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Sample records for accumbens nac dopamine

  1. Accumbens dopamine-acetylcholine balance in approach and avoidance.

    PubMed

    Hoebel, Bartley G; Avena, Nicole M; Rada, Pedro

    2007-12-01

    Understanding systems for approach and avoidance is basic for behavioral neuroscience. Research on the neural organization and functions of the dorsal striatum in movement disorders, such as Huntington's and Parkinson's Disease, can inform the study of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in motivational disorders, such as addiction and depression. We propose opposing roles for dopamine (DA) and acetylcholine (ACh) in the NAc in the control of GABA output systems for approach and avoidance. Contrary to DA, which fosters approach, ACh release is a correlate or cause of meal satiation, conditioned taste aversion and aversive brain stimulation. ACh may also counteract excessive DA-mediated approach behavior as revealed during withdrawal from drugs of abuse or sugar when the animal enters an ACh-mediated state of anxiety and behavioral depression. This review summarizes evidence that ACh is important in the inhibition of behavior when extracellular DA is high and the generation of an anxious or depressed state when DA is relatively low. PMID:18023617

  2. 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

  3. Dynamic changes in accumbens dopamine correlate with learning during intracranial self-stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Owesson-White, Catarina A.; Cheer, Joseph F.; Beyene, Manna; Carelli, Regina M.; Wightman, R. Mark

    2008-01-01

    Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important neurotransmitter for reward-seeking behaviors such as intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), although its precise role remains unclear. Here, dynamic fluctuations in extracellular dopamine were measured during ICSS in the rat NAc shell with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes. Rats were trained to press a lever to deliver electrical stimulation to the substantia nigra (SNc)/ventral tegmental area (VTA) after the random onset of a cue that predicted reward availability. Latency to respond after cue onset significantly declined across trials, indicative of learning. Dopamine release was evoked by the stimulation but also developed across trials in a time-locked fashion to the cue. Once established, the cue-evoked dopamine transients continued to grow in amplitude, although they were variable from trial to trial. The emergence of cue-evoked dopamine correlated with a decline in electrically evoked dopamine release. Extinction of ICSS resulted in a significant decline in goal-directed behavior coupled to a significant decrease in cue-evoked phasic dopamine across trials. Subsequent reinstatement of ICSS was correlated with a return to preextinction transient amplitudes in response to the cue and reestablishment of ICSS behavior. The results show the dynamic nature of chemical signaling in the NAc during ICSS and provide new insight into the role of NAc dopamine in reward-related behaviors. PMID:18689678

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Accumbens dopamine-acetylcholine balance in approach and avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Hoebel, Bartley G.; Avena, Nicole M.; Rada, Pedro

    2008-01-01

    Summary Understanding systems for approach and avoidance is basic for behavioral neuroscience. Research on the neural organization and functions of the dorsal striatum in movement disorders, such as Huntington's and Parkinson's Disease, can inform the study of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in motivational disorders, such as addiction and depression. We propose opposing roles for dopamine (DA) and acetylcholine (ACh) in the NAc in the control of GABA output systems for approach and avoidance. Contrary to DA, which fosters approach, ACh release is a correlate or cause of meal satiation, conditioned taste aversion and aversive brain stimulation. ACh may also counteract excessive DA-mediated approach behavior as revealed during withdrawal from drugs of abuse or sugar, when the animal enters an ACh-mediated state of anxiety and behavioral depression. This review summarizes evidence that ACh is important in the inhibition of behavior when extracellular DA is high and the generation of an anxious or depressed state when DA is relatively low. PMID:18023617

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    du Hoffmann, Johann; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) promotes vigorous environmentally-cued food-seeking in hungry rats. Rats fed ad libitum, however, respond to fewer food-predictive cues, particularly when the value of food reward is low. Here, we investigated whether this difference could be due to differences in the degree of dopamine receptor activation in the NAc. First, we observed that although rats given ad libitum access to chow in their home cages approached a food receptacle in response to reward-predictive cues, the number of such approaches declined as animals accumulated food rewards. Intriguingly, cued approach to food occurred in clusters, with several cued responses followed by successive non-responses. This pattern suggested that behavior was dictated by transitions between two states, responsive and non-responsive. Injection of D1 or D2 dopamine receptor agonists into the NAc dose-dependently increased cue responding by promoting transitions to the responsive state and by preventing transitions to the non-responsive state. In contrast, antagonists of either D1 or D2 receptors promoted long bouts of non-responding by inducing transitions to the non-responsive state and by preventing transitions to the responsive state. Moreover, locomotor behavior during the inter-trial interval was correlated with the responsive state, and was also increased by dopamine receptor agonists. These results suggest that activation of NAc dopamine receptors plays an important role in regulating the probability of approach to food under conditions of normative satiety. PMID:27471453

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Taste pathways that mediate accumbens dopamine release by sapid sucrose.

    PubMed

    Hajnal, Andras; Norgren, Ralph

    2005-03-16

    Although it has been associated with the release of dopamine in the forebrain, reward remains a conundrum in neuroscience. Sucrose is inherently rewarding and its sensory message reaches the brain via the gustatory system. In rodents, the central gustatory system bifurcates in the pontine parabrachial nuclei, one arm forming a standard thalamocortical axis, the other distributing widely in the limbic forebrain. We report here that lesions of the gustatory thalamus fail to affect dopamine overflow during sucrose licking (149+/-5% vs. 149+/-4% for controls). Similar damage to the parabrachial nuclei, which severs the limbic taste projection, substantially reduces dopamine release from the nucleus accumbens (121+/-4% vs. 168+/-9% for sham operated controls; p<0.02). This represents the first demonstration that the affective character of a sensory stimulus might separate from the thalamocortical system as early as the second central synapse. PMID:15763573

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Depressive-like effects of the kappa opioid receptor agonist salvinorin A are associated with decreased phasic dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Ebner, Stephanie R.; Roitman, Mitchell F.; Potter, David N.; Rachlin, Anna B.; Chartoff, Elena H.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale Kappa opioid receptors (KORs) have been implicated in depressive-like states associated with chronic administration of drugs of abuse and stress. Although KOR agonists decrease dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), KOR modulation of phasic dopamine release in the core and shell subregions of the NAc—which have distinct roles in reward processing—remains poorly understood. Objectives Studies were designed to examine whether the time course of effects of KOR activation on phasic dopamine release in the NAc core or shell are similar to effects on motivated behavior. Methods The effect of systemic administration of the KOR agonist salvinorin A (salvA)—at a dose (2.0 mg/kg) previously determined to have depressive-like effects—was measured on electrically evoked phasic dopamine release in the NAc core or shell of awake and behaving rats using fast scan cyclic voltammetry. In parallel, the effects of salvA on intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and sucrose-reinforced responding were assessed. For comparison, a threshold dose of salvA (0.25 mg/kg) was also tested. Results The active, but not threshold, dose of salvA significantly decreased phasic dopamine release without affecting dopamine reuptake in the NAc core and shell. SalvA increased ICSS thresholds and significantly lowered breakpoint on the progressive ratio schedule, indicating a decrease in motivation. The time course of the KOR-mediated decrease in dopamine in the core was qualitatively similar to the effects on motivated behavior. Conclusions These data suggest that the effects of KOR activation on motivation are due, in part, to inhibition of phasic dopamine signaling in the NAc core. PMID:20372879

  14. Cocaine-seeking is associated with PKC-dependent reduction of excitatory signaling in accumbens shell D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons.

    PubMed

    Ortinski, Pavel I; Briand, Lisa A; Pierce, R Christopher; Schmidt, Heath D

    2015-05-01

    Stimulation of D1-like dopamine receptors (D1DRs) or D2-like dopamine receptors (D2DRs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell reinstates cocaine seeking in rats, an animal model of relapse. D2DRs and D1DRs activate protein kinase C (PKC) and recent studies indicate that activation of PKC in the NAc plays an important role in the reinstatement of drug seeking induced by a systemic cocaine priming injection. In the present study, pharmacological inhibition of PKC in the NAc shell attenuated cocaine seeking induced by intra-accumbens shell microinjection of a D2DR agonist, but not a D1DR agonist. D1DRs and D2DRs are primarily expressed on different accumbens medium spiny (MSN) neurons. Neuronal signaling and activity were assessed in these two populations of NAc neurons with transgenic mice expressing fluorescent labels under the control of D1DR and D2DR promoters. Following the extinction of cocaine self-administration, bath application of a PKC inhibitor produced similar effects on single evoked excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic currents in D1DR- and D2DR-positive MSNs in the NAc shell. However, inhibition of PKC preferentially improved the ability of excitatory, but not inhibitory, synapses to sustain responding to brief train of stimuli specifically in D2DR-positive MSNs. This effect did not appear to involve modulation of presynaptic release mechanisms. Taken together, these findings indicate that the reinstatement of cocaine seeking is at least partially due to D2DR-dependent increases in PKC signaling in the NAc shell, which reduce excitatory synaptic efficacy in D2DR-expressing MSNs. PMID:25596492

  15. 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

  16. Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    Most drugs of abuse increase dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and do so every time as a pharmacological response. Palatable food also releases accumbens-shell DA, but in naïve rats the effect can wane during a long meal and disappears with repetition. Under select dietary circumstances, sugar can have effects similar to a drug of abuse. Rats show signs of DA sensitization and opioid dependence when given intermittent access to sucrose, such as alterations in DA and mu-opioid receptors, cross-sensitization with amphetamine and alcohol, and behavioral and neurochemical signs of naloxone-precipitated withdrawal. The present experiment asks whether sucrose-dependent rats release DA each time they binge. We also predict that acetylcholine (ACh), which rises as the end of a meal, will be delayed in rats with intermittent access to sucrose. To create dependency, the experimental group (Daily Intermittent Sucrose) was maintained on a diet of 12-h food deprivation that extended 4 h into the dark, followed by 12-h access to a 10% sucrose solution and chow, daily, for 21 days. As the main result, these rats gradually increased their sucrose intake from 37 to 112 ml per day (from 13 to 20 ml in the first hour of access), and repeatedly increased extracellular DA to 130% of baseline as measured in the NAc shell by microdialysis during the first hour of sucrose access on day 1, day 2 and day 21. Three control groups failed to show a significant increase in extracellular DA on day 21: Sucrose only for 1 h on days 1 and 21 (Sucrose Twice), ad libitum access to sucrose and chow (Daily Ad libitum Sucrose), and intermittent chow instead of sucrose (Daily Intermittent Chow). Acetylcholine measured at the same time as DA, increased significantly toward the end and after each test meal in all groups. In the Daily Intermittent Sucrose group, the highest ACh levels (133%) occurred during the first sample after the sucrose meal ended. In summary, sucrose-dependent animals

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Serotonin2C receptors modulate dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens independently of dopamine release: behavioral, neurochemical and molecular studies with cocaine.

    PubMed

    Cathala, Adeline; Devroye, Céline; Maitre, Marlène; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Abrous, Djoher Nora; Revest, Jean-Michel; Spampinato, Umberto

    2015-05-01

    In keeping with its ability to control the mesoaccumbens dopamine (DA) pathway, the serotonin2C receptor (5-HT2C R) plays a key role in mediating the behavioral and neurochemical effects of drugs of abuse. Studies assessing the influence of 5-HT2C R agonists on cocaine-induced responses have suggested that 5-HT2C Rs can modulate mesoaccumbens DA pathway activity independently of accumbal DA release, thereby controlling DA transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In the present study, we assessed this hypothesis by studying the influence of the 5-HT2C R agonist Ro 60-0175 on cocaine-induced behavioral, neurochemical and molecular responses. The i.p. administration of 1 mg/kg Ro 60-0175 inhibited hyperlocomotion induced by cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.), had no effect on cocaine-induced DA outflow in the shell, and increased it in the core subregion of the NAc. Furthermore, Ro 60-0175 inhibited the late-onset locomotion induced by the subcutaneous administration of the DA-D2 R agonist quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg), as well as cocaine-induced increase in c-Fos immunoreactivity in NAc subregions. Finally, Ro 60-0175 inhibited cocaine-induced phosphorylation of the DA and c-AMP regulated phosphoprotein of Mr 32 kDa (DARPP-32) at threonine residues in the NAc core, this effect being reversed by the selective 5-HT2C R antagonist SB 242084 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.). Altogether, these findings demonstrate that 5-HT2C Rs are capable of modulating mesoaccumbens DA pathway activity at post-synaptic level by specifically controlling DA signaling in the NAc core subregion. In keeping with the tight relationship between locomotor activity and NAc DA function, this interaction could participate in the inhibitory control of cocaine-induced locomotor activity. PMID:24661380

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The effect of forced swim stress on morphine sensitization: Involvement of D1/D2-like dopamine receptors within the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Charmchi, Elham; Zendehdel, Morteza; Haghparast, Abbas

    2016-10-01

    Nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays an essential role in morphine sensitization and suppression of pain. Repeated exposure to stress and morphine increases dopamine release in the NAc and may lead to morphine sensitization. This study was carried out in order to investigate the effect of forced swim stress (FSS), as a predominantly physical stressor and morphine on the development of morphine sensitization; focusing on the function of D1/D2-like dopamine receptors in the NAc in morphine sensitization. Eighty-five adult male Wistar rats were bilaterally implanted with cannulae in the NAc and various doses of SCH-23390 (0.125, 0.25, 1 and 4μg/0.5μl/NAc) as a D1 receptor antagonist and sulpiride (0.25, 1 and 4μg/0.5μl/NAc) as a D2 receptor antagonist were microinjected into the NAc, during a sensitization period of 3days, 5min before the induction of FSS. After 10min, animals received subcutaneous morphine injection (1mg/kg). The procedure was followed by 5days free of antagonist, morphine and stress; thereafter on the 9th day, the nociceptive response was evaluated by tail-flick test. The results revealed that the microinjection of sulpiride (at 1 and 4μg/0.5μl/NAc) or SCH-23390 (at 0.25, 1 and 4μg/0.5μl/NAc) prior to FSS and morphine disrupts the antinociceptive effects of morphine and morphine sensitization. Our findings suggest that FSS can potentiate the effect of morphine and causes morphine sensitization which induces antinociception. PMID:27235796

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Cocaine Self-Administration Experience Induces Pathological Phasic Accumbens Dopamine Signals and Abnormal Incentive Behaviors in Drug-Abstinent Rats

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xuefei; Sugam, Jonathan A.; Carelli, Regina M.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse is linked to long-lasting alterations in the function of limbic system structures, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Although cocaine acts via dopaminergic mechanisms within the NAc, less is known about whether phasic dopamine (DA) signaling in the NAc is altered in animals with cocaine self-administration experience or if these animals learn and interact normally with stimuli in their environment. Here, separate groups of rats self-administered either intravenous cocaine or water to a receptacle (controls), followed by 30 d of enforced abstinence. Next, all rats learned an appetitive Pavlovian discrimination and voltammetric recordings of real-time DA release were taken in either the NAc core or shell of cocaine and control subjects. Cocaine experience differentially impaired DA signaling in the core and shell relative to controls. Although phasic DA signals in the shell were essentially abolished for all stimuli, in the core, DA did not distinguish between cues and was abnormally biased toward reward delivery. Further, cocaine rats were unable to learn higher-order associations and even altered simple conditioned approach behaviors, displaying enhanced preoccupation with cue-associated stimuli (sign-tracking; ST) but diminished time at the food cup awaiting reward delivery (goal-tracking). Critically, whereas control DA signaling correlated with ST behaviors, cocaine experience abolished this relationship. These findings show that cocaine has persistent, differential, and pathological effects on both DA signaling and DA-dependent behaviors and suggest that psychostimulant experience may remodel the very circuits that bias organisms toward repeated relapse. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Relapsing to drug abuse despite periods of abstinence and sincere attempts to quit is one of the most pernicious facets of addiction. Unfortunately, little is known about how the dopamine (DA) system functions after periods of drug abstinence

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A critical role of nucleus accumbens dopamine D1-family receptors in renewal of alcohol seeking after punishment-imposed abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Marchant, Nathan J.; Kaganovsky, Konstantin

    2015-01-01

    In humans, places or contexts previously associated with alcohol use often provoke relapse during abstinence. This phenomenon is modeled in laboratory animals using the ABA renewal procedure, where alcohol seeking that is suppressed with extinction training in a context (B) renews when the animal returns to the original training context (A). However, extinction training does not adequately capture the motivation for abstinence in human alcoholics who typically self-initiate abstinence due to the negative consequences of excessive use. We recently developed a procedure to study renewal in laboratory rats after abstinence is imposed by negative consequences (footshock punishment). The mechanisms of renewal of punished alcohol seeking are largely unknown. Here we used the D1-family receptor antagonist SCH 23390 to examine the role of nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core dopamine in renewal of alcohol seeking after punishment-imposed abstinence. We trained alcohol preferring ‘P rats’ to self-administer 20% alcohol in context A and subsequently suppressed alcohol taking via response-contingent footshock punishment in context B. We tested the effects of systemic, NAc shell, or NAc core injections of SCH 23390 on renewal of alcohol seeking after punishment-imposed abstinence. We found that both systemic and NAc shell and core injections of SCH 23390 decreased renewal of punished alcohol seeking. Our results demonstrate a critical role of NAc dopamine in renewal of alcohol seeking after punishment-imposed abstinence. We discuss these results in reference to the brain mechanisms of renewal of alcohol seeking after extinction versus punishment. PMID:25914922

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The Spontaneously Hypertensive and Wistar Kyoto Rat Models of ADHD Exhibit Sub-Regional Differences in Dopamine Release and Uptake in the Striatum and Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Erin M.; Pomerleau, Francois; Huettl, Peter; Russell, Vivienne A.; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Glaser, Paul E.A.

    2012-01-01

    The most widely used animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR/NCrl), which best represents the combined subtype (ADHD-C). Recent evidence has revealed that a progenitor strain, the Wistar Kyoto from Charles River Laboratories (WKY/NCrl), is useful as a model of the inattentive subtype (ADHD-PI) and the Wistar Kyoto from Harlan Laboratories (WKY/NHsd) and the Sprague Dawley (SD) have been suggested as controls. Dopamine (DA) dysfunction in the striatum (Str) and nucleus accumbens core (NAc) is thought to play a significant role in the pathophysiology of ADHD but data obtained with the SHR is equivocal. Using high-speed chronoamperometric recordings with carbon fiber microelectrodes, we found that the SHR/NCrl displayed decreased KCl-evoked DA release versus the WKY/NCrl model of ADHD-PI in the dorsal Str. The WKY/NCrl and the WKY/NHsd control did not differ from each other; however, the control SD released less DA than the WKY/NCrl model of ADHD-PI in the dorsal Str and less than the control WKY/NHsd in the intermediate Str. The SHR/NCrl had faster DA uptake in the ventral Str and NAc versus both control strains, while the WKY/NCrl model of ADHD-PI exhibited faster DA uptake in the NAc versus the SD control. These results suggest that increased surface expression of DA transporters may explain the more rapid uptake of DA in the Str and NAc of these rodent models of ADHD. PMID:22960443

  11. Role of dopamine D1-like receptor within the nucleus accumbens in acute food deprivation- and drug priming-induced reinstatement of morphine seeking in rats.

    PubMed

    Sadeghzadeh, Fatemeh; Babapour, Vahab; Haghparast, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine is a predominant neurotransmitter in the nervous system, which plays an important role in both drug priming- and cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine and heroin seeking. Therefore, in the present study, the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm was used to evaluate the effects of intra-accumbal administration of SCH23390 as a dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist on food deprivation (FD) and drug priming-induced reinstatement. Sixty-eight adult male albino Wistar rats weighing 200-280 g were bilaterally implanted by cannulae into the nucleus accumbens (NAc). For induction of the CPP, subcutaneous (sc) administration of morphine (5mg/kg) was used daily during a three-day conditioning phase. The conditioning score and locomotor activity were recorded by using the Ethovision software. Under extinction conditions, rats were given an 'off' period and were tested for FD-induced reinstatement following the 24-h or 48-h FD condition, and for drug priming-induced reinstatement under the sated condition following an injection of 0.5 and 1mg/kg (sc) morphine. In the next experiments, animals received different doses of intra-accumbal SCH23390 (0.25, 1 and 4 μg/0.5 μl saline) bilaterally and were subsequently tested for FD- and morphine priming-induced reinstatement. Our findings indicated that only a dose of 1mg/kg and not 0.5mg/kg of morphine induced the reinstatement of morphine. 24-h FD similar to 48-h FD induced the reinstatement of seeking behaviors facilitated by an ineffective dose of morphine (0.5mg/kg). Furthermore, the D1-like receptor antagonist attenuated FD- and drug priming-induced reinstatement dose-dependently. It is concluded that FD- and drug priming-induced reinstatement may be mediated, at least in some way, by activation of dopamine D1-like receptors in the NAc. PMID:25835321

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. S-(N, N-diethylcarbamoyl)glutathione (carbamathione), a disulfiram metabolite and its effect on nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex dopamine, GABA, and glutamate: a microdialysis study.

    PubMed

    Faiman, Morris D; Kaul, Swetha; Latif, Shaheen A; Williams, Todd D; Lunte, Craig E

    2013-12-01

    Disulfiram (DSF), used for the treatment of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) for over six decades, most recently has shown promise for treating cocaine dependence. Although DSF's mechanism of action in alcohol abuse is due to the inhibition of liver mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), its mechanism of action in the treatment of cocaine dependence is unknown. DSF is a pro-drug, forming a number of metabolites each with discrete pharmacological actions. One metabolite formed during DSF bioactivation is S-(N, N-diethylcarbamoyl) glutathione (carbamathione) (carb). We previously showed that carb affects glutamate binding. In the present studies, we employed microdialysis techniques to investigate the effect of carb administration on dopamine (DA), GABA, and glutamate (Glu) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), two brain regions implicated in substance abuse dependence. The effect of DSF on DA, GABA, and Glu in the NAc also was determined. Both studies were carried out in male rats. Carb (20, 50, 200 mg/kg i v) in a dose-dependent manner increased DA, decreased GABA, and had a biphasic effect on Glu, first increasing and then decreasing Glu in both the NAc and mPFC. These changes all occurred concurrently. After carb administration, NAc and mPFC carb, as well as carb in plasma, were rapidly eliminated with a half-life for each approximately 4 min, while the changes in DA, GABA, and GLu in the NAc and mPFC persisted for approximately two hours. The maximal increase in carb (Cmax) in the NAc and mPFC after carb administration was dose-dependent, as was the area under the curve (AUC). DSF (200 mg/kg i p) also increased DA, decreased GABA, and had a biphasic effect on Glu in the NAc similar to that observed in the NAc after carb administration. When the cytochrome P450 inhibitor N-benzylimidazole (NBI) (20 mg/kg i p) was administered before DSF dosing, no carb could be detected in the NAc and plasma and also no changes in NAc DA, GABA

  15. 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 psychopathic patients. Specifically, activation of the accumbal dopamine system is likely to underlie the high aggression observed in LAB rats. PMID:22608548

  16. Abuse-Related Neurochemical Effects of Para-Substituted Methcathinone Analogs in Rats: Microdialysis Studies of Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine and Serotonin.

    PubMed

    Suyama, Julie A; Sakloth, Farhana; Kolanos, Renata; Glennon, Richard A; Lazenka, Matthew F; Negus, S Stevens; Banks, Matthew L

    2016-01-01

    Methcathinone (MCAT) is a monoamine releaser and parent compound to a new class of designer drugs that includes the synthetic cathinones mephedrone and flephedrone. Using MCAT and a series of para-substituted (or 4-substituted) MCAT analogs, it has been previously shown that expression of abuse-related behavioral effects in rats correlates both with the volume of the para substituent and in vitro neurochemical selectivity to promote monoamine release via the dopamine (DA) versus serotonin (5-HT) transporters in rat brain synaptosomes. The present study used in vivo microdialysis to determine the relationship between these previous measures and the in vivo neurochemical selectivity of these compounds to alter nucleus accumbens (NAc) DA and 5-HT levels. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with bilateral guide cannulae targeting the NAc. MCAT and five para-substituted analogs (4-F, 4-Cl, 4-Br, 4-CH3, and 4-OCH3) produced dose- and time-dependent increases in NAc DA and/or 5-HT levels. Selectivity was determined as the dose required to increase peak 5-HT levels by 250% divided by the dose required to increase peak DA levels by 250%. This measure of in vivo neurochemical selectivity varied across compounds and correlated with 1) in vivo expression of abuse-related behavioral effects (r = 0.89, P = 0.02); 2) in vitro selectivity to promote monoamine release via DA and 5-HT transporters (r = 0.95, P < 0.01); and 3) molecular volume of the para substituent (r = -0.85, P = 0.03). These results support a relationship between these molecular, neurochemical, and behavioral measures and support a role for molecular structure as a determinant of abuse-related neurochemical and behavioral effects of MCAT analogs. PMID:26645638

  17. 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

  18. Muscarinic antagonists attenuate the increase in accumbens and striatum dopamine metabolism produced by clozapine but not by haloperidol.

    PubMed Central

    Rivest, R.; Marsden, C. A.

    1991-01-01

    1. The effect of the muscarinic antagonists, scopolamine and atropine, were examined on the increase in extracellular 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) in the nucleus accumbens and the striatum induced by haloperidol and clozapine by use of in vivo differential pulse voltammetry with carbon fibre electrodes in anaesthetized rats. 2. Animals received saline (1 ml kg-1, s.c.), scopolamine (1 mg kg-1, o.p.) or atropine (20 micrograms, i.c.v.) followed 15 min later by saline (10 microliters, i.c.v.), haloperidol (1 mg kg-1, s.c.) or clozapine (30 mg kg-1, i.p.) and extracellular DOPAC was simultaneously recorded in the nucleus accumbens and the striatum every 5 min for 60 min after drug administration. 3. Scopolamine or atropine alone had no effect on the DOPAC peak height but attenuated the increase in extracellular DOPAC induced by clozapine in both brain regions. Neither scopolamine nor atropine altered the haloperidol-induced increase in accumbens or striatal extracellular DOPAC. 4. The present results demonstrate that muscarinic antagonists attenuate the increase in accumbens and striatal dopamine metabolism in vivo produced by the atypical neuroleptic clozapine but not the haloperidol-induced increase in dopamine metabolism. The results indicate that central muscarinic receptors are involved in the actions on dopaminergic function of clozapine but not haloperidol. PMID:1786513

  19. 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.

  20. Orbitofrontal or accumbens dopamine depletion does not affect risk-based decision making in rats.

    PubMed

    Mai, Bettina; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2015-09-01

    Considerable evidence has implicated dopamine (DA) signals in target regions of midbrain DA neurons such as the medial prefrontal cortex or the core region of the nucleus accumbens in controlling risk-based decision-making. However, to date little is known about the contribution of DA in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the medial shell region of the nucleus accumbens (AcbS) to risk-based decision-making. Here we examined in rats the effects of 6-hydroxydopamine-induced DA depletions of the OFC and AcbS on risky choice using an instrumental two-lever choice task that requires the assessment of fixed within-session reward probabilities that were shifted across subsequent sessions, i.e., rats had to choose between two levers, a small/certain lever that delivered one certain food reward (one pellet at p = 1) and a large/risky lever that delivered a larger uncertain food reward with decreasing probabilities across subsequent sessions (four pellets at p = 0.75, 0.5, 0.25, 0.125, 0.0625). Results show that systemic administration of amphetamine or cocaine increased the preference for the large/risky lever. Results further demonstrate that, like sham controls, rats with OFC or AcbS DA depletion were sensitive to changes in probabilities for obtaining the large/risky reward across sessions and displayed probabilistic discounting. These findings point to the view that the basal capacity to evaluate the magnitude and likelihood of rewards associated with alternative courses of action as well as long-term changes of reward probabilities does not rely on DA input to the AcbS or OFC. PMID:25860659

  1. 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

  2. Experience-Dependent Effects of Cocaine Self-Administration/Conditioning on Prefrontal and Accumbens Dopamine Responses

    PubMed Central

    Ikegami, Aiko; Olsen, Christopher M.; D’Souza, Manoranjan S.; Duvauchelle, Christine L.

    2008-01-01

    Experiments were performed to examine the effects of cocaine self-administration and conditioning experience on operant behavior, locomotor activity, and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) dopamine (DA) responses. Sensory cues were paired with alternating cocaine and nonreinforcement during 12 (limited training) or 40 (long-term training) daily operant sessions. After limited training, NAcc DA responses to cocaine were significantly enhanced in the presence of cocaine-associated cues compared with nonreward cues and significantly depressed after cocaine-paired cues accompanied a nonreinforced lever response. PFC DA levels were generally nonresponsive to cues after the same training duration. However, after long-term training, cocaine-associated cues increased the magnitude of cocaine-stimulated PFC DA levels significantly over levels observed with nonreinforcement cues. Conversely, conditioned cues no longer influenced NAcc DA levels after long-term training. In addition, cocaine-stimulated locomotor activity was enhanced by cocaine-paired cues after long-term, but not after limited, training. Findings demonstrate that cue-induced cocaine expectation exerts a significant impact on dopaminergic and behavioral systems, progressing from mesolimbic to mesocortical regions and from latent to patent behaviors as cocaine and associative experiences escalate. PMID:17469929

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. After daily bingeing on a sucrose solution, food deprivation induces anxiety and accumbens dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance

    PubMed Central

    Avena, Nicole M.; Bocarsly, Miriam E.; Rada, Pedro; Kim, Agnes; Hoebel, Bartley G.

    2015-01-01

    Bingeing on sugar may activate neural pathways in a manner similar to taking drugs of abuse, resulting in related signs of dependence. The present experiments test whether rats that have been bingeing on sucrose and then fasted demonstrate signs of opiate-like withdrawal. Rats were maintained on 12-h deprivation followed by 12-h access to a 10% sucrose solution and chow for 28 days, then fasted for 36 h. These animals spent less time on the exposed arm of an elevated plus-maze compared with a similarly deprived ad libitum chow group, suggesting anxiety. Microdialysis revealed a concomitant increase in extracellular acetylcholine and decrease in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell. These results did not appear to be due to hypoglycemia. The findings suggest that a diet of bingeing on sucrose and chow followed by fasting creates a state that involves anxiety and altered accumbens dopamine and acetylcholine balance. This is similar to the effects of naloxone, suggesting opiate-like withdrawal. This may be a factor in some eating disorders. PMID:18325546

  8. After daily bingeing on a sucrose solution, food deprivation induces anxiety and accumbens dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance.

    PubMed

    Avena, Nicole M; Bocarsly, Miriam E; Rada, Pedro; Kim, Agnes; Hoebel, Bartley G

    2008-06-01

    Bingeing on sugar may activate neural pathways in a manner similar to taking drugs of abuse, resulting in related signs of dependence. The present experiments test whether rats that have been bingeing on sucrose and then fasted demonstrate signs of opiate-like withdrawal. Rats were maintained on 12-h deprivation followed by 12-h access to a 10% sucrose solution and chow for 28 days, then fasted for 36 h. These animals spent less time on the exposed arm of an elevated plus-maze compared with a similarly deprived ad libitum chow group, suggesting anxiety. Microdialysis revealed a concomitant increase in extracellular acetylcholine and decrease in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell. These results did not appear to be due to hypoglycemia. The findings suggest that a diet of bingeing on sucrose and chow followed by fasting creates a state that involves anxiety and altered accumbens dopamine and acetylcholine balance. This is similar to the effects of naloxone, suggesting opiate-like withdrawal. This may be a factor in some eating disorders. PMID:18325546

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Stimulant mechanisms of cathinones - effects of mephedrone and other cathinones on basal and electrically evoked dopamine efflux in rat accumbens brain slices.

    PubMed

    Opacka-Juffry, Jolanta; Pinnell, Thomas; Patel, Nisha; Bevan, Melissa; Meintel, Meghan; Davidson, Colin

    2014-10-01

    Mephedrone, an erstwhile "legal high", and some non-abused cathinones (ethcathinone, diethylpropion and bupropion) were tested for stimulant effects in vitro, through assessing their abilities to increase basal and electrically evoked dopamine efflux in rat accumbens brain slices, and compared with cocaine and amphetamine. We also tested mephedrone against cocaine in a dopamine transporter binding study. Dopamine efflux was electrically evoked and recorded using voltammetry in the rat accumbens core. We constructed concentration response curves for these cathinones for effects on basal dopamine levels; peak efflux after local electrical stimulation and the time-constant of the dopamine decay phase, an index of dopamine reuptake. We also examined competition between mephedrone or cocaine and [(125)I]RTI121 at the dopamine transporter. Mephedrone was less potent than cocaine at displacing [(125)I]RTI121. Mephedrone and amphetamine increased basal levels of dopamine in the absence of electrical stimulation. Cocaine, bupropion, diethylpropion and ethcathinone all increased the peak dopamine efflux after electrical stimulation and slowed dopamine reuptake. Cocaine was more potent than bupropion and ethcathinone, while diethylpropion was least potent. Notably, cocaine had the fastest onset of action. These data suggest that, with respect to dopamine efflux, mephedrone is more similar to amphetamine than cocaine. These findings also show that cocaine was more potent than bupropion and ethcathinone while diethylpropion was least potent. Mephedrone's binding to the dopamine transporter is consistent with stimulant effects but its potency was lower than that of cocaine. These findings confirm and further characterize stimulant properties of mephedrone and other cathinones in adolescent rat brain. PMID:24795175

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Enhanced dopamine D1 and BDNF signaling in the adult dorsal striatum but not nucleus accumbens of prenatal cocaine treated mice.

