paired with mild footshock using standard aversive conditioning procedures and the formation of a conditioned association between the flashing light and the tone in stage 1 was assessed by measuring the ability of the flashing light to elicit the same conditioned response as the tone when presented at test. The first experiment used behavioural monitoring only, to establish stimulus parameters for subsequent microdialysis experiments. Animals receiving paired presentation of the light and tone in stage 1 showed a conditioned suppression of licking to the light as well as to the tone, indicating that associative learning between the flashing light and the tone had occurred during stage 1, whilst in a separate group of animals given the same stimuli over the same time period but on an explicitly non-paired schedule, the conditioned emotional response was seen to the tone, but not to the light, showing that no association had been formed between the two stimuli during stage 1. In dialysis experiments using the same procedure, we measured a two-fold rise in dopamine in the nucleus accumbens during paired presentation of flashing light and tone, but not during non-paired presentation of the two stimuli. On subsequent test presentation of the two stimuli, we saw increases in accumbal dopamine on presentation of the tone in both groups, reflecting the formation of an association with the footshock in both. However the flashing light elicited an increase in dopamine only in the group which had received paired presentation at stage 1. Thus accumbal dopamine release at test is correlated to the ability of the stimulus to evoke a conditioned response measured behaviourally

  14. Dopamine reward circuitry: two projection systems from the ventral midbrain to the nucleus accumbens-olfactory tubercle complex

    PubMed Central

    Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2007-01-01

    Anatomical and functional refinements of the meso-limbic dopamine system of the rat are discussed. Present experiments suggest that dopaminergic neurons localized in the posteromedial ventral tegmental area (VTA) and central linear nucleus raphe selectively project to the ventromedial striatum (medial olfactory tubercle and medial nucleus accumbens shell), whereas the anteromedial VTA has few if any projections to the ventral striatum, and the lateral VTA largely projects to the ventrolateral striatum (accumbens core, lateral shell and lateral tubercle). These findings complement the recent behavioral findings that cocaine and amphetamine are more rewarding when administered into the ventromedial striatum than into the ventrolateral striatum. Drugs such as nicotine and opiates are more rewarding when administered into the posterior VTA or the central linear nucleus than into the anterior VTA. A review of the literature suggests that: (1) the midbrain has corresponding zones for the accumbens core and medial shell; (2) the striatal portion of the olfactory tubercle is a ventral extension of the nucleus accumbens shell; (3) a model of two dopamine projection systems from the ventral midbrain to the ventral striatum is useful for understanding reward function. The medial projection system is important in the regulation of arousal characterized by affect and drive, and plays a different role in goal-directed learning than the lateral projection system, as described in the variation-selection hypothesis of striatal functional organization. PMID:17574681

  15. 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. PMID:24009567

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

    PubMed

    Willett, Jaime A; Will, Tyler; Hauser, Caitlin A; Dorris, David M; Cao, Jinyan; Meitzen, John

    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

  17. 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…

  18. Dopamine D(2)/D(3)-receptor and transporter densities in nucleus accumbens and amygdala of type 1 and 2 alcoholics.

    PubMed

    Tupala, E; Hall, H; Bergström, K; Särkioja, T; Räsänen, P; Mantere, T; Callaway, J; Hiltunen, J; Tiihonen, J

    2001-05-01

    Alcohol acts through mechanisms involving the brain neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) with the nucleus accumbens as the key zone for mediating these effects. We evaluated the densities of DA D(2)/D(3) receptors and transporters in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala of post-mortem human brains by using [(125)l]epidepride and [(125)I]PE2I as radioligands in whole hemispheric autoradiography of Cloninger type 1 and 2 alcoholics and healthy controls. When compared with controls, the mean binding of [(125)I]epidepride to DA D(2)/D(3) receptors was 20% lower in the nucleus accumbens and 41% lower in the amygdala, and [(125)I]PE2I binding to DA transporters in the nucleus accumbens was 39% lower in type 1 alcoholics. These data indicate that dopaminergic functions in these limbic areas may be impaired among type 1 alcoholics, due to the substantially lower number of receptor sites. Our results suggest that such a reduction may result in the chronic overuse of alcohol as an attempt to stimulate DA function. PMID:11326293

  19. 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

  20. Microstructural Abnormality in Left Nucleus Accumbens Predicts Dysfunctional Beliefs in Treatment-Resistant Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhongchun; Ji, Weidong; Li, Deqiang; Li, Xujuan; Feng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to determine whether dysfunctional beliefs might predict treatment-resistance and to examine the relationship between fractional anisotropy (FA) in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and cognitive biases for optimal treatment choice. Material/Methods We recruited 11 non-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients, 11 resistant OCD patients, and 11 healthy subjects. Results OCD patients had higher Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire (OBQ-87) subscale scores than subjects in non-resistant and resistant groups. A significant difference was found between non-resistant and resistant OCD patients in R-Scale and I-Scale. A significant decrease in FA was found in left dorsal frontal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobule in the non-resistant group as compared to the control group. FA also decreased significantly in left anterior cingulate cortex, putamen, and nucleus accumbens in the resistant group as compared to the control group. There was a significant decrease in FA in nucleus accumbens in the resistant group as compared to the non-resistant group. Reduced FA in left nucleus accumbens was negatively associated with OBQ-87 factor R and I and the total Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS). Conclusions Abnormalities in cortical-striatal white matter networks may contribute to the dysfunctional beliefs in patients with treatment-resistant OCD, and the left nucleus accumbens may be an important and promising target for the treatment of OCD. PMID:25393961

  1. A Study on the Role of the Dorsal Striatum and the Nucleus Accumbens in Allocentric and Egocentric Spatial Memory Consolidation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Leonibus, Elvira; Oliverio, Alberto; Mele, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    There is now accumulating evidence that the striatal complex in its two major components, the dorsal striatum and the nucleus accumbens, contributes to spatial memory. However, the possibility that different striatal subregions might modulate specific aspects of spatial navigation has not been completely elucidated. Therefore, in this study, two…

  2. Real-Time Dopamine Efflux in the Nucleus Accumbens Core During Pavlovian Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Sunsay, Ceyhun; Rebec, George V.

    2009-01-01

    To assess the role of dopamine input to the nucleus accumbens core in anticipatory learning, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was combined with appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. One group of rats (Paired) received 16 tone-food pairings for at least four daily sessions while the control group (Unpaired) received the same number of unpaired tone and food presentations. Both groups showed transient dopamine responses during food presentation throughout training, confirming dopamine involvement in reward processing. Only the Paired Group, however, showed consistently timed dopamine transients during the 10-s tone presentation. Transients first appeared near the end of the tone period as each animal acquired the tone-food association and then occurred progressively sooner on subsequent sessions. Later sessions also revealed a consistently timed dopamine response soon after food delivery in Paired animals. Collectively, these results implicate phasic dopamine release in the acquisition of Pavlovian learning and also suggest an early dopamine response to the unconditioned stimulus as training continues. PMID:18410174

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:26796690

  5. 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

    2015-09-01

    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. PMID:26335648

  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. Relief learning is dependent on NMDA receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Milad; Fendt, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Recently, we demonstrated that the nucleus accumbens (NAC) is required for the acquisition and expression of relief memory. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of NMDA receptors within the NAC in relief learning. Experimental Approach The NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5) was injected into the NAC. The effects of these injections on the acquisition and expression of relief memory, as well as on the reactivity to aversive electric stimuli, were tested. Key Results Intra-accumbal AP-5 injections blocked the acquisition but not the expression of relief memory. Furthermore, reactivity to aversive electric stimuli was not affected by the AP-5 injections. Conclusion and Implication The present data indicate that NMDA-dependent plasticity within the NAC is crucial for the acquisition of relief memory. PMID:25572550

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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 were 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. PMID:26335648

  9. Behavioural and physiological effects of electrical stimulation in the nucleus accumbens: a review.

    PubMed

    van Kuyck, K; Gabriëls, L; Cosyns, P; Arckens, L; Sturm, V; Rasmussen, S; Nuttin, B

    2007-01-01

    Electrical stimulation (ES) in the brain is becoming a new treatment option in patients with treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A possible brain target might be the nucleus accumbens (NACC). This review aims to summarise the behavioural and physiological effects of ES in the NACC in humans and in animals and to discuss these findings with regard to neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioural insights. The results clearly demonstrate that ES in the NACC has an effect on reward, activity, fight-or-flight, exploratory behaviour and food intake, with evidence for only moderate physiological effects. Seizures were rarely observed. Finally, the results of ES studies in patients with treatment-resistant OCD and in animal models for OCD are promising. PMID:17691326

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Investigating the effects of serotonergic antidepressants on neural correlates of visual erotic stimulation revealed decreased reactivity within the dopaminergic reward network along with decreased subjective sexual functioning compared with placebo. However, a global dampening of the reward system under serotonergic drugs is not intuitive considering clinical observations of their beneficial effects in the treatment of depression. Particularly, learning signals as coded in prediction error processing within the dopaminergic reward system can be assumed to be rather enhanced as antidepressant drugs have been demonstrated to facilitate the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions relying on learning processes. Within the same study sample, we now explored the effects of serotonergic and dopaminergic/noradrenergic antidepressants on prediction error signals compared with placebo by functional MRI. A total of 17 healthy male participants (mean age: 25.4 years) were investigated under the administration of paroxetine, bupropion and placebo for 7 days each within a randomized, double-blind, within-subject cross-over design. During functional MRI, we used an established monetary incentive task to explore neural prediction error signals within the bilateral nucleus accumbens as region of interest within the dopaminergic reward system. In contrast to diminished neural activations and subjective sexual functioning under the serotonergic agent paroxetine under visual erotic stimulation, we revealed unaffected or even enhanced neural prediction error processing within the nucleus accumbens under this antidepressant along with unaffected behavioural processing. Our study provides evidence that serotonergic antidepressants facilitate prediction error signalling and may support suggestions of beneficial effects of these agents on reinforced learning as an essential element in behavioural psychotherapy. PMID:26555033

  13. Familiar companions diminish cocaine conditioning and attenuate cocaine-stimulated dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Tzeng, Wen-Yu; Cherng, Chian-Fang G; Wang, Shyi-Wu; Yu, Lung

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to assess the impact of companions on the rewarding effects of cocaine. Three cage mates, serving as companions, were housed with each experimental mouse throughout cocaine-place conditioning in a cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm using conditioning doses of 10 and 20mg/kg. The presence of companions decreased the magnitude of the CPP. At 20mg/kg, cocaine stimulated dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens as evidenced by a significant decrease in total (spontaneous and electrical stimulation-provoked) DA release in accumbal superfusate samples. The presence of companions prevented this cocaine-stimulated DA release; such a reduction in cocaine-induced DA release may account for the reduction in the magnitude of the CPP in the presence of the companions. Furthermore, cocaine pretreatment (2.5mg/kg) was found to prevent the companion-produced decreases in cocaine (10mg/kg/conditioning)-induced CPP as well as the cocaine (10mg/kg)-stimulated DA release. Moreover, the presence of methamphetamine (MA) (1mg/kg)-treated companions decreased cocaine (20mg/kg/conditioning)-induced CPP and prevented the cocaine (20mg/kg)-stimulated DA release. Finally, the presence of companions decreased the magnitude of the CPP could not seem to be accounted for by cocaine-stimulated corticosterone (CORT) release. Taken together, these results indicate that familiar companions, regardless of their pharmacological status, may exert dampening effects on CPP induced by moderate to high conditioning doses of cocaine, at least in part, by preventing cocaine-stimulated DA release in the nucleus accumbens. PMID:27001454

  14. Dopaminergic effects of histamine administration in the nucleus accumbens and the impact of H1-receptor blockade.

    PubMed

    Galosi, R; Lenard, L; Knoche, A; Haas, H; Huston, J P; Schwarting, R K

    2001-03-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system is thought to play a critical role in reward-related processes. A number of studies have shown that lesion or inhibition of histaminergic neurons acting through H1 receptors can potentiate the effects of drug-induced reward (e.g., psychostimulants and opioids) and can enhance the reinforcing effects of electrical stimulation of the brain. Since dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens is thought to provide a crucial link in these histaminergic actions, we examined the effects of local histamine application (0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 micromol/l) on dopamine and its metabolites in the nucleus accumbens of anesthetized rats by means of unilateral reverse dialysis. To study the influence of H1 receptors, we also applied the H1-receptor antagonist pyrilamine (10.0 and 20.0 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 20 min before histamine administration (1 mmol/l). Finally, pyrilamine (0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 micromol/l) was locally administered into the nucleus accumbens. The data show that histamine can enhance extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens in a dose-dependent way. This increase was partially antagonized by prior peripheral administration of 10 mg/kg, and was completely blocked by 20 mg/kg, of pyrilamine. Finally, intra-accumbens administration of pyrilamine locally decreased dopamine and increased dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid levels. These data are discussed with respect to the possible interactions between dopaminergic and histaminergic mechanisms in the mesolimbic system and their relation to mechanisms of reinforcement. PMID:11249972

  15. Dynorphin/KOP and nociceptin/NOP gene expression and epigenetic changes by cocaine in rat striatum and nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Caputi, Francesca Felicia; Di Benedetto, Manuela; Carretta, Donatella; Bastias del Carmen Candia, Sussy; D'Addario, Claudio; Cavina, Chiara; Candeletti, Sanzio; Romualdi, Patrizia

    2014-03-01

    Cocaine induces neurochemical changes of endogenous prodynorphin-kappa opioid receptor (pDYN-KOP) and pronociceptin/orphaninFQ-nociceptin receptor (pN/OFQ-NOP) systems. Both systems play an important role in rewarding mechanisms and addictive stimulus processing by modulating drug-induced dopaminergic activation in the mesocortico-limbic brain areas. They are also involved in regulating stress mechanisms related to addiction. The aim of this study was to investigate possible changes of gene expression of the dynorphinergic and nociceptinergic system components in the nucleus accumbens (NA) and in medial and lateral caudate putamen (mCPu and lCPu, respectively) of rats, following chronic subcutaneous infusion of cocaine. In addition, the epigenetic histone modifications H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 (an activating and a repressive marker, respectively) at the promoter level of the pDYN, KOP, pN/OFQ and NOP genes were investigated. Results showed that cocaine induced pDYN gene expression up-regulation in the NA and lCPu, and its down-regulation in the mCPu, whereas KOP mRNA levels were unchanged. Moreover, cocaine exposure decreased pN/OFQ gene expression in the NA and lCPu, while NOP mRNA levels appeared significantly increased in the NA and decreased in the lCPu. Specific changes of the H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 levels were found at pDYN, pN/OFQ, and NOP gene promoter, consistent with the observed gene expression alterations. The present findings contribute to better define the role of endogenous pDYN-KOP and pN/OFQ-NOP systems in neuroplasticity mechanisms following chronic cocaine treatment. The epigenetic histone modifications underlying the gene expression changes likely mediate the effects of cocaine on transcriptional regulation of specific gene promoters that result in long-lasting drug-induced plasticity. PMID:24184686

  16. Dopamine Release in the Nonhuman Primate Caudate and Putamen Depends upon Site of Stimulation in the Subthalamic Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Min, Hoon-Ki; Ross, Erika K.; Jo, Hang Joon; Cho, Shinho; Settell, Megan L.; Jeong, Ju Ho; Duffy, Penelope S.; Chang, Su-Youne; Bennet, Kevin E.; Blaha, Charles D.

    2016-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an effective treatment for medically refractory Parkinson's disease. Although DBS has recognized clinical utility, its biologic mechanisms are not fully understood, and whether dopamine release is a potential factor in those mechanisms is in dispute. We tested the hypothesis that STN DBS-evoked dopamine release depends on the precise location of the stimulation site in the STN and the site of recording in the caudate and putamen. We conducted DBS with miniature, scaled-to-animal size, multicontact electrodes and used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the best dopamine recording site in the brains of nonhuman primates (rhesus macaques), which are highly representative of human brain anatomy and circuitry. Real-time stimulation-evoked dopamine release was monitored using in vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. This study demonstrates that STN DBS-evoked dopamine release can be reduced or increased by redirecting STN stimulation to a slightly different site. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Electrical stimulation of deep structures of the brain, or deep brain stimulation (DBS), is used to modulate pathological brain activity. However, technological limitations and incomplete understanding of the therapeutic mechanisms of DBS prevent personalization of this therapy and may contribute to less-than-optimal outcomes. We have demonstrated that DBS coincides with changes in dopamine neurotransmitter release in the basal ganglia. Here we mapped relationships between DBS and changes in neurochemical activity. Importantly, this study shows that DBS-evoked dopamine release can be reduced or increased by refocusing the DBS on a slightly different stimulation site. PMID:27251623

  17. The effect of N-acetylcysteine in the nucleus accumbens on neurotransmission and relapse to cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Kupchik, Yonatan M.; Moussawi, Khaled; Tang, Xing-Chun; Wang, Xiusong; Kalivas, Benjamin C.; Kolokithas, Rosalia; Ogburn, Katelyn B.; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    Background Relapse to cocaine-seeking has been linked with low glutamate in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) causing potentiation of synaptic glutamate transmission from prefrontal cortex (PFC) afferents. Systemic N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been shown to restore glutamate homeostasis, reduce relapse to cocaine-seeking and depotentiate PFC-NAcore synapses. Here we examine the effects of NAC applied directly to the NAcore on relapse and neurotransmission in PFC-NAcore synapses, as well as the involvement of the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) mGluR2/3 and mGluR5. Methods Rats were trained to self-administer cocaine for 2 weeks and following extinction received either intra-accumbens NAC or systemic NAC 30 or 120 minutes, respectively, prior to inducing reinstatement with a conditioned cue or a combined cue and cocaine injection. We also recorded postsynaptic currents using in vitro whole cell recordings in acute slices and measured cystine and glutamate uptake in primary glial cultures. Results NAC microinjection into the NAcore inhibited the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. In slices, a low concentration of NAC reduced the amplitude of evoked glutamatergic synaptic currents in the NAcore in a mGluR2/3-dependent manner, while high doses of NAC increased amplitude in a mGluR5-dependent manner. Both effects depended on NAC uptake through cysteine transporters and activity of the cysteine/glutamate exchanger. Finally, we showed that by blocking mGluR5 the inhibition of cocaine-seeking by NAC was potentiated. Conclusions The effect of NAC on relapse to cocaine-seeking depends on the balance between stimulating mGluR2/3 and mGluR5 in the NAcore, and the efficacy of NAC can be improved by simultaneously inhibiting mGluR5. PMID:22137594

  18. Neuropeptide Y Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Modulates Feeding Behavior and Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    van den Heuvel, José K.; Furman, Kara; Gumbs, Myrtille C.R.; Eggels, Leslie; Opland, Darren M.; Land, Benjamin B.; Kolk, Sharon M.; Narayanan, Nandakumar; Fliers, Eric; Kalsbeek, Andries; DiLeone, Ralph J.; la Fleur, Susanne E.

    2014-01-01

    Background Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that plays a prominent role in feeding and energy homeostasis. Expression of the NPY Y1 receptor (Y1R) is highly concentrated in the nucleus accumbens (Acb), a region important in the regulation of palatable feeding. In this study, we performed a number of experiments to investigate the actions of NPY in the Acb. Methods First, we determined caloric intake and food choice after bilateral administration of NPY in the Acb in rats on a free-choice diet of saturated fat, 30% sucrose solution, and standard chow and whether this was mediated by the Y1R. Second, we measured the effect of intra-Acb NPY on neuronal activity using in vivo electrophysiology. Third, we examined co-localization of Y1R with enkephalin and dynorphin neurons and the effect of NPY on preproenkephalin messenger RNA levels in the striatum using fluorescent and radioactive in situ hybridization. Finally, using retrograde tracing, we examined whether NPY neurons in the arcuate nucleus projected to the Acb. Results In rats on the free-choice, high-fat, high-sugar diet, intra-Acb NPY increased intake of fat, but not sugar or chow, and this was mediated by the Y1R. Intra-Acb NPY reduced neuronal firing, as well as preproenkephalin messenger RNA expression in the striatum. Moreover, Acb enkephalin neurons expressed Y1R and arcuate nucleus NPY neurons projected to the Acb. Conclusions NPY reduces neuronal firing in the Acb resulting in increased palatable food intake. Together, our neuroanatomical, pharmacologic, and neuronal activity data support a role and mechanism for intra-Acb NPY-induced fat intake. PMID:25109664

  19. GSK-3β inhibitors reverse cocaine-induced synaptic transmission dysfunction in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Rui; Chen, Jiaojiao; Ren, Zhaoxiang; Shen, Hui; Zhen, Xuechu

    2016-11-01

    Nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic projection from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dopaminergic input from the Ventral tegmental area (VTA). Recent studies have suggested a critical role for serine/threonine kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in cocaine-induced hyperactivity; however, the effect of GSK3β on the modulation of glutamatergic and dopaminergic afferents is unclear. In this study, we found that the GSK3 inhibitors, LiCl (100 mg/kg, i.p.) or SB216763 (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.), blocked the cocaine-induced hyperlocomotor activity in rats. By employing single-unit recordings in vivo, we found that pretreatment with either SB216763 or LiCl for 15 min reversed the cocaine-inhibited firing frequency of medium spiny neuron (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Preperfusion of SB216763 (5 μM) ameliorated the inhibitory effect of cocaine on both the α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) (up to 99 ± 6.8% inhibition) and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR)-mediate EPSC (up to 73 ± 9.7% inhibition) in the NAc in brain slices. The effect of cocaine on AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediate excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) were mimicked by the D1 -like receptor agonist SKF 38393 and blocked by the D1 -like receptor antagonist SCH 23390, whereas D2 -like receptor agonist or antagonist failed to mimic or to block the action of cocaine. Preperfusion of SB216763 for 5 min also ameliorated the inhibitory effect of SKF38393 on both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated components of EPSC, indicate the effect of SB216763 on cocaine was via the D1 -like receptor. Moreover, cocaine inhibited the presynaptic release of glutamate in the NAc, and SB216763 reversed this effect. In conclusion, D1 receptor-GSK3β pathway, which mediates glutamatergic transmission in the NAc core through a presynaptic mechanism, plays an important role in acute cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion. PMID:27377051

  20. Nucleus Accumbens Core and Shell Differentially Encode Reward-Associated Cues after Reinforcer Devaluation

    PubMed Central

    West, Elizabeth A.

    2016-01-01

    Nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons encode features of stimulus learning and action selection associated with rewards. The NAc is necessary for using information about expected outcome values to guide behavior after reinforcer devaluation. Evidence suggests that core and shell subregions may play dissociable roles in guiding motivated behavior. Here, we recorded neural activity in the NAc core and shell during training and performance of a reinforcer devaluation task. Long–Evans male rats were trained that presses on a lever under an illuminated cue light delivered a flavored sucrose reward. On subsequent test days, each rat was given free access to one of two distinctly flavored foods to consume to satiation and were then immediately tested on the lever pressing task under extinction conditions. Rats decreased pressing on the test day when the reinforcer earned during training was the sated flavor (devalued) compared with the test day when the reinforcer was not the sated flavor (nondevalued), demonstrating evidence of outcome-selective devaluation. Cue-selective encoding during training by NAc core (but not shell) neurons reliably predicted subsequent behavioral performance; that is, the greater the percentage of neurons that responded to the cue, the better the rats suppressed responding after devaluation. In contrast, NAc shell (but not core) neurons significantly decreased cue-selective encoding in the devalued condition compared with the nondevalued condition. These data reveal that NAc core and shell neurons encode information differentially about outcome-specific cues after reinforcer devaluation that are related to behavioral performance and outcome value, respectively. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many neuropsychiatric disorders are marked by impairments in behavioral flexibility. Although the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is required for behavioral flexibility, it is not known how NAc neurons encode this information. Here, we recorded NAc neurons during a training

  1. Quinolinic acid lesion of nucleus accumbens reduces D sub 1 but not D sub 2 dopamine receptors: An autoradiographic study

    SciTech Connect

    Filloux, F.; Richards, T.J.; Huff, G.F. ); Wamsley, J.K. )

    1991-01-01

    Information concerning the cellular localization of dopamine receptor subtypes in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) was obtained using receptor autoradiographic analysis. Unilateral, stereotaxic injection of the axonsparing neurotoxin, quinolinic acid, into the NAcc resulted in a prominent loss of dopamine D{sub 1} receptors (as labeled by ({sup 3}H)SCH 23390). Contrarily, no appreciable decrement in D{sub 2} receptors (labeled by ({sup 3}H)raclopride) could be identified within the same region of the NAcc. The findings support the view that accumbens D{sub 1} receptors are located postsynaptically on neurons or their processes, while D{sub 2} receptors within this nucleus are primarily located on afferent terminals.

  2. 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

  3. Characterization of the effects of serotonin on the release of (/sup 3/H)dopamine from rat nucleus accumbens and striatal slices

    SciTech Connect

    Nurse, B.; Russell, V.A.; Taljaard, J.J.

    1988-05-01

    The effect of serotonin agonists on the depolarization (K+)-induced, calcium-dependent, release of (/sup 3/H)dopamine (DA) from rat nucleus accumbens and striatal slices was investigated. Serotonin enhanced basal /sup 3/H overflow and reduced K+-induced release of (/sup 3/H)DA from nucleus accumbens slices. The effect of serotonin on basal /sup 3/H overflow was not altered by the serotonin antagonist, methysergide, or the serotonin re-uptake blocker, chlorimipramine, but was reversed by the DA re-uptake carrier inhibitors nomifensine and benztropine. With the effect on basal overflow blocked, serotonin did not modulate K+-induced release of (/sup 3/H)DA in the nucleus accumbens or striatum. The serotonin agonists, quipazine (in the presence of nomifensine) and 5-methoxytryptamine, did not significantly affect K+-induced release of (/sup 3/H)DA in the nucleus accumbens. This study does not support suggestions that serotonin receptors inhibit the depolarization-induced release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens or striatum of the rat brain. The present results do not preclude the possibility that serotonin may affect the mesolimbic reward system at a site which is post-synaptic to dopaminergic terminals in the nucleus accumbens.

  4. Neonatal Prefrontal Inactivation Results in Reversed Dopaminergic Responses in the Shell Subregion of the Nucleus Accumbens to NMDA Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Pouvreau, Tiphaine; Tagliabue, Emmanuelle; Usun, Yusuf; Eybrard, Séverine; Meyer, Francisca; Louilot, Alain

    2016-07-20

    Striatal dopaminergic dysregulation in schizophrenia could result from a prefronto-striatal dysconnectivity, of neurodevelopmental origin, involving N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. The dorsomedian shell part of the nucleus accumbens is a striatal subregion of particular interest inasmuch as it has been described as the common target region for antipsychotics. Moreover, NMDA receptors located on the dopaminergic endings have been reported in the shell. The present study examines in adult rats the effects of early functional inactivation of the left prefrontal cortex on behavioral and dopaminergic responses in the dorsomedian shell part of the nucleus accumbens following administration of two noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists, ketamine, and dizocilpine (MK-801). The results showed that postnatal blockade of the prefrontal cortex led to increased locomotor activity as well as increased extracellular dopamine levels in the dorsomedian shell following administration of both noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists, and, more markedly, after treatment with the more specific one, MK-801, whereas decreased dopaminergic levels were observed in respective controls. These data suggest a link between NMDA receptor dysfunctioning and dopamine dysregulation at the level of the dorsomedian shell part of the nucleus accumbens. They may help to understand the pathophysiology of schizophrenia in a neurodevelopmental perspective. PMID:27145294

  5. Dual effects of limbic seizures on psychosis-relevant behaviors shown by nucleus accumbens kindling in rats

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jingyi; Leung, L. Stan

    2016-01-01

    Background A paradox in epilepsy and psychiatry is that temporal lobe epilepsy is often predisposed to schizophrenic-like psychosis, whereas convulsive therapy can relieve schizophrenic symptoms. We have previously demonstrated that the nucleus accumbens is a key structure in mediating postictal psychosis induced by a hippocampal electrographic seizure. Objective/Hypothesis The purpose of this study is to test a hypothesis that accumbens kindling cumulating in a single (1-time) or repeated (5-times) convulsive seizures have different effects on animal models of psychosis. Methods Electrical stimulation at 60 Hz was applied to nucleus accumbens to evoke afterdischarges until one, or five, convulsive seizures that involved the hind limbs (stage 5 seizures) were attained. Behavioral tests, performed at 3 days after the last seizure, included gating of hippocampal auditory evoked potentials (AEP) and prepulse inhibition to an acoustic startle response (PPI), tested without drug injection or after ketamine (3 mg/kg s.c.) injection, as well as locomotion induced by ketamine or methamphetamine (1 mg/kg i.p.). Results Compared to non-kindled control rats, 1-time, but not 5-times, convulsive seizures induced PPI deficit and decreased gating of hippocampal AEP, without drug injection. Compared to non-kindled rats, 5-times, but not 1-time, convulsive seizures antagonized ketamine-induced hyperlocomotion, ketamine-induced PPI deficit and AEP gating decrease. However, both 1- and 5-times convulsive seizures, significantly enhanced methamphetamine-induced locomotion as compared to non-kindled rats. Conclusions Accumbens kindling ending with 1 convulsive seizure may induce schizophrenic-like behaviors, while repeated (≥ 5) convulsive seizures induced by accumbens kindling may have therapeutic effects on dopamine independent psychosis. PMID:27267861

  6. Roles of Nucleus Accumbens CREB and Dynorphin in Dysregulation of Motivation

    PubMed Central

    Muschamp, John W.; Carlezon, William A.

    2013-01-01

    Psychostimulants such as amphetamine and cocaine are believed to produce dependence by causing rapid, supraphysiological elevations in synaptic dopamine (DA) within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) (Volkow et al. 2009, Neuropharmacology 56: 3–8). These changes in forebrain DA transmission are similar to those evoked by natural reinforcers (Louilot et al. 1991, Brain Res 553: 313–317; Roitman et al. 2004, J Neurosci 24: 1265–1271), but are of greater magnitude and longer duration. Repeated drug exposure causes compensatory neuroadaptations in neurons of the NAc, some of which may modulate excess DA in a homeostatic fashion. One such adaptation is the activation of the transcription factor CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein) within neurons of the NAc. Although elevated levels of transcriptionally active CREB appear to attenuate DA transmission by increasing expression of the endogenous κ opioid receptor (KOR) ligand dynorphin, increased dynorphin transmission may ultimately have undesirable effects that contribute to drug withdrawal states as well as comorbid psychiatric illnesses such as depression. This state may prompt a return to drug use to mitigate the adverse effects of withdrawal. This article summarizes our current understanding of how CREB and dynorphin contribute to the dysregulation of motivation and describes novel therapeutic strategies that derive from preclinical research in this area. PMID:23293139

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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 glutamatergic fibers lack GABA, the aversion evoked by their photoactivation depended on glutamate- and GABA-receptor signaling, and not on dopamine-receptor signaling. We found that mesoaccumbens glutamatergic fibers established multiple asymmetric synapses on single parvalbumin GABAergic interneurons and that nAcc photoactivation of these fibers drove AMPA-mediated cellular firing of parvalbumin GABAergic interneurons. These parvalbumin GABAergic interneurons in turn inhibited nAcc medium spiny output neurons, thereby controlling inhibitory neurotransmission in nAcc. To our knowledge, 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

  8. Anabolic-androgenic steroids decrease dendritic spine density in the nucleus accumbens of male rats.

    PubMed

    Wallin-Miller, Kathryn; Li, Grace; Kelishani, Diana; Wood, Ruth I

    2016-08-25

    Recent studies have demonstrated that anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) modify cognitive processes such as decision making and behavioral flexibility. However, the neural mechanisms underlying these AAS-induced cognitive changes remain poorly understood. The mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, particularly the nucleus accumbens (Acb), is important for reward, motivated behavior, and higher cognitive processes such as decision making. Therefore, AAS-induced plasticity in the DA system is a potential structural substrate for the observed cognitive alterations. High doses of testosterone (the most commonly-used AAS) increase dendritic spine density in limbic regions including the amygdala and hippocampus. However, effects on Acb are unknown. This was the focus of the present study. Adolescent male Long-Evans rats were treated chronically for 8weeks with high-dose testosterone (7.5mg/kg in water with 13% cyclodextrin) or vehicle sc. Brains were stained by Golgi-Cox to analyze neuronal morphology in medium spiny neurons of the shell region of Acb (AcbSh). Eightweeks of testosterone treatment significantly decreased spine density in AcbSh compared to brains of vehicle-treated rats (F1,14=5.455, p<0.05). Testosterone did not significantly affect total spine number, dendritic length, or arborization measured by Sholl analysis. These results show that AAS alter neuronal morphology in AcbSh by decreasing spine density throughout the dendritic tree, and provides a potential mechanism for AAS to modify cognition and decision-making behavior. PMID:27238893

  9. Cocaine- and morphine-induced synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Alcantara, Adriana A; Lim, Helen Y; Floyd, Christopher E; Garces, Juanita; Mendenhall, John M; Lyons, Chelsea L; Berlanga, Monica L

    2011-04-01

    The critical brain areas and molecular mechanisms involved in drug abuse and dependence have been extensively studied. Drug-induced persistent behaviors such as sensitization, tolerance, or relapse, however, far outlast any previously reported mechanisms. A challenge in the field of addiction, therefore, has been to identify drug-induced changes in brain circuitry that may subserve long-lasting changes in behavior. This study examined behavioral changes and electron microscopic evidence of altered synaptic connectivity within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) following repeated administration of cocaine or morphine. The unbiased quantitative stereological physical disector method was used to estimate the number of synapses per neuron. Increases in the synapse-to-neuron ratio were found in the NAc shell of cocaine-treated (49.1%) and morphine-treated (55.1%) rats and in the NAc core of cocaine-treated animals (49.1%). This study provides direct ultrastructural evidence of drug-induced synaptic plasticity and identifies synaptic remodeling as a potential neural substrate underlying drug-induced behavioral sensitization. PMID:20730804

  10. Transfer of neuroplasticity from nucleus accumbens core to shell is required for cocaine reward.

    PubMed

    Marie, Nicolas; Canestrelli, Corinne; Noble, Florence

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that cocaine induces an increase of dendritic spines density in some brain regions. However, few studies have addressed the role of this neuroplastic changes in cocaine rewarding effects and have often led to contradictory results. So, we hypothesized that using a rigorous time- and subject-matched protocol would demonstrate the role of this spine increase in cocaine reward. We designed our experiments such as the same animals (rats) were used for spine analysis and behavioral studies. Cocaine rewarding effects were assessed with the conditioned place preference paradigm. Spines densities were measured in the two subdivisions of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), core and shell. We showed a correlation between the increase of spine density in NAcc core and shell and cocaine rewarding effects. Interestingly, when cocaine was administered in home cages, spine density was increase in NAcc core only. With anisomycin, a protein synthesis inhibitor, injected in the core we blocked spine increase in core and shell and also cocaine rewarding effects. Strikingly, whereas injection of this inhibitor in the shell immediately after conditioning had no effect on neuroplasticity or behavior, its injection 4 hours after conditioning was able to block neuroplasticity in shell only and cocaine-induced place preference. Thus, it clearly appears that the neuronal plasticity in the NAcc core is essential to induce plasticity in the shell, necessary for cocaine reward. Altogether, our data revealed a new mechanism in the NAcc functioning where a neuroplasticity transfer occurred from core to shell. PMID:22272316

  11. 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. PMID:26048177

  12. Assessing Contributions of Nucleus Accumbens Shell Subregions to Reward-Seeking Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Michael D.; Hildebrand, David G. C.; Santangelo, Gabrielle; Moffa, Anthony; Pira, Ashley S.; Rycyna, Lisa; Radic, Mia; Price, Katherine; Archbold, Jonathan; McConnell, Kristi; Girard, Lauren; Morin, Kristen; Tang, Anna; Febo, Marcelo; Stellar, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Background The nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a key role in brain reward processes including drug seeking and reinstatement. Several anatomical, behavioral, and neurochemical studies discriminate between the limbic-associated shell and the motor-associated core regions. Less studied is the fact that the shell can be further subdivided into a dorsomedial shell (NAcDMS) and an intermediate zone (NAcINT) based on differential expression of transient c-Fos and long-acting immediate-early gene ΔFosB upon cocaine sensitization. These disparate expression patterns suggest that NAc shell subregions may play distinct roles in reward-seeking behavior. In this study, we examined potential differences in the contributions of the NAcDMS and the NAcINT to reinstatement of reward-seeking behavior after extinction. Methods Rats were trained to intravenously self-administer cocaine, extinguished, and subjected to a reinstatement test session consisting of either an intracranial microinfusion of amphetamine or vehicle targeted to the NAcDMS or the NAcINT. Results Small amphetamine microinfusions targeted to the NAcDMS resulted in statistically significant reinstatement of lever pressing, whereas no statistical difference was observed for microinfusions targeted to the NAcINT. No significant difference was found for vehicle microinfusions in either case. Conclusion These results suggest heterogeneity in the behavioral relevance of NAc shell subregions, a possibility that can be tested in specific neuronal populations in the future with recently developed techniques including optogenetics. PMID:26048642

  13. Extinction and Reinstatement of Phasic Dopamine Signals in the Nucleus Accumbens Core during Pavlovian Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Sunsay, Ceyhun; Rebec, George V.

    2014-01-01

    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 (NAc), which plays a key role in reward processing. Following at least 4 daily sessions of 16 tone-food pairings, FSCV was performed while rats received additional tone-food pairings followed by tone alone presentations (i.e., extinction). Acquisition memory was reinstated with non-contingent presentations of reward and then tested with cue presentation. Tone-food pairings produced transient (1–3 s) DA release in response to tone. During extinction, the amplitude of the DA response decreased significantly. Following presentation of two non-contingent food pellets, subsequent tone presentation reinstated the DA signal. Our results support the prediction-error model for appetitive Pavlovian extinction but not for reinstatement. PMID:25111335

  14. Dendritic morphology of neurons in medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens in adult SH rats.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Fremioth; Gómez-Villalobos, María de Jesús; Juarez, Ismael; Quevedo, Lucía; Flores, Gonzalo

    2011-03-01

    We have studied, in spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats at different ages (2, 4, and 8 months old), the dendritic morphological changes of the pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus and medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) induced by the chronic effect of high-blood pressure. As control animals, we used Wistar-Kioto (WK) rats. Blood pressure was measured every 2 months to confirm the increase in arterial blood pressure. Spontaneous locomotor activity was assessed, and then brains were removed to study the dendritic morphology by the Golgi-Cox stain method followed by Sholl analysis. SH animals at 4 and 8 months of age showed decreased spine density in pyramidal neurons from the mPFC and in medium spiny cells from the NAcc. At 8 months of age as well the pyramidal neurons from the hippocampus exhibited a reduction in the number of dendritic spines. An increase in locomotion in a novel environment at all ages in the SH rats was observed. Our results indicate that high-blood pressure alters the neuronal dendrite morphology of the mPFC, hippocampus, and NAcc. The increased locomotion behavior supports the idea that dopaminergic transmission is altered in the SH rats. This could enhance our understanding of the consequences of chronic high-blood pressure on brain structure, which may implicate cognitive impairment in hypertensive patients. PMID:20665725

  15. Active Avoidance Requires a Serial Basal Amygdala to Nucleus Accumbens Shell Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Franchesca; Moscarello, Justin M.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2015-01-01

    Freezing is a species-typical defensive reaction to conditioned threats. While the neural circuitry of aversive Pavlovian behavior has been extensively studied, less is known about the circuitry underlying more active responses to danger. Here we show that the flow of information between the basal amygdala (BA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is necessary for signaled active avoidance behavior. Rats trained to avoid shock by shuttling during an auditory conditioned stimulus showed increased expression of the activity-dependent protein c-Fos in the NAcc, specifically the shell subregion (NAccSh). Silencing neural activity in the NAccSh, but not in the adjacent NAcc core, disrupted avoidance behavior. Disconnection of the BA and the NAccSh was just as effective at disrupting avoidance behavior as bilateral NAccSh inactivations, suggesting learned avoidance behavior requires an intact BA-NAccSh circuit. Together, these data highlight an essential role for the amygdalar projection to the ventral striatum in aversively motivated actions. PMID:25716846

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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.

  18. D2R DNA Transfer Into the Nucleus Accumbens Attenuates Cocaine Self-Administration in Rats

    PubMed Central

    THANOS, PANAYOTIS K.; MICHAELIDES, MICHAEL; UMEGAKI, HIROYUKI; VOLKOW, NORA D.

