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Sample records for accumbens nac shell

  1. Oxytocin excites nucleus accumbens shell neurons in vivo.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. Distinct Effects of Enriched Environment on Dopamine Clearance in Nucleus Accumbens Shell and Core Following Systemic Nicotine Administration

    PubMed Central

    ZHU, JUN; BARDO, MICHAEL T.; DWOSKIN, LINDA P.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment during development may reduce drug abuse liability by modulating dopamine transporter (DAT) function. Nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core respond differentially to regulate the rewarding properties and locomotor stimulant effects of psychostimulants. The current study evaluated dopamine (DA) clearance (CLDA) in the NAc shell and core using in vivo voltammetry in rats raised in an enriched condition (EC) or an impoverished condition (IC) and determined the effect of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg) on CLDA. Baseline CLDA in NAc shell and core was not different between EC and IC rats. In the saline control group, CLDA in NAc shell was greater across time in IC when compared with EC rats, whereas CLDA in NAc core was greater in EC rats when compared with IC rats. Consistent with these findings, opposite effects of enrichment on DA clearance in shell and core were obtained following acute nicotine administration. In NAc shell, nicotine increased CLDA in EC rats, but not in IC rats. Conversely, in NAc core, nicotine increased CLDA in IC rats, but not in EC rats. The current results demonstrate that environmental enrichment differentially regulates the response to nicotine in NAc shell and core via alterations in DAT function, which may explain how environmental enrichment reduces the behavioral response to nicotine. PMID:23065942

  6. Differential activation of accumbens shell and core dopamine by sucrose reinforcement with nose poking and with lever pressing.

    PubMed

    Bassareo, V; Cucca, F; Frau, R; Di Chiara, G

    2015-11-01

    In order to investigate the role of modus operandi in the changes of nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine (DA) transmission in sucrose reinforcement, extracellular DA was monitored by microdialysis in the NAc shell and core of rats trained on a fixed-ratio 1 schedule to respond for sucrose pellets by nose poking and lever pressing respectively. After training, rats were tested on three different sessions: sucrose reinforcement, extinction and passive sucrose presentation. In rats responding by nose poking dialysate DA increased in the shell but not in the core under reinforced as well as under extinction sessions. In contrast, in rats responding by lever pressing dialysate DA increased both in the accumbens shell and core under reinforced and extinction sessions. Response non-contingent sucrose presentation increased dialysate DA in the shell and core of rats trained to respond for sucrose by nose poking as well as in those trained by lever pressing. In rats trained to respond for sucrose by nose poking on a FR5 schedule dialysate DA also increased selectively in the NAc shell during reinforced responding and in both the shell and core under passive sucrose presentation. These findings, while provide an explanation for the discrepancies existing in the literature over the responsiveness of shell and core DA in rats responding for food, are consistent with the notion that NAc shell and core DA encode different aspects of reinforcement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-09

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

  10. Role of melanin-concentrating hormone in the nucleus accumbens shell in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li-Li; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Jian-feng; Wang, Jun; Zhu, Wei-li; Zhao, Li-yan; Xue, Yan-xue; Lu, Lin; Shi, Jie

    2013-09-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide and its receptor is extensively expressed throughout the brain. MCH has been suggested to regulate the rewarding and reinforcing effects of psychostimulants by potentiating the dopaminergic system within the midbrain. Moreover, MCH and its receptor can regulate ERK activity. The present study investigated the role of MCH in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine (Meth). We found that the development of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization was attenuated by MCH infused into the NAc shell but not core. Moreover, the elevation of ERK phosphorylation in the NAc shell induced by Meth was inhibited by locally infused MCH. Infusion of the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonist SNAP 94847 into the NAc shell but not core augmented the initiation of locomotor sensitization and amplitude of elevated phosphorylated ERK levels induced by Meth. The expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization and ERK alterations after 1 wk withdrawal were not affected by either MCH or SNAP 94847 infused into the NAc shell or core. These results indicate that MCH in the NAc shell plays a critical role in the development but not expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization in rats, which might be mediated by the ERK signalling pathway. Our study suggests that MCH might be a potential target for the treatment of Meth addiction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. δ-opioid and dopaminergic processes in accumbens shell modulate the cholinergic control of predictive learning and choice.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Vincent; Bertran-Gonzalez, Jesus; Chieng, Billy C; Balleine, Bernard W

    2014-01-22

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Di Chiara, Gaetano

    2002-12-02

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Keistler, Colby; Barker, Jacqueline M.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Effects of ethanol exposure and withdrawal on dendritic morphology and spine density in the nucleus accumbens core and shell.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Veronica L; McCool, Brian A; Hamilton, Derek A