    PubMed

    Tropea, Thomas F; Kabir, Zeeba D; Kaur, Gagandeep; Rajadhyaksha, Anjali M; Kosofsky, Barry E

    2011-01-01

    Previous work from our group and others utilizing animal models have demonstrated long-lasting structural and functional alterations in the meso-cortico-striatal dopamine pathway following prenatal cocaine (PCOC) treatment. We have shown that PCOC treatment results in augmented D1-induced cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cocaine-induced immediate-early gene expression in the striatum of adult mice. In this study we further examined basal as well as cocaine or D1-induced activation of a set of molecules known to be mediators of neuronal plasticity following psychostimulant treatment, with emphasis in the dorsal striatum (Str) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero. Basally, in the Str of PCOC treated mice there were significantly higher levels of (1) CREB and Ser133 P-CREB (2) Thr34 P-DARPP-32 and (3) GluA1 and Ser 845 P-GluA1 when compared to prenatal saline (PSAL) treated mice. In the NAc there were significantly higher basal levels of (1) CREB and Ser133 P-CREB, (2) Thr202/Tyr204 P-ERK2, and (3) Ser845 P-GluA1. Following acute administration of cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) or D1 agonist (SKF 82958; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) there were significantly higher levels of Ser133 P-CREB, Thr34 P-DARPP-32, and Thr202/Tyr204 P-ERK2 in the Str that were evident in all animals tested. However, these cocaine-induced increases in phosphorylation were significantly augmented in PCOC mice compared to PSAL mice. In sharp contrast to the observations in the Str, in the NAc, acute administration of cocaine or D1 agonist significantly increased P-CREB and P-ERK2 in PSAL mice, a response that was not evident in PCOC mice. Examination of Ser 845 P-GluA1 revealed that cocaine or D1 agonist significantly increased levels in PSAL mice, but significantly decreased levels in the PCOC mice in both the Str and NAc. We also examined changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Our studies revealed significantly higher levels of the BDNF precursor, pro-BDNF, and one of its

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

    Recent evidence demonstrated that dopamine within the nucleus accumbens mediates consolidation of both associative and nonassociative memories. However, the specific contribution of the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, and of D1 and D2 receptors subtypes has not been yet clarified. The aim of this study was, therefore, to directly…

  20. Blockade of Dopamine Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Impairs Learning Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holtzman-Assif, Orit; Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments used rats to investigate the role of dopamine activity in learning to inhibit conditioned fear responses (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, rats systemically injected with the D2 dopamine antagonist, haloperidol, froze more across multiple extinction sessions and on a drug-free retention test than control rats. In…

  1. Tamping Ramping: Algorithmic, Implementational, and Computational Explanations of Phasic Dopamine Signals in the Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Kevin; Dayan, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that the phasic activity of dopamine neurons represents reinforcement learning’s temporal difference prediction error. However, recent reports of ramp-like increases in dopamine concentration in the striatum when animals are about to act, or are about to reach rewards, appear to pose a challenge to established thinking. This is because the implied activity is persistently predictable by preceding stimuli, and so cannot arise as this sort of prediction error. Here, we explore three possible accounts of such ramping signals: (a) the resolution of uncertainty about the timing of action; (b) the direct influence of dopamine over mechanisms associated with making choices; and (c) a new model of discounted vigour. Collectively, these suggest that dopamine ramps may be explained, with only minor disturbance, by standard theoretical ideas, though urgent questions remain regarding their proximal cause. We suggest experimental approaches to disentangling which of the proposed mechanisms are responsible for dopamine ramps. PMID:26699940

  2. Tamping Ramping: Algorithmic, Implementational, and Computational Explanations of Phasic Dopamine Signals in the Accumbens.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Kevin; Dayan, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Substantial evidence suggests that the phasic activity of dopamine neurons represents reinforcement learning's temporal difference prediction error. However, recent reports of ramp-like increases in dopamine concentration in the striatum when animals are about to act, or are about to reach rewards, appear to pose a challenge to established thinking. This is because the implied activity is persistently predictable by preceding stimuli, and so cannot arise as this sort of prediction error. Here, we explore three possible accounts of such ramping signals: (a) the resolution of uncertainty about the timing of action; (b) the direct influence of dopamine over mechanisms associated with making choices; and (c) a new model of discounted vigour. Collectively, these suggest that dopamine ramps may be explained, with only minor disturbance, by standard theoretical ideas, though urgent questions remain regarding their proximal cause. We suggest experimental approaches to disentangling which of the proposed mechanisms are responsible for dopamine ramps. PMID:26699940

  3. BMI Modulates Calorie-Dependent Dopamine Changes in Accumbens from Glucose Intake

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Gene-Jack; Tomasi, Dardo; Convit, Antonio; Logan, Jean; Wong, Christopher T.; Shumay, Elena; Fowler, Joanna S.; Volkow, Nora D.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Dopamine mediates the rewarding effects of food that can lead to overeating and obesity, which then trigger metabolic neuroadaptations that further perpetuate excessive food consumption. We tested the hypothesis that the dopamine response to calorie intake (independent of palatability) in striatal brain regions is attenuated with increases in weight. Method We used positron emission tomography with [11C]raclopride to measure dopamine changes triggered by calorie intake by contrasting the effects of an artificial sweetener (sucralose) devoid of calories to that of glucose to assess their association with body mass index (BMI) in nineteen healthy participants (BMI range 21–35). Results Neither the measured blood glucose concentrations prior to the sucralose and the glucose challenge days, nor the glucose concentrations following the glucose challenge vary as a function of BMI. In contrast the dopamine changes in ventral striatum (assessed as changes in non-displaceable binding potential of [11C]raclopride) triggered by calorie intake (contrast glucose – sucralose) were significantly correlated with BMI (r = 0.68) indicating opposite responses in lean than in obese individuals. Specifically whereas in normal weight individuals (BMI <25) consumption of calories was associated with increases in dopamine in the ventral striatum in obese individuals it was associated with decreases in dopamine. Conclusion These findings show reduced dopamine release in ventral striatum with calorie consumption in obese subjects, which might contribute to their excessive food intake to compensate for the deficit between the expected and the actual response to food consumption. PMID:25000285

  4. CRF acts in the midbrain to attenuate accumbens dopamine release to rewards but not their predictors

    PubMed Central

    Wanat, Matthew J.; Bonci, Antonello; Phillips, Paul E. M.

    2013-01-01

    Stressors impact dopamine-dependent behaviors such as motivation, though the underlying neurobiological mechanism is not well defined. We report that corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) acts within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to reduce the motivation to work for food rewards. CRF in the VTA regulates dopamine output in a stimulus- and pathway-specific manner, collectively offering a mechanism by which acute stress selectively regulates information transmission via the VTA to reprioritize motivated behavior. PMID:23416448

  5. Sensitized Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Terminal Responses to Methylphenidate and Dopamine Transporter Releasers after Intermittent-Access Self-Administration

    PubMed Central

    Calipari, Erin S.; Jones, Sara R.

    2014-01-01

    Long-access methylphenidate (MPH) self-administration has been shown to produce enhanced amphetamine potency at the dopamine transporter and concomitant changes in reinforcing efficacy, suggesting that MPH abuse may change the dopamine system in a way that promotes future drug abuse. While long-access self-administration paradigms have translational validity for cocaine, it may not be as relevant a model of MPH abuse, as it has been suggested that people often take MPH intermittently. Although previous work outlined the neurochemical and behavioral consequences of long-access MPH self-administration, it was not clear whether intermittent access (6 h session; 5min access/30min) would result in similar changes. For cocaine, long-access self-administration resulted in tolerance to cocaine’s effects on dopamine and behavior while intermittent-access resulted in sensitization. Here we assessed the neurochemical consequences of intermittent-access MPH self-administration on dopamine terminal function. We found increased maximal rates of uptake, increased stimulated release, and subsensitive D2-like autoreceptors. Consistent with previous work using extended-access MPH paradigms, the potencies of amphetamine and MPH, but not cocaine, were increased, demonstrating that unlike cocaine, MPH effects were not altered by the pattern of intake. Although the potency results suggest that MPH may share properties with releasers, dopamine release was increased following acute application of MPH, similar to cocaine, and in contrast to the release decreasing effects of amphetamine. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MPH exhibits properties of both blockers and releasers, and that the compensatory changes produced by MPH self-administration may increase the abuse liability of amphetamines, independent of the pattern of administration. PMID:24632529

  6. Sensitized nucleus accumbens dopamine terminal responses to methylphenidate and dopamine transporter releasers after intermittent-access self-administration.

    PubMed

    Calipari, Erin S; Jones, Sara R

    2014-07-01

    Long-access methylphenidate (MPH) self-administration has been shown to produce enhanced amphetamine potency at the dopamine transporter and concomitant changes in reinforcing efficacy, suggesting that MPH abuse may change the dopamine system in a way that promotes future drug abuse. While long-access self-administration paradigms have translational validity for cocaine, it may not be as relevant a model of MPH abuse, as it has been suggested that people often take MPH intermittently. Although previous work outlined the neurochemical and behavioral consequences of long-access MPH self-administration, it was not clear whether intermittent access (6 h session; 5 min access/30 min) would result in similar changes. For cocaine, long-access self-administration resulted in tolerance to cocaine's effects on dopamine and behavior while intermittent-access resulted in sensitization. Here we assessed the neurochemical consequences of intermittent-access MPH self-administration on dopamine terminal function. We found increased maximal rates of uptake, increased stimulated release, and subsensitive D2-like autoreceptors. Consistent with previous work using extended-access MPH paradigms, the potencies of amphetamine and MPH, but not cocaine, were increased, demonstrating that unlike cocaine, MPH effects were not altered by the pattern of intake. Although the potency results suggest that MPH may share properties with releasers, dopamine release was increased following acute application of MPH, similar to cocaine, and in contrast to the release decreasing effects of amphetamine. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MPH exhibits properties of both blockers and releasers, and that the compensatory changes produced by MPH self-administration may increase the abuse liability of amphetamines, independent of the pattern of administration. PMID:24632529

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The role of the nucleus accumbens shell in the mediation of the reinforcing properties of a safety signal in free-operant avoidance: dopamine-dependent inhibitory effects of d-amphetamine.

    PubMed

    Fernando, Anushka B P; Urcelay, Gonzalo P; Mar, Adam C; Dickinson, Tony A; Robbins, Trevor W

    2014-05-01

    Safety signals (SSs) have been shown to reinforce instrumental avoidance behavior due to their ability to signal the absence of an aversive event; however, little is known of their neural mediation. This study investigated whether infusions of d-amphetamine in the nucleus accumbens (Nac), previously shown to potentiate responding for appetitive conditioned reinforcers (CRfs), also regulate avoidance responding for a SS. Rats were trained on a free-operant task in which lever-press responses avoided shock and were reinforced with an auditory SS. Rats were then cannulated in the Nac core (NacC) or shell (NacS) and infused with d-amphetamine and, in separate NacS groups, other drugs, before extinction sessions with the SS present or absent following responding. Selective effects of d-amphetamine were found in the NacS, but not in the NacC, when the SS was present in the session. A significant increase in response rate during the presentation of the SS reflected a disruption of its fear-inhibiting properties. In parallel, a decrease in avoidance response rate reflected the reduced influence of the SS as a CRf. Inactivation of the NacS reduced avoidance responding only when the SS was present in the session, whereas the D1-D2 DA receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol reduced responding both before and during the SS regardless of the presence of the SS. Atomoxetine (ATO), a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, had no effect on responding. These results indicate a role for the NacS in the mediation of the conditioned reinforcing properties of a SS. These effects appear to be modulated by dopaminergic mechanisms but seem distinct from those previously reported with food-related CRfs. PMID:24336447

  17. Muscarinic regulation of dopamine and glutamate transmission in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jung Hoon; Adrover, Martín F.; Wess, Jürgen; Alvarez, Veronica A.

    2015-01-01

    Cholinergic transmission in the striatum functions as a key modulator of dopamine (DA) transmission and synaptic plasticity, both of which are required for reward and motor learning. Acetylcholine (ACh) can elicit striatal DA release through activation of nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) on DA axonal projections. However, it remains controversial how muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChRs) modulate striatal DA release, with studies reporting both potentiation and depression of striatal DA transmission by mAChR agonists. This study investigates the mAChR-mediated regulation of release from three types of midbrain neurons that project to striatum: DA, DA/glutamate, and glutamate neurons. We found that M5 mAChRs potentiate DA and glutamate release only from DA and DA/glutamate projections from the midbrain. We also show that M2/M4 mAChRs depress the nAChR-dependent mechanism of DA release in the striatum. These results suggest that M5 receptors on DA neuron terminals enhance DA release, whereas M2/M4 autoreceptors on cholinergic terminals inhibit ACh release and subsequent nAChR-dependent DA release. Our findings clarify the mechanisms of mAChR-dependent modulation of DA and glutamate transmission in the striatum. PMID:26080439

  18. GS 455534 selectively suppresses binge eating of palatable food and attenuates dopamine release in the accumbens of sugar-bingeing rats.

    PubMed

    Bocarsly, Miriam E; Hoebel, Bartley G; Paredes, Daniel; von Loga, Isabell; Murray, Susan M; Wang, Miaoyuan; Arolfo, Maria P; Yao, Lina; Diamond, Ivan; Avena, Nicole M

    2014-04-01

    Binge eating palatable foods has been shown to have behavioral and neurochemical similarities to drug addiction. GS 455534 is a highly selective reversible aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 inhibitor that has been shown to reduce alcohol and cocaine intake in rats. Given the overlaps between binge eating and drug abuse, we examined the effects of GS 455534 on binge eating and subsequent dopamine release. Sprague-Dawley rats were maintained on a sugar (experiment 1) or fat (experiment 2) binge eating diet. After 25 days, GS 455534 was administered at 7.5 and 15 mg/kg by an intraperitoneal injection, and food intake was monitored. In experiment 3, rats with cannulae aimed at the nucleus accumbens shell were maintained on the binge sugar diet for 25 days. Microdialysis was performed, during which GS 455534 15 mg/kg was administered, and sugar was available. Dialysate samples were analyzed to determine extracellular levels of dopamine. In experiment 1, GS 455534 selectively decreased sugar intake food was made available in the Binge Sugar group but not the Ad libitum Sugar group, with no effect on chow intake. In experiment 2, GS 455534 decreased fat intake in the Binge Fat group, but not the Ad libitum Fat group, however, it also reduced chow intake. In experiment 3, GS 455534 attenuated accumbens dopamine release by almost 50% in binge eating rats compared with the vehicle injection. The findings suggest that selective reversible aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 inhibitors may have the therapeutic potential to reduce binge eating of palatable foods in clinical populations. PMID:24603339

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. A Role for Accumbal Glycine Receptors in Modulation of Dopamine Release by the Glycine Transporter-1 Inhibitor Org25935

    PubMed Central

    Lidö, Helga Höifödt; Ericson, Mia; Marston, Hugh; Söderpalm, Bo

    2010-01-01

    Accumbal glycine modulates basal and ethanol-induced dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) as well as voluntary ethanol consumption. Also, systemic administration of the glycine transporter-1 inhibitor Org25935 elevates dopamine levels in nAc, prevents a further ethanol-induced dopamine elevation and robustly and dose-dependently decreases ethanol consumption in rats. Here we investigated whether Org25935 applied locally in nAc modulates dopamine release, and whether accumbal glycine receptors or NMDA receptors are involved in this tentative effect. We also addressed whether Org25935 and ethanol applied locally in nAc interact with dopamine levels, as seen after systemic administration. We used in vivo microdialysis coupled to HPLC-ED in freely moving male Wistar rats to monitor dopamine output in nAc after local perfusion of Org25935 alone, with ethanol, or Org25935-perfusion after pre-treatment with the glycine receptor antagonist strychnine or the NMDA receptor glycine site antagonist L-701.324. Local Org25935 increased extracellular dopamine levels in a subpopulation of rats. Local strychnine, but not systemic L-701.324, antagonized the dopamine-activating effect of Org25935. Ethanol failed to induce a dopamine overflow in the subpopulation responding to Org25935 with a dopamine elevation. The study supports a role for accumbal glycine receptors rather than NMDA receptor signaling in the dopamine-activating effect of Org25935. The results further indicate that the previously reported systemic Org25935–ethanol interaction with regard to accumbal dopamine is localized to the nAc. This adds to the growing evidence for the glycine receptor as an important player in the dopamine reward circuitry and in ethanol's effects within this system. PMID:21556278

  3. Native CB1 receptor affinity, intrinsic activity and accumbens shell dopamine stimulant properties of third generation SPICE/K2 cannabinoids: BB-22, 5F-PB-22, 5F-AKB-48 and STS-135.

    PubMed

    De Luca, Maria Antonietta; Castelli, M Paola; Loi, Barbara; Porcu, Alessandra; Martorelli, Mariella; Miliano, Cristina; Kellett, Kathryn; Davidson, Colin; Stair, Jacqueline L; Schifano, Fabrizio; Di Chiara, Gaetano

    2016-06-01

    In order to investigate the in vivo dopamine (DA) stimulant properties of selected 3rd generation Spice/K2 cannabinoids, BB-22, 5F-PB-22, 5F-AKB-48 and STS-135, their in vitro affinity and agonist potency at native rat and mice CB1 receptors was studied. The compounds bind with high affinity to CB1 receptors in rat cerebral cortex homogenates and stimulate CB1-induced [(35)S]GTPγS binding with high potency and efficacy. BB-22 and 5F-PB-22 showed the lowest Ki of binding to CB1 receptors (0.11 and 0.13 nM), i.e., 30 and 26 times lower respectively than that of JWH-018 (3.38 nM), and a potency (EC50, 2.9 and 3.7 nM, respectively) and efficacy (Emax, 217% and 203%, respectively) as CB1 agonists higher than JWH-018 (EC50, 20.2 nM; Emax, 163%). 5F-AKB-48 and STS-135 had higher Ki for CB1 binding, higher EC50 and lower Emax as CB1 agonists than BB-22 and 5F-PB-22 but still comparatively more favourable than JWH-018. The agonist properties of all the compounds were abolished or drastically reduced by the CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 (0.1 μM). No activation of G-protein was observed in CB1-KO mice. BB-22 (0.003-0.01 mg/kg i.v.) increased dialysate DA in the accumbens shell but not in the core or in the medial prefrontal cortex, with a bell shaped dose-response curve and an effect at 0.01 mg/kg and a biphasic time-course. Systemic AM251 (1.0 mg/kg i.p.) completely prevented the stimulant effect of BB-22 on dialysate DA in the NAc shell. All the other compounds increased dialysate DA in the NAc shell at doses consistent with their in vitro affinity for CB1 receptors (5F-PB-22, 0.01 mg/kg; 5F-AKB-48, 0.1 mg/kg; STS-135, 0.15 mg/kg i.v.). 3rd generation cannabinoids can be even more potent and super-high CB1 receptor agonists compared to JWH-018. Future research will try to establish if these properties can explain the high toxicity and lethality associated with these compounds. PMID:26686391

  4. Optical suppression of drug-evoked phasic dopamine release

    PubMed Central

    McCutcheon, James E.; Cone, Jackson J.; Sinon, Christopher G.; Fortin, Samantha M.; Kantak, Pranish A.; Witten, Ilana B.; Deisseroth, Karl; Stuber, Garret D.; Roitman, Mitchell F.

    2014-01-01

    Brief fluctuations in dopamine concentration (dopamine transients) play a key role in behavior towards rewards, including drugs of abuse. Drug-evoked dopamine transients may result from actions at both dopamine cell bodies and dopamine terminals. Inhibitory opsins can be targeted to dopamine neurons permitting their firing activity to be suppressed. However, as dopamine transients can become uncoupled from firing, it is unknown whether optogenetic hyperpolarization at the level of the soma is able to suppress dopamine transients. Here, we used in vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to record transients evoked by cocaine and raclopride in nucleus accumbens (NAc) of urethane-anesthetized rats. We targeted halorhodopsin (NpHR) specifically to dopamine cells by injecting Cre-inducible virus into ventral tegmental area (VTA) of transgenic rats that expressed Cre recombinase under control of the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter (TH-Cre+ rats). Consistent with previous work, co-administration of cocaine and raclopride led to the generation of dopamine transients in NAc shell. Illumination of VTA with laser strongly suppressed the frequency of transients in NpHR-expressing rats, but not in control rats. Laser did not have any effect on amplitude of transients. Thus, optogenetics can effectively reduce the occurrence of drug-evoked transients and is therefore a suitable approach for studying the functional role of such transients in drug-associated behavior. PMID:25278845

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Phasic Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens in Response to Pro-Social 50 kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tose, Amanda; Wanat, Matthew J.; Hart, Andrew S.; Hollon, Nick G.; Phillips, Paul E.M.; Schwarting, Rainer K.W.

    2014-01-01

    Rats emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) that are thought to serve as situation-dependent affective signals and accomplish important communicative functions. In appetitive situations, rats produce 50 kHz USVs, whereas 22 kHz USVs occur in aversive situations. Reception of 50 kHz USVs induces social approach behavior, while 22 kHz USVs lead to freezing behavior. These opposite behavioral responses are paralleled by distinct brain activation patterns, with 50 kHz USVs, but not 22 kHz USVs, activating neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). The NAcc mediates appetitive behavior and is critically modulated by dopaminergic afferents that are known to encode the value of reward. Therefore, we hypothesized that 50 kHz USVs, but not 22 kHz USVs, elicit NAcc dopamine release. While recording dopamine signaling with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, freely moving rats were exposed to playback of four acoustic stimuli via an ultrasonic speaker in random order: (1) 50 kHz USVs, (2) 22 kHz USVs, (3) time- and amplitude-matched white noise, and (4) background noise. Only presentation of 50 kHz USVs induced phasic dopamine release and elicited approach behavior toward the speaker. Both of these effects, neurochemical and behavioral, were most pronounced during initial playback, but then declined rapidly with subsequent presentations, indicating a close temporal relationship between the two measures. Moreover, the magnitudes of these effects during initial playback were significantly correlated. Collectively, our findings show that NAcc dopamine release encodes pro-social 50 kHz USVs, but not alarming 22 kHz USVs. Thus, our results support the hypothesis that these call types are processed in distinct neuroanatomical regions and establish a functional link between pro-social communicative signals and reward-related neurotransmission. PMID:25100595

  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. Methamphetamine-induced enhancement of hippocampal long-term potentiation is modulated by NMDA and GABA receptors in the shell-accumbens.

    PubMed

    Heysieattalab, Soomaayeh; Naghdi, Nasser; Hosseinmardi, Narges; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza; Haghparast, Abbas; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2016-08-01

    Addictive drugs modulate synaptic transmission in the meso-corticolimbic system by hijacking normal adaptive forms of experience-dependent synaptic plasticity. Psychostimulants such as METH have been shown to affect hippocampal synaptic plasticity, albeit with a less understood synaptic mechanism. METH is one of the most addictive drugs that elicit long-term alterations in the synaptic plasticity in brain areas involved in reinforcement learning and reward processing. Dopamine transporter (DAT) is one of the main targets of METH. As a substrate for DAT, METH decreases dopamine uptake and increases dopamine efflux via the transporter in the target brain regions such as nucleus accumbens (NAc) and hippocampus. Due to cross talk between NAc and hippocampus, stimulation of NAc has been shown to alter hippocampal plasticity. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that manipulation of glutamatergic and GABA-ergic systems in the shell-NAc modulates METH-induced enhancement of long term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus. Rats treated with METH (four injections of 5 mg/kg) exhibited enhanced LTP as compared to saline-treated animals. Intra-NAc infusion of muscimol (GABA receptor agonist) decreased METH-induced enhancement of dentate gyrus (DG)-LTP, while infusion of AP5 (NMDA receptor antagonist) prevented METH-induced enhancement of LTP. These data support the interpretation that reducing NAc activity can ameliorate METH-induced hippocampal LTP through a hippocampus-NAc-VTA circuit loop. Synapse 70:325-335, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27029021

  10. 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

  11. δ-Opioid and Dopaminergic Processes in Accumbens Shell Modulate the Cholinergic Control of Predictive Learning and Choice

    PubMed Central

    Laurent, Vincent; Bertran-Gonzalez, Jesus; Chieng, Billy C.

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making depends on the ability to extract predictive information from the environment to guide future actions. Outcome-specific Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT) provides an animal model of this process in which a stimulus predicting a particular outcome biases choice toward actions earning that outcome. Recent evidence suggests that cellular adaptations of δ-opioid receptors (DORs) on cholinergic interneurons (CINs) in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAc-S) are necessary for PIT. Here we found that modulation of DORs in CINs critically influences D1-receptor (D1R)-expressing projection neurons in the NAc-S to promote PIT. First, we assessed PIT-induced changes in signaling processes in dopamine D1- and D2-receptor-expressing neurons using drd2-eGFP mice, and found that PIT-related signaling was restricted to non-D2R-eGFP-expressing neurons, suggesting major involvement of D1R-neurons. Next we confirmed the role of D1Rs pharmacologically: the D1R antagonist SCH-23390, but not the D2R antagonist raclopride, infused into the NAc-S abolished PIT in rats, an effect that depended on DOR activity. Moreover, asymmetrical infusion of SCH-23390 and the DOR antagonist naltrindole into the NAc-S also abolished PIT. DOR agonists were found to sensitize the firing responses of CINs in brain slices prepared immediately after the PIT test. We confirmed the opioid-acetylcholinergic influence over D1R-neurons by selectively blocking muscarinic M4 receptors in the NAc-S, which tightly regulate the activity of D1Rs, a treatment that rescued the deficit in PIT induced by naltrindole. We describe a model of NAc-S function in which DORs modulate CINs to influence both D1R-neurons and stimulus-guided choice between goal-directed actions. PMID:24453326

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. Effects of iboga alkaloids on morphine and cocaine self-administration in rats: relationship to tremorigenic effects and to effects on dopamine release in nucleus accumbens and striatum.

    PubMed

    Glick, S D; Kuehne, M E; Raucci, J; Wilson, T E; Larson, D; Keller, R W; Carlson, J N

    1994-09-19

    Ibogaine, a naturally occurring alkaloid, has been claimed to be effective in treating addiction to opioid and stimulant drugs and has been reported to decrease morphine and cocaine self-administration in rats. The present study sought to determine if other iboga alkaloids, as well as the chemically related harmala alkaloid harmaline, would also reduce the intravenous self-administration of morphine and cocaine in rats. Because both ibogaine and harmaline induce tremors, an effect that may be causally related to neurotoxicity in the cerebellar vermis, the temorigenic activities of the other iboga alkaloids were assessed. Lastly, in view of the involvement of the dopaminergic mesolimbic system in the actions of drugs of abuse, the effects of some of the iboga alkaloids on extracellular levels of dopamine and its metabolites in the nucleus accumbens and striatum were determined. All of the tested alkaloids (i.e., ibogaine, tabernanthine, R- and S-coronaridine, R- and S-ibogamine, desethylcoronaridine, and harmaline) dose-dependently (2.5-80 mg/kg) decreased morphine and cocaine intake in the hour after treatment; decreases in morphine and cocaine intake intake were also apparent the day after administration of some but not all of these alkaloids (i.e., ibogaine, tabernanthine, desethylcoronaridine, and the R-isomers of coronaridine and ibogamine). In some rats, there were persistent decreases in morphine or cocaine intake for several days after a single injection or after two or three weekly injections of one or another of these alkaloids; R-ibogamine produced such effects more consistently than any of the other alkaloids.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7820611

  2. Microinjection of CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) peptide into the nucleus accumbens inhibits the cocaine-induced upregulation of dopamine receptors and locomotor sensitization.

    PubMed

    Peng, Qinghua; Sun, Xi; Liu, Ziyong; Yang, Jianghua; Oh, Ki-Wan; Hu, Zhenzhen

    2014-09-01

    Repeated exposure to addictive drugs enhances dopamine receptor (DR) signaling and the ultimate phosphorylation of the cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate (cAMP)-response element-binding protein (CREB)-regulated cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). These effects are known to contribute to the expression of behavioral sensitization. CART peptides are neuropeptides that modulate drug reward and reinforcement. The present experiments investigated the effects of CART 55-102 microinjection into the NAcc on (1) the phosphorylation of CREB, (2) cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling and (3) extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylated kinase signaling. Here, we show that repeated microinjections into the NAcc of CART 55-102 peptides (1.0 or 2.5μg, 0.5μl/side) attenuates cocaine-induced enhancements of D1R, D2R and D3R phosphorylation in this sites. Furthermore, the microinjection of CART 55-102 followed by repeated injections of cocaine (15mg/kg) dose-dependently blocked the enhancement of cAMP levels, PKA activity and pERK and pCREB levels on the fifth day of cocaine administration. The cocaine-induced locomotor activity and behavioral sensitization in rats were also inhibited by the 5-day-microinjection of CART peptides. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of CREB by cocaine in the NAcc was blocked by the CART 55-102 peptide via the inhibition of D1R and D2R stimulation, D3R phosphorylation, cAMP/PKA signaling and ERK phosphorylated kinase signaling. These effects may have played a compensatory inhibitory role in the behavioral sensitization of rats that received microinjections of CART 55-102. PMID:24953280

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Dopamine Reductions in the Nucleus Accumbens, but not the Medial Prefrontal Cortex, Impair Cincinnati Water Maze Egocentric and Morris Water Maze Allocentric Navigation in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats.

    PubMed

    Braun, Amanda A; Amos-Kroohs, Robyn M; Gutierrez, Arnold; Lundgren, Kerstin H; Seroogy, Kim B; Vorhees, Charles V; Williams, Michael T

    2016-08-01

    The nucleus accumbens (Nacc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) receive dopaminergic innervation from the ventral tegmental area and are involved in learning. Male rats with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced dopaminergic and noradrenergic reductions in the Nacc or mPFC were tested for allocentric and egocentric learning to determine their role in these forms of neuroplasticity. mPFC dopaminergic and noradrenergic reductions did not result in changes to either type of learning or memory. Nacc dopaminergic and noradrenergic reductions resulted in allocentric learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze (MWM) on acquisition, reversal, and probe trials. MWM cued performance was also affected, but straight-channel swim times and swim speed during hidden platform trials in the MWM were not affected. Nacc dopaminergic and noradrenergic reductions also impaired egocentric learning in the Cincinnati water maze (CWM). Nacc-lesioned animals tested in the CWM in an alternate path through the maze were not significantly affected. 6-OHDA injections in the Nacc resulted in 63 % dopamine and 62 % norepinephrine reductions in the Nacc and 23 % reductions in adjacent dorsal striatum. 6-OHDA injections in the mPFC resulted in 88 % reductions in dopamine and 59 % reductions in norepinephrine. Hence, Nacc dopamine and/or norepinephrine play a role in egocentric and allocentric learning and memory, while mPFC dopamine and norepinephrine do not. PMID:27003940

  9. Dopamine release in the lateral hypothalamus is stimulated by α-MSH in both the anticipatory and consummatory phases of feeding.

    PubMed

    Legrand, Romain; Lucas, Nicolas; Breton, Jonathan; Déchelotte, Pierre; Fetissov, Sergueï O

    2015-06-01

    α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), is a hypothalamic neuropeptide signaling satiation, but it is not known if α-MSH may stimulate dopamine release in a feeding control brain region of the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), during the anticipatory and consummatory phases of feeding behavior. To address these questions, dynamics of dopamine release were measured in 15 min microdialysis samples simultaneously from the LHA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) during consecutive exposure and provision of food and 1% sucrose in Wistar rats after overnight food deprivation. α-MSH was infused via the microdialysis probe either into the LHA or NAc starting before food exposure. Food, sucrose and water intakes were automatically monitored and analyzed concomitantly with microdialysis samples. We found that LHA-α-MSH-infused rats stopped eating earlier and consumed less food and sucrose as compared to control and NAc-α-MSH-infused rats. Exposure to food produced a peak of LHA dopamine in both LHA-α-MSH and NAc-α-MSH-infused rats but not in the controls. During food provision, LHA dopamine levels were strongly elevated in LHA-α-MSH infused rats, while delivery of α-MSH into the NAc induced a less intense increase of dopamine in both NAc and LHA. In all rats, LHA dopamine levels correlated inversely with sucrose intake. In conclusion, our study showed that α-MSH stimulates dopamine release in the LHA during both the anticipatory and consummatory phases of feeding, decreases food intake and inhibits sucrose intake. These data suggest that LHA dopamine release can be involved in α-MSH anorexigenic effects. PMID:25805178

  10. Cocaine self-administration disrupts mesolimbic dopamine circuit function and attenuates dopaminergic responsiveness to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Siciliano, Cody A; Ferris, Mark J; Jones, Sara R

    2015-08-01

    Dopaminergic projections from the ventral midbrain to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have long been implicated in encoding associations between reward availability and environmental stimuli. As such, this circuit is instrumental in guiding behaviors towards obtaining maximal rewards based on previous experience. Cocaine acts on the dopamine system to exert its reinforcing effects and it is thought that cocaine-induced dysregulation of dopamine neurotransmission contributes to the difficulty that cocaine addicts exhibit in selecting environmentally appropriate behaviors. Here we used cocaine self-administration combined with in vivo fast scan cyclic voltammetry in anesthetised rats to examine the function of the ventral tegmental area to NAc projection neurons. Over 5 days of cocaine self-administration (fixed-ratio 1; 1.5 mg/kg/injection; 40 injections/day), animals increased their rate of intake. Following cocaine self-administration, there was a marked reduction in ventral tegmental area-stimulated NAc dopamine release. Additionally, there was a decreased augmentation of stimulated dopamine overflow in response to a cocaine challenge. These findings demonstrate that cocaine induces a hypodopaminergic state, which may contribute to the inflexible drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors observed in cocaine abusers. Additionally, tolerance to the ability of cocaine to elevate dopamine may lead to increased cocaine intake in order to overcome decreased effects, another hallmark of cocaine abuse. PMID:26037018

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Injection of Cocaine-Amphetamine Regulated Transcript (CART) peptide into the nucleus accumbens does not inhibit caffeine-induced locomotor activity: Implications for CART peptide mechanism.

    PubMed

    Job, Martin O

    2016-09-01

    Much evidence suggests that intra-nucleus accumbens (NAc) CART peptide (CART 55-102) injection inhibits locomotor activity (LMA) when there is an increase in the release and activity of dopamine (DA) in the NAc. However, this hypothesis has not been fully tested. One way to examine this is to determine if there is a lack of effect of intra-NAc CART peptide on LMA that does not involve increases in DA release in the NAc. Several studies have suggested that caffeine-induced LMA does not involve extracellular DA release in the NAc core. Therefore, in this study, we have examined the effect of injections of CART peptide (2.5μg) into the NAc core on the locomotor effects of caffeine in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Several LMA relevant doses of caffeine were used (0, 10, 20mg/kg i.p.), and an inverted U response curve was found as expected. We determined, in the same animals, that intra-NAc CART peptide had no effect on caffeine-induced LMA whereas it blunted cocaine-mediated LMA, as shown by other reports. We also extended a previous observation in mice by showing that at a LMA activating dose of caffeine there is no alteration of CART peptide levels in the NAc of rats. Our study supports the hypothesis that the inhibitory effects of CART peptide in the NAc may be exerted only under conditions of increased extracellular DA release and activity in this region. Our results also suggest that intra-NAc CART 55-102 does not generally inhibit increases in LMA due to all drugs, but has a more specific inhibitory effect on dopaminergic neurotransmission. PMID:27168116

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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)…

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Addiction: Beyond dopamine reward circuitry

    SciTech Connect

    Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J.; Fowler, J.S.; Tomasi, D.; Telang, F.

    2011-09-13

    Dopamine (DA) is considered crucial for the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, but its role in addiction is much less clear. This review focuses on studies that used PET to characterize the brain DA system in addicted subjects. These studies have corroborated in humans the relevance of drug-induced fast DA increases in striatum [including nucleus accumbens (NAc)] in their rewarding effects but have unexpectedly shown that in addicted subjects, drug-induced DA increases (as well as their subjective reinforcing effects) are markedly blunted compared with controls. In contrast, addicted subjects show significant DA increases in striatum in response to drug-conditioned cues that are associated with self-reports of drug craving and appear to be of a greater magnitude than the DA responses to the drug. We postulate that the discrepancy between the expectation for the drug effects (conditioned responses) and the blunted pharmacological effects maintains drug taking in an attempt to achieve the expected reward. Also, whether tested during early or protracted withdrawal, addicted subjects show lower levels of D2 receptors in striatum (including NAc), which are associated with decreases in baseline activity in frontal brain regions implicated in salience attribution (orbitofrontal cortex) and inhibitory control (anterior cingulate gyrus), whose disruption results in compulsivity and impulsivity. These results point to an imbalance between dopaminergic circuits that underlie reward and conditioning and those that underlie executive function (emotional control and decision making), which we postulate contributes to the compulsive drug use and loss of control in addiction.