    2009-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) D2 receptor (D2R) agonists and antagonists can modulate self-administration behavior, conditioned place preference, and locomotor responses to cocaine. Low levels of D2R have also been observed in cocaine addicted subjects and in non human primates after chronic cocaine exposures. Prior studies had shown that D2R upregulation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in rodents trained to self-administer alcohol markedly attenuated alcohol preference and intake. Here we assess the effects of D2R upregulation in the NAc on cocaine intake in rats trained to self-administer cocaine. Following 2 weeks of i.v. cocaine self-administration (CSA), rats were stereotaxically treated with an adenovirus that carried the D2R gene to upregulate D2R in the NAc. D2R vector treatment resulted in a significant decrease (75%) in cocaine infusions and lever presses (70%) for cocaine. This effect lasted 6 days before cocaine consumption returned to baseline levels, which corresponds roughly to the time it takes D2R to return to baseline levels. These findings show that CSA and D2R in the NAc are negatively correlated and suggest that cocaine intake is modulated in part by D2R levels in NAc. Thus strategies aimed at increasing D2R expression in NAc may be beneficial in treating cocaine abuse and addiction. PMID:18418874

  19. Nucleus accumbens core acetylcholine is preferentially activated during acquisition of drug- vs food-reinforced behavior.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Jose A; Stöckl, Petra; Zorn, Katja; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald

    2008-12-01

    Acquisition of drug-reinforced behavior is accompanied by a systematic increase of release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) rather than dopamine, the expected prime reward neurotransmitter candidate, in the nucleus accumbens core (AcbC), with activation of both muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors in the AcbC by ACh volume transmission being necessary for the drug conditioning. The present findings suggest that the AcbC ACh system is preferentially activated by drug reinforcers, because (1) acquisition of food-reinforced behavior was not paralleled by activation of ACh release in the AcbC whereas acquisition of morphine-reinforced behavior, like that of cocaine or remifentanil (tested previously), was, and because (2) local intra-AcbC administration of muscarinic or nicotinic ACh receptor antagonists (atropine or mecamylamine, respectively) did not block the acquisition of food-reinforced behavior whereas acquisition of drug-reinforced behavior had been blocked. Interestingly, the speed with which a drug of abuse distributed into the AcbC and was eliminated from the AcbC determined the size of the AcbC ACh signal, with the temporally more sharply delineated drug stimulus producing a more pronounced AcbC ACh signal. The present findings suggest that muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors in the AcbC are preferentially involved during reward conditioning for drugs of abuse vs sweetened condensed milk as a food reinforcer. PMID:18418362

  20. Influence of olfactory bulbectomy on maternal behavior and dopaminergic function in nucleus accumbens in mice.

    PubMed

    Sato, Atsushi; Nakagawasai, Osamu; Tan-No, Koichi; Onogi, Hiroshi; Niijima, Fukie; Tadano, Takeshi

    2010-12-20

    Olfactory bulbectomy (OBX) induces behavioral, physiological, and neurochemical alterations resembling clinical depression and is widely used as an animal model of depression. It has been reported that depression is a critical cause of child abuse and neglect and that maternal behavior involves dopaminergic neurons of the mesolimbic pathway. In a previous study we found that OBX mice show maternal behavior deficits which are improved by administration of apomorphine, a non-selective dopamine agonist. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effect of l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) on maternal behavior deficits to examine the influence of pre-synaptic dopaminergic function in OBX mice. Furthermore, we measured tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) levels using microphotometry and quantified dopamine D1- and D2-like receptors using autoradiography in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). As a result, 25mg/kg l-DOPA with 12.5mg/kg benserazide improved disrupted maternal behavior in OBX mice and there are no changes in TH levels or number of D1- and D2-like receptors between sham and OBX mothers. The behavioral data support the hypothesis that changed dopaminergic function may contribute to maternal behavior deficits in OBX mice. However, our findings concerning dopaminergic function suggest that the deficits in OBX mice are not simply due to changes in TH levels or dopamine receptor number in the NAc. PMID:20638419

  1. Reduced Nucleus Accumbens Reactivity and Adolescent Depression following Early-life Stress

    PubMed Central

    Goff, Bonnie; Gee, Dylan G.; Telzer, Eva H.; Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Gabard-Durnam, Laurel; Flannery, Jessica; Tottenham, Nim

    2013-01-01

    Depression is a common outcome for those having experienced early life stress (ELS). For those individuals, depression typically increases during adolescence and appears to endure into adulthood, suggesting alterations in the development of brain systems involved in depression. Developmentally, the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a limbic structure associated with reward learning and motivation, typically undergoes dramatic functional change during adolescence; therefore, age-related changes in NAcc function may underlie increases in depression in adolescence following ELS. The current study examined the effects of ELS in 38 previously institutionalized children and adolescents in comparison to a group of 31 youth without a history of ELS. Consistent with previous research, the findings showed that depression was higher in adolescents than children with a history of ELS. Additionally, fMRI results showed atypical NAcc development, where the ELS group did not show a typical increase in NAcc reactivity during adolescence. Consequently, the ELS group showed NAcc hypoactivation during adolescence, and lower NAcc reactivity was correlated with higher depression scores. The results have important implications for understanding how ELS may influence increases in depression via neural development during the transition to adolescence and highlight the importance of identifying at-risk individuals in childhood, a potential critical period for depression-targeted intervention. PMID:23262241

  2. 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

  3. AMPA receptor plasticity in the nucleus accumbens after repeated exposure to cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Marina E.; Ferrario, Carrie R.

    2010-01-01

    This review focuses on cocaine-induced postsynaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) involving changes in AMPA receptor (AMPAR) transmission. First, fundamental properties of AMPAR in the NAc are reviewed. Then, we provide a detailed and critical analysis of literature demonstrating alterations in AMPAR transmission in association with behavioral sensitization to cocaine and cocaine self-administration. We conclude that cocaine exposure leads to changes in AMPAR transmission that depend on many factors including whether exposure is contingent or non-contingent, the duration of withdrawal, and whether extinction training has occurred. The relationship between changes in AMPAR transmission and responding to cocaine or cocaine-paired cues can also be affected by these variables. However, after prolonged withdrawal in the absence of extinction training, our findings and others lead us to propose that AMPAR transmission is enhanced, resulting in stronger responding to drug-paired cues. Finally, many results indicate that the state of synaptic transmission in the NAc after cocaine exposure is associated with impairment of AMPAR-dependent plasticity. This may contribute to a broad range of addiction-related behavioral changes. PMID:20109488

  4. The rat nucleus accumbens is involved in guiding of instrumental responses by stimuli predicting reward magnitude.

    PubMed

    Giertler, Christian; Bohn, Ines; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2003-10-01

    The present study examined the involvement of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolpropionate/kainate (AMPA/KA) and dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (ACB) in influencing reaction times of instrumental responses by the expectancy of reward. A simple reaction time task demanding conditioned lever release was used in which the upcoming reward magnitude was signalled in advance by discriminative cues. After training, in control rats with vehicle infusions (0.5 micro L) into the ACB, reaction times of responses were significantly shorter to the discriminative cue predictive of high reward magnitude. Indirect stimulation of dopamine receptors in the ACB by d-amphetamine (20 micro g/0.5 micro L) decreased reaction times, impaired their guidance by cue-associated reward magnitudes and reduced the accuracy of task performance. Blockade of AMPA/KA receptors in the ACB by 6-cyano-7-nitroquino-xaline-2,3-dione (0.75 and 2.5 micro g/0.5 micro L) or NMDA receptors by d(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (5 micro g/0.5 micro L) produced a general increase in reaction times, but left guidance of reaction times by cue-associated reward magnitudes unaffected. Thus, stimulation of intra-ACB ionotropic glutamate receptors is critically involved in modulating the speed of instrumental responding to cues predictive for reward magnitude, but is not required for intact performance of previously learned instrumental behaviour. PMID:14622231

  5. 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

  6. Desoxypipradrol is more potent than cocaine on evoked dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Colin; Ramsey, John

    2012-07-01

    Desoxypipradrol is a methylphenidate-like drug that has been recently found in a number of 'legal highs'. Evidence from emergency room toxicology reports suggests that this drug might have led to a number of psychotic events in drug abusers in the UK and elsewhere. However, very little research has been done on the effects of this drug on the brain. Here we used rat brain slices from the nucleus accumbens core, which were exposed to either cocaine (1, 3 or 10 µM) or desoxypipradrol (1, 3 or 10 µM) for 60 min. Dopamine efflux was electrically evoked and recorded using fast cyclic voltammetry. Both drugs increased the peak dopamine efflux and also slowed dopamine re-uptake. Desoxypipradrol was more potent than cocaine causing a sevenfold increase in peak dopamine levels (versus a threefold increase for cocaine) and increasing dopamine re-uptake half-life 15-fold (versus fivefold for cocaine). These data suggest that desoxypipradrol is more potent than cocaine at dopamine terminals, and this could account for its psychotogenic effects. PMID:22158543

  7. Essential Role of SIRT1 Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens in Cocaine and Morphine Action

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Deveroux; Koo, Ja Wook; Feng, Jian; Heller, Elizabeth; Rabkin, Jacqui; Heshmati, Mitra; Renthal, William; Neve, Rachael; Liu, Xiaochuan; Shao, Ningyi; Sartorelli, Vittorio; Shen, Li

    2013-01-01

    Sirtuins (SIRTs), class III histone deacetylases, are well characterized for their control of cellular physiology in peripheral tissues, but their influence in brain under normal and pathological conditions remains poorly understood. Here, we establish an essential role for SIRT1 and SIRT2 in regulating behavioral responses to cocaine and morphine through actions in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region. We show that chronic cocaine administration increases SIRT1 and SIRT2 expression in the mouse NAc, while chronic morphine administration induces SIRT1 expression alone, with no regulation of all other sirtuin family members observed. Drug induction of SIRT1 and SIRT2 is mediated in part at the transcriptional level via the drug-induced transcription factor ΔFosB and is associated with robust histone modifications at the Sirt1 and Sirt2 genes. Viral-mediated overexpression of SIRT1 or SIRT2 in the NAc enhances the rewarding effects of both cocaine and morphine. In contrast, the local knockdown of SIRT1 from the NAc of floxed Sirt1 mice decreases drug reward. Such behavioral effects of SIRT1 occur in concert with its regulation of numerous synaptic proteins in NAc as well as with SIRT1-mediated induction of dendritic spines on NAc medium spiny neurons. These studies establish sirtuins as key mediators of the molecular and cellular plasticity induced by drugs of abuse in NAc, and of the associated behavioral adaptations, and point toward novel signaling pathways involved in drug action. PMID:24107942

  8. 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

  9. Hyperammonaemia alters the mechanisms by which metabotropic glutamate receptors in nucleus accumbens modulate motor function.

    PubMed

    Cauli, Omar; Mlili, Nisrin; Rodrigo, Regina; Felipo, Vicente

    2007-10-01

    Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors by injecting (S)3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) increases motor activity by different mechanisms in control rats and in rats with chronic liver failure due to portacaval shunt. In control rats DHPG increases extracellular dopamine in NAcc and induces locomotion by activating the 'normal' circuit: NAcc-->ventral pallidum-->medial-dorsal thalamus-->prefrontal cortex, which is not activated in portacaval shunt rats. In these rats, DHPG activates an 'alternative' circuit: NAcc-->substantia nigra pars reticulata-->ventro-medial thalamus-->prefrontal cortex, which is not activated in control rats. The reasons by which liver failure leads to activation of this 'alternative' circuit remain unclear. The aim of this work was to assess whether hyperammonaemia could be responsible for the alterations found in chronic liver failure. We injected DHPG in NAcc of control or hyperammonaemic rats and analysed, by in vivo brain microdialysis, the neurochemical responses of the 'normal' and 'alternative' circuits. In hyperammonaemic rats DHPG injection in NAcc activates both the 'normal' and 'alternative' circuits. In hyperammonaemia, activation of the 'alternative' circuit and increased motor response following metabotropic glutamate receptors activation in NAcc seem due to an increase in extracellular glutamate which activates AMPA receptors. PMID:17587309

  10. 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

  11. Nucleus accumbens associated 1 is recruited within the promyelocytic leukemia nuclear body through SUMO modification

    PubMed Central

    Tatemichi, Yoshinori; Shibazaki, Masahiko; Yasuhira, Shinji; Kasai, Shuya; Tada, Hiroshi; Oikawa, Hiroki; Suzuki, Yuji; Takikawa, Yasuhiro; Masuda, Tomoyuki; Maesawa, Chihaya

    2015-01-01

    Nucleus accumbens associated 1 (NACC1) is a cancer-associated BTB/POZ (pox virus and zinc finger/bric-a-brac tramtrack broad complex) gene, and is involved in several cellular functions in neurons, cancer and stem cells. Some of the BTB/POZ proteins associated with cancer biology are SUMOylated, which appears to play an important role in transcription regulation. We show that NACC1 is SUMOylated on a phylogenetically conserved lysine (K167) out of three consensus SUMOylation motif sites. Amino acid substitution in the SIM sequence (SIM/M) within the BTB/POZ domain partially reduced K167 SUMOylation activity of NACC1. Overexpression of GFP-NACC1 fusion protein leads to formation of discrete nuclear foci similar to promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML-NB), which colocalized with SUMO paralogues (SUMO1/2/3). Both NACC1 nuclear body formation and colocalization with SUMO paralogues were completely suppressed in the GFP-NACC1-SIM/M mutant, whereas they were partially maintained in the NACC1 K167R mutant. Confocal immunofluorescence analysis showed that endogenous and exogenous NACC1 proteins colocalized with endogenous PML protein. A pull-down assay revealed that the consensus motifs of the SUMO acceptor site at K167 and the SIM within the BTB/POZ domain were both necessary for efficient binding to PML protein. Our study demonstrates that NACC1 can be modified by SUMO paralogues, and cooperates with PML protein. PMID:25891951

  12. Neural mechanisms of the nucleus accumbens circuit in reward and aversive learning.

    PubMed

    Hikida, Takatoshi; Morita, Makiko; Macpherson, Tom

    2016-07-01

    The basal ganglia are key neural substrates not only for motor function, but also cognitive functions including reward and aversive learning. Critical for these processes are the functional role played by two projection neurons within nucleus accumbens (NAc); the D1- and D2-expressing neurons. Recently, we have developed a novel reversible neurotransmission blocking technique that specifically blocks neurotransmission from NAc D1- and D2-expressing neurons, allowing for in vivo analysis. In this review, we outline the functional dissociation of NAc D1- and D2-expressing neurons of the basal ganglia in reward and aversive learning, as well as drug addiction. These studies have revealed the importance of activation of NAc D1 receptors for reward learning and drug addiction, and inactivation of NAc D2 receptors for aversive learning and flexibility. Based on these findings, we propose a neural mechanism, in which dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area that send inputs to the NAc work as a switch between D1- and D2-expressing neurons. These basal ganglia neural mechanisms will give us new insights into the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26827817

  13. Transfer of Neuroplasticity from Nucleus Accumbens Core to Shell Is Required for Cocaine Reward

    PubMed Central

    Marie, Nicolas; Canestrelli, Corinne; Noble, Florence

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that cocaine induces an increase of dendritic spines density in some brain regions. However, few studies have addressed the role of this neuroplastic changes in cocaine rewarding effects and have often led to contradictory results. So, we hypothesized that using a rigorous time- and subject-matched protocol would demonstrate the role of this spine increase in cocaine reward. We designed our experiments such as the same animals (rats) were used for spine analysis and behavioral studies. Cocaine rewarding effects were assessed with the conditioned place preference paradigm. Spines densities were measured in the two subdivisions of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), core and shell. We showed a correlation between the increase of spine density in NAcc core and shell and cocaine rewarding effects. Interestingly, when cocaine was administered in home cages, spine density was increase in NAcc core only. With anisomycin, a protein synthesis inhibitor, injected in the core we blocked spine increase in core and shell and also cocaine rewarding effects. Strikingly, whereas injection of this inhibitor in the shell immediately after conditioning had no effect on neuroplasticity or behavior, its injection 4 hours after conditioning was able to block neuroplasticity in shell only and cocaine-induced place preference. Thus, it clearly appears that the neuronal plasticity in the NAcc core is essential to induce plasticity in the shell, necessary for cocaine reward. Altogether, our data revealed a new mechanism in the NAcc functioning where a neuroplasticity transfer occurred from core to shell. PMID:22272316

  14. 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

  15. Nucleus accumbens shell, but not core, tracks motivational value of salt.

    PubMed

    Loriaux, Amy L; Roitman, Jamie D; Roitman, Mitchell F

    2011-09-01

    To appropriately respond to an affective stimulus, we must be able to track its value across changes in both the external and internal environment. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical component of reward circuitry, but recent work suggests that the NAc encodes aversion as well as reward. It remains unknown whether differential NAc activity reflects flexible changes in stimulus value when it is altered due to a change in physiological state. We measured the activity of individual NAc neurons when rats were given intraoral infusions of a hypertonic salt solution (0.45 M NaCl) across multiple sessions in which motivational state was manipulated. This normally nonpreferred taste was made rewarding via sodium depletion, which resulted in a strong motivation to seek out and consume salt. Recordings were made in three conditions: while sodium replete (REP), during acute sodium depletion (DEP), and following replenishment of salt to normal sodium balance (POST). We found that NAc neurons in the shell and core subregions responded differently across the three conditions. In the shell, we observed overall increases in NAc activity when the salt solution was nonpreferred (REP) but decreases when the salt solution was preferred (DEP). In the core, overall activity was significantly altered only after sodium balance was restored (POST). The results lend further support to the selective encoding of affective stimuli by the NAc and suggest that NAc shell is particularly involved in flexibly encoding stimulus value based on motivational state. PMID:21697439

  16. 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

  17. Butorphanol Suppression of Histamine Itch is Mediated by Nucleus Accumbens and Septal Nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Papoiu, Alexandru D.P.; Kraft, Robert A.; Coghill, Robert C.; Yosipovitch, Gil

    2014-01-01

    Opioid receptors in the central nervous system are important modulators of itch transmission. In this study, we examined the effect of mixed-action opioid butorphanol on histamine itch, cowhage itch and heat pain in healthy volunteers. Using functional MRI, we investigated significant changes in cerebral perfusion to identify the critical brain centers mediating the antipruritic effect of butorphanol. Butorphanol suppressed the itch induced experimentally with histamine, reduced the intensity of cowhage itch by approximately 35%, and did not affect heat pain sensitivity. In comparison with the placebo, butorphanol produced a bilateral deactivation of claustrum, insula and putamen, areas activated during itch processing. Analysis of cerebral perfusion patterns of brain processing of itch vs. itch inhibition under the effect of the drug, revealed that the reduction of cowhage itch by butorphanol was correlated with changes in cerebral perfusion in the midbrain, thalamus, S1, insula and cerebellum. The suppression of histamine itch by butorphanol was paralleled by the activation of nucleus accumbens and septal nuclei, structures expressing high levels of kappa opioid receptors. In conclusion, important relays of the mesolimbic circuit were involved in the inhibition of itch by butorphanol and could represent potential targets for the development of antipruritic therapy. PMID:25211175

  18. HIV-1 Transgenic Female Rat: Synaptodendritic Alterations of Medium Spiny Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Roscoe, Robert F.; Mactutus, Charles F.

    2015-01-01

    HIV-1 associated neurocognitive deficits are increasing in prevalence, although the neuronal basis for these deficits is unclear. HIV-1 Tg rats constitutively express 7 of 9 HIV-associated proteins, and may be useful for studying the neuropathological substrates of HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). In this study, adult female HIV-1 Tg rats and F344 control rats had similar growth rates, estrous cyclicity and startle reflex inhibition to a visual prepulse stimulus. Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) were ballistically-labeled utilizing the indocarbocyanine dye DiI. The branching complexity of MSNs in the NAcc was significantly decreased in HIV-1 Tg rats, relative to controls; moreover, the shorter length and decreased volume of dendritic spines, but unchanged head diameter, in HIV-1 Tg rats suggested a reduction of longer spines and an increase in shorter, less projected spines, indicating a population shift to a more immature spine phenotype. Collectively, these results from HIV-1 Tg female rats indicated significant synaptodendritic alterations of MSNs in the NAcc occur as a consequence of chronic, low-level, exposure to HIV-1 associated proteins. PMID:25037595

  19. Dopamine invigorates reward seeking by promoting cue-evoked excitation in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    du Hoffmann, Johann; Nicola, Saleem M

    2014-10-22

    Approach to reward is a fundamental adaptive behavior, disruption of which is a core symptom of addiction and depression. Nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine is required for reward-predictive cues to activate vigorous reward seeking, but the underlying neural mechanism is unknown. Reward-predictive cues elicit both dopamine release in the NAc and excitations and inhibitions in NAc neurons. However, a direct link has not been established between dopamine receptor activation, NAc cue-evoked neuronal activity, and reward-seeking behavior. Here, we use a novel microelectrode array that enables simultaneous recording of neuronal firing and local dopamine receptor antagonist injection. We demonstrate that, in the NAc of rats performing a discriminative stimulus task for sucrose reward, blockade of either D1 or D2 receptors selectively attenuates excitation, but not inhibition, evoked by reward-predictive cues. Furthermore, we establish that this dopamine-dependent signal is necessary for reward-seeking behavior. These results demonstrate a neural mechanism by which NAc dopamine invigorates environmentally cued reward-seeking behavior. PMID:25339748

  20. Circadian genes Period 1 and Period 2 in the nucleus accumbens regulate anxiety-related behavior

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Sade; Falcon, Edgardo; Kumar, Jaswinder; Krishnan, Vaishnav; Mukherjee, Shibani; Birnbaum, Shari G.; McClung, Colleen A.

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested for some time that circadian rhythm abnormalities underlie the development of multiple psychiatric disorders. However, it is unclear how disruptions in individual circadian genes might regulate mood and anxiety. Here we found that mice lacking functional mPeriod 1 (mPer1) or mPeriod 2 (mPer2) individually did not have consistent behavioral abnormalities in measures of anxiety-related behavior. However, mice deficient in both mPer1 and mPer2 had an increase in levels of anxiety-like behavior in multiple measures. Moreover, we found that mPer1 and mPer2 expression was reduced in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) after exposure to chronic social defeat stress, a paradigm that led to increased anxiety-related behavior. Following social defeat, chronic treatment with fluoxetine normalized Per gene expression towards wild-type levels. Knockdown of both mPer1 and mPer2 expression via RNA interference specifically in the NAc led to a similar increase in anxiety-like behavior as seen in the mutant animals. Taken together, these results implicate the Per genes in the NAc in response to stress and the development of anxiety. PMID:23039899

  1. Differential neuronal changes in medial prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens after postweaning social isolation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-Chun; Ho, Ue-Cheung; Ko, Meng-Ching; Liao, Chun-Chieh; Lee, Li-Jen

    2012-04-01

    The mesocorticolimbic system contains dopamine (DA)-producing neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and their projection targets, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), amygdala (AMY) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). Disruption of this system might attribute to mental illnesses. In the present study, we adopted the postweaning social isolation paradigm to model neuropsychiatric disorders and studied the functional and structural changes of the mesocorticolimbic system. After 8-9 weeks of isolation, rats exhibited hyperlocomotor activity and impaired sensorimotor gating compared to group-reared controls. However, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive VTA neurons and the volume of VTA were not affected. Comparing with group-reared controls, the DA levels in the isolation-reared were not altered in the VTA, mPFC and NAc but decreased in the AMY. In the structural aspect, dendritic features of layer II/III pyramidal mPFC neurons; pyramidal neurons in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) and medium spiny neurons in the core region of the NAc (NAcc) were examined. Interestingly, the neuronal changes were region-specific. The mPFC neurons had reduced dendritic complexity, spine density and elongated terminal branches. The BLA neurons had extensive dendritic arbors with short branches but unchanged spine density. The NAcc neurons had reduced total dendritic length but the segment length and spine density remained the same. Together, the results demonstrated the structural and functional changes in the mesocorticolimbic DA system of socially isolated rats. These changes may account for the behavioral impairments in these rats and attribute to the susceptibility to mental disorders related to schizophrenia and depression. PMID:22002740

  2. Cocaine-Induced Synaptic Alterations in Thalamus to Nucleus Accumbens Projection.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Peter A; Wang, Yicun; Yan, Yijin; Wang, Yao; Ishikawa, Masago; Cui, Ranji; Huang, Yanhua H; Sesack, Susan R; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan

    2016-08-01

    Exposure to cocaine induces addiction-associated behaviors partially through remodeling neurocircuits in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The paraventricular nucleus of thalamus (PVT), which projects to the NAc monosynaptically, is activated by cocaine exposure and has been implicated in several cocaine-induced emotional and motivational states. Here we show that disrupting synaptic transmission of select PVT neurons with tetanus toxin activated via retrograde trans-synaptic transport of cre from NAc efferents decreased cocaine self-administration in rats. This projection underwent complex adaptations after self-administration of cocaine (0.75 mg/kg/infusion; 2 h/d × 5 d, 1d overnight training). Specifically, 1d after cocaine self-administration, we observed increased levels of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-silent glutamatergic synapses in this projection, accompanied by a decreased ratio of AMPAR-to-NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated EPSCs. Furthermore, the decay kinetics of NMDAR EPSCs was significantly prolonged, suggesting insertion of new GluN2B-containing NMDARs to PVT-to-NAc synapses. After 45-d withdrawal, silent synapses within this projection returned to the basal levels, accompanied by a return of the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and NMDAR decay kinetics to the basal levels. In amygdala and infralimbic prefrontal cortical projections to the NAc, a portion of cocaine-generated silent synapses becomes unsilenced by recruiting calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) after drug withdrawal. However, the sensitivity of PVT-to-NAc synapses to CP-AMPAR-selective antagonists was not changed after withdrawal, suggesting that CP-AMPAR trafficking is not involved in the evolution of cocaine-generated silent synapses within this projection. Meanwhile, the release probability of PVT-to-NAc synapses was increased after short- and long-term cocaine withdrawal. These results reveal complex and profound alterations at PVT-to-NAc synapses after cocaine exposure and withdrawal. PMID:27074816

  3. 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

  4. Rat Nucleus Accumbens Core Astrocytes Modulate Reward and the Motivation to Self-Administer Ethanol after Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Bull, Cecilia; Freitas, Kelen CC; 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Deep brain stimulation of the ventral caudate nucleus in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression. Case report.

    PubMed

    Aouizerate, Bruno; Cuny, Emmanuel; Martin-Guehl, Corinne; Guehl, Dominique; Amieva, Helene; Benazzouz, Abdelhamid; Fabrigoule, Colette; Allard, Michele; Rougier, Alain; Bioulac, Bernard; Tignol, Jean; Burbaud, Pierre

    2004-10-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder associated with recurrent intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. Although conventional pharmacological and/or psychological treatments are well established and effective in treating OCD, symptoms remain unchanged in up to 30% of patients. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the anterior limb of the internal capsule has recently been proposed as a possible therapeutic alternative in treatment-resistant OCD. In the present study, the authors tested the hypothesis that DBS of the ventral caudate nucleus might be effective in a patient with intractable severe OCD and concomitant major depression. Psychiatric assessment included the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale for determining the symptom severity of OCD, depression, and anxiety as well as the quality of pychosocial and occupational functioning, respectively. Neuropsychological assessment consisted of a wide range of tests primarily exploring memory and executive functions. Deep brain stimulation of the ventral caudate nucleus markedly improved symptoms of depression and anxiety until their remission, which was achieved at 6 months after the start of stimulation (HDRS < or = 7 and HARS < or = 10). Remission of OCD (Y-BOCS < 16) was also delayed after 12 or 15 months of DBS. The level of functioning pursuant to the GAF scale progressively increased during the 15-month follow-up period. No neuropsychological deterioration was observed, indicating that DBS of the ventral caudate nucleus could be a promising strategy in the treatment of refractory cases of both OCD and major depression. PMID:15481726

  7. Nucleus accumbens D2R cells signal prior outcomes and control risky decision-making.

    PubMed

    Zalocusky, Kelly A; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Lerner, Talia N; Davidson, Thomas J; Knutson, Brian; Deisseroth, Karl

    2016-03-31

    A marked bias towards risk aversion has been observed in nearly every species tested. A minority of individuals, however, instead seem to prefer risk (repeatedly choosing uncertain large rewards over certain but smaller rewards), and even risk-averse individuals sometimes opt for riskier alternatives. It is not known how neural activity underlies such important shifts in decision-making--either as a stable trait across individuals or at the level of variability within individuals. Here we describe a model of risk-preference in rats, in which stable individual differences, trial-by-trial choices, and responses to pharmacological agents all parallel human behaviour. By combining new genetic targeting strategies with optical recording of neural activity during behaviour in this model, we identify relevant temporally specific signals from a genetically and anatomically defined population of neurons. This activity occurred within dopamine receptor type-2 (D2R)-expressing cells in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), signalled unfavourable outcomes from the recent past at a time appropriate for influencing subsequent decisions, and also predicted subsequent choices made. Having uncovered this naturally occurring neural correlate of risk selection, we then mimicked the temporally specific signal with optogenetic control during decision-making and demonstrated its causal effect in driving risk-preference. Specifically, risk-preferring rats could be instantaneously converted to risk-averse rats with precisely timed phasic stimulation of NAc D2R cells. These findings suggest that individual differences in risk-preference, as well as real-time risky decision-making, can be largely explained by the encoding in D2R-expressing NAc cells of prior unfavourable outcomes during decision-making. PMID:27007845

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:24916769

  10. Nucleus accumbens neuronal activity in freely behaving rats is modulated following acute and chronic methylphenidate administration.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-10

    Methylphenidate (MPD) is a psychostimulant that enhances dopaminergic neurotransmission in the central nervous system by using mechanisms similar to cocaine and amphetamine. The mode of action of brain circuitry responsible for an animal's neuronal response to MPD is not fully understood. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been implicated in regulating the rewarding effects of psychostimulants. The present study used permanently implanted microelectrodes to investigate the acute and chronic effects of MPD on the firing rates of NAc neuronal units in freely behaving rats. On experimental day 1 (ED1), following a saline injection (control), a 30 min baseline neuronal recording was obtained immediately followed by a 2.5 mg/kg i.p. MPD injection and subsequent 60 min neuronal recording. Daily 2.5 mg/kg MPD injections were given on ED2 through ED6 followed by 3 washout days (ED7 to ED9). On ED10, neuronal recordings were resumed from the same animal after a saline and MPD (rechallenge) injection exactly as obtained on ED1. Sixty-seven NAc neuronal units exhibited similar wave shape, form and amplitude on ED1 and ED10 and their firing rates were used for analysis. MPD administration on ED1 elicited firing rate increases and decreases in 54% of NAc units when compared to their baselines. Six consecutive MPD administrations altered the neuronal baseline firing rates of 85% of NAc units. MPD rechallenge on ED10 elicited significant changes in 63% of NAc units. These alterations in firing rates are hypothesized to be through mechanisms that include D1 and D2-like DA receptor induced cellular adaptation and homeostatic adaptations/deregulation caused by acute and chronic MPD administration. PMID:22248440

  11. 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. PMID:26733446

  12. 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. PMID:25828702

  13. Serotonin-2C Receptor Agonists Decrease Potassium-Stimulated GABA Release In the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Kasper, James M; Booth, Raymond G; Peris, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    The serotonin 5-HT2C receptor has shown promise in vivo as a pharmacotherapeutic target for alcoholism. For example, recently, a novel 4-phenyl-2-N,N-dimethylaminotetralin (PAT) drug candidate, that demonstrates 5-HT2C receptor agonist activity together with 5-HT2A/2B receptor inverse agonist activity, was shown to reduce operant responding for ethanol after peripheral administration to rats. Previous studies have shown that the 5-HT2C receptor is found throughout the mesoaccumbens pathway and that 5-HT2C receptor agonism causes activation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA neurons. It is unknown what effect 5-HT2C receptor modulation has on GABA release in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcc). To this end, microdialysis coupled to capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence was used to quantify extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations in the NAcc under basal and after potassium stimulation conditions, in response to PAT analogs and other 5-HT2C receptor modulators administered by reverse dialysis to rats. 5-HT2C receptor agonists specifically attenuated stimulated GABA release in the NAcc while 5-HT2C antagonists or inverse agonists had no effect. Agents with activity at 5-HT2A receptors had no effect on GABA release. Thus, in contrast to results reported for the VTA, current results suggest 5-HT2C receptor agonists decrease stimulated GABA release in the NAcc, and provide a possible mechanism of action for 5HT2C-mediated negative modulation of ethanol self-administration. PMID:25382408

  14. The role of nucleus accumbens and dorsolateral striatal D2 receptors in active avoidance conditioning.

    PubMed

    Boschen, Suelen Lucio; Wietzikoski, Evellyn Claudia; Winn, Philip; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2011-09-01

    The role of dopamine (DA) in rewarding motivated actions is well established but its role in learning how to avoid aversive events is still controversial. Here we tested the role of D2-like DA receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of rats in the learning and performance of conditioned avoidance responses (CAR). Adult male Wistar rats received systemic, intra-NAc or intra-DLS (pre- or post-training) administration of a D2-like receptor agonist (quinpirole) or antagonist ((-)sulpiride) and were given two sessions in the two-way active avoidance task. The main effects observed were: (i) sulpiride and lower (likely pre-synaptic) doses of quinpirole decreased the number of CARs and increased the number of escape failures; (ii) higher doses of quinpirole (likely post-synaptic) increased inter-trial crossings and failures; (iii) pre-training administration of sulpiride decreased the number of CARs in both training and test sessions when infused into the NAc, but this effect was observed only in the test session when it was infused into the DLS; (iv) post-training administration of sulpiride decreased CARs in the test session when infused into the NAc but not DLS. These findings suggest that activation of D2 receptors in the NAc is critical for fast adaptation to responding to unconditioned and conditioned aversive stimuli while activation of these receptors in the DLS is needed for a slower learning of how to respond to the same stimuli based on previous experiences. PMID:21619938

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Central and peripheral contributions to dynamic changes in nucleus accumbens glucose induced by intravenous cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Wakabayashi, Ken T.; Kiyatkin, Eugene A.

    2015-01-01

    The pattern of neural, physiological and behavioral effects induced by cocaine is consistent with metabolic neural activation, yet direct attempts to evaluate central metabolic effects of this drug have produced controversial results. Here, we used enzyme-based glucose sensors coupled with high-speed amperometry in freely moving rats to examine how intravenous cocaine at a behaviorally active dose affects extracellular glucose levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical structure within the motivation-reinforcement circuit. In drug-naive rats, cocaine induced a bimodal increase in glucose, with the first, ultra-fast phasic rise appearing during the injection (latency 6–8 s; ~50 μM or ~5% of baseline) followed by a larger, more prolonged tonic elevation (~100 μM or 10% of baseline, peak ~15 min). While the rapid, phasic component of the glucose response remained stable following subsequent cocaine injections, the tonic component progressively decreased. Cocaine-methiodide, cocaine's peripherally acting analog, induced an equally rapid and strong initial glucose rise, indicating cocaine's action on peripheral neural substrates as its cause. However, this analog did not induce increases in either locomotion or tonic glucose, suggesting direct central mediation of these cocaine effects. Under systemic pharmacological blockade of dopamine transmission, both phasic and tonic components of the cocaine-induced glucose response were only slightly reduced, suggesting a significant role of non-dopamine mechanisms in cocaine-induced accumbal glucose influx. Hence, intravenous cocaine induces rapid, strong inflow of glucose into NAc extracellular space by involving both peripheral and central, non-dopamine drug actions, thus preventing a possible deficit resulting from enhanced glucose use by brain cells. PMID:25729349

  18. Dopaminergic Neurotransmission in the Nucleus Accumbens Modulates Social Play Behavior in Rats.

    PubMed

    Manduca, Antonia; Servadio, Michela; Damsteegt, Ruth; Campolongo, Patrizia; Vanderschuren, Louk Jmj; Trezza, Viviana

    2016-08-01

    Social play behavior is a highly rewarding form of social interaction displayed by young mammals. Social play is important for neurobehavioral development and it has been found to be impaired in several developmental psychiatric disorders. In line with the rewarding properties of social play, we have previously identified the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as an important site of action for endocannabinoid and opioid modulation of this behavior. NAc dopamine has a well-known role in certain components of reward processes, such as incentive motivation. However, its contribution to the positive emotional aspects of social interactions is less clear. Therefore, we investigated the role of dopaminergic neurotransmission in the NAc in social play behavior in rats. We found that intra-NAc infusion of the dopamine releaser/reuptake inhibitor amphetamine increased social play behavior that was dependent on activation of both D1 and D2 dopamine receptors. This increase in social play behavior was mimicked by intra-NAc infusion of the dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine, but not of the dopamine reuptake inhibitor GBR-12909. Blockade of either D1 or D2 NAc dopamine receptors reduced social play in animals highly motivated to play as a result of longer social isolation before testing. Last, blockade of NAc dopamine receptors prevented the play-enhancing effects of endocannabinoid and opioid receptor stimulation. These findings demonstrate an important modulatory role of NAc dopaminergic neurotransmission in social play. Thus, functional activity in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway plays an important role in adaptive social development, whereas abnormal NAc dopamine function may underlie the social impairments observed in developmental psychiatric disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or early-onset schizophrenia. PMID:26860202

  19. κ Opioid Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell Mediate Escalation of Methamphetamine Intake

    PubMed Central

    Schlosburg, Joel E.; Wee, Sunmee; Gould, Adam; George, Olivier; Grant, Yanabel; Zamora-Martinez, Eva R.; Edwards, Scott; Crawford, Elena; Vendruscolo, Leandro F.; Koob, George F.

    2015-01-01

    Given that the κ opioid receptor (KOR) system has been implicated in psychostimulant abuse, we evaluated whether the selective KOR antagonist norbinaltorphimine dihydrochloride (nor-BNI) would attenuate the escalation of methamphetamine (METH) intake in an extended-access self-administration model. Systemic nor-BNI decreased the escalation of intake of long-access (LgA) but not short-access (ShA) self-administration. nor-BNI also decreased elevated progressive-ratio (PR) breakpoints in rats in the LgA condition and continued to decrease intake after 17 d of abstinence, demonstrating that the effects of a nor-BNI injection are long lasting. Rats with an ShA history showed an increase in prodynorphin immunoreactivity in both the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and shell, but LgA animals showed a selective increase in the NAc shell. Other cohorts of rats received nor-BNI directly into the NAc shell or core and entered into ShA or LgA. nor-BNI infusion in the NAc shell, but not NAc core, attenuated escalation of intake and PR responding for METH in LgA rats. These data indicate that the development and/or expression of compulsive-like responding for METH under LgA conditions depends on activation of the KOR system in the NAc shell and suggest that the dynorphin–KOR system is a central component of the neuroplasticity associated with negative reinforcement systems that drive the dark side of addiction. PMID:25762676

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

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, David M.; Francescutti-Verbeem, Dina M.; Kuhnt, Donald M.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:19457119

  1. κ Opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell mediate escalation of methamphetamine intake.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Timothy W; Schlosburg, Joel E; Wee, Sunmee; Gould, Adam; George, Olivier; Grant, Yanabel; Zamora-Martinez, Eva R; Edwards, Scott; Crawford, Elena; Vendruscolo, Leandro F; Koob, George F

    2015-03-11

    Given that the κ opioid receptor (KOR) system has been implicated in psychostimulant abuse, we evaluated whether the selective KOR antagonist norbinaltorphimine dihydrochloride (nor-BNI) would attenuate the escalation of methamphetamine (METH) intake in an extended-access self-administration model. Systemic nor-BNI decreased the escalation of intake of long-access (LgA) but not short-access (ShA) self-administration. nor-BNI also decreased elevated progressive-ratio (PR) breakpoints in rats in the LgA condition and continued to decrease intake after 17 d of abstinence, demonstrating that the effects of a nor-BNI injection are long lasting. Rats with an ShA history showed an increase in prodynorphin immunoreactivity in both the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and shell, but LgA animals showed a selective increase in the NAc shell. Other cohorts of rats received nor-BNI directly into the NAc shell or core and entered into ShA or LgA. nor-BNI infusion in the NAc shell, but not NAc core, attenuated escalation of intake and PR responding for METH in LgA rats. These data indicate that the development and/or expression of compulsive-like responding for METH under LgA conditions depends on activation of the KOR system in the NAc shell and suggest that the dynorphin-KOR system is a central component of the neuroplasticity associated with negative reinforcement systems that drive the dark side of addiction. PMID:25762676

  2. 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. PMID:26706499

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-05-15

    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 (LVR(non-run) and HVR(non-run)), as well as in rats after 6 days of voluntary wheel running (LVR(run) and HVR(run)). 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 LVR(non-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

  5. Plasticity of GABAA receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-dependent rats

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Jing; Lindemeyer, A. Kerstin; Suryanarayanan, Asha; Meyer, Edward M.; Marty, Vincent N.; Ahmad, S. Omar; Shao, Xuesi Max; Olsen, Richard W.