    2015-01-12

    Exposure to drugs of abuse can result in profound structural modifications on neurons in circuits involved in addiction that may contribute to drug dependence, withdrawal and related processes. Structural alterations on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been observed following exposure to and withdrawal from a variety of drugs; however, relatively little is known about the effects of alcohol exposure and withdrawal on structural alterations of NAc MSNs. In the present study male rats were chronically exposed to vaporized ethanol for 10 days and underwent 1 or 7 days of withdrawal after which the brains were processed for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic length, branching and spine density. MSNs of the NAc shell and core underwent different patterns of changes following ethanol exposure and withdrawal. At 1 day of withdrawal there were modest reductions in the dendritic length and branching of MSNs in both the core and the shell compared to control animals exposed only to air. At 7 days of withdrawal the length and branching of shell MSNs was reduced, whereas the length and branching of core MSNs were increased relative to the shell. The density of mature spines was increased in the core at 1 day of withdrawal, whereas the density of less mature spines was increased in both regions at 7 days of withdrawal. Collectively, these observations indicate that MSNs of the NAc core and shell undergo distinct patterns of structural modifications following ethanol exposure and withdrawal suggesting that modifications in dendritic structure in these regions may contribute differentially to ethanol withdrawal.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Increased conditioned fear response and altered balance of dopamine in the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens during amphetamine withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Pezze, M A; Feldon, J; Murphy, C A

    2002-04-01

    It has been suggested that neuroadaptations within the nucleus accumbens (NAC) dopaminergic (DA) projection contribute to the negative affect associated with psychostimulant withdrawal. The present study assessed the effects of amphetamine (AMPH) withdrawal on behavioral and NAC DA responses to conditioned fear stress. Animals injected with escalating-dose AMPH (1-5mg/kg, three injections/day, 6 days) or saline (SAL) acquired a tone-shock association on withdrawal day 3 and were tested for extinction of conditioned freezing to the tone on withdrawal day 4. Extracellular levels of NAC shell and core DA were monitored using in vivo microdialysis on both days. AMPH-withdrawn animals exhibited more conditioned freezing than SAL animals during both acquisition and extinction. During acquisition, DA increased more in the shell than the core of the NAC in both AMPH and SAL groups. During extinction to the tone, shell DA increased in SAL- but not AMPH-treated animals, whereas core DA activity was greater in AMPH than SAL animals. These data demonstrate that AMPH withdrawal alters the balance between shell and core DA transmission while increasing the behavioral expression of conditioned fear. Such drug-induced neuroadaptations in the NAC stress response may be involved in the exacerbation of negative emotions associated with drug withdrawal and stimulant-induced psychosis.

  4. Differential dopamine release dynamics in the nucleus accumbens core and shell track distinct aspects of goal-directed behavior for sucrose.

    PubMed

    Cacciapaglia, Fabio; Saddoris, Michael P; Wightman, R Mark; Carelli, Regina M

    2012-04-01

    Mesolimbic dopamine projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been implicated in goal-directed behaviors for natural rewards and in learning processes involving cue-reward associations. The NAc has been traditionally subdivided into two anatomically distinct sub-regions with different functional properties: the shell and the core. The aim of the present study was to characterize rapid dopamine transmission across the two NAc sub-regions during cue-signaled operant behavior for a natural (sucrose) reward in rats. Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) we observed differences in the magnitude and dynamics of dopamine release events between the shell and core. Specifically, although cue-evoked dopamine release was observed in both sub-regions, it was larger and longer lasting in the shell compared with the core. Further, secondary dopamine release events were observed following the lever press response for sucrose in the NAc shell, but not the core. These findings demonstrate that the NAc displays regional specificity in dopamine transmission patterns during cued operant behavior for natural reward.

  5. Effects of morphine withdrawal on the membrane properties of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaobo; Shi, Meimei; Ling, Hengli; Wei, Chunling; Liu, Yihui; Liu, Zhiqiang; Ren, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) undergo persistent alterations in their biological and physiological characteristics upon exposure to drugs of abuse. Previous studies demonstrated that the biochemical, morphological, and intrinsic physiological properties of MSNs are heterogeneous and provided new insights into the physiological and molecular roles of individual MSNs in addictive behaviors. However, it remains unclear whether MSNs in the NAc shell (NAcSh), an important region for mediating behavioral sensitization, are electrophysiologically heterogeneous and how such heterogeneity is relevant to neuroadaptation associated with drug addiction. Here, the membrane properties, i.e., the intrinsic excitability and spike adaptation, of MSNs in the NAcSh from saline- or morphine-treated rats were investigated in vitro by whole-cell recording. In saline-treated rats, three distinct cell types were identified by their membrane properties: type I neurons showed high levels of intrinsic excitability and rapid spike adaptation; type II neurons showed moderate levels of intrinsic excitability and relatively slow spike frequency adaptation; type III neurons showed low levels of intrinsic excitability and putative strong spike adaptation. MSNs in rats undergoing withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment (10-14 days after the last injection) also exhibited the typical firing behaviors of these three types of neurons. However, the membrane properties of the MSNs were differentially altered after withdrawal. There was an enhancement in intrinsic excitability in type II MSNs and a promotion of spike adaptation in type I MSNs. The apamin-sensitive afterhyperpolarization current (I(AHP)) and the apamin-insensitive I(AHP) of the NAcSh MSNs were attenuated after chronic morphine withdrawal. These findings suggest that individual MSNs in the NAcSh manifest unique electrophysiological properties, which might contribute to psychostimulant-induced neuroadaptation.