  3. The effects of GABAA and NMDA receptors in the shell-accumbens on spatial memory of METH-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Heysieattalab, Soomaayeh; Naghdi, Nasser; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza; Haghparast, Abbas; Mehr, Shahram Ejtemaei; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2016-03-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive and neurotoxic psychostimulant. Its use in humans is often associated with neurocognitive impairment and deficits in hippocampal plasticity. Striatal dopamine system is one of the main targets of METH. The dopamine neurons in the striatum directly or indirectly regulate the GABA and glutamatergic signaling in this region and thus their outputs. This is consistent with previous reports showing modification of neuronal activity in the striatum modulates the expression of hippocampal LTP and hippocampal-dependent memory tasks such as Morris water maze (MWM). Therefore, reversing or preventing METH-induced synaptic modifications via pharmacological manipulations of the shell-nucleus accumbens (shell-NAc) may introduce a viable therapeutic target to attenuate the METH-induced memory deficits. This study is designed to investigate the role of intra-shell NAc manipulation of GABAA and NMDA receptors and their interaction with METH on memory performance in MWM task. Pharmacological manipulations were performed in rats received METH or saline. We found systemic saline plus intra-shell NAc infusions of muscimol dose-dependently impaired performance, while bicuculline had no effect. Surprisingly, the intra-NAc infusions of 0.005μg/rat muscimol that has no effect on memory performance (ineffective dose) prevented METH-induced memory impairment. In the contrary, the intra-NAc infusions of bicuculline (0.2μg/rat) increased METH-induced memory impairment. However, pre-training intra-NAc infusions of D-AP5 dose-dependently impaired performance, while NMDA had no effect in rats received systemic saline (control group). The intra-NAc infusions with an ineffective dose of NMDA (0.1μg/rat) increased METH-induced memory impairment. Furthermore, intra-NAc infusions of D-AP5 with an ineffective dose (0.1μg/rat) prevented METH-induced memory impairment. Our result is consistent with the interpretation that METH-mediated learning deficit

  4. 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

  5. Overexpression of Shati/Nat8l, an N-acetyltransferase, in the nucleus accumbens attenuates the response to methamphetamine via activation of group II mGluRs in mice.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Yoshiaki; Ishikawa, Yudai; Iegaki, Noriyuki; Sumi, Kazuyuki; Fu, Kequan; Sato, Keiji; Furukawa-Hibi, Yoko; Muramatsu, Shin-Ichi; Nabeshima, Toshitaka; Uno, Kyosuke; Nitta, Atsumi

    2014-08-01

    A novel N-acetyltransferase, Shati/Nat8l, was identified in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of mice with methamphetamine (METH) treatment. Previously we reported that suppression of Shati/Nat8l enhanced METH-induced behavioral alterations via dopaminergic neuronal regulation. However, the physiological mechanisms of Shati/Nat8l on the dopaminergic system in the brain are unclear. In this study, we injected adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector containing Shati/Nat8l into the NAc or dorsal striatum (dS) of mice, to increase Shati/Nat8l expression. Overexpression of Shati/Nat8l in the NAc, but not in the dS, attenuated METH-induced hyperlocomotion, locomotor sensitization, and conditioned place preference in mice. Moreover, the Shati/Nat8l overexpression in the NAc attenuated the elevation of extracellular dopamine levels induced by METH in in vivo microdialysis experiments. These behavioral and neurochemical alterations due to Shati/Nat8l overexpression in the NAc were inhibited by treatment with selective group II metabotropic glutamate receptor type 2 and 3 (mGluR2/3) antagonist LY341495. In the AAV vector-injected NAc, the tissue contents of both N-acetylaspartate and N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG), endogenous mGluR3 agonist, were elevated. The injection of peptidase inhibitor of NAAG or the perfusion of NAAG itself reduced the basal levels of extracellular dopamine in the NAc of naive mice. These results indicate that Shati/Nat8l in the NAc, but not in the dS, plays an important suppressive role in the behavioral responses to METH by controlling the dopaminergic system via activation of group II mGluRs. PMID:24559655

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase knockout mice have alterations in dopamine signaling and are hypersensitive to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Schank, Jesse R; Ventura, Rossella; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Alcaro, Antonio; Cole, Charlene D; Liles, L Cameron; Seeman, Philip; Weinshenker, David

    2006-10-01

    Multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that the noradrenergic system provides both direct and indirect excitatory drive onto midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. We used DA beta-hydroxylase (DBH) knockout (Dbh-/-) mice that lack norepinephrine (NE) to determine the consequences of chronic NE deficiency on midbrain DA neuron function in vivo. Basal extracellular DA levels were significantly attenuated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate putamen (CP), but not prefrontal cortex (PFC), of Dbh-/- mice, while amphetamine-induced DA release was absent in the NAc and attenuated in the CP and PFC. The decrease in dopaminergic tone was associated with a profound increase in the density of high-affinity state D1 and D2 DA receptors in the NAc and CP, while DA receptors in the PFC were relatively unaffected. As a behavioral consequence of these neurochemical changes, Dbh-/- mice were hypersensitive to the psychomotor, rewarding, and aversive effects of cocaine, as measured by locomotor activity and conditioned place preference. Antagonists of DA, but not 5-HT, receptors attenuated the locomotor hypersensitivity to cocaine in Dbh-/- mice. As DBH activity in humans is genetically controlled and the DBH inhibitor disulfiram has shown promise as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine dependence, these results have implications for the influence of genetic and pharmacological DBH inhibition on DA system function and drug addiction. PMID:16395294

  12. D1 and D2 antagonists reverse the effects of appetite suppressants on weight loss, food intake, locomotion, and rebalance spiking inhibition in the rat NAc shell.

    PubMed

    Kalyanasundar, B; Perez, Claudia I; Luna, Alvaro; Solorio, Jessica; Moreno, Mario G; Elias, David; Simon, Sidney A; Gutierrez, Ranier

    2015-07-01

    Obesity is a worldwide health problem that has reached epidemic proportions. To ameliorate this problem, one approach is the use of appetite suppressants. These compounds are frequently amphetamine congeners such as diethylpropion (DEP), phentermine (PHEN), and bupropion (BUP), whose effects are mediated through serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopaminergic pathways. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell receives dopaminergic inputs and is involved in feeding and motor activity. However, little is known about how appetite suppressants modulate its activity. Therefore, we characterized behavioral and neuronal NAc shell responses to short-term treatments of DEP, PHEN, and BUP. These compounds caused a transient decrease in weight and food intake while increasing locomotion, stereotypy, and insomnia. They evoked a large inhibitory imbalance in NAc shell spiking activity that correlated with the onset of locomotion and stereotypy. Analysis of the local field potentials (LFPs) showed that all three drugs modulated beta, theta, and delta oscillations. These oscillations do not reflect an aversive-malaise brain state, as ascertained from taste aversion experiments, but tracked both the initial decrease in weight and food intake and the subsequent tolerance to these drugs. Importantly, the appetite suppressant-induced weight loss and locomotion were markedly reduced by intragastric (and intra-NAc shell) infusions of dopamine antagonists SCH-23390 (D1 receptor) or raclopride (D2 receptor). Furthermore, both antagonists attenuated appetite suppressant-induced LFP oscillations and partially restored the imbalance in NAc shell activity. These data reveal that appetite suppressant-induced behavioral and neuronal activity recorded in the NAc shell depend, to various extents, on dopaminergic activation and thus point to an important role for D1/D2-like receptors (in the NAc shell) in the mechanism of action for these anorexic compounds. PMID:25972577

  13. D1 and D2 antagonists reverse the effects of appetite suppressants on weight loss, food intake, locomotion, and rebalance spiking inhibition in the rat NAc shell

    PubMed Central

    Kalyanasundar, B.; Perez, Claudia I.; Luna, Alvaro; Solorio, Jessica; Moreno, Mario G.; Elias, David; Simon, Sidney A.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a worldwide health problem that has reached epidemic proportions. To ameliorate this problem, one approach is the use of appetite suppressants. These compounds are frequently amphetamine congeners such as diethylpropion (DEP), phentermine (PHEN), and bupropion (BUP), whose effects are mediated through serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopaminergic pathways. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell receives dopaminergic inputs and is involved in feeding and motor activity. However, little is known about how appetite suppressants modulate its activity. Therefore, we characterized behavioral and neuronal NAc shell responses to short-term treatments of DEP, PHEN, and BUP. These compounds caused a transient decrease in weight and food intake while increasing locomotion, stereotypy, and insomnia. They evoked a large inhibitory imbalance in NAc shell spiking activity that correlated with the onset of locomotion and stereotypy. Analysis of the local field potentials (LFPs) showed that all three drugs modulated beta, theta, and delta oscillations. These oscillations do not reflect an aversive-malaise brain state, as ascertained from taste aversion experiments, but tracked both the initial decrease in weight and food intake and the subsequent tolerance to these drugs. Importantly, the appetite suppressant-induced weight loss and locomotion were markedly reduced by intragastric (and intra-NAc shell) infusions of dopamine antagonists SCH-23390 (D1 receptor) or raclopride (D2 receptor). Furthermore, both antagonists attenuated appetite suppressant-induced LFP oscillations and partially restored the imbalance in NAc shell activity. These data reveal that appetite suppressant-induced behavioral and neuronal activity recorded in the NAc shell depend, to various extents, on dopaminergic activation and thus point to an important role for D1/D2-like receptors (in the NAc shell) in the mechanism of action for these anorexic compounds. PMID:25972577

  14. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions

    PubMed Central

    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V.; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y.

    2015-01-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subpopulation of dopamine neurons express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and make glutamatergic connections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and olfactory tubercle (OT) neurons. However, their glutamatergic connections across the forebrain have not been explored systematically. To visualize dopamine neuron forebrain projections and to enable photostimulation of their axons independent of transmitter status, we virally transfected VTA neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 fused to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (ChR2-EYFP) and used DATIREScre mice to restrict expression to dopamine neurons. ChR2-EYFP-expressing neurons almost invariably stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, identifying them as dopaminergic. Dopamine neuron axons visualized by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence projected most densely to the striatum, moderately to the amygdala and entorhinal cortex (ERC), sparsely to prefrontal and cingulate cortices, and rarely to the hippocampus. Guided by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence, we recorded systematically from putative principal neurons in target areas and determined the incidence and strength of glutamatergic connections by activating all dopamine neuron terminals impinging on recorded neurons with wide-field photostimulation. This revealed strong glutamatergic connections in the NAc, OT, and ERC; moderate strength connections in the central amygdala; and weak connections in the cingulate cortex. No glutamatergic connections were found in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, or prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that VTA dopamine neurons elicit widespread, but regionally distinct, glutamatergic signals in the forebrain and begin to define the dopamine neuron excitatory functional connectome. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopamine neurons are important for the control of motivated behavior and are involved in the pathophysiology of several major neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that some ventral midbrain

  15. Optogenetics reveals a role for accumbal medium spiny neurons expressing dopamine D2 receptors in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization

    PubMed Central

    Song, Shelly Sooyun; Kang, Byeong Jun; Wen, Lei; Lee, Hyo Jin; Sim, Hye-ri; Kim, Tae Hyong; Yoon, Sehyoun; Yoon, Bong-June; Augustine, George J.; Baik, Ja-Hyun

    2014-01-01

    Long-lasting, drug-induced adaptations within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been proposed to contribute to drug-mediated addictive behaviors. Here we have used an optogenetic approach to examine the role of NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. Adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) were delivered into the NAc of D2R-Cre transgenic mice. This allowed us to selectively photostimulate D2R-MSNs in NAc. D2R-MSNs form local inhibitory circuits, because photostimulation of D2R-MSN evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in neighboring MSNs. Photostimulation of NAc D2R-MSN in vivo affected neither the initiation nor the expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. However, photostimulation during the drug withdrawal period attenuated expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. These results show that D2R-MSNs of NAc play a key role in withdrawal-induced plasticity and may contribute to relapse after cessation of drug abuse. PMID:25352792

  16. 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

  17. Insulin enhances striatal dopamine release by activating cholinergic interneurons and thereby signals reward

    PubMed Central

    Stouffer, Melissa A.; Woods, Catherine A.; Patel, Jyoti C.; Lee, Christian R.; Witkovsky, Paul; Bao, Li; Machold, Robert P.; Jones, Kymry T.; de Vaca, Soledad Cabeza; Reith, Maarten E. A.; Carr, Kenneth D.; Rice, Margaret E.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin activates insulin receptors (InsRs) in the hypothalamus to signal satiety after a meal. However, the rising incidence of obesity, which results in chronically elevated insulin levels, implies that insulin may also act in brain centres that regulate motivation and reward. We report here that insulin can amplify action potential-dependent dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate–putamen through an indirect mechanism that involves striatal cholinergic interneurons that express InsRs. Furthermore, two different chronic diet manipulations in rats, food restriction (FR) and an obesogenic (OB) diet, oppositely alter the sensitivity of striatal DA release to insulin, with enhanced responsiveness in FR, but loss of responsiveness in OB. Behavioural studies show that intact insulin levels in the NAc shell are necessary for acquisition of preference for the flavour of a paired glucose solution. Together, these data imply that striatal insulin signalling enhances DA release to influence food choices. PMID:26503322

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Disruption of a dopamine receptor complex amplifies the actions of cocaine.

    PubMed

    Perreault, Melissa L; Hasbi, Ahmed; Shen, Maurice Y F; Fan, Theresa; Navarro, Gemma; Fletcher, Paul J; Franco, Rafael; Lanciego, José L; George, Susan R

    2016-09-01

    Cocaine-induced increases in dopamine signaling in nucleus accumbens (NAc) play a significant role in cocaine seeking behavior. The majority of cocaine addiction research has focused on neuroanatomically segregated dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-expressing neurons, yet an involvement for those NAc neurons coexpressing D1 and D2 receptors in cocaine addiction has never been explored. In situ proximity ligation assay, confocal fluorescence resonance energy transfer and coimmunoprecipitation were used to show native D1 and D2 receptors formed a heteromeric complex in D1/D2 receptor-coexpressing neurons in rat and non-human primate NAc. D1-D2 heteromer expression was lower in NAc of adolescent rats compared to their adult counterparts. Functional disruption of the dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer, using a peptide targeting the site of interaction between the D1 and D2 receptor, induced conditioned place preference and increased NAc expression of ∆FosB. D1-D2 heteromer disruption also resulted in the promotion, exacerbation and acceleration of the locomotor activating and incentive motivational effects of cocaine in the self-administration paradigm. These findings support a model for tonic inhibition of basal and cocaine-induced reward processes by the D1-D2 heteromer thus highlighting its potential value as a novel target for drug discovery in cocaine addiction. Given that adolescents show increased drug abuse susceptibility, an involvement for reduced D1-D2 heteromer function in the heightened sensitivity to the rewarding effects of cocaine in adolescence is also implicated. PMID:27480020

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Psychostimulants affect dopamine transmission through both dopamine transporter-dependent and independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    dela Peña, Ike; Gevorkiana, Ruzanna; Shi, Wei-Xing

    2015-10-01

    The precise mechanisms by which cocaine and amphetamine-like psychostimulants exert their reinforcing effects are not yet fully defined. It is widely believed, however, that these drugs produce their effects by enhancing dopamine neurotransmission in the brain, especially in limbic areas such as the nucleus accumbens, by inducing dopamine transporter-mediated reverse transport and/or blocking dopamine reuptake though the dopamine transporter. Here, we present the evidence that aside from dopamine transporter, non-dopamine transporter-mediated mechanisms also participate in psychostimulant-induced dopamine release and contribute to the behavioral effects of these drugs, such as locomotor activation and reward. Accordingly, psychostimulants could increase norepinephrine release in the prefrontal cortex, the latter then alters the firing pattern of dopamine neurons resulting in changes in action potential-dependent dopamine release. These alterations would further affect the temporal pattern of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, thereby modifying information processing in that area. Hence, a synaptic input to a nucleus accumbens neuron may be enhanced or inhibited by dopamine depending on its temporal relationship to dopamine release. Specific temporal patterns of dopamine release may also be required for certain forms of synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. Together, these effects induced by psychostimulants, mediated through a non-dopamine transporter-mediated mechanism involving norepinephrine and the prefrontal cortex, may also contribute importantly to the reinforcing properties of these drugs. PMID:26209364

  4. Decreased Caffeine-Induced Locomotor Activity via Microinjection of CART Peptide into the Nucleus Accumbens Is Linked to Inhibition of the pCaMKIIa-D3R Interaction.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiang; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Dong, Yun; Huang, Yonghong; Yang, Jianhua; Oh, Ki-Wan; Hu, Zhenzhen

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the inhibitory modulation of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides, particularly with respect to the function of the D3 dopamine receptor (D3R), which is activated by its interaction with phosphorylated CaMKIIα (pCaMKIIα) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). After repeated oral administration of caffeine (30 mg/kg) for five days, microinjection of CART peptide (0.08 μM/0.5 μl/hemisphere) into the NAc affected locomotor behavior. The pCaMKIIα-D3R interaction, D3R phosphorylation and cAMP/PKA/phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) signaling pathway activity were measured in NAc tissues, and Ca2+ influx and pCaMKIIα levels were measured in cultured NAc neurons. We found that CART attenuated the caffeine-mediated enhancement of depolarization-induced Ca2+ influx and CaMKIIα phosphorylation in cultured NAc neurons. Repeated microinjection of CART peptides into the NAc decreased the caffeine-induced enhancement of Ca2+ channels activity, pCaMKIIα levels, the pCaMKIIα-D3R interaction, D3R phosphorylation, cAMP levels, PKA activity and pCREB levels in the NAc. Furthermore, behavioral sensitization was observed in rats that received five-day administration of caffeine following microinjection of saline but not in rats that were treated with caffeine following microinjection of CART peptide. These results suggest that caffeine-induced CREB phosphorylation in the NAc was ameliorated by CART peptide due to its inhibition of D3R phosphorylation. These effects of CART peptides may play a compensatory role by inhibiting locomotor behavior in rats. PMID:27404570

  5. Decreased Caffeine-Induced Locomotor Activity via Microinjection of CART Peptide into the Nucleus Accumbens Is Linked to Inhibition of the pCaMKIIa-D3R Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Qiang; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Dong, Yun; Huang, Yonghong; Yang, Jianhua; Oh, Ki-Wan; Hu, Zhenzhen

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the inhibitory modulation of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides, particularly with respect to the function of the D3 dopamine receptor (D3R), which is activated by its interaction with phosphorylated CaMKIIα (pCaMKIIα) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). After repeated oral administration of caffeine (30 mg/kg) for five days, microinjection of CART peptide (0.08 μM/0.5 μl/hemisphere) into the NAc affected locomotor behavior. The pCaMKIIα-D3R interaction, D3R phosphorylation and cAMP/PKA/phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) signaling pathway activity were measured in NAc tissues, and Ca2+ influx and pCaMKIIα levels were measured in cultured NAc neurons. We found that CART attenuated the caffeine-mediated enhancement of depolarization-induced Ca2+ influx and CaMKIIα phosphorylation in cultured NAc neurons. Repeated microinjection of CART peptides into the NAc decreased the caffeine-induced enhancement of Ca2+ channels activity, pCaMKIIα levels, the pCaMKIIα-D3R interaction, D3R phosphorylation, cAMP levels, PKA activity and pCREB levels in the NAc. Furthermore, behavioral sensitization was observed in rats that received five-day administration of caffeine following microinjection of saline but not in rats that were treated with caffeine following microinjection of CART peptide. These results suggest that caffeine-induced CREB phosphorylation in the NAc was ameliorated by CART peptide due to its inhibition of D3R phosphorylation. These effects of CART peptides may play a compensatory role by inhibiting locomotor behavior in rats. PMID:27404570

  6. Inhibitory effects of ginseng total saponins on behavioral sensitization and dopamine release induced by cocaine.

    PubMed

    Lee, BomBi; Yang, Chae Ha; Hahm, Dae-Hyun; Lee, Hye-Jung; Han, Seung-Moo; Kim, Kyung-Soo; Shim, Insop

    2008-03-01

    Many studies have suggested that the behavioral and reinforcing effects of cocaine can be mediated by the central dopaminergic systems. It has been shown that repeated injections of cocaine produce an increase in locomotor activity, the expression of the immediate-early gene, c-fos, and the release of dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which is one of the main dopaminergic terminal areas. Several studies have shown that behavioral activation and changes in extracellular dopamine levels in the central nervous system induced by psychomotor stimulants are prevented by ginseng total saponins (GTS). In order to investigate the effects of GTS on the repeated cocaine-induced behavioral and neurochemical alterations, we examined the influence of GTS on the cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization and on c-Fos expression in the brain using immunohistochemistry in rats repeatedly treated with cocaine. We also examined the effect of GTS on cocaine-induced dopamine release in the NAc of freely moving rats repeatedly treated with cocaine using an in vivo microdialysis technique. Pretreatment with GTS (100, 200, 400 mg/kg, i.p.) 30 min before the daily injections of cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly inhibited the repeated cocaine-induced increase in locomotor activity as well as the c-Fos expression in the core and shell in a dose-dependent manner. Also, pretreatment with GTS significantly decreased the repeated cocaine-induced increase in dopamine release in the NAc. Our data demonstrate that the inhibitory effects of GTS on the repeated cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization were closely associated with the reduction of dopamine release and the postsynaptic neuronal activity. The results of the present study suggest that GTS may be effective for inhibiting the behavioral effects of cocaine by possibly modulating the central dopaminergic system. These results also suggest that GTS may prove to be a useful therapeutic agent for cocaine addiction. PMID:18310906

  7. Activation of mGluR7s inhibits cocaine-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior by a nucleus accumbens glutamate-mGluR2/3 mechanism in rats.

    PubMed

    Li, Xia; Li, Jie; Gardner, Eliot L; Xi, Zheng-Xiong

    2010-09-01

    The metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) has been reported to be involved in cocaine and alcohol self-administration. However, the role of mGluR7 in relapse to drug seeking is unknown. Using a rat relapse model, we found that systemic administration of AMN082, a selective mGluR7 allosteric agonist, dose-dependently inhibits cocaine-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior. Intracranial microinjections of AMN082 into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) or ventral pallidum, but not the dorsal striatum, also inhibited cocaine-primed reinstatement, an effect that was blocked by local co-administration of MMPIP, a selective mGluR7 antagonist. In vivo microdialysis demonstrated that cocaine priming significantly increased extracellular dopamine in the NAc, ventral pallidum and dorsal striatum, while increasing extracellular glutamate in the NAc only. AMN082 alone failed to alter extracellular dopamine, but produced a slow-onset long-lasting increase in extracellular glutamate in the NAc only. Pre-treatment with AMN082 dose-dependently blocked both cocaine-enhanced NAc glutamate and cocaine-induced reinstatement, an effect that was blocked by MMPIP or LY341497 (a selective mGluR2/3 antagonist). These data suggest that mGluR7 activation inhibits cocaine-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior by a glutamate-mGluR2/3 mechanism in the NAc. The present findings support the potential use of mGluR7 agonists for the treatment of cocaine addiction. PMID:20534005

  8. Effects of cocaine combined with a social cue on conditioned place preference and nucleus accumbens monoamines after isolation rearing in rats

    PubMed Central

    Grotewold, Susan K.; Wall, Vanessa L.; Goodell, Dayton J.; Hayter, Cassandra

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Social interaction during drug exposure can potentiate cocaine reward. Isolation rearing (ISO) during adolescence increases social interaction and may amplify this potentiation. Objectives The objectives of this study are to determine whether ISO alters conditioned place preference (CPP) for cocaine when combined with a social cue and to determine whether ISO alters the effects of cocaine when combined with social cue on nucleus accumbens shell (NAcS) dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT). Methods Male and female rats were either ISO or group (GRP) reared for 4 weeks during adolescence. CPP was performed using a low dose of cocaine (2 mg/kg or saline) with or without exposure to a novel same-sex conspecific during conditioning. In vivo microdialysis was performed using the same parameters. Results ISO rats engaged in more social and aggressive behaviors during conditioning relative to GRP. Cocaine reduced social and aggressive behaviors in all rats. CPP was not influenced by rearing condition. Cocaine produced significant CPP, and a social cue produced CPP only in males. In contrast, the interaction of cocaine and a social cue on NAcS DA and 5-HT differed depending upon rearing condition. In isolates, cocaine-induced DA was attenuated, while cocaine plus a social cue produced potentiated DA and 5-HT. Conclusions Exposure to a low dose of cocaine in the presence of a social cue produced additive effects on CPP while producing synergistic effects on DA and 5-HT in the NAcS of ISO rats. The aversive effects of this compound stimulus may negate the rewarding effects in isolates. PMID:24553577

  9. Amylin Modulates the Mesolimbic Dopamine System to Control Energy Balance

    PubMed Central

    Mietlicki-Baase, Elizabeth G; Reiner, David J; Cone, Jackson J; Olivos, Diana R; McGrath, Lauren E; Zimmer, Derek J; Roitman, Mitchell F; Hayes, Matthew R

    2015-01-01

    Amylin acts in the CNS to reduce feeding and body weight. Recently, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a mesolimbic nucleus important for food intake and reward, was identified as a site-of-action mediating the anorectic effects of amylin. However, the long-term physiological relevance and mechanisms mediating the intake-suppressive effects of VTA amylin receptor (AmyR) activation are unknown. Data show that the core component of the AmyR, the calcitonin receptor (CTR), is expressed on VTA dopamine (DA) neurons and that activation of VTA AmyRs reduces phasic DA in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC). Suppression in NAcC DA mediates VTA amylin-induced hypophagia, as combined NAcC D1/D2 receptor agonists block the intake-suppressive effects of VTA AmyR activation. Knockdown of VTA CTR via adeno-associated virus short hairpin RNA resulted in hyperphagia and exacerbated body weight gain in rats maintained on high-fat diet. Collectively, these findings show that VTA AmyR signaling controls energy balance by modulating mesolimbic DA signaling. PMID:25035079

  10. Ventral Tegmental Area Neurotensin Signaling Links the Lateral Hypothalamus to Locomotor Activity and Striatal Dopamine Efflux in Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Christa M.; Wong, Jenny-Marie T.; Leinninger, Gina M.; Allison, Margaret B.; Mabrouk, Omar S.; Kasper, Chelsea L.; Gonzalez, Ian E.; Mackenzie, Alexander; Jones, Justin C.

    2015-01-01

    Projections from the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) innervate components of the mesolimbic dopamine (MLDA) system, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc), to modulate motivation appropriately for physiologic state. Neurotensin (NT)-containing LHA neurons respond to multiple homeostatic challenges and project to the VTA, suggesting that these neurons could link such signals to MLDA function. Indeed, we found that pharmacogenetic activation of LHA NT neurons promoted prolonged DA-dependent locomotor activity and NAc DA efflux, suggesting the importance of VTA neurotransmitter release by LHA NT neurons for the control of MLDA function. Using a microdialysis-mass spectrometry technique that we developed to detect endogenous NT in extracellular fluid in the mouse brain, we found that activation of LHA NT cells acutely increased the extracellular concentration of NT (a known activator of VTA DA cells) in the VTA. In contrast to the prolonged elevation of extracellular NAc DA, however, VTA NT concentrations rapidly returned to baseline. Intra-VTA infusion of NT receptor antagonist abrogated the ability of LHA NT cells to increase extracellular DA in the NAc, demonstrating that VTA NT promotes NAc DA release. Thus, transient LHA-derived NT release in the VTA couples LHA signaling to prolonged changes in DA efflux and MLDA function. PMID:25734363

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Relative Timing Between Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation and Cocaine Determines the Impact on Reward and Dopamine Release.

    PubMed

    Chartoff, Elena H; Ebner, Shayla R; Sparrow, Angela; Potter, David; Baker, Phillip M; Ragozzino, Michael E; Roitman, Mitchell F

    2016-03-01

    Negative affective states can increase the rewarding value of drugs of abuse and promote drug taking. Chronic cocaine exposure increases levels of the neuropeptide dynorphin, an endogenous ligand at kappa opioid receptors (KOR) that suppresses dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and elicits negative affective states upon drug withdrawal. However, there is evidence that the effects of KOR activation on affective state are biphasic: immediate aversive effects are followed by delayed increases in reward. The impact of KOR-induced affective states on reward-related effects of cocaine over time is not known. We hypothesize that the initial aversive effects of KOR activation increase, whereas the delayed rewarding effects decrease, the net effects of cocaine on reward and dopamine release. We treated rats with cocaine at various times (15 min to 48 h) after administration of the selective KOR agonist salvinorin A (salvA). Using intracranial self-stimulation and fast scan cyclic voltammetry, we found that cocaine-induced increases in brain stimulation reward and evoked dopamine release in the NAc core were potentiated when cocaine was administered within 1 h of salvA, but attenuated when administered 24 h after salvA. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to show that KOR and prodynorphin mRNA levels were decreased in the NAc, whereas tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter mRNA levels and tissue dopamine content were increased in the ventral tegmental area 24 h post-salvA. These findings raise the possibility that KOR activation-as occurs upon withdrawal from chronic cocaine-modulates vulnerability to cocaine in a time-dependent manner. PMID:26239494

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Dopamine neurons control striatal cholinergic neurons via regionally heterogeneous dopamine and glutamate signaling

    PubMed Central

    Chuhma, Nao; Mingote, Susana; Moore, Holly; Rayport, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Summary Midbrain dopamine neurons fire in bursts conveying salient information. Bursts are associated with pauses in tonic firing of striatal cholinergic interneurons. While the reciprocal balance of dopamine and acetylcholine in the striatum is well known, how dopamine neurons control cholinergic neurons has not been elucidated. Here we show that dopamine neurons make direct fast dopaminergic and glutamatergic connections with cholinergic interneurons, with regional heterogeneity. Dopamine neurons drive a burst-pause firing sequence in cholinergic interneurons in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens, mixed actions in the accumbens core, and a pause in the dorsal striatum. This heterogeneity is due mainly to regional variation in dopamine-neuron glutamate cotransmission. A single dose of amphetamine attenuates dopamine neuron connections to cholinergic interneurons with dose-dependent regional specificity. Overall, the present data indicate that dopamine neurons control striatal circuit function via discrete, plastic connections with cholinergic interneurons. PMID:24559678

  20. Habituation of the responsiveness of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine transmission to taste stimuli

    PubMed Central

    De Luca, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    The presentation of novel, remarkable, and unpredictable tastes increases dopamine (DA) transmission in different DA terminal areas such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as estimated by in vivo microdialysis studies in rats. This effect undergoes adaptive regulation, as there is a decrease in DA responsiveness after a single pre-exposure to the same taste. This phenomenon termed habituation has been described as peculiar to NAc shell but not to NAc core and mPFC DA transmission. On this basis, it has been proposed that mPFC DA codes for generic motivational stimulus value and, together with the NAc core DA, is more consistent with a role in the expression of motivation. Conversely, NAc shell DA is specifically activated by unfamiliar or novel taste stimuli and rewards, and might serve to associate the sensory properties of the rewarding stimulus with its biological effect (Bassareo etal., 2002; Di Chiara etal., 2004). Notably, habituation of the DA response to intraoral sweet or bitter tastes is not associated with a reduction in hedonic or aversive taste reactions, thus indicating that habituation is unrelated to satiety-induced hedonic devaluation and that it is not influenced by DA alteration or depletion. This mini-review describes specific circumstances of disruption of the habituation of NAc shell DA responsiveness (De Luca etal., 2011; Bimpisidis etal., 2013). In particular, we observed an abolishment of NAc shell DA habituation to chocolate (sweet taste) by morphine sensitization and mPFC 6-hydroxy-dopamine hydrochloride (6-OHDA) lesion. Moreover, morphine sensitization was associated with the appearance of the habituation in the mPFC, and with an increased and delayed response of NAc core DA to taste in naive rats, but not in pre-exposed animals. The results here described shed light on the mechanism of the habituation phenomenon of mesolimbic and mesocortical DA transmission, and its putative role as a

  1. Habituation of the responsiveness of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine transmission to taste stimuli.

    PubMed

    De Luca, Maria A

    2014-01-01

    The presentation of novel, remarkable, and unpredictable tastes increases dopamine (DA) transmission in different DA terminal areas such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as estimated by in vivo microdialysis studies in rats. This effect undergoes adaptive regulation, as there is a decrease in DA responsiveness after a single pre-exposure to the same taste. This phenomenon termed habituation has been described as peculiar to NAc shell but not to NAc core and mPFC DA transmission. On this basis, it has been proposed that mPFC DA codes for generic motivational stimulus value and, together with the NAc core DA, is more consistent with a role in the expression of motivation. Conversely, NAc shell DA is specifically activated by unfamiliar or novel taste stimuli and rewards, and might serve to associate the sensory properties of the rewarding stimulus with its biological effect (Bassareo etal., 2002; Di Chiara etal., 2004). Notably, habituation of the DA response to intraoral sweet or bitter tastes is not associated with a reduction in hedonic or aversive taste reactions, thus indicating that habituation is unrelated to satiety-induced hedonic devaluation and that it is not influenced by DA alteration or depletion. This mini-review describes specific circumstances of disruption of the habituation of NAc shell DA responsiveness (De Luca etal., 2011; Bimpisidis etal., 2013). In particular, we observed an abolishment of NAc shell DA habituation to chocolate (sweet taste) by morphine sensitization and mPFC 6-hydroxy-dopamine hydrochloride (6-OHDA) lesion. Moreover, morphine sensitization was associated with the appearance of the habituation in the mPFC, and with an increased and delayed response of NAc core DA to taste in naive rats, but not in pre-exposed animals. The results here described shed light on the mechanism of the habituation phenomenon of mesolimbic and mesocortical DA transmission, and its putative role as a

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Effects of muscarinic M1 receptor blockade on cocaine-induced elevations of brain dopamine levels and locomotor behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Tanda, Gianluigi; Ebbs, Aaron L; Kopajtic, Theresa A; Elias, Lyn M; Campbell, Bettye L; Newman, Amy H; Katz, Jonathan L

    2007-04-01

    Cholinergic muscarinic systems have been shown to influence dopaminergic function in the central nervous system. In addition, previous studies of benztropine analogs that inhibit dopamine uptake and show antagonism at muscarinic receptors show these drugs to be less effective than cocaine in producing its various prototypic effects such as locomotor stimulation. Because previous pharmacological studies on these topics have used nonselective M1 antagonists, we examined the interactions of preferential M1 muscarinic antagonists and cocaine. Dose-dependent increases in extracellular levels of dopamine in selected brain areas, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, and the prefrontal cortex, were produced by cocaine but not by the preferential M1 antagonists telenzepine and trihexyphenidyl. When administered with cocaine, however, both M1 antagonists dose-dependently increased the effects of cocaine on dopamine in the NAc shell, and these effects were selective in that they were not obtained in the NAc core or in the prefrontal cortex. Telenzepine also increased locomotor activity, although the effect was small compared with that of cocaine. The locomotor stimulant effects of trihexyphenidyl, in contrast, approached those of cocaine. Telenzepine attenuated, whereas trihexyphenidyl enhanced the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine, with neither drug facilitating cocaine-induced stereotypy. The present results indicate that preferential antagonist effects at muscarinic M1 receptors do not uniformly alter all of the effects of cocaine, nor do they explain the differences in effects of cocaine and benztropine analogs, and that the alterations in dopamine levels in the NAc shell do not predict the behavioral effects of the interactions with cocaine. PMID:17255465

  6. Exposure to nicotine increases dopamine receptor content in the mesocorticolimbic pathway of rat dams and offspring during lactation.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, C R; Oliveira, E; Manhães, A C; Fraga, M C; Claudio-Neto, S; Younes-Rapozo, V; Lotufo, B M; Moura, E G; Lisboa, P C

    2015-09-01

    Nicotine exposure causes the release of dopamine from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We have previously shown that maternal exposure to nicotine during lactation causes hyperleptinemia in dams and pups, and leptin is known to decrease dopamine release from the VTA. Here we evaluated whether maternal exposure to nicotine during lactation causes changes in dopamine and leptin signaling pathways at the end of exposure and after 5days of withdrawal in the: VTA, NAc, arcuate nucleus (ARC) and dorsal striatum (DS). On postnatal day (PN) 2, lactating Wistar rats were implanted with minipumps releasing nicotine (NIC; 6mg/kg/day, s.c.) or saline (C) for 14days. Offspring were tested in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field on PN14 or PN20, and euthanized on PN15 or PN21. Entries into the open arms and head dips in the EPM were reduced in NIC pups at P20. At weaning (PN21), NIC dams had: lower tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), higher OBRb and SOCS3 contents in VTA; lower TH, higher D1R, D2R and DAT contents in NAc; higher TH content in DS; and higher D2R and SOCS3 contents in ARC. On PN15, NIC offspring had higher D1R, D2R and lower DAT contents in NAc, while on PN21, they had lower DAT in DS, and lower pSTAT3 content in ARC. We evidenced that postnatal nicotine exposure induces relevant changes in the brain reward system of dams and pups, possibly associated with changes in leptinemia and increased offspring anxiety-like behavior. PMID:26219213

  7. Ginkgo biloba extract enhances noncontact erection in rats: the role of dopamine in the paraventricular nucleus and the mesolimbic system.