    2014-01-01

    Chronic alcohol exposure-induced changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse during protracted withdrawal. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a key structure of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system and plays an important role in mediating alcohol-seeking behaviors. Here we describe the long-lasting alterations of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAcc after chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) treatment, a rat model of alcohol dependence. CIE treatment and withdrawal (>40 days) produced decreases in the ethanol and Ro15-4513 potentiation of extrasynaptic GABAARs, which mediate the picrotoxin-sensitive tonic current (Itonic), while potentiation of synaptic receptors, which give rise to miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), was increased. Diazepam sensitivity of both Itonic and mIPSCs was decreased by CIE treatment. The average magnitude of Itonic was unchanged, but mIPSC amplitude and frequency decreased and mIPSC rise time increased after CIE treatment. Rise-time histograms revealed decreased frequency of fast-rising mIPSCs after CIE treatment, consistent with possible decreases in somatic GABAergic synapses in MSNs from CIE rats. However, unbiased stereological analysis of NeuN-stained NAcc neurons did not detect any decreases in NAcc volume, neuronal numbers, or neuronal cell body volume. Western blot analysis of surface subunit levels revealed selective decreases in α1 and δ and increases in α4, α5, and γ2 GABAAR subunits after CIE treatment and withdrawal. Similar, but reversible, alterations occurred after a single ethanol dose (5 g/kg). These data reveal CIE-induced long-lasting neuroadaptations in the NAcc GABAergic neurotransmission. PMID:24694935

  6. Drug-Paired Contextual Stimuli Increase Dendritic Spine Dynamics in Select Nucleus Accumbens Neurons.

    PubMed

    Singer, Bryan F; Bubula, Nancy; Li, Dongdong; Przybycien-Szymanska, Magdalena M; Bindokas, Vytautas P; Vezina, Paul

    2016-07-01

    Repeated exposure to amphetamine leads to both associative conditioning and nonassociative sensitization. Here we assessed the contribution of neuronal ensembles in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) to these behaviors. Animals exposed to amphetamine IP or in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) showed a sensitized locomotor response when challenged with amphetamine weeks later. Both exposure routes also increased ΔFosB levels in the NAcc. Further characterization of these ΔFosB+ neurons, however, revealed that amphetamine had no effect on dendritic spine density or size, indicating that these neurons do not undergo changes in dendritic spine morphology that accompany the expression of nonassociative sensitization. Additional experiments determined how neurons in the NAcc contribute to the expression of associative conditioning. A discrimination learning procedure was used to expose rats to IP or VTA amphetamine either Paired or Unpaired with an open field. As expected, compared with Controls, Paired rats administered IP amphetamine subsequently showed a conditioned locomotor response when challenged with saline in the open field, an effect accompanied by an increase in c-Fos+ neurons in the medial NAcc. Further characterization of these c-Fos+ cells revealed that Paired rats showed an increase in the density of dendritic spines and the frequency of medium-sized spines in the NAcc. In contrast, Paired rats previously exposed to VTA amphetamine showed neither conditioned locomotion nor conditioned c-Fos+ expression. Together, these results suggest a role for c-Fos+ neurons in the medial NAcc and rapid changes in the morphology of their dendritic spines in the expression of conditioning evoked by amphetamine-paired contextual stimuli. PMID:26979294

  7. Distribution and compartmental organization of GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons in the mouse nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Gangarossa, Giuseppe; Espallergues, Julie; de Kerchove d'Exaerde, Alban; El Mestikawy, Salah; Gerfen, Charles R.; Hervé, Denis; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Valjent, Emmanuel

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical brain region involved in many reward-related behaviors. The NAc comprises major compartments the core and the shell, which encompass several subterritories. GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) constitute the output neurons of the NAc core and shell. While the functional organization of the NAc core outputs resembles the one described for the dorsal striatum, a simple classification of the NAc shell neurons has been difficult to define due to the complexity of the compartmental segregation of cells. We used a variety of BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescence (EGFP) or the Cre-recombinase (Cre) under the control of the promoter of dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors and of adenosine A2a receptor to dissect the microanatomy of the NAc. Moreover, using various immunological markers we characterized in detail the distribution of MSNs in the mouse NAc. In addition, cell-type specific extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in the NAc subterritories was analyzed following acute administration of SKF81297 (a D1R-like agonist), quinpirole (a D2 receptors (D2R)-like agonist), apomorphine (a non-selective DA receptor agonist), raclopride (a D2R-like antagonist), and psychostimulant drugs, including cocaine and d-amphetamine. Each drug generated a unique topography and cell-type specific activation of ERK in the NAc. Our results show the existence of marked differences in the receptor expression pattern and functional activation of MSNs within the shell subterritories. This study emphasizes the anatomical and functional heterogeneity of the NAc, which will have to be considered in its further study. PMID:23423476

  8. Distribution and compartmental organization of GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons in the mouse nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Gangarossa, Giuseppe; Espallergues, Julie; de Kerchove d'Exaerde, Alban; El Mestikawy, Salah; Gerfen, Charles R; Hervé, Denis; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Valjent, Emmanuel

    2013-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical brain region involved in many reward-related behaviors. The NAc comprises major compartments the core and the shell, which encompass several subterritories. GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) constitute the output neurons of the NAc core and shell. While the functional organization of the NAc core outputs resembles the one described for the dorsal striatum, a simple classification of the NAc shell neurons has been difficult to define due to the complexity of the compartmental segregation of cells. We used a variety of BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescence (EGFP) or the Cre-recombinase (Cre) under the control of the promoter of dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors and of adenosine A2a receptor to dissect the microanatomy of the NAc. Moreover, using various immunological markers we characterized in detail the distribution of MSNs in the mouse NAc. In addition, cell-type specific extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in the NAc subterritories was analyzed following acute administration of SKF81297 (a D1R-like agonist), quinpirole (a D2 receptors (D2R)-like agonist), apomorphine (a non-selective DA receptor agonist), raclopride (a D2R-like antagonist), and psychostimulant drugs, including cocaine and d-amphetamine. Each drug generated a unique topography and cell-type specific activation of ERK in the NAc. Our results show the existence of marked differences in the receptor expression pattern and functional activation of MSNs within the shell subterritories. This study emphasizes the anatomical and functional heterogeneity of the NAc, which will have to be considered in its further study. PMID:23423476

  9. 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. PMID:26926827

  10. 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

  11. Glucocorticoid receptor mediated the propofol self-administration by dopamine D1 receptor in nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Wu, Binbin; Liang, Yuyuan; Dong, Zhanglei; Chen, Zhichuan; Zhang, Gaolong; Lin, Wenxuan; Wang, Sicong; Wang, Benfu; Ge, Ren-Shan; Lian, Qingquan

    2016-07-22

    Propofol, a widely used anesthetic, can cause addictive behaviors in both human and experimental animals. In the present study, we examined the involvement of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling in the molecular process by which propofol may cause addiction. The propofol self-administration model was established by a fixed ratio 1 (FR1) schedule of reinforced dosing over successive 14days in rats. On day 15, the rats were treated with dexamethasone, a GR agonist (10-100μg/kg), or RU486, a GR antagonist (10-100μg/kg) at 1h prior to the last training. The animal behaviors were recorded automatically by the computer. The expression of dopamine D1 receptor in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was examined by Western blot and the concentrations of plasma corticosterone were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). To further examine the specificity of GR in the process, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist, spironolactone, and dexamethasone plus MR agonist, aldosterone, were also tested. Administration of dexamethasone (100μg/kg) or RU486 (⩾10mg/kg) significantly attenuated the rate of propofol maintained active nose-poke responses and infusions, which were accompanied by reductions in both plasma corticosterone level and the expression of D1 receptor in the NAc. Neither spironolactone alone nor dexamethasone combined with aldosterone affected the propofol-maintaining self-administrative behavior, indicating GR, but not MR, modulates the propofol reward in rats. In addition, neither the food-maintaining sucrose responses under FR1 schedule nor the locomotor activity was affected by any doses of dexamethasone or RU486 tested. These findings provide evidence that GR signaling may play an important role in propofol reward. PMID:27126557

  12. Oscillatory Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens Correlates with Impulsivity and Reward Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Rich, P. Dylan; Nevado-Holgado, Alejo J.; Fernando, Anushka B. P.; Van Dijck, Gert; Holzhammer, Tobias; Paul, Oliver; Ruther, Patrick; Paulsen, Ole; Robbins, Trevor W.; Dalley, Jeffrey W.

    2014-01-01

    Actions expressed prematurely without regard for their consequences are considered impulsive. Such behaviour is governed by a network of brain regions including the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcb) and is prevalent in disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and drug addiction. However, little is known of the relationship between neural activity in these regions and specific forms of impulsive behaviour. In the present study we investigated local field potential (LFP) oscillations in distinct sub-regions of the PFC and NAcb on a 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), which measures sustained, spatially-divided visual attention and action restraint. The main findings show that power in gamma frequency (50–60 Hz) LFP oscillations transiently increases in the PFC and NAcb during both the anticipation of a cue signalling the spatial location of a nose-poke response and again following correct responses. Gamma oscillations were coupled to low-frequency delta oscillations in both regions; this coupling strengthened specifically when an error response was made. Theta (7–9 Hz) LFP power in the PFC and NAcb increased during the waiting period and was also related to response outcome. Additionally, both gamma and theta power were significantly affected by upcoming premature responses as rats waited for the visual cue to respond. In a subgroup of rats showing persistently high levels of impulsivity we found that impulsivity was associated with increased error signals following a nose-poke response, as well as reduced signals of previous trial outcome during the waiting period. Collectively, these in-vivo neurophysiological findings further implicate the PFC and NAcb in anticipatory impulsive responses and provide evidence that abnormalities in the encoding of rewarding outcomes may underlie trait-like impulsive behaviour. PMID:25333512

  13. Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 within Nucleus Accumbens Shell modulates environment-elicited cocaine conditioning expression

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Rivera, Arlene; Rodríguez-Borrero, Enrique; Matías-Alemán, Maria; Montalvo-Acevedo, Alexandra; Guerrero-Figuereo, Kathleen; Febo-Rodriguez, Liz. J; Morales-Rivera, Amarilys; Maldonado-Vlaar, Carmen S.

    2014-01-01

    The metabotropic glutamate receptors 5 (mGluRs5) within the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) have been implicated in the modulation of psychostimulant reward. We hypothesized that blockade of mGluR5 within the NAc shell would impair cocaine conditioning in rats. For this study, animals were implanted with cannulae within the NAc shell, and separate groups were exposed to a multimodal environment within activity chambers that signaled cocaine (cocaine-paired) or saline (controls, cocaine-unpaired) injections. Prior to placing the animals in the chambers, rats received systemic intraperitoneal injections of saline or cocaine for 10 consecutive sessions. In the test session (D12), animals were exposed to the multimodal environment without any cocaine or saline pre-treatment. Before placing the rats in the chambers, separate groups of animals were infused within the NAc shell with 2.5, 12 or 25nmol/0.5μl/side of 2-methyl-6- (phenylethynyl) pyridine (MPEP), an antagonist of mGluR5 or with vehicle. Blockade of the mGluR5 subtype at a 2.5nmol dose showed no significant difference in either the ambulatory distance (AD) or the vertical plane move time (VPT). In contrast, mGluR5 blockade at 12nmol and 25nmol decreased conditioned locomotion in the cocaine-paired groups. An association of the environmental cues with the effects of cocaine implies the involvement of memory process during the conditioning response. Our results suggest that mGluR5 within the NAc shell could be modulating the expression of memory related to the association of environmental cues with the effects of cocaine. We suggest that mGluR5 could be taking into account to further studies related with cocaine exposure and cocaine addiction treatments. PMID:23850523

  14. 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

  15. Endocannabinoids in amygdala and nucleus accumbens mediate social play reward in adolescent rats

    PubMed Central

    Trezza, Viviana; Damsteegt, Ruth; Manduca, Antonia; Petrosino, Stefania; Van Kerkhof, Linda W.M.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen; Zhou, Yeping; Campolongo, Patrizia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Vanderschuren, Louk J.M.J.

    2012-01-01

    The brain endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in emotional processes. We have previously identified an important role for endocannabinoids in social play behavior, a highly rewarding form of social interaction in adolescent rats. Here, we tested the hypothesis that endocannabinoid modulation of social play behavior occurs in brain regions implicated in emotion and motivation. Social play increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not in prefrontal cortex or hippocampus of 4–5 week old male Wistar rats. Furthermore, social play increased phosphorylation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala. Systemic administration of the anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 increased social play behavior, and augmented the associated elevation in anandamide levels in the amygdala, but not the NAc. Infusion of URB597 into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) increased social play behavior, and blockade of BLA CB1 cannabinoid receptors with the antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716A prevented the play-enhancing effects of systemic administration of URB597. Infusion of URB597 into the NAc also increased social play, but blockade of NAc CB1 cannabinoid receptors did not antagonize the play-enhancing effects of systemic URB597 treatment. Last, SR141716A did not affect social play after infusion into the core and shell subregions of the NAc, while it reduced social play when infused into the BLA. These data show that increased anandamide signalling in the amygdala and NAc augments social play, and identify the BLA as a prominent site of action for endocannabinoids to modulate the rewarding properties of social interactions in adolescent rats. PMID:23100412

  16. Neonatal Masculinization Blocks Increased Excitatory Synaptic Input in Female Rat Nucleus Accumbens Core.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jinyan; Dorris, David M; Meitzen, John

    2016-08-01

    Steroid sex hormones and genetic sex regulate the phenotypes of motivated behaviors and relevant disorders. Most studies seeking to elucidate the underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms have focused on how 17β-estradiol modulates the role of dopamine in striatal brain regions, which express membrane-associated estrogen receptors. Dopamine action is an important component of striatal function, but excitatory synaptic neurotransmission has also emerged as a key striatal substrate and target of estradiol action. Here, we focus on excitatory synaptic input onto medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatal region nucleus accumbens core (AcbC). In adult AcbC, miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency is increased in female compared with male MSNs. We tested whether increased mEPSC frequency in female MSNs exists before puberty, whether this increased excitability is due to the absence of estradiol or testosterone during the early developmental critical period, and whether it is accompanied by stable neuron intrinsic membrane properties. We found that mEPSC frequency is increased in female compared with male MSNs before puberty. Increased mEPSC frequency in female MSNs is abolished after neonatal estradiol or testosterone exposure. MSN intrinsic membrane properties did not differ by sex. These data indicate that neonatal masculinization via estradiol and/or testosterone action is sufficient for down-regulating excitatory synaptic input onto MSNs. We conclude that excitatory synaptic input onto AcbC MSNs is organized long before adulthood via steroid sex hormone action, providing new insight into a mechanism by which sex differences in motivated behavior and other AbcC functions may be generated or compromised. PMID:27285859

  17. mGluR5 stimulates gliotransmission in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    D'Ascenzo, Marcello; Fellin, Tommaso; Terunuma, Miho; Revilla-Sanchez, Raquel; Meaney, David F.; Auberson, Yves P.; Moss, Stephen J.; Haydon, Philip G.

    2007-01-01

    Although metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) is essential for cocaine self-administration and drug-seeking behavior, there is limited knowledge of the cellular actions of this receptor in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Although mGluR5 has the potential to regulate neurons directly, recent studies have shown the importance of mGluR5 in regulating Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes and, as a consequence, the Ca2+-dependent release of excitatory transmitters from these glia. In this study, we demonstrate that activation of mGluR5 induces Ca2+ oscillations in NAc astrocytes with the correlated appearance of NMDA receptor-dependent slow inward currents detected in medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Photolysis of caged Ca2+ loaded specifically into astrocytes evoked slow inward currents demonstrating that Ca2+ elevations in astrocytes are responsible for these excitatory events. Pharmacological evaluation of these glial-evoked NMDA currents shows that they are mediated by NR2B-containing NMDA receptors, whereas synaptic NMDA receptors rely on NR2A-containing receptors. Stimulation of glutamatergic afferents activates mGluR5-dependent astrocytic Ca2+ oscillations and gliotransmission that is sustained for minutes beyond the initial stimulus. Because gliotransmission is mediated by NMDA receptors, depolarized membrane potentials exhibited during up-states augment excitation provided by gliotransmission, which drives bursts of MSN action potentials. Because the predominant mGluR5-dependent action of glutamatergic afferents is to cause the sustained activation of astrocytes, which in turn excite MSNs through extrasynaptic NMDA receptors, our results raise the potential for gliotransmission being involved in prolonged mGluR5-dependent adaptation in the NAc. PMID:17259307

  18. Glutamate release in the nucleus accumbens core is necessary for heroin seeking.

    PubMed

    LaLumiere, Ryan T; Kalivas, Peter W

    2008-03-19

    Long-term changes in glutamate transmission in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) contribute to the reinstatement of drug seeking after extinction of cocaine self-administration. Whether similar adaptations in glutamate transmission occur during heroin and cue-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking is unknown. After 2 weeks of heroin self-administration and 2 weeks of subsequent extinction training, heroin seeking was induced by a noncontingent injection of heroin or by presentation of light/tone cues previously paired with heroin infusions. Microdialysis was conducted in the NAcore during reinstatement of heroin seeking in animals extinguished from heroin self-administration or in subjects receiving parallel (yoked) noncontingent saline or heroin. Reinstatement by either heroin or cue increased extracellular glutamate in the NAcore in the self-administration group, but no increase was elicited during heroin-induced reinstatement in the yoked control groups. The increase in glutamate during heroin-induced drug seeking was abolished by inhibiting synaptic transmission in the NAcore with tetrodotoxin or by inhibiting glutamatergic afferents to the NAcore from the prelimbic cortex. Supporting critical involvement of glutamate release, heroin seeking induced by cue or heroin was blocked by inhibiting AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors in the NAcore. Interestingly, although a heroin-priming injection increased dopamine equally in animals trained to self-administer heroin and in yoked-saline subjects, inhibition of dopamine receptors in the NAcore also blocked heroin- and cue-induced drug seeking. Together, these findings show that recruitment of the glutamatergic projection from the prelimbic cortex to NAcore is necessary to initiate the reinstatement of heroin seeking. PMID:18354020

  19. 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

  20. NMR-based metabonomic in hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex of methamphetamine-sensitized rats.

    PubMed

    Bu, Qian; Lv, Lei; Yan, Guangyan; Deng, Pengchi; Wang, Yanli; Zhou, Jiaqing; Yang, Yanzhu; Li, Yan; Cen, Xiaobo

    2013-05-01

    (1)H NMR spectroscopy was applied to investigate the changes of cerebral metabolites in brain hippocampus, nucleus accumbens (NAC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the rats subjected to subcutaneous twice-daily injections of 2.5mg/kg methamphetamine (MAP) for 7 days. The results indicated that MAP exposure induced significant behavioral sensitization and altered cerebral metabolites in rats. The neurotransmitters glutamate, glutamine and GABA significantly decreased in hippocampus, NAC and PFC. Specifically, increased succinic acid semialdehyde, a metabolism product of GABA, was observed in hippocampus. Additionally, decreased serotonin was observed in both NAC and PFC, whereas decreased dopamine was only observed in NAC after repeated MAP treatment. Glutathione obviously decreased in above brain regions, whereas acetylcysteine declined in hippocampus and NAC, and taurine declined in NAC and PFC. Homocysteic acid was elevated in hippocampus and NAC by repeated MAP administration. Membrane ingredients like phosphocholine elevated in response to MAP administration in NAC and PFC. N-Acetyl-aspartate, a marker of neuronal viability, decreased in the three regions; however, myo-inositol, a glial cell marker, increased in hippocampus and PFC. Tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate products, such as α-ketoglutarate, succinate, citrate and the methionine significantly decreased in above three brain regions after MAP administration; however, ADP decreased in hippocampus. These results indicate that repeated MAP treatment causes neurotransmitters disturbance, imbalance between oxidative stress and antioxidants, and gliosis in hippocampus, NAC and PFC. Profound metabolic changes detected across brain regions provide the first evidence of metabonomic changes in MAP-induced sensitized rats. PMID:23462569

  1. Three-dimensional surface deformation-based shape analysis of hippocampus and caudate nucleus in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Jesuchristopher; Warton, Christopher; Jacobson, Sandra W; Jacobson, Joseph L; Molteno, Chris D; Eicher, Anton; Marais, Patrick; Phillips, Owen R; Narr, Katherine L; Meintjes, Ernesta M

    2014-02-01

    Surface deformation-based analysis was used to assess local shape variations in the hippocampi and caudate nuclei of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging images were acquired for 31 children (19 controls and 12 children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome/partial FAS). Hippocampi and caudate nuclei were manually segmented, and surface meshes were reconstructed. An iterative closest point algorithm was used to register the template of one control subject to all other shapes in order to capture the true geometry of the shape with a fixed number of landmark points. A point distribution model was used to quantify the shape variations in terms of a change in co-ordinate positions. Using the localized Hotelling T(2) method, regions of significant shape variations between the control and exposed subjects were identified and mapped onto the mean shapes. Binary masks of hippocampi and caudate nuclei were generated from the segmented volumes of each brain. These were used to compute the volumes and for further statistical analysis. The Mann-Whitney test was performed to predict volume differences between the groups. Although the exposed and control subjects did not differ significantly in their volumes, the shape analysis showed the hippocampus to be more deformed at the head and tail regions in the alcohol-exposed children. Between-group differences in caudate nucleus morphology were dispersed across the tail and head regions. Correlation analysis showed associations between the degree of compression and the level of alcohol exposure. These findings demonstrate that shape analysis using three-dimensional surface measures is sensitive to fetal alcohol exposure and provides additional information than volumetric measures alone. PMID:23124690

  2. 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.

  3. Glial fibrillary acidic protein is differentially expressed across cortical and subcortical regions in healthy brains and downregulated in the thalamus and caudate nucleus of depressed suicides.

    PubMed

    Torres-Platas, S G; Nagy, C; Wakid, M; Turecki, G; Mechawar, N

    2016-04-01

    There is mounting evidence to suggest aberrant astrocytic function in depression and suicide. Independent studies have reported astrocytic abnormalities in certain brain regions, but it remains unclear whether this is a brain-wide phenomenon. The present study examined this question by measuring glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression in postmortem brain samples from suicide completers and matched non-psychiatric controls. Suicide completers were selected based on their recent characterization as low GFAP expressors in the prefrontal cortex, (Brodmann areas 8/9 and 10). Real-time PCR and immunoblotting were used to measure GFAP gene expression and protein levels in BA4 (primary motor cortex), BA17 (primary visual cortex), cerebellar cortex, mediodorsal thalamus and caudate nucleus. We found downregulation of GFAP mRNA and protein in the mediodorsal thalamus and caudate nucleus of depressed suicides compared with controls, whereas GFAP expression in other brain regions was similar between groups. Furthermore, a regional comparison including all samples revealed that GFAP expression in both subcortical regions was, on average, between 11- and 15-fold greater than in cerebellum and neocortex. Examining astrocyte morphology by immunohistochemistry showed that astrocytes in both thalamus and caudate displayed larger cell bodies and extended more ramified processes across larger domains than the previously described cortical astrocytes. This study reveals that astrocytic abnormalities are not brain wide and suggests that they are restricted to cortical and subcortical networks known to be affected in mood disorders. Additionally, our results show a greater diversity in human astrocytic phenotypes than previously thought. PMID:26033239

  4. 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. PMID:25592253

  5. 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

  6. Stimulated dopamine overflow and alpha-synuclein expression in the nucleus accumbens core distinguish rats bred for differential ethanol preference.

    PubMed

    Pelkonen, Anssi; Hiltunen, Mikko; Kiianmaa, Kalervo; Yavich, Leonid

    2010-08-01

    The key neurochemical systems and structures involved in the predisposition to substance abuse and preference to ethanol (EtOH) are not known in detail but clearly dopamine (DA) is an important modulator of addiction. Recent data indicate that alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn), a pre-synaptic protein, plays a role in regulation of DA release from the pre-synaptic terminals in striatum and the expression of this protein is different after drug abuse or following abstinence. In the present work, we analysed stimulated DA overflow in the dorsal and ventral striatum in EtOH naïve alko alchohol (AA) and alko non-alchohol (ANA) rats selected for more than 100 generations for their differential EtOH preference. In the same structures, we studied the expression of alpha-syn using western blotting. AA rats, in comparison with ANA rats, showed a marked reduction of stimulated peak DA overflow and higher levels of alpha-syn in the nucleus accumbens core. In the same structure, DA re-uptake was increased in AA rats in comparison with ANA rats. The effects of EtOH at low (0.1 g/kg) and higher (3 mg/kg) doses on DA overflow measured in the nucleus accumbens shell were similar in both lines. These results indicate that high expression of alpha-syn may contribute to the reduced DA overflow and the possible activation of re-uptake in the nucleus accumbens core of AA rats in comparison with ANA rats. PMID:20533994

  7. Amylin Receptor Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens Negatively Modulates μ-opioid-Driven Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Baisley, Sarah K; Baldo, Brian A

    2014-01-01

    Amylin is a peptide co-secreted with insulin that penetrates into the brain, and produces satiation-like effects via actions in the brainstem, hypothalamus, and mesencephalon. Little is known, however, about the effects of amylin in the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh), where a circumscribed zone of intense amylin receptor (AMY-R) binding overlaps reported mappings of a ‘hotspot' for μ-opioid receptor (μ-OR) amplification of food reward. Here, the ability of intra-AcbSh AMY-R signaling to modulate μ-OR-driven feeding was explored. Amylin (1–30 ng) was administered with the μ-OR agonist, D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) (0.25 μg), directly into the AcbSh of ad libitum-maintained rats. Amylin dose-dependently reversed DAMGO-induced hyperphagia; 3 ng of amylin reduced DAMGO-mediated feeding by nearly 50%. This dose was, however, completely ineffective at altering DAMGO-induced feeding in the anterior dorsal striatum. Intra-AcbSh amylin alone (3–30 ng) modestly suppressed 10% sucrose intake in ad libitum-maintained rats, and chow in food-deprived rats, but only at the 30-ng dose. This result indicates that reversal of AcbSh DAMGO-induced feeding at a 10-fold lower dose was neither due to malaise nor motoric impairment. Finally, intra-AcbSh infusion of the AMY-R antagonist, AC187 (20 μg), significantly attenuated the ability of prefeeding to suppress DAMGO-induced food intake, with no effects in non-prefed rats. Hence, AMY-R signaling negatively modulates μ-OR-mediated appetitive responses at the level of the AcbSh. The results with AC187 indicate that endogenous AMY-R transmission in the AcbSh curtails opioid function in the postprandial period, suggesting a novel pathway for peripheral-central integration in the control of appetitive motivation and opioid reward. PMID:24957819

  8. Nucleus accumbens core lesions retard instrumental learning and performance with delayed reinforcement in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Cardinal, Rudolf N; Cheung, Timothy HC

    2005-01-01

    Background Delays between actions and their outcomes severely hinder reinforcement learning systems, but little is known of the neural mechanism by which animals overcome this problem and bridge such delays. The nucleus accumbens core (AcbC), part of the ventral striatum, is required for normal preference for a large, delayed reward over a small, immediate reward (self-controlled choice) in rats, but the reason for this is unclear. We investigated the role of the AcbC in learning a free-operant instrumental response using delayed reinforcement, performance of a previously-learned response for delayed reinforcement, and assessment of the relative magnitudes of two different rewards. Results Groups of rats with excitotoxic or sham lesions of the AcbC acquired an instrumental response with different delays (0, 10, or 20 s) between the lever-press response and reinforcer delivery. A second (inactive) lever was also present, but responding on it was never reinforced. As expected, the delays retarded learning in normal rats. AcbC lesions did not hinder learning in the absence of delays, but AcbC-lesioned rats were impaired in learning when there was a delay, relative to sham-operated controls. All groups eventually acquired the response and discriminated the active lever from the inactive lever to some degree. Rats were subsequently trained to discriminate reinforcers of different magnitudes. AcbC-lesioned rats were more sensitive to differences in reinforcer magnitude than sham-operated controls, suggesting that the deficit in self-controlled choice previously observed in such rats was a consequence of reduced preference for delayed rewards relative to immediate rewards, not of reduced preference for large rewards relative to small rewards. AcbC lesions also impaired the performance of a previously-learned instrumental response in a delay-dependent fashion. Conclusions These results demonstrate that the AcbC contributes to instrumental learning and performance by

  9. Frequency Dependent Effects of Ethanol on Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Yorgason, Jordan T.; Ferris, Mark J.; Steffensen, Scott C.; Jones, Sara R.

    2014-01-01

    Background Ethanol is known to have excitatory effects on dopamine (DA) release, with moderate to high doses (0.5–2.5 g/kg) of acute ethanol enhancing DA neuron firing rates in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and DA levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Ethanol has also been shown to reduce DA activity, with moderate doses (1–2 g/kg) attenuating electrically evoked release, and higher doses (5 g/kg) decreasing NAc DA levels, demonstrating a biphasic effect of ethanol on DA release. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate ethanol’s inhibitory effects on NAc DA terminal release under low- and high-frequency stimulation conditions. Methods Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in NAc slices from C57BL/6J mice, we examined ethanol’s (40–160 mM) effects on DA release under several different stimulation parameters, varying frequency (5–125 Hz), number of pulses (1–10), and stimulation intensity (50–350 µA). Additionally, calcium concentrations were manipulated under high-frequency stimulation conditions (20 Hz, 10 pulses, 350 µA) in order to determine if ethanol’s effects were dependent upon calcium concentration, and by extension, the amount of DA release. Results Acute ethanol (40–160 mM) inhibited DA release to a greater extent under high-frequency, multiple-pulse stimulation conditions, with increased sensitivity at 5 and 10 pulses and frequencies of 20 Hz or higher. High-frequency, multiple-pulse stimulations also resulted in greater DA release compared to single-pulse release, which was controlled by reducing stimulation intensity. Under reduced DA conditions, high-frequency stimulations still showed increased ethanol sensitivity. Reducing calcium levels also decreased DA release at high-frequency stimulations, but did not affect ethanol sensitivity. Conclusions Ethanol appears to inhibit DA release at NAc terminals under high-frequency stimulation conditions that are similar to release events observed during phasic burst firing in

  10. Integrative proteomic analysis of the nucleus accumbens in rhesus monkeys following cocaine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Tannu, N S; Howell, L L; Hemby, S E

    2010-02-01

    The reinforcing effects and long-term consequences of cocaine self-administration have been associated with brain regions of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway, namely the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Studies of cocaine-induced biochemical adaptations in rodent models have advanced our knowledge; however, unbiased detailed assessments of intracellular alterations in the primate brain are scarce, yet essential, to develop a comprehensive understanding of cocaine addiction. To this end, two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) was used to compare changes in cytosolic protein abundance in the NAc between rhesus monkeys self-administering cocaine and controls. Following image normalization, spots with significantly differential image intensities (P<0.05) were identified, excised, trypsin digested and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization time-of-flight time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF-TOF). In total, 1098 spots were subjected to statistical analysis with 22 spots found to be differentially abundant of which 18 proteins were positively identified by mass spectrometry. In addition, approximately 1000 protein spots were constitutively expressed of which 21 proteins were positively identified by mass spectrometry. Increased levels of proteins in the cocaine-exposed monkeys include glial fibrillary acidic protein, syntaxin-binding protein 3, protein kinase C isoform, adenylate kinase isoenzyme 5 and mitochondrial-related proteins, whereas decreased levels of proteins included beta-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein and neural and non-neural enolase. Using a complimentary proteomics approach, the differential expression of phosphorylated proteins in the cytosolic fraction of these subjects was examined. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE) was followed by gel staining with Pro-Q Diamond phosphoprotein gel stain, enabling differentiation of approximately 150 phosphoprotein spots between the groups. Following excision and

  11. 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. PMID:25399704

  12. Prenatal cocaine alters dopamine and sigma receptor binding in nucleus accumbens and striatum in dams and adolescent offspring.

    PubMed

    Silvers, J M; Wallace, D R; Harrod, S B; Mactutus, C F; Booze, R M

    2006-01-01

    Maternal cocaine abuse is a societal problem with serious impact on both mother and child. Few studies exist that study the mother/offspring dyad of neurological effects of maternal cocaine abuse. The present study was designed to study alterations in D2, D3 and sigma receptor density in nucleus accumbens and striatum of dams and male and female offspring following gestational cocaine. Long-Evans female rats were implanted with an intravenous (i.v.) access port prior to breeding and were administered saline or 3.0 mg/kg of cocaine from gestational day (GD) GD8-20 (1 injection/day-GD8-14, 2 injections/day-GD15-20). Offspring were raised by maternal dams and allowed to mature until postnatal days 31-35, at which time dams and offspring were sacrificed for assay of radioligand binding. In dams, decreased D2 (24.6%) and D3 (36.9%) binding was observed in striatum. Female offspring displayed no differences in receptor binding in either region. Male offspring displayed decreased D2 receptor binding (27.1%) in nucleus accumbens and increased D3 (75.2% and 33.5%) and sigma receptor binding (73.4% and 53.1%) in accumbens and striatum, respectively. Collectively, these data clearly demonstrate that male offspring exhibit significant alterations in D2, D3 and sigma receptor binding. These results suggest that dams and offspring display long-lasting alterations (5 weeks) in dopamine receptor binding. These alterations in dopamine and sigma receptor binding in offspring following prenatal cocaine and rearing by maternal dams are sex specific and could have profound effects on the development of behavior. PMID:16529908

  13. 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. PMID:26715366

  14. 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. PMID:25976924

  15. RNAi knockdown of oxytocin receptor in the nucleus accumbens inhibits social attachment and parental care in monogamous female prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Keebaugh, Alaine C.; Barrett, Catherine E.; LaPrairie, Jamie L.; Jenkins, Jasmine J.; Young, Larry J.

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin modulates many aspects of social cognition and behaviors, including maternal nurturing, social recognition and bonding. Natural variation in oxytocin receptor (OXTR) density in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is associated with variation in alloparental behavior, and artificially enhancing OXTR expression in the NAcc enhances alloparental behavior and pair bonding in socially monogamous prairie voles. Furthermore, infusion of an OXTR antagonist into the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) inhibits alloparental behavior and partner preference formation. However, antagonists can promiscuously interact with other neuropeptide receptors. To directly examine the role of OXTR signaling in social bonding, we used RNA interference to selectively knockdown, but not eliminate, OXTR in the NAcc of female prairie voles and examined the impact on social behaviors. Using an adeno-associated viral vector expressing a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting Oxtr mRNA, we reduced accumbal OXTR density in female prairie voles from juvenile age through adulthood. Females receiving the shRNA vector displayed a significant reduction in alloparental behavior and disrupted partner preference formation. These are the first direct demonstrations that OXTR plays a critical role in alloparental behavior and adult social attachment, and suggest that natural variation in OXTR expression in this region alone can create variation in social behavior. PMID:25874849

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Effects of reward anticipation, reward presentation, and spatial parameters on the firing of single neurons recorded in the subiculum and nucleus accumbens of freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Martin, P D; Ono, T

    2000-11-15

    The subiculum is the major output of the hippocampal formation (involved in spatial processing). Subicular afferents innervate the nucleus accumbens, which is thought to integrate limbic reward information with motor output. Rats were chronically implanted with extra-cellular recording electrodes aimed at both structures to investigate the functional relationship between them. Animals were then trained on a spatial task in which they searched for random locations where they would receive rewarding medial forebrain bundle stimulation. At random times a cue tone was sounded, indicating that the reward location was in the center of the environment. Rats quickly learned to run to the center upon hearing the tone in order to receive a reward. Simultaneously recorded groups of up to eight subicular and accumbens neurons were found to display alterations in firing rate after rewarding medial forebrain bundle stimulation. Moreover, neurons in both subiculum and accumbens displayed alterations in firing rate prior to arrival at the center during cued runs, i.e. they anticipated predictable rewards. Subicular and accumbens firing was also correlated with spatial location. However, neurons in accumbens were more likely to respond to task events, and these responses were more varied, than those seen in subiculum. Thus, while convergence of spatial and reward information occurs at the level of single cells in both subiculum and nucleus accumbens, these structures also display functional localization. PMID:11090883

  19. The flexible approach hypothesis: unification of effort and cue-responding hypotheses for the role of nucleus accumbens dopamine in the activation of reward-seeking behavior.

    PubMed

    Nicola, Saleem M

    2010-12-01

    Dopamine released in the nucleus accumbens is thought to contribute to the decision to exert effort to seek reward. This hypothesis is supported by findings that performance of tasks requiring higher levels of effort is more susceptible to disruption by manipulations that reduce accumbens dopamine function than tasks that require less effort. However, performance of some low-effort cue-responding tasks is highly dependent on accumbens dopamine. To reconcile these disparate results, we made detailed behavioral observations of rats performing various operant tasks and determined how injection of dopamine receptor antagonists into the accumbens influenced specific aspects of the animals' behavior. Strikingly, once animals began a chain of operant responses, the antagonists did not affect the ability to continue the chain until reward delivery. Instead, when rats left the operandum, the antagonists severely impaired the ability to return. We show that this impairment is specific to situations in which the animal must determine a new set of approach actions on each approach occasion; this behavior is called "flexible approach." Both high-effort operant tasks and some low-effort cue-responding tasks require dopamine receptor activation in the accumbens because animals pause their responding and explore the chamber, and accumbens dopamine is required to terminate these pauses with flexible approach to the operandum. The flexible approach hypothesis provides a unified framework for understanding the contribution of the accumbens and its dopamine projection to reward-seeking behavior. PMID:21147998

  20. 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. PMID:25529183

  1. Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Accumbens Shell Attenuates Cue-Induced Reinstatement of Both Cocaine and Sucrose Seeking in Rats

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 d, with each infusion of cocaine being paired with a cue light. After 21 d 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. PMID:25529183

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tissue profiling of secretoneurin in the nucleus accumbens shell from cocaine-sensitized rats

    PubMed Central

    Uys, Joachim D.; Grey, Angus C.; Wiggins, Armina; Schwacke, John H.; Schey, Kevin L.; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Proteins in the nucleus accumbens mediate many cocaine-induced behaviors. In an effort to measure changes in nucleus accumbens protein expression as potential biomarkers for addiction, coronal tissue sections were obtained from rats that developed behavioral sensitization after daily administration of cocaine, or from daily saline-treated controls. The tissue sections were subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) profiling and tissue imaging. For profiling experiments, brain sections were manually spotted with matrix over the nucleus accumbens, a brain region known to regulate cocaine sensitization. Summed mass spectra (10 000 laser shots, grid) were acquired and spectra were aligned to reference peaks. Using bioinformatics tools, eight spectral features were found to be altered by cocaine treatment. Based on additional sequencing experiments with MALDI tandem MS and database searches of measured masses, secretoneurin (m/z 3653) was identified as having an increased expression. In addition, the distribution of m/z 3653 in the nucleus accumbens was determined by MALDI tissue imaging, and the increased expression of its precursor protein, secretogranin II, was verified by immunoblotting. PMID:19918966

  7. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tissue profiling of secretoneurin in the nucleus accumbens shell from cocaine-sensitized rats.

    PubMed

    Uys, Joachim D; Grey, Angus C; Wiggins, Armina; Schwacke, John H; Schey, Kevin L; Kalivas, Peter W

    2010-01-01

    Proteins in the nucleus accumbens mediate many cocaine-induced behaviors. In an effort to measure changes in nucleus accumbens protein expression as potential biomarkers for addiction, coronal tissue sections were obtained from rats that developed behavioral sensitization after daily administration of cocaine, or from daily saline-treated controls. The tissue sections were subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) profiling and tissue imaging. For profiling experiments, brain sections were manually spotted with matrix over the nucleus accumbens, a brain region known to regulate cocaine sensitization. Summed mass spectra (10,000 laser shots, grid) were acquired and spectra were aligned to reference peaks. Using bioinformatics tools, eight spectral features were found to be altered by cocaine treatment. Based on additional sequencing experiments with MALDI tandem MS and database searches of measured masses, secretoneurin (m/z 3653) was identified as having an increased expression. In addition, the distribution of m/z 3653 in the nucleus accumbens was determined by MALDI tissue imaging, and the increased expression of its precursor protein, secretogranin II, was verified by immunoblotting. PMID:19918966

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-19

    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

  9. Underweight rats have enhanced dopamine release and blunted acetylcholine response in the nucleus accumbens while bingeing on sucrose.

    PubMed

    Avena, N M; Rada, P; Hoebel, B G

    2008-10-28

    The present study tested whether rats release more accumbens dopamine (DA) during a sugar binge when they are underweight vs. normal weight. Since acetylcholine (ACh) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) normally increases as a meal progresses and satiety ensues, we also tested whether ACh release is altered when an animal has lost weight. Rats were maintained on daily 8-h access to chow, with 10% sucrose solution available for the first 2 h. Microdialysis performed on day 21, at normal body weight, revealed an increase in extracellular DA to 122% of baseline in response to drinking sucrose. Extracellular ACh peaked at the end of the meal. Next, the rats were food and sucrose restricted so that by day 28 they were at 85% body weight. When retested, these animals released significantly more DA when drinking sucrose (179%), but ACh release failed to rise. A control group was tested in the same manner but given sugar only on days 1, 21 and 28. At normal body weight, control animals showed a non-significant rise in DA when drinking sucrose on day 21. On day 28, at 85% body weight, the controls showed a small increase (124%) in DA release; however, this was significantly lower than the 179% observed in the underweight rats with daily sugar access. These findings suggest that when an animal binges on sugar and then loses weight, the binge releases significantly more DA and less ACh than when animals are at a normal body weight. PMID:18790017

  10. A high-fat meal, or intraperitoneal administration of a fat emulsion, increases extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Rada, Pedro; Avena, Nicole M; Barson, Jessica R; Hoebel, Bartley G; Leibowitz, Sarah F

    2012-01-01

    Evidence links dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell to the ingestion of palatable diets. Less is known, however, about the specific relation of DA to dietary fat and circulating triglycerides (TG), which are stimulated by fat intake and promote overeating. The present experiments tested in Sprague-Dawley rats whether extracellular levels of NAc DA increase in response to acute access to fat-rich food or peripheral injection of a fat emulsion and, if so, whether this is related to caloric intake or elevated circulating lipids. When rats consumed more calories of a high-fat meal compared with a low-fat meal, there was a significant increase in extracellular accumbens DA (155% vs. 119%). Systemic injection of a fat emulsion, which like a high-fat diet raises circulating TG but eliminates the factor of taste and allows for the control of caloric intake, also significantly increased extracellular levels of DA (127%) compared to an equicaloric glucose solution (70%) and saline (85%). Together, this suggests that a rise in circulating TG may contribute to the stimulatory effect of a high-fat diet on NAc DA. PMID:24962774

  11. A High-Fat Meal, or Intraperitoneal Administration of a Fat Emulsion, Increases Extracellular Dopamine in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Rada, Pedro; Avena, Nicole M.; Barson, Jessica R.; Hoebel, Bartley G.; Leibowitz, Sarah F.

    2012-01-01

    Evidence links dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell to the ingestion of palatable diets. Less is known, however, about the specific relation of DA to dietary fat and circulating triglycerides (TG), which are stimulated by fat intake and promote overeating. The present experiments tested in Sprague-Dawley rats whether extracellular levels of NAc DA increase in response to acute access to fat-rich food or peripheral injection of a fat emulsion and, if so, whether this is related to caloric intake or elevated circulating lipids. When rats consumed more calories of a high-fat meal compared with a low-fat meal, there was a significant increase in extracellular accumbens DA (155% vs. 119%). Systemic injection of a fat emulsion, which like a high-fat diet raises circulating TG but eliminates the factor of taste and allows for the control of caloric intake, also significantly increased extracellular levels of DA (127%) compared to an equicaloric glucose solution (70%) and saline (85%). Together, this suggests that a rise in circulating TG may contribute to the stimulatory effect of a high-fat diet on NAc DA. PMID:24962774

  12. UNDERWEIGHT RATS HAVE ENHANCED DOPAMINE RELEASE AND BLUNTED ACETYLCHOLINE RESPONSE IN THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS WHILE BINGEING ON SUCROSE

    PubMed Central

    AVENA, N. M.; RADA, P.; HOEBEL, B. G.