  6. Terminal Dopamine Release Kinetics in the Accumbens Core and Shell Are Distinctly Altered after Withdrawal from Cocaine Self-Administration

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Repeated self-administration of cocaine is associated with impairments in motivated behaviors as well as alterations in both dopamine (DA) release and neural signaling within the nucleus accumbens (NAc). These impairments are present even after several weeks of abstinence from drug taking, suggesting that the self-administration experience induces long-lasting neuroplastic alterations in the mesolimbic DA circuit. To understand these changes at the terminal level, rats were allowed to self-administer either cocaine intravenously (∼1 mg/kg per infusion) or water to a receptacle (control) in 2-h sessions over 14 days, followed by 30 days of enforced abstinence. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was used to record real-time DA release in either NAc core or shell after electrical stimulations of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in freely-moving animals. In controls, the kinetics of DA release in the core and shell strikingly differed, with shell displaying slower release and reuptake rates than core. However, cocaine experience differentially altered these signaling patterns by NAc subregion. In the shell, cocaine rats showed less sensitivity to the dynamic range of applied stimulations than controls. In the core, by contrast, cocaine rats displayed robustly reduced peak DA release given the same stimulation, while also showing slower release and reuptake kinetics. The differential effects of cocaine self-administration on terminal function between core and shell is consistent with a region-specific functional reorganization of the mesolimbic DA system after repeated exposure and may provide an anatomical substrate for altered cognitive function after chronic drug-taking and addiction. PMID:27752541

  7. 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

  8. mGluR5 in the nucleus accumbens shell regulates morphine-associated contextual memory through reactive oxygen species signaling.

    PubMed

    Qi, Chong; Wang, Xinjuan; Ge, Feifei; Li, Yijing; Shen, Fang; Wang, Junkai; Cui, Cailian

    2015-09-01

    Emerging evidence indicates that metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) critically modulates drug and drug-related behaviors. However, the role of mGluR5 in the opiate-induced contextual memory remains unclear. Here, we found that microinfusion of the mGluR5 antagonist 3-((2-Methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl)pyridine (MTEP) into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell, but not into the core, significantly attenuated the expression of morphine conditioned place preference (CPP) in rats. Following the expression of morphine CPP, the protein level of membrane mGluR5 was selectively increased in the NAc shell. In primary striatal neurons, we observed that treatment with the mGluR5 agonist CHPG increased the phosphorylation level of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), which was dependent on the mGluR5-inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathway. Moreover, the microinjection of the ROS scavenger Tempol into the NAc shell of rats blocked the expression of morphine CPP. Further, the administration of t-BOOH, a ROS donor, into the NAc shell rescued the retrieval impairment of morphine CPP produced by MTEP. Our previous study demonstrated that the expression of morphine CPP increased the phosphorylation of ERK selectively in the NAc shell. Thus, results of the present study suggest that mGluR5 in the NAc shell, but not in the core, is essential for the retrieval of morphine contextual memory, which is mediated at least in part, through the ROS/ERK signaling pathway. Uncovering the molecular basis of opiate contextual memory will benefit the development of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of opiate addiction.

  9. Accumbens shell-hypothalamus interactions mediate extinction of alcohol seeking.

    PubMed

    Millan, E Zayra; Furlong, Teri M; McNally, Gavan P

    2010-03-31

    The nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) is required to inhibit drug seeking after extinction training. Conversely, the lateral hypothalamus (LH), which receives projections from AcbSh, mediates reinstatement of previously extinguished drug seeking. We hypothesized that reversible inactivation of AcbSh using GABA agonists (baclofen/muscimol) would reinstate extinguished alcohol seeking and increase neuronal activation in LH. Rats underwent self-administration training for 4% (v/v) alcoholic beer followed by extinction. AcbSh inactivation reinstated extinguished alcohol seeking when infusions were made after, but not before, extinction training. We then used immunohistochemical detection of c-Fos as a marker of neuronal activity, combined with immunohistochemical detection of the orexin and cocaine- and amphetamine-related transcript (CART) peptides, to study the profile and phenotype of neural activation during reinstatement produced by AcbSh inactivation. AcbSh inactivation increased c-Fos expression in hypothalamus, as well as in paraventricular thalamus and amygdala. Within hypothalamus, there was an increase in the number of orexin and CART cells expressing c-Fos. Finally, we hypothesized that concurrent inactivation of LH would prevent