    PubMed

    Yeh, K-Y; Wu, C-H; Tai, M-Y; Tsai, Y-F

    2011-08-25

    Penile erection is essential for successful copulation in males. Dopaminergic projections from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and from the VTA to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are thought to exert a facilitatory effect on penile erection. Our previous study showed that treatment with an extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves (EGb 761) enhances noncontact erection (NCE) in male rats. However, the relationship between NCE and dopaminergic activity in the PVN, VTA, and NAc remains unknown. The present study examined the relationship between NCE and central dopaminergic activity following EGb 761 treatment. We report here that, in comparison with the controls, there was a significant increase in the number of NCEs in rats after treatment with 50 mg/kg of EGb 761 for 14 days. EGb 761-treated rats also showed more NCEs than the same group before EGb 761 treatment. A significant increase in the expression of catecholaminergic neurons in the PVN and the VTA was seen by means of tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry, and tissue levels of dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the NAc were also markedly increased in the EGb 761-treated animals. However, the norepinephrine tissue levels in the PVN and the NAc in the EGb 761-treated group were not significantly different from those in the controls. Together, these results suggest that administration of EGb 761 increases dopaminergic activity in the PVN and the mesolimbic system to facilitate NCE in male rats. PMID:21640798

  8. 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

  9. The Anorexigenic Peptide Neuromedin U (NMU) Attenuates Amphetamine-Induced Locomotor Stimulation, Accumbal Dopamine Release and Expression of Conditioned Place Preference in Mice.

    PubMed

    Vallöf, Daniel; Vestlund, Jesper; Engel, Jörgen A; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2016-01-01

    Amphetamine dependence, besides its substantial economical consequence, is a serious cause of mortality and morbidity. By investigations of the neurochemical correlates through which addictive drugs, such as amphetamine, activate the mesoaccumbal dopamine system unique targets for treatment of drug addiction can be identified. This reward link consists of a dopamine projection from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) suggesting that these brain areas are important for reward. The physiological function of gut-brain peptides has expanded beyond food intake modulation and involves regulation of drug reinforcement. A novel candidate for reward regulation is the anorexigenic peptide neuromedin U (NMU). We therefore investigated the effects of intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of NMU on amphetamine's well-documented effects on the mesoaccumbal dopamine system, i.e. locomotor stimulation and accumbal dopamine release in mice. In addition, the effect of accumbal NMU administration on locomotor activity was examined. The effect of NMU, icv or intra-NAc, on the expression of conditioned place preference (CPP) was elucidated. Firstly, we showed that icv administration of NMU attenuate the amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation, accumbal dopamine release and expression of CPP in mice. Secondly, we found that a lower dose of NMU (icv) reduce the amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation in mice. Thirdly, we demonstrated that NMU administration into the NAc block the ability of amphetamine to cause a locomotor stimulation in mice. However, accumbal NMU administration did not attenuate the amphetamine-induced expression of CPP in mice. Our novel data suggest that central NMU signalling is involved in development of amphetamine dependence. PMID:27139195

  10. The Anorexigenic Peptide Neuromedin U (NMU) Attenuates Amphetamine-Induced Locomotor Stimulation, Accumbal Dopamine Release and Expression of Conditioned Place Preference in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Vallöf, Daniel; Vestlund, Jesper; Engel, Jörgen A.; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2016-01-01

    Amphetamine dependence, besides its substantial economical consequence, is a serious cause of mortality and morbidity. By investigations of the neurochemical correlates through which addictive drugs, such as amphetamine, activate the mesoaccumbal dopamine system unique targets for treatment of drug addiction can be identified. This reward link consists of a dopamine projection from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) suggesting that these brain areas are important for reward. The physiological function of gut-brain peptides has expanded beyond food intake modulation and involves regulation of drug reinforcement. A novel candidate for reward regulation is the anorexigenic peptide neuromedin U (NMU). We therefore investigated the effects of intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of NMU on amphetamine’s well-documented effects on the mesoaccumbal dopamine system, i.e. locomotor stimulation and accumbal dopamine release in mice. In addition, the effect of accumbal NMU administration on locomotor activity was examined. The effect of NMU, icv or intra-NAc, on the expression of conditioned place preference (CPP) was elucidated. Firstly, we showed that icv administration of NMU attenuate the amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation, accumbal dopamine release and expression of CPP in mice. Secondly, we found that a lower dose of NMU (icv) reduce the amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation in mice. Thirdly, we demonstrated that NMU administration into the NAc block the ability of amphetamine to cause a locomotor stimulation in mice. However, accumbal NMU administration did not attenuate the amphetamine-induced expression of CPP in mice. Our novel data suggest that central NMU signalling is involved in development of amphetamine dependence. PMID:27139195

  11. 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

  12. PPARγ Activation Attenuates Opioid Consumption and Modulates Mesolimbic Dopamine Transmission

    PubMed Central

    de Guglielmo, Giordano; Melis, Miriam; De Luca, Maria Antonietta; Kallupi, Marsida; Li, Hong Wu; Niswender, Kevin; Giordano, Antonio; Senzacqua, Martina; Somaini, Lorenzo; Cippitelli, Andrea; Gaitanaris, George; Demopulos, Gregory; Damadzic, Ruslan; Tapocik, Jenica; Heilig, Markus; Ciccocioppo, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    PPARγ is one of the three isoforms identified for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and is the receptor for the thiazolidinedione class of anti-diabetic medications including pioglitazone. PPARγ has been long studied for its role in adipogenesis and glucose metabolism, but the discovery of the localization in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons opens new vistas for a potential role in the regulation of reward processing and motivated behavior in drug addiction. Here, we demonstrate that activation of PPARγ by pioglitazone reduces the motivation for heroin and attenuates its rewarding properties. These effects are associated with a marked reduction of heroin-induced increase in phosphorylation of DARPP-32 protein in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and with a marked and selective reduction of acute heroin-induced elevation of extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the NAc shell, as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Through ex vivo electrophysiology in acute midbrain slices, we also show that stimulation of PPARγ attenuates opioid-induced excitation of VTA DA neurons via reduction of presynaptic GABA release from the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg). Consistent with this finding, site-specific microinjection of pioglitazone into the RMTg but not into the VTA reduced heroin taking. Our data illustrate that activation of PPARγ may represent a new pharmacotherapeutic option for the treatment of opioid addiction. PMID:25311134

  13. 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

  14. Sufficiency of Mesolimbic Dopamine Neuron Stimulation for the Progression to Addiction.

    PubMed

    Pascoli, Vincent; Terrier, Jean; Hiver, Agnès; Lüscher, Christian

    2015-12-01

    The factors causing the transition from recreational drug consumption to addiction remain largely unknown. It has not been tested whether dopamine (DA) is sufficient to trigger this process. Here we use optogenetic self-stimulation of DA neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to selectively mimic the defining commonality of addictive drugs. All mice readily acquired self-stimulation. After weeks of abstinence, cue-induced relapse was observed in parallel with a potentiation of excitatory afferents onto D1 receptor-expressing neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). When the mice had to endure a mild electric foot shock to obtain a stimulation, some stopped while others persevered. The resistance to punishment was associated with enhanced neural activity in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) while chemogenetic inhibition of the OFC reduced compulsivity. Together, these results show that stimulating VTA DA neurons induces behavioral and cellular hallmarks of addiction, indicating sufficiency for the induction and progression of the disease. PMID:26586182

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Route of Nicotine Administration Influences In Vivo Dopamine Neuron Activity: Habituation, Needle Injection, and Cannula Infusion

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yu; Zhang, Tianxiang; Li, Wei; Doyon, William; Dani, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Mesolimbic dopamine (DA) systems play a critical role in tobacco addiction driven by nicotine. Nicotine activates midbrain DA neurons and, consequently, elevates DA concentrations in targets, especially in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of the ventral striatum. The route of drug administration influences the impact of addictive drugs. Here, we examine whether the nature of the administration alters DA neuron activity and DA concentrations in the NAc. Using unhabituated naïve freely moving rats, microdialysis measurements showed that nicotine administered via needle injection caused greater DA release in the NAc than the same dose administered via an implanted chronic cannula. After habituation to the needle injections, however, there was no significant difference in DA signaling between the needle and cannula routes of administration. Consistent with these microdialysis results after habituation, our in vivo tetrode unit recordings showed no significant difference in midbrain DA neuron activity in response to nicotine delivered by needle or cannula as long as predictive cues were avoided. PMID:19714495

  18. Dopamine D1, D2, D3 Receptors, Vesicular Monoamine Transporter Type-2 (VMAT2) and Dopamine Transporter (DAT) Densities in Aged Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianjun; Xu, Jinbin; Cairns, Nigel J.; Perlmutter, Joel S.; Mach, Robert H.

    2012-01-01

    The dopamine D1, D2, D3 receptors, vesicular monoamine transporter type-2 (VMAT2), and dopamine transporter (DAT) densities were measured in 11 aged human brains (aged 77–107.8, mean: 91 years) by quantitative autoradiography. The density of D1 receptors, VMAT2, and DAT was measured using [3H]SCH23390, [3H]dihydrotetrabenazine, and [3H]WIN35428, respectively. The density of D2 and D3 receptors was calculated using the D3-preferring radioligand, [3H]WC-10 and the D2-preferring radioligand [3H]raclopride using a mathematical model developed previously by our group. Dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors are extensively distributed throughout striatum; the highest density of D3 receptors occurred in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The density of the DAT is 10–20-fold lower than that of VMAT2 in striatal regions. Dopamine D3 receptor density exceeded D2 receptor densities in extrastriatal regions, and thalamus contained a high level of D3 receptors with negligible D2 receptors. The density of dopamine D1 linearly correlated with D3 receptor density in the thalamus. The density of the DAT was negligible in the extrastriatal regions whereas the VMAT2 was expressed in moderate density. D3 receptor and VMAT2 densities were in similar level between the aged human and aged rhesus brain samples, whereas aged human brain samples had lower range of densities of D1 and D2 receptors and DAT compared with the aged rhesus monkey brain. The differential density of D3 and D2 receptors in human brain will be useful in the interpretation of PET imaging studies in human subjects with existing radiotracers, and assist in the validation of newer PET radiotracers having a higher selectivity for dopamine D2 or D3 receptors. PMID:23185343

  19. Enhanced synthesis and release of dopamine in transgenic mice with gain-of-function α6* nAChRs

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuexiang; Lee, Jang-Won; Oh, Gyeon; Grady, Sharon R.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Brunzell, Darlene H.; Cannon, Jason R.; Drenan, Ryan M.

    2014-01-01

    α6β2* nAChRs in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to nucleus accumbens (NAc) pathway are implicated in the response to nicotine, and recent work suggests these receptors play a role in the rewarding action of ethanol. Here, we studied mice expressing gain-of-function α6β2* nAChRs (α6L9’S mice) that are hypersensitive to nicotine and endogenous acetylcholine (ACh). Evoked extracellular dopamine (DA) levels were enhanced in α6L9’S NAc slices compared to control, non-transgenic (nonTg) slices. Extracellular DA levels in both nonTg and α6L9’S slices were further enhanced in the presence of GBR12909, suggesting intact DA transporter function in both mouse strains. Ongoing α6β2* nAChR activation by ACh plays a role in enhancing DA levels, as α-conotoxin MII completely abolished evoked DA release in α6L9’S slices and decreased spontaneous DA release from striatal synaptosomes. In HPLC experiments, α6L9’S NAc tissue contained significantly more DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and homovanillic acid (HVA) compared to nonTg NAc tissue. Serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and norepinephrine (NE) were unchanged in α6L9’S compared to nonTg tissue. Western blot analysis revealed increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression in α6L9’S NAc. Overall, these results show that enhanced α6β2* nAChR activity in NAc can stimulate DA production and lead to increased extracellular DA levels. PMID:24266758

  20. Enhanced synthesis and release of dopamine in transgenic mice with gain-of-function α6* nAChRs.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuexiang; Lee, Jang-Won; Oh, Gyeon; Grady, Sharon R; McIntosh, J Michael; Brunzell, Darlene H; Cannon, Jason R; Drenan, Ryan M

    2014-04-01

    α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)s in the ventral tegmental area to nucleus accumbens (NAc) pathway are implicated in the response to nicotine, and recent work suggests these receptors play a role in the rewarding action of ethanol. Here, we studied mice expressing gain-of-function α6β2* nAChRs (α6L9'S mice) that are hypersensitive to nicotine and endogenous acetylcholine. Evoked extracellular dopamine (DA) levels were enhanced in α6L9'S NAc slices compared to control, non-transgenic (non-Tg) slices. Extracellular DA levels in both non-Tg and α6L9'S slices were further enhanced in the presence of GBR12909, suggesting intact DA transporter function in both mouse strains. Ongoing α6β2* nAChR activation by acetylcholine plays a role in enhancing DA levels, as α-conotoxin MII completely abolished evoked DA release in α6L9'S slices and decreased spontaneous DA release from striatal synaptosomes. In HPLC experiments, α6L9'S NAc tissue contained significantly more DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, and homovanillic acid compared to non-Tg NAc tissue. Serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and norepinephrine (NE) were unchanged in α6L9'S compared to non-Tg tissue. Western blot analysis revealed increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression in α6L9'S NAc. Overall, these results show that enhanced α6β2* nAChR activity in NAc can stimulate DA production and lead to increased extracellular DA levels. PMID:24266758

  1. 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

  2. Mesolimbic dopamine signals the value of work.

    PubMed

    Hamid, Arif A; Pettibone, Jeffrey R; Mabrouk, Omar S; Hetrick, Vaughn L; Schmidt, Robert; Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Kennedy, Robert T; Aragona, Brandon J; Berke, Joshua D

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine cell firing can encode errors in reward prediction, providing a learning signal to guide future behavior. Yet dopamine is also a key modulator of motivation, invigorating current behavior. Existing theories propose that fast (phasic) dopamine fluctuations support learning, whereas much slower (tonic) dopamine changes are involved in motivation. We examined dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens across multiple time scales, using complementary microdialysis and voltammetric methods during adaptive decision-making. We found that minute-by-minute dopamine levels covaried with reward rate and motivational vigor. Second-by-second dopamine release encoded an estimate of temporally discounted future reward (a value function). Changing dopamine immediately altered willingness to work and reinforced preceding action choices by encoding temporal-difference reward prediction errors. Our results indicate that dopamine conveys a single, rapidly evolving decision variable, the available reward for investment of effort, which is employed for both learning and motivational functions. PMID:26595651

  3. Role of dopamine tone in the pursuit of brain stimulation reward.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Giovanni; Trujillo-Pisanty, Ivan; Cossette, Marie-Pierre; Conover, Kent; Shizgal, Peter

    2012-08-01

    Dopaminergic neurons contribute to intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and other reward-seeking behaviors, but it is not yet known where dopaminergic neurons intervene in the neural circuitry underlying reward pursuit or which psychological processes are involved. In rats working for electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle, we assessed the effect of GBR-12909 (1-[2-[bis(4-fluorophenyl)-methoxy]ethyl]-4-[3- phenylpropyl]piperazine), a specific blocker of the dopamine transporter. Operant performance was measured as a function of the strength and cost of electrical stimulation. GBR-12909 increased the opportunity cost most subjects were willing to pay for a reward of a given intensity. However, this effect was smaller than that produced by a regimen of cocaine administration that drove similar increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine levels in unstimulated rats. Delivery of rewarding stimulation to drug-treated rats caused an additional increase in dopamine concentration in the NAc shell in cocaine-treated, but not GBR-12909-treated, rats. These behavioral and neurochemical differences may reflect blockade of the norepinephrine transporter by cocaine but not by GBR-12909. Whereas the effect of psychomotor stimulants on ICSS has long been attributed to dopaminergic action at early stages of the reward pathway, the results reported here imply that increased dopamine tone boosts reward pursuit by acting at or beyond the output of the circuitry that temporally and spatially summates the output of the directly stimulated neurons underlying ICSS. The observed enhancement of reward seeking could be attributable to a decrease in the value of competing behaviors, a decrease in subjective effort costs, or an increase in reward-system gain. PMID:22875936

  4. The Modulatory Role of Dopamine in Anxiety-like Behavior.

    PubMed

    Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza; Khakpai, Fatemeh

    2015-09-01

    Anxiety is an unpleasant physiological state in which an overreaction to a situation occurs. It has been suggested that different brain regions are involved in the modulation and expression of anxiety, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal cortex. Dysfunction of neurotransmitters and their receptors can lead to many mood disorders like anxiety. There are evidences that dopamine plays an important role in anxiety modulation in different parts of the brain. Some evidence has shown that the mesolimbic, mesocortical and nigrostriatal dopaminergic system are involved in anxiety. Both dopamine D1 and D2 receptor mechanisms are important in mediating anxiety. The activity of dopaminergic system is modulated by several neurotransmitters, including glutamatergic neurons from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), GABAergic fibers from the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as well as the ventral pallidum and cholinergic fibers from the pedunculopontine nucleus and the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus. Thus, changes in the glutamatergic, and GABAergic, as well as mediated transmission in the mesolimbic, mesocortical and nigrostriatal dopaminergic system may influence anxiety-like behavior. PMID:26317601

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Music and the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Mavridis, Ioannis N

    2015-03-01

    Music is a universal feature of human societies over time, mainly because it allows expression and regulation of strong emotions, thus influencing moods and evoking pleasure. The nucleus accumbens (NA), the most important pleasure center of the human brain (dominates the reward system), is the 'king of neurosciences' and dopamine (DA) can be rightfully considered as its 'crown' due to the fundamental role that this neurotransmitter plays in the brain's reward system. Purpose of this article was to review the existing literature regarding the relation between music and the NA. Studies have shown that reward value for music can be coded by activity levels in the NA, whose functional connectivity with auditory and frontal areas increases as a function of increasing musical reward. Listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the NA. The functional connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences. Musical stimuli can significantly increase extracellular DA levels in the NA. NA DA and serotonin were found significantly higher in animals exposed to music. Finally, passive listening to unfamiliar although liked music showed activations in the NA. PMID:25102783

  9. Effects of pharmacologic dopamine β-hydroxylase inhibition on cocaine-induced reinstatement and dopamine neurochemistry in squirrel monkeys.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Debra A; Kimmel, Heather L; Manvich, Daniel F; Schmidt, Karl T; Weinshenker, David; Howell, Leonard L

    2014-07-01

    Disulfiram has shown promise as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine dependence in clinical settings, although it has many targets, and the behavioral and molecular mechanisms underlying its efficacy are unclear. One of many biochemical actions of disulfiram is inhibition of dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), the enzyme that converts dopamine (DA) to norepinephrine (NE) in noradrenergic neurons. Thus, disulfiram simultaneously reduces NE and elevates DA tissue levels in the brain. In rats, both disulfiram and the selective DBH inhibitor nepicastat block cocaine-primed reinstatement, a paradigm which is thought to model some aspects of drug relapse. This is consistent with some clinical results and supports the use of DBH inhibitors for the treatment of cocaine dependence. The present study was conducted to confirm and extend these results in nonhuman primates. Squirrel monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine were pretreated with disulfiram or nepicastat prior to cocaine-induced reinstatement sessions. Neither DBH inhibitor altered cocaine-induced reinstatement. Unexpectedly, nepicastat administered alone induced a modest reinstatement effect in squirrel monkeys, but not in rats. To investigate the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the behavioral results, the effects of DBH inhibition on extracellular DA were analyzed in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) using in vivo microdialysis in squirrel monkeys. Both DBH inhibitors attenuated cocaine-induced DA overflow in the NAc. Hence, the attenuation of cocaine-induced changes in accumbal DA neurochemistry was not associated with altered cocaine-seeking behavior. Overall, the reported behavioral effects of DBH inhibition in rodent models of relapse did not extend to nonhuman primates under the conditions used in the current studies. PMID:24817036

  10. Adaptations in the mesoaccumbens dopamine system resulting from repeated administration of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-selective agonists: relevance to cocaine sensitization.

    PubMed

    Henry, D J; Hu, X T; White, F J

    1998-11-01

    The mesoaccumbens dopamine (DA) system is intricately involved in sensitization to the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. Among the adaptations implicated in cocaine sensitization are transient subsensitivity of impulse-regulating DA D2 autoreceptors on ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons leading to hyperactivity of the mesoaccumbens DA pathway, and persistently enhanced DA D1 receptor responses of nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons. We have tested the hypothesis that both of these adaptations are necessary to produce cocaine sensitization. We injected rats twice daily for 2 weeks with the selective DA D1 class receptor agonist SKF 38393, the DA D2 class receptor agonist quinpirole, or both. We then used single-cell recording procedures to determine possible alterations in VTA DA autoreceptor sensitivity and NAc D1 receptor sensitivity at three withdrawal times: 1 day, 1 week and 1 month. We also tested whether these treatments produced cross-sensitization to cocaine at each withdrawal time. Repeated quinpirole treatment produced a reduction in VTA autoreceptor sensitivity and cross-sensitization to cocaine, but these effects lasted for less than 1 week. Repeated SKF 38393 treatment produced enhanced NAc D1 responses which lasted for 1 week and cross-sensitization to cocaine which was only evident after 1 week of withdrawal. Repeated treatment with the combination of the two agonists transiently down-regulated autoreceptor sensitivity, enhanced and prolonged D1 receptor supersensitivity (lasting 1 month), and produced enduring cross-sensitization to cocaine. These results suggest that neuroadaptations within both the VTA and NAc may be necessary for the induction of enduring cocaine sensitization. PMID:9860115

  11. Inhibitory Input from the Lateral Hypothalamus to the Ventral Tegmental Area Disinhibits Dopamine Neurons and Promotes Behavioral Activation.

    PubMed

    Nieh, Edward H; Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Matthews, Gillian A; Presbrey, Kara N; Wichmann, Romy; Leppla, Christopher A; Izadmehr, Ehsan M; Tye, Kay M

    2016-06-15

    Projections from the lateral hypothalamus (LH) to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), containing both GABAergic and glutamatergic components, encode conditioned responses and control compulsive reward-seeking behavior. GABAergic neurons in the LH have been shown to mediate appetitive and feeding-related behaviors. Here we show that the GABAergic component of the LH-VTA pathway supports positive reinforcement and place preference, while the glutamatergic component mediates place avoidance. In addition, our results indicate that photoactivation of these projections modulates other behaviors, such as social interaction and perseverant investigation of a novel object. We provide evidence that photostimulation of the GABAergic LH-VTA component, but not the glutamatergic component, increases dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) via inhibition of local VTA GABAergic neurons. Our study clarifies how GABAergic LH inputs to the VTA can contribute to generalized behavioral activation across multiple contexts, consistent with a role in increasing motivational salience. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27238864

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Autoradiography of dopamine receptors and dopamine uptake sites in the spontaneously hypertensive rat

    SciTech Connect

    Kujirai, K.; Przedborski, S.; Kostic, V.; Jackson-Lewis, V.; Fahn, S.; Cadet, J.L. )

    1990-11-01

    We examined the status of dopamine (DA) D1 and D2 receptors by using (3H)SCH 23390 and (3H)spiperone binding, respectively, and DA uptake sites by using (3H)mazindol binding in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. SHR showed significantly higher (3H)SCH 23390 and (3H)spiperone binding in the caudate-putamen (CPu), the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the olfactory tubercle (OT) in comparison to the SD rats. There were no significant differences in (3H)mazindol-labeled DA uptake sites between the two strains. Unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection into the striatum resulted in more than 90% depletion of DA uptake sites in the CPu in both strains. 6-OHDA-induced DA depletion was associated with significant increases in striatal (3H)spiperone binding which were of similar magnitude in the SD rats (+64.1%) and SHR (+51.3%). There were only small decreases (-5.4%) in D1 receptor binding in the dorsolateral aspect of the CPu in the SHR, whereas there were no changes in striatal D1 receptors in the SD rats. These results indicate that, although the SHR have higher concentrations of both D1 and D2 receptors in the basal ganglia, these receptors are regulated in a fashion similar to DA receptors in SD rats after 6-OHDA-induced striatal DA depletion.

  15. Protein complex formation and intranuclear dynamics of NAC1 in cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Naomi; Kato, Hiroaki; Sakashita, Gyosuke; Nariai, Yuko; Nakayama, Kentaro; Kyo, Satoru; Urano, Takeshi

    2016-09-15

    Nucleus accumbens-associated protein 1 (NAC1) is a cancer-related transcription regulator protein that is also involved in the pluripotency and differentiation of embryonic stem cells. NAC1 is overexpressed in various carcinomas including ovarian, cervical, breast, and pancreatic carcinomas. NAC1 knock-down was previously shown to result in the apoptosis of ovarian cancer cell lines and to rescue their sensitivity to chemotherapy, suggesting that NAC1 may be a potential therapeutic target, but protein complex formation and the dynamics of intranuclear NAC1 in cancer cells remain poorly understood. In this study, analysis of HeLa cell lysates by fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) on a sizing column showed that the NAC1 peak corresponded to an apparent molecular mass of 300-500 kDa, which is larger than the estimated molecular mass (58 kDa) of the protein. Furthermore, live cell photobleaching analyses with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-fused NAC1 proteins revealed the intranuclear dynamics of NAC1. Collectively our results demonstrate that NAC1 forms a protein complex to function as a transcriptional regulator in cancer cells. PMID:27424155

  16. c-Fos induction in mesotelencephalic dopamine pathway projection targets and dorsal striatum following oral intake of sugars and fats in rats.

    PubMed

    Dela Cruz, J A D; Coke, T; Karagiorgis, T; Sampson, C; Icaza-Cukali, D; Kest, K; Ranaldi, R; Bodnar, R J

    2015-02-01

    Overconsumption of nutrients high in fats and sugars can lead to obesity. Previous studies indicate that sugar or fat consumption activate individual brain sites using Fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI). Sugars and fats also elicit conditioned flavor preferences (CFP) that are differentially mediated by flavor-flavor (orosensory: f/f) and flavor-nutrient (post-ingestive: f/n) processes. Dopamine (DA) signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the amygdala (AMY) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc), has been implicated in acquisition and expression of fat- and sugar-CFP. The present study examined the effects of acute consumption of fat (corn oil: f/f and f/n), glucose (f/f and f/n), fructose, (f/f only), saccharin, xanthan gum or water upon simultaneous FLI activation of DA mesotelencephalic nuclei (ventral tegmental area (VTA)) and projections (infralimbic and prelimbic mPFC, basolateral and central-cortico-medial AMY, core and shell of NAc as well as the dorsal striatum). Consumption of corn oil solutions, isocaloric to glucose and fructose, significantly increased FLI in all sites except for the NAc shell. Glucose intake significantly increased FLI in both AMY areas, dorsal striatum and NAc core, but not in either mPFC area, VTA or Nac shell. Correspondingly, fructose intake significantly increased FLI in the both AMY areas, the infralimbic mPFC and dorsal striatum, but not the prelimbic mPFC, VTA or either NAc area. Saccharin and xanthan gum intake failed to activate FLI relative to water. When significant FLI activation occurred, highly positive relationships were observed among sites, supporting the idea of activation of a distributed brain network mediating sugar and fat intake. PMID:25460109

  17. Dopamine, behavioral economics, and effort.

    PubMed

    Salamone, John D; Correa, Merce; Farrar, Andrew M; Nunes, Eric J; Pardo, Marta

    2009-01-01

    There are numerous problems with the hypothesis that brain dopamine (DA) systems, particularly in the nucleus accumbens, directly mediate the rewarding or primary motivational characteristics of natural stimuli such as food. Research and theory related to the functions of mesolimbic DA are undergoing a substantial conceptual restructuring, with the traditional emphasis on hedonia and primary reward yielding to other concepts and lines of inquiry. The present review is focused upon the involvement of nucleus accumbens DA in behavioral activation and effort-related processes. Viewed from the framework of behavioral economics, the effects of accumbens DA depletions and antagonism on food-reinforced behavior are highly dependent upon the work requirements of the instrumental task, and DA depleted rats are more sensitive to increases in response costs (i.e., ratio requirements). Moreover, interference with accumbens DA transmission exerts a powerful influence over effort-related choice behavior. Rats with accumbens DA depletions or antagonism reallocate their instrumental behavior away from food-reinforced tasks that have high response requirements, and instead these rats select a less-effortful type of food-seeking behavior. Nucleus accumbens DA and adenosine interact in the regulation of effort-related functions, and other brain structures (anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, ventral pallidum) also are involved. Studies of the brain systems regulating effort-based processes may have implications for understanding drug abuse, as well as energy-related disorders such as psychomotor slowing, fatigue or anergia in depression and other neurological disorders. PMID:19826615

  18. Dopamine and binge eating behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Bello, Nicholas T.; Hajnal, Andras

    2010-01-01

    Central dopaminergic mechanisms are involved in the motivational aspects of eating and food choices. This review focuses on human and animal data examining the importance of dopamine on binge eating behaviors. Early works examining dopamine metabolites in the cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of bulimic individuals suggested decreased dopamine turnover during the active phase of the illness. While neuroimaging studies of dopamine mechanisms in bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) are limited, genetic studies in humans have implicated an increased frequency of dopamine transporter and associated D2 receptor polymorphisms with binge pathology. Recent examinations of rodent models of dietary-induced binge eating (DIBE) have investigated plausible dopamine mechanisms involved in sustaining binge eating behaviors. In DIBE models, highly palatable foods (fats, sugars and their combination), as well as restricted access conditions appear to promote ingestive responses and result in sustained dopamine stimulation within the nucleus accumbens. Taken together with studies examining the comorbidity of illicit drug use and eating disorders, the data reviewed here support a role for dopamine in perpetuating the compulsive feeding patterns of BN and BED. As such, we propose that sustained stimulation of the dopamine systems by bingeing promoted by preexisting conditions (e.g., genetic traits, dietary restraint, stress, etc.) results in progressive impairments of dopamine signaling. To disrupt this vicious cycle, novel research-based treatment options aiming at the neural substrates of compulsive eating patterns are necessary. PMID:20417658

  19. Increased extracellular dopamine concentrations and FosB/DeltaFosB expression in striatal brain areas of heterozygous GDNF knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Airavaara, Mikko; Planken, Anu; Gäddnäs, Helena; Piepponen, Timo Petteri; Saarma, Mart; Ahtee, Liisa

    2004-11-01

    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been shown to be involved in the maintenance of striatal dopaminergic neurons. To study whether reduced levels of endogenous GDNF affect the striatal dopaminergic transmission we estimated the basal extracellular levels of dopamine in vivo, the basal expression of FosB-related proteins in striatal brain areas as well as the effects of acute and repeated cocaine on locomotor activity and dopamine output in mice lacking one GDNF allele (heterozygous GDNF+/- mice). As expected the striatal GDNF protein content was found to be smaller in the GDNF+/- mice than in their wild-type littermates. Unexpectedly the extracellular dopamine concentration in the GDNF+/- mice in the dorsal striatum (CPu) was 2.0-fold, and in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) 1.6-fold the concentration found in the wild-type littermates. Also FosB/DeltaFosB-like immunoreactivity was found to be elevated in the CPu as well as in the core and in the shell of NAc of the GDNF+/- mice as compared with the wild-type mice. This suggests chronic postsynaptic activation of these brain areas and is in line with elevated extracellular dopamine concentrations. Cocaine's effects acutely and after repeated treatment on locomotor activity were similar in the GDNF+/- and the wild-type mice. Neither did cocaine's acute effects on dopamine output differ between the mice of the two strains. Our findings demonstrate that reduced levels of endogenous GDNF induce alterations in dorsal striatal and accumbal dopaminergic transmission, and stress the importance of endogenous GDNF in the regulation of the dopaminergic neurons. PMID:15525275

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Deficits of mesolimbic dopamine neurotransmission in rat dietary obesity.

    PubMed

    Geiger, B M; Haburcak, M; Avena, N M; Moyer, M C; Hoebel, B G; Pothos, E N

    2009-04-10

    Increased caloric intake in dietary obesity could be driven by central mechanisms that regulate reward-seeking behavior. The mesolimbic dopamine system, and the nucleus accumbens in particular, underlies both food and drug reward. We investigated whether rat dietary obesity is linked to changes in dopaminergic neurotransmission in that region. Sprague-Dawley rats were placed on a cafeteria-style diet to induce obesity or a laboratory chow diet to maintain normal weight gain. Extracellular dopamine levels were measured by in vivo microdialysis. Electrically evoked dopamine release was measured ex vivo in coronal slices of the nucleus accumbens and the dorsal striatum using real-time carbon fiber amperometry. Over 15 weeks, cafeteria-diet fed rats became obese (>20% increase in body weight) and exhibited lower extracellular accumbens dopamine levels than normal weight rats (0.007+/-0.001 vs. 0.023+/-0.002 pmol/sample; P<0.05). Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of obese rats was stimulated by a cafeteria-diet challenge, but it remained unresponsive to a laboratory chow meal. Administration of d-amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) also revealed an attenuated dopamine response in obese rats. Experiments measuring electrically evoked dopamine signal ex vivo in nucleus accumbens slices showed a much weaker response in obese animals (12 vs. 25x10(6) dopamine molecules per stimulation, P<0.05). The results demonstrate that deficits in mesolimbic dopamine neurotransmission are linked to dietary obesity. Depressed dopamine release may lead obese animals to compensate by eating palatable "comfort" food, a stimulus that released dopamine when laboratory chow failed. PMID:19409204

  3. DEFICITS OF MESOLIMBIC DOPAMINE NEUROTRANSMISSION IN RAT DIETARY OBESITY

    PubMed Central

    Geiger, B. M.; Haburcak, M.; Avena, N. M.; Moyer, M. C.; Hoebel, B. G.; Pothos, E. N.

    2009-01-01

    Increased caloric intake in dietary obesity could be driven by central mechanisms that regulate reward-seeking behavior. The mesolimbic dopamine system, and the nucleus accumbens in particular, underlies both food and drug reward. We investigated whether rat dietary obesity is linked to changes in dopaminergic neurotransmission in that region. Sprague–Dawley rats were placed on a cafeteria-style diet to induce obesity or a laboratory chow diet to maintain normal weight gain. Extracellular dopamine levels were measured by in vivo microdialysis. Electrically evoked dopamine release was measured ex vivo in coronal slices of the nucleus accumbens and the dorsal striatum using real-time carbon fiber amperometry. Over 15 weeks, cafeteria-diet fed rats became obese (>20% increase in body weight) and exhibited lower extracellular accumbens dopamine levels than normal weight rats (0.007±0.001 vs. 0.023±0.002 pmol/sample; P<0.05). Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of obese rats was stimulated by a cafeteria-diet challenge, but it remained unresponsive to a laboratory chow meal. Administration of d-amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) also revealed an attenuated dopamine response in obese rats. Experiments measuring electrically evoked dopamine signal ex vivo in nucleus accumbens slices showed a much weaker response in obese animals (12 vs. 25 × 106 dopamine molecules per stimulation, P<0.05). The results demonstrate that deficits in mesolimbic dopamine neurotransmission are linked to dietary obesity. Depressed dopamine release may lead obese animals to compensate by eating palatable “comfort” food, a stimulus that released dopamine when laboratory chow failed. PMID:19409204

  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. Intra-accumbens shell injections of SR48692 enhanced cocaine self-administration intake in rats exposed to an environmentally-elicited reinstatement paradigm.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Ortolaza, Dinah L; Negrón, Alejandro; Cruz, Daryana; Falcón, Edgardo; Iturbe, Mari Carmen; Cajigas, Mariela Hernández; Maldonado-Vlaar, Carmen S

    2009-07-14

    Neurotensin (NT) is a neuropeptide involved in cocaine reward, and in learning and memory processes related to drug use within the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system. Studies have demonstrated that NT receptor antagonists have potential as pharmacotherapeutical tools for cocaine abuse. Therefore, it is important to understand the molecular profile of NT within mesolimbic neurons and the behavioral effects of NT receptor inhibitors on environmentally-elicited cocaine seeking behavior. To address this issue, male Sprague Dawley rats were trained to self-administer cocaine and to discriminate between environmental cues signaling cocaine vs. saline availability. Then, following extinction, these cues were used to induce reinstatement of cocaine seeking behavior. A differential expression profile was observed throughout the experiment. Particularly, a significant increase of NT levels was observed within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell subregion during the acquisition phase of training. To further examine the implications of this increase, separate groups of animals received intra NAc shell injections of one of three doses (25, 50, 100 nM) of the NT1 receptor antagonist SR48692 after reaching stable self-administration. Animals were injected prior to placement in the operant conditioning chambers for four consecutive sessions. An increase in lever pressing was observed following antagonist treatment, whereas no major changes in locomotor activity were observed. We propose that the observed increase in lever pressing may be a compensatory response to a decrease in reinforcement, possibly due to decreased DA release, as previous studies show that chronic SR48692 decreases basal DA release in the NAc shell. PMID:19442653

  6. Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 Gln31Leu polymorphism results in social anhedonia associated with monoaminergic imbalance and reduction of CREB and β-arrestin-1,2 in the nucleus accumbens in a mouse model of depression.