    2015-01-01

    The present study tested whether rats release more accumbens dopamine (DA) during a sugar binge when they are underweight vs. normal weight. Since acetylcholine (ACh) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) normally increases as a meal progresses and satiety ensues, we also tested whether ACh release is altered when an animal has lost weight. Rats were maintained on daily 8-h access to chow, with 10% sucrose solution available for the first 2 h. Microdialysis performed on day 21, at normal body weight, revealed an increase in extracellular DA to 122% of baseline in response to drinking sucrose. Extracellular ACh peaked at the end of the meal. Next, the rats were food and sucrose restricted so that by day 28 they were at 85% body weight. When retested, these animals released significantly more DA when drinking sucrose (179%), but ACh release failed to rise. A control group was tested in the same manner but given sugar only on days 1, 21 and 28. At normal body weight, control animals showed a non-significant rise in DA when drinking sucrose on day 21. On day 28, at 85% body weight, the controls showed a small increase (124%) in DA release; however, this was significantly lower than the 179% observed in the underweight rats with daily sugar access. These findings suggest that when an animal binges on sugar and then loses weight, the binge releases significantly more DA and less ACh than when animals are at a normal body weight. PMID:18790017

  13. 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

  14. DeltaFosB is increased in the nucleus accumbens by amphetamine but not social housing or isolation in the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, C M; Bales, K L

    2012-05-17

    The nucleus accumbens is a key region that mediates aspects of immediate and long-term adaptations to various stimuli. For example, both repeated amphetamine and pair-bonding increase dopamine D1 receptor binding in the nucleus accumbens of the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). This upregulation has significant and stimulus-dependent behavioral consequences. A promising candidate for these and other adaptations is the transcription factor ΔfosB. ΔfosB is a highly stable protein that persists in the brain over long periods of time, leading to increasing and accumulating levels with repeated or continuous exposure to specific stimuli. Within the nucleus accumbens, ΔfosB is specifically increased in medium spiny neurons containing D1 receptors. To explore whether ΔfosB is altered by drug and social experience in prairie voles, we performed three separate experiments. In the first experiment, animals were treated with repeated injections of amphetamine and then brain tissue was analyzed for ΔfosB expression. As expected, 4 days of amphetamine treatment increased ΔfosB in the nucleus accumbens, consistent with previous findings in other laboratory species. In the second experiment, animals were housed for 10 days with one of three social partners: a familiar same-sex sibling, an unfamiliar same-sex partner, or an unfamiliar opposite-sex partner. Here, we predicted that 10 days of housing with an opposite-sex partner would act as a "social reward," leading to upregulation of ΔfosB expression in the nucleus accumbens. In a third experiment, we also investigated whether 10 days of social isolation would result in altered ΔfosB activity. We hypothesized that isolation would lead to decreased levels of nucleus accumbens ΔfosB, as seen in other studies. However, neither opposite-sex cohabitation nor social isolation affected ΔfosB expression in the nucleus accumbens. These findings suggest that social stimuli, in contrast to drugs of abuse, are not

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. Evidence for motivational effects elicited by activation of GABA-A or dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell

    PubMed Central

    Wirtshafter, David; Stratford, Thomas R.

    2011-01-01

    Microinjections of the inhibitory GABA-A receptor agonist muscimol into the shell region of the nucleus accumbens (AcbSh) have been reported to induce large increases in food intake, but the effect of these injections on motivational processes is less clear. In the current study, bilateral injections of saline, muscimol (50 ng/side) or D-amphetamine (10 μg/side) were made into the AcbSh of rats trained to lever press on a progressive ratio schedule for food reward. Injections of both muscimol and amphetamine were found to produce a large increase in the breaking point relative to saline injections. This result suggests that inactivation of the AcbSh does not simply drive ingestive behavior, but also affects motivational processes assessed by the progressive ratio schedule. Breaking points were also increased by injections of amphetamine into the AcbSh. PMID:20598739

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26049060

  19. Prenatal stress induces vulnerability to nicotine addiction and alters D2 receptors' expression in the nucleus accumbens in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Said, N; Lakehayli, S; El Khachibi, M; El Ouahli, M; Nadifi, S; Hakkou, F; Tazi, A

    2015-09-24

    Prenatal stress (PS) can induce several long-lasting behavioral and molecular abnormalities in rats. It can also be considered as a risk factor for many psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia, depression or PTSD and predispose to addiction. In this study, we investigated the effect of prenatal stress on the reinforcing properties of nicotine in the CPP paradigm. Then, we examined the mRNA expression of the D2 dopaminergic receptors using the quantitative real-time PCR technique in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). We found that prenatally stressed rats exhibited a greater place preference for the nicotine-paired compartment than the control rats. Moreover, we observed an overexpression of the DRD2 gene in adult offspring stressed in utero and a downregulation in the PS NIC group (PS rats treated with nicotine) compared with their control counterparts (C NIC). These data suggest that maternal stress can permanently alter the offspring's addictive behavior and D2 receptors' expression. PMID:26192093

  20. The describability of the rats' behaviour in categories of certain statistical procedures after applying the electrical stimulation to the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Fabianczyk, Karol

    2001-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the describability of animals' behaviour in categories of certain statistical procedures after applying the electrical stimulation to the nucleus accumbens. Six rats were trained to run to a burette filled with glucose or water after 0, 10 and 20 of food deprivation. After an animal reached the burette, a train of cathodal rectangular pulses of 100 Hz frequency and 0.5 s was delivered alternatively to each nucleus accumbens frequency and duration of the current train were held unvaried during the experiment. Current intensity, time of food deprivation, and burette content were randomly changed during successive sessions of the experiment. The applied current intensities were 0, 500 and 700 &mgr;A. In the initial phase, rats that had been deprived, run to the burette filled with glucose until running speed stabilized. Each session consisted of 20 trials, which formed an executive activity pattern of responding for a particular animal. Obtained data were investigated by means of the regression analysis, autocorrelation function and ANOVA. The electrical stimulation of the nucleus accumbens exerted no influence on running speed, latency to run or fluid intake but crucially affected patterns of animals' responding. This experiment supports the thesis, that the nucleus accumbens is responsible for a mode of the executive activity control and therefore final characteristics of responding. This means, that brain representation of activity resulting from deprivation creates an input for the nucleus accumbens, in which final characteristics of responding are established. This conclusion is discussed in the context of conditions of predictability of the time course of animals' activity. PMID:11738509

  1. The Adenosine A2A Receptor Agonist, CGS-21680, Blocks Excessive Rearing, Acquisition of Wheel Running, and Increases Nucleus Accumbens CREB Phosphorylation in Chronically Food-Restricted Rats

    PubMed Central

    de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Kannan, Pavitra; Pan, Yan; Jiang, Nancy; Sun, Yanjie; Carr, Kenneth D.

    2007-01-01

    Adenosine A2A receptors are preferentially expressed in rat striatum, where they are concentrated in dendritic spines of striatopallidal medium spiny neurons and exist in a heteromeric complex with D2 dopamine (DA) receptors. Behavioral and biochemical studies indicate an antagonistic relationship between A2A and D2 receptors. Previous studies have demonstrated that food-restricted (FR) rats display behavioral and striatal cellular hypersensitivity to D1 and D2 DA receptor stimulation. These alterations may underlie adaptive, as well as maladaptive, behaviors characteristic of the FR rat. The present study examined whether FR rats are hypersensitive to the A2A receptor agonist, CGS-21680. In Experiment 1, spontaneous horizontal motor activity did not differ between FR and ad libitum fed (AL) rats, while vertical activity was greater in the former. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of CGS-21680 (0.25 and 1.0 nmol) decreased both types of motor activity in FR rats, and returned vertical activity levels to those observed in AL rats. In Experiment 2, FR rats given access to a running wheel for a brief period outside of the home cage rapidly acquired wheel running while AL rats did not. Pretreatment with CGS-21680 (1.0 nmol) blocked the acquisition of wheel running. When administered to FR subjects that had previously acquired wheel running, CGS-21680 suppressed the behavior. In Experiment 3, CGS-21680 (1.0 nmol) activated both ERK 1/2 and CREB in caudate-putamen with no difference between feeding groups. However, in nucleus accumbens (NAc), CGS-21680 failed to activate ERK 1/2 and selectively activated CREB in FR rats. These results indicate that FR subjects are hypersensitive to several effects of an adenosine A2A agonist, and suggest the involvement of an upregulated A2A receptor-linked signaling pathway in NAc. Medications targeting the A2A receptor may have utility in the treatment of maladaptive behaviors associated with FR, including substance abuse

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

    PubMed

    Bocarsly, M E; Avena, N M

    2013-09-17

    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 paraventricular nucleus (PVN), or consumption of a HFD, would be associated with a decrease in NAc CREB. In Exp. 1, GAL in the PVN of naïve rats decreased phosphorylated-CREB (pCREB) which is the activated form of CREB, in the NAc compared to saline-injected controls. In Exp. 2, rats fed ad libitum HFD for 4 weeks 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 HFD, thereby providing a potential mechanism underlying behavioral differences seen with addiction-like overconsumption of different types of palatable foods. PMID:23747305

  3. 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

  4. Control of within-binge cocaine-seeking by dopamine and glutamate in the core of nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Suto, Nobuyoshi; Ecke, Laurel E.; Wise, Roy A.

    2011-01-01

    Rationale Dopamine and glutamate are thought to interact in the ventral striatum and to play important roles there in the cocaine-seeking of cocaine-experienced animals. Objectives We sought to determine the relative roles of the two transmitters in the two major zones of the nucleus accumbens (NAS), the core and shell subregions. Methods We assessed the effects of dopamine and glutamate receptor blockade in the core and shell on intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats. Trained animals were allowed to self-administer cocaine for an initial hour, and then D1-type or D2-type dopamine receptor blockers or NMDA-type or AMPA-type glutamate receptor blockers were infused by reverse microdialysis into one of the two regions for an additional 3 h of testing. Results The D1-type antagonist SCH23390 and the D2-type antagonist raclopride each increased cocaine intake whereas the AMPA-type antagonist CNQX decreased responding when infused into the core. SCH23390 increased cocaine intake less strongly when infused into the shell, while raclopride and CNQX were each ineffective when infused into the shell. The NMDA-antagonist CPP failed to affect cocaine self-administration when infused into either site. Conclusions These findings implicate the core of NAS in the maintenance of established cocaine self-administration in trained animals, despite the fact that the reinforcement of responding in untrained animals appears to results from cocaine actions in the olfactory tubercle and medial shell and not the core of accumbens. PMID:19436996

  5. 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. )

    1990-02-01

    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. The concentrations of 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT), a metabolite of dopamine whose concentrations reflect dopamine release in vivo, were measured after rats were exposed to different doses of high-energy iron particles to gain further information about the effect of radiation on the dopaminergic system. Concentrations of 3-MT were significantly reduced 3 days after exposure to 5 Gy but returned to control values by 8 days. After 6 months, concentrations were again less than control values. Exposure to 5 Gy of high-energy electrons or gamma photons had no effect 3 days after exposure. Very high doses of electrons were needed to alter 3-MT concentrations. One hundred grays of electrons decreased 3-MT 30 min after irradiation but levels returned to control values by 60 min. Gamma photons had no effect after doses up to 200 Gy. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Endogenous and exogenous dopamine depress EPSCs in rat nucleus accumbens in vitro via D1 receptors activation.

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, J; Lacey, M G

    1996-01-01

    1. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from nucleus accumbens neurones in slices of rat ventral forebrain. In the presence of picrotoxin (50 microM), the amplitude of 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione-sensitive glutamate EPSCs, recorded at holding potentials between -80 and -90 mV, was reversibly reduced by 56 +/- 11% (n = 6) by dopamine (30 microM). The selective dopamine D1 receptor agonists SKF 38393 (10 microM) and SKF 81297A (10 microM), but not the selective D2 receptor agonist quinpirole (10 microM), also reversibly depressed the EPSC by 36-48%. The depression of the EPSC by dopamine was completely blocked by the D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (1 microM), whereas the D2 antagonist (-)-sulpiride (1 microM) was without effect. 2. EPSCs were reversibly depressed by the dopamine mimetic psychostimulants cocaine (1-20 microM) and amphetamine (10-30 microM) by 40 +/- 16 and 62 +/- 9%, respectively, but only in about half of the cells tested (11/23 and 6/13, respectively). Their actions were completely reversed by SCH 23390 (1 microM), indicating that endogenous dopamine can also depress the EPSC via D1 receptors. 3. No discernable effects of dopamine, SKF 81297A, SKF 38393, quinpirole, cocaine or amphetamine were observed on membrane conductance or holding current (at holding potentials of -80 to -90 mV), suggesting that the depression of the EPSC was solely due to an action on presynaptic D1 receptors. 4. In contrast, agents that elevate intracellular levels of adenosine-3':5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) (forskolin (1-10 microM), 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (0.1-1 mM), rolipram (10 microM), and dibutyryl cAMP (0.5-1 mM)) caused a reversible increase in the EPSC amplitude (by 21-150%). Furthermore, in the presence of forskolin (10 microM), the ability of dopamine to depress synaptic transmission was unaffected. 5. Together these data suggest that both exogenous dopamine and dopamine released from intrinsic nerve terminals attenuate glutamate receptor

  9. 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

  10. Corticotropin-releasing factor within the central nucleus of the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens shell mediates the negative affective state of nicotine withdrawal in rats

    PubMed Central

    Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A.; Prado, Melissa M.; Isaac, Shani K.; Marshall, Alex; Rylkova, Daria; Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.

    2008-01-01

    Tobacco addiction is a chronic disorder that is characterized by a negative affective state upon smoking cessation and relapse after periods of abstinence. Previous research has shown that an increased central release of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) at least partly mediates the deficit in brain reward function associated with nicotine withdrawal in rats. The aim of these studies was to investigate the role of CRF in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), and the nucleus accumbens shell (Nacc shell) in the deficit in brain reward function associated with precipitated nicotine withdrawal. The intracranial self-stimulation procedure was used to assess the negative affective aspects of nicotine withdrawal. Elevations in brain reward thresholds are indicative of a deficit in brain reward function. In all experiments, the nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine (3 mg/kg) elevated the brain reward thresholds of the nicotine dependent rats (9 mg/kg/day of nicotine salt) and did not affect the brain reward thresholds of the saline-treated control rats. The administration of the nonspecific CRF1/2 receptor antagonist D-Phe CRF(12–41) into the CeA and the Nacc shell prevented the mecamylamine-induced elevations in brain reward thresholds in the nicotine dependent rats. Blockade of CRF1/2 receptors in the lateral BNST did not prevent the mecamylamine-induced elevations in brain reward thresholds in the nicotine dependent rats. These studies indicate that the negative emotional state associated with precipitated nicotine withdrawal is at least partly mediated by an increased release of CRF in the CeA and Nacc shell. PMID:19145226

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

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, AJD; Thur, KE; Marsden, CA; Cassaday, HJ

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21262855

  12. [REACTIVE CHANGES IN THE ASTROCYTES OF FOREBRAIN NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS AFTER RESTRICTION OF BLOOD FLOW IN THE BASIN OF BOTH COMMON CAROTID ARTERIES IN RATS].

    PubMed

    Naumov, N G

    2016-01-01

    Reactive changes of astrocytes were studied in forebrain nucleus accumbens in rats (n = 12) after global cerebral ischemia induced by bilateral occlusion of both common carotid arteries, which is a frequently used model to assess the effectiveness of pharmacological agents that have anti-ischemic and neuroprotective properties. Under these conditions, the nucleus accumbens was in the area of partial ischemia. Morphometric study of nucleus accumbens was performed in three groups of rats (4 animals in each group) after ligation of both common carotid arteries, after a sham operation and in healthy animals. Astrocytes were demonstrated in serial sections using the reaction to glial fibrillary acidic protein counterstained with hematoxylin. 7 days after the surgery, in each animal the number of astrocytes was counted in the sections in 7 successiive squares of 0.01 mm2 each, the distance between their bodies and the capillary wall was measured within the circle of 20 μm radius, the cell body area and the length of their main processes were determined. It is found that astrocytes in the nucleus accumbens in the model of bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries for 7 days experienced a partial state of ischemia. Their reactive changes were manifested by the signs of the cytotoxic edema, damaging intermediate filament proteins in their bodies, processes and in the perivascular glial membranes. The concentration of the astrocyte cell bodies near blood capillaries is the adaptation mechanism and is a condition for the survival of cells under the restriction of blood flow in the brain. PMID:27487658

  13. A comparative study of the effects of morphine in the dorsal periaqueductal gray and nucleus accumbens of rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze test.

    PubMed

    Anseloni, V C; Coimbra, N C; Morato, S; Brandão, M L

    1999-11-01

    We studied the effects of morphine injected either systemically or into the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG) or nucleus accumbens (NA) using conventional and ethological analyses of behavior of rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze test with transparent walls. Intraperitoneal morphine (0.1 mg/kg and 0.3 mg/kg) increased both standard and ethological measures, expressing general exploratory activity such as total arm entries, end-exploration, scanning, head-dipping, and rearing. Morphine 10 (7.6 microg/microl) and 30 nmol (23 microg/microl) injected into nucleus accumbens produced similar effects, which were blocked by i.p. naltrexone (2.0 mg/kg), an opioid antagonist with good affinity for mu-opioid receptors. Morphine injected into the DPAG produced either antiaversive (10 nmol) or aversive effects (30 nmol), which respectively reduced and increased entries and time spent in the open arms and behaviors associated with risk assessment (peeping out, stretched attend postures, and flat back approach). The proaversive effects were inhibited by i.p. norbinaltorphimine (2.0 mg/kg), a selective inhibitor for kappa-opioid receptors. These findings support the contention that at least some of the motivational effects of morphine may be due to activation of opioid mechanisms in nucleus accumbens, and DPAG has neural substrates for antiaversive and aversive effects of morphine. Moreover, on the basis of previous and present data obtained in this laboratory, it is suggested that stimulation of mu-opioid receptors inhibits and stimulation of kappa-receptors activates the neural substrate of aversion in the DPAG. On the other hand, the increase in exploratory behavior due to interaction of morphine with mu-opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens may be due to the stimulation of the interface between neural substrates of motivation and motor output in this structure. PMID:10591900

  14. Nucleus accumbens response to food cues predicts subsequent snack consumption in women and increased body mass index in those with reduced self-control.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Natalia S; Hinton, Elanor C; Parkinson, John A; Lawrence, Andrew D

    2012-10-15

    Individuals have difficulty controlling their food consumption, which is due in part to the ubiquity of tempting food cues in the environment. Individual differences in the propensity to attribute incentive (motivational) salience to and act on these cues may explain why some individuals eat more than others. Using fMRI in healthy women, we found that food cue related activity in the nucleus accumbens, a key brain region for food motivation and reward, was related to subsequent snack food consumption. However, both nucleus accumbens activation and snack food consumption were unrelated to self-reported hunger, or explicit wanting and liking for the snack. In contrast, food cue reactivity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was associated with subjective hunger/appetite, but not with consumption. Whilst the food cue reactivity in the nucleus accumbens that predicted snack consumption was not directly related to body mass index (BMI), it was associated with increased BMI in individuals reporting low self-control. Our findings reveal a neural substrate underpinning automatic environmental influences on consumption in humans and demonstrate how self-control interacts with this response to predict BMI. Our data provide support for theoretical models that advocate a 'dual hit' of increased incentive salience attribution to food cues and poor self-control in determining vulnerability to overeating and overweight. PMID:22776461

  15. Morphine epigenomically regulates behavior through alterations in histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Sun, Haosheng; Maze, Ian; Dietz, David M; Scobie, Kimberly N; Kennedy, Pamela J; Damez-Werno, Diane; Neve, Rachael L; Zachariou, Venetia; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J

    2012-11-28

    Dysregulation of histone modifying enzymes has been associated with numerous psychiatric disorders. Alterations in G9a (Ehmt2), a histone methyltransferase that catalyzes the euchromatic dimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me2), has been implicated recently in mediating neural and behavioral plasticity in response to chronic cocaine administration. Here, we show that chronic morphine, like cocaine, decreases G9a expression, and global levels of H3K9me2, in mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region. In contrast, levels of other histone methyltransferases or demethylases, or of other methylated histone marks, were not affected in NAc by chronic morphine. Through viral-mediated gene transfer and conditional mutagenesis, we found that overexpression of G9a in NAc opposes morphine reward and locomotor sensitization and concomitantly promotes analgesic tolerance and naloxone-precipitated withdrawal, whereas downregulation of G9a in NAc enhances locomotor sensitization and delays the development of analgesic tolerance. We identified downstream targets of G9a by providing a comprehensive chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing analysis of H3K9me2 distribution in NAc in the absence and presence of chronic morphine. These data provide novel insight into the epigenomic regulation of H3K9me2 by chronic morphine and suggest novel chromatin-based mechanisms through which morphine-induced addictive-like behaviors arise. PMID:23197736

  16. BDNF rescues BAF53b-dependent synaptic plasticity and cocaine-associated memory in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    White, André O; Kramár, Enikö A; López, Alberto J; Kwapis, Janine L; Doan, John; Saldana, David; Davatolhagh, M Felicia; Alaghband, Yasaman; Blurton-Jones, Mathew; Matheos, Dina P; Wood, Marcelo A

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence implicates epigenetic mechanisms in drug-associated memory processes. However, a possible role for one major epigenetic mechanism, nucleosome remodelling, in drug-associated memories remains largely unexplored. Here we examine mice with genetic manipulations targeting a neuron-specific nucleosome remodelling complex subunit, BAF53b. These mice display deficits in cocaine-associated memory that are more severe in BAF53b transgenic mice compared with BAF53b heterozygous mice. Similar to the memory deficits, theta-induced long-term potentiation (theta-LTP) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is significantly impaired in slices taken from BAF53b transgenic mice but not heterozygous mice. Further experiments indicate that theta-LTP in the NAc is dependent on TrkB receptor activation, and that BDNF rescues theta-LTP and cocaine-associated memory deficits in BAF53b transgenic mice. Together, these results suggest a role for BAF53b in NAc neuronal function required for cocaine-associated memories, and also that BDNF/TrkB activation in the NAc may overcome memory and plasticity deficits linked to BAF53b mutations. PMID:27226355

  17. The reinforcing effects of ethanol within the nucleus accumbens shell involve activation of local GABA and serotonin receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Zheng-Ming; Ingraham, Cynthia M.; Rodd, Zachary A.; McBride, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Ethanol is reinforcing within the nucleus accumbens shell (NACsh), but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Ethanol can potentiate the function of the GABAA, GABAB, and 5-HT3 receptors. Therefore, the current study tested the hypothesis that activation of these receptors would be involved in the reinforcing effects of ethanol in the NACsh. An intracranial self-administration (ICSA) procedure was used to assess the reinforcing effects of ethanol in the NACsh of alcohol preferring (P) rats. The ICSA consisted of 7 sessions: 4 sessions to establish 150 mg% ethanol self-infusion into the NACsh; sessions 5 and 6 with co-infusion of ethanol plus one concentration of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline (10 or 100 µM), the GABAB antagonist SCH 50911 (50, 75 or 100 µM), or the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist zacopride (10 or 100 µM); and session 7 with 150 mg% ethanol alone. All groups self-infused ethanol into the NACsh and readily discriminated the active from inactive lever during the acquisition sessions. Co-infusion of 100 µM, but not 10 µM, bicuculline or zacopride significantly decreased active responses during sessions 5 and 6. Co-infusion of 75 µM, but not 50 or 100 µM, SCH 50911 significantly attenuated responses for ethanol. Overall, the results suggest that the reinforcing effects of ethanol in the NACsh may be modulated by activation of local GABAA, GABAB and 5-HT3 receptors. PMID:25922425

  18. Basal and morphine-evoked dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of MOR- and DOR-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Chefer, Vladimir I; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Shippenberg, Toni S

    2003-10-01

    Conventional and no net flux microdialysis were used to quantify basal and morphine-induced extracellular dopamine (DA) levels and the basal extraction fraction, which provides an estimate of the rate of DA uptake, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of wild-type mice and those with a constitutive deletion of mu (MOR)- or delta (DOR)-opioid receptors. Locomotor activity was assessed in these same animals. No difference between genotypes in basal dialysate DA levels was seen. No net flux studies revealed significant decreases in the DA extraction fraction in both MOR- and DOR-knockout mice, indicating decreased basal DA uptake in both genotypes. Extracellular DA, however, was unchanged. Because extracellular neurotransmitter levels are determined by the dynamics of both release and uptake, these findings provide suggestive evidence that basal DA release is decreased in mutant mice. Systemic administration of morphine significantly increased locomotor activity and dialysate DA levels in wild-type mice. MOR-knockout mice failed to exhibit a behavioural response to morphine. The ability of morphine to increase DA levels, however, was reduced but not prevented. No alteration in the effects of morphine was observed in DOR-knockout mice. These data provide genetic evidence for the existence of tonically active MOR and DOR systems that modulate basal DA neurotransmission in the NAc. Furthermore, they demonstrate that in contrast to the locomotor-activating effects of morphine, a small component of morphine-evoked DA release occurs independently of MOR activation. PMID:14622224

  19. Quantitative no-net-flux microdialysis permits detection of increases and decreases in dopamine uptake in mouse nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Chefer, Vladimir I; Zapata, Agustin; Shippenberg, Toni S; Bungay, Peter M

    2006-09-15

    A number of investigators are using the quantitative no-net-flux microdialysis technique to monitor basal neurotransmitter dynamics in discrete brain regions of behaving animals. The predictive validity of the probe extraction fraction (Ed) for quantifying decreases in the rate of dopamine (DA) clearance from the extracellular space is well documented. It was recently suggested, however, that Ed may be insensitive to increases in DA clearance. Here we report that the Ed for DA in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of the behaving mouse is increased following pharmacological inactivation of kappa-opioid receptors, a treatment previously shown to augment DA uptake. The Ed obtained in control mice and those that received the long-acting kappa-opioid receptor antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI), satisfied the requirement that the mean values of each were lower than the mean value in vitro for the same probes immersed in well-stirred artificial cerebrospinal fluid. The Ed was increased in the NAc of nor-BNI-treated mice as compared to saline-treated control animals. The corresponding increase in the DA uptake rate was quantified by using the Ed values to calculate a change in the apparent clearance rate constant. Nor-BNI treatment did not alter the apparent extracellular dopamine concentration represented by the point of no-net-flux indicating that the rates of DA uptake and release were both increased. PMID:16466808

  20. Butorphanol suppression of histamine itch is mediated by nucleus accumbens and septal nuclei: a pharmacological fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Papoiu, Alexandru D P; Kraft, Robert A; Coghill, Robert C; Yosipovitch, Gil

    2015-02-01

    Opioid receptors in the central nervous system are important modulators of itch transmission. In this study, we examined the effect of mixed-action opioid butorphanol on histamine itch, cowhage itch, and heat pain in healthy volunteers. Using functional MRI, we investigated significant changes in cerebral perfusion to identify the critical brain centers mediating the antipruritic effect of butorphanol. Butorphanol suppressed the itch induced experimentally with histamine, reduced the intensity of cowhage itch by approximately 35%, and did not affect heat pain sensitivity. In comparison with the placebo, butorphanol produced a bilateral deactivation of claustrum, insula, and putamen, areas activated during itch processing. Analysis of cerebral perfusion patterns of brain processing of itch versus itch inhibition under the effect of the drug revealed that the reduction in cowhage itch by butorphanol was correlated with changes in cerebral perfusion in the midbrain, thalamus, S1, insula, and cerebellum. The suppression of histamine itch by butorphanol was paralleled by the activation of nucleus accumbens and septal nuclei, structures expressing high levels of kappa opioid receptors. In conclusion, important relays of the mesolimbic circuit were involved in the inhibition of itch by butorphanol and could represent potential targets for the development of antipruritic therapy. PMID:25211175

  1. 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. PMID:20569176

  2. No unified reward prediction error in local field potentials from the human nucleus accumbens: evidence from epilepsy patients.

    PubMed

    Stenner, Max-Philipp; Rutledge, Robb B; Zaehle, Tino; Schmitt, Friedhelm C; Kopitzki, Klaus; Kowski, Alexander B; Voges, Jürgen; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J

    2015-08-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cyclic voltammetry, and single-unit electrophysiology studies suggest that signals measured in the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) during value-based decision making represent reward prediction errors (RPEs), the difference between actual and predicted rewards. Here, we studied the precise temporal and spectral pattern of reward-related signals in the human Nacc. We recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from the Nacc of six epilepsy patients during an economic decision-making task. On each trial, patients decided whether to accept or reject a gamble with equal probabilities of a monetary gain or loss. The behavior of four patients was consistent with choices being guided by value expectations. Expected value signals before outcome onset were observed in three of those patients, at varying latencies and with nonoverlapping spectral patterns. Signals after outcome onset were correlated with RPE regressors in all subjects. However, further analysis revealed that these signals were better explained as outcome valence rather than RPE signals, with gamble gains and losses differing in the power of beta oscillations and in evoked response amplitudes. Taken together, our results do not support the idea that postsynaptic potentials in the Nacc represent a RPE that unifies outcome magnitude and prior value expectation. We discuss the generalizability of our findings to healthy individuals and the relation of our results to measurements of RPE signals obtained from the Nacc with other methods. PMID:26019312

  3. Phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling in the human nucleus accumbens tracks action monitoring during cognitive control

    PubMed Central

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Zaehle, Tino; Kopitzki, Klaus; Voges, Jürgen; Schmitt, Friedhelm C.; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Knight, Robert T.; Hinrichs, Hermann

    2013-01-01

    The Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc) is an important structure for the transfer of information between cortical and subcortical structures, especially the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. However, the mechanism that allows the NAcc to achieve this integration is not well understood. Phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (PAC) of oscillations in different frequency bands has been proposed as an effective mechanism to form functional networks to optimize transfer and integration of information. Here we assess PAC between theta and high gamma oscillations as a potential mechanism that facilitates motor adaptation. To address this issue we recorded intracranial field potentials directly from the bilateral human NAcc in three patients while they performed a motor learning task that varied in the level of cognitive control needed to perform the task. As in rodents, PAC was observable in the human NAcc, transiently occurring contralateral to a movement following the motor response. Importantly, PAC correlated with the level of cognitive control needed to monitor the action performed. This functional relation indicates that the NAcc is engaged in action monitoring and supports the evaluation of motor programs during adaptive behavior by means of PAC. PMID:24109448

  4. Long-lasting deficits in hedonic and nucleus accumbens reactivity to sweet rewards by sugar overconsumption during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Naneix, Fabien; Darlot, Florence; Coutureau, Etienne; Cador, Martine

    2016-03-01

    Adolescence is a critical period characterized by major neurobiological changes. Chronic stimulation of the reward system might constitute an important factor in vulnerability to pathological development. In spite of the dramatic increase in the consumption of sweet palatable foods during adolescence in our modern societies, the long-term consequences of such exposure on brain reward processing remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated in rats the long-lasting effects of sugar overconsumption during their adolescence on their adult reactivity to the hedonic properties of sweet rewards. Adolescent rats with continuous access to 5% sucrose solution (from postnatal day 30-46) showed escalating intake. At adulthood (post-natal day 70), using two-bottle free choice tests, sucrose-exposed rats showed lower intake than non-exposed rats suggesting decreased sensitivity to the rewarding properties of sucrose. In Experiment 1, we tested their hedonic-related orofacial reactions to intraoral infusion of tasty solutions. We showed that sucrose-exposed rats presented less hedonic reactions in response to sweet tastes leaving the reactivity to water or quinine unaltered. Hence, in Experiment 2, we observed that this hedonic deficit is associated with lower c-Fos expression levels in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region known to play a central role in hedonic processing. These findings demonstrate that a history of high sucrose intake during the critical period of adolescence induces long-lasting deficits in hedonic treatment that may contribute to reward-related disorders. PMID:26762310

  5. Cue-evoked dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell tracks reinforcer magnitude during intracranial self-stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Beyene, Manna; Carelli, Regina M.; Wightman, R. Mark

    2010-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system is critically involved in modulating reward-seeking behavior and is transiently activated upon presentation of reward-predictive cues. It has previously been shown, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in behaving rats, that cues predicting a variety of reinforcers including food/water, cocaine or intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) elicit time-locked transient fluctuations in dopamine concentration in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. These dopamine transients have been found to correlate with reward-related learning and are believed to promote reward-seeking behavior. Here, we investigated the effects of varying reinforcer magnitude (intracranial stimulation parameters) on cue-evoked dopamine release in the NAc shell in rats performing ICSS. We found that the amplitude of cue-evoked dopamine is adaptable, tracks reinforcer magnitude and is significantly correlated with ICSS seeking behavior. Specifically, the concentration of cue-associated dopamine transients increased significantly with increasing reinforcer magnitude, while, at the same time, the latency to lever press decreased with reinforcer magnitude. These data support the proposed role of NAc dopamine in the facilitation of reward-seeking and provide unique insight into factors influencing the plasticity of dopaminergic signaling during behavior. PMID:20600644

  6. Cue-evoked dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell tracks reinforcer magnitude during intracranial self-stimulation.

    PubMed

    Beyene, M; Carelli, R M; Wightman, R M

    2010-09-15

    The mesolimbic dopamine system is critically involved in modulating reward-seeking behavior and is transiently activated upon presentation of reward-predictive cues. It has previously been shown, using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in behaving rats, that cues predicting a variety of reinforcers including food/water, cocaine or intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) elicit time-locked transient fluctuations in dopamine concentration in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. These dopamine transients have been found to correlate with reward-related learning and are believed to promote reward-seeking behavior. Here, we investigated the effects of varying reinforcer magnitude (intracranial stimulation parameters) on cue-evoked dopamine release in the NAc shell in rats performing ICSS. We found that the amplitude of cue-evoked dopamine is adaptable, tracks reinforcer magnitude and is significantly correlated with ICSS seeking behavior. Specifically, the concentration of cue-associated dopamine transients increased significantly with increasing reinforcer magnitude, while, at the same time, the latency to lever press decreased with reinforcer magnitude. These data support the proposed role of NAc dopamine in the facilitation of reward-seeking and provide unique insight into factors influencing the plasticity of dopaminergic signaling during behavior. PMID:20600644

  7. Low expression of Gria1 and Grin1 glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR).

    PubMed

    Diana, Mariana C; Santoro, Marcos L; Xavier, Gabriela; Santos, Camila Mauricio; Spindola, Leticia N; Moretti, Patrícia N; Ota, Vanessa K; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Abilio, Vanessa C; Belangero, Sintia I

    2015-10-30

    The Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) strain is a classical animal model for the study of essential hypertension. Recently, our group suggested that this strain could be a useful animal model for schizophrenia, which is a severe mental illness with involvement of glutamatergic system. The aim of this study is to investigate glutamatergic receptors (Gria1 and Grin1) and glycine transporter (Glyt1) gene expression in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of SHR animals. The effects in gene expression of a chronic treatment with antipsychotic drugs (risperidone, haloperidol and clozapine) were also analyzed. Animals were treated daily for 30 days, and euthanized for brain tissue collection. The expression pattern was evaluated by Real Time Reverse-Transcriptase (RT) PCR technique. In comparison to control rats, SHR animals present a lower expression of both NMDA (Grin1) and AMPA (Gria1) gene receptors in the NAcc. Antipsychotic treatments were not able to change gene expressions in any of the regions evaluated. These findings provide evidence for the role of glutamatergic changes in schizophrenia-like phenotype of the SHR strain. PMID:26296755

  8. Lateral hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, and ventral pallidum roles in eating and hunger: interactions between homeostatic and reward circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Daniel C.; Cole, Shannon L.; Berridge, Kent C.

    2015-01-01

    The study of the neural bases of eating behavior, hunger, and reward has consistently implicated the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and its interactions with mesocorticolimbic circuitry, such as mesolimbic dopamine projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral pallidum (VP), in controlling motivation to eat. The NAc and VP play special roles in mediating the hedonic impact (“liking”) and motivational incentive salience (“wanting”) of food rewards, and their interactions with LH help permit regulatory hunger/satiety modulation of food motivation and reward. Here, we review some progress that has been made regarding this circuitry and its functions: the identification of localized anatomical hedonic hotspots within NAc and VP for enhancing hedonic impact; interactions of NAc/VP hedonic hotspots with specific LH signals such as orexin; an anterior-posterior gradient of sites in NAc shell for producing intense appetitive eating vs. intense fearful reactions; and anatomically distributed appetitive functions of dopamine and mu opioid signals in NAc shell and related structures. Such findings help improve our understanding of NAc, VP, and LH interactions in mediating affective and motivation functions, including “liking” and “wanting” for food rewards. PMID:26124708

  9. No unified reward prediction error in local field potentials from the human nucleus accumbens: evidence from epilepsy patients

    PubMed Central

    Rutledge, Robb B.; Zaehle, Tino; Schmitt, Friedhelm C.; Kopitzki, Klaus; Kowski, Alexander B.; Voges, Jürgen; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cyclic voltammetry, and single-unit electrophysiology studies suggest that signals measured in the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) during value-based decision making represent reward prediction errors (RPEs), the difference between actual and predicted rewards. Here, we studied the precise temporal and spectral pattern of reward-related signals in the human Nacc. We recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from the Nacc of six epilepsy patients during an economic decision-making task. On each trial, patients decided whether to accept or reject a gamble with equal probabilities of a monetary gain or loss. The behavior of four patients was consistent with choices being guided by value expectations. Expected value signals before outcome onset were observed in three of those patients, at varying latencies and with nonoverlapping spectral patterns. Signals after outcome onset were correlated with RPE regressors in all subjects. However, further analysis revealed that these signals were better explained as outcome valence rather than RPE signals, with gamble gains and losses differing in the power of beta oscillations and in evoked response amplitudes. Taken together, our results do not support the idea that postsynaptic potentials in the Nacc represent a RPE that unifies outcome magnitude and prior value expectation. We discuss the generalizability of our findings to healthy individuals and the relation of our results to measurements of RPE signals obtained from the Nacc with other methods. PMID:26019312

  10. Dopamine Receptor Blockade Modulates the Rewarding and Aversive Properties of Nicotine via Dissociable Neuronal Activity Patterns in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Ninglei; Laviolette, Steven R

    2014-01-01

    The mesolimbic pathway comprising the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and projection terminals in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been identified as a critical neural system involved in processing both the rewarding and aversive behavioral effects of nicotine. Transmission through dopamine (DA) receptors functionally modulates these effects directly within the NAc. Nevertheless, the neuronal mechanisms within the NAc responsible for these bivalent behavioral effects are presently not known. Using an unbiased conditioned place preference procedure combined with in vivo neuronal recordings, we examined the effects of nicotine reward and aversion conditioning on intra-NAc neuronal sub-population activity patterns. We report that intra-VTA doses of nicotine that differentially produce rewarding or aversive behavioral effects produce opposite effects on sub-populations of fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs) or medium spiny neurons (MSNs) within the shell region of the NAc (NAshell). Thus, while the rewarding effects of intra-VTA nicotine were associated with inhibition of FSI and activation of MSNs, the aversive effects of nicotine produced the opposite pattern of NAshell neuronal population activity. Blockade of DA transmission with a broad-spectrum DA receptor antagonist, α-flupenthixol, strongly inhibited the spontaneous activity of NAshell FSIs, and reversed the conditioning properties of intra-VTA nicotine, switching nicotine-conditioned responses from aversive to rewarding. Remarkably, DA receptor blockade switched intra-NAshell neuronal population activity from an aversion to a reward pattern, concomitant with the observed switch in behavioral conditioning effects. PMID:24896614

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26547198

  13. The origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs controls synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25971857

  16. Neuronal calcium sensor-1 deletion in the mouse decreases motivation and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Ng, Enoch; Varaschin, Rafael K; Su, Ping; Browne, Caleb J; Hermainski, Joanna; Le Foll, Bernard; Pongs, Olaf; Liu, Fang; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Roder, John C; Wong, Albert H C

    2016-03-15

    Calcium sensors detect intracellular calcium changes and interact with downstream targets to regulate many functions. Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1 (NCS-1) or Frequenin is widely expressed in the nervous system, and involved in neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and learning. NCS-1 interacts with and regulates dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) internalization and is implicated in disorders like schizophrenia and substance abuse. However, the role of NCS-1 in behaviors dependent on dopamine signaling in the striatum, where D2R is most highly expressed, is unknown. We show that Ncs-1 deletion in the mouse decreases willingness to work for food. Moreover, Ncs-1 knockout mice have significantly lower activity-dependent dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens core in acute slice recordings. In contrast, food preference, responding for conditioned reinforcement, ability to represent changes in reward value, and locomotor response to amphetamine are not impaired. These studies identify novel roles for NCS-1 in regulating activity-dependent striatal dopamine release and aspects of motivated behavior. PMID:26738968

  17. Gene expression analysis of heat shock proteins in the nucleus accumbens of rats with different morphine seeking behaviours.

    PubMed

    Salas, Elisabet; Bocos, Carlos; Del Castillo, Carmen; Pérez-García, Carmen; Morales, Lidia; Alguacil, Luis F

    2011-11-20

    Heat-shock proteins play functional roles on brain regulatory processes which are deeply involved in drug addiction, such as synaptic plasticity. However, few studies have been focused on gene expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsp) as potential diagnostic tools for addiction risk. This work tries to provide new knowledge on this field by using two rat models of differential vulnerability to morphine addiction in order to study differential gene expression of a selected group of Hsp genes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Hsp70-1A, 84, 86 and 105 genes were similarly regulated by an acute injection of morphine in two subpopulations of Sprague Dawley (SD) rats showing different rates of extinction of morphine conditioned preference. However, Lewis and Fischer rats, two strains that differ in many aspects of drug seeking behaviours, exhibited marked differences in their expression patterns of Hsp84, 86 and 105. These results suggest that differential Hsp gene expression could be related to addiction vulnerability and recommend further work to validate these proteins as potential markers for drug addiction risk. PMID:21763353

  18. Morphine differentially regulates hsp90beta expression in the nucleus accumbens of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats.

    PubMed

    Salas, Elisabet; Alonso, Elba; Sevillano, Julio; Herradon, Gonzalo; Bocos, Carlos; Morales, Lidia; Ramos, Maria Pilar; Alguacil, Luis Fernando

    2007-07-12

    We have comparatively studied hsp90beta gene and protein expression in the nucleus accumbens of Lewis and Fischer 344 (F344) rats, two inbred strains that exhibit prominent behavioural differences in drug-seeking behaviours. Phenotypical studies confirmed that Lewis rats developed a higher preference for morphine-paired environments after conditioning. RT-PCR assays did not reveal strain-related differences in hsp90beta gene expression in basal conditions; however, acute morphine treatment provoked an increase of hsp90beta mRNA 2h after injection only in the case of Lewis rats. We also found a significant upregulation of the Hsp90beta protein in both strains 8h after morphine injection, this increase being significantly higher in Lewis rats. Taking into account the suggested roles for Hsp90 in the brain, the data suggest that Lewis and F344 strain differences concerning opioid-seeking behaviours could be related to differential sensitivity to opioid-induced neuronal plasticity within the brain reward system, an effect that could be mediated (at least partially) by stress proteins. PMID:17562399

  19. 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

  20. The medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens mediate the motivation for voluntary wheel running in the rat.