    PubMed

    Lipina, Tatiana V; Fletcher, Paul J; Lee, Frankie H; Wong, Albert H C; Roder, John C

    2013-02-01

    Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) is associated with mental disorders, including major depression. We previously showed that DISC1-Q31L mutant mice have depression-like behaviors and can therefore be used to study neurobiological mechanisms of depression and antidepressant (AD) medication action. First, we found reduced levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) of DISC1-Q31L mutants. Next, we assessed social-conditioned place preference as a reward-dependent task and the capacity of distinct ADs to correct impaired social behavior in DISC1-Q31L mice. Bupropion, but not fluoxetine or desipramine, was able to correct deficient social facilitation, social reward, and social novelty in DISC1-Q31L mutants, whereas all three ADs were able to improve social motivation and behavioral despair in DISC1-Q31L mutants. Furthermore, we sought to correlate social anhedonia with molecular and cellular features including dendritic spine density, β-arrestin-1,2, and cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB) in the NAC as biomarkers related to depression and the DISC1 pathway. DISC1-Q31L mutants showed reduced levels of β-arrestin-1,2, CREB, and spine density in the NAC, further supporting the construct validity of the genetic model. Bupropion induced the greatest effect on CREB in DISC1-Q31L mutants, whereas all studied ADs corrected the reduced levels of β-arrestin-1,2 and modestly ameliorated deficient spine density in this brain region. Overall, we find neurobiological changes accompanying social anhedonia in the NAC of DISC1-Q31L mutant mice, consistent with a role for DISC1 in regulating social reward as an endophenotype of depression. PMID:23011268

  7. Increased brain dopamine and dopamine receptors in schizophrenia

    SciTech Connect

    Mackay, A.V.; Iversen, L.L.; Rossor, M.; Spokes, E.; Bird, E.; Arregui, A.; Creese, I.; Synder, S.H.

    1982-09-01

    In postmortem samples of caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens from 48 schizophrenic patients, there were significant increases in both the maximum number of binding sites (Bmax) and the apparent dissociation constant (KD) for tritiated spiperone. The increase in apparent KD probably reflects the presence of residual neuroleptic drugs, but changes in Bmax for tritiated spiperone reflect genuine changes in receptor numbers. The increases in receptors were seen only in patients in whom neuroleptic medication had been maintained until the time of death, indicating that they may be entirely iatrogenic. Dopamine measurements for a larger series of schizophrenic and control cases (n greater than 60) show significantly increased concentrations in both the nucleus accumbens and caudate nucleus. The changes in dopamine were not obviously related to neuroleptic medication and, unlike the receptor changes, were most severe in younger patients.

  8. Hippocampal cannabinoid transmission modulates dopamine neuron activity: impact on rewarding memory formation and social interaction.

    PubMed

    Loureiro, Michael; Renard, Justine; Zunder, Jordan; Laviolette, Steven R

    2015-05-01

    Disturbances in cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) signaling have been linked to emotional and cognitive deficits characterizing neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Thus, there is growing interest in characterizing the relationship between cannabinoid transmission, emotional processing, and dopamine (DA)-dependent behavioral deficits. The CB1R is highly expressed in the mammalian nervous system, particularly in the hippocampus. Activation of the ventral hippocampal subregion (vHipp) is known to increase both the activity of DAergic neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and DA levels in reward-related brain regions, particularly the nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, the possible functional relationship between hippocampal CB1R transmission and VTA DA neuronal activity is not currently understood. In this study, using in vivo neuronal recordings in rats, we demonstrate that activation of CB1R in the vHipp strongly increases VTA DA neuronal firing and bursting activity, while simultaneously decreasing the activity of VTA non-DA neurons. Furthermore, using a conditioned place preference procedure and a social interaction test, we report that intra-vHipp CB1R activation potentiates the reward salience of normally sub-threshold conditioning doses of opiates and induces deficits in natural sociability and social recognition behaviors. Finally, these behavioral effects were prevented by directly blocking NAc DAergic transmission. Collectively, these findings identify hippocampal CB1R transmission as a critical modulator of the mesolimbic DA pathway and in the processing of reward and social-related behavioral phenomena. PMID:25510937

  9. 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

  10. PKA-mediated responses in females' estrous cycle affect cocaine-induced responses in dopamine-mediated intracellular cascades.

    PubMed

    Weiner, J; Sun, W Lun; Zhou, L; Kreiter, C M; Jenab, S; Quiñones-Jenab, V

    2009-07-01

    An extensive body of literature provides evidence for both sexual dimorphism and menstrual cycle effects in drug abuse patterns and behavioral responses. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying sexually dimorphic responses to and hormonal effects on cocaine use remain unclear. We hypothesized that endogenous hormonal fluctuations during the estrous cycle of rats modulate cocaine's effects on dopamine- and PKA-mediated intracellular responses. To test this hypothesis, intact female rats at different stages of their cycle received a single injection of saline or cocaine (20 mg/kg) and were sacrificed after 15 or 60 min. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate putamen (CPu) were dissected and analyzed via Western blot for total and phosphorylated (p-thr34) dopamine- and 3'-5'-cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein with molecular weight 32 kDa (DARPP-32), PP1, PP2B (CNA1 and CNB1 subunits), PKA, CREB, cFOS, and Delta-FosB. Our results show that saline-treated rats had estrous cycle-related differences in protein levels of pCREB, DARPP-32, p-thr34-DARPP-32, PP1, and CNA1. Saline-treated female rats in the estrus stage had higher levels of pCREB in the NAc, but cocaine-treatment lowered pCREB levels. The estrous cycle also significantly affected the magnitude of change for p-thr34-DARPP-32 protein levels in both the NAc and CPu. Sixty minutes of cocaine administration increased p-thr34-DARPP-32 levels in the NAc of rats during estrus and proestrus and in the CPu of rats in diestrus. Furthermore, cocaine-induced changes in PP1 protein levels in the NAc were also affected by the stage of the cycle; 60 min of cocaine administration increased PP1 levels in the NAc of rats during diestrus, whereas PP-1 levels decreased in rats during estrus. Taken together, these novel findings suggest that hormonal fluctuations during the estrous cycle may contribute to the previously reported sex differences in the PKA pathway and in behavioral responses to cocaine. PMID:19348873

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Action Initiation Shapes Mesolimbic Dopamine Encoding of Future Rewards

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Emilie C.J.; Grima, Laura L.; Magill, Peter J.; Bogacz, Rafal; Brown, Peter; Walton, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    It is widely held that dopamine signaling encodes predictions of future rewards and such predictions are regularly used to drive behavior, but the relationship between these two is poorly defined. Here, we demonstrate in rats that nucleus accumbens dopamine following a reward-predicting cue is attenuated unless movement is correctly initiated. These results demonstrate that dopamine release in this region is contingent upon correct action initiation and not just reward prediction. PMID:26642087

  15. Repeated cocaine administration decreases calcineurin (PP2B) but enhances DARPP-32 modulation of sodium currents in rat nucleus accumbens neurons.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiu-Ti; Ford, Kerstin; White, Francis J

    2005-05-01

    Our previous studies have demonstrated that repeated cocaine (COC) administration reduces voltage-sensitive sodium and calcium currents (I(Na) or VSSCs and I(Ca) or VSCCs, respectively) in medium spiny nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons of rats. The present findings further indicate that chronic COC-induced I(Na) reduction in NAc neurons is regulated by decreased dephosphorylation and enhanced phosphorylation of Na(+) channels. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings revealed that dephosphorylation of Na(+) channels by calcineurin (CaN) enhanced I(Na), while inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) by phosphorylated dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein (M(r)=32 kDa) (DARPP-32) at the site of threonine 34 (p-Thr.34-DARPP-32) suppressed I(Na), in freshly dissociated NAc neurons of saline-pretreated rats. However, the effects of CaN on enhancing I(Na) were significantly attenuated, and the action of p-Thr.34-DARPP-32 to decrease I(Na) was mimicked, although not potentiated, by repeated COC pretreatment. Dephosphorylation of Na(+) channels by PP1 also enhanced I(Na), but this effect of PP1 on I(Na) was not apparently affected by repeated COC administration. Western blot analysis indicates that the protein levels of CaN and DARPP-32 were significantly decreased and increased, respectively, while the PP1 levels were unchanged, in the COC-withdrawn NAc as compared to saline-pretreated controls. Combined with previous findings, our results indicate that both CaN and PP1 modulate the increase in I(Na) via enhancing dephosphorylation, while p-Thr.34-DARPP-32 reduces I(Na) by inhibiting PP1-induced dephosphorylation, thereby stabilizing the phosphorylation state, of Na(+) channels in NAc neurons. They also suggest that chronic COC-induced I(Na) reduction may be attributed to a reduction in Ca(2+) signaling, which disrupts the physiological balance of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Na(+) channels. PMID:15726118

  16. Effects of VMAT2 inhibitors lobeline and GZ-793A on methamphetamine-induced changes in dopamine release, metabolism and synthesis in vivo.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Andrew C; Neugebauer, Nichole M; Zheng, Guangrong; Crooks, Peter A; Dwoskin, Linda P; Bardo, Michael T

    2013-10-01

    Vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) inhibitors reduce methamphetamine (METH) reward in rats. The current study determined the effects of VMAT2 inhibitors lobeline (LOB; 1 or 3 mg/kg) and N-(1,2R-dihydroxylpropyl)-2,6-cis-di(4-methoxyphenethyl)piperidine hydrochloride (GZ-793A; 15 or 30 mg/kg) on METH-induced (0.5 mg/kg, SC) changes in extracellular dopamine (DA) and its metabolite dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) in the reward-relevant nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell using in vivo microdialysis. The effect of GZ-793A (15 mg/kg) on DA synthesis in tissue also was investigated in NAc, striatum, medial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex. In NAc shell, METH produced a time-dependent increase in extracellular DA and decrease in DOPAC. Neither LOB nor GZ-793A alone altered extracellular DA; however, both drugs increased extracellular DOPAC. In combination with METH, LOB did not alter the effects of METH on DA; however, GZ-793A, which has greater selectivity than LOB for inhibiting VMAT2, reduced the duration of the METH-induced increase in extracellular DA. Both LOB and GZ-793A enhanced the duration of the METH-induced decrease in extracellular DOPAC. METH also increased tissue DA synthesis in NAc and striatum, whereas GZ-793A decreased synthesis; no effect of METH or GZ-793A on DA synthesis was found in medial prefrontal cortex or orbitofrontal cortex. These results suggest that selective inhibition of VMAT2 produces a time-dependent decrease in DA release in NAc shell as a result of alterations in tyrosine hydroxylase activity, which may play a role in the ability of GZ-793A to decrease METH reward. PMID:23875705

  17. [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

  18. Dopamine modulates neural networks involved in effort-based decision-making.

    PubMed

    Assadi, Seyed M; Yücel, Murat; Pantelis, Christos

    2009-03-01

    Recent animal and human studies suggest that the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and its related subcortical structures including nucleus accumbens (NAc) are in the center of a brain network that determines and pursues the best option from available alternatives. Specifically, the involvement of the dACC network in decision-making can be categorized under two broad processes of evaluation and execution. The former aims to determine the most cost-effective option while the latter aims to attain the preferred option. The present article reviews neural and molecular findings to show that the dopamine system might modulate this dACC network at multiple levels to optimize both processes. Several lines of evidence suggest that the dopamine system has a bimodal effect, allows the network to compare different representations in the evaluation phase, and focuses the network on the preferred representation in the execution phase. This is apparently achieved by modulating other neurotransmission systems and by transmitting different signals via D1 vs. D2 receptor subtypes and phasic vs. tonic firing. PMID:19046987

  19. Differential behavioral responses to cocaine are associated with dynamics of mesolimbic dopamine proteins in Lewis and Fischer 344 rats.

    PubMed

    Haile, C N; Hiroi, N; Nestler, E J; Kosten, T A

    2001-09-01

    Differential behavioral and biochemical responses to drugs of abuse may reflect genetic makeup as suggested by studies of inbred Lewis (LEW) and Fischer 344 (F344) rats. We investigated locomotor activity, stereotypy signs, and levels of specific proteins in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in these strains at baseline and following chronic administration of cocaine (30 mg/kg/day for 14 days). Using Western blot analysis, we replicated our previous findings of baseline strain differences and found lower levels of DeltaFosB immunoreactivity in NAc of F344 vs. LEW rats. F344 rats showed greater baseline locomotor activity, sniffing, and grooming compared to LEW rats. Chronic cocaine increased DeltaFosB levels in NAc in both strains, whereas adaptations in other proteins were induced in F344 rats only. These included reduced levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in NAc and increased TH and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in VTA. Chronic cocaine led to greater increases in overall stereotypy in F344 vs. LEW rats and decreased exploratory behaviors in LEW rats. Opposing effects by strain were seen in locomotor activity. Whereas F344 rats showed higher initial activity levels that decreased with cocaine exposure (tolerance), LEW rats showed increased activity over days (sensitization) with no strain differences seen at 14 days. Further, conditioned locomotor activation to vehicle injections was greater in F344 vs. LEW rats. These results suggest that behavioral responsiveness to chronic cocaine exposure may reflect dynamics of mesolimbic dopamine protein levels and demonstrate the role of genetic background in responsiveness to cocaine. PMID:11391778

  20. Differential striatal spine pathology in Parkinson's disease and cocaine addiction: a key role of dopamine?

    PubMed

    Villalba, R M; Smith, Y

    2013-10-22

    In the striatum, the dendritic tree of the two main populations of projection neurons, called "medium spiny neurons (MSNs)", are covered with spines that receive glutamatergic inputs from the cerebral cortex and thalamus. In Parkinson's disease (PD), striatal MSNs undergo an important loss of dendritic spines, whereas aberrant overgrowth of striatal spines occurs following chronic cocaine exposure. This review examines the possibility that opposite dopamine dysregulation is one of the key factors that underlies these structural changes. In PD, nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration results in a significant loss of dendritic spines in the dorsal striatum, while rodents chronically exposed to cocaine and other psychostimulants, display an increase in the density of "thin and immature" spines in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In rodent models of PD, there is evidence that D2 dopamine receptor-containing MSNs are preferentially affected, while D1-positive cells are the main targets of increased spine density in models of addiction. However, such specificity remains to be established in primates. Although the link between the extent of striatal spine changes and the behavioral deficits associated with these disorders remains controversial, there is unequivocal evidence that glutamatergic synaptic transmission is significantly altered in both diseased conditions. Recent studies have suggested that opposite calcium-mediated regulation of the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) function induces these structural defects. In conclusion, there is strong evidence that dopamine is a major, but not the sole, regulator of striatal spine pathology in PD and addiction to psychostimulants. Further studies of the role of glutamate and other genes associated with spine plasticity in mediating these effects are warranted. PMID:23867772

  1. PRESYNAPTIC DOPAMINE MODULATION BY STIMULANT SELF ADMINISTRATION

    PubMed Central

    España, Rodrigo A.; Jones, Sara R.

    2013-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system is an essential participant in the initiation and modulation of various forms of goal-directed behavior, including drug reinforcement and addiction processes. Dopamine neurotransmission is increased by acute administration of all drugs of abuse, including the stimulants cocaine and amphetamine. Chronic exposure to these drugs via voluntary self-administration provides a model of stimulant abuse that is useful in evaluating potential behavioral and neurochemical adaptations that occur during addiction. This review describes commonly used methodologies to measure dopamine and baseline parameters of presynaptic dopamine regulation, including exocytotic release and reuptake through the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens core, as well as dramatic adaptations in dopamine neurotransmission and drug sensitivity that occur with acute non-contingent and chronic, contingent self-administration of cocaine and amphetamine. PMID:23277050

  2. Regulation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression and Phosphorylation in Dopamine Transporter-Deficient Mice.

    PubMed

    Salvatore, Michael F; Calipari, Erin S; Jones, Sara R

    2016-07-20

    Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporters (DATs) regulate dopamine (DA) neurotransmission at the biosynthesis and reuptake steps, respectively. Dysfunction or loss of these proteins occurs in impaired locomotor or addictive behavior, but little is known about the influence of DAT expression on TH function. Differences in TH phosphorylation, DA tissue content, l-DOPA biosynthesis, and DA turnover exist between the somatodendritic and terminal field compartments of nigrostriatal and mesoaccumbens pathways. We examined whether differential DAT expression affects these compartmental differences in DA regulation by comparing TH expression and phosphorylation at ser31 and ser40. In heterozygous DAT knockout (KO) (+/-) mice, DA tissue content and DA turnover were unchanged relative to wild-type mice, despite a 40% reduction in DAT protein expression. In DAT KO (-/-) mice, DA turnover increased in all DA compartments, but DA tissue content decreased (90-96%) only in terminal fields. TH protein expression and phosphorylation were differentially affected within DA pathway compartments by relative expression of DAT. TH protein decreased (∼74%), though to a significantly lesser extent than DA, in striatum and nucleus accumbens (NAc) in DAT -/- mice, with no decrease in substantia nigra or ventral tegmental area. Striatal ser31 TH phosphorylation and recovery of DA relative to TH protein expression in DAT +/- and DAT -/- mice decreased, whereas ser40 TH phosphorylation increased ∼2- to 3-fold in striatum and NAc of DAT -/- mice. These results suggest that DAT expression affects TH expression and phosphorylation largely in DA terminal field compartments, further corroborating evidence for dichotomous regulation of TH between somatodendritic and terminal field compartments of the nigrostriatal and mesoaccumbens pathways. PMID:27124386

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Dissociable roles of dopamine and serotonin transporter function in a rat model of negative urgency.

    PubMed

    Yates, Justin R; Darna, Mahesh; Gipson, Cassandra D; Dwoskin, Linda P; Bardo, Michael T

    2015-09-15

    Negative urgency is a facet of impulsivity that reflects mood-based rash action and is associated with various maladaptive behaviors in humans. However, the underlying neural mechanisms of negative urgency are not fully understood. Several brain regions within the mesocorticolimbic pathway, as well as the neurotransmitters dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT), have been implicated in impulsivity. Extracellular DA and 5-HT concentrations are regulated by DA transporters (DAT) and 5-HT transporters (SERT); thus, these transporters may be important molecular mechanisms underlying individual differences in negative urgency. The current study employed a reward omission task to model negative urgency in rats. During reward trials, a cue light signaled the non-contingent delivery of one sucrose pellet; immediately following the non-contingent reward, rats responded on a lever to earn sucrose pellets (operant phase). Omission trials were similar to reward trials, except that non-contingent sucrose was omitted following the cue light prior to the operant phase. As expected, contingent responding was higher following omission of expected reward than following delivery of expected reward, thus reflecting negative urgency. Upon completion of behavioral training, Vmax and Km were obtained from kinetic analysis of [(3)H]DA and [(3)H]5-HT uptake using synaptosomes prepared from nucleus accumbens (NAc), dorsal striatum (Str), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) isolated from individual rats. Vmax for DAT in NAc and for SERT in OFC were positively correlated with negative urgency scores. The current findings suggest that mood-based impulsivity (negative urgency) is associated with enhanced DAT function in NAc and SERT function in OFC. PMID:26005123

  7. Dampened Mesolimbic Dopamine Function and Signaling by Saturated but not Monounsaturated Dietary Lipids.

    PubMed

    Hryhorczuk, Cecile; Florea, Marc; Rodaros, Demetra; Poirier, Isabelle; Daneault, Caroline; Des Rosiers, Christine; Arvanitogiannis, Andreas; Alquier, Thierry; Fulton, Stephanie

    2016-02-01

    Overconsumption of dietary fat is increasingly linked with motivational and emotional impairments. Human and animal studies demonstrate associations between obesity and blunted reward function at the behavioral and neural level, but it is unclear to what degree such changes are a consequence of an obese state and whether they are contingent on dietary lipid class. We sought to determine the impact of prolonged ad libitum intake of diets rich in saturated or monounsaturated fat, separate from metabolic signals associated with increased adiposity, on dopamine (DA)-dependent behaviors and to identify pertinent signaling changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Male rats fed a saturated (palm oil), but not an isocaloric monounsaturated (olive oil), high-fat diet exhibited decreased sensitivity to the rewarding (place preference) and locomotor-sensitizing effects of amphetamine as compared with low-fat diet controls. Blunted amphetamine action by saturated high-fat feeding was entirely independent of caloric intake, weight gain, and plasma levels of leptin, insulin, and glucose and was accompanied by biochemical and behavioral evidence of reduced D1R signaling in the NAc. Saturated high-fat feeding was also tied to protein markers of increased AMPA receptor-mediated plasticity and decreased DA transporter expression in the NAc but not to alterations in DA turnover and biosynthesis. Collectively, the results suggest that intake of saturated lipids can suppress DA signaling apart from increases in body weight and adiposity-related signals known to affect mesolimbic DA function, in part by diminishing D1 receptor signaling, and that equivalent intake of monounsaturated dietary fat protects against such changes. PMID:26171719

  8. Adjunctive treatment with mianserin enhances effects of raclopride on cortical dopamine output and, in parallel, its antipsychotic-like effect

    PubMed Central

    Wiker, Charlotte; Linnér, Love; Wadenberg, Marie-Louise; Svensson, Torgny H

    2005-01-01

    Clinical studies indicate that adjunctive treatment with the antidepressant drug mianserin, a 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A/C receptor antagonist and an α2- and α1-adrenoceptor antagonist, may enhance the effect of conventional antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia, in particular on negative symptoms such as withdrawal retardation, akathisia, and some aspects of cognitive impairment. Here, we have examined the effect of mianserin in combination with the selective dopamine (DA) D2/3 receptor antagonist raclopride on conditioned avoidance response (CAR), a preclinical test of antipsychotic efficacy with high predictive validity; catalepsy, a preclinical test of extrapyramidal side effect liability; and DA output in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the nucleus accumbens (NAC), respectively. Mianserin (5 mg/kg intraperitoneal) significantly enhanced the suppressant effect of a low dose of raclopride (0.1 mg/kg subcutaneous) on CAR without any increase in catalepsy. Administration of raclopride to rats pretreated with mianserin resulted in a large enhancement of DA output in the mPFC and, at the same time, a small but significant reduction in the raclopride-induced DA output in the NAC. These experimental results indicate that adjunctive treatment with mianserin to a typical D2 antagonist generates an atypical antipsychotic profile. PMID:18568117

  9. Adjunctive treatment with mianserin enhances effects of raclopride on cortical dopamine output and, in parallel, its antipsychotic-like effect

    PubMed Central

    Wiker, Charlotte; Linnér, Love; Wadenberg, Marie-Louise; Svensson, Torgny H

    2005-01-01

    Clinical studies indicate that adjunctive treatment with the antidepressant drug mianserin, a 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A/C receptor antagonist and an α2- and α1-adrenoceptor antagonist, may enhance the effect of conventional antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia, in particular on negative symptoms such as withdrawal retardation, akathisia, and some aspects of cognitive impairment. Here, we have examined the effect of mianserin in combination with the selective dopamine (DA) D2/3 receptor antagonist raclopride on conditioned avoidance response (CAR), a preclinical test of antipsychotic efficacy with high predictive validity; catalepsy, a preclinical test of extrapyramidal side effect liability; and DA output in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the nucleus accumbens (NAC), respectively. Mianserin (5 mg/kg intraperitoneal) significantly enhanced the suppressant effect of a low dose of raclopride (0.1 mg/kg subcutaneous) on CAR without any increase in catalepsy. Administration of raclopride to rats pretreated with mianserin resulted in a large enhancement of DA output in the mPFC and, at the same time, a small but significant reduction in the raclopride-induced DA output in the NAC. These experimental results indicate that adjunctive treatment with mianserin to a typical D2 antagonist generates an atypical antipsychotic profile. PMID:18568103

  10. Application of fast-scan cyclic voltammetry for the in vivo characterization of optically evoked dopamine in the olfactory tubercle of the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Wakabayashi, Ken T; Bruno, Michael J; Bass, Caroline E; Park, Jinwoo

    2016-06-21

    The olfactory tubercle (OT), as a component of the ventral striatum, serves as an important multisensory integration center for reward-related processes in the brain. Recent studies show that dense dopaminergic innervation from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) into the OT may play an outsized role in disorders such as psychostimulant addiction and disorders of motivation, increasing recent scientific interest in this brain region. However, due to its anatomical inaccessibility, relative small size, and proximity to other dopamine-rich structures, neurochemical assessments using conventional methods cannot be readily employed. Here, we investigated dopamine (DA) regulation in the OT of urethane-anesthetized rats using in vivo fast-scan voltammetry (FSCV) coupled with carbon-fiber microelectrodes, following optogenetic stimulation of the VTA. The results were compared with DA regulation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a structure located adjacent to the OT and which also receives dense DA innervation from the VTA. FSCV coupled with optically evoked release allowed us to investigate the spatial distribution of DA in the OT and characterize OT DA dynamics (release and clearance) with subsecond temporal and micrometer spatial resolution for the first time. In this study, we demonstrated that DA transporters play an important role in regulating DA in the OT. However, the control of extracellular DA by uptake in the OT was less than in the NAc. The difference in DA transmission in the terminal fields of the OT and NAc may be involved in region-specific responses to drugs of abuse and contrasting roles in mediating reward-related behavior. PMID:27063845

  11. Pattern of long-term sensorimotor recovery following intrastriatal and--accumbens DA micrografts in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Falkenstein, Gero; Rosenthal, Christoph; Reum, Torsten; Morgenstern, Rudolf; Döbrössy, Máté; Nikkhah, Guido

    2009-07-01

    The functional restorative capacity of fetal dopaminergic (DA) transplants is governed by a number of critical parameters including graft location, survival of DA neurons, and transplantation technique. In addition, there is an ongoing controversy whether "too much" or "too little" survival of DA neurons is responsible for the incomplete functional recovery observed in some transplanted Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Here we investigated two implantation sites, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the caudate-putamen unit (CPU), and two different graft distributions within the CPU, i.e., two 0.75 microL deposits (CPU-2) versus six 0.25 microL deposits (CPU-6) in a rat model of PD. Grafts were derived from E14 rat ventral mesencephalon and the long-term functional outcome was evaluated with a wide range of complex-sensorimotor behavioral tests. The data show that forelimb stepping, balancing behavior, and skilled forelimb reaching behavior was more restored in CPU-6-grafted animals as compared to CPU-2 animals, although the number surviving dopaminergic neurons and dopamine release were similar in the two groups. Furthermore, a correlation analysis revealed a number of inverse relationships between the rate of DA neuron survival and sensorimotor performances, e.g., for skilled forelimb use. DA grafts placed into the NAc induced a partial recovery in drug-induced rotation tests but failed to restore any of the other sensorimotor behaviors tested. Taken together, these data have important implications both for a better understanding of the complex functional graft-host interactions as well as for the further optimization of clinical neural transplantation strategies in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19399892

  12. Role of PKA signaling in D2 receptor-expressing neurons in the core of the nucleus accumbens in aversive learning

    PubMed Central

    Yamaguchi, Takashi; Goto, Akihiro; Nakahara, Ichiro; Yawata, Satoshi; Hikida, Takatoshi; Matsuda, Michiyuki; Funabiki, Kazuo; Nakanishi, Shigetada

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) serves as a key neural substrate for aversive learning and consists of two distinct subpopulations of medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs). The MSNs of the direct pathway (dMSNs) and the indirect pathway (iMSNs) predominantly express dopamine (DA) D1 and D2 receptors, respectively, and are positively and negatively modulated by DA transmitters via Gs- and Gi-coupled cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) signaling cascades, respectively. In this investigation, we addressed how intracellular PKA signaling is involved in aversive learning in a cell type-specific manner. When the transmission of either dMSNs or iMSNs was unilaterally blocked by pathway-specific expression of transmission-blocking tetanus toxin, infusion of PKA inhibitors into the intact side of the NAc core abolished passive avoidance learning toward an electric shock in the indirect pathway-blocked mice, but not in the direct pathway-blocked mice. We then examined temporal changes in PKA activity in dMSNs and iMSNs in behaving mice by monitoring Förster resonance energy transfer responses of the PKA biosensor with the aid of microendoscopy. PKA activity was increased in iMSNs and decreased in dMSNs in both aversive memory formation and retrieval. Importantly, the increased PKA activity in iMSNs disappeared when aversive memory was prevented by keeping mice in the conditioning apparatus. Furthermore, the increase in PKA activity in iMSNs by aversive stimuli reflected facilitation of aversive memory retention. These results indicate that PKA signaling in iMSNs plays a critical role in both aversive memory formation and retention. PMID:26305972

  13. High fat diet augments amphetamine sensitization in mice: Role of feeding pattern, obesity, and dopamine terminal changes.

    PubMed

    Fordahl, Steve C; Locke, Jason L; Jones, Sara R

    2016-10-01

    High fat (HF) diet-induced obesity has been shown to augment behavioral responses to psychostimulants that target the dopamine system. The purpose of this study was to characterize dopamine terminal changes induced by a HF diet that correspond with enhanced locomotor sensitization to amphetamine. C57BL/6J mice had limited (2hr 3 d/week) or extended (24 h 7 d/week) access to a HF diet or standard chow for six weeks. Mice were then repeatedly exposed to amphetamine (AMPH), and their locomotor responses to an amphetamine challenge were measured. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry was used to identify changes in dopamine terminal function after AMPH exposure. Exposure to a HF diet reduced dopamine uptake and increased locomotor responses to acute, high-dose AMPH administration compared to chow fed mice. Microdialysis showed elevated extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) coincided with enhanced locomotion after acute AMPH in HF-fed mice. All mice exhibited locomotor sensitization to amphetamine, but both extended and limited access to a HF diet augmented this response. Neither HF-fed group showed the robust amphetamine sensitization-induced increases in dopamine release, reuptake, and amphetamine potency observed in chow fed animals. However, the potency of amphetamine as an uptake inhibitor was significantly elevated after sensitization in mice with extended (but not limited) access to HF. Conversely, after amphetamine sensitization, mice with limited (but not extended) access to HF displayed reduced autoreceptor sensitivity to the D2/D3 agonist quinpirole. Additionally, we observed reduced membrane dopamine transporter (DAT) levels after HF, and a shift in DAT localization to the cytosol was detected with limited access to HF. This study showed that different patterns of HF exposure produced distinct dopamine terminal adaptations to repeated AMPH, which differed from chow fed mice, and enhanced sensitization to AMPH. Locomotor sensitization in chow fed

  14. δ-Opioid receptors in the accumbens shell mediate the influence of both excitatory and inhibitory predictions on choice

    PubMed Central

    Laurent, Vincent; Wong, Felix L; Balleine, Bernard W

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Stimuli that predict rewarding events can control choice between future actions, and this control could be mediated by δ-opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAc-S). Stimuli predicting the absence of important events can also guide choice, although it remains unknown whether they do so via changes in an accumbal δ-opioid receptor-related process. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH δ-opioid receptor-eGFP mice were trained to perform two instrumental actions that delivered different food outcomes. Choice between the two actions was then tested in the presence of stimuli paired with either the delivery or the non-delivery of each of the two outcomes. Bilateral infusions of the δ-opioid receptor antagonist naltrindole into the NAc-S were used to determine the role of these receptors at the time of choice and δ-opioid receptor expression in the NAc-S used to assess functional activity. KEY RESULTS A stimulus predicting a specific outcome biased choice performance towards the action previously earning that same outcome. In contrast, a stimulus signalling the absence of that outcome biased performance away from the action that delivered that outcome towards actions associated with the absence of that outcome. Both effects were associated with increased δ-opioid receptor expression on the membrane of cholinergic interneurons within the NAc-S. Furthermore, both effects were blocked by naltrindole infused into the NAc-S. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These findings suggest that δ-opioid receptors in the NAc-S were involved in the effects of predictive learning on choice between actions, whether those predictions involve the presence or absence of specific rewarding events. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24758591

  15. The selective dopamine D3 receptor antagonist SB-277011A reduces nicotine-enhanced brain reward and nicotine-paired environmental cue functions.