    PubMed

    Basso, Julia C; Morrell, Joan I

    2015-08-01

    Voluntary wheel running in rats provides a preclinical model of exercise motivation in humans. We hypothesized that rats run because this activity has positive incentive salience in both the acquisition and habitual stages of wheel running and that gender differences might be present. Additionally, we sought to determine which forebrain regions are essential for the motivational processes underlying wheel running in rats. The motivation for voluntary wheel running in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats was investigated during the acquisition (Days 1-7) and habitual phases (after Day 21) of running using conditioned place preference (CPP) and the reinstatement (rebound) response after forced abstinence, respectively. Both genders displayed a strong CPP for the acquisition phase and a strong rebound response to wheel deprivation during the habitual phase, suggesting that both phases of wheel running are rewarding for both sexes. Female rats showed a 1.5 times greater rebound response than males to wheel deprivation in the habitual phase of running, while during the acquisition phase, no gender differences in CPP were found. We transiently inactivated the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or the nucleus accumbens (NA), hypothesizing that because these regions are involved in the acquisition and reinstatement of self-administration of both natural and pharmacological stimuli, they might also serve a role in the motivation to wheel run. Inactivation of either structure decreased the rebound response in the habitual phase of running, demonstrating that these structures are involved in the motivation for this behavior. PMID:26052795

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Morphine epigenomically regulates behavior through alterations in histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Sun, HaoSheng; Maze, Ian; Dietz, David M.; Scobie, Kimberly N.; Kennedy, Pamela J.; Damez-Werno, Diane; Neve, Rachael L.; Zachariou, Venetia; Shen, Li; Nestler, Eric J.

    2012-01-01

    Dysregulation of histone modifying enzymes has been associated with numerous psychiatric disorders. Alterations in G9a (Ehmt2), a histone methyltransferase that catalyzes the euchromatic dimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me2), has recently been implicated in mediating neural and behavioral plasticity in response to chronic cocaine administration. Here, we show that chronic morphine, like cocaine, decreases G9a expression, and global levels of H3K9me2, in mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region. In contrast, levels of other histone methyltransferases or demethylases, or of other methylated histone marks, were not affected in NAc by chronic morphine. Through viral-mediated gene transfer and conditional mutagenesis, we found that overexpression of G9a in NAc opposes morphine reward and locomotor sensitization and concomitantly promotes analgesic tolerance and naloxone-precipitated withdrawal, while down-regulation of G9a in NAc enhances locomotor sensitization and delays the development of analgesic tolerance. We identified downstream targets of G9a by providing a comprehensive ChIP-seq analysis of H3K9me2 distribution in NAc in the absence and presence of chronic morphine. These data provide novel insight into the epigenomic regulation of H3K9me2 by chronic morphine, and suggest novel chromatin-based mechanisms through which morphine-induced addictive-like behaviors arise. PMID:23197736

  4. Molecular changes in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens are associated with blocking the behavioral sensitization to cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Xiongzhao; Huang, Can; Zhang, Xiuwu

    2015-01-01

    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 p75NTR, TrkA, and TrkB protein. The Results showed that cocaine sensitization was associated with increased BDNF, ILK activity, phospho-Akt Ser473, p75NTR, 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 p75NTR and TrkA expression in both the mPFC and NAc core. Results suggested that the BDNF-TrkA/p75NTR-ILK-Akt signaling pathway may be active in cocaine sensitization and associated neural plasticity in the mPFC and NAc core. PMID:26538265

  5. 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. PMID:25787124

  6. Decreased approach behavior and nucleus accumbens immediate early gene expression in response to Parkinsonian ultrasonic vocalizations in rats.

    PubMed

    Pultorak, Joshua D; Kelm-Nelson, Cynthia A; Holt, Lauren R; Blue, Katherine V; Ciucci, Michelle R; Johnson, Aaron M

    2016-08-01

    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 PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) knockout (KO) PD rat model compromise communication, we presented recordings of male PINK1 KO USVs and normal wild-type (WT) USVs to female rat listeners. We measured approached behavior and immediate early gene expression (c-Fos) in brain regions implicated in auditory processing and sexual motivation. Our results suggest that females show reduced approach in response to PINK1 KO USVs compared with WT. Moreover, females exposed to PINK1 KO USVs had lower c-Fos immunolabeling in the nucleus accumbens, a region implicated in sexual motivation. These results are the first to demonstrate that vocalization deficits in a rat PD model result in compromised communication. Thus, the PINK1 KO PD model may be valuable for assessing treatments aimed at restoring vocal communicative function. PMID:26313334

  7. Upregulation of Dopamine D2 Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Indirect Pathway Increases Locomotion but Does Not Reduce Alcohol Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Eduardo F; Salling, Michael C; Feng, Bo; Morón, Jose A; Harrison, Neil L; Javitch, Jonathan A; Kellendonk, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Brain imaging studies performed in humans have associated low striatal dopamine release and D2R binding with alcohol dependence. Conversely, high striatal D2R binding has been observed in unaffected members of alcoholic families suggesting that high D2R function may protect against alcohol dependence. A possible protective role of increased D2R levels in the striatum is further supported by preclinical studies in non-human primates and rodents. Here, we determined whether there is a causal relationship between D2R levels and alcohol intake. To this end, we upregulated D2R expression levels in the nucleus accumbens of the adult mouse, but selectively restricted the upregulation to the indirect striatal output pathway, which endogenously expresses D2Rs. After overexpression was established, mice were tested in two models of free-choice alcohol drinking: the continuous and intermittent access two-bottle choice models. As anticipated, we found that D2R upregulation leads to hyperactivity in the open field. Contrary to our expectation, D2R upregulation did not reduce alcohol intake during continuous or intermittent access or when alcohol drinking was tested in the context of aversive outcomes. These data argue against a protective role of accumbal indirect pathway D2Rs in alcohol consumption but emphasize their importance in promoting locomotor activity. PMID:25578797

  8. ¹H NMR-based metabonomics in brain nucleus accumbens and striatum following repeated cocaine treatment in rats.

    PubMed

    Li, Y; Yan, G-Y; Zhou, J-Q; Bu, Q; Deng, P-C; Yang, Y-Z; Lv, L; Deng, Y; Zhao, J-X; Shao, X; Zhu, R-M; Huang, Y-N; Zhao, Y-L; Cen, X-B

    2012-08-30

    Studies have shown a few cerebral metabolites modified by cocaine in brain regions; however, endogenous metabolic profiling has been lacking. Ex vivo (1)H NMR (hydrogen-1 nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy-based metabonomic approach coupled with partial least squares was applied to investigate the changes of cerebral metabolites in nucleus accumbens (NAc) and striatum of rats subjected to cocaine treatment. Our results showed that both single and repeated cocaine treatment can induce significant changes in a couple of cerebral metabolites. The increase of neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) were observed in NAc and striatum from the rats repeatedly treated with cocaine. Creatine and taurine increased in NAc whereas taurine increased and creatine decreased in striatum after repeated cocaine treatment. Elevation of N-acetylaspartate in NAc and striatum and decrease of lactate in striatum were observed, which may reflect the mitochondria dysregulation caused by cocaine; moreover, alterations of choline, phosphocholine and glycerol in NAc and striatum could be related to membrane disruption. Moreover, groups of rats with and without conditioned place preference (CPP) apparatus are presenting difference in metabolites. Collectively, our results provide the first evidence of metabonomic profiling of NAc and striatum in response to cocaine, exhibiting a regionally-specific alteration patterns. We find that repeated cocaine administration leads to significant metabolite alterations, which are involved in neurotransmitter disturbance, oxidative stress, mitochondria dysregulation and membrane disruption in brain. PMID:22609933

  9. 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

  10. BDNF rescues BAF53b-dependent synaptic plasticity and cocaine-associated memory in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    White, André O.; Kramár, Enikö A.; López, Alberto J.; Kwapis, Janine L.; Doan, John; Saldana, David; Davatolhagh, M. Felicia; Alaghband, Yasaman; Blurton-Jones, Mathew; Matheos, Dina P.; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence implicates epigenetic mechanisms in drug-associated memory processes. However, a possible role for one major epigenetic mechanism, nucleosome remodelling, in drug-associated memories remains largely unexplored. Here we examine mice with genetic manipulations targeting a neuron-specific nucleosome remodelling complex subunit, BAF53b. These mice display deficits in cocaine-associated memory that are more severe in BAF53b transgenic mice compared with BAF53b heterozygous mice. Similar to the memory deficits, theta-induced long-term potentiation (theta-LTP) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is significantly impaired in slices taken from BAF53b transgenic mice but not heterozygous mice. Further experiments indicate that theta-LTP in the NAc is dependent on TrkB receptor activation, and that BDNF rescues theta-LTP and cocaine-associated memory deficits in BAF53b transgenic mice. Together, these results suggest a role for BAF53b in NAc neuronal function required for cocaine-associated memories, and also that BDNF/TrkB activation in the NAc may overcome memory and plasticity deficits linked to BAF53b mutations. PMID:27226355

  11. 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. PMID:26280556

  12. 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

    2012-03-01

    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. PMID:22354947

  13. Differential Involvement of the Basolateral Amygdala, Orbitofrontal Cortex, and Nucleus Accumbens Core in the Acquisition and Use of Reward Expectancies

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Donna R.; Savage, Lisa M.

    2008-01-01

    In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that the basolateral amygdala (BLA), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), nucleus accumbens core (NA-core), and the extended hippocampus mediate different aspects of the development–maintenance of unique reward expectancies produced by the differential outcomes procedure (DOP). Rats were trained with either DOP or a nondifferential outcomes procedure (NOP) on a simple discrimination task. Fornix lesions did not affect either version of the task, demonstrating that the extended hippocampal system has no role in stimulus–outcome (S-O) associations. In contrast, in the DOP condition, BLA lesions impaired performance throughout training, OFC lesions impaired choice accuracy only in the later maintenance phase, and NA-core lesions resulted in enhanced learning. These results suggest that BLA and OFC are important for establishment (BLA) and behavioral maintenance (OFC) of S-O associations, whereas the NA-core is not needed and can in fact impede using multiple S-O associations. No impairments were observed in the NOP condition, demonstrating that these structures are not critical to stimulus–response learning. PMID:17907822

  14. 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

    2014-09-01

    Alcoholism involves long-term cognitive deficits, including memory impairment, resulting in substantial cost to society. Neuronal refinement and stabilization are hypothesized to confer resilience to poor decision making and addictive-like behaviors, such as excessive ethanol drinking and dependence. Accordingly, structural abnormalities are likely to contribute to synaptic dysfunctions that occur from suddenly ceasing the use of alcohol after chronic ingestion. Here we show that ethanol-dependent rats display a loss of dendritic spines in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) shell, accompanied by a reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining and postsynaptic density 95-positive elements. Further analysis indicates that "long thin" but not "mushroom" spines are selectively affected. In addition, patch-clamp experiments from Nacc slices reveal that long-term depression (LTD) formation is hampered, with parallel changes in field potential recordings and reductions in NMDA-mediated synaptic currents. These changes are restricted to the withdrawal phase of ethanol dependence, suggesting their relevance in the genesis of signs and/or symptoms affecting ethanol withdrawal and thus the whole addictive cycle. Overall, these results highlight the key role of dynamic alterations in dendritic spines and their presynaptic afferents in the evolution of alcohol dependence. Furthermore, they suggest that the selective loss of long thin spines together with a reduced NMDA receptor function may affect learning. Disruption of this LTD could contribute to the rigid emotional and motivational state observed in alcohol dependence. PMID:25122682

  15. Hampered long-term depression and thin spine loss in the nucleus accumbens of ethanol-dependent rats

    PubMed Central

    Spiga, Saturnino; Talani, Giuseppe; Mulas, Giovanna; Licheri, Valentina; Fois, Giulia R.; Muggironi, Giulia; Masala, Nicola; Cannizzaro, Carla; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico; Diana, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Alcoholism involves long-term cognitive deficits, including memory impairment, resulting in substantial cost to society. Neuronal refinement and stabilization are hypothesized to confer resilience to poor decision making and addictive-like behaviors, such as excessive ethanol drinking and dependence. Accordingly, structural abnormalities are likely to contribute to synaptic dysfunctions that occur from suddenly ceasing the use of alcohol after chronic ingestion. Here we show that ethanol-dependent rats display a loss of dendritic spines in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) shell, accompanied by a reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining and postsynaptic density 95-positive elements. Further analysis indicates that “long thin” but not “mushroom” spines are selectively affected. In addition, patch-clamp experiments from Nacc slices reveal that long-term depression (LTD) formation is hampered, with parallel changes in field potential recordings and reductions in NMDA-mediated synaptic currents. These changes are restricted to the withdrawal phase of ethanol dependence, suggesting their relevance in the genesis of signs and/or symptoms affecting ethanol withdrawal and thus the whole addictive cycle. Overall, these results highlight the key role of dynamic alterations in dendritic spines and their presynaptic afferents in the evolution of alcohol dependence. Furthermore, they suggest that the selective loss of long thin spines together with a reduced NMDA receptor function may affect learning. Disruption of this LTD could contribute to the rigid emotional and motivational state observed in alcohol dependence. PMID:25122682

  16. Activity of D1/2 Receptor Expressing Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Regulates Running, Locomotion, and Food Intake.

    PubMed

    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

  17. Deep brain stimulation of nucleus accumbens region in alcoholism affects reward processing.

    PubMed

    Heldmann, Marcus; Berding, Georg; Voges, Jürgen; Bogerts, Bernhard; Galazky, Imke; Müller, Ulf; Baillot, Gunther; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Münte, Thomas F

    2012-01-01

    The influence of bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus nucleus (NAcc) on the processing of reward in a gambling paradigm was investigated using H(2)[(15)O]-PET (positron emission tomography) in a 38-year-old man treated for severe alcohol addiction. Behavioral data analysis revealed a less risky, more careful choice behavior under active DBS compared to DBS switched off. PET showed win- and loss-related activations in the paracingulate cortex, temporal poles, precuneus and hippocampus under active DBS, brain areas that have been implicated in action monitoring and behavioral control. Except for the temporal pole these activations were not seen when DBS was deactivated. These findings suggest that DBS of the NAcc may act partially by improving behavioral control. PMID:22629317

  18. Interactions between brainstem noradrenergic neurons and the nucleus accumbens shell in modulating memory for emotionally arousing events

    PubMed Central

    Kerfoot, Erin C.; Williams, Cedric L.

    2011-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens shell (NAC) receives axons containing dopamine-β-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 mnemonic effects are mediated by norepinephrine (NE) release from NTS terminals onto NAC neurons. The present studies approached this question by examining the contribution of NAC α-noradrenergic receptors in mediating this effect and assessed whether glutamatergic activation of the NTS alters NE concentrations in the NAC. Rats were trained for 6 d to drink from a water spout located at the end of an inhibitory avoidance chamber. On day 7, a 0.35-mA footshock was initiated once the rat approached the spout and remained active until it escaped into the neutral compartment. Blockade of α-noradrenergic receptors in the NAC with phentolamine (0.5 µg/0.5 µL) attenuated memory enhancement produced by glutamatergic (50 ng/0.5 µL) infusion on NTS neurons (P < 0.01). Experiment 2 used in vivo microdialysis to assess whether glutamate activation of NTS alters NAC NE concentrations. NE levels were unchanged by NTS infusion of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or low dose glutamate (50 ng/0.5 µL) but elevated significantly (P < 0.05) by combining the same dose with the footshock (0.35 mA, 2 sec) given in Study 1 or infusion of (100 ng/0.5 µL) glutamate alone. Findings demonstrate that NE released from NTS terminals enhances representations in memory by acting on α-noradrenergic receptors within the NAC. PMID:21602321

  19. Lesions of nucleus accumbens affect morphine-induced release of ascorbic acid and GABA but not of glutamate in rats.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ji Y; Yang, Jing Y; Wang, Fang; Wang, Jian Y; Song, Wu; Su, Guang Y; Dong, Ying X; Wu, Chun F

    2011-10-01

    Our previous studies have shown that local perfusion of morphine causes an increase of extracellular ascorbic acid (AA) levels in nucleus accumbens (NAc) of freely moving rats. Lines of evidence showed that glutamatergic and GABAergic were associated with morphine-induced effects on the neurotransmission of the brain, especially on the release of AA. In the present study, the effects of morphine on the release of extracellular AA, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate (Glu) in the NAc following bilateral NAc lesions induced by kainic acid (KA) were studied by using the microdialysis technique, coupled to high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) and fluorescent detection (HPLC-FD). The results showed that local perfusion of morphine (100 µM, 1 mM) in NAc dose-dependently increased AA and GABA release, while attenuated Glu release in the NAc. Naloxone (0.4 mM) pretreated by local perfusion to the NAc, significantly blocked the effects of morphine. After NAc lesion by KA (1 µg), morphine-induced increase in AA and GABA were markedly eliminated, while decrease in Glu was not affected. The loss effect of morphine on AA and GABA release after KA lesion could be recovered by GABA agonist, musimol. These results indicate that morphine-induced AA release may be mediated at least by µ-opioid receptor. Moreover, this effect of morphine possibly depend less on the glutamatergic afferents, but more on the GABAergic circuits within this nucleus. Finally, AA release induced by local perfusion of morphine may be GABA-receptor mediated and synaptically localized in the NAc. PMID:20731632

  20. 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. PMID:26414405

  1. Effects of zotepine, chlorpromazine and haloperidol on D-1, D-2, D-3 and D-4 subtypes of dopamine receptors in rat striatal and bovine caudate nucleus membranes.

    PubMed

    Arima, T; Makihata, J; Makimura, T; Nomura, Y; Segawa, T

    1986-01-01

    Inhibitory effects of zotepine (Zot) on D-1, D-2, D-3 and D-4 subtypes of dopamine (DA) receptors were investigated in crude synaptic membranes of rat striatum and bovine caudate nucleus and compared to those of chlorpromazine (CPZ) and haloperidol (HAL). From the IC(50)-values of Zot, CPZ and HAL, the K-values of each drug are estimated as follows: 34.4, 152 and 244 nM (D-1, (3)H-labeled cis-flupenthixol binding (1.0 nM) to rat membranes); 37.4, 7.1 and 2.4 nM (D-2, [(3)H]spiperone (Spi) binding (0.5 nM) to rat membranes in the presence of 0.1 ?M ketanserin); 73.1, 15.2 and 22.4 nM (D-3, (3)H-labeled N-propylapomorphine (NPA) binding (0.29 nM) to bovine membranes in the presence of 0.1 ?M Spi); 9.5, 65.3 and 3.1 nM (D-4, [(3)H]NPA binding (0.29 nM) bovine membranes in the presence of 25 nM DA), respectively. Zot binds with higher affinity to D-4 but lower affinity to D-3 than to other subtypes. It is also presumed that Zot binds to D-1 with high affinity and D-2 and D-3 with low affinity compared to CPZ and HAL. PMID:20493089

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26097003

  4. Oxytocin injected into the ventral subiculum or the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala induces penile erection and increases extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens of male rats.

    PubMed

    Melis, Maria Rosaria; Succu, Salvatora; Sanna, Fabrizio; Boi, Antonio; Argiolas, Antonio

    2009-10-01

    Oxytocin (20-100 ng) was found to be able to induce penile erection when injected unilaterally into the ventral subiculum or the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala of male rats. The pro-erectile effect started mostly 30 min after treatment and was abolished by the prior injection of d(CH(2))(5)Tyr(Me)(2)-Orn(8)-vasotocin (1-2 microg), an oxytocin receptor antagonist, into the ventral subiculum or posteromedial cortical nucleus. Oxytocin-induced penile erection occurred 15 min after the increase in the concentration of extracellular dopamine and its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the dialysate obtained from the nucleus accumbens, which was also abolished by d(CH(2))(5)Tyr(Me)(2)-Orn(8)-vasotocin. The pro-erectile effect of oxytocin was also reduced by cis-flupentixol (2 and 5 microg), a dopamine receptor antagonist, injected into the nucleus accumbens, and by (+)MK-801 (5 microg), a noncompetitive N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist, injected into the ventral tegmental area, but not into the nucleus accumbens. Together with studies showing that glutamatergic efferents from the ventral subiculum/posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala to other areas of the limbic system modulate the activity of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons, these findings suggest that oxytocin injected into these areas increases glutamatergic neurotransmission in the ventral tegmental area. This, in turn, activates mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons, leading to penile erection. These results provide evidence that the ventral subiculum and the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala participate in a neural circuit that controls not only the consummatory aspects of sexual behaviour (e.g. penile erection and copulatory performance), but also its motivational/reward aspects, confirming a key role of oxytocin and dopamine in these processes. PMID:19769589

  5. Appetitive changes during salt deprivation are paralleled by widespread neuronal adaptations in nucleus accumbens, lateral hypothalamus, and central amygdala.

    PubMed

    Tandon, Shashank; Simon, Sidney A; Nicolelis, Miguel A L

    2012-08-01

    Salt appetite is a goal-directed behavior in which salt-deprived animals ingest high salt concentrations that they otherwise find aversive. Because forebrain areas such as the lateral hypothalamus (LH), central amygdala (CeA), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) are known to play an important role in this behavior, we recorded from these areas while water-deprived (WD) and salt-deprived (SD) rats performed a two-bottle choice test between 0.5 M salt (NaCl) and 0.4 M sucrose. In the SD state, the preference ratio for high molar salt markedly increased. Electrophysiological recordings analyzed with respect to the onset of licking clusters revealed the presence of both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal responses during salt and/or sucrose consumption. In the NAc, putative medium spiny neurons and tonically active neurons exhibited excitatory and inhibitory responses. In all areas, compared with those recorded during the WD state, neurons recorded during the SD state showed an increase in the percentage of salt-evoked excitatory responses and a decrease in the percentage of sucrose-evoked inhibitory responses, suggesting that a subset of the neuronal population in these areas codes for the increased motivational and/or hedonic value of the salt solution. In addition, in the SD state, the firing of excitatory neurons in LH and CeA became more synchronized, indicating a greater functional connectivity between salt-responsive neurons in these areas. We propose that plastic changes in the feeding-related neuronal populations of these forebrain areas arise when changes in metabolic state alter the hedonic and motivational value of a particular taste stimulus. PMID:22572944

  6. The testosterone metabolite 3α-Diol enhances female rat sexual motivation when infused in the nucleus accumbens shell

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Lizaida; Barreto Estrada, Jennifer L; Ortiz, José G; Carlos Jorge, Juan

    2010-01-01

    Aim The purpose of this study was to provide a quantitative assessment of female rat sexual behaviors after acute exposure to the A-ring reduced testosterone metabolite, androstanediol (3α-Diol), through the nucleus accumbens (NA) shell. Main outcome measures Quantitative analyses of female rat sexual behaviors and assessment of protein levels for the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform 67 (GAD67) and gephyrin, a protein that participates in the clustering of GABA-A receptors in postsynaptic cells, were accomplished. Methods Female rats were ovariectomized and primed with estrogen and progesterone to induce sexual behaviors. Females received a 3α-Diol infusion via guided cannula that aimed to the NA shell five minutes prior to a sexual encounter with a stud male. The following parameters were videotaped and measured in a frame by frame analysis: lordosis quotient (LQ), Lordosis rating (LR), frequency and duration of proceptive behaviors (hopping/darting and ear wiggling). Levels of GAD67 and gephyrin were obtained by Western blot analysis two or twenty-four hours after the sexual encounter. Results Acute exposure to 3α-Diol in the NA shell enhanced LR, ear wiggling, and hopping/darting but not LQ. Some of these behavioral effects were counteracted by co-infusion of 3α-Diol plus the GABAA-receptor antagonist GABAzine. A transient reduction of GAD67 levels in the NA shell was detected. Conclusions The testosterone metabolite 3α-Diol enhances sexual proceptivity, but not receptivity, when infused into the NA shell directly. The GABAergic system may participate in the androgen-mediated enhancement of female rat sexual motivation. PMID:20646182

  7. Differential involvement of the shell and core subterritories of the nucleus accumbens in latent inhibition and amphetamine-induced activity.

    PubMed

    Weiner, I; Gal, G; Rawlins, J N; Feldon, J

    1996-11-01

    Latent inhibition (LI) consists of retardation in conditioning to a stimulus as a consequence of its prior non-reinforced pre-exposure. In view of findings that LI is disrupted in acute schizophrenic patients and evidence from animal experiments pointing to the involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system in this phenomenon, the present study investigated the effects of electrolytic lesions to the shell and core subterritories of the nucleus accumbens on LI in rats (Expt. 1). LI was indexed by the amount of suppression of drinking in the presence of a tone that was either pre-exposed or not prior to its pairing with reinforcement (a foot shock). Expt.2 tested the effects of the DA antagonist, haloperidol, on LI in shell- and core-lesioned animals. Expt. 3 tested the effects of shell and core lesions on spontaneous and amphetamine-induced locomotion. In Expt. 1, LI, i.e., lower suppression of drinking in the pre-exposed as compared to the non-pre-exposed animals, was obtained in the sham-operated condition. Core and shell lesions produced distinct effects on LI. Animals with core lesions developed LI, but exhibited an overall lower suppression of drinking in comparison to the sham-operated animals. In contrast, shell lesions led to a disappearance of LI. Expt. 2 replicated the differential effects of shell and core lesions on LI, although in this experiment, core lesion did not attenuate suppression of drinking. Haloperidol prevented shell-induced abolition of LI. In Expt. 3, shell- but not core-lesioned animals were more active than sham controls following amphetamine administration. These results provide evidence for functional differences between the shell and core subregions, as well as for the involvement of the mesolimbic DA system in LI. PMID:8950008

  8. Changes in nucleus accumbens dopamine transmission associated with fixed- and variable-time schedule-induced feeding.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Nicole R; Gratton, Alain

    2008-05-01

    We examined the changes in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopamine (DA) transmission associated with non-contingent meal presentations under conditions of high (fixed time-, FT-schedule) and low (variable time-, VT-schedule) predictability. Of interest were the changes in NAcc DA transmission associated with discrepancies between the time food is expected and when it is actually presented. We used in vivo voltammetry to monitor NAcc DA levels as rats received, on the first and second test days, 30-s meals of condensed milk on a VT-52 schedule (inter-meal intervals of 32, 35, 40, 45, 52, 64, and 95 s). On the third and subsequent days meals were presented first on a VT-52 s schedule and then on an FT-52 s schedule. On day 1, monotonic increases in NAcc DA signals were observed during both meal consumption and the intervals between VT meal presentations. By day 2, however, meal presentations on the VT schedule elicited biphasic DA signal fluctuations; DA signals increased prior to each meal presentation but then started to decline during the feeding bout that followed. Fixed-time meal presentations on day 3 disrupted this pattern, resulting in a concurrent escalation of DA signal fluctuations upon subsequent VT meal presentations. These findings provide further evidence that, in trained animals, NAcc DA transmission is activated by conditioned incentive cues rather than by primary rewards. They also suggest that the increases in NAcc DA transmission associated with reward expectancy are sensitive to temporal cues (e.g. interval timing) and to discrepancies between expected and actual outcomes. PMID:18513317

  9. Role of GluR1 expression in nucleus accumbens neurons in cocaine sensitization and cocaine-seeking behavior.

    PubMed

    Bachtell, Ryan K; Choi, Kwang-Ho; Simmons, Diana L; Falcon, Edgardo; Monteggia, Lisa M; Neve, Rachael L; Self, David W

    2008-05-01

    Chronic cocaine use reduces glutamate levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and is associated with experience-dependent changes in (+/-)-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor membrane expression in NAc neurons. These changes accompany behavioral sensitization to cocaine and increased susceptibility to cocaine relapse. The functional relationship between neuroplasticity in AMPA receptors and the behavioral manifestation of cocaine addiction remains unclear. Thus, we examined the behavioral effects of up- and downregulating basal AMPA receptor function in the NAc core and shell using viral-mediated gene transfer of wild-type glutamate receptor 1 (wt-GluR1) or a dominant-negative pore-dead GluR1 (pd-GluR1), respectively. Transient increases in wt-GluR1 during or after cocaine treatments diminished the development of cocaine sensitization, while pd-GluR1 expression exacerbated cocaine sensitization. Parallel changes were found in D2, but not D1, receptor-mediated behavioral responses. As a correlate of the sensitization experiments, we overexpressed wt- or pd-GluR1 in the NAc core during cocaine self-administration, and tested the effects on subsequent drug-seeking behavior 3 weeks after overexpression declined. wt-GluR1 overexpression during self-administration had no effect on cocaine intake, but subsequently reduced cocaine seeking in extinction and cocaine-induced reinstatement, whereas pd-GluR1 facilitated cocaine-induced reinstatement. When overexpressed during reinstatement tests, wt-GluR1 directly attenuated cocaine- and D2 agonist-induced reinstatement, while pd-GluR1 enhanced reinstatement. In both experimental procedures, neither wt- nor pd-GluR1 expression affected cue-induced reinstatement. Together, these results suggest that degrading basal AMPA receptor function in NAc neurons is sufficient to facilitate relapse via sensitization in D2 receptor responses, whereas elevating basal AMPA receptor function

  10. 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

  11. Anorexia induced by activation of serotonin 5-HT4 receptors is mediated by increases in CART in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Jean, Alexandra; Conductier, Grégory; Manrique, Christine; Bouras, Constantin; Berta, Philippe; Hen, René; Charnay, Yves; Bockaert, Joël; Compan, Valérie

    2007-01-01

    Anorexia nervosa is a growing concern in mental health, often inducing death. The potential neuronal deficits that may underlie abnormal inhibitions of food intake, however, remain largely unexplored. We hypothesized that anorexia may involve altered signaling events within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain structure involved in reward. We show here that direct stimulation of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) 4 receptors (5-HT4R) in the NAc reduces the physiological drive to eat and increases CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) mRNA levels in fed and food-deprived mice. It further shows that injecting 5-HT4R antagonist or siRNA-mediated 5-HT4R knockdown into the NAc induced hyperphagia only in fed mice. This hyperphagia was not associated with changes in CART mRNA expression in the NAc in fed and food-deprived mice. Results include that 5-HT4R control CART mRNA expression into the NAc via a cAMP/PKA signaling pathway. Considering that CART may interfere with food- and drug-related rewards, we tested whether the appetite suppressant properties of 3,4-N-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) involve the 5-HT4R. Using 5-HT4R knockout mice, we demonstrate that 5-HT4R are required for the anorectic effect of MDMA as well as for the MDMA-induced enhancement of CART mRNA expression in the NAc. Directly injecting CART peptide or CART siRNA into the NAc reduces or increases food consumption, respectively. Finally, stimulating 5-HT4R- and MDMA-induced anorexia were both reduced by injecting CART siRNA into the NAc. Collectively, these results demonstrate that 5-HT4R-mediated up-regulation of CART in the NAc triggers the appetite-suppressant effects of ecstasy. PMID:17913892

  12. Reversible Palmitoylation Regulates Surface Stability of AMPA Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens in Response to Cocaine in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Van Dolah, Dustin K.; Mao, Li-Min; Shaffer, Christopher; Guo, Ming-Lei; Fibuch, Eugene E.; Chu, Xiang-Ping; Buch, Shilpa; Wang, John Q.

    2010-01-01

    Background Palmitoylation is emerging as one of the most important posttranslational modifications of excitatory synaptic proteins in mammalian brain cells. As a reversible and regulatable modification sensitive to changing synaptic inputs, palmitoylation of ionotropic glutamate receptors contributes to not only the modulation of normal receptor and synaptic activities, but also the pathogenesis of various neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we report that palmitoylation of the AMPA receptor is regulated by the psychostimulant, cocaine, and such regulation is involved in cocaine action. Methods We tested palmitoylation and surface expression of AMPA receptors in striatal neurons and psychomotor behavior in responses to cocaine in rats. Results All four AMPA receptor subunits (GluA1-4 or GluR1-4) are palmitoylated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of adult rats. Among them, GluA1 and GluA3 are preferentially upregulated in their palmitoylation levels by a systemic injection of cocaine. The upregulated GluA1 and 3 palmitoylation is a transient and reversible event. Consequently, it increases the susceptibility of surface-expressed GluA1 and 3 to internalization trafficking, leading to a temporal loss of surface receptor expression. Blockade of the regulated GluA1/3 palmitoylation with a palmitoylation inhibitor in the local NAc reverses the loss of surface GluA1/3. The inhibition of palmitoylation also concurrently sustains behavioral responsivity to cocaine. Conclusions Our data identify a novel drug-palmitoylation coupling in the center of limbic reward circuits. Through palmitoylating selective AMPA receptor subunits, cocaine activity-dependently regulates trafficking and subcellular localization of the receptor in NAc neurons and dynamically controls psychomotor sensitivity to the psychoactive drug in vivo. PMID:21216391

  13. Dynamic fluctuations in dopamine efflux in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens during risk-based decision making.

    PubMed

    St Onge, Jennifer R; Ahn, Soyon; Phillips, Anthony G; Floresco, Stan B

    2012-11-21

    Mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) has been implicated in cost/benefit decision making about risks and rewards. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) are two DA terminal regions that contribute to decision making in distinct manners. However, how fluctuations of tonic DA levels may relate to different aspects of decision making remains to be determined. The present study measured DA efflux in the PFC and NAc with microdialysis in well trained rats performing a probabilistic discounting task. Selection of a small/certain option always delivered one pellet, whereas another, large/risky option yielded four pellets, with probabilities that decreased (100-12.5%) or increased (12.5-100%) across four blocks of trials. Yoked-reward groups were also included to control for reward delivery. PFC DA efflux during decision making decreased or increased over a session, corresponding to changes in large/risky reward probabilities. Similar profiles were observed from yoked-rewarded rats, suggesting that fluctuations in PFC DA reflect changes in the relative rate of reward received. NAc DA efflux also showed decreasing/increasing trends over the session during both tasks. However, DA efflux was higher during decision making on free- versus forced-choice trials and during periods of greater reward uncertainty. Moreover, changes in NAc DA closely tracked shifts in choice biases. These data reveal dynamic and dissociable fluctuations in PFC and NAc DA transmission associated with different aspects of risk-based decision making. PFC DA may signal changes in reward availability that facilitates modification of choice biases, whereas NAc DA encodes integrated signals about reward rates, uncertainty, and choice, reflecting implementation of decision policies. PMID:23175840

  14. 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

  15. Paradoxical effects of prodynorphin gene deletion on basal and cocaine-evoked dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Chefer, V I; Shippenberg, T S

    2006-01-01

    Quantitative and conventional microdialysis were used to investigate the effects of constitutive deletion of the prodynorphin gene on basal dopamine (DA) dynamics in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the responsiveness of DA neurons to an acute cocaine challenge. Saline- and cocaine-evoked locomotor activity were also assessed. Quantitative microdialysis revealed that basal extracellular DA levels were decreased, while the DA extraction fraction, an indirect measure of DA uptake, was unchanged in dynorphin (DYN) knockout (KO) mice. The ability of cocaine to increase NAc DA levels was reduced in KO. Similarly, cocaine-evoked locomotor activity was decreased in KO. The selective kappa opioid receptor agonist U-69593 decreased NAc dialysate DA levels in wildtype mice and this effect was enhanced in KO. Administration of the selective kappa opioid receptor (KOPr) antagonist nor-binaltorphimine to KO mice attenuated the decrease in cocaine-induced DA levels. However, it was ineffective in altering the decreased locomotor response to cocaine. These studies demonstrate that constitutive deletion of prodynorphin is associated with a reduction of extracellular NAc DA levels and a decreased responsiveness to acute cocaine. Data regarding the effects of U-69593 and nor-binaltorphimine in KO suggest that the kappa opioid receptor is up-regulated as a consequence of prodynorphin gene deletion and that this adaptation underlies the decrease in basal DA dynamics and cocaine-evoked DA levels observed in DYN KO mice. These findings suggest that the phenotype of DYN KO mice is not solely due to loss of endogenous opioid peptide but also reflects developmental compensations that occur at the level of the opioid receptor. PMID:16420432

  16. Neonatal finasteride administration decreases dopamine release in nucleus accumbens after alcohol and food presentation in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Llidó, Anna; Bartolomé, Iris; Darbra, Sònia; Pallarès, Marc

    2016-08-01

    Endogenous levels of the neurosteroid (NS) allopregnanolone (AlloP) during neonatal stages are crucial for the correct development of the central nervous system (CNS). In a recent work we reported that the neonatal administration of AlloP or finasteride (Finas), an inhibitor of the enzyme 5α-reductase needed for AlloP synthesis, altered the voluntary consumption of ethanol and the ventrostriatal dopamine (DA) levels in adulthood, suggesting that neonatal NS manipulations can increase alcohol abuse vulnerability in adulthood. Moreover, other authors have associated neonatal NS alterations with diverse dopaminergic (DAergic) alterations. Thus, the aim of the present work is to analyse if manipulations of neonatal AlloP alter the DAergic response in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) during alcohol intake in rats. We administered AlloP or Finas from postnatal day (PND) 5 to PND9. At PND98, we measured alcohol consumption using a two-bottle free-choice model (ethanol 10% (v/v)+glucose 3% (w/v), and glucose 3% (w/v)) for 12 days. On the last day of consumption, we measured the DA and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) release in NAcc in response to ethanol intake. The samples were obtained by means of in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats, and DA and DOPAC levels were determined by means of high-performance liquid chromatography analysis (HPLC). The results revealed that neonatal Finas increased ethanol consumption in some days of the consumption phase, and decreased the DA release in the NAcc in response to solutions (ethanol+glucose) and food presentation. Taken together, these results suggest that neonatal NS alterations can affect alcohol rewarding properties. PMID:27139934

  17. 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. PMID:25257604

  18. 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. PMID:26044640

  19. 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. PMID:25752326

  20. Pain relief induces dopamine release in the rat nucleus accumbens during the early but not late phase of neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Kato, Takahiro; Ide, Soichiro; Minami, Masabumi

    2016-08-26

    Comorbidity of chronic pain and depression has long been recognized in the clinic, and preclinical studies have reported depression-like behaviors in animal models of chronic pain. These findings suggest a common neuronal basis for chronic pain and depression. The neuronal pathway from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is critical in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) reward circuit, and dysfunction of this pathway has been implicated in depression. Although time-dependent development of depression-related behaviors has been reported in chronic pain animals, time-dependent functional changes in this pathway remain to be examined. To address this issue, we examined the effects of two types of rewards, pain relief by intrathecal injection of pregabalin (100μg in 10μL phosphate buffered saline) and 30% sucrose solution intake, on intra-NAc DA release in rats subjected to spinal nerve ligation (SNL). Specifically, the effects were investigated during the early (17-20days after ligation) and late (31-34days after ligation) phases of neuropathic pain. Pain relief increased the intra-NAc DA levels in the SNL rats during the early but not late phase of neuropathic pain. Intake of the sucrose solution increased the intra-NAc DA levels both in the SNL and sham animals during the early phase of neuropathic pain, while it induced DA release in the sham but not SNL animals during the late phase. These results suggest that dysfunction of the mesolimbic DA reward circuit develops in a time-dependent manner. Mesolimbic DA reward circuit dysfunction might be a common neuronal mechanism underlying chronic pain and depression, and a potential target for novel analgesic and antidepressant medications. PMID:27369326

  1. The monoamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 counteracts downregulated dopamine output in the nucleus accumbens of long-term drinking Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Feltmann, Kristin; Fredriksson, Ida; Wirf, Malin; Schilström, Björn; Steensland, Pia

    2016-03-01

    We recently established that the monoamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 (OSU6162) decreased voluntary alcohol-mediated behaviors, including alcohol intake and cue/priming-induced reinstatement, in long-term drinking rats, while blunting alcohol-induced dopamine output in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of alcohol-naïve rats. Therefore, we hypothesized that OSU6162 attenuates alcohol-mediated behaviors by blunting alcohol's rewarding effects. Here, we evaluated the effects of long-term drinking and OSU6162 treatment (30 mg/kg, sc) on basal and alcohol-induced (2.5 g/kg, ip) NAc dopamine outputs in Wistar rats after 10 months of intermittent access to 20% alcohol. The results showed that basal and alcohol-induced NAc dopamine outputs were significantly lower in long-term drinking rats, compared with alcohol-naïve rats. In the long-term drinking rats, OSU6162 slowly increased and maintained the dopamine output significantly elevated compared with baseline for at least 4 hours. Furthermore, OSU6162 pre-treatment did not blunt the alcohol-induced output in the long-term drinking rats, a finding that contrasted with our previous results in alcohol-naïve rats. Finally, OSU6162 did not induce conditioned place preference (CPP) in either long-term drinking or alcohol-naïve rats, indicating that OSU6162 has no reinforcing properties. To verify that the CPP results were not due to memory acquisition impairment, we demonstrated that OSU6162 did not affect novel object recognition. In conclusion, these results indicate that OSU6162 attenuates alcohol-mediated behaviors by counteracting NAc dopamine deficits in long-term drinking rats and that OSU6162 is not rewarding on its own. Together with OSU6162's beneficial side-effect profile, the present study merits evaluation of OSU6162's clinical efficacy to attenuate alcohol use in alcohol-dependent patients. PMID:26464265

  2. 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

  3. Activation of CREB in the nucleus accumbens shell produces anhedonia and resistance to extinction of fear in rats.

    PubMed

    Muschamp, John W; Van't Veer, Ashlee; Parsegian, Aram; Gallo, Miranda S; Chen, Melissa; Neve, Rachael L; Meloni, Edward G; Carlezon, William A

    2011-02-23

    Stress triggers psychiatric conditions including depressive and anxiety disorders. The mechanisms by which stress produces persistent changes in behavior are not fully understood. Here we show in rats that stress (footshock) activates the transcription factor cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) within the nucleus accumbens shell (NAS), a brain area involved in encoding reward and aversion. To examine the behavioral significance of altered CREB function in the NAS, we used viral vectors to elevate or disrupt CREB in this region. Elevated CREB produced increases in intracranial self-stimulation thresholds, a depressive-like sign reflecting anhedonia (decreased sensitivity to reward), whereas disruption of CREB function by expression of a dominant-negative CREB had the opposite effect. To determine whether neuroadaptations that produce anhedonia subsequently affect vulnerability to stress-induced behavioral adaptations, we subjected rats with altered CREB function in the NAS to fear conditioning. Although neither elevation nor disruption of CREB function altered the development of conditioned fear, elevation of CREB impaired extinction of conditioned fear. To mimic downstream effects of CREB activation on expression of the opioid peptide dynorphin, we microinjected the κ-opioid receptor (KOR) agonist U50,488 directly into the NAS. KOR stimulation produced anhedonia but had no effect on expression or extinction of conditioned fear. These findings demonstrate that activation of CREB in the NAS produces multiple behavioral signs (anhedonia, impaired extinction) characteristic of experience-dependent psychiatric conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Although CREB activation is a common trigger, expression of these individual signs appears to involve divergent downstream mechanisms. PMID:21414930

  4. Depletion of nucleus accumbens dopamine leads to impaired reward and aversion processing in mice: Relevance to motivation pathologies.