    PubMed

    Pak, Arlene C; Ashby, Charles R; Heidbreder, Christian A; Pilla, Maria; Gilbert, Jeremy; Xi, Zheng-Xiong; Gardner, Eliot L

    2006-10-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that enhanced dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) may play a role in mediating the reward and reinforcement produced by addictive drugs and in the attentional processing of drug-associated environmental cues. The meso-accumbens DA system is selectively enriched with DA D3 receptors, a DA receptor subtype increasingly implicated in reward-related brain and behavioural processes. From a variety of evidence, it has been suggested that selective DA D3 receptor antagonism may be a useful pharmacotherapeutic approach for treating addiction. The present experiments tested the efficacy of SB-277011A, a selective DA D3 receptor antagonist, in rat models of nicotine-enhanced electrical brain-stimulation reward (BSR), nicotine-induced conditioned locomotor activity (LMA), and nicotine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). Nicotine was given subcutaneously within the dose range of 0.25-0.6 mg/kg (nicotine-free base). SB-277011A, given intraperitoneally within the dose range of 1-12 mg/kg, dose-dependently reduced nicotine-enhanced BSR, nicotine-induced conditioned LMA, and nicotine-induced CPP. The results suggest that selective D3 receptor antagonism constitutes a new and promising pharmacotherapeutic approach to the treatment of nicotine dependence. PMID:16942635

  16. Opposite regulation of cocaine-induced intracellular signaling and gene expression by dopamine D1 and D3 receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhua; Xu, Ming

    2006-08-01

    Repeated exposure to cocaine induces persistent neuroadaptations that involve alterations in cellular signaling and gene expression mediated by dopamine (DA) receptors in the brain. Both dopamine D1 and D3 receptors mediate cocaine-induced behaviors and they are also coexpressed in the same neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudoputamen (CPu). We have investigated whether these two receptors coordinately regulate intracellular signaling and gene expression after acute and repeated cocaine administration. We found that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation and c-fos induction in the CPu following an acute cocaine administration is mediated by the D1 receptor and inhibited by the D3 receptor. ERK activation is necessary for acute cocaine-induced expression of fos family genes that include c-fos, fosB, and fra2. Furthermore, potential target genes of cAMP response element-binding (CREB) protein and/or AP-1 transcription complex, including dynorphin, neogenin, and synaptotagmin VII, are also oppositely regulated by D1 and D3 receptors after repeated cocaine injections. Lastly, such regulation requires proper ERK activation. These results suggest that D1 and D3 receptors oppositely regulate target gene expression by regulating ERK activation after cocaine administration. PMID:17105899

  17. Role of basolateral amygdala dopamine D2 receptors in impulsive choice in acute cocaine-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Li, Yijing; Zuo, Yanfang; Yu, Peng; Ping, Xingjie; Cui, Cailian

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulant substances have been found to either increase or inhibit impulsive choice (preference to choose small immediate reward over large delayed reward) in laboratory animals. Although central dopamine transmission has been demonstrated to be involved in impulsivity and drug addiction, little is known regarding dopaminergic neurotransmission in addictive drug-induced alteration of impulse control. In this study, we used a delay discounting model to measure impulsive choice in rats and found that acute cocaine dose-dependently decreased impulsive choice in rats. Intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) of D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 (0.02 mg/kg) could increase the impulsive choice but had no effect on the inhibition of impulsive choice induced by acute cocaine exposure. D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride (0.06 mg/kg) had no effect on the choice behavior itself, but it reversed acute cocaine-induced impulse inhibition. Moreover, bilateral microinjection of eticlopride (1 μg/side) into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) but not the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core reversed the inhibitory effect of acute cocaine on impulsive choice. These data suggest important but dissociable roles of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in impulse control. The preference of delayed rewards depends on D1 receptors, whereas acute cocaine inhibited impulsive choice by activating D2 receptors in the BLA. PMID:25823760

  18. 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

  19. Differential Striatal Spine Pathology in Parkinson’s disease and Cocaine Addiction: A Key Role of Dopamine?

    PubMed Central

    Villalba, Rosa M.; Smith, Yoland

    2013-01-01

    In the striatum, the dendritic tree of the two main populations of projection neurons, called “Medium Spiny Neurons (MSNs)”, are covered with spines that receive glutamatergic inputs from the cerebral cortex and thalamus. In Parkinson’s disease (PD), striatal MSNs undergo an important loss of dendritic spines, whereas aberrant overgrowth of striatal spines occurs following chronic cocaine exposure. This review examines the possibility that opposite dopamine dysregulation is one of the key factors that underlies these structural changes. In PD, nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration results in a significant loss of dendritic spines in the dorsal striatum, while rodents chronically exposed to cocaine and other psychostimulants, display an increase in the density of “thin and immature” spines in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In rodent models of PD, there is evidence that D2 dopamine receptor-containing MSNs are preferentially affected, while D1-positive cells are the main targets of increased spine density in models of addiction. However, such specificity remains to be established in primates. Although the link between the extent of striatal spine changes and the behavioral deficits associated with these disorders remains controversial, there is unequivocal evidence that glutamatergic synaptic transmission is significantly altered in both diseased conditions. Recent studies have suggested that opposite calcium-mediated regulation of the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) function induces these structural defects. In conclusion, there is strong evidence that dopamine is a major, but not the sole, regulator of striatal spine pathology in PD and addiction to psychostimulants. Further studies of the role of glutamate and other genes associated with spine plasticity in mediating these effects are warranted. PMID:23867772

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Vitrification of NAC process residue

    SciTech Connect

    Merrill, R.A.; Whittington, K.F.; Peters, R.D.

    1995-12-31

    Vitrification tests have been performed with simulated waste compositions formulated to represent the residue which would be obtained from the treatment of low-level, nitrate wastes from Hanford and Oak Ridge by the nitrate to ammonia and ceramic (NAC) process. The tests were designed to demonstrate the feasibility of vitrifying NAC residue and to quantify the impact of the NAC process on the volume of vitrified waste. The residue from NAC treatment of low-level nitrate wastes consists primarily of oxides of aluminum and sodium. High alumina glasses were formulated to maximize the waste loading of the NAC product. Transparent glasses with up to 35 wt% alumina, and even higher contents in opaque glasses, were obtained at melting temperatures of 1,200 C to 1,400 C. A modified TCLP leach test showed the high alumina glasses to have good chemical durability, leaching significantly less than either the ARM-1 or the DWPF-EA high-level waste reference glasses. A significant increase in the final waste volume would be a major result of the NAC process on LLW vitrification. For Hanford wastes, NAC-treatment of nitrate wastes followed by vitrification of the residue will increase the final volume of vitrified waste by 50% to 90%; for Melton Valley waste from Oak Ridge, the increase in final glass volume will be 260% to 280%. The increase in volume is relative to direct vitrification of the waste in a 20 wt% Na{sub 2}O glass formulation. The increase in waste volume directly affects not only disposal costs, but also operating and/or capital costs. Larger plant size, longer operating time, and additional energy and additive costs are direct results of increases in waste volume. Such increases may be balanced by beneficial impacts on the vitrification process; however, those effects are outside the scope of this report.

  3. Vitrification of NAC process residue

    SciTech Connect

    Merrill, R.A.; Whittington, K.F.; Peters, R.D.

    1995-09-01

    Vitrification tests have been performed with simulated waste compositions formulated to represent the residue which would be obtained from the treatment of low-level, nitrate wastes from Hanford and Oak Ridge by the nitrate to ammonia and ceramic (NAC) process. The tests were designed to demonstrate the feasibility of vitrifying NAC residue and to quantify the impact of the NAC process on the volume of vitrified waste. The residue from NAC treatment of low-level nitrate wastes consists primarily of oxides of aluminum and sodium. High alumina glasses were formulated to maximize the waste loading of the NAC product. Transparent glasses with up to 35 wt% alumina, and even higher contents in opaque glasses, were obtained at melting temperatures of 1200{degrees}C to 1400{degrees}C. A modified TCLP leach test showed the high alumina glasses to have good chemical durability, leaching significantly less than either the ARM-1 or the DWPF-EA high-level waste reference glasses. A significant increase in the final waste volume would be a major result of the NAC process on LLW vitrification. For Hanford wastes, NAC-treatment of nitrate wastes followed by vitrification of the residue will increase the final volume of vitrified waste by 50% to 90%; for Melton Valley waste from Oak Ridge, the increase in final glass volume will be 260% to 280%. The increase in volume is relative to direct vitrification of the waste in a 20 wt% Na{sub 2}O glass formulation. The increase in waste volume directly affects not only disposal costs, but also operating and/or capital costs. Larger plant size, longer operating time, and additional energy and additive costs are direct results of increases in waste volume. Such increases may be balanced by beneficial impacts on the vitrification process; however, those effects are outside the scope of this report.

  4. The Roles of Dopamine and α1-Adrenergic Receptors in Cocaine Preferences in Female and Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Perry, Adam N; Westenbroek, Christel; Jagannathan, Lakshmikripa; Becker, Jill B

    2015-11-01

    Cocaine dependence is characterized by compulsive drug taking and reduced involvement in social, occupational, or recreational activities. Unraveling the diverse mechanisms contributing to the loss-of-interest in these 'non-drug' pursuits is essential for understanding the neurobiology of addiction and could provide additional targets for treating addiction. The study objectives were to examine changes in cocaine-induced dopamine (DA) overflow in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) over the course of self-administration and determine the roles of α1- and β-adrenergic receptors (AR) in the loss-of-interest in food rewards following the development of an addicted phenotype in male and female rats. Subjects were given access to cocaine and palatable food pellets in a choice self-administration paradigm to identify 'addicted' cocaine-preferring (CP) individuals and resistant pellet-preferring (PP) individuals based on their patterns of self-administration over 7 weeks. Cocaine-induced DA overflow in the NAc was examined with microdialysis early and late during self-administration (weeks 2 and 7). Subjects were treated in counter-balanced order with propranolol (β-AR antagonist), terazosin (α1-AR antagonist), or vehicle for an additional 3 weeks of self-administration. CP rats displayed increased motivation for cocaine and attenuated motivation for pellets following the development of cocaine preferences. In females, the estrous cycle affected pellet, but not cocaine, self-administration. CP rats displayed attenuated cocaine-induced DA overflow in the NAc. Propranolol enhanced cocaine reinforcement and reduced pellet intake, whereas terazosin enhanced motivation for pellets and reversed preferences in a subset of CP rats. The implications of these results for the treatment of addiction are discussed. PMID:25900120

  5. Mesolimbic Dopamine Signals the Value of Work

    PubMed Central

    Hamid, Arif A.; Pettibone, Jeffrey R.; Mabrouk, Omar S.; Hetrick, Vaughn L.; Schmidt, Robert; Vander Weele, Caitlin M.; Kennedy, Robert T.; Aragona, Brandon J.; Berke, Joshua D.

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine cell firing can encode errors in reward prediction, providing a learning signal to guide future behavior. Yet dopamine is also a key modulator of motivation, invigorating current behavior. Existing theories propose that fast (“phasic”) dopamine fluctuations support learning, while much slower (“tonic”) dopamine changes are involved in motivation. We examined dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens across multiple time scales, using complementary microdialysis and voltammetric methods during adaptive decision-making. We first show that minute-by-minute dopamine levels covary with reward rate and motivational vigor. We then show that second-by-second dopamine release encodes an estimate of temporally-discounted future reward (a value function). We demonstrate that changing dopamine immediately alters willingness to work, and reinforces preceding action choices by encoding temporal-difference reward prediction errors. Our results indicate that dopamine conveys a single, rapidly-evolving decision variable, the available reward for investment of effort, that is employed for both learning and motivational functions. PMID:26595651

  6. 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

  7. Cannabinoids and Glucocorticoids in the Basolateral Amygdala Modulate Hippocampal-Accumbens Plasticity After Stress.

    PubMed

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2016-03-01

    Acute stress results in release of glucocorticoids, which are potent modulators of learning and plasticity. This process is presumably mediated by the basolateral amygdala (BLA) where cannabinoids CB1 receptors have a key role in regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Growing attention has been focused on nucleus accumbens (NAc) plasticity, which regulates mood and motivation. The NAc integrates affective and context-dependent input from the BLA and ventral subiculum (vSub), respectively. As our previous data suggest that the CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU-38486 (RU) can prevent the effects of stress on emotional memory, we examined whether intra-BLA WIN and RU can reverse the effects of acute stress on NAc plasticity. Bilateral, ipsilateral, and contralateral BLA administration of RU or WIN reversed the stress-induced impairment in vSub-NAc long-term potentiation (LTP) and the decrease in cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) activity in the NAc. BLA CB1 receptors were found to mediate the preventing effects of WIN on plasticity, but not the preventing effects of RU, after stress. Inactivating the ipsilateral BLA, but not the contralateral BLA, impaired LTP. The possible mechanisms underlying the effects of BLA on NAc plasticity are discussed; the data suggest that BLA-induced changes in the NAc may be mediated through neural pathways in the brain's stress circuit rather than peripheral pathways. The results suggest that glucocorticoid and cannabinoid systems in the BLA can restore normal function of the NAc and hence may have a central role in the treatment of a variety of stress-related disorders. PMID:26289146

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Episodic sucrose intake during food restriction increases synaptic abundance of AMPA receptors in nucleus accumbens and augments intake of sucrose following restoration of ad libitum feeding.

    PubMed

    Peng, X-X; Lister, A; Rabinowitsch, A; Kolaric, R; Cabeza de Vaca, S; Ziff, E B; Carr, K D

    2015-06-01

    Weight-loss dieting often leads to loss of control, rebound weight gain, and is a risk factor for binge pathology. Based on findings that food restriction (FR) upregulates sucrose-induced trafficking of glutamatergic AMPA receptors to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) postsynaptic density (PSD), this study was an initial test of the hypothesis that episodic "breakthrough" intake of forbidden food during dieting interacts with upregulated mechanisms of synaptic plasticity to increase reward-driven feeding. Ad libitum (AL) fed and FR subjects consumed a limited amount of 10% sucrose, or had access to water, every other day for 10 occasions. Beginning three weeks after return of FR rats to AL feeding, when 24-h chow intake and rate of body weight gain had normalized, subjects with a history of sucrose intake during FR consumed more sucrose during a four week intermittent access protocol than the two AL groups and the group that had access to water during FR. In an experiment that substituted noncontingent administration of d-amphetamine for sucrose, FR subjects displayed an enhanced locomotor response during active FR but a blunted response, relative to AL subjects, during recovery from FR. This result suggests that the enduring increase in sucrose consumption is unlikely to be explained by residual enhancing effects of FR on dopamine signaling. In a biochemical experiment which paralleled the sucrose behavioral experiment, rats with a history of sucrose intake during FR displayed increased abundance of pSer845-GluA1, GluA2, and GluA3 in the NAc PSD relative to rats with a history of FR without sucrose access and rats that had been AL throughout, whether they had a history of episodic sucrose intake or not. A history of FR, with or without a history of sucrose intake, was associated with increased abundance of GluA1. A terminal 15-min bout of sucrose intake produced a further increase in pSer845-GluA1 and GluA2 in subjects with a history of sucrose intake during FR

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Simultaneous Detection of c-Fos Activation from Mesolimbic and Mesocortical Dopamine Reward Sites Following Naive Sugar and Fat Ingestion in Rats.

    PubMed

    Dela Cruz, Julie A D; Coke, Tricia; Bodnar, Richard J

    2016-01-01

    This study uses cellular c-fos activation to assess effects of novel ingestion of fat and sugar on brain dopamine (DA) pathways in rats. Intakes of sugars and fats are mediated by their innate attractions as well as learned preferences. Brain dopamine, especially meso-limbic and meso-cortical projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), has been implicated in both of these unlearned and learned responses. The concept of distributed brain networks, wherein several sites and transmitter/peptide systems interact, has been proposed to mediate palatable food intake, but there is limited evidence empirically demonstrating such actions. Thus, sugar intake elicits DA release and increases c-fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI) from individual VTA DA projection zones including the nucleus accumbens (NAC), amygdala (AMY) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) as well as the dorsal striatum. Further, central administration of selective DA receptor antagonists into these sites differentially reduce acquisition and expression of conditioned flavor preferences elicited by sugars or fats. One approach by which to determine whether these sites interacted as a distributed brain network in response to sugar or fat intake would be to simultaneous evaluate whether the VTA and its major mesotelencephalic DA projection zones (prelimbic and infralimbic mPFC, core and shell of the NAc, basolateral and central-cortico-medial AMY) as well as the dorsal striatum would display coordinated and simultaneous FLI activation after oral, unconditioned intake of corn oil (3.5%), glucose (8%), fructose (8%) and saccharin (0.2%) solutions. This approach is a successful first step in identifying the feasibility of using cellular c-fos activation simultaneously across relevant brain sites to study reward-related learning in ingestion of palatable food in rodents. PMID:27583636

  15. Nucleus accumbens NMDA receptor activation regulates amphetamine cross-sensitization and deltaFosB expression following sexual experience in male rats.

    PubMed

    Beloate, Lauren N; Weems, Peyton W; Casey, Graham R; Webb, Ian C; Coolen, Lique M

    2016-02-01

    Sexual experience in male rats followed by a period of abstinence causes sensitization to d-Amphetamine (Amph) reward, evidenced by an increased conditioned place preference (CPP) for low doses of Amph. Moreover, sexual experience induces neural plasticity within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), including induction of deltaFosB, which plays a key role in Amph reward cross-sensitization. The NMDA receptor subunit NR1 is also upregulated by mating, but the functional relevance of NMDA receptors in sex experience-induced effects is unknown. Here, we examined the influence of intra-NAc MK 801 infusions on sex experience-induced NAc deltaFosB and cFos expression, as well as mating- and Amph-induced CPP in adult male rats. In experiment 1, males received MK 801 or saline into the NAc during each of 4 consecutive days of mating or handling and were tested for Amph CPP and experience-induced deltaFosB 10 days later. Intra-NAc MK 801 during sexual behavior prevented experience-induced increases in Amph CPP and NAc deltaFosB expression without affecting sexual behavior. In experiment 2, the effects of intra-NAc MK 801 on mating-induced CPP were examined by intra-NAc infusion of MK 801 or saline prior to mating on conditioning days. Intra-NAc MK 801 did not affect mating-induced CPP. Next, effects of intra-NAc MK 801 on mating-induced cFos immunoreactivity were examined. MK 801 prevented mating-induced cFos expression in NAc shell and core. Together, these results provide evidence that NAc NMDA receptor activation during sexual behavior plays a key role in mating-induced cFos and deltaFosB expression and subsequent experience-induced cross-sensitization to Amph reward. PMID:26391065

  16. 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

  17. Maternal Immune Activation Disrupts Dopamine System in the Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Luchicchi, Antonio; Lecca, Salvatore; Melis, Miriam; De Felice, Marta; Cadeddu, Francesca; Frau, Roberto; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Fadda, Paola; Devoto, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Background: In utero exposure to maternal viral infections is associated with a higher incidence of psychiatric disorders with a supposed neurodevelopmental origin, including schizophrenia. Hence, immune response factors exert a negative impact on brain maturation that predisposes the offspring to the emergence of pathological phenotypes later in life. Although ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons and their target regions play essential roles in the pathophysiology of psychoses, it remains to be fully elucidated how dopamine activity and functionality are disrupted in maternal immune activation models of schizophrenia. Methods: Here, we used an immune-mediated neurodevelopmental disruption model based on prenatal administration of the polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid in rats, which mimics a viral infection and recapitulates behavioral abnormalities relevant to psychiatric disorders in the offspring. Extracellular dopamine levels were measured by brain microdialysis in both the nucleus accumbens shell and the medial prefrontal cortex, whereas dopamine neurons in ventral tegmental area were studied by in vivo electrophysiology. Results: Polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid-treated animals, at adulthood, displayed deficits in sensorimotor gating, memory, and social interaction and increased baseline extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens, but not in the prefrontal cortex. In polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid rats, dopamine neurons showed reduced spontaneously firing rate and population activity. Conclusions: These results confirm that maternal immune activation severely impairs dopamine system and that the polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid model can be considered a proper animal model of a psychiatric condition that fulfills a multidimensional set of validity criteria predictive of a human pathology. PMID:26819283

  18. Dopamine autoreceptors and the effects of drugs on locomotion and dopamine synthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Brown, F.; Campbell, W.; Mitchell, P. J.; Randall, K.

    1985-01-01

    Criteria for distinguishing dopamine autoreceptor agonism from other mechanisms of inhibiting locomotion were examined, together with the relationship between inhibition of locomotion and dopamine synthesis. ED50 potencies to inhibit locomotion of mice were established for drugs from a number of categories. Spiperone 0.02 mg kg-1 significantly (P less than 0.05) reversed inhibition of locomotion by known dopamine agonists but not that by the other types of drug. Idazoxan antagonized inhibition of locomotion due to alpha 2-agonists but not dopamine agonists. RU 24926 (N-propyl-N,N-di[2-(3-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]amine) was antagonized by both spiperone and idazoxan. Only for dopamine agonists was there good correlation (r = 0.97) between potencies to inhibit locomotion in mice and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) accumulation in the nucleus accumbens of rats treated with gamma-butyrolactone and 3-hydroxybenzylhydrazine. The specific dopamine D1-agonist, SK&F 38393 (2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine), was inactive in both tests at doses up to 10 mg kg-1. The mixed dopamine agonist/antagonist, (-)-3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-N-propylpiperidine, commonly known as (-)-3-PPP, acted as a dopamine agonist in both tests but inhibited locomotion more potently than L-DOPA accumulation. The inhibitory effects of dopamine agonists on locomotion were not prevented by alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine pretreatment. The data suggest that spiperone-reversible inhibition of locomotion in mice is a good criterion for dopamine autoreceptor agonists. The receptors involved are affected by low doses of both dopamine agonists and antagonists and seem similar to those involved in the autoreceptor mediated inhibition of dopamine synthesis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:4005487

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. The brain gene expression profile of dopamine D2/D3 receptors and associated signaling proteins following amphetamine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Sun, H; Calipari, E S; Beveridge, T J R; Jones, S R; Chen, R

    2015-10-29

    Persistent neuroadaptations following chronic psychostimulant exposure include reduced striatal dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) levels. The signaling of D2Rs is initiated by Gαi/o proteins and terminated by regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins. The purpose of this study is to examine the association of the drug taking behavior and gene expression profile of D2/D3Rs, and their associated signaling proteins in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) using a rodent model of amphetamine (AMPH) self-administration. Rats were allowed to self-administer AMPH (0.187 mg/kg/infusion for a maximum of 40 injections in 6h daily sessions) for 5 days during which rats showed an escalated rate of AMPH intake across days. AMPH self-administration induced profound brain region-dependent alterations of the targeted genes. There was a positive correlation of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels of RGS10 between the VTA and the NAc in the control animals, which was abolished by AMPH self-administration. AMPH self-administration also produced a negative correlation of the mRNA levels of RGS7 and RGS19 between the two brain regions, which was not present in the control group. Furthermore, AMPH taking behavior was associated with changes in certain gene expression levels. The mRNA levels of RGS2 and RGS4 in both the VTA and NAc were positively correlated with the rate of AMPH intake. Additionally, the rate of AMPH intake was also positively correlated with RGS10 and negatively correlated with RGS17 and the short form of D2Rs mRNA level in the VTA. Although there were significant changes in the mRNA levels of RGS7 and RGS8 in the NAc, none of these measures were correlated with the rate of AMPH intake. The present study suggested that short-term AMPH self-administration produced pronounced changes in the VTA that were more associated with AMPH taking behavior than changes in the NAc. PMID:26321241

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) mimics cocaine in its physiological and behavioral effects but induces distinct changes in NAc glucose

    PubMed Central

    Wakabayashi, Ken T.; Ren, Suelynn E.; Kiyatkin, Eugene A.

    2015-01-01

    Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is generally considered to be a more potent cocaine-like psychostimulant, as it shares a similar pharmacological profile with cocaine and induces similar physiological and locomotor responses. Recently, we showed that intravenous cocaine induces rapid rise in nucleus accumbens (NAc) glucose and established its relation to neural activation triggered by the peripheral drug actions. This study was conducted to find out whether MDPV, at a behaviorally equivalent dose, shares a similar pattern of NAc glucose dynamics. Using enzyme-based glucose sensors coupled with amperometery in freely moving rats, we found that MDPV tonically decreases NAc glucose levels, a response that is opposite to what we previously observed with cocaine. By analyzing Skin-Muscle temperature differentials, a valid measure of skin vascular tone, we found that MDPV induces vasoconstriction; a similar effect at the level of cerebral vessels could be responsible for the MDPV-induced decrease in NAc glucose. While cocaine also induced comparable, if not slightly stronger peripheral vasoconstriction, this effect was overpowered by local neural activity-induced vasodilation, resulting in rapid surge in NAc glucose. These results imply that cocaine-users may be more susceptible to addiction than MDPV-users due to the presence of an interoceptive signal (i.e., sensory cue), which may result in earlier and more direct reward detection. Additionally, while health complications arising from acute cocaine use are typically cardiovascular related, MDPV may be more dangerous to the brain due to uncompensated cerebral vasoconstriction. PMID:26441499

  13. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) mimics cocaine in its physiological and behavioral effects but induces distinct changes in NAc glucose.

    PubMed

    Wakabayashi, Ken T; Ren, Suelynn E; Kiyatkin, Eugene A

    2015-01-01

    Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is generally considered to be a more potent cocaine-like psychostimulant, as it shares a similar pharmacological profile with cocaine and induces similar physiological and locomotor responses. Recently, we showed that intravenous cocaine induces rapid rise in nucleus accumbens (NAc) glucose and established its relation to neural activation triggered by the peripheral drug actions. This study was conducted to find out whether MDPV, at a behaviorally equivalent dose, shares a similar pattern of NAc glucose dynamics. Using enzyme-based glucose sensors coupled with amperometery in freely moving rats, we found that MDPV tonically decreases NAc glucose levels, a response that is opposite to what we previously observed with cocaine. By analyzing Skin-Muscle temperature differentials, a valid measure of skin vascular tone, we found that MDPV induces vasoconstriction; a similar effect at the level of cerebral vessels could be responsible for the MDPV-induced decrease in NAc glucose. While cocaine also induced comparable, if not slightly stronger peripheral vasoconstriction, this effect was overpowered by local neural activity-induced vasodilation, resulting in rapid surge in NAc glucose. These results imply that cocaine-users may be more susceptible to addiction than MDPV-users due to the presence of an interoceptive signal (i.e., sensory cue), which may result in earlier and more direct reward detection. Additionally, while health complications arising from acute cocaine use are typically cardiovascular related, MDPV may be more dangerous to the brain due to uncompensated cerebral vasoconstriction. PMID:26441499

  14. Maturation of silent synapses in amygdala-accumbens projection contributes to incubation of cocaine craving

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Brian R.; Ma, Yao-ying; Huang, Yanhua H.; Wang, Xiusong; Otaka, Mami; Ishikawa, Masago; Neumann, Peter A.; Graziane, Nicolas M.; Brown, Travis E.; Suska, Anna; Guo, Changyong; Lobo, Mary Kay; Sesack, Susan R.; Wolf, Marina E.; Nestler, Eric J.; Shaham, Yavin; Schlüter, Oliver M.; Dong, Yan

    2013-01-01

    In rat models of drug relapse and craving, cue-induced cocaine seeking progressively increases after drug withdrawal. This ‘incubation of cocaine craving’ is partially mediated by time-dependent adaptations at glutamatergic synapses in nucleus accumbens. However, the circuit-level adaptations mediating this plasticity remain elusive. Here we studied silent synapses—often regarded as immature synapses that express stable NMDA receptors with AMPA receptors either absent or labile—in basolateral amygdala-to-accumbens projection in incubation of cocaine craving. Silent synapses were detected within this projection during early withdrawal from cocaine. As the withdrawal period progressed, these silent synapses became ‘unsilenced’, a process involving synaptic insertion of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs). In vivo optogenetic stimulation-induced downregulation of CP-AMPARs at amygdala-to-NAc synapses, which re-silenced some of the previously silent synapses after prolonged withdrawal, decreased cocaine incubation. Our finding indicates that silent synapse-based reorganization of the amygdala-to-accumbens projection is critical for persistent cocaine craving and relapse after withdrawal. PMID:24077564

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Dopamine receptor regulating factor, DRRF: a zinc finger transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Hwang, C K; D'Souza, U M; Eisch, A J; Yajima, S; Lammers, C H; Yang, Y; Lee, S H; Kim, Y M; Nestler, E J; Mouradian, M M

    2001-06-19

    Dopamine receptor genes are under complex transcription control, determining their unique regional distribution in the brain. We describe here a zinc finger type transcription factor, designated dopamine receptor regulating factor (DRRF), which binds to GC and GT boxes in the D1A and D2 dopamine receptor promoters and effectively displaces Sp1 and Sp3 from these sequences. Consequently, DRRF can modulate the activity of these dopamine receptor promoters. Highest DRRF mRNA levels are found in brain with a specific regional distribution including olfactory bulb and tubercle, nucleus accumbens, striatum, hippocampus, amygdala, and frontal cortex. Many of these brain regions also express abundant levels of various dopamine receptors. In vivo, DRRF itself can be regulated by manipulations of dopaminergic transmission. Mice treated with drugs that increase extracellular striatal dopamine levels (cocaine), block dopamine receptors (haloperidol), or destroy dopamine terminals (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) show significant alterations in DRRF mRNA. The latter observations provide a basis for dopamine receptor regulation after these manipulations. We conclude that DRRF is important for modulating dopaminergic transmission in the brain. PMID:11390978

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Influence of the hippocampus on amino acid utilizing and cholinergic neurons within the nucleus accumbens is promoted by histamine via H1 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kraus, M M; Prast, H; Philippu, A

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose The influence of the neurotransmitter histamine on spontaneous and stimulation-evoked release of glutamate, aspartate, GABA and ACh in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was investigated in vivo. Experimental Approach Using the push–pull superfusion technique, histaminergic compounds were applied to the NAc and neurotransmitter release was assessed. In some experiments, the fornix/fimbria of the hippocampus was electrically stimulated by a microelectrode and evoked potentials were monitored in the NAc. Key Results Superfusion of the NAc with the H1 receptor antagonist triprolidine (50 μM) decreased spontaneous outflow of glutamate, aspartate and ACh, while release of GABA remained unaffected. Superfusion with histamine elevated release of ACh, without influencing that of the amino acids. Electrical stimulation of the fornix/fimbria enhanced the output of amino acids and ACh within the NAc. The evoked outflow of glutamate and ACh was diminished on superfusion with triprolidine, while release of aspartate and GABA was not affected. Superfusion of the NAc with histamine intensified the stimulation-evoked release of glutamate and Ach. Histamine also elevated the stimulation-induced release of aspartate, without influencing that of GABA. Presuperfusion with triprolidine abolished the reinforced effect of histamine on stimulation-evoked transmitter release within the NAc. Conclusion and Implications Neuronal histamine activates H1 receptors and increases spontaneous release of glutamate, aspartate and ACh within the NAc. Stimulation of the hippocampal fornix/fimbria tract also enhances release of glutamate and ACh within the NAc and this effect is intensified by H1 receptor stimulation within the NAc. The latter effects, which are mediated by hippocampal afferences, might play an important role in mnemonic performance and in emotional processes such as anxiety and stress disorders. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed issue on Histamine

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Differential regional effects of methamphetamine on dopamine transport.

    PubMed

    Chu, Pei-Wen; Seferian, Kristi S; Birdsall, Elisabeth; Truong, Jannine G; Riordan, James A; Metcalf, Cameron S; Hanson, Glen R; Fleckenstein, Annette E

    2008-08-20

    Multiple high-dose methamphetamine administrations cause long-lasting (>1 week) deficits in striatal dopaminergic neuronal function. This stimulant likewise causes rapid (within 1 h) and persistent (at least 48 h) decreases in activities of striatal: 1) dopamine transporters, as assessed in synaptosomes; and 2) vesicular monoamine transporter -2 (VMAT-2), as assessed in a non-membrane-associated (referred to herein as cytoplasmic) vesicular subcellular fraction. Importantly, not all brain areas are vulnerable to methamphetamine-induced long-lasting deficits. Similarly, the present study indicates that methamphetamine exerts differential acute effects on monoaminergic transporters according to brain region. In particular, results revealed that in the nucleus accumbens, methamphetamine rapidly, but reversibly (within 24 h), decreased plasmalemmal dopamine transporter function, without effect on plasmalemmal dopamine transporter immunoreactivity. Methamphetamine also rapidly and reversibly (within 48 h) decreased cytoplasmic VMAT-2 function in this region, with relatively little effect on cytoplasmic VMAT-2 immunoreactivity. In contrast, methamphetamine did not alter either dopamine transporter or VMAT-2 activity in the hypothalamus. Noteworthy, the nucleus accumbens and hypothalamus did not display the persistent long-lasting striatal dopamine depletions caused by the stimulant. Taken together, these data suggest that deficits in plasmalemmal and vesicular monoamine transporter activity lasting greater than 24-48 h may be linked to the long-lasting dopaminergic deficits caused by methamphetamine and appear to be region specific. PMID:18599036

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Striatal dopamine D1 receptors in type 1 and 2 alcoholics measured with human whole hemisphere autoradiography.

    PubMed

    Tupala, Erkki; Tiihonen, Jari

    2005-01-01

    A considerable number of human and animal studies have implied the importance of dopamine system and alterations in dopamine receptors in the context of alcoholism. However, it has remained unclear if the alcohol-abuse related dopaminergic deficit is specifically associated with certain receptor subtype. The aim of this study was to compare putative alterations of dopamine D(1) receptors in caudate and putamen of nine type 1 alcoholics, eight type 2 alcoholics and 10 healthy controls by using [(3)H]SCH 23390 as a radioligand in postmortem human whole hemisphere autoradiography. In addition, we compared the present results to our earlier studies on dopamine transporters and dopamine D(2) receptors in these same subjects and evaluated the putative correlations of dopamine D(1) receptor densities between the nucleus accumbens and the above-mentioned structures. Our results show that alcoholics do not have significantly different striatal dopamine D(1) receptor densities compared to controls. Neither were there any significant correlations between the dopamine D(1) receptors and the two other dopamine binding sites. However, the correlations of the dopamine D(1) receptors between nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatal structures were consistently and mostly statistically significantly positive in alcoholics, but not in controls, which may suggest some pathology related to addiction. In addition, considering the facts that dopamine D(1) receptors were more abundant in the mesolimbic nucleus accumbens than in the caudate or putamen and that there was a strong tendency towards lower binding among type 1 alcoholics may suggest the importance of dopamine D(1) receptors in reward and/or alcoholism. PMID:15621009

  12. PKCβ Inhibitors Attenuate Amphetamine-Stimulated Dopamine Efflux.

    PubMed

    Zestos, Alexander G; Mikelman, Sarah R; Kennedy, Robert T; Gnegy, Margaret E

    2016-06-15

    Amphetamine abuse afflicts over 13 million people, and there is currently no universally accepted treatment for amphetamine addiction. Amphetamine serves as a substrate for the dopamine transporter and reverses the transporter to cause an increase in extracellular dopamine. Activation of the beta subunit of protein kinase C (PKCβ) enhances extracellular dopamine in the presence of amphetamine by facilitating the reverse transport of dopamine and internalizing the D2 autoreceptor. We previously demonstrated that PKCβ inhibitors block amphetamine-stimulated dopamine efflux in synaptosomes from rat striatum in vitro. In this study, we utilized in vivo microdialysis in live, behaving rats to assess the effect of the PKCβ inhibitors, enzastaurin and ruboxistaurin, on amphetamine-stimulated locomotion and increases in monoamines and their metabolites. A 30 min perfusion of the nucleus accumbens core with 1 μM enzastaurin or 1 μM ruboxistaurin reduced efflux of dopamine and its metabolite 3-methoxytyramine induced by amphetamine by approximately 50%. The inhibitors also significantly reduced amphetamine-stimulated extracellular levels of norepinephrine. The stimulation of locomotor behavior by amphetamine, measured simultaneously with the analytes, was comparably reduced by the PKCβ inhibitors. Using a stable isotope label retrodialysis procedure, we determined that ruboxistaurin had no effect on basal levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, or GABA. In addition, normal uptake function through the dopamine transporter was unaltered by the PKCβ inhibitors, as measured in rat synaptosomes. Our results support the utility of using PKCβ inhibitors to reduce the effects of amphetamine. PMID:26996926

  13. The lateral mesopontine tegmentum regulates both tonic and phasic activity of VTA dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li

    2013-01-01

    Anatomic studies have demonstrated that the mesolimbic dopamine system receives a substantial afferent input from a variety of regions ranging from the prefrontal cortex through to the brain stem. However, how these afferents regulate dopamine neuron activity is still largely unknown. The mesopontine tegmentum provides a significant input to ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons, and it has been demonstrated that discrete subdivisions within this region differentially alter dopamine neuron activity. Thus the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus provides a tonic input essential for maintaining burst firing of dopamine neurons, whereas the pedunculopontine tegmental (PPTg) nucleus regulates a transition from single-spike firing to burst firing. In contrast, the recently identified rostromedial tegmental nucleus provides an inhibitory input to the VTA and decreases spontaneous dopamine neuron activity. Here, we demonstrate that an area adjacent to the PPTg regulates both population activity as well as burst firing of VTA dopamine neurons. Specifically, N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) activation of the lateral mesopontine tegmentum produces an increase in the number of spontaneously active dopamine neurons and an increase in the average percentage of burst firing of dopamine neurons. This increase in neuronal activity was correlated with extracellular dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens, as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Taken together, we provide further evidence that the mesopontine tegmentum regulates discrete dopamine neuron activity states that are relevant for the understanding of dopamine system function in both normal and disease states. PMID:24004527

  14. Unique Effects of Acute Aripiprazole Treatment on the Dopamine D2 Receptor Downstream cAMP-PKA and Akt-GSK3β Signalling Pathways in Rats

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Aripiprazole is a wide-used antipsychotic drug with therapeutic effects on both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and reduced side-effects. Although aripiprazole was developed as a dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) partial agonist, all other D2R partial agonists that aimed to mimic aripiprazole failed to exert therapeutic effects in clinic. The present in vivo study aimed to investigate the effects of aripiprazole on the D2R downstream cAMP-PKA and Akt-GSK3β signalling pathways in comparison with a D2R antagonist – haloperidol and a D2R partial agonist – bifeprunox. Rats were injected once with aripiprazole (0.75mg/kg, i.p.), bifeprunox (0.8mg/kg, i.p.), haloperidol (0.1mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle. Five brain regions – the prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAc), caudate putamen (CPu), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN) were collected. The protein levels of PKA, Akt and GSK3β were measured by Western Blotting; the cAMP levels were examined by ELISA tests. The results showed that aripiprazole presented similar acute effects on PKA expression to haloperidol, but not bifeprunox, in the CPU and VTA. Additionally, aripiprazole was able to increase the phosphorylation of GSK3β in the PFC, NAc, CPu and SN, respectively, which cannot be achieved by bifeprunox and haloperidol. These results suggested that acute treatment of aripiprazole had differential effects on the cAMP-PKA and Akt-GSK3β signalling pathways from haloperidol and bifeprunox in these brain areas. This study further indicated that, by comparison with bifeprunox, the unique pharmacological profile of aripiprazole may be attributed to the relatively lower intrinsic activity at D2R. PMID:26162083

  15. Absence of NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons attenuates dopamine release but not conditioned approach during Pavlovian conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Jones G.; Zweifel, Larry S.; Clark, Jeremy J.; Evans, Scott B.; Phillips, Paul E. M.; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2010-01-01

    During Pavlovian conditioning, phasic dopamine (DA) responses emerge to reward-predictive stimuli as the subject learns to anticipate reward delivery. This observation has led to the hypothesis that phasic dopamine signaling is important for learning. To assess the ability of mice to develop anticipatory behavior and to characterize the contribution of dopamine, we used a food-reinforced Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. As mice learned the cue–reward association, they increased their head entries to the food receptacle in a pattern that was consistent with conditioned anticipatory behavior. D1-receptor knockout (D1R-KO) mice had impaired acquisition, and systemic administration of a D1R antagonist blocked both the acquisition and expression of conditioned approach in wild-type mice. To assess the specific contribution of phasic dopamine transmission, we tested mice lacking NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) exclusively in dopamine neurons (NR1-KO mice). Surprisingly, NR1-KO mice learned at the same rate as their littermate controls. To evaluate the contribution of NMDARs to phasic dopamine release in this paradigm, we performed fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in the nucleus accumbens of awake mice. Despite having significantly attenuated phasic dopamine release following reward delivery, KO mice developed cue-evoked dopamine release at the same rate as controls. We conclude that NMDARs in dopamine neurons enhance but are not critical for phasic dopamine release to behaviorally relevant stimuli; furthermore, their contribution to phasic dopamine signaling is not necessary for the development of cue-evoked dopamine or anticipatory activity in a D1R-dependent Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. PMID:20616081

  16. OGA inhibition by GlcNAc-selenazoline

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eun Ju; Love, Dona C.; Darout, Etzer; Abdo, Mohannad; Rempel, Brian; Withers, Stephen G.; Rablen, Paul R.; Hanover, John A.; Knapp, Spencer

    2010-01-01

    The title compound, which differs from the powerful O-GlcNAcase (OGA) inhibitor GlcNAc-thiazoline only at the chalcogen atom (Se for S), is a much weaker inhibitor in a direct OGA assay. In human cells, however, the selenazoline shows comparable ability to induce hyper-O-GlcNAc-ylation, and the two show similar reduction of insulin-stimulated translocation of glucose transporter 4 in differentiated 3T3 adipocytes. PMID:20822912

  17. Mesolimbic Dopamine Encodes Prediction Errors in a State-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Papageorgiou, Georgios K.; Baudonnat, Mathieu; Cucca, Flavia; Walton, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Mesolimbic dopamine encodes the benefits of a course of action. However, the value of an appetitive reward depends strongly on an animal’s current state. To investigate the relationship between dopamine, value, and physiological state, we monitored sub-second dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens core while rats made choices between food and sucrose solution following selective satiation on one of these reinforcers. Dopamine signals reflected preference for the reinforcers in the new state, decreasing to the devalued reward and, after satiation on food, increasing for the valued sucrose solution. These changes were rapid and selective, with dopamine release returning to pre-satiation patterns when the animals were re-tested in a standard food-restricted state. Such rapid and selective adaptation of dopamine-associated value signals could provide an important signal to promote efficient foraging for a varied diet. PMID:27050518

  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. Effect of psilocin on extracellular dopamine and serotonin levels in the mesoaccumbens and mesocortical pathway in awake rats.

    PubMed

    Sakashita, Yuichi; Abe, Kenji; Katagiri, Nobuyuki; Kambe, Toshie; Saitoh, Toshiaki; Utsunomiya, Iku; Horiguchi, Yoshie; Taguchi, Kyoji

    2015-01-01

    Psilocin (3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-1H-indol-4-ol) is a hallucinogenic component of the Mexican mushroom Psilocybe mexicana and a skeletal serotonin (5-HT) analogue. Psilocin is the active metabolite of psilocybin (3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-1H-indol-4-yl dihydrogen phosphate). In the present study, we examined the effects of systemically administered psilocin on extracellular dopamine and 5-HT concentrations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens, and medial prefrontal cortex of the dopaminergic pathway in awake rats using in vivo microdialysis. Intraperitoneal administration of psilocin (5, 10 mg/kg) significantly increased extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens. Psilocin did not affect the extracellular 5-HT level in the nucleus accumbens. Conversely, systemic administration of psilocin (10 mg/kg) significantly increased extracellular 5-HT levels in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats, but dopamine was decreased in this region. However, neither extracellular dopamine nor 5-HT levels in the VTA were altered by administration of psilocin. Behaviorally, psilocin significantly increased the number of head twitches. Thus, psilocin affects the dopaminergic system in the nucleus accumbens. In the serotonergic system, psilocin contribute to a crucial effect in the medial prefrontal cortex. The present data suggest that psilocin increased both the extracellular dopamine and 5-HT concentrations in the mesoaccumbens and/or mesocortical pathway. PMID:25342005

  20. Valproic acid potentiates both typical and atypical antipsychotic-induced prefrontal cortical dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Ichikawa, Junji; Chung, Young-Chul; Dai, Jin; Meltzer, Herbert Y

    2005-08-01

    Antipsychotic drugs (APD)s and anticonvulsant mood-stabilizers are now frequently used in combination with one another in treating both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We have recently reported that the atypical APDs, e.g. clozapine and risperidone, as well as the anticonvulsant mood-stabilizers, valproic acid (VPA), zonisamide, and carbamazepine, but not the typical APD haloperidol, increase dopamine (DA) release in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The increased DA release was partially (atypical APDs) or completely (mood-stabilizers) blocked by the serotonin (5-HT)1A receptor antagonist WAY100635. Diminished prefrontal cortical DA activity may contribute to cognitive impairment in virtually all the patients with schizophrenia and, perhaps, bipolar disorder. Thus, the enhanced release of cortical DA by these agents may be beneficial in this regard. It is, therefore, of considerable interest to determine whether combined administration of these agents augments prefrontal cortical DA release, and if so, whether the increase is dependent upon 5-HT1A receptor activation. VPA (50 mg/kg), which was insufficient by itself to increase prefrontal cortical DA release, potentiated the ability of clozapine (20 mg/kg) and risperidone (1 mg/kg) to increase DA release in the mPFC, but not in the nucleus accumbens (NAC). VPA (50 mg/kg) also potentiated haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg)-induced DA release in the mPFC; this increase was completely abolished by WAY100635 (0.2 mg/kg). These results suggest that, in combination with VPA, both typical and atypical APDs produce greater increases in prefrontal cortical DA release than either type of drug alone via a mechanism dependent upon 5-HT(1A) receptor activation. Furthermore, they provide a strong rationale for testing for possible clinical synergism of an APD and anticonvulsant mood-stabilizer in improving the cognitive deficits present in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. PMID:16061211

  1. Rapid anti-depressant and anxiolytic actions following dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer inactivation.

    PubMed

    Shen, Maurice Y F; Perreault, Melissa L; Bambico, Francis R; Jones-Tabah, Jace; Cheung, Marco; Fan, Theresa; Nobrega, José N; George, Susan R

    2015-12-01

    A role for the mesolimbic dopaminergic system in the pathophysiology of depression has become increasingly evident. Specifically, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to be elevated in the nucleus accumbens of depressed patients and to positively contribute to depression-like behaviour in rodents. The dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer exhibits significant expression in NAc and has also been shown to enhance BDNF expression and signalling in this region. We therefore examined the effects of D1-D2 heteromer stimulation in rats by SKF 83959, or its inactivation by a selective heteromer-disrupting TAT-D1 peptide on depression- and anxiety-like behaviours in non-stressed animals and in animals exposed to chronic unpredictable stress. SKF 83959 treatment significantly enhanced the latency to immobility in the forced swim test, increased the latency to drink condensed milk and reduced total milk consumption in the novelty-induced hypophagia test, and additionally reduced the total time spent in the open arms in the elevated plus maze test. These pro-depressant and anxiogenic effects of SKF 83959 were consistently abolished or attenuated by TAT-D1 peptide pre-treatment, signifying the behaviours were mediated by the D1-D2 heteromer. More importantly, in animals exposed to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), TAT-D1 peptide treatment alone induced significant and rapid anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects in two tests for CUS-induced anhedonia-like reactivity and in the novelty-suppressed feeding test. Together these findings indicate a positive role for the D1-D2 heteromer in mediating depression- and anxiety-like behaviours and suggest its possible value as a novel therapeutic target. PMID:26431907

  2. Specific Role of VTA Dopamine Neuronal Firing Rates and Morphology in the Reversal of Anxiety-Related, but not Depression-Related Behavior in the ClockΔ19 Mouse Model of Mania

    PubMed Central

    Coque, Laurent; Mukherjee, Shibani; Cao, Jun-Li; Spencer, Sade; Marvin, Marian; Falcon, Edgardo; Sidor, Michelle M; Birnbaum, Shari G; Graham, Ami; Neve, Rachael L; Gordon, Elizabeth; Ozburn, Angela R; Goldberg, Matthew S; Han, Ming-Hu; Cooper, Donald C; McClung, Colleen A

    2011-01-01

    Lithium has been used extensively for mood stabilization, and it is particularly efficacious in the treatment of bipolar mania. Like other drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric diseases, it has little effect on the mood of healthy individuals. Our previous studies found that mice with a mutation in the Clock gene (ClockΔ19) have a complete behavioral profile that is very similar to human mania, which can be reversed with chronic lithium treatment. However, the cellular and physiological effects that underlie its targeted therapeutic efficacy remain unknown. Here we find that ClockΔ19 mice have an increase in dopaminergic activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and that lithium treatment selectively reduces the firing rate in the mutant mice with no effect on activity in wild-type mice. Furthermore, lithium treatment reduces nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine levels selectively in the mutant mice. The increased dopaminergic activity in the Clock mutants is associated with cell volume changes in dopamine neurons, which are also rescued by lithium treatment. To determine the role of dopaminergic activity and morphological changes in dopamine neurons in manic-like behavior, we manipulated the excitability of these neurons by overexpressing an inwardly rectifying potassium channel subunit (Kir2.1) selectively in the VTA of ClockΔ19 mice and wild-type mice using viral-mediated gene transfer. Introduction of this channel mimics the effects of lithium treatment on the firing rate of dopamine neurons in ClockΔ19 mice and leads to a similar change in dopamine cell volume. Furthermore, reduction of dopaminergic firing rates in ClockΔ19 animals results in a normalization of locomotor- and anxiety-related behavior that is very similar to lithium treatment; however, it is not sufficient to reverse depression-related behavior. These results suggest that abnormalities in dopamine cell firing and associated morphology underlie alterations in anxiety-related behavior

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Heroin addiction is a disease of chronic relapse that harms the individual through devaluation of personal responsibilities in favor of finding and using drugs. Only some recreational heroin users devolve into addiction but the basis of these individual differences is not known. We have shown in rats that avoidance of a heroin-paired taste cue reliably identifies individual animals with greater addiction-like behavior for heroin. Here rats received 5min access to a 0.15% saccharin solution followed by the opportunity to self-administer either saline or heroin for 6h. Large Suppressors of the heroin-paired taste cue displayed increased drug escalation, motivation for drug, and drug loading behavior compared with Small Suppressors. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of these individual differences in addiction-like behavior. We examined the individual differences in mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats that were behaviorally stratified by addiction-like behavior using next-generation sequencing. We hypothesized that based on the avoidance of the drug-paired cue there will be a unique mRNA profile in the NAc. Analysis of strand-specific whole genome RNA-Seq data revealed a number of genes differentially regulated in NAc based on the suppression of the natural saccharine reward. Large Suppressors exhibited a unique mRNA prolife compared to Saline controls and Small Suppressors. Genes related to immunity, neuronal activity, and behavior were differentially expressed among the 3 groups. In total, individual differences in avoidance of a heroin-paired taste cue are associated with addiction-like behavior along with differential NAc gene expression. PMID:26733446

  14. 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

  15. The Miscanthus NAC transcription factor MlNAC9 enhances abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xun; Yang, Xuanwen; Pei, Shengqiang; He, Guo; Wang, Xiaoyu; Tang, Qi; Jia, Chunlin; Lu, Ying; Hu, Ruibo; Zhou, Gongke

    2016-07-15

    NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) transcription factors are known to play important roles in responses to abiotic stresses in plants. Currently, little information regarding the functional roles of NAC genes in stress tolerance is available in Miscanthus lutarioriparius, a promising bioenergy plant for cellulosic ethanol production. In this study, we carried out the functional characterization of MlNAC9 in abiotic stresses. MlNAC9 was shown to act as a nuclear localized transcription activator with the activation domain in its C-terminus. The overexpression of MlNAC9 in Arabidopsis conferred hypersensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA) at seed germination and root elongation stages. In addition, the overexpression of MlNAC9 led to increased seed germination rate and root growth under salt (NaCl) treatment. Meanwhile, the transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing MlNAC9 showed enhanced tolerance to drought and cold stresses. The expression of stress-responsive marker genes was significantly increased in MlNAC9 overexpression lines compared to that of WT under ABA, drought, salt, and cold stresses. Correspondingly, the activities of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) were significantly increased and the malondialdehyde (MDA) content was lower accumulated in MlNAC9 overexpression lines under drought and salt treatments. These results indicated that the overexpression of MlNAC9 improved the tolerance to abiotic stresses via an ABA-dependent pathway, and the enhanced tolerance of transgenic plants was mainly attributed to the increased expression of stress-responsive genes and the enhanced scavenging capability of reactive oxygen species (ROS). PMID:27085481

  16. Dynamic shaping of dopamine signals during probabilistic Pavlovian conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Paul E. M.

    2014-01-01

    Cue- and reward-evoked phasic dopamine activity during Pavlovian and operant conditioning paradigms is well correlated with reward-prediction errors from formal reinforcement learning models, which feature teaching signals in the form of discrepancies between actual and expected reward outcomes. Additionally, in learning tasks where conditioned cues probabilistically predict rewards, dopamine neurons show sustained cue-evoked responses that are correlated with the variance of reward and are maximal to cues predicting rewards with a probability of 0.5. Therefore, it has been suggested that sustained dopamine activity after cue presentation encodes the uncertainty of impending reward delivery. In the current study we examined the acquisition and maintenance of these neural correlates using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in rats implanted with carbon fiber electrodes in the nucleus accumbens core during probabilistic Pavlovian conditioning. The advantage of this technique is that we can sample from the same animal and recording location throughout learning with single trial resolution. We report that dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens core contains correlates of both expected value and variance. A quantitative analysis of these signals throughout learning, and during the ongoing updating process after learning in probabilistic conditions, demonstrates that these correlates are dynamically encoded during these phases. Peak CS-evoked responses are correlated with expected value and predominate during early learning while a variance-correlated sustained CS signal develops during the post-asymptotic updating phase. PMID:25172480

  17. Dynamic mesolimbic dopamine signaling during action sequence learning and expectation violation.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne L; Greenfield, Venuz Y; Bye, Jeffrey K; Linker, Kay E; Wang, Alice S; Wassum, Kate M

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged mesolimbic dopamine concentration changes have been detected during spatial navigation, but little is known about the conditions that engender this signaling profile or how it develops with learning. To address this, we monitored dopamine concentration changes in the nucleus accumbens core of rats throughout acquisition and performance of an instrumental action sequence task. Prolonged dopamine concentration changes were detected that ramped up as rats executed each action sequence and declined after earned reward collection. With learning, dopamine concentration began to rise increasingly earlier in the execution of the sequence and ultimately backpropagated away from stereotyped sequence actions, becoming only transiently elevated by the most distal and unexpected reward predictor. Action sequence-related dopamine signaling was reactivated in well-trained rats if they became disengaged in the task and in response to an unexpected change in the value, but not identity of the earned reward. Throughout training and test, dopamine signaling correlated with sequence performance. These results suggest that action sequences can engender a prolonged mode of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core and that such signaling relates to elements of the motivation underlying sequence execution and is dynamic with learning, overtraining and violations in reward expectation. PMID:26869075

  18. Dynamic mesolimbic dopamine signaling during action sequence learning and expectation violation

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Anne L.; Greenfield, Venuz Y.; Bye, Jeffrey K.; Linker, Kay E.; Wang, Alice S.; Wassum, Kate M.

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged mesolimbic dopamine concentration changes have been detected during spatial navigation, but little is known about the conditions that engender this signaling profile or how it develops with learning. To address this, we monitored dopamine concentration changes in the nucleus accumbens core of rats throughout acquisition and performance of an instrumental action sequence task. Prolonged dopamine concentration changes were detected that ramped up as rats executed each action sequence and declined after earned reward collection. With learning, dopamine concentration began to rise increasingly earlier in the execution of the sequence and ultimately backpropagated away from stereotyped sequence actions, becoming only transiently elevated by the most distal and unexpected reward predictor. Action sequence-related dopamine signaling was reactivated in well-trained rats if they became disengaged in the task and in response to an unexpected change in the value, but not identity of the earned reward. Throughout training and test, dopamine signaling correlated with sequence performance. These results suggest that action sequences can engender a prolonged mode of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core and that such signaling relates to elements of the motivation underlying sequence execution and is dynamic with learning, overtraining and violations in reward expectation. PMID:26869075

  19. 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

  20. Behavioral and Structural Responses to Chronic Cocaine Require a Feed-Forward Loop Involving ΔFosB and CaMKII in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

    PubMed Central

    Robison, Alfred J.; Vialou, Vincent; Mazei-Robison, Michelle; Feng, Jian; Kourrich, SaÏd; Collins, Miles; Wee, Sunmee; Koob, George; Turecki, Gustavo; Neve, Rachael; Thomas, Mark; Nestler, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    The transcription factor ΔFosB and the brain-enriched protein kinase CaMKIIα (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II) are induced in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) by chronic exposure to cocaine or other psychostimulant drugs of abuse, where the two proteins mediate sensitized drug responses. Although ΔFosB and CaMKIIα both regulate AMPA glutamate receptor expression and function in NAc, dendritic spine formation on NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs), and locomotor sensitization to cocaine, no direct link between these molecules has to date been explored. Here, we demonstrate that ΔFosB is phosphorylated by CaMKIIα at the protein-stabilizing Ser27, and that CaMKII is required for the cocaine-mediated accumulation of ΔFosB in rat NAc. Conversely, we show that ΔFosB is both necessary and sufficient for cocaine induction of CaMKIIα gene expression in vivo, an effect selective for D1-type MSNs in the NAc shell subregion. Furthermore, induction of dendritic spines on NAc MSNs and increased behavioral responsiveness to cocaine after NAc overexpression of ΔFosB are both CaMKII-dependent. Importantly, we demonstrate for the first time induction of ΔFosB and CaMKII in the NAc of human cocaine addicts, suggesting possible targets for future therapeutic intervention. These data establish that ΔFosB and CaMKII engage in a cell type- and brain region-specific positive feed-forward loop as a key mechanism for regulating the brain’s reward circuitry in response to chronic cocaine. PMID:23467346

  1. 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

  2. The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) - Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheth, Kartik; Mills, Elisabeth A. C.; Hooper, Eric; National Astronomy Consortium

    2015-01-01

    The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC; see https://sites.google.com/site/nraonac/) is a growing national partnership between majority and minority universities and institutions with the goal of increasing the numbers of under-represented minorities and students who might otherwise be overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline into STEM, or related, careers. The NAC model is based on the successful 'Posse Foundation' model for undergraduate success and incorporates all its major components: pre-training of cohorts to prepare them for the research experience, joint weekly cohort activities throughout the research summer, peer- and multiple mentoring, weekly discussion of various aspects of professional and career development, continued engagement of students in science after return to home institution and lifelong mentoring. The mentors also form a cohort, exchanging information and learning from each other. With its partner institutions, the NAC aims to build a complete pipeline from undergraduate through career for the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our annual goal is to create two to three cohorts of four to five students at each site (currently NRAO-Charlottesville, NRAO-Socorro and U. Wisconsin - Madison). Recruitment occurs in the fall semester with seminars and colloquia in partnership with faculty at the minority serving institutions and the GRAD-MAP program at the University of Maryland. In this talk we describe in detail all the components of the NAC and report on our progress. We are keen to interact and partner with new universities and institutions and encourage them to contact the NAC at nac4stem@googlegroups.com.

  3. AMPHETAMINE-, SCOPOLAMINE-, AND CAFFEINE-INDUCED LOCOMOTOR ACTIVITY FOLLOWING 6-HYDROXYDOPAMINE LESIONS OF THE MESOLIMBIC DOPAMINE SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    As previously reported, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions to the region of the nucleus accumbens blocked the locomotor activation induced by low doses of d-amphetamine, and produced a supersensitive locomotor response to the dopamine (DA) agonist, apomorphine. This same lesion, ...

  4. New GlcNAc/GalNAc-specific lectin from the ascidian Didemnum ternatanum.

    PubMed

    Molchanova, Valentina; Chikalovets, Irina; Li, Wei; Kobelev, Stanislav; Kozyrevskaya, Svetlana; Bogdanovich, Raisa; Howard, Eric; Belogortseva, Natalia

    2005-05-25

    Previously we isolated GlcNAc-specific lectin (DTL) from the ascidian Didemnum ternatanum by affinity chromatography on cross-linked ovalbumin. Here we report the purification and characterization of new D-GlcNAc/D-GalNAc-specific lectin DTL-A from the same ascidian. This lectin was isolated from non-bound cross-linked ovalbumin fraction and further was purified by gel filtration on Sepharose CL-4B, affinity chromatography on GlcNAc-agarose and gel filtration on Superdex 200. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration of purified lectin on Sepharose CL-4B indicates that it exists as large aggregates in the native state. Investigations of the carbohydrate specificity of DTL-A by enzyme-linked lectin assay suggest the multi-specificity of this lectin. DTL-A binds BSM, asialo-BSM as well as heparin and dextran sulfate. The binding of DTL-A to BSM was inhibited by monosaccharides D-GlcNAc and D-GalNAc, their alpha- but not beta-anomers. Among polysaccharides and glycoconjugates, DTL-A binding to BSM was effectively inhibited by BSM, asialo-BSM, pronase-treated BSM and synthetic alpha-D-GalNAc-PAA. Fetuin and asialofetuin showed a much lower inhibitory potency, heparin and dextran sulfate were noninhibitory. On the other hand, DTL-A binding to heparin was effectively inhibited by dextran sulfate, fucoidan, whereas BSM showed insignificantly inhibitory effect. DTL-A binding to heparin was not inhibited by D-GlcNAc and D-GalNAc. PMID:15784180

  5. Cloning and characterization of a novel NAC family gene CarNAC1 from chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.).

    PubMed

    Peng, Hui; Yu, Xingwang; Cheng, Huiying; Shi, Qinghua; Zhang, Hua; Li, Jiangui; Ma, Hao

    2010-01-01

    The plant-specific NAC (for NAM, ATAF1,2 and CUC2) proteins have been found to play important roles in plant development and stress responses. In this study, a NAC gene CarNAC1 (for Cicer arietinum L. NAC gene 1) was isolated from a cDNA library constructed with chickpea seedling leaves treated by polyethylene glycol. CarNAC1 encoded a putative protein with 239 amino acids and contained 3 exons and 2 introns within genomic DNA sequence. CarNAC1 had a conserved NAC domain in the N-terminus and the CarNAC1:GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion protein was localized in the nucleus of onion epidermal cells. Additionally, CarNAC1 exhibited the trans-activation activity which was mapped to the C-terminus. The CarNAC1 transcript was detected in many chickpea organs including seedling leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and young pods, but less accumulated in young seeds. CarNAC1 was induced by leaf age and showed changes in expression during seed development and germination. Furthermore, the expression of CarNAC1 was strongly induced by drought, salt, cold, wounding, H(2)O(2), ethephon, salicylic acid, indole-3-acetic acid, and gibberellin. Our results suggest that CarNAC1 encodes a novel NAC-domain protein and may be a transcriptional activator involved in plant development and various stress responses. PMID:19669952

  6. 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

  7. Cav 1.3 L-type Ca ( 2+) channels mediate long-term adaptation in dopamine D2L-mediated GluA1 trafficking in the dorsal striatum following cocaine exposure.

    PubMed

    Schierberl, Kathryn; Giordano, Thomas; Satpute, Shirish; Hao, Jin; Kaur, Gagandeep; Hofmann, Franz; Moosmang, Sven; Striessnig, Joerg; Rajadhyaksha, Anjali

    2012-01-01

    AMPA receptor (AMPAR) plasticity at glutamatergic synapses in the mesostriatal dopaminergic pathway has been implicated in persistent cocaine-induced behavioral responses; however, the precise mechanism underlying these changes remains unknown. Utilizing cocaine psychomotor sensitization in mice we find that repeated cocaine results in a basal reduction of Ser 845 GluA1 and cell surface GluA1 levels in the dorsal striatum (dStr) following a protracted withdrawal period, an adaptation that is dependent on Cav 1.3 channels but not those expressed in the VTA. We find that the basally-induced decrease in this phosphoprotein is the result of recruitment of the striatal dopamine D2 pathway, as evidenced by enhanced levels of D2 receptor (D2R) mRNA expression and D2R function as examined using the D2R antagonist, eticlopride, as well as alterations in the phosphorylation status of several downstream molecular targets of D2R's, including CREB, DARPP-32, Akt and GSK3β. Taken together with our recently published findings examining similar phenomena in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), these results underscore the utilization of divergent molecular mechanisms in the dStr, in mediating cocaine-induced persistent behavioral changes. PMID:22419037

  8. Dopamine-dependent responses to morphine depend on glucocorticoid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Marinelli, Michela; Aouizerate, Bruno; Barrot, Michel; Le Moal, Michel; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo

    1998-01-01

    Previous work has shown that glucocorticoid hormones facilitate the behavioral and dopaminergic effects of morphine. In this study we examined the possible role in these effects of the two central corticosteroid receptor types: mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). To accomplish this, specific antagonists of these receptors were infused intracerebroventricularly and 2 hr later we measured: (i) locomotor activity induced by a systemic injection of morphine (2 mg/kg); (ii) locomotor activity induced by an infusion of morphine (1 μg per side) into the ventral tegmental area, which is a dopamine-dependent behavioral response to morphine; (iii) morphine-induced dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, a dopaminergic projection site mediating the locomotor and reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse. Blockade of MRs by spironolactone had no significant effects on locomotion induced by systemic morphine. In contrast, blockade of GRs by either RU38486 or RU39305, which is devoid of antiprogesterone effects, reduced the locomotor response to morphine, and this effect was dose dependent. GR antagonists also reduced the locomotor response to intraventral tegmental area morphine as well as the basal and morphine-induced increase in accumbens dopamine, as measured by microdialysis in freely moving rats. In contrast, spironolactone did not modify dopamine release. In conclusion, glucocorticoids, via GRs, facilitate the dopamine-dependent behavioral effects of morphine, probably by facilitating dopamine release. The possibility of decreasing the behavioral and dopaminergic effects of opioids by an acute administration of GR antagonists may open new therapeutic strategies for treatment of drug addiction. PMID:9636221

  9. 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

  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. Effects of cysteamine on dopamine-mediated behaviors: evidence for dopamine-somatostatin interactions in the striatum

    SciTech Connect

    Martin-Iverson, M.T.; Radke, J.M.; Vincent, S.R.

    1986-06-01

    The effects of prior treatment with cysteamine, a drug which appears to deplete selectively the neuropeptide somatostatin, on apomorphine-induced stereotypy and amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and conditioned place preferences were investigated. Twelve hours following systemic cysteamine injections apomorphine-induced stereotypy was attenuated and striatal somatostatin levels were reduced by half. Systemic cysteamine also decreased the motor stimulant effects of amphetamine, without influencing the rewarding properties as determined by the conditioned place preference procedure. Direct injections of cysteamine into the nucleus accumbens also decreased the locomotor response to amphetamine, and produced a local reduction in somatostatin levels in the accumbens. Cysteamine did not appear to alter monoamine turnover in the striatum after either systemic or intra-accumbens injections. These results suggest that somatostatin in the nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen modulates the motor, but not the reinforcing properties of dopaminergic drugs, possibly via an action postsynaptic to dopamine-releasing terminals. Furthermore, it is evident from these results that cysteamine is an important tool with which to study the central actions of somatostatin.

  12. The role of dopamine, dynorphin, and CART systems in the ventral striatum and amygdala in cocaine abuse.

    PubMed

    Hurd, Y L; Svensson, P; Pontén, M

    1999-06-29

    Disturbance of the mesolimbic dopamine system has long been hypothesized for the underlying neurobiology of cocaine addiction. Recently, increased attention has been directed towards the opioid neuropeptide system, in particular dynorphin; inasmuch as opioid peptide-containing neurons are regulated by dopamine, these peptides have potent effects on mood and reward, and cocaine consistently modulates dynorphin activity. Our experiments have been directed towards characterizing the specific alterations of dopamine and dynorphin systems during different stages following cocaine administration, as well as assessing the contribution of nucleus accumbens and amygdala dopamine levels to cocaine-intake behavior. We have used the techniques of in vivo microdialysis to measure and manipulate extracellular concentrations of dopamine in animals that self-administer cocaine, and in situ hybridization to study mRNA expression levels of prodynorphin and dopamine receptors. It is clear from these studies that different stages of the cocaine use cycle are characterized by distinct patterns of prodynorphin and dopamine D1 mRNA expression levels. Moreover, cocaine-intake behavior is sensitive to very specific concentrations of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens as well as in the amygdala. Recently, the CART (cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript) peptide was proposed as a novel target for the actions of psychostimulant drugs. We have noted differences between male and female rats in the mesolimbic mRNA expression of CART that might be relevant for gender differences apparent in drug abuse. PMID:10415667

  13. 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

  14. Synthesis, Protein Levels, Activity and Phosphorylation State of Tyrosine Hydroxylase in Mesoaccumbens and Nigrostriatal Dopamine Pathways of Chronically Food-restricted Rats

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Yan; Berman, Yemiliya; Haberny, Sandra; Meller, Emanuel; Carr, Kenneth D.

    2006-01-01

    Chronic food restriction (FR) enhances the rewarding and motor-activating effects of abused drugs, and is accompanied by changes in dopamine (DA) dynamics and increased D-1 DA receptor-mediated cell signaling and transcriptional responses in nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, little is known about effects of FR on DA synthetic activity in the mesoaccumbens and nigrostriatal pathways. In Experiment 1 of the present study, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene expression was measured in ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra, using real time RT-PCR and in situ hybridization; no differences were observed between FR and ad libitum fed (AL) rats. In Experiment 2, TH protein levels, determined by Western blot, were found to be elevated in NAc and caudate-putamen (CPu) of FR relative to AL rats. In the absence of increased transcription, this may reflect a slowing of TH degradation. In Experiments 3 and 4, DA synthetic activity was assessed by Western blot measurement of TH phosphorylation at Ser-40, and HPLC measurement of in vivo tyrosine hydroxylation rate, as reflected by DOPA accumulation following administration of a decarboxylase inhibitor (NSD-1015; 100 mg/kg, i.p.). Basal phospho-Ser(40)-TH levels did not differ between groups but DOPA accumulation was decreased by FR. Decreased DOPA synthesis, despite increased levels of TH protein, may reflect the inhibitory effect of increased DA binding to TH protein or decreased concentrations of cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin. Finally, in response to d-amphetamine (0.5 and 5.0 mg/kg, i.p.), phospho-Ser(40)-TH was selectively decreased in NAc of FR rats. This suggests increased feedback inhibition of DA synthesis - a possible consequence of postsynaptic receptor hypersensitivity, or increased extracellular DA concentration. These results indicate that FR increases TH protein levels, but may decrease the capacity for DA synthesis by decreasing TH activity. According to this scheme, the previously observed upregulation of striatal

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Striatal dopamine receptor plasticity in neurotensin deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Chastain, Lucy G.; Qu, Hongyan; Bourke, Chase H.; Iuvone, P. Michael; Dobner, Paul R.; Nemeroff, Charles B.; Kinkead, Becky

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is thought to be caused, at least in part, by dysfunction in striatal dopamine neurotransmission. Both clinical studies and animal research have implicated the dopamine neuromodulator neurotensin (NT) in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Utilizing male mice lacking the NT gene (NT−/−), these studies examined the consequences of NT deficiency on dopaminergic tone and function, investigating (1) dopamine concentrations and dopamine receptor and transporter expression and binding in dopaminergic terminal regions, and (2) the behavioral effects of selective dopamine receptor agonists on locomotion and sensorimotor gating in adult NT−/− mice compared to wildtype (NT+/+) mice. NT−/− mice did not differ from NT+/+ mice in concentrations of dopamine or its metabolite DOPAC in any brain region examined. However, NT−/− mice showed significantly increased D1 receptor, D2 receptor, and dopamine transporter (DAT) mRNA in the caudate putamen compared to NT+/+ controls. NT−/− mice also showed elevated D2 receptor binding densities in both the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens shell compared to NT+/+ mice. In addition, some of the behavioral effects of the D1-type receptor agonist SKF-82958 and the D2-type receptor agonist quinpirole on locomotion, startle amplitude, and prepulse inhibition were dose-dependently altered in NT−/− mice, showing altered D1-type and D2-type receptor sensitivity to stimulation by agonists in the absence of NT. The results indicate that NT deficiency alters striatal dopamine receptor expression, binding, and function. This suggests a critical role for the NT system in the maintenance of striatal DA system homeostasis and implicates NT deficiency in the etiology of dopamine-associated disorders such as schizophrenia. PMID:25449842

  19. Cannabinoid Receptor Activation Shifts Temporally Engendered Patterns of Dopamine Release

    PubMed Central

    Oleson, Erik B; Cachope, Roger; Fitoussi, Aurelie; Tsutsui, Kimberly; Wu, Sharon; Gallegos, Jacqueline A; Cheer, Joseph F

    2014-01-01

    The ability to discern temporally pertinent environmental events is essential for the generation of adaptive behavior in conventional tasks, and our overall survival. Cannabinoids are thought to disrupt temporally controlled behaviors by interfering with dedicated brain timing networks. Cannabinoids also increase dopamine release within the mesolimbic system, a neural pathway generally implicated in timing behavior. Timing can be assessed using fixed-interval (FI) schedules, which reinforce behavior on the basis of time. To date, it remains unknown how cannabinoids modulate dopamine release when responding under FI conditions, and for that matter, how subsecond dopamine release is related to time in these tasks. In the present study, we hypothesized that cannabinoids would accelerate timing behavior in an FI task while concurrently augmenting a temporally relevant pattern of dopamine release. To assess this possibility, we measured subsecond dopamine concentrations in the nucleus accumbens while mice responded for food under the influence of the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55 212-2 in an FI task. Our data reveal that accumbal dopamine concentrations decrease proportionally to interval duration—suggesting that dopamine encodes time in FI tasks. We further demonstrate that WIN 55 212-2 dose-dependently increases dopamine release and accelerates a temporal behavioral response pattern in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner—suggesting that cannabinoid receptor activation modifies timing behavior, in part, by augmenting time-engendered patterns of dopamine release. Additional investigation uncovered a specific role for endogenous cannabinoid tone in timing behavior, as elevations in 2-arachidonoylglycerol, but not anandamide, significantly accelerated the temporal response pattern in a manner akin to WIN 55 212-2. PMID:24345819

  20. mTOR signalling in the nucleus accumbens shell is critical for augmented effect of TFF3 on behavioural response to cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yi-Xiao; Han, Hua; Shao, Juan; Gao, Yuan; Yin, Xi; Zhu, Wei-Li; Han, Ying; Shi, Hai-Shui

    2016-01-01

    Neuropeptides play important roles in modulating the rewarding value of abused drugs. Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) was recently reported to modulate withdrawal syndrome of morphine, but the effects of TFF3 on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes are still elusive. In the present study, cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion and conditioned place preference (CPP) rat paradigms were provided to investigate the role of TFF3 in the reward response to cocaine. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to analyse the dopamine concentration. The results showed that systemic TFF3 administration (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) significantly augmented cocaine- induced hyperlocomotion and CPP formation, without any effects on locomotor activity and aversive or rewarding effects per se. TFF3 significantly augmented the increment of the dopamine concentration in the NAc and the activity of the mTOR signalling pathway induced by acute cocaine exposure (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in the NAc shell, but not the core. The Intra-NAc shell infusion of rapamycin blocked TFF3-induced hyperactivity in cocaine-treatment rats. These findings indicated that TFF3 could potentiate behavioural response to cocaine, which may be associated with regulating dopamine concentration. Furthermore, the findings indicated that mTOR signalling pathway in the NAc shell is important for TFF3-induced enhancement on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes. PMID:27282818

  1. mTOR signalling in the nucleus accumbens shell is critical for augmented effect of TFF3 on behavioural response to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yi-Xiao; Han, Hua; Shao, Juan; Gao, Yuan; Yin, Xi; Zhu, Wei-Li; Han, Ying; Shi, Hai-Shui

    2016-01-01

    Neuropeptides play important roles in modulating the rewarding value of abused drugs. Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) was recently reported to modulate withdrawal syndrome of morphine, but the effects of TFF3 on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes are still elusive. In the present study, cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion and conditioned place preference (CPP) rat paradigms were provided to investigate the role of TFF3 in the reward response to cocaine. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to analyse the dopamine concentration. The results showed that systemic TFF3 administration (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) significantly augmented cocaine- induced hyperlocomotion and CPP formation, without any effects on locomotor activity and aversive or rewarding effects per se. TFF3 significantly augmented the increment of the dopamine concentration in the NAc and the activity of the mTOR signalling pathway induced by acute cocaine exposure (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in the NAc shell, but not the core. The Intra-NAc shell infusion of rapamycin blocked TFF3-induced hyperactivity in cocaine-treatment rats. These findings indicated that TFF3 could potentiate behavioural response to cocaine, which may be associated with regulating dopamine concentration. Furthermore, the findings indicated that mTOR signalling pathway in the NAc shell is important for TFF3-induced enhancement on the cocaine-induced behavioral changes. PMID:27282818

  2. 75 FR 54221 - RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-03

    ... Federal Aviation Administration RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC). SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of a meeting of RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC). DATES:...