    PubMed

    Bergamini, Giorgio; Sigrist, Hannes; Ferger, Boris; Singewald, Nicolas; Seifritz, Erich; Pryce, Christopher R

    2016-10-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurotransmission, particularly the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens (VTA-NAcc) projection, underlies reward and aversion processing, and deficient DA function could underlie motivational impairments in psychiatric disorders. 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection is an established method for chronic DA depletion, principally applied in rat to study NAcc DA regulation of reward motivation. Given the increasing focus on studying environmental and genetic regulation of DA function in mouse models, it is important to establish the effects of 6-OHDA DA depletion in mice, in terms of reward and aversion processing. This mouse study investigated effects of 6-OHDA-induced NAcc DA depletion using the operant behavioural test battery of progressive ratio schedule (PRS), learned non-reward (LNR), learned helplessness (LH), treadmill, and in addition Pavlovian fear conditioning. 6-OHDA NAcc DA depletion, confirmed by ex vivo HPLC-ED, reduced operant responding: for gustatory reward under effortful conditions in the PRS test; to a stimulus recently associated with gustatory non-reward in the LNR test; to escape footshock recently experienced as uncontrollable in the LH test; and to avoid footshock by physical effort in the treadmill test. Evidence for specificity of effects to NAcc DA was provided by lack of effect of medial prefrontal cortex DA depletion in the LNR and LH tests. These findings add significantly to the evidence that NAcc DA is a major regulator of behavioural responding, particularly at the motivational level, to both reward and aversion. They demonstrate the suitability of mouse models for translational study of causation and reversal of pathophysiological DA function underlying motivation psychopathologies. PMID:27036890

  5. Long-term effects of cocaine experience on neuroplasticity in the nucleus accumbens core of addiction-prone rats.

    PubMed

    Waselus, M; Flagel, S B; Jedynak, J P; Akil, H; Robinson, T E; Watson, S J

    2013-09-17

    Repeated exposure to drugs of abuse is associated with structural plasticity in brain reward pathways. Rats selectively bred for locomotor response to novelty differ on a number of neurobehavioral dimensions relevant to addiction. This unique genetic animal model was used here to examine both pre-existing differences and long-term consequences of repeated cocaine treatment on structural plasticity. Selectively bred high-responder (bHR) and low-responder (bLR) rats received repeated saline or cocaine injections for 9 consecutive days. Escalating doses of cocaine (7.5, 15 and 30 mg/kg) were administered on the first (day 1) and last (day 9) days of treatment and a single injection of the intermediate dose (15 mg/kg) was given on days 2-8. Motor activity in response to escalating doses of cocaine was compared on the first and last days of treatment to assess the acute and sensitized response to the drug. Following prolonged cocaine abstinence (28 days), spine density was examined on terminal dendrites of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens core. Relative to bLRs, bHRs exhibited increased psychomotor activation in response to both the acute and repeated effects of cocaine. There were no differences in spine density between bHR and bLR rats under basal conditions or following repeated saline treatment. However, spine density differed markedly between these two lines following prolonged cocaine abstinence. All spine types were decreased in cocaine-treated bHRs, while only mushroom spines were decreased in bLRs that received cocaine. Changes in spine density occurred specifically near the branch point of terminal dendrites. These findings indicate that structural plasticity associated with prolonged cocaine abstinence varies markedly in two selected strains of rats that vary on numerous traits relevant to addiction. Thus, genetic factors that contribute to individual variation in the behavioral response to cocaine also influence cocaine-induced structural

  6. MC4-R signaling within the nucleus accumbens shell, but not the lateral hypothalamus, modulates ethanol palatability in rats.

    PubMed

    Lerma-Cabrera, Jose M; Carvajal, Francisca; Chotro, Gabriela; Gaztañaga, Mirari; Navarro, Montserrat; Thiele, Todd E; Cubero, Inmaculada

    2013-02-15

    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-CH(2)-CH(2)-CO-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Glu)-NH(2) (0, 0.75 or 1.5μg/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

  7. Extinction of opiate reward reduces dendritic arborization and c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens core.

    PubMed

    Leite-Morris, Kimberly A; Kobrin, Kendra L; Guy, Marsha D; Young, Angela J; Heinrichs, Stephen C; Kaplan, Gary B

    2014-04-15

    Recurrent opiate use combined with environmental cues, in which the drug was administered, provokes cue-induced drug craving and conditioned drug reward. Drug abuse craving is frequently linked with stimuli from a prior drug-taking environment via classical conditioning and associative learning. We modeled the conditioned morphine reward process by using acquisition and extinction of conditioned place preference (CPP) in C57BL/6 mice. Mice were trained to associate a morphine injection with a drug context using a classical conditioning paradigm. In morphine conditioning (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 5, or 10 mg/kg) experimental mice acquired a morphine CPP dose response with 10mg/kg as most effective. During morphine CPP extinction experiments, mice were divided into three test groups: morphine CPP followed by extinction training, morphine CPP followed by sham extinction, and saline controls. Extinction of morphine CPP developed within one extinction experiment (4 days) that lasted over two more trials (another 8 days). However, the morphine CPP/sham extinction group retained a place preference that endured through all three extinction trials. Brains were harvested following CPP extinction and processed using Golgi-Cox impregnation. Changes in dendritic morphology and spine quantity were examined in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) Core and Shell neurons. In the NAcCore only, morphine CPP/extinguished mice produced less dendritic arborization, and a decrease in neuronal activity marker c-Fos compared to the morphine CPP/sham extinction group. Extinction of morphine CPP is associated with decreased structural complexity of dendrites in the NAcCore and may represent a substrate for learning induced structural plasticity relevant to addiction. PMID:24406724

  8. AMPA receptor upregulation in the nucleus accumbens shell of cocaine-sensitized rats depends upon S-nitrosylation of stargazin

    PubMed Central

    Milovanovic, Mike; Park, Diana J.; West, Anthony R.; Snyder, Solomon H.; Wolf, Marina E.

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral sensitization to cocaine is associated with increased AMPA receptor (AMPAR) surface expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This upregulation is withdrawal-dependent, as it is not detected on withdrawal day (WD) 1, but is observed on WD7–21. Its underlying mechanisms have not been clearly established. Nitric oxide (NO) regulates AMPAR trafficking in the brain by S-nitrosylation of the AMPAR auxiliary subunit, stargazin, leading to increased AMPAR surface expression. Our goal was to determine if stargazin S-nitrosylation contributes to AMPAR upregulation during sensitization. First, we measured stargazin S-nitrosylation in NAc core and shell subregions on WD14 after 8 daily injections of saline or 15mg/kg cocaine. Stargazin S-nitrosylation was markedly increased in NAc shell but not core. To determine if this is associated with AMPAR upregulation, rats received 8 cocaine or saline injections followed by twice-daily treatments with vehicle or the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME (50mg/kg) on WD1–6, the time when AMPAR upregulation is developing in cocaine-exposed rats. Cocaine/vehicle rats showed elevated stargazin and GluA1 surface expression on WD7 compared to saline/vehicle rats; the GluA1 increase was more robust in core, while stargazin increased more robustly in shell. These effects of cocaine were attenuated in shell but not core when cocaine injections were followed by L-NAME treatment on WD1–6. Together, these results indicate that elevated S-nitrosylation of stargazin contributes to AMPAR upregulation during sensitization selectively in the NAc shell. It is possible that AMPAR upregulation in core involves a different TARP, γ4, which also upregulates in the NAc of sensitized rats. PMID:24035918

  9. 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

  10. LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF COCAINE EXPERIENCE ON NEUROPLASTICITY IN THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS CORE OF ADDICTION-PRONE RATS

    PubMed Central

    Waselus, Maria; Flagel, Shelly B.; Jedynak, Jakub P.; Akil, Huda; Robinson, Terry E.; Watson, Stanley J.

    2013-01-01

    Repeated exposure to drugs of abuse is associated with structural plasticity in brain reward pathways. Rats selectively bred for locomotor response to novelty differ on a number of neurobehavioral dimensions relevant to addiction. This unique genetic animal model was used here to examine both pre-existing differences and long-term consequences of repeated cocaine treatment on structural plasticity. Selectively bred high-responder (bHR) and low-responder (bLR) rats received repeated saline or cocaine injections for 9 consecutive days. Escalating doses of cocaine (7.5, 15 and 30 mg/kg) were administered on the first (day 1) and last (day 9) days of treatment and a single injection of the intermediate dose (15 mg/kg) was given on days 2-8. Motor activity in response to escalating doses of cocaine was compared on the first and last days of treatment to assess the acute and sensitized response to the drug. Following prolonged cocaine abstinence (28 days), spine density was examined on terminal dendrites of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens core. Relative to bLRs, bHRs exhibited increased psychomotor activation in response to both the acute and repeated effects of cocaine. There were no differences in spine density between bHR and bLR rats under basal conditions or following repeated saline treatment. However, spine density differed markedly between these two lines following prolonged cocaine abstinence. All spine types were decreased in cocaine-treated bHRs, while only mushroom spines were decreased in bLRs that received cocaine. Changes in spine density occurred specifically near the branch point of terminal dendrites. These findings indicate that structural plasticity associated with prolonged cocaine abstinence varies markedly in two selected strains of rats that vary on numerous traits relevant to addiction. Thus, genetic factors that contribute to individual variation in the behavioral response to cocaine also influence cocaine-induced structural

  11. Optogenetic Evidence That Pallidal Projections, Not Nigral Projections, from the Nucleus Accumbens Core Are Necessary for Reinstating Cocaine Seeking

    PubMed Central

    Stefanik, Michael T.; Kupchik, Yonatan M.; Brown, Robyn M.

    2013-01-01

    The core subcompartment of the nucleus accumbens (NAcore) contributes significantly to behavioral responses following motivationally relevant stimuli, including drug-induced, stress-induced, and cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Projections from NAcore that could carry information necessary to initiate reinstated cocaine seeking include outputs via the indirect pathway to the dorsolateral subcompartment of the ventral pallidum (dlVP) and through the direct pathway to the medial substantia nigra (SN). Here we used an optogenetic strategy to determine whether the dlVP or nigral projections from the NAcore are necessary for cocaine seeking initiated by a cocaine and conditioned cue combination in rats extinguished from cocaine self-administration. Rats were pretreated in the NAcore with an adeno-associated virus expressing the inhibitory opsin archaerhodopsin, and fiber-optic cannulae were implanted above the indirect pathway axon terminal field in the dlVP, or the direct pathway terminal field in the SN. Inhibiting the indirect pathway to the dlVP, but not the direct pathway to the SN, prevented cocaine-plus-cue-induced reinstatement. We also examined projections back to the NAcore from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and dlVP. Inhibiting the dlVP to NAcore projection did not alter, while inhibiting VTA afferents abolished reinstated cocaine seeking. Localization of green fluorescent protein reporter expression and whole-cell patch electrophysiology were used to verify opsin expression. These data reveal a circuit involving activation of VTA inputs to the NAcore and NAcore projections through the indirect pathway to the dlVP as critical for cocaine-plus-cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking. PMID:23966687

  12. Valproate Inhibits Methamphetamine Induced Hyperactivity via Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens Core

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26030405

  13. Low Impulsive Action, but not Impulsive Choice, Predicts Greater Conditioned Reinforcer Salience and Augmented Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Release.

    PubMed

    Zeeb, Fiona D; Soko, Ashlie D; Ji, Xiaodong; Fletcher, Paul J

    2016-07-01

    Poor impulse control is associated with an increased propensity to develop an addiction and may contribute to relapse as high impulsive subjects appear to attribute greater salience toward drug-paired stimuli. In these studies, we determined whether trait impulsivity also predicts the desire to obtain natural reward-paired stimuli. Rats trained on the 5-choice serial reaction time task to measure impulsive action (Experiment 1) or a delay-discounting task to measure impulsive choice (Experiment 2) were separated into low, intermediate, or high impulsive action (L-IA, I-IA, H-IA) or choice (L-IC, I-IC, H-IC) groups. The motivation to obtain a conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with water-reward was subsequently determined by measuring responding for the CS as a conditioned reinforcer (CRf). Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens was also measured using in vivo microdialysis. The effects of amphetamine were assessed on all tests. In Experiment 1, amphetamine increased impulsive action in all groups. L-IA rats initially demonstrated the highest responding for the CRf. Amphetamine increased responding for the CRf and this effect was augmented in L-IA rats. Dopamine release following amphetamine was greatest in L-IA subjects. In Experiment 2, amphetamine increased impulsive choice for L-IC and I-IC rats. However, all groups responded similarly for the CRf and dopamine release was moderately greater in L-IC rats. In conclusion, impulsive choice was unrelated to responding for a CRf. L-IA subjects initially attributed enhanced salience to a CS and exhibited greater dopamine release. Lower dopamine release in H-IA rats could result in reduced reinforcing properties of the CRf. PMID:26781518

  14. Differential effects of acute and chronic nicotine on dopamine output in the core and shell of the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Nisell, M; Marcus, M; Nomikos, G G; Svensson, T H

    1997-01-01

    Like several drugs of abuse, nicotine increase dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (NAC). In the present study, the effects of acute and chronic nicotine on DA output in two subdivisions of the NAC, the core and the shell, which are largely associated with motor control and limbic functions, respectively, were examined by means of in vivo differential normal pulse voltammetry in anesthetized, pargyline-treated rats. In the first experiment, acute administration of nicotine (25, 50 and 100 micrograms/kg, cumulative doses; i.v.) was found to increase DA levels in the NACshell to 163% of baseline, whereas DA output in the NACcore was not significantly affected. In the second experiment, animals were pretreated with twelve daily injections of saline or nicotine (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.); about 24 hours after the last injection, the animals were challenged with nicotine (50 micrograms/kg and 100 micrograms/kg, cumulative doses; i.v.). Under these conditions, nicotine increased DA output in the NACshell in saline-pretreated animals to 248% and in nicotine-pretreated rats to 180%. Also, nicotine increased DA output in the NACcore in saline-pretreated animals to 185%, whereas no significant effect was observed in nicotine-pretreated rats. The results of the present experiments indicate (i) that acutely administered nicotine or nicotine challenge in chronically pretreated animals with either saline or nicotine consistently increases DA release to a greater extent in the NACshell than in the NACcore, and (ii) that chronic nicotine pretreatment reduces the stimulatory-action of nicotine on DA output in either the shell or the core subdivision of the NAC. PMID:9085189

  15. Rapid changes in extracellular glutamate induced by natural arousing stimuli and intravenous cocaine in the nucleus accumbens shell and core

    PubMed Central

    Wakabayashi, Ken T.

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate (Glu) is a major excitatory neurotransmitter, playing a crucial role in the functioning of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical area implicated in somatosensory integration and regulation of motivated behavior. In this study, high-speed amperometry with enzyme-based biosensors was used in freely moving rats to examine changes in extracellular Glu in the NAc shell and core induced by a tone, tail pinch (TP), social interaction with a male conspecific (SI), and intravenous (iv) cocaine (1 mg/kg). To establish the contribution of Glu to electrochemical signal changes, similar recordings were conducted with null (Glu0) sensors, which were exposed to the same chemical and physical environment but were insensitive to Glu. TP, SI, and cocaine, but not a tone, induced relatively large and prolonged current increases detected by both Glu and Glu0 sensors. However, current differentials revealed very rapid, much smaller, and transient increases in extracellular Glu levels, more predominantly in the NAc shell than core. In contrast to monophasic responses with natural stimuli, cocaine induced a biphasic Glu increase in the shell, with a transient peak during the injection and a slower postinjection peak. Therefore, Glu is phasically released in the NAc after exposure to natural arousing stimuli and cocaine; this release is rapid, stimulus dependent, and structure specific, suggesting its role in triggering neural and behavioral activation induced by these stimuli. This study also demonstrates the need for multiple in vitro and in vivo controls to reveal relatively small, highly phasic, and transient fluctuations in Glu levels occurring under behaviorally relevant conditions. PMID:22496525

  16. A Shift in the Role of Glutamatergic Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens Core with the Development of an Addicted Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Doyle, Susan E.; Ramôa, Carolina; Garber, Garrett; Newman, Joshua; Toor, Shaun; Lynch, Wendy J.

    2014-01-01

    Background While dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a well-established role in motivating cocaine use in early “non-addicted” stages, recent evidence suggests that other signaling pathways may be critical once addiction has developed. Given the importance of glutamatergic signaling in the NAc for drug-seeking and relapse, here we examined its role in motivating cocaine self-administration under conditions known to produce either a “non-addicted” or an “addicted” phenotype. Methods Following acquisition, male and female Sprague Dawley rats were given either short access (3 fixed-ratio 1 sessions, 20 infusions/day) or extended 24-hr access (10 days; 4 trials/hr; up to 96 infusions/day) to cocaine. Following a 14-day abstinence period, motivation for cocaine was assessed under a progressive-ratio schedule, and once stable, the effects of intra-NAc infusions of the glutamate AMPA/KA receptor antagonist CNQX (0.0, 0.01, 0.03, 0.1 μg/side) were determined. As an additional measure for the development of an addicted phenotype, separate groups of rats were screened under an extinction/cue-induced reinstatement procedure following abstinence from short versus extended access self-administration. Results Motivation for cocaine and levels of extinction and reinstatement responding were markedly higher following extended versus short access self-administration confirming the development of an addicted phenotype in the extended access group. CNQX dose-dependently reduced motivation for cocaine in the extended access group, but was without effect in the short access group. Conclusions These results suggest that the role of glutamatergic signaling in the NAc, though not essential for motivating cocaine use in “non-addicted” stages, becomes critical once addiction has developed. PMID:24629536

  17. 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. PMID:22396427

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 (Vmax) 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 [125I] 3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropan-2β-carboxylic acid methyl ester ([125I]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. PMID:24916769

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 10 days 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 10 mg/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 10.0 mg/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 populations 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 analysis 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 animals behavior concomitantly with neuronal recordings. PMID:24534179

  20. Ethanol and Phencyclidine Interact with Respect to Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Release: Differential Effects of Administration Order and Pretreatment Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Pickering, Chris; Chau, Pei Pei; Söderpalm, Bo; Ericson, Mia

    2010-01-01

    Executive dysfunction is a common symptom among alcohol-dependent individuals. Phencyclidine (PCP) injection induces dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex of animals but little is known about how PCP affects the response to ethanol. Using the in vivo microdialysis technique in male Wistar rats, we investigated how systemic injection of 5 mg/kg PCP would affect the dopamine release induced by local infusion of 300 mM ethanol into the nucleus accumbens. PCP given 60 min before ethanol entirely blocked ethanol-induced dopamine release. However, when ethanol was administered 60 min before PCP, both drugs induced dopamine release and PCP's effect was potentiated by ethanol (180% increase vs 150%). To test the role of prefrontal cortex dysfunction in ethanol reinforcement, animals were pretreated for 5 days with 2.58 mg/kg PCP according to previously used ‘PFC hypofunction protocols’. This, however, did not change the relative response to PCP or ethanol compared to saline-treated controls. qPCR illustrated that this low PCP dose did not significantly change expression of glucose transporters Glut1 (SLC2A1) or Glut3 (SLC2A3), monocarboxylate transporter MCT2 (SLC16A7), glutamate transporters GLT-1 (SLC1A2) or GLAST (SLC1A3), the immediate early gene Arc (Arg3.1) or GABAergic neuron markers GAT-1 (SLC6A1) and parvalbumin. Therefore, we concluded that PCP at a dose of 2.58 mg/kg for 5 days did not induce hypofunction in Wistar rats. However, PCP and ethanol do have overlapping mechanisms of action and these drugs differentially affect mesolimbic dopaminergic transmission depending on the order of administration. PMID:20589092

  1. Optogenetic inhibition of D1R containing nucleus accumbens neurons alters cocaine-mediated regulation of Tiam1.

    PubMed

    Chandra, Ramesh; Lenz, Jeffrey D; Gancarz, Amy M; Chaudhury, Dipesh; Schroeder, Gabrielle L; Han, Ming-Hu; Cheer, Joseph F; Dietz, David M; Lobo, Mary Kay

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to psychostimulants results in structural and synaptic plasticity in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). These cellular adaptations arise from alterations in genes that are highly implicated in the rearrangement of the actin-cytoskeleton, such as T-lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (Tiam1). Previous studies have demonstrated a crucial role for dopamine receptor 1 (D1)-containing striatal MSNs in mediating psychostimulant induced plasticity changes. These D1-MSNs in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) positively regulate drug seeking, reward, and locomotor behavioral effects as well as the morphological adaptations of psychostimulant drugs. Here, we demonstrate that rats that actively self-administer cocaine display reduced levels of Tiam1 in the NAc. To further examine the cell type-specific contribution to these changes in Tiam1 we used optogenetics to selectively manipulate NAc D1-MSNs or dopamine receptor 2 (D2) expressing MSNs. We find that repeated channelrhodopsin-2 activation of D1-MSNs but not D2-MSNs caused a down-regulation of Tiam1 levels similar to the effects of cocaine. Further, activation of D2-MSNs, which caused a late blunted cocaine-mediated locomotor behavioral response, did not alter Tiam1 levels. We then examined the contribution of D1-MSNs to the cocaine-mediated decrease of Tiam1. Using the light activated chloride pump, eNpHR3.0 (enhanced Natronomonas pharaonis halorhodopsin 3.0), we selectively inhibited D1-MSNs during cocaine exposure, which resulted in a behavioral blockade of cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization. Moreover, inhibiting these NAc D1-MSNs during cocaine exposure reversed the down-regulation of Tiam1 gene expression and protein levels. These data demonstrate that altering activity in specific neural circuits with optogenetics can impact the underlying molecular substrates of psychostimulant-mediated behavior and function. PMID:23745104

  2. Inhibition of Cdk5 in the nucleus accumbens enhances the locomotor-activating and incentive-motivational effects of cocaine.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Jane R; Lynch, Wendy J; Sanchez, Hayde; Olausson, Peter; Nestler, Eric J; Bibb, James A

    2007-03-01

    Neuronal adaptations in striatal dopamine signaling have been implicated in enhanced responses to addictive drugs. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) regulates striatal dopamine signaling and is a downstream target gene of the transcription factor DeltaFosB, which accumulates in striatal neurons after chronic cocaine exposure. Here we investigated the role of Cdk5 activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) on cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization, responding for reward-associated stimuli (conditioned reinforcement), and cocaine self-administration under a progressive ratio schedule. Repeated infusions of the Cdk5 inhibitor roscovitine into the NAc before cocaine injections augmented both the development and expression of cocaine sensitization without having any intrinsic stimulant actions of its own. Additionally, repeated intra-NAc infusions of roscovitine to saline-injected rats enhanced locomotor responses to a subsequent cocaine challenge. Similar effects were found after infusions of another Cdk5 inhibitor, olomoucine, but not its inactive congener, iso-olomoucine. Repeated inhibition of Cdk5 within the NAc also robustly enhanced the incentive-motivational effects of cocaine, similar to the effect of prior repeated cocaine exposure. The enhanced responding with conditioned reinforcement induced by cocaine persisted at least 2 weeks after the final roscovitine infusion. NAc infusions of olomoucine also produced acute and enduring increases in "breakpoints" achieved on a progressive ratio schedule for cocaine reinforcement. These results demonstrate profound and persistent effects of NAc Cdk5 inhibition on locomotor sensitization and incentive-motivational processes and provide direct evidence for a role for striatal Cdk5-induced alterations in the brain's long-term adaptations to cocaine. PMID:17360491

  3. 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. PMID:26411897

  4. Dopamine receptor expression and distribution dynamically change in the rat nucleus accumbens after withdrawal from cocaine self-administration

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Kelly L.; Ford, Kerstin; Marinelli, Michela; Wolf, Marina E.

    2010-01-01

    Dopamine receptors (DARs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are critical for cocaine's actions but the nature of adaptations in DAR function after repeated cocaine exposure remains controversial. This may be due in part to the fact that different methods used in previous studies measured different DAR pools. In the present study, we used a protein crosslinking assay to make the first measurements of DAR surface expression in the NAc of cocaine-experienced rats. Intracellular and total receptor levels were also quantified. Rats self-administered saline or cocaine for ten days. The entire NAc, or core and shell subregions, were collected one or 45 days later, when rats are known to exhibit low and high levels of cue-induced drug seeking, respectively. We found increased cell surface D1 DARs in the NAc shell on the first day after discontinuing cocaine self-administration (designated withdrawal day 1, or WD1) but this normalized by WD45. Decreased intracellular and surface D2 DAR levels were observed in the cocaine group. In shell, both measures decreased on WD1 and WD45. In core, decreased D2 DAR surface expression was only observed on WD45. Similarly, WD45 but not WD1 was associated with increased D3 DAR surface expression in the core. Taking into account many other studies, we suggest that decreased D2 DAR and increased D3 DAR surface expression on WD45 may contribute to enhanced cocaine-seeking after prolonged withdrawal, although this is likely to be a modulatory effect, in light of the mediating effect previously demonstrated for AMPA-type glutamate receptors. PMID:20435100

  5. BDNF–TrkB signaling in the nucleus accumbens shell of mice has key role in methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Q; Ma, M; Yang, C; Zhang, J-C; Yao, W; Hashimoto, K

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a core symptom of methamphetamine (METH) withdrawal during the first several weeks of abstinence. However, the precise mechanisms underlying METH withdrawal symptoms remain unknown. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its specific receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase (TrkB), have a role the in pathophysiology of depression. In this study, we examined the role of BDNF–TrkB signaling in different brain regions of male mice with METH withdrawal symptoms. Repeated METH (3 mg kg−1 per day for 5 days) administration to mice caused a long-lasting depression-like behavior including anhedonia. Western blot analysis showed that BDNF levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of METH-treated mice were significantly higher than those of control mice whereas BDNF levels in other regions, including the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, were not altered. METH-induced depression-like behavior, behavioral sensitization and dendritic changes in the NAc shell were improved by subsequent subchronic administration of TrkB antagonist ANA-12 (0.5 mg kg−1 per day for 14 days), but not TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (10 mg kg−1 per day for 14 days). In vivo microdialysis showed that METH (1 mg kg−1)-induced dopamine release in NAc shell of METH-treated mice was attenuated after subsequent subchronic ANA-12 administration. Interestingly, a single bilateral infusion of ANA-12 into the NAc shell, but not NAc core, showed a rapid and long-lasting therapeutic effect. However, ketamine and paroxetine had no effect. These findings suggest that increased BDNF–TrkB signaling in the NAc shell has an important role in the behavioral abnormalities after withdrawal from repeated METH administration, and that TrkB antagonists are potential therapeutic drugs for withdrawal symptoms in METH abusers. PMID:26506052

  6. 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. PMID:26779672

  7. Role of Acetylcholine Transmission in Nucleus Accumbens and Ventral Tegmental Area in Heroin-Seeking Induced by Conditioned Cues

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wenhua; Liu, Huifen; Zhang, Fuqiang; Tang, Suien; Zhu, Huaqiang; Lai, Miaojun; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2007-01-01

    The involvement of cholinergic transmission in heroin self-administration and the reinstatement of heroin-seeking was examined in rats trained to nose-poke for intravenous heroin. Systemic treatment with physostigmine, an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, modestly reduced the acquisition and rate of heroin self-administration, and this suppression of heroin intake was reversed by pretreatment with scopolamine but not by mecamylamine. Following 10–14 days of self-administration, rats were left in the home environment for 14 days. Subsequently, rats were evaluated for extinction of nose-pokes during the first hour after being returned to the self-administration apparatus. One hr later a conditioned stimulus (house light, light in the nose-poke hole, sound of the infusion pump) was presented to initiate cue-induced reinstatement. Physostigmine produced a dose-dependent inhibition of cue-induced reinstatement, but only the dose of 0.5 mg/kg significantly decreased nose-poke responding in the extinction test. Chronic treatment with physostigmine (0.1 mg/kg) did not impair performance during acquisition of heroin self-administration. However, during a subsequent reinstatement test conducted in the absence of physostigmine pretreatment, heroin seeking was significantly below that of rats chronically pretreated with saline. To evaluate brain regions mediating the effects of systemic drug treatment on reinstatement, physostigmine was microinjected into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) or ventral tegmental area (VTA). Microinjection of physostigmine into the NAc prior to presenting conditioned cues inhibited the reinstatement of heroin-seeking, without affecting extinction responding. In contrast, microinjection of physostigmine into the VTA augmented the reinstatement induced by conditioned cues and extinction responding. Inactivation of either NAc or VTA by microinjecting tetrodotoxin blocked both extinction responding and cue-induced reinstatement. These data demonstrate

  8. Nucleus accumbens shell and core involvement in drug context-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Rita A.; Ramirez, Donna R.; Bell, Guinevere H.

    2008-01-01

    Rationale The nucleus accumbens (NAC) is a functionally heterogeneous brain region with respect to its involvement in cocaine-seeking behavior triggered by drug-associated explicit conditioned stimuli, foot shock stress, or cocaine itself in the reinstatement animal model of drug relapse. However, it is not known whether the NAC or its subregions are critical for reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior produced by re-exposure to a previously cocaine-paired environmental context. Objectives The present study was designed to evaluate potentially unique contributions of the NAC core and shell to this behavior. Materials and methods Rats were trained to lever press for unsignaled cocaine infusions (0.15 mg/infusion, intravenous) in a distinct environmental context. Lever responding was then extinguished in a distinctly different environmental context (extinction context) during a minimum of seven daily training sessions. Subsequently, using a counterbalanced testing design, rats were re-exposed to the cocaine-paired context or the extinction context while cocaine seeking (i.e., responding on the previously cocaine-reinforced lever) was assessed. Before each test session, neural activity was inhibited selectively in the NAC core or shell using bilateral microinfusions of the γ-aminobutyric acid agonists, baclofen and muscimol (0/0 or 1.0/0.1 mM; 0.3 μl per hemisphere). Results Neural inactivation of the NAC shell or core attenuated responding in the cocaine context and, interestingly, increased responding in the extinction context. Control experiments indicated no effects on general activity or food-reinforced instrumental behavior. Conclusions These findings suggest that both subregions of the NAC may promote context-induced reinstatement by facilitating drug context-induced motivation for cocaine and context discrimination. PMID:18597075

  9. An in vivo profile of beta-endorphin release in the arcuate nucleus and nucleus accumbens following exposure to stress or alcohol.

    PubMed

    Marinelli, P W; Quirion, R; Gianoulakis, C

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of distinct categories of stressors on beta-endorphin (beta-EP) release in the arcuate nucleus (ArcN) and nucleus accumbens (NAcb) using in vivo microdialysis. Adult male rats were implanted with a cannula aimed at either the NAcb or the ArcN. On the day of testing, a 2 mm microdialysis probe was inserted into the cannula, and artificial cerebrospinal fluid was infused at 2.0 microl/min. After three baseline collections, animals either had a clothespin applied to the base of their tail for 20 min (a physical/tactile stressor), were exposed to fox urine odour for 20 min (a psychological stressor/species-specific threat), or were administered 2.4 g ethanol/kg body weight, 16.5% w/v, i.p. (a chemical/pharmacological stressor) with control animals receiving an equivalent volume of saline. Both tail-pinch and fox odour significantly increased beta-EP release from the ArcN (P<0.05), whilst only tail-pinch enhanced beta-EP release from the NAcb (P<0.01). On the other hand, alcohol stimulated beta-EP release in the NAcb as compared with saline-treated controls (P<0.01), but not in the ArcN. Although the increase in extracellular beta-EP produced by the other stressors was relatively rapid, there was a 90-min delay before alcohol administration caused beta-EP levels to exceed that of saline-injected controls. In conclusion, the fact that physical and fear-inducing psychological stressors stimulate beta-EP release in the ArcN and only physical stressors stimulate beta-EP release in the NAcb, indicates that stressors with different properties are processed differently in the brain. Also, an injection of alcohol caused a delayed increase of beta-EP in the NAcb but not the ArcN, indicating that alcohol may recruit a mechanism that is, at least partially, distinct from stress-related pathways. PMID:15283974

  10. 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

  11. Inactivation of the Nucleus Accumbens Core or Medial Shell Attenuates Reinstatement of Sugar-Seeking Behavior following Sugar Priming or Exposure to Food-Associated Cues

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Peagan; Pratt, Wayne E.

    2014-01-01

    Re-exposure to either palatable food or to conditioned stimuli associated with food is known to reinstate food-seeking after periods of abstinence. The nucleus accumbens core and shell are important for reinstatement in both food- and drug-seeking paradigms, although their potential differential roles have been difficult to delineate due to methodological differences in paradigms across laboratories. The present studies assessed the effects of temporary inactivation of the core or shell on priming- and cue-induced reinstatement of food-seeking in identically-trained rats. Inactivation of either the nucleus accumbens core (Experiment 1A; N = 10) or medial shell (Experiment 1B; N = 12) blocked priming-induced reinstatement in an equivalent manner. Similarly, inactivation of the core or medial shell (Experiments 2A & 2B; N = 11 each) also blocked cue-induced reinstatement, although there was also a significant treatment day X brain region X drug order interaction. Specifically, rats with core inactivation reinstated lever-pressing on the vehicle injection day regardless of whether that was their first or second test, whereas rats that had medial shell inactivation on the first day did not significantly reinstate lever-pressing on the second day of testing (when they received vehicle). Yohimbine, while a reportedly robust pharmacological stressor, was ineffective at inducing reinstatement in the current stress-induced reinstatement procedure. These data suggest that both the nucleus accumbens core and shell serve important roles in reinstatement of food-seeking in response to priming and cues. PMID:24910996

  12. Withania somnifera prevents morphine withdrawal-induced decrease in spine density in nucleus accumbens shell of rats: a confocal laser scanning microscopy study.

    PubMed

    Kasture, Sanjay; Vinci, Stefania; Ibba, Federico; Puddu, Alessandro; Marongiu, Mara; Murali, Balasubramanian; Pisanu, Augusta; Lecca, Daniele; Zernig, Gerald; Acquas, Elio

    2009-11-01

    Opiate withdrawal is associated with morphological changes of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area and with reduction of spine density of second-order dendrites of medium size spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell but not core. Withania somnifera has long been used in the Middle East, Africa, and India as a remedy for different conditions and diseases and a growing body of evidence points to its beneficial effects on a number of experimental models of neurological disorders. Recently, many studies focused on the potential neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction properties of its methanolic extract and its constituents (withanolides). This study investigates whether morphine withdrawal-induced spine reduction in the nucleus accumbens is affected by the administration of a Withania somnifera extract. To this end, rats were chronically treated with Withania somnifera extract along with morphine or saline and, upon spontaneous (1 and 3 days) or pharmacologically precipitated withdrawal, their brains were fixed in Golgi-Cox stain for confocal microscopic examination. In a separate group of animals, Withania somnifera extract was administered during three days of spontaneous withdrawal. Withania somnifera extract treatment reduced the severity of the withdrawal syndrome when given during chronic morphine but not during withdrawal. In addition, treatment with Withania somnifera extract during chronic morphine, but not during withdrawal, fully prevented the reduction of spine density in the nucleus accumbens shell in spontaneous and pharmacologically precipitated morphine withdrawal. These results indicate that pretreatment with Withania somnifera extract protects from the structural changes induced by morphine withdrawal potentially providing beneficial effects on the consequences related to this condition. PMID:19551457

  13. Enriched environment attenuates nicotine self-administration and induces changes in ΔFosB expression in the rat prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Venebra-Muñoz, Arturo; Corona-Morales, Aleph; Santiago-García, Juan; Melgarejo-Gutiérrez, Montserrat; Caba, Mario; García-García, Fabio

    2014-06-18

    Environment enrichment conditions have important consequences on subsequent vulnerability to drugs of abuse. The present work examined whether exposure to an enriched environment (EE) decreases oral self-consumption of nicotine. Wistar rats were housed either in a standard environment (SE, four rats per standard cage) or in an EE during 60 days after weaning. EE consisted of eight animals housed in larger cages containing a variety of objects such as boxes, toys, and burrowing material that were changed three times a week. After this period, animals were exposed to nicotine for 3 weeks, where animals chose freely between water and a nicotine solution (0.006% in water). Fluid consumption was evaluated on a daily basis. ΔFosB immunohistochemistry in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens was also performed. Rats of the EE group consumed less nicotine solution (0.25±0.04 mg/kg/day) than SE rats (0.54±0.05 mg/kg/day). EE increased the number of ΔFos-immunoreactive (ΔFos-ir) cells in the nucleus accumbens core and shell and in the prefrontal cortex, compared with animals in the standard condition. However, rats exposed to nicotine in the SE showed higher ΔFos-ir cells in the nucleus accumbens core and shell than nonexposed rats. Nicotine consumption did not modify ΔFos-ir cells in these brain areas in EE animals. These results support the idea of a possible protective effect of the EE on reward sensitivity and the development of an addictive behavior to nicotine. PMID:24686135

  14. 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'. PMID:26169221

  15. Nucleus Accumbens Shell and mPFC but Not Insula Orexin-1 Receptors Promote Excessive Alcohol Drinking.

    PubMed

    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

  16. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons.