  3. 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

  4. Ceftriaxone attenuates ethanol drinking and restores extracellular glutamate concentration through normalization of GLT-1 in nucleus accumbens of male alcohol-preferring rats.

    PubMed

    Das, Sujan C; Yamamoto, Bryan K; Hristov, Alexandar M; Sari, Youssef

    2015-10-01

    Alteration of glutamatergic-neurotransmission is a hallmark of alcohol dependence. We have previously reported that chronic ethanol-drinking downregulated glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) in nucleus accumbens (NAc) in male P rats in a manner that was reversed by ceftriaxone treatment. However, the effect of ceftriaxone on extracellular glutamate concentrations in NAc after chronic ethanol-drinking has not yet been studied. In the present study, male P rats were treated with ceftriaxone (100 mg/kg/day, i.p.) for five consecutive days following five-weeks of free choice ethanol (15% and 30%) drinking. In vivo microdialysis was performed to measure the extracellular glutamate concentrations in NAc and the effect of blockade of GLT-1 with dihydrokainic acid (DHK) on extracellular glutamate in NAc of ceftriaxone-treated rats was determined. Ceftriaxone treatment attenuated ethanol intake as well as ethanol preference. Extracellular glutamate was significantly higher in NAc after five-weeks of ethanol drinking in saline-treated compared to water control rats. Ceftriaxone treatment blocked the increase extracellular glutamate produced by ethanol intake. Blockade of GLT-1 by DHK reversed the effects of ceftriaxone on glutamate and implicated the role of GLT-1 in the normalization of extracellular glutamate by ceftriaxone. In addition, GLT-1 protein was decreased in ethanol exposed animals and ceftriaxone treatment reversed this deficit. Ceftriaxone treatment also increased glutamine synthetase activity in NAc but not in PFC as compared to ethanol drinking saline-treated rats. Our present study demonstrates that ceftriaxone treatment prevents ethanol drinking in part through normalization of extracellular glutamate concentrations in NAc of male P rats via GLT-1. PMID:26002627

  5. mGluR5 activation in the nucleus accumbens is not essential for sexual behavior or cross-sensitization of amphetamine responses by sexual experience.

    PubMed

    Pitchers, K K; Di Sebastiano, A R; Coolen, L M

    2016-08-01

    Natural rewards and psychostimulants cause similar neural plasticity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In addition, sexual experience in male rats causes increased locomotor activity and conditioned place preference (CPP) induced by d-Amphetamine (amph). The latter is dependent on a period of abstinence from sexual reward. In this study, the role of mGluR5 activation in the NAc for expression of mating and the cross-sensitizing effects of sexual experience was tested. First, intra-NAc infusions of mGluR5 antagonists MPEP (1 or 10 μg/μL) or MTEP (1 μg/μL) 15 min prior to mating during 4 daily sessions had no effect on male rat sexual behavior. Subsequently, these sexually experienced males were tested for amph-induced locomotor activity and CPP after one week of abstinence from sexual reward. In addition, sexually naïve males that received MPEP, MTEP or vehicle infusions prior to 4 daily handling sessions were included. Cross-sensitization of locomotion or CPP was not prevented by NAc mGluR5 antagonism during acquisition of sexual experience. Instead, sexually naive animals that received NAc mGluR5 antagonists without mating demonstrated sensitized amph-induced locomotor responses and enhanced CPP on par with sexually experienced males. Finally, we showed that sexual experience caused prolonged down-regulation of mGluR5 protein in the NAc, dependent on abstinence from sexual behavior. Together, these findings suggest that mGluR5 activation in the NAc is not essential for the expression of mating, but that experience-induced reduction in mGluR5 protein may contribute to the cross-sensitization of amph responses by sexual experience and abstinence. PMID:26946431

  6. Alterations in blood glucose and plasma glucagon concentrations during deep brain stimulation in the shell region of the nucleus accumbens in rats.

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Disruption of nicotine conditioning by dopamine D(3) receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Le Foll, B; Schwartz, J-C; Sokoloff, P

    2003-02-01

    Tobacco smoking is the first cause of preventable death in modern countries. Nicotine replacement therapy or sustained release bupropion helps smoking cessation, but relapse rates are still very high. Nicotine, like other drugs of abuse, activates the dopamine mesolimbic system, which originates in the ventral tegmental area and projects notably to the nucleus accumbens. Situations or environmental stimuli previously associated with cigarette smoking, for example, smell of cigarette smoke, can elicit craving in abstinent smokers and promote relapse. Reducing the effects of nicotine-associated cues might therefore have potential therapeutic utility for smoking cessation. Such an approach has been validated for cocaine in animals, by using the dopamine D(3) receptor-selective partial agonist BP 897, which inhibits cocaine cue-induced drug-seeking behavior. Here we show that rats repeatedly injected with nicotine in a particular environment develop nicotine-conditioned locomotor responses, accompanied by an increase in D(3) receptor expression in the nucleus accumbens. This conditioned behavior was inhibited by BP 897 or a selective D(3) receptor antagonist, suggesting that antagonizing dopamine selectively at the D(3) receptor disrupts nicotine-conditioned effects and might represent a novel therapeutic approach for smoking cessation. PMID:12610655

  11. Differences in the time course of haloperidol-induced up-regulation of rat striatal and mesolimbic dopamine receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Prosser, E.S.; Csernansky, J.G.; Hollister, L.E.

    1988-01-01

    Regional differences in the onset and persistence of increased dopamine D2 receptor density in rat brain were studied following daily injections of haloperidol for 3, 7, 14, or 28 days. Striatal (/sup 3/H)-spiroperidol Bmax values were significantly increased following 3 - 28 days of haloperidol treatment, as compared to saline controls. Olfactory tubercle Bmax values were significantly increased only after 14 or 28 days of haloperidol treatment. Nucleus accumbens Bmax values were significantly increased only in the 14-day drug treatment group, suggesting that dopamine D2 receptor up-regulation in nucleus accumbens may reverse during ongoing neuroleptic treatment. These findings suggest that important differences in adaptive responses to chronic dopamine blockade may exist between dopaminergic synapses located in various rat brain regions.

  12. 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

  13. A glutamatergic reward input from the dorsal raphe to ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Hui-Ling; Wang, Huikun; de Jesus Aceves Buendia, Jose; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Lupica, Carl R.; Seal, Rebecca P.; Morales, Marisela

    2014-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe (DR) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) activates the fibers of the same reward pathway but the phenotype of this pathway and the direction of the reward-relevant fibers have not been determined. Here we report rewarding effects following activation of a DR-originating pathway consisting of vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGluT3) containing neurons that form asymmetric synapses onto VTA dopamine neurons that project to nucleus accumbens. Optogenetic VTA activation of this projection elicits AMPA-mediated synaptic excitatory currents in VTA mesoaccumbens dopaminergic neurons and causes dopamine release innucleus accumbens. Activation also reinforces instrumental behavior and establishes conditioned place preferences. These findings indicate that the DR-VGluT3 pathway to VTA utilizes glutamate as a neurotransmitter and is a substrate linking the DR—one of the most sensitive reward sites in the brain—to VTA dopaminergic neurons. PMID:25388237

  14. Motivation deficit in ADHD is associated with dysfunction of the dopamine reward pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J.; Newcorn, J.H.; Kollins, S.H.; Wigal, T.L.; Telang, F.; Folwer, J.S.; Goldstein, R.Z.; Klein, N.; Logan, J.; Wong, C.; Swanson, J.M.

    2010-08-17

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is typically characterized as a disorder of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity but there is increasing evidence of deficits in motivation. Using positron emission tomography (PET), we showed decreased function in the brain dopamine reward pathway in adults with ADHD, which, we hypothesized, could underlie the motivation deficits in this disorder. To evaluate this hypothesis, we performed secondary analyses to assess the correlation between the PET measures of dopamine D2/D3 receptor and dopamine transporter availability (obtained with [{sup 11}C]raclopride and [{sup 11}C]cocaine, respectively) in the dopamine reward pathway (midbrain and nucleus accumbens) and a surrogate measure of trait motivation (assessed using the Achievement scale on the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire or MPQ) in 45 ADHD participants and 41 controls. The Achievement scale was lower in ADHD participants than in controls (11 {+-} 5 vs 14 {+-} 3, P < 0.001) and was significantly correlated with D2/D3 receptors (accumbens: r = 0.39, P < 0.008; midbrain: r = 0.41, P < 0.005) and transporters (accumbens: r = 0.35, P < 0.02) in ADHD participants, but not in controls. ADHD participants also had lower values in the Constraint factor and higher values in the Negative Emotionality factor of the MPQ but did not differ in the Positive Emotionality factor - and none of these were correlated with the dopamine measures. In ADHD participants, scores in the Achievement scale were also negatively correlated with symptoms of inattention (CAARS A, E and SWAN I). These findings provide evidence that disruption of the dopamine reward pathway is associated with motivation deficits in ADHD adults, which may contribute to attention deficits and supports the use of therapeutic interventions to enhance motivation in ADHD.

  15. The behavioral pharmacology of effort-related choice behavior: dopamine, adenosine and beyond.

    PubMed

    Salamone, John D; Correa, Merce; Nunes, Eric J; Randall, Patrick A; Pardo, Marta

    2012-01-01

    For many years, it has been suggested that drugs that interfere with dopamine (DA) transmission alter the "rewarding" impact of primary reinforcers such as food. Research and theory related to the functions of mesolimbic DA are undergoing a substantial conceptual restructuring, with the traditional emphasis on hedonia and primary reward yielding to other concepts and lines of inquiry. The present review is focused upon the involvement of nucleus accumbens DA in effort-related choice behavior. Viewed from the framework of behavioral economics, the effects of accumbens DA depletions and antagonism on food-reinforced behavior are highly dependent upon the work requirements of the instrumental task, and DA-depleted rats show a heightened sensitivity to response costs, especially ratio requirements. Moreover, interference with accumbens DA transmission exerts a powerful influence over effort-related choice behavior. Rats with accumbens DA depletions or antagonism reallocate their instrumental behavior away from food-reinforced tasks that have high response requirements, and show increased selection of low reinforcement/low cost options. Nucleus accumbens DA and adenosine interact in the regulation of effort-related functions, and other brain structures (anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, ventral pallidum) also are involved. Studies of the brain systems regulating effort-based processes may have implications for understanding drug abuse, as well as symptoms such as psychomotor slowing, fatigue or anergia in depression and other neurological disorders. PMID:22287808

  16. General, kappa, delta and mu opioid receptor antagonists mediate feeding elicited by the GABA-B agonist baclofen in the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens shell in rats: reciprocal and regional interactions.

    PubMed

    Miner, Patricia; Shimonova, Lyudmila; Khaimov, Arthur; Borukhova, Yaffa; Ilyayeva, Ester; Ranaldi, Robert; Bodnar, Richard J

    2012-03-14

    Food intake is significantly increased following administration of agonists of GABA and opioid receptors into the nucleus accumbens shell (NACs) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). GABA-A or GABA-B receptor antagonist pretreatment within the VTA or NACs differentially affects mu-opioid agonist-induced feeding elicited from the same site. Correspondingly, general or selective opioid receptor antagonist pretreatment within the VTA or NACs differentially affects GABA agonist-induced feeding elicited from the same site. Regional interactions have been evaluated in feeding studies by administering antagonists in one site prior to agonist administration in a second site. Thus, opioid antagonist-opioid agonist and GABA antagonist-GABA agonist feeding interactions have been identified between the VTA and NACs. However, pretreatment with GABA-A or GABA-B receptor antagonists in the VTA failed to affect mu opioid agonist-induced feeding elicited from the NACs, and correspondingly, these antagonists administered in the NACs failed to affect mu opioid-induced feeding elicited from the VTA. To evaluate whether regional and reciprocal VTA and NACs feeding interactions occur for opioid receptor modulation of GABA agonist-mediated feeding, the present study examined whether feeding elicited by the GABA-B agonist, baclofen microinjected into the NACs was dose-dependently blocked by pretreatment with general (naltrexone: NTX), mu (beta-funaltrexamine: BFNA), kappa (nor-binaltorphamine: NBNI) or delta (naltrindole: NTI) opioid antagonists in the VTA, and correspondingly, whether VTA baclofen-induced feeding was dose-dependently blocked by NACs pretreatment with NTX, BFNA, NBNI or NTI in rats. Bilateral pairs of cannulae aimed at the VTA and NACs were stereotaxically implanted in rats, and their food intakes were assessed following vehicle and baclofen (200 ng) in each site. Baclofen produced similar magnitudes of increased food intake following VTA and NACs treatment. Baclofen

  17. Reduced Insulin Sensitivity Is Related to Less Endogenous Dopamine at D2/3 Receptors in the Ventral Striatum of Healthy Nonobese Humans

    PubMed Central

    Caravaggio, Fernando; Borlido, Carol; Hahn, Margaret; Feng, Zhe; Fervaha, Gagan; Gerretsen, Philip; Nakajima, Shinichiro; Plitman, Eric; Chung, Jun Ku; Iwata, Yusuke; Wilson, Alan; Remington, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Background: Food addiction is a debated topic in neuroscience. Evidence suggests diabetes is related to reduced basal dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens, similar to persons with drug addiction. It is unknown whether insulin sensitivity is related to endogenous dopamine levels in the ventral striatum of humans. We examined this using the agonist dopamine D2/3 receptor radiotracer [11C]-(+)-PHNO and an acute dopamine depletion challenge. In a separate sample of healthy persons, we examined whether dopamine depletion could alter insulin sensitivity. Methods: Insulin sensitivity was estimated for each subject from fasting plasma glucose and insulin using the Homeostasis Model Assessment II. Eleven healthy nonobese and nondiabetic persons (3 female) provided a baseline [11C]-(+)-PHNO scan, 9 of which provided a scan under dopamine depletion, allowing estimates of endogenous dopamine at dopamine D2/3 receptor. Dopamine depletion was achieved via alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (64mg/kg, P.O.). In 25 healthy persons (9 female), fasting plasma and glucose was acquired before and after dopamine depletion. Results: Endogenous dopamine at ventral striatum dopamine D2/3 receptor was positively correlated with insulin sensitivity (r(7)=.84, P=.005) and negatively correlated with insulin levels (r(7)=-.85, P=.004). Glucose levels were not correlated with endogenous dopamine at ventral striatum dopamine D2/3 receptor (r(7)=-.49, P=.18). Consistently, acute dopamine depletion in healthy persons significantly decreased insulin sensitivity (t(24)=2.82, P=.01), increased insulin levels (t(24)=-2.62, P=.01), and did not change glucose levels (t(24)=-0.93, P=.36). Conclusion: In healthy individuals, diminished insulin sensitivity is related to less endogenous dopamine at dopamine D2/3 receptor in the ventral striatum. Moreover, acute dopamine depletion reduces insulin sensitivity. These findings may have important implications for neuropsychiatric populations with metabolic

  18. Dopamine and performance in a reinforcement learning task: evidence from Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Shiner, Tamara; Seymour, Ben; Wunderlich, Klaus; Hill, Ciaran; Bhatia, Kailash P; Dayan, Peter; Dolan, Raymond J

    2012-06-01

    The role dopamine plays in decision-making has important theoretical, empirical and clinical implications. Here, we examined its precise contribution by exploiting the lesion deficit model afforded by Parkinson's disease. We studied patients in a two-stage reinforcement learning task, while they were ON and OFF dopamine replacement medication. Contrary to expectation, we found that dopaminergic drug state (ON or OFF) did not impact learning. Instead, the critical factor was drug state during the performance phase, with patients ON medication choosing correctly significantly more frequently than those OFF medication. This effect was independent of drug state during initial learning and appears to reflect a facilitation of generalization for learnt information. This inference is bolstered by our observation that neural activity in nucleus accumbens and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, measured during simultaneously acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging, represented learnt stimulus values during performance. This effect was expressed solely during the ON state with activity in these regions correlating with better performance. Our data indicate that dopamine modulation of nucleus accumbens and ventromedial prefrontal cortex exerts a specific effect on choice behaviour distinct from pure learning. The findings are in keeping with the substantial other evidence that certain aspects of learning are unaffected by dopamine lesions or depletion, and that dopamine plays a key role in performance that may be distinct from its role in learning. PMID:22508958

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Drug-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking in mice: increased excitability of medium-sized spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yao-Ying; Henley, Sandy M.; Toll, Jeff; Jentsch, James D.; Evans, Christopher J.; Levine, Michael S.; Cepeda, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    To examine the mechanisms of drug relapse, we first established a model for cocaine IVSA (intravenous self-administration) in mice, and subsequently examined electrophysiological alterations of MSNs (medium-sized spiny neurons) in the NAc (nucleus accumbens) before and after acute application of cocaine in slices. Three groups were included: master mice trained by AL (active lever) pressings followed by IV (intravenous) cocaine delivery, yoked mice that received passive IV cocaine administration initiated by paired master mice, and saline controls. MSNs recorded in the NAc shell in master mice exhibited higher membrane input resistances but lower frequencies and smaller amplitudes of sEPSCs (spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents) compared with neurons recorded from saline control mice, whereas cells in the NAc core had higher sEPSCs frequencies and larger amplitudes. Furthermore, sEPSCs in MSNs of the shell compartment displayed longer decay times, suggesting that both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms were involved. After acute re-exposure to a low-dose of cocaine in vitro, an AP (action potential)-dependent, persistent increase in sEPSC frequency was observed in both NAc shell and core MSNs from master, but not yoked or saline control mice. Furthermore, re-exposure to cocaine induced membrane hyperpolarization, but concomitantly increased excitability of MSNs from master mice, as evidenced by increased membrane input resistance, decreased depolarizing current to generate APs, and a more negative Thr (threshold) for firing. These data demonstrate functional differences in NAc MSNs after chronic contingent versus non-contingent IV cocaine administration in mice, as well as synaptic adaptations of MSNs before and after acute re-exposure to cocaine. Reversing these functional alterations in NAc could represent a rational target for the treatment of some reward-related behaviors, including drug addiction. PMID:24000958

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. Oxytocin-Dopamine Interactions Mediate Variations in Maternal Behavior in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Shahrokh, Dara K.; Zhang, Tie-Yuan; Diorio, Josie; Gratton, Alain; Meaney, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Variations in maternal behavior among lactating rats associate with differences in estrogen-oxytocin interactions in the medial preoptic area (mPOA) and in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (nAcc). Thus, stable, individual differences in pup licking/grooming (LG) are abolished by oxytocin receptor blockade or treatments that eliminate differences in the nAcc dopamine signal. We provide novel evidence for a direct effect of oxytocin at the level of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in the regulation of nAcc dopamine levels. Mothers that exhibit consistently increased pup LG (i.e. high LG mothers) by comparison with low LG mothers show increased oxytocin expression in the mPOA and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and increased projections of oxytocin-positive cells from both mPOA and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus to the VTA. Direct infusion of oxytocin into the VTA increased the dopamine signal in the nAcc. Finally, high compared with low LG mothers show greater increases in dopamine signal in the nAcc during bouts of pup LG, and this difference is abolished with infusions of an oxytocin receptor antagonist directly into the VTA. These studies reveal a direct effect of oxytocin on dopamine release within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system and are consistent with previous reports of oxytocin-dopamine interactions in the establishment and maintenance of social bonds. PMID:20228171

  9. ZmNAC55, a maize stress-responsive NAC transcription factor, confers drought resistance in transgenic Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Mao, Hude; Yu, Lijuan; Han, Ran; Li, Zhanjie; Liu, Hui

    2016-08-01

    Abiotic stress has been shown to significantly limit the growth and productivity of crops. NAC transcription factors play essential roles in response to various abiotic stresses. However, only little information regarding stress-related NAC genes is available in maize. Here, we cloned a maize NAC transcription factor ZmNAC55 and identified its function in drought stress. Transient expression and transactivation assay demonstrated that ZmNAC55 was localized in the nucleus and had transactivation activity. Expression analysis of ZmNAC55 in maize showed that this gene was induced by drought, high salinity and cold stresses and by abscisic acid (ABA). Promoter analysis demonstrated that multiple stress-related cis-acting elements exist in promoter region of ZmNAC55. Overexpression of ZmNAC55 in Arabidopsis led to hypersensitivity to ABA at the germination stage, but enhanced drought resistence compared to wild-type seedlings. Transcriptome analysis identified a number of differentially expressed genes between 35S::ZmNAC55 transgenic and wild-type plants, and many of which are involved in stress response, including twelve qRT-PCR confirmed well-known drought-responsive genes. These results highlight the important role of ZmNAC55 in positive regulates of drought resistence, and may have potential applications in transgenic breeding of drought-tolerant crops. PMID:27085597

  10. Dopamine and serotonin imbalances in the left anterior cingulate and pyriform cortices following the repeated intermittent administration of cocaine.

    PubMed

    Heidbreder, C A; Oertle, T; Feldon, J

    1999-03-01

    Studies on the neurobiology of cocaine abuse suggest that cocaine directly modifies the activity of dopamine neurons projecting from the dopamine-synthesizing cells of the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens. The repeated use of cocaine produces persistent adaptations within the mesocorticolimbic system and the resulting changes in monoamine neurotransmission may lead to behavioral sensitization. The present series of experiments sought to determine the effects of the repeated, intermittent challenge that took place two days after discontinuation of the pretreatment regimen; (ii) the ex vivo levels of biogenic monoamines, choline and acetylcholine in the nucleus accumbens, the dorsolateral caudate nucleus, as well as the anterior cingulate, frontal motor, frontal somatosensory and pyriform cortices; and (iii) the degree of neurochemical relationship between the left and right hemispheres. The repeated administration of cocaine produced sensitized behavioral responses to a subsequent challenge. Neurochemical correlates of repeated cocaine administration were observed at the cortical level and included a significant decrease in serotonin levels in the left anterior cingulate and pyriform cortices and an increase in dopamine metabolism in the left pyriform cortex. Furthermore, a shift in the interhemispheric coupling coefficient matrix for dopamine neurotransmission was observed in both the pyriform cortex and nucleus accumbens of cocaine-sensitized animals suggesting that, in these structures, the two hemispheres are operating independently. These results demonstrate that cocaine produces alterations in specific dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways that arise from the mesencephalon and project towards both the anterior cingulate and pyriform cortices. PMID:10199606

  11. N-acetyl-S-(N,N-diethylcarbamoyl) cysteine in rat nucleus accumbens, medial prefrontal cortex, and in rat and human plasma after disulfiram administration.

    PubMed

    Winefield, Robert D; Heemskerk, Anthonius A M; Kaul, Swetha; Williams, Todd D; Caspers, Michael J; Prisinzano, Thomas E; McCance-Katz, Elinore F; Lunte, Craig E; Faiman, Morris D

    2015-03-25

    Disulfiram (DSF), a treatment for alcohol use disorders, has shown some clinical effectiveness in treating addiction to cocaine, nicotine, and pathological gambling. The mechanism of action of DSF for treating these addictions is unclear but it is unlikely to involve the inhibition of liver aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2). DSF is a pro-drug and forms a number of metabolites, one of which is N-acetyl-S-(N,N-diethylcarbamoyl) cysteine (DETC-NAC). Here we describe a LCMS/MS method on a QQQ type instrument to quantify DETC-NAC in plasma and intracellular fluid from mammalian brain. An internal standard, the N,N-di-isopropylcarbamoyl homolog (MIM: 291>128) is easily separable from DETC-NAC (MIM: 263>100) on C18 RP media with a methanol gradient. The method's linear range is 0.5-500 nM from plasma and dialysate salt solution with all precisions better than 10% RSD. DETC-NAC and internal standards were recovered at better than 95% from all matrices, perchloric acid precipitation (plasma) or formic acid addition (salt) and is stable in plasma or salt at low pH for up to 24 h. Stability is observed through three freeze-thaw cycles per day for 7 days. No HPLC peak area matrix effect was greater than 10%. A human plasma sample from a prior analysis for S-(N,N-diethylcarbamoyl) glutathione (CARB) was found to have DETC NAC as well. In other human plasma samples from 62.5 mg/d and 250 mg/d dosing, CARB concentration peaks at 0.3 and 4 nM at 3 h followed by DETC-NAC peaks of 11 and 70 nM 2 h later. Employing microdialysis sampling, DETC-NAC levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and plasma of rats treated with DSF reached 1.1, 2.5 and 80 nM at 6h. The correlation between the appearance and long duration of DETC-NAC concentration in rat brain and the persistence of DSF-induced changes in neurotransmitters observed by Faiman et al. (Neuropharmacology, 2013, 75C, 95-105) is discussed. PMID:25720821

  12. Dopamine receptor signaling in the medial orbital frontal cortex and the acquisition and expression of fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in rats

    PubMed Central

    Malkusz, Danielle C.; Yenko, Ira; Rotella, Francis M.; Banakos, Theodore; Olsson, Kerstin; Dindyal, Trisha; Vig, Vishal; Bodnar, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Systemic dopamine (DA) D1 (SCH23390: SCH) and D2 (raclopride: RAC) antagonists blocked fructose-conditioned flavor preference (CFP) acquisition and expression. Fructose-CFP acquisition was eliminated by medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) SCH and mPFC or amygdala (AMY) RAC. Fructose-CFP expression was reduced following SCH or RAC in AMY or nucleus accumbens (NAc). The present study examined fructose-CFP acquisition and expression following SCH and RAC in the medial orbital frontal cortex (MOFC), another ventral tegmental area DA target. For fructose-CFP acquisition, five groups of rats received vehicle, SCH (24 or 48 nmol) or RAC (24 or 48 nmol) in the MOFC 0.5 h prior to 8 training sessions with one flavor (CS+/Fs) mixed in 8% fructose and 0.2% saccharin, and another flavor (CS-/s) mixed in 0.2% saccharin. In six 2-bottle choice tests in 0.2% saccharin, similar fructose-CFP preferences occurred in groups trained with vehicle (76–77%), SCH24 (69–78%), SCH48(70–74%) and RAC48 (85–92%). RAC24-trained rats displayed significant CS+ preferences during the first (79%) and third (71%), but not second (58%) test pair. For fructose-CFP expression, rats similarly trained with CS+/Fs and CS- solutions received 2-bottle choice tests following MOFC injections of SCH or RAC (12–48 nmol). CS+ preference expression was significantly reduced by RAC (48 nmol: 58%), but not SCH relative to vehicle (78%). A control group receiving RAC in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex displayed fructose-CFP expression similar to vehicle. These data demonstrate differential frontal cortical DA mediation of fructose-CFP with mPFC D1 and D2 signaling exclusively mediating acquisition, and MOFC D2 signaling primarily mediating expression. PMID:25446441

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The involvement of dopamine in the modulation of sleep and waking.

    PubMed

    Monti, Jaime M; Monti, Daniel

    2007-04-01

    Dopamine (DA)-containing neurons involved in the regulation of sleep and waking (W) arise in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). The VTA and SNc cells have efferent and afferent connections with the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), the pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei (PPT/LDT), the locus coeruleus (LC), the lateral and posterior hypothalamus (LH), the basal forebrain (BFB), and the thalamus. Molecular cloning techniques have enabled the characterization of two distinct groups of DA receptors, D(1)-like and D(2)-like receptors. The D(1) subfamily includes the D(1) and D(5) receptors, whereas the D(2) subfamily comprises the D(2), D(3), and D(4) receptors. Systemic administration of a selective D(1) receptor agonist induces behavioral arousal, together with an increase of W and a reduction of slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep (REMS). Systemic injection of a DA D(2) receptor agonist induces biphasic effects, such that low doses reduce W and increase SWS and REMS (predominant activation of the D(2) autoreceptor), whereas large doses induce the opposite effect (predominant facilitation of the D(2) postsynaptic receptor). Compounds with DA D(1) or D(2) receptor blocking properties augment non-REMS and reduce W. Preliminary findings tend to indicate that the administration of a DA D(3)-preferring agonist induces somnolence and sleep in laboratory animals and man. DA neurons in the VTA and the SNc do not change their mean firing rate across the sleep-wake cycle. It has been proposed that DA cells in the midbrain show a change in temporal pattern rather than firing rate during the sleep-wake cycle. The available evidence tends to indicate that during W there occurs an increase of burst firing activity of DA neurons, and an enhanced release of DA in the VTA, the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and a number of forebrain structures. A series of structures relevant for the regulation of the behavioral state, including the DRN

  19. Novel NAC Transcription Factor TaNAC67 Confers Enhanced Multi-Abiotic Stress Tolerances in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Xinguo; Chen, Shuangshuang; Li, Ang; Zhai, Chaochao; Jing, Ruilian

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are major environmental factors that affect agricultural productivity worldwide. NAC transcription factors play pivotal roles in abiotic stress signaling in plants. As a staple crop, wheat production is severely constrained by abiotic stresses whereas only a few NAC transcription factors have been characterized functionally. To promote the application of NAC genes in wheat improvement by biotechnology, a novel NAC gene designated TaNAC67 was characterized in common wheat. To determine its role, transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing TaNAC67-GFP controlled by the CaMV-35S promoter was generated and subjected to various abiotic stresses for morphological and physiological assays. Gene expression showed that TaNAC67 was involved in response to drought, salt, cold and ABA treatments. Localization assays revealed that TaNAC67 localized in the nucleus. Morphological analysis indicated the transgenics had enhanced tolerances to drought, salt and freezing stresses, simultaneously supported by enhanced expression of multiple abiotic stress responsive genes and improved physiological traits, including strengthened cell membrane stability, retention of higher chlorophyll contents and Na+ efflux rates, improved photosynthetic potential, and enhanced water retention capability. Overexpression of TaNAC67 resulted in pronounced enhanced tolerances to drought, salt and freezing stresses, therefore it has potential for utilization in transgenic breeding to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crops. PMID:24427285

  20. Inhibition of actin polymerization in the NAc shell inhibits morphine-induced CPP by disrupting its reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gongying; Wang, Yanmei; Yan, Min; Xu, Yunshuai; Song, Xiuli; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Jinxiang; Ma, Hongxia; Wu, Yili

    2015-01-01

    Drug-associated contextual cues contribute to drug craving and relapse after abstinence, which is a major challenge to drug addiction treatment. Previous studies showed that disrupting memory reconsolidation impairs drug reward memory. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Although actin polymerization is involved in memory formation, its role in the reconsolidation of drug reward memory is unknown. In addition, the specific brain areas responsible for drug memory have not been fully identified. In the present study, we found that inhibiting actin polymerization in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell, but not the NAc core, abolishes morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) by disrupting its reconsolidation in rats. Moreover, this effect persists for more than 2 weeks by a single injection of the actin polymerization inhibitor, which is not reversed by a morphine-priming injection. Furthermore, the application of actin polymerization inhibitor outside the reconsolidation window has no effect on morphine-associated contextual memory. Taken together, our findings first demonstrate that inhibiting actin polymerization erases morphine-induced CPP by disrupting its reconsolidation. Our study suggests that inhibition of actin polymerization during drug memory reconsolidation may be a potential approach to prevent drug relapse. PMID:26538334

  1. Loss of UBE3A from TH-expressing neurons suppresses GABA co-release and enhances VTA-NAc optical self-stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Berrios, Janet; Stamatakis, Alice M.; Kantak, Pranish A.; McElligott, Zoe A.; Judson, Matthew C.; Aita, Megumi; Rougie, Marie; Stuber, Garret D.; Philpot, Benjamin D.

    2016-01-01

    Motivated reward-seeking behaviours are governed by dopaminergic ventral tegmental area projections to the nucleus accumbens. In addition to dopamine, these mesoaccumbal terminals co-release other neurotransmitters including glutamate and GABA, whose roles in regulating motivated behaviours are currently being investigated. Here we demonstrate that loss of the E3-ubiquitin ligase, UBE3A, from tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing neurons impairs mesoaccumbal, non-canonical GABA co-release and enhances reward-seeking behaviour measured by optical self-stimulation. PMID:26869263

  2. 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