    PubMed

    Beckley, Jacob T; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A; Ron, Dorit

    2016-01-20

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake. However, the enduring cellular alterations following the first experience with alcohol consumption are not fully understood. We found that the first binge-drinking alcohol session produced enduring enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons (D1+ neurons) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell but not the core in mice, which required D1 receptors (D1Rs) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Furthermore, inhibition of mTORC1 activity during the first alcohol drinking session reduced alcohol consumption and preference of a subsequent drinking session. mTORC1 is critically involved in RNA-to-protein translation, and we found that the first alcohol session rapidly activated mTORC1 in NAc shell D1+ neurons and increased synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunit GluA1 and the scaffolding protein Homer. Finally, D1R stimulation alone was sufficient to activate mTORC1 in the NAc to promote mTORC1-dependent translation of the synaptic proteins GluA1 and Homer. Together, our results indicate that the first alcohol drinking session induces synaptic plasticity in NAc D1+ neurons via enhanced mTORC1-dependent translation of proteins involved in excitatory synaptic transmission that in turn drives the reinforcement learning associated with the first alcohol experience. Thus, the alcohol-dependent D1R/mTORC1-mediated increase in synaptic function in the NAc may reflect a neural imprint of alcohol's reinforcing properties, which could promote subsequent alcohol intake. Significance statement: Consuming alcohol for the first time is a learning event that drives further drinking. Here, we identified a mechanism that may underlie the reinforcing learning associated with the initial alcohol experience. We show that the first alcohol experience induces a persistent enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission on NAc shell D1+ neurons

  17. Cocaine-induced alterations in nucleus accumbens ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits in human and non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Hemby, Scott E; Tang, Wenxue; Muly, Emil C; Kuhar, Michael J; Howell, Leonard; Mash, Deborah C

    2005-12-01

    Chronic cocaine and withdrawal induce significant alterations in nucleus accumbens (NAc) glutamatergic function in humans and rodent models of cocaine addiction. Dysregulation of glutamatergic function of the prefrontal cortical-NAc pathway has been proposed as a critical substrate for unmanageable drug seeking. Previously, we demonstrated significant up-regulation of NMDA, (+/-)-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and kainate receptor subunit mRNAs and protein levels in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but not the substantia nigra, of cocaine overdose victims (COD). The present study was undertaken to examine the extent of altered ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) subunit expression in the NAc and the putamen in cocaine overdose victims. Results revealed statistically significant increases in the NAc, but not in the putamen, of NMDA receptor subunit (NR)1 and glutamate receptor subunit (GluR)2/3 wit trends in GluR1 and GluR5 in COD. These results extend our previous finding and indicate pathway-specific alterations in iGluRs in COD. In order to determine that changes were related to cocaine intake and not to other factors in the COD victims, we examined the effects of cocaine intravenous self-administration in rhesus monkeys for 18 months (unit dose of 0.1 mg/kg/injection and daily drug intake of 0.5 mg/kg/session). Total drug intake for the group of four monkeys was 37.9 +/- 4.6 mg/kg. Statistically significant elevations were observed for NR1, GluR1, GluR2/3 and GluR5 (p < 0.05) and a trend towards increased NR1 phosphorylated at serine 896 (p = 0.07) in the NAc but not putamen of monkeys self-administering cocaine compared with controls. These results extend previous results by demonstrating an up-regulation of NR1, GluR2/3 and GluR5 in the NAc and suggest these alterations are pathway specific. Furthermore, these changes may mediate persistent drug intake and craving in the human cocaine abuser. PMID:16363995

  18. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Beckley, Jacob T.; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake. However, the enduring cellular alterations following the first experience with alcohol consumption are not fully understood. We found that the first binge-drinking alcohol session produced enduring enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons (D1+ neurons) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell but not the core in mice, which required D1 receptors (D1Rs) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Furthermore, inhibition of mTORC1 activity during the first alcohol drinking session reduced alcohol consumption and preference of a subsequent drinking session. mTORC1 is critically involved in RNA-to-protein translation, and we found that the first alcohol session rapidly activated mTORC1 in NAc shell D1+ neurons and increased synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunit GluA1 and the scaffolding protein Homer. Finally, D1R stimulation alone was sufficient to activate mTORC1 in the NAc to promote mTORC1-dependent translation of the synaptic proteins GluA1 and Homer. Together, our results indicate that the first alcohol drinking session induces synaptic plasticity in NAc D1+ neurons via enhanced mTORC1-dependent translation of proteins involved in excitatory synaptic transmission that in turn drives the reinforcement learning associated with the first alcohol experience. Thus, the alcohol-dependent D1R/mTORC1-mediated increase in synaptic function in the NAc may reflect a neural imprint of alcohol's reinforcing properties, which could promote subsequent alcohol intake. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Consuming alcohol for the first time is a learning event that drives further drinking. Here, we identified a mechanism that may underlie the reinforcing learning associated with the initial alcohol experience. We show that the first alcohol experience induces a persistent enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission on NAc shell D1+ neurons

  19. Ethanol attenuation of long term depression in the nucleus accumbens can be overcome by activation of TRPV1 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Renteria, Rafael; Jeanes, Zachary M.; Morrisett, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Altered expression of synaptic plasticity within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) constitutes a critical neuroadaptive response to ethanol and other drugs of abuse. We have previously reported that NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (LTD) is markedly affected by chronic intermittent ethanol exposure in vivo; however, endocannabinoid (eCB)-dependent synaptic depression, despite being very well-documented in the dorsal striatum, is much less well understood in the NAc. Methods Whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology was used to investigate interactions between these different plasticity-induction systems. Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were measured in the NAc shell and NMDAR-LTD was induced by a pairing protocol (500 stimuli @ 1 Hz stimulation (LFS) paired with postsynaptic depolarization to −50 mV). AM251, a CB1 receptor antagonist, was used to determine whether this form of LTD is modulated by eCBs. To determine the effect of ethanol on a purely eCB-dependent response in the NAc, depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) was used in the presence of 40 mM ethanol. Finally, we determined whether the enhancement of eCB signaling with URB597, a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor, and AM404, an anandamide reuptake inhibitor would also modulate LFS LTD in the presence of NMDA-receptor blockade or ethanol. Results In the presence of AM251, the LFS pairing protocol resulted in NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) that was blocked with either ethanol or DL-APV. We also found that DSE in the NAc shell was blocked by AM251 and suppressed by ethanol. Enhanced eCB signaling rescued NAc LTD expression in the presence of ethanol through a distinct mechanism requiring activation of TRPV1 receptors. Conclusion Ethanol modulation of synaptic plasticity in the NAc is dependent upon a complex interplay between NMDA receptors, eCBs and TRPV1 receptors. These findings demonstrate a novel form of TRPV1-dependent LTD in the NAc

  20. Dissociable contribution of nucleus accumbens and dorsolateral striatum to the acquisition of risk choice behavior in the rat.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jen-Hau; Liao, Ruey-Ming

    2015-12-01

    While a growing body of research has suggested that the mesocorticolimbic dopamine systems play a key role in decision making under risk, how the nucleus accumbens (NAC) is involved in the acquisition of risk choice behavior remains unclear. This study used a T-maze task to assess risk-based decision making in which the rat was required to assess the risk by choosing to enter either a small and certain reward arm or a large but uncertain reward arm of the maze. The latter option, when chosen, resulted in provision of 2, 4, or 8 sweeten pellets with a probability (p) of 0.5, 0.25, or 0.125, respectively. Thus the latter arm provided three different conditions of reward ratio, compared to the choice of former arm, which always provided 1 pellet with p=1. This risk choice task was then run with the expected value being equality between the binary choice options. The experimental rats first received an excitoneurotoxic lesion affecting either the NAC or the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) and this was followed by post-lesion behavioral examination. The sham lesion control rats acquired a stable risk choice with regard to each reward ratio over a 10-day test. The pattern of choice behavior appeared in risk-seeking when p=0.5 to obtain 2 pellets, and was risk-averse when larger reward resulted in lower p. The NAC lesion significantly disrupted the acquisition of the aforementioned risk choice behavior and apparently shifted the choice into a risk-averse style for all three reward ratios. No such effect was observed in the rats with DLS lesions. Neither the gross motor action nor the discrimination of different reward magnitudes was impaired by the lesions affecting either the NAC or DLS as assessed by an additional experiment. These findings suggest that firstly there is heterogeneity between NAC and DLS with respect to risk-based decision making, and that secondly the NAC is involved and critical to the acquisition of behavioral choice under risk, specially when the

  1. 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

  2. Cocaine-induced alterations in nucleus accumbens ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits in human and non-human primates

    PubMed Central

    Hemby, Scott E.; Tang, Wenxue; Muly, Emil C.; Kuhar, Michael J.; Howell, Leonard; Mash, Deborah C.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic cocaine and withdrawal induce significant alterations in nucleus accumbens (NAc) glutamatergic function in humans and rodent models of cocaine addiction. Dysregulation of glutamatergic function of the prefrontal cortical–NAc pathway has been proposed as a critical substrate for unmanageable drug seeking. Previously, we demonstrated significant up-regulation of NMDA, (±)-α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and kainate receptor subunit mRNAs and protein levels in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but not the substantia nigra, of cocaine overdose victims (COD). The present study was undertaken to examine the extent of altered ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) subunit expression in the NAc and the putamen in cocaine overdose victims. Results revealed statistically significant increases in the NAc, but not in the putamen, of NMDA receptor subunit (NR)1 and glutamate receptor subunit (GluR)2/3 wit trends in GluR1 and GluR5 in COD. These results extend our previous finding and indicate pathway-specific alterations in iGluRs in COD. In order to determine that changes were related to cocaine intake and not to other factors in the COD victims, we examined the effects of cocaine intravenous self-administration in rhesus monkeys for 18 months (unit dose of 0.1 mg/kg/injection and daily drug intake of 0.5 mg/kg/session). Total drug intake for the group of four monkeys was 37.9 ± 4.6 mg/kg. Statistically significant elevations were observed for NR1, GluR1, GluR2/3 and GluR5 (p < 0.05) and a trend towards increased NR1 phosphorylated at serine 896 (p = 0.07) in the NAc but not putamen of monkeys self-administering cocaine compared with controls. These results extend previous results by demonstrating an up-regulation of NR1, GluR2/3 and GluR5 in the NAc and suggest these alterations are pathway specific. Furthermore, these changes may mediate persistent drug intake and craving in the human cocaine abuser. PMID:16363995

  3. CCK-8 injected into the nucleus accumbens attenuates the supersensitive locomotor response to apomorphine in 6-OHDA and chronic-neuroleptic treated rats.

    PubMed

    Weiss, F; Ettenberg, A; Koob, G F

    1989-01-01

    Postsynaptic dopamine-cholecystokinin (CCK) interactions in the nucleus accumbens were studied in two behavioral preparations of DA receptor supersensitivity: chronic-neuroleptic treated and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) denervated rats. Subcutaneous (SC) injections of apomorphine (APO; 0.15 mg/kg) in experiment 1 produced marked hyperlocomotion in rats following 12 days of pretreatment with cis-[Z]-flupenthixol (2 mg/kg; twice per day). Bilateral intra-accumbens (N.Acc.) microinjections of CCK-8 (2 ng and 2 micrograms) reliably reduced APO-stimulated hyperlocomotion. An intermediate CCK dose (20 ng) was without effect. No change in APO responsivity following chronic vehicle treatment was observed and the baseline APO response was not altered by CCK at any dose. Denervation of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) terminals by intra-N.Acc. injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA; 8 micrograms/side) in experiment 2 similarly resulted in intense locomotor hyperactivity after APO stimulation (0.1 mg/kg; SC). Bilateral intra-N.Acc. injections of CCK-8 (1, 10, 100 ng, and 1 micrograms) significantly attenuated the supersensitive locomotor response to APO. As in experiment 1, CCK produced "biphasic" dose-response effects with strong attenuation that persisted throughout the entire 60-min test at both high (1 microgram) and low (1 ng) doses. Intermediate CCK doses (10 and 100 ng) produced only short-term reductions in activity. Hypomotility induced by APO in SHAM-lesioned rats was not effectively reversed by CCK treatments. CCK had no effect on unstimulated baseline locomotor activity in either 6-OHDA or SHAM-lesioned rats. These results provide further evidence that CCK-8 modulates mesolimbic DA activity by functionally opposing the postsynaptic effects of DA in the region of the nucleus accumbens. PMID:2574480

  4. Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Profiling Reveals Epigenetic Changes in the Rat Nucleus Accumbens Associated With Cross-Generational Effects of Adolescent THC Exposure.

    PubMed

    Watson, Corey T; Szutorisz, Henrietta; Garg, Paras; Martin, Qammarah; Landry, Joseph A; Sharp, Andrew J; Hurd, Yasmin L

    2015-12-01

    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 Δ(9)-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

  5. 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

  6. Optogenetic inhibition of cortical afferents in the nucleus accumbens simultaneously prevents cue-induced transient synaptic potentiation and cocaine-seeking behavior.

    PubMed

    Stefanik, Michael T; Kupchik, Yonatan M; Kalivas, Peter W

    2016-04-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Alcohol-preferring (P) rats are more sensitive than Wistar rats to the reinforcing effects of cocaine self-administered directly into the nucleus accumbens shell.

    PubMed

    Katner, Simon N; Oster, Scott M; Ding, Zheng-Ming; Deehan, Gerald A; Toalston, Jamie E; Hauser, Sheketha R; McBride, William J; Rodd, Zachary A

    2011-10-01

    Wistar rats will self-administer cocaine directly into the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh), but not into the nucleus accumbens core. In human and animal literature, there is a genetic association between alcoholism and cocaine dependency. The current experiment examined whether selective breeding for high alcohol preference is also associated with greater sensitivity of the AcbSh to the reinforcing properties of cocaine. P and Wistar rats were given cocaine (0, 100, 200, 400, or 800 pmol/100 nl) to self-infuse into the AcbSh. Rats were given cocaine for the first 4 sessions (acquisition), artificial CSF for sessions 5 and 6 (extinction), and cocaine again in session 7 (reinstatement). During acquisition, P rats self-infused 200-800 pmol cocaine (59 infusions/session), whereas Wistar rats only reliably self-infused 800 pmol cocaine (38 infusions/session). Furthermore, P rats received a greater number of cocaine infusions in the 200, 400 and 800 pmol cocaine groups compared to respective Wistar groups during acquisition. Both P and Wistar rats reduced responding on the active lever when aCSF was substituted for cocaine, and reinstated responding in session 7 when cocaine was restored. However, P rats had significantly greater infusions during session 7 compared to session 4 at all concentrations of cocaine tested, whereas Wistar rats only displayed greater infusions during session 7 compared to session 4 at the 400 and 800 pmol cocaine concentrations. The present results suggest that, compared to Wistar rats, the AcbSh of P rats was more sensitive to the reinforcing effects of cocaine. The reinstatement data suggest that the AcbSh of P rats may have become sensitized to the reinforcing effects of cocaine. Overall, the findings from this study support a genetic association between high alcohol preference and greater sensitivity to the reinforcing effects of cocaine. PMID:21723879

  9. A decrease in the addition of new cells in the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex between puberty and adulthood in male rats.

    PubMed

    Staffend, Nancy A; Mohr, Margaret A; DonCarlos, Lydia L; Sisk, Cheryl L

    2014-06-01

    Adolescence involves shifts in social behaviors, behavioral flexibility, and adaptive risk-taking that coincide with structural remodeling of the brain. We previously showed that new cells are added to brain regions associated with sexual behaviors, suggesting that cytogenesis may be a mechanism for acquiring adult-typical behaviors during adolescence. Whether pubertal cell addition occurs in brain regions associated with behavioral flexibility or motivation and whether these patterns differ between pubertal and adult animals had not been determined. Therefore, we assessed patterns of cell proliferation or survival in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Pubertal and adult male rats were given injections of bromo-deoxyuridine (BrdU). To assess cell proliferation, half of the animals from each group were sacrificed 24 h following the last injection. The remaining animals were sacrificed at Day 30 following the last injection to evaluate cell survival. Adult animals had significantly lower densities of BrdU-immunoreactive (ir) cells in the prefrontal cortex, irrespective of post-BrdU survival time, whereas in the nucleus accumbens, adult animals had a lower density of BrdU-ir cells at the short survival time; however, the density of BrdU-ir cells was equivalent in pubertal and adult animals at the longer survival time. These data provide evidence that cell addition during puberty may contribute to the remodeling of brain regions associated with behavioral flexibility and motivation, and this cell addition continues into adulthood, albeit at lower levels. Higher levels of cell proliferation or survival in younger animals may reflect a higher level of plasticity, possibly contributing to the dynamic remodeling of the pubertal brain. PMID:24339170

  10. Role of dopamine D2-like receptors within the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens in antinociception induced by lateral hypothalamus stimulation.

    PubMed

    Moradi, Marzieh; Yazdanian, Mohamadreza; Haghparast, Abbas

    2015-10-01

    Several lines of evidence have shown that stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) can induce antinociception. It has been indicated that hypothalamic orexinergic neurons send projections throughout the dopamine mesolimbic pathway. Functional interaction between the LH and the main area of the mesolimbic pathway such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) implicates in pain modulation. Thus, in this study, we investigated the role of D2-like dopamine receptors within the VTA and NAc in the LH stimulation-induced antinociception. Male Wistar rats weighing 230-280 g were unilaterally implanted with two separate cannulae into the LH and VTA or NAc. Animals received intra-VTA (0.25, 1 and 4 μg/0.3 μl DMSO) and intra-accumbal (0.125, 0.25, 1 and 4 μg/0.5 μl DMSO) infusions of sulpiride as a selective D2-like receptor antagonist, prior to intra-LH carbachol (125 nM/rat) administration. In the tail-flick test, the antinociceptive effects were measured using a tail-flick algesiometer and represented as maximal possible effect (%MPE) within 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after injections. Our results showed that intra-VTA and intra-accumbal sulpiride dose-dependently attenuated the LH stimulation-induced antinociception. However, the blockade of D2-like receptors within the NAc was more significant than that of the VTA. These findings show that D2-like dopamine receptors in these regions play an important role in the LH-mediated modulation of nociceptive information in the acute model of pain in the rats. It seems that this pain modulating system is more relevant to D2-like receptors in the nucleus accumbens. PMID:26166189

  11. Effects of N-Acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) Peptidase Inhibition on Release of Glutamate and Dopamine in Prefrontal Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens in Phencyclidine Model of Schizophrenia*

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Daiying; Bzdega, Tomasz; Olszewski, Rafal T.; Moffett, John R.; Neale, Joseph H.

    2012-01-01

    The “glutamate” theory of schizophrenia emerged from the observation that phencyclidine (PCP), an open channel antagonist of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor, induces schizophrenia-like behaviors in humans. PCP also induces a complex set of behaviors in animal models of this disorder. PCP also increases glutamate and dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, brain regions associated with expression of psychosis. Increased motor activation is among the PCP-induced behaviors that have been widely validated as models for the characterization of new antipsychotic drugs. The peptide transmitter N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) activates a group II metabotropic receptor, mGluR3. Polymorphisms in this receptor have been associated with schizophrenia. Inhibitors of glutamate carboxypeptidase II, an enzyme that inactivates NAAG following synaptic release, reduce several behaviors induced by PCP in animal models. This research tested the hypothesis that two structurally distinct NAAG peptidase inhibitors, ZJ43 and 2-(phosphonomethyl)pentane-1,5-dioic acid, would elevate levels of synaptically released NAAG and reduce PCP-induced increases in glutamate and dopamine levels in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. NAAG-like immunoreactivity was found in neurons and presumptive synaptic endings in both regions. These peptidase inhibitors reduced the motor activation effects of PCP while elevating extracellular NAAG levels. They also blocked PCP-induced increases in glutamate but not dopamine or its metabolites. The mGluR2/3 antagonist LY341495 blocked these behavioral and neurochemical effects of the peptidase inhibitors. The data reported here provide a foundation for assessment of the neurochemical mechanism through which NAAG achieves its antipsychotic-like behavioral effects and support the conclusion NAAG peptidase inhibitors warrant further study as a novel antipsychotic therapy aimed at mGluR3. PMID:22570482

  12. Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model.

    PubMed

    Flagel, Shelly B; Chaudhury, Sraboni; Waselus, Maria; Kelly, Rebeca; Sewani, Salima; Clinton, Sarah M; Thompson, Robert C; Watson, Stanley J; Akil, Huda

    2016-05-17

    This study provides a demonstration in the rat of a clear genetic difference in the propensity for addiction-related behaviors following prolonged cocaine self-administration. It relies on the use of selectively bred high-responder (bHR) and low-responder (bLR) rat lines that differ in several characteristics associated with "temperament," including novelty-induced locomotion and impulsivity. We show that bHR rats exhibit behaviors reminiscent of human addiction, including persistent cocaine-seeking and increased reinstatement of cocaine seeking. To uncover potential underlying mechanisms of this differential vulnerability, we focused on the core of the nucleus accumbens and examined expression and epigenetic regulation of two transcripts previously implicated in bHR/bLR differences: fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) and the dopamine D2 receptor (D2). Relative to bHRs, bLRs had lower FGF2 mRNA levels and increased association of a repressive mark on histones (H3K9me3) at the FGF2 promoter. These differences were apparent under basal conditions and persisted even following prolonged cocaine self-administration. In contrast, bHRs had lower D2 mRNA under basal conditions, with greater association of H3K9me3 at the D2 promoter and these differences were no longer apparent following prolonged cocaine self-administration. Correlational analyses indicate that the association of H3K9me3 at D2 may be a critical substrate underlying the propensity to relapse. These findings suggest that low D2 mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens core, likely mediated via epigenetic modifications, may render individuals more susceptible to cocaine addiction. In contrast, low FGF2 levels, which appear immutable even following prolonged cocaine exposure, may serve as a protective factor. PMID:27114539

  13. Effects of N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) peptidase inhibition on release of glutamate and dopamine in prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in phencyclidine model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Daiying; Bzdega, Tomasz; Olszewski, Rafal T; Moffett, John R; Neale, Joseph H

    2012-06-22

    The "glutamate" theory of schizophrenia emerged from the observation that phencyclidine (PCP), an open channel antagonist of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor, induces schizophrenia-like behaviors in humans. PCP also induces a complex set of behaviors in animal models of this disorder. PCP also increases glutamate and dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, brain regions associated with expression of psychosis. Increased motor activation is among the PCP-induced behaviors that have been widely validated as models for the characterization of new antipsychotic drugs. The peptide transmitter N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) activates a group II metabotropic receptor, mGluR3. Polymorphisms in this receptor have been associated with schizophrenia. Inhibitors of glutamate carboxypeptidase II, an enzyme that inactivates NAAG following synaptic release, reduce several behaviors induced by PCP in animal models. This research tested the hypothesis that two structurally distinct NAAG peptidase inhibitors, ZJ43 and 2-(phosphonomethyl)pentane-1,5-dioic acid, would elevate levels of synaptically released NAAG and reduce PCP-induced increases in glutamate and dopamine levels in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. NAAG-like immunoreactivity was found in neurons and presumptive synaptic endings in both regions. These peptidase inhibitors reduced the motor activation effects of PCP while elevating extracellular NAAG levels. They also blocked PCP-induced increases in glutamate but not dopamine or its metabolites. The mGluR2/3 antagonist LY341495 blocked these behavioral and neurochemical effects of the peptidase inhibitors. The data reported here provide a foundation for assessment of the neurochemical mechanism through which NAAG achieves its antipsychotic-like behavioral effects and support the conclusion NAAG peptidase inhibitors warrant further study as a novel antipsychotic therapy aimed at mGluR3. PMID:22570482

  14. Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model

    PubMed Central

    Flagel, Shelly B.; Chaudhury, Sraboni; Waselus, Maria; Kelly, Rebeca; Sewani, Salima; Clinton, Sarah M.; Thompson, Robert C.; Watson, Stanley J.; Akil, Huda

    2016-01-01

    This study provides a demonstration in the rat of a clear genetic difference in the propensity for addiction-related behaviors following prolonged cocaine self-administration. It relies on the use of selectively bred high-responder (bHR) and low-responder (bLR) rat lines that differ in several characteristics associated with “temperament,” including novelty-induced locomotion and impulsivity. We show that bHR rats exhibit behaviors reminiscent of human addiction, including persistent cocaine-seeking and increased reinstatement of cocaine seeking. To uncover potential underlying mechanisms of this differential vulnerability, we focused on the core of the nucleus accumbens and examined expression and epigenetic regulation of two transcripts previously implicated in bHR/bLR differences: fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) and the dopamine D2 receptor (D2). Relative to bHRs, bLRs had lower FGF2 mRNA levels and increased association of a repressive mark on histones (H3K9me3) at the FGF2 promoter. These differences were apparent under basal conditions and persisted even following prolonged cocaine self-administration. In contrast, bHRs had lower D2 mRNA under basal conditions, with greater association of H3K9me3 at the D2 promoter and these differences were no longer apparent following prolonged cocaine self-administration. Correlational analyses indicate that the association of H3K9me3 at D2 may be a critical substrate underlying the propensity to relapse. These findings suggest that low D2 mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens core, likely mediated via epigenetic modifications, may render individuals more susceptible to cocaine addiction. In contrast, low FGF2 levels, which appear immutable even following prolonged cocaine exposure, may serve as a protective factor. PMID:27114539

  15. The role of D-serine as co-agonist of NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens: relevance to cocaine addiction.

    PubMed

    D'Ascenzo, Marcello; Podda, Maria Vittoria; Grassi, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    Cocaine addiction is characterized by compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences and high rate of relapse during periods of abstinence. Increasing consensus suggests that addiction to drugs of abuse usurps learning and memory mechanisms normally related to natural rewards, ultimately producing long-lasting neuroadaptations in the mesocorticolimbic system. This system, formed in part by the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens (NAc), has a central role in the development and expression of addictive behaviors. In addition to a broad spectrum of changes that affect morphology and function of NAc excitatory circuits in cocaine-treated animals, impaired N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity is a typical feature. D-serine, a D-amino acid that has been found at high levels in mammalian brain, binds with high affinity the co-agonist site of NMDAR and mediates, along with glutamate, several important processes including synaptic plasticity. Here we review recent literature focusing on cocaine-induced impairment in synaptic plasticity mechanisms in the NAc and on the fundamental role of D-serine as co-agonist of NMDAR in functional and dysfunctional synaptic plasticity within this nucleus. The emerging picture is that reduced D-serine levels play a crucial role in synaptic plasticity relevant to cocaine addiction. This finding opens new perspectives for therapeutic approaches to treat this addictive state. PMID:25076900

  16. The role of D-serine as co-agonist of NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens: relevance to cocaine addiction

    PubMed Central

    D’Ascenzo, Marcello; Podda, Maria Vittoria; Grassi, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    Cocaine addiction is characterized by compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences and high rate of relapse during periods of abstinence. Increasing consensus suggests that addiction to drugs of abuse usurps learning and memory mechanisms normally related to natural rewards, ultimately producing long-lasting neuroadaptations in the mesocorticolimbic system. This system, formed in part by the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens (NAc), has a central role in the development and expression of addictive behaviors. In addition to a broad spectrum of changes that affect morphology and function of NAc excitatory circuits in cocaine–treated animals, impaired N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity is a typical feature. D-serine, a D-amino acid that has been found at high levels in mammalian brain, binds with high affinity the co-agonist site of NMDAR and mediates, along with glutamate, several important processes including synaptic plasticity. Here we review recent literature focusing on cocaine-induced impairment in synaptic plasticity mechanisms in the NAc and on the fundamental role of D-serine as co-agonist of NMDAR in functional and dysfunctional synaptic plasticity within this nucleus. The emerging picture is that reduced D-serine levels play a crucial role in synaptic plasticity relevant to cocaine addiction. This finding opens new perspectives for therapeutic approaches to treat this addictive state. PMID:25076900

  17. Lack of effect of nucleus accumbens dopamine D1 receptor blockade on consumption during the first two days of operant self-administration of sweetened ethanol in adult Long-Evans rats

    PubMed Central

    Doherty, James M.; Gonzales, Rueben A.

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying ethanol self-administration are not fully understood; however, it is clear that ethanol self-administration stimulates nucleus accumbens dopamine release in well trained animals. During operant sweetened ethanol self-administration behavior, an adaptation in the nucleus accumbens dopamine system occurs between the first and second exposure paralleling a dramatic increase in sweetened ethanol intake, which suggests a single exposure to sweetened ethanol may be sufficient to learn the association between sweetened ethanol cues and its reinforcing properties. In the present experiment, we test the effects of blockade of nucleus accumbens dopamine D1 receptors on operant sweetened ethanol self-administration behavior during the first two days of exposure. Adult male Long-Evans rats were first trained to self-administer 10% sucrose (10S) across six days in an appetitive and consummatory operant model (appetitive interval: 10 min pre-drinking wait period and a lever response requirement of 4; consummatory interval: 20 min access to the drinking solution). After training on 10S, the drinking solution was switched to 10% sucrose plus 10% ethanol (10S10E); control rats remained drinking 10S throughout the experiment. Bilateral nucleus accumbens microinjections of the dopamine D1 antagonist, SCH-23390 (0, 1.0, or 3.0 μg/side), immediately preceded the first two sessions of drinking 10S10E. Results show that blocking nucleus accumbens dopamine D1 receptors has little or no influence on consumption during the first two days of exposure to the sweetened ethanol solution or maintenance of sucrose only drinking. Furthermore, the high dose of SCH-23390, 3.0 μg/side, reduced open field locomotor activity. In conclusion, we found no evidence to suggest that nucleus accumbens D1 receptor activation is involved in consumption of a sweetened ethanol solution during the first two days of exposure or maintenance of sucrose drinking, but rather D1 receptors

  18. Non-opiate beta-endorphin fragments and dopamine--III. gamma-Type endorphins and various neuroleptics counteract the hypoactivity elicited by injection of apomorphine into the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Van Ree, J M; Caffé, A R; Wolterink, G

    1982-11-01

    The hypoactivity in rats induced by small doses of apomorphine, injected bilaterally into the nucleus accumbens area of the brain, could be antagonized by pretreatment with the neuroleptic-like neuropeptide des-enkephalin-gamma-endorphin (DE gamma E, beta-endorphin 6-17) as well as with the neuroleptic drugs haloperidol, sulpiride and clozapine injected into the accumbens. Dose-response studies revealed that a dose of 100 pg DE gamma E completely inhibited the apomorphine-induced hypomotility. The influence of DE gamma E appeared to be specific for gamma-type endorphins, since alpha-type endorphins were inactive in this respect. Treatment with DE gamma E injected into the accumbens for 4 days resulted in an enhancement of apomorphine-induced hypoactivity. It is concluded that gamma-type endorphins may control the activity of dopaminergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens, a suggestion which may be of significance for the purported neuroleptic-like and antipsychotic action of gamma-type endorphins. PMID:6184640

  19. Multiple sclerosis with caudate lesions on MRI.

    PubMed

    Hashiguchi, S; Ogasawara, N; Mine, H; Kawachi, Y

    2001-04-01

    A 31-year-old woman displayed sleepiness and impairment of recent memory. T2-weighted MRI revealed high signal intensity lesions in the bilateral basal ganglia, thalamus, and brainstem. Although remission was achieved with corticosteroid therapy, she again displayed memory dysfunction and emotional disturbance one year later, at which time MRI disclosed new lesions in the right caudate nucleus and left frontal white matter. Corticosteroid therapy lead to improvement, and she suffered no recurrence on maintenance steroid therapy. These findings suggest that caudate lesions do occur in multiple sclerosis, the manifestations of which can be abulia and memory dysfunction, as in the present case. PMID:11334400

  20. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of freely moving rats determined by on-line dialysis: effects of apomorphine and the neuroleptic-like peptide desenkephalin-gamma-endorphin.

    PubMed

    Radhakishun, F S; Westerink, B H; van Ree, J M

    1988-07-01

    This study examined the effects of apomorphine, sulpiride, desenkephalin-gamma-endorphin (DE gamma E) and a combination of DE gamma E with apomorphine on the release of dopamine (DA) and its main metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) in the nucleus accumbens of freely moving rats. A fully automated on-line brain dialysis system was used. A small dose of s.c. administered apomorphine induced a decrease in the output of DA and DOPAC. Sulpiride, infused into the nucleus accumbens, induced a 2-fold increase in the output of DA, DOPAC and HVA. DE gamma E hardly modified either the basal release of DA, DOPAC and HVA or the apomorphine-induced attenuation of the release of DA and DOPAC. These results indicate a dissociation between the behavioural effects of DE gamma E and its effect on the release of DA in vivo. PMID:2901702

  1. Characterization of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Expression in Nucleus Accumbens and Hippocampus of Rats Subjected to Food Selection in the Cafeteria Diet Protocol.

    PubMed

    Sarro-Ramírez, Andrea; Sánchez, Daniel; Tejeda-Padrón, Alma; Buenfil-Canto, Linda Vianey; Valladares-García, Jorge; Pacheco-Pantoja, Elda; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Murillo-Rodríguez, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a world-wide health problem that requires different experimental perspectives to understand the onset of this disease, including the neurobiological basis of food selection. From a molecular perspective, obesity has been related with activity of several endogenous molecules, including the mitogenactivated protein kinases (MAP-K). The aim of this study was to characterize MAP-K expression in hedonic and learning and memory brain-associated areas such as nucleus accumbens (AcbC) and hippocampus (HIPP) after food selection. We show that animals fed with cafeteria diet during 14 days displayed an increase in p38 MAP-K activity in AcbC if chose cheese. Conversely, a diminution was observed in animals that preferred chocolate in AcbC. Also, a decrease of p38 MAP-K phosphorylation was found in HIPP in rats that selected either cheese or chocolate. Our data demonstrate a putative role of MAP-K expression in food selection. These findings advance our understanding of neuromolecular basis engaged in obesity. PMID:27071784

  2. Intra-nucleus accumbens administration of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II inhibitor AIP induced antinociception in rats with mononeuropathy.

    PubMed

    Bian, Hui; Yu, Long-Chuan

    2015-07-10

    Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a serine/threonine- dependent protein kinase, which has been implicated in pain modulation at different levels of the central nervous system. The present study was performed in rats with mononeuropathy induced by left common sciatic nerve ligation. Unilateral sciatic nerve loose ligation produced decreases in the hindpaw withdrawal latency (HWL) to noxious thermal and mechanical stimulation. Intra-nucleus accumbens (NAc) injection of 3 μg, 6 μg and 12 μg of myristoylated autocamtide-2-inhibitory peptide (AIP), the CaMKII inhibitor, dose-dependently increased the HWL to noxious thermal and mechanical stimulation in rats with mononeuropathy. Furthermore, intra-NAc administration of morphine, the HWL to noxious thermal and mechanical stimulation increased markedly, and there were no significant differences between morphine group and AIP group. Taken together, the results showed that intra-NAc injection of AIP induced significant antinociceptive effects in rats with mononeuropathy, indicating that CaMKII may play an important role in the transmission and/or modulation of nociceptive information in the NAc in rats with mononeuropathy. PMID:26022629

  3. Nucleus accumbens dopamine D2-receptor expressing neurons control behavioral flexibility in a place discrimination task in the IntelliCage.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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 group-housing experimental cage apparatus, in combination with a reversible neurotransmission blocking technique to examine the role of NAc D1- and D2-MSNs in the acquisition and reversal learning of a place discrimination task. We demonstrated that NAc D1- and D2-MSNs do not mediate the acquisition of the task, but that suppression of activity in D2-MSNs impairs reversal learning and increased perseverative errors. Additionally, global knockout of the dopamine D2L receptor isoform produced a similar behavioral phenotype to D2-MSN-blocked mice. These results suggest that D2L receptors and NAc D2-MSNs act to suppress the influence of previously correct behavioral strategies allowing transfer of behavioral control to new strategies. PMID:27317196

  4. Cocaine-induced dendritic remodeling occurs in both D1 and D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Li, Juan; Liu, Nuyun; Lu, Kangrong; Zhang, Lei; Gu, Jingjing; Guo, Fukun; An, Shengli; Zhang, Lin; Zhang, Lu

    2012-05-31

    Repeated exposure to cocaine can induce persistent alterations in the brain's reward system, including increases in the number of dendrites and spine density on medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The structural remodeling of dendrites and spines in the NAc is thought to play a critical role in cocaine addiction. MSNs in the NAc can be classified by expression of either D1 or D2 dopamine receptors, which are localized to the direct and indirect pathway, respectively. It is unknown whether the dendritic changes induced by repeated cocaine treatment occur in MSNs of the direct or indirect pathway. Because the traditional Golgi-Cox impregnation of neurons precludes identifying particular subpopulations of MSNs, we performed dendritic morphology analysis after biocytin-labeling and Golgi-Cox impregnation. We found that the biocytin staining MSNs showed higher dendritic spine density and higher number of dendrites than that in Golgi impregnation group. In addition, we found that the increasing spine density induced by repeated cocaine treatment in female mice was higher than that in male mice. Next we used biocytin staining and dynorphin/D2 receptor colocalization to determine which cell type(s) displayed dendritic changes after repeated cocaine treatment. We found that cocaine-induced changes in dendritic parameters occurred in MSNs of both the direct (D1-expressing) and indirect (D2-expressing) pathways. PMID:22561554

  5. Mu-opioid receptor activation in the medial shell of nucleus accumbens promotes alcohol consumption, self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement.

    PubMed

    Richard, Jocelyn M; Fields, Howard L

    2016-09-01

    Endogenous opioid signaling in ventral cortico-striatal-pallidal circuitry is implicated in elevated alcohol consumption and relapse to alcohol seeking. Mu-opioid receptor activation in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a region implicated in multiple aspects of reward processing, elevates alcohol consumption while NAc opioid antagonists reduce it. However, the precise nature of the increases in alcohol consumption, and the effects of mu-opioid agonists on alcohol seeking and relapse are not clear. Here, we tested the effects of the mu-opioid agonist [D-Ala(2), N-MePhe(4), Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) in rat NAc shell on lick microstructure in a free-drinking test, alcohol seeking during operant self-administration, extinction learning and expression, and cue-reinforced reinstatement of alcohol seeking. DAMGO enhanced the number, but not the size of drinking bouts. DAMGO also enhanced operant alcohol self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement, but did not affect extinction learning or elicit reinstatement in the absence of cues. Our results suggest that mu-opioid agonism in NAc shell elevates alcohol consumption, seeking and conditioned reinforcement primarily by enhancing the incentive motivational properties of alcohol and alcohol-paired cues, rather than by modulating palatability, satiety, or reinforcement. PMID:27089981

  6. Cocaine-induced loss of white matter proteins in the adult mouse nucleus accumbens is attenuated by administration of a β-lactam antibiotic during cocaine withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Kovalevich, Jane; Corley, Gladys; Yen, William; Rawls, Scott M; Langford, Dianne

    2012-12-01

    We report significantly decreased white matter protein levels in the nucleus accumbens in an adult mouse model of chronic cocaine abuse. Previous studies from human cocaine abuse patients show disruption of white matter and myelin loss, thus supporting our observations. Understanding the neuropathological mechanisms for white matter disruption in cocaine abuse patients is complicated by polydrug use and other comorbid factors, hindering the development of effective therapeutic strategies to ameliorate damage or compliment rehabilitation programs. In this context, our data further demonstrate that cocaine-induced loss of white matter proteins is absent in mice treated with the β-lactam antibiotic, ceftriaxone, during cocaine withdrawal. Other studies report that ceftriaxone, a glutamate transporter subtype-1 activator, is neuroprotective in murine models of multiple sclerosis, thereby demonstrating potential therapeutic properties for diseases with white matter loss. Cocaine-induced white matter abnormalities likely contribute to the cognitive, motor, and psychological deficits commonly afflicting cocaine abusers, yet the underlying mechanisms responsible for these changes remain unknown. Our observations describe an adult animal model for the study of cocaine-induced myelin loss for the first time, and highlight a potential pharmacological intervention to ameliorate cocaine-induced white matter loss. PMID:23031254

  7. Opposite Effects of mGluR1a and mGluR5 Activation on Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neuron Dendritic Spine Density.

    PubMed

    Gross, Kellie S; Brandner, Dieter D; Martinez, Luis A; Olive, M Foster; Meisel, Robert L; Mermelstein, Paul G

    2016-01-01

    The group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1a and mGluR5) are important modulators of neuronal structure and function. Although these receptors share common signaling pathways, they are capable of having distinct effects on cellular plasticity. We investigated the individual effects of mGluR1a or mGluR5 activation on dendritic spine density in medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which has become relevant with the potential use of group I mGluR based therapeutics in the treatment of drug addiction. We found that systemic administration of mGluR subtype-specific positive allosteric modulators had opposite effects on dendritic spine densities. Specifically, mGluR5 positive modulation decreased dendritic spine densities in the NAc shell and core, but was without effect in the dorsal striatum, whereas increased spine densities in the NAc were observed with mGluR1a positive modulation. Additionally, direct activation of mGluR5 via CHPG administration into the NAc also decreased the density of dendritic spines. These data provide insight on the ability of group I mGluRs to induce structural plasticity in the NAc and demonstrate that the group I mGluRs are capable of producing not just distinct, but opposing, effects on dendritic spine density. PMID:27618534

  8. Effects of muscimol, amphetamine, and DAMGO injected into the nucleus accumbens shell on food-reinforced lever pressing by undeprived rats

    PubMed Central

    Stratford, Thomas R.; Wirtshafter, David

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that large increases in food intake in nondeprived animals can be induced by injections of both the GABAA agonist muscimol and the μ-opioid agonist DAMGO into the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh), while injections of the catecholamine agonist amphetamine have little effect. In the current study we examined whether injections of these drugs are able to increase food-reinforced lever pressing in nondeprived rats. Twelve subjects were trained to lever press on a continuous reinforcement schedule while food deprived and were then tested after being placed back on ad libitum feeding. Under these conditions, responding was markedly increased by injections of either muscimol or DAMGO, although the onset of the effects of the latter drug were delayed by 30–40 min In contrast, amphetamine injections failed to increase reinforced lever pressing, although they did enhance responding on a non-reinforced lever, presumably reflecting alterations in behavioral activation. These results demonstrate that stimulation of GABAA and μ-opioid receptors within the AcbSh is able to promote not only food intake, but also food-directed operant behavior. In contrast, stimulation of AcbSh dopamine receptors may enhance behavioral arousal, but does not appear to specifically potentiate behaviors directed towards food procurement. PMID:22366216

  9. NMDA antagonist MK 801 in nucleus accumbens core but not shell disrupts the restraint stress-induced reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-conditioned place preference in rats.

    PubMed

    De Giovanni, Laura N; Guzman, Andrea S; Virgolini, Miriam B; Cancela, Liliana M

    2016-12-15

    Relapse is a common feature of cocaine addiction. In rodents, it can be elicited by cues, stress or the drug. Restraint stress-induced reinstatement of cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP) is a useful model to study the mechanisms involved in stress-induced relapse of drug-seeking behavior. There is evidence that the glutamate NMDA receptors are critically involved in drug- and cue-induced reinstatement of seeking behavior and drug-CPP responses. The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of NMDA receptors within core vs. shell nucleus accumbens (NAc) subregions to restraint stress-induced reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-CPP. After extinction of cocaine-conditioned preference, animals were administered MK 801 systemically or directly into intra-core or intra-shell, and restrained for 30min or left undisturbed in their home-cages. First, we demonstrated that restraint stress-induced reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-CPP depends on the duration of restraint as well as on the context in which it is applied. Second, this effect was blocked by systemic MK 801 administration either before or after restraint. Third, intra-core but not intra-shell administration abrogated the restraint stress-induced reinstatement. These findings show that NMDA receptors within NAc core, but not shell, play a critical role in restraint stress-induced reinstatement of cocaine-CPP. PMID:27506656

  10. Altered gene expression and spine density in nucleus accumbens of adolescent and adult male mice exposed to emotional and physical stress

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Brandon L; Sial, Omar K.; Alcantara, Lyonna F.; Greenwood, Maria A.; Brewer, Jacob S.; Rozofsky, John P.; Parise, Eric M.; Bolaños-Guzmán, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    Stressful early life experiences are implicated in lifelong health. However, little is known about the consequences of emotional or physical stress on neurobiology. Therefore, the following set of experiments was designed to assess changes in transcription and translation of key proteins within the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Male adolescent (postnatal day [PD] 35) or adult (eight-week old) mice were exposed to emotional (ES) or physical stress (PS) using a vicarious social defeat paradigm. Twenty-four hours after the last stress session, we measured levels of specific mRNAs and proteins within the NAc. Spine density was also assessed in separate groups of mice. Exposure to ES or PS disrupted ERK2, reduced transcription of ΔFosB, and had no effect on CREB mRNA. Western blots revealed that exposure to ES or PS decreased ERK2 phosphorylation in adolescents, whereas the same stress regimen increased ERK2 phosphorylation in adults. Exposure to ES or PS had no effect on ΔFosB or CREB phosphorylation. ES and PS increased spine density in the NAc of adolescent-exposed mice, but only exposure to PS increased spine density in adults. Together, these findings demonstrate that exposure to ES or PS is a potent stressor in adolescent and adult mice, and can disturb the integrity of the NAc by altering transcription and translation of important signaling molecules in an age-dependent manner. Furthermore, exposure to ES and PS induces substantial synaptic plasticity of the NAc. PMID:24943326

  11. Effect of nucleus accumbens shell 5-HT4 receptors on the impairment of ACPA-induced emotional memory consolidation in male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Khodayar, Ebrahim; Oryan, Shahrbanoo; Nasehi, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-02-01

    The present study investigates the effects of 5-HT4 receptors of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell on the impairment of emotional memory consolidation induced by cannabinoid CB1 receptor stimulation. The elevated plus maze test-retest paradigm was used to assess memory in adult male Wistar rats. Intra-NAc shell administration of ACPA (selective cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist 0.006 µg/rat) and RS23597 (5-HT4 receptor antagonist 0.01 µg/rat), immediately after training, decreased emotional memory consolidation, suggesting a drug-induced amnesia, whereas post-training intra-NAc shell microinjections of RS67333 (5-HT4 receptor agonist 0.016 µg/rat) increased emotional memory consolidation. Interestingly, RS67333 exerted a dual effect on ACPA-induced behaviors, potentiating and restoring amnesia caused by the subthreshold and effective doses of ACPA, respectively. However, neither RS23597 nor AM251 (CB1 receptor antagonist 30, 60 and 120 ng/rat) affected emotional memory consolidation. Nonetheless, a subthreshold dose of AM251 (120 ng/rat) reversed the amnesia induced by ACPA (0.006 µg/rat) and RS23597 (0.01 µg/rat). None of the above doses altered the locomotor activity. In conclusion, our results suggest that the NAc-shell 5-HT4 receptors are involved in the modulation of ACPA-induced amnesia. PMID:26340366

  12. The effects of radio-frequency lesions of the nucleus accumbens on d-amphetamine-induced locomotor and rearing behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Kehne, J H; Sant, W W; Sorenson, C A

    1981-01-01

    A large body of evidence supports the conclusion that mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons, particularly those that innervate the nucleus accumbens (n. ACC), are important for the expression of amphetamine-stimulated locomotor behavior (ASLB). However, a contradictory report (Wirtshafter et al. 1978), stating that bilateral lesions of the n. ACC fail to block ASLB, was based on a general measure of activity that did not distinguish between locomotion and rearing. In the present study, observer ratings of videotaped responses were used to determine the separate effects of 2.0 mg/kg d-amphetamine (d-AMP) on locomotion and rearing in rats with either sham or radio-frequency lesions of the n. ACC. The n.ACC lesions blocked the locomotor stimulation, but not the increased rearing that follows d-AMP administration. These results support the general conclusion that dopaminergic terminals in the n. ACC are important for the expression of ASLB, and further suggest that d-AMP-stimulated locomotion and rearing are mediated through different neural substrates. PMID:6803281

  13. Maternal separation and early stress cause long-lasting effects on dopaminergic and endocannabinergic systems and alters dendritic morphology in the nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Romano-López, Antonio; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; García, Fabio García; Regalado-Santiago, Citlalli; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2016-08-01

    A considerable amount experimental studies have shown that maternal separation (MS) is associated with adult offspring abnormal behavior and cognition disorder. Accordingly, this experimental procedure has been proposed as a predictor for alcohol and drug dependence based on the neurodevelopmental soon after birth. Endocannabinoid system (eCBs) has been implicated in reward processes, including drug abuse and dependence. MS and associated stress causes changes in the eCBs that seem to facilitate alcohol consumption. In this study, we seek to evaluate potential morphological changes in neurons of the frontal cortex (FCx) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), in the expression of receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid and dopamine systems and in second messengers, such as Akt, in adult rats subjected to MS and early stress (MS + ES; 2 × 180 min daily) vs. nonseparated rats (NMS). Results showed that MS + ES induces higher D2R expression and lower D3R, FAAH, and MAGL expression compared with NMS rats. Alterations in total dendritic length were also detected and were characterized by increases in the NAcc while there were decreases in the FCx. We believe MS + ES-induced changes in the dopaminergic and endocannabinergic systems and in the neuronal microstructure might be contributing to alcohol seeking behavior and, potential vulnerability to other drugs in rats. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 819-831, 2016. PMID:26539755

  14. Orexin receptors within the nucleus accumbens shell mediate the stress but not drug priming-induced reinstatement of morphine conditioned place preference

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Keke; Wei, Chuguang; Li, Yonghui; Sui, Nan

    2013-01-01

    Orexins are found to participate in mediating stress-induced drug relapse. However, the neuroanatomical basis that orexin transmission modulates stress-induced drug seeking remains unknown. The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh), best known for its role in appetitive and negative motivation via dopamine receptors, is likely to be the potential important brain area where the orexin system mediates stress-induced drug relapse since the function of dopamine system in the NAcSh can be regulated by orexin transmission. In the present study, a morphine conditioned place preference (CPP) model was used to determine whether the two types of orexin receptors would be involved into footshock-induced and/or drug priming-induced CPP reinstatement differentially. The results showed that blockade of orexin-1 or orexin-2 receptor in the NAcSh significantly attenuated stress-induced morphine CPP reinstatement, but neither of the orexin antagonists had any effect on morphine priming-induced reinstatement. These findings indicate that the NAcSh is a brain area through which orexins participate in stress but not drug priming-induced relapse of opioid seeking. PMID:24133421

  15. The role of the nucleus accumbens and rostral anterior cingulate cortex in anhedonia: Integration of resting EEG, fMRI, and volumetric techniques

    PubMed Central

    Wacker, Jan; Dillon, Daniel G.; Pizzagalli, Diego A.

    2009-01-01

    Anhedonia, the reduced propensity to experience pleasure, is a promising endophenotype and vulnerability factor for several psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. In the present study, we used resting electroencephalograms, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and volumetric analyses to probe putative associations between anhedonia and individual differences in key nodes of the brain’s reward system in a non-clinical sample. We found that anhedonia, but not other symptoms of depression or anxiety, was correlated with reduced nucleus accumbens (NAcc) responses to rewards (gains in a monetary incentive delay task), reduced NAcc volume, and increased resting delta current density (i.e., decreased resting activity) in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), an area previously implicated in positive subjective experience. In addition, NAcc reward responses were inversely associated with rACC resting delta activity, supporting the hypothesis that delta might be lawfully related to activity within the brain’s reward circuit. Taken together, these results help elucidate the neural basis of anhedonia and strengthen the argument for anhedonia as an endophenotype for depression. PMID:19457367

  16. Group III metabotropic glutamate receptors and D1-like and D2-like dopamine receptors interact in the rat nucleus accumbens to influence locomotor activity.

    PubMed

    David, Hélène N; Abraini, Jacques H

    2002-03-01

    Evidence for functional interactions between metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors and dopamine (DA) neurotransmission is now clearly established. In the present study, we investigated interactions between group III mGlu receptors and D1- and D2-like receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Administration, into the NAcc, of the selective group III mGlu receptor agonist, AP4, resulted in an increase in locomotor activity, which was blocked by pretreatment with the group III mGlu receptor antagonist, MPPG. In addition, pretreatment with AP4 further blocked the increase in motor activity induced by the D1-like receptor agonist, SKF 38393, but potentiated the locomotor responses induced by either the D2-like receptor agonist, quinpirole, or coinfusion of SKF 38393 and quinpirole. MPPG reversed the effects of AP4 on the motor responses induced by D1-like and/or D2-like receptor activation. These results confirm that glutamate transmission may control DA-dependent locomotor function through mGlu receptors and further indicate that group III mGlu receptors oppose the behavioural response produced by D1-like receptor activation and favour those produced by D2-like receptor activation. PMID:11906529

  17. Argon blocks the expression of locomotor sensitization to amphetamine through antagonism at the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 and mu-opioid receptor in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    David, H N; Dhilly, M; Degoulet, M; Poisnel, G; Meckler, C; Vallée, N; Blatteau, J-É; Risso, J-J; Lemaire, M; Debruyne, D; Abraini, J H

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effects of the noble gas argon on the expression of locomotor sensitization to amphetamine and amphetamine-induced changes in dopamine release and mu-opioid neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. We found (1) argon blocked the increase in carrier-mediated dopamine release induced by amphetamine in brain slices, but, in contrast, potentiated the decrease in KCl-evoked dopamine release induced by amphetamine, thereby suggesting that argon inhibited the vesicular monoamine transporter-2; (2) argon blocked the expression of locomotor and mu-opioid neurotransmission sensitization induced by repeated amphetamine administration in a short-term model of sensitization in rats; (3) argon decreased the maximal number of binding sites and increased the dissociation constant of mu-receptors in membrane preparations, thereby indicating that argon is a mu-receptor antagonist; (4) argon blocked the expression of locomotor sensitization and context-dependent locomotor activity induced by repeated administration of amphetamine in a long-term model of sensitization. Taken together, these data indicate that argon could be of potential interest for treating drug addiction and dependence. PMID:26151922

  18. An investigation of interactions between hypocretin/orexin signaling and glutamate receptor surface expression in the rat nucleus accumbens under basal conditions and after cocaine exposure

    PubMed Central

    Plaza-Zabala, Ainhoa; Li, Xuan; Milovanovic, Mike; Loweth, Jessica A.; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando; Wolf, Marina E.

    2013-01-01

    Hypocretin peptides are critical for the effects of cocaine on excitatory synaptic strength in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, little is known about their role in cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). First, we tested whether hypocretin-1 by itself could acutely modulate glutamate receptor surface expression in the NAc, given that hypocretin-1 in the VTA reproduces cocaine’s effects on glutamate transmission. We found no effect of hypocretin-1 infusion on AMPA or NMDA receptor surface expression in the NAc, measured by biotinylation, either 30 min or 3 h after the infusion. Second, we were interested in whether changes in hypocretin receptor-2 (Hcrtr-2) expression contribute to cocaine-induced plasticity in the NAc. As a first step towards addressing this question, Hcrtr-2 surface expression was compared in the NAc after withdrawal from extended-access self-administration of saline (control) versus cocaine. We found that surface Hcrtr-2 levels remain unchanged following 14, 25 or 48 days of withdrawal from cocaine, a time period in which high conductance GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors progressively emerge in the NAc. Overall, our results fail to support a role for hypocretins in acute modulation of glutamate receptor levels in the NAc or a role for altered Hcrtr-2 expression in withdrawal-dependent synaptic adaptations in the NAc following cocaine self-administration. PMID:24262606

  19. Cocaine-Induced Loss of White Matter Proteins in the Adult Mouse Nucleus Accumbens Is Attenuated by Administration of a β-Lactam Antibiotic during Cocaine Withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Kovalevich, Jane; Corley, Gladys; Yen, William; Rawls, Scott M.; Langford, Dianne

    2013-01-01

    We report significantly decreased white matter protein levels in the nucleus accumbens in an adult mouse model of chronic cocaine abuse. Previous studies from human cocaine abuse patients show disruption of white matter and myelin loss, thus supporting our observations. Understanding the neuropathological mechanisms for white matter disruption in cocaine abuse patients is complicated by polydrug use and other comorbid factors, hindering the development of effective therapeutic strategies to ameliorate damage or compliment rehabilitation programs. In this context, our data further demonstrate that cocaine-induced loss of white matter proteins is absent in mice treated with the β-lactam antibiotic, ceftriaxone, during cocaine withdrawal. Other studies report that ceftriaxone, a glutamate transporter subtype-1 activator, is neuroprotective in murine models of multiple sclerosis, thereby demonstrating potential therapeutic properties for diseases with white matter loss. Cocaine-induced white matter abnormalities likely contribute to the cognitive, motor, and psychological deficits commonly afflicting cocaine abusers, yet the underlying mechanisms responsible for these changes remain unknown. Our observations describe an adult animal model for the study of cocaine-induced myelin loss for the first time, and highlight a potential pharmacological intervention to ameliorate cocaine-induced white matter loss. PMID:23031254

  20. Active stimulation site of nucleus accumbens deep brain stimulation in obsessive-compulsive disorder is localized in the ventral internal capsule.

    PubMed

    van den Munckhof, Pepijn; Bosch, D Andries; Mantione, Mariska H M; Figee, Martijn; Denys, Damiaan A J P; Schuurman, P Richard

    2013-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by persistent thoughts and repetitive ritualistic behaviours. Despite optimal cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological therapy, approximately 10 % of patients remain treatment-resistant. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is being investigated as experimental therapy for treatment-refractory OCD. In the current study, we determined the relationship between anatomical location of active electrode contacts and clinical outcome in 16 OCD patients undergoing bilateral nucleus accumbens (NAc) DBS. We found that most patients actually do not receive active stimulation in the NAc but in the more laterally, anteriorly and dorsally located ventral part of the anterior limb of the internal capsule, ventral ALIC (vALIC). Our nine patients receiving bilateral vALIC DBS improved on average 73 % on their Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) scores, whereas the six patients with their centers of stimulation located otherwise improved on average only 42 %. We therefore propose bilateral vALIC as a promising new DBS target for patients with treatment-refractory OCD. Future studies employing a direct vALIC targeting approach in larger patient numbers are needed to test whether this proposal holds true. PMID:23652657

  1. Effects of ginseng saponin on acute cocaine-induced alterations in evoked dopamine release and uptake in rat brain nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Nah, Seong-Yeol; Bhatia, Kamal S; Lyles, Johnnie; Ellinwood, Everett H; Lee, Tong H

    2009-01-12

    In traditional medicine, Panax ginseng has been used to treat various behavioral effects of psychostimulants (e.g., cocaine) and other drugs of abuse and to ameliorate withdrawal symptoms. The neurochemical bases for this efficacy, however, remain to be elucidated. We previously used the real-time fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in rat nucleus accumbens slices to demonstrate that cocaine not only enhances DA release evoked by single-pulse electrical stimulation and inhibits DA uptake during application but also further increases the release upon washout (termed a "rebound" release enhancement). In the present study, we determined whether co-application and washout of ginseng total saponin (GTS), the active ingredient of Panax ginseng, with cocaine attenuate cocaine-induced enhancement of evoked DA release, DA uptake inhibition and/or withdrawal-associated rebound enhancement. Cocaine rapidly potentiated the DA release within the first 10 min of application, and acute cocaine withdrawal caused a rebound increase. Co-application of GTS with cocaine inhibited the release enhancement and subsequently prevented the rebound increase during acute withdrawal. The effect of GTS was concentration-dependent. In contrast, GTS had no significant effects on the cocaine-mediated DA uptake inhibition. These results suggest that the attenuation of the cocaine-induced enhancement of impulse-dependent DA release, rather than uptake inhibition, might be one of the pharmacological bases for attenuation of behavioral effects of cocaine and amelioration of acute withdrawal symptoms by ginseng. PMID:19026615

  2. Preferential enhancement of dopamine transmission within the nucleus accumbens shell by cocaine is attributable to a direct increase in phasic dopamine release events.

    PubMed

    Aragona, Brandon J; Cleaveland, Nathan A; Stuber, Garret D; Day, Jeremy J; Carelli, Regina M; Wightman, R Mark

    2008-08-27

    Preferential enhancement of dopamine transmission within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell is a fundamental aspect of the neural regulation of cocaine reward. Despite its importance, the nature of this effect is poorly understood. Here, we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to examine specific transmission processes underlying cocaine-evoked increases in dopamine transmission within the NAc core and shell. Initially, we examined altered terminal dopamine concentrations after global autoreceptor blockade. This was the first examination of autoreceptor regulation of naturally occurring phasic dopamine transmission and provided a novel characterization of specific components of dopamine neurotransmission. Comparison of increased dopamine signaling evoked by autoreceptor blockade and cocaine administration allowed robust resolution between increased frequency, concentration, and duration of phasic dopamine release events after cocaine delivery. Cocaine increased dopamine transmission by slowed uptake and increased concentration of dopamine released in the core and shell. However, an additional increase in the number phasic release events occurred only within the NAc shell, and this increase was eliminated by inactivation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. This represents the first evidence that cocaine directly increases the frequency of dopamine release events and reveals that this is responsible for preferentially increased dopamine transmission within the NAc shell after cocaine administration. Additionally, cocaine administration resulted in a synergistic increase in dopamine concentration, and subregion differences were abolished when cocaine was administered in the absence of autoregulation. Together, these results demonstrate that cocaine administration results in a temporally and regionally specific increase in phasic dopamine release that is significantly regulated by dopamine autoreceptors. PMID:18753384

  3. Chronic loss of noradrenergic tone produces β-arrestin2-mediated cocaine hypersensitivity and alters cellular D2 responses in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Gaval-Cruz, Meriem; Goertz, Richard B; Puttick, Daniel J; Bowles, Dawn E; Meyer, Rebecca C; Hall, Randy A; Ko, Daijin; Paladini, Carlos A; Weinshenker, David

    2016-01-01

    Cocaine blocks plasma membrane monoamine transporters and increases extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT). The addictive properties of cocaine are mediated primarily by DA, while NE and 5-HT play modulatory roles. Chronic inhibition of dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), which converts DA to NE, increases the aversive effects of cocaine and reduces cocaine use in humans, and produces behavioral hypersensitivity to cocaine and D2 agonism in rodents, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. We found a decrease in β-arrestin2 (βArr2) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) following chronic genetic or pharmacological DBH inhibition, and overexpression of βArr2 in the NAc normalized cocaine-induced locomotion in DBH knockout (Dbh -/-) mice. The D2/3 agonist quinpirole decreased excitability in NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from control, but not Dbh -/- animals, where instead there was a trend for an excitatory effect. The Gαi inhibitor NF023 abolished the quinpirole-induced decrease in excitability in control MSNs, but had no effect in Dbh -/- MSNs, whereas the Gαs inhibitor NF449 restored the ability of quinpirole to decrease excitability in Dbh -/- MSNs, but had no effect in control MSNs. These results suggest that chronic loss of noradrenergic tone alters behavioral responses to cocaine via decreases in βArr2 and cellular responses to D2/D3 activation, potentially via changes in D2-like receptor G-protein coupling in NAc MSNs. PMID:25123018

  4. Prolonged Consumption of Sucrose in a Binge-Like Manner, Alters the Morphology of Medium Spiny Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

    PubMed Central

    Klenowski, Paul M.; Shariff, Masroor R.; Belmer, Arnauld; Fogarty, Matthew J.; Mu, Erica W. H.; Bellingham, Mark C.; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2016-01-01

    The modern diet has become highly sweetened, resulting in unprecedented levels of sugar consumption, particularly among adolescents. While chronic long-term sugar intake is known to contribute to the development of metabolic disorders including obesity and type II diabetes, little is known regarding the direct consequences of long-term, binge-like sugar consumption on the brain. Because sugar can cause the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) similarly to drugs of abuse, we investigated changes in the morphology of neurons in this brain region following short- (4 weeks) and long-term (12 weeks) binge-like sucrose consumption using an intermittent two-bottle choice paradigm. We used Golgi-Cox staining to impregnate medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from the NAc core and shell of short- and long-term sucrose consuming rats and compared these to age-matched water controls. We show that prolonged binge-like sucrose consumption significantly decreased the total dendritic length of NAc shell MSNs compared to age-matched control rats. We also found that the restructuring of these neurons resulted primarily from reduced distal dendritic complexity. Conversely, we observed increased spine densities at the distal branch orders of NAc shell MSNs from long-term sucrose consuming rats. Combined, these results highlight the neuronal effects of prolonged binge-like intake of sucrose on NAc shell MSN morphology. PMID:27047355

  5. Transplantation of human retinal pigment epithelial cells in the nucleus accumbens of cocaine self-administering rats provides protection from seeking.

    PubMed

    Venkiteswaran, Kala; Alexander, Danielle N; Puhl, Matthew D; Rao, Anand; Piquet, Amanda L; Nyland, Jennifer E; Subramanian, Megha P; Iyer, Puja; Boisvert, Matthew M; Handly, Erin; Subramanian, Thyagarajan; Grigson, Patricia Sue

    2016-05-01

    Chronic exposure to drugs and alcohol leads to damage to dopaminergic neurons and their projections in the 'reward pathway' that originate in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and terminate in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This damage is thought to contribute to the signature symptom of addiction: chronic relapse. In this study we show that bilateral transplants of human retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPECs), a cell mediated dopaminergic and trophic neuromodulator, into the medial shell of the NAc, rescue rats with a history of high rates of cocaine self-administration from drug-seeking when returned, after 2 weeks of abstinence, to the drug-associated chamber under extinction conditions (i.e., with no drug available). Excellent survival was noted for the transplant of RPECs in the shell and/or the core of the NAc bilaterally in all rats that showed behavioral recovery from cocaine seeking. Design based unbiased stereology of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive cell bodies in the VTA showed better preservation (p<0.035) in transplanted animals compared to control animals. This experiment shows that the RPEC graft provides beneficial effects to prevent drug seeking in drug addiction via its effects directly on the NAc and its neural network with the VTA. PMID:26562520

  6. Distinct Effects of Nalmefene on Dopamine Uptake Rates and Kappa Opioid Receptor Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Following Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Jamie H.; Karkhanis, Anushree N.; Steiniger-Brach, Björn; Jones, Sara R.

    2016-01-01

    The development of pharmacotherapeutics that reduce relapse to alcohol drinking in patients with alcohol dependence is of considerable research interest. Preclinical data support a role for nucleus accumbens (NAc) κ opioid receptors (KOR) in chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure-induced increases in ethanol intake. Nalmefene, a high-affinity KOR partial agonist, reduces drinking in at-risk patients and relapse drinking in rodents, potentially due to its effects on NAc KORs. However, the effects of nalmefene on accumbal dopamine transmission and KOR function are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of nalmefene on dopamine transmission and KORs using fast scan cyclic voltammetry in NAc brain slices from male C57BL/6J mice following five weeks of CIE or air exposure. Nalmefene concentration-dependently reduced dopamine release similarly in air and CIE groups, suggesting that dynorphin tone may not be present in brain slices. Further, nalmefene attenuated dopamine uptake rates to a greater extent in brain slices from CIE-exposed mice, suggesting that dopamine transporter-KOR interactions may be fundamentally altered following CIE. Additionally, nalmefene reversed the dopamine-decreasing effects of a maximal concentration of a KOR agonist selectively in brain slices of CIE-exposed mice. It is possible that nalmefene may attenuate withdrawal-induced increases in ethanol consumption by modulation of dopamine transmission through KORs. PMID:27472317

  7. Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens shell reverses CRFR2-evoked passive stress-coping after partner loss in monogamous male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Oliver J; Dabrowska, Joanna; Modi, Meera E; Johnson, Zachary V; Keebaugh, Alaine C; Barrett, Catherine E; Ahern, Todd H; Guo, JiDong; Grinevich, Valery; Rainnie, Donald G; Neumann, Inga D; Young, Larry J

    2016-02-01

    Loss of a partner can have severe effects on mental health. Here we explore the neural mechanisms underlying increased passive stress-coping, indicative of depressive-like behavior, following the loss of the female partner in the monogamous male prairie vole. We demonstrate that corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2 (CRFR2) in the nucleus accumbens shell mediates social loss-induced passive coping. Further, we show that partner loss compromises the oxytocin system through multiple mechanisms. Finally, we provide evidence for an interaction of the CRFR2 and oxytocin systems in mediating the emotional consequences of partner loss. Our results suggest that chronic activation of CRFR2 and suppression of striatal oxytocin signaling following partner loss result in an aversive emotional state that may share underlying mechanisms with bereavement. We propose that the suppression of oxytocin signaling is likely adaptive during short separations to encourage reunion with the partner and may have evolved to maintain long-term partnerships. Additionally, therapeutic strategies targeting these systems should be considered for treatment of social loss-mediated depression. PMID:26615473

  8. Differential sensitivity of the caudal and rostral nucleus accumbens to the rewarding effects of a H1-histaminergic receptor blocker as measured with place-preference and self-stimulation behavior.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, P; Privou, C; Huston, J P

    1999-01-01

    A recent series of studies in rats has demonstrated positively reinforcing and memory enhancing effects following lesions of the nucleus tuberomammillaris, which is the only known source of neuronal histamine. The aim of the present experiments was to assess whether inhibition of histaminergic neurotransmission in the ventral striatum has positively reinforcing effects. In Experiment 1 rats with chronically-implanted cannulae were injected with the H1 receptor blocker d-( + )-chlorpheniramine at doses of 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 microg into the rostral or caudal parts of the nucleus accumbens, a brain region known to be involved in reward-related processes. Immediately after the treatment the animals were placed into one of four restricted quadrants of a circular open field (closed corral) for a single conditioning trial. During the drug-free test for conditioned place preference, when a choice among the four quadrants was provided, those rats injected with 10.0 microg chlorpheniramine in the caudal nucleus accumbens spent more time in the treatment corral, indicative of a positively rewarding drug action. In Experiment 2 the question was posed whether injection of chlorpheniramine into the nucleus accumbens influences electrical self-stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus. For this purpose rats were chronically implanted with two bipolar electrodes aimed at the lateral-hypothalami and with two additional guide cannulae aimed either at the rostral or caudal nucleus accumbens. After having established reliable self-stimulation behavior at one of the two electrode sites the animals were allowed to self-stimulate for one hour (baseline). Then they were unilaterally injected with 10.0 microg chlorpheniramine or vehicle and allowed to self-stimulate for another hour (test). On the next day the same procedure took place, except for the difference that the animals received an injection aimed at the hemisphere not treated so far. Animals treated with chlorpheniramine in the

  9. Nucleus accumbens injections of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 increase cue-induced sucrose seeking following adult, but not adolescent sucrose self-administration.

    PubMed

    Myal, S; O'Donnell, P; Counotte, D S

    2015-10-01

    Adolescence is often portrayed as a period of enhanced sensitivity to reward, with long-lasting neurobiological changes upon reward exposure. However, we previously found that time-dependent increases in cue-induced sucrose seeking were more pronounced in rats trained to self-administer sucrose as adults than as adolescents. In addition, adult, but not adolescent sucrose self-administration led to a decreased α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid/N-Methyl-D-aspartate (AMPA/NMDA) ratio in the nucleus accumbens core, suggesting that long-lasting changes in glutamatergic transmission may affect adult processing of natural rewards. Here we tested whether altering glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens core via local injection of an mGluR2/3 agonist and antagonist affects cue-induced sucrose seeking following abstinence and whether this is different in the two age groups. Rats began oral sucrose self-administration training (10 days) on postnatal day (P) 35 (adolescents) or P70 (adults). Following 21 days of abstinence, rats received microinjections of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 (0.3 or 1.0 μg/side) or vehicle into the nucleus accumbens core, and 15 min later cue-induced sucrose seeking was assessed. An additional group of rats trained as adults received nucleus accumbens core microinjections of the mGluR2/3 antagonist (RS)-α-Methyl-4-phosphonophenylglycine (MPPG) (0.12 or 0.5 μg/side). Confirming our previous results, adult rats earned more sucrose reinforcers, while sucrose intake per body weight was similar across ages. On abstinence day 22, local injection of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 increased cue-induced sucrose seeking only in adult rats, and had no effect in adolescents. Local injections of the mGluR2/3 antagonist MPPG had no effect on sucrose seeking in adult rats. These data suggest an important developmental difference in the neural substrates of natural reward, specifically a difference in glutamatergic transmission in

  10. [Bilateral caudate head infarcts].

    PubMed

    Kuriyama, N; Yamamoto, Y; Akiguchi, I; Oiwa, K; Nakajima, K

    1997-11-01

    We reported a 67-year-old woman with bilateral caudate head infarcts. She developed sudden mutism followed by abulia. She was admitted to our hospital 2 months after ictus for further examination. She showed prominent abulia and was inactive, slow and apathetic. Spontaneous activity and speech, immediate response to queries, spontaneous word recall and attention and persistence to complex programs were disturbed. Apparent motor disturbance, gait disturbance, motor aphasia, apraxia and remote memory disturbance were not identified. She seemed to be depressed but not sad. Brain CT and MRI revealed bilateral caudate head hemorrhagic infarcts including bilateral anterior internal capsules, in which the left lesion was more extensive than right one and involved the part of the left putamen. These infarct locations were thought to be supplied by the area around the medial striate artery including Heubner's arteries and the A1 perforator. Digital subtraction angiography showed asymptomatic right internal carotid artery occlusion. She bad had hypertension, diabetes mellitus and atrial fibrillation and also had a left atrium with a large diameter. The infarcts were thought to be caused by cardioembolic occlusion to the distal portion of the left internal carotid artery. Although some variations of vasculature at the anterior communicating artery might contribute to bilateral medial striate artery infarcts, we could not demonstrate such abnormalities by angiography. Bilateral caudate head infarcts involving the anterior internal capsule may cause prominent abulia. The patient did not improve by drug and rehabilitation therapy and died suddenly a year after discharge. PMID:9503974

  11. Retrodialysis of N/OFQ into the nucleus accumbens shell blocks cocaine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine and locomotor activity.

    PubMed

    Vazquez-DeRose, Jacqueline; Stauber, Gregory; Khroyan, Taline V; Xie, Xinmin Simon; Zaveri, Nurulain T; Toll, Lawrence

    2013-01-15

    Nociceptin (N/OFQ) has been implicated in a variety of neurological disorders, most notably in reward processes and drug abuse. N/OFQ suppresses extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) after intracerebroventricular injection. This study sought to examine the effects of retrodialyzed N/OFQ on the cocaine-induced increase in extracellular dopamine levels in the NAc, as well as locomotor activity, in freely moving rats. 1.0μM, 10μM, and 1mM N/OFQ, in the NAc shell, significantly suppressed the cocaine-induced dopamine increase in the NAc, while N/OFQ alone had no significant effect on dopamine levels. Co-delivery of the selective NOP receptor antagonist SB612111 ([(-)-cis-1-Methyl-7-[[4-(2,6-dichlorophenyl)piperidin-1-yl]methyl]-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5H-benzocyclohepten-5-ol] reversed the N/OFQ suppression of cocaine-induced dopamine in the NAc, suggesting that this is an NOP receptor-mediated effect. Using a novel system to assess locomotion, we measured various motor activities of the animals with simultaneous microdialysis from the home cage. Cocaine produced an expected increase in total activity, including horizontal movement and rearing behavior. Retrodialysis of N/OFQ with cocaine administration affected all motor activities, initially showing no effect on behavior, but over time inhibiting cocaine-induced motor behaviors. These results suggest that N/OFQ can act directly in the NAc shell to block cocaine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine levels. Extracellular dopamine and locomotor activity can be dissociated within the NAc and may reflect motor output differences in shell versus core regions of the NAc. These studies confirm the widespread involvement of NOP receptors in drug addiction and further validate the utility of an NOP receptor agonist as a medication for treatment of drug addiction. PMID:23219985

  12. The effect of Gly-Gln [ß-endorphin30-31] on morphine-evoked serotonin and GABA efflux in the nucleus accumbens of conscious rats.

    PubMed

    Basaran, Nesrin F; Buyukuysal, R Levent; Sertac Yilmaz, M; Aydin, Sami; Cavun, Sinan; Millington, William R

    2016-08-01

    Glycyl-L-glutamine (Gly-Gln; β-endorphin30-31) is an endogenous dipeptide synthesized through the post-translational processing of β-endorphin1-31. Central Gly-Gln administration inhibits the rewarding properties of morphine and attenuates morphine tolerance, dependence and withdrawal although it does not interfere with morphine analgesia. In an earlier study, we found that Gly-Gln inhibits morphine-induced dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), consistent with its ability to inhibit morphine reward. To further investigate the mechanism responsible for its central effects we tested whether i.c.v. Gly-Gln administration influences the rise in extracellular serotonin and GABA concentrations evoked by morphine in the NAc. Conscious rats were treated with Gly-Gln (100nmol/5μl) or saline i.c.v. followed, 2min later, by morphine (2.5mg/kg) or saline i.p. and extracellular serotonin and GABA concentrations were analyzed by microdialysis and HPLC. Morphine administration increased extracellular serotonin and GABA concentrations significantly within 20min, as shown previously. Unexpectedly, Gly-Gln also increased extracellular serotonin concentrations significantly in control animals. Combined treatment with Gly-Gln+morphine also elevated extracellular serotonin concentrations although the magnitude of the response did not differ significantly from the effect of Gly-Gln or morphine, given alone suggesting that Gly-Gln suppressed morphine induced serotonin efflux. Gly-Gln abolished the morphine-induced rise in extracellular GABA concentrations but had no effect on extracellular GABA when given alone to otherwise untreated animals. These data show that Gly-Gln stimulates NAc serotonin efflux and, together with earlier studies, support the hypothesis that Gly-Gln inhibits the rewarding effects of morphine by modulating morphine induced dopamine, GABA and serotonin efflux in the NAc. PMID:26861257

  13. Alterations in blood glucose and plasma glucagon concentrations during deep brain stimulation in the shell region of the nucleus accumbens in rats

    PubMed Central

    Diepenbroek, Charlene; van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Eggels, Leslie; Rijnsburger, Merel; Feenstra, Matthijs G. P.; Kalsbeek, Andries; Denys, Damiaan; Fliers, Eric; Serlie, Mireille J.; la Fleur, Susanne E.

    2013-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an effective therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and is currently under investigation as a treatment for eating disorders. DBS of this area is associated with altered food intake and pharmacological treatment of OCD is associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore we examined if DBS of the NAc-shell (sNAc) influences glucose metabolism. Male Wistar rats were subjected to DBS, or sham stimulation, for a period of 1 h. To assess the effects of stimulation on blood glucose and glucoregulatory hormones, blood samples were drawn before, during and after stimulation. Subsequently, all animals were used for quantitative assessment of Fos immunoreactivity in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) using computerized image analysis. DBS of the sNAc rapidly increased plasma concentrations of glucagon and glucose while sham stimulation and DBS outside the sNAc were ineffective. In addition, the increase in glucose was dependent on DBS intensity. In contrast, the DBS-induced increase in plasma corticosterone concentrations was independent of intensity and region, indicating that the observed DBS-induced metabolic changes were not due to corticosterone release. Stimulation of the sNAc with 200 μA increased Fos immunoreactivity in the LHA compared to sham or 100 μA stimulated animals. These data show that DBS of the sNAc alters glucose metabolism in a region- and intensity- dependent manner in association with neuronal activation in the LHA. Moreover, these data illustrate the need to monitor changes in glucose metabolism during DBS-treatment of OCD patients. PMID:24339800

  14. Orexin in Rostral Hotspot of Nucleus Accumbens Enhances Sucrose 'Liking' and Intake but Scopolamine in Caudal Shell Shifts 'Liking' Toward 'Disgust' and 'Fear'.

    PubMed

    Castro, Daniel C; Terry, Rachel A; Berridge, Kent C

    2016-07-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) contains a hedonic hotspot in the rostral half of medial shell, where opioid agonist microinjections are known to enhance positive hedonic orofacial reactions to the taste of sucrose ('liking' reactions). Within NAc shell, orexin/hypocretin also has been reported to stimulate food intake and is implicated in reward, whereas blockade of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors by scopolamine suppresses intake and may have anti-reward effects. Here, we show that NAc microinjection of orexin-A in medial shell amplifies the hedonic impact of sucrose taste, but only within the same anatomically rostral site, identical to the opioid hotspot. By comparison, at all sites throughout medial shell, orexin microinjections stimulated 'wanting' to eat, as reflected by increases in intake of palatable sweet chocolates. At NAc shell sites outside the hotspot, orexin selectively enhanced 'wanting' to eat without enhancing sweetness 'liking' reactions. In contrast, microinjections of the antagonist scopolamine at all sites in NAc shell suppressed sucrose 'liking' reactions as well as suppressing intake of palatable food. Conversely, scopolamine increased aversive 'disgust' reactions elicited by bitter quinine at all NAc shell sites. Finally, scopolamine microinjections localized to the caudal half of medial shell additionally generated a fear-related anti-predator reaction of defensive treading and burying directed toward the corners of the transparent chamber. Together, these results confirm a rostral hotspot in NAc medial shell as a unique site for orexin induction of hedonic 'liking' enhancement, similar to opioid enhancement. They also reveal distinct roles for orexin and acetylcholine signals in NAc shell for hedonic reactions and motivated behaviors. PMID:26787120

  15. Cross-sensitization between cocaine and acute restraint stress is associated with sensitized dopamine but not glutamate release in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Keller, C; Martinez, S A; Esparza, M A; Bollati, F; Kalivas, P W; Cancela, L M

    2013-03-01

    Repeated administration of psychostimulant drugs or stress can elicit a sensitized response to the stimulating and reinforcing properties of the drug. Here we explore the mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) whereby an acute restraint stress augments the acute locomotor response to cocaine. This was accomplished by a combination of behavioral pharmacology, microdialysis measures of extracellular dopamine and glutamate, and Western blotting for GluR1 subunit of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor (AMPAR). A single exposure to restraint stress 3 weeks before testing revealed that enduring locomotor sensitization to cocaine was paralleled by an increase in extracellular dopamine in the core, but not the shell subcompartment, of the NAc. Wistar rats pre-exposed to acute stress showed increased basal levels of glutamate in the core, but the increase in glutamate by acute cocaine was blunted. The alterations in extracellular glutamate seem to be relevant, as blocking AMPAR by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione microinjection into the core prevented both the behavioral cross-sensitization and the augmented increase in cocaine-induced extracellular dopamine. Further implicating glutamate, the locomotor response to AMPAR stimulation in the core was potentiated, but not in the shell of pre-stressed animals, and this was accompanied by an increase in NAc GluR1 surface expression. This study provides evidence that the long-term expression of restraint stress-induced behavioral cross-sensitization to cocaine recapitulates some mechanisms thought to underpin the sensitization induced by daily cocaine administration, and shows that long-term neurobiological changes induced in the NAc by acute stress are consequential in the expression of cross-sensitization to cocaine. PMID:23360446

  16. Attenuation of cue-induced heroin-seeking behavior by cannabinoid CB1 antagonist infusions into the nucleus accumbens core and prefrontal cortex, but not basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Jaimes, Lily; Polis, Ilham; Parsons, Loren H

    2008-09-01

    As with other drugs of abuse, heroin use is characterized by a high incidence of relapse following detoxification that can be triggered by exposure to conditioned stimuli previously associated with drug availability. Recent findings suggest that cannabinoid CB(1) receptors modulate the motivational properties of heroin-conditioned stimuli that induce relapse behavior. However, the neural substrates through which CB(1) receptors modulate cue-induced heroin seeking have not been elucidated. In this study, we evaluated alterations in cue-induced reinstatement of heroin-seeking behavior produced by infusions of the CB(1) receptor antagonist SR 141716A (0, 0.3 and 3 microg per side) delivered into the prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAC), and basolateral amygdala (BLA) of rats. Results show that following extinction of operant behavior the presentation of a discriminative stimulus conditioned to heroin availability reinstated nonreinforced lever pressing to levels comparable to preextinction levels. Intra-PFC SR 141716A dose-dependently reduced cue-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking, with a significant reduction following the 3 microg per side dose. In the NAC, both SR 141716A doses induced a significant reduction in cue-induced reinstatement, with the highest dose completely blocking the effect of the cue. In contrast, intra-BLA SR 141716A did not alter cue-induced reinstatement of responding while systemic administration of this antagonist (3 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly blocked cue-induced reinstatement in all three-placement groups (BLA, PFC, and NAC). These findings provide new insights into the neural mechanisms through which CB(1) receptors modulate the motivational properties of heroin-associated cues inducing relapse. PMID:18059440

  17. Deep brain stimulation reveals a dissociation of consummatory and motivated behaviour in the medial and lateral nucleus accumbens shell of the rat.

    PubMed

    van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Schrama, Regina; van Seters, Sebastiaan P; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Westenberg, Herman G M

    2012-01-01

    Following the successful application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and promising results in clinical trials for obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression, DBS is currently being tested in small patient-populations with eating disorders and addiction. However, in spite of its potential use in a broad spectrum of disorders, the mechanisms of action of DBS remain largely unclear and optimal neural targets for stimulation in several disorders have yet to be established. Thus, there is a great need to examine site-specific effects of DBS on a behavioural level and to understand how DBS may modulate pathological behaviour. In view of the possible application of DBS in the treatment of disorders characterized by impaired processing of reward and motivation, like addiction and eating disorders, we examined the effect of DBS of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) on food-directed behavior. Rats were implanted with bilateral stimulation electrodes in one of three anatomically and functionally distinct sub-areas of the NAcc: the core, lateral shell (lShell) and medial shell (mShell). Subsequently, we studied the effects of DBS on food consumption, and the motivational and appetitive properties of food. The data revealed a functional dissociation between the lShell and mShell. DBS of the lShell reduced motivation to respond for sucrose under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, mShell DBS, however, profoundly and selectively increased the intake of chow. DBS of the NAcc core did not alter any form of food-directed behavior studied. DBS of neither structure affected sucrose preference. These data indicate that the intake of chow and the motivation to work for palatable food can independently be modulated by DBS of subregions of the NAcc shell. As such, these findings provide important leads for the possible future application of DBS as a treatment for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. PMID:22428054

  18. High and abnormal forms of aggression in rats with extremes in trait anxiety--involvement of the dopamine system in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Beiderbeck, Daniela I; Reber, Stefan O; Havasi, Andrea; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H; Neumann, Inga D

    2012-12-01

    A better neurobiological understanding of high and abnormal aggression based on adequate animal models is essential for novel therapy and prevention. Selective breeding of rats for extremes in anxiety-related behavior resulted in two behavioral phenotypes with high and abnormal forms of aggression. Rats bred for low anxiety-related behavior (LAB) consistently show highest levels of aggression and little social investigation in the resident-intruder (RI) test, compared with non-selected low-aggressive (NAB) rats. High anxiety-related (HAB) rats also show higher levels of aggression than NAB rats, but to a lesser extent than LAB rats. Accordingly, extremes in inborn anxiety in both directions are linked to an increased aggression level. Further, both LAB and HAB, but not NAB males, display abnormal aggression (attacks towards vulnerable body parts, females or narcotized males), which is particularly prominent in LABs. Also, only in LAB rats, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was found to be strongly activated in response to the RI test as reflected by increased c-fos and zif268 mRNA expression, and higher local dopamine release compared with NAB males, without differences in local dopamine receptor binding. Consequently, local pharmacological manipulation by infusion of an anesthetic (lidocaine, 20 μg/μl) or a dopamine D2 (haloperidol, 10 ng/μl), but not D1 (SCH-23390 10 ng/μl), receptor antagonist significantly reduced high aggression in LAB rats. Thus, LAB rats are an adequate model to study high and abnormal aggression. In LAB males, this is likely to be linked to hyper-activation of the reward system, as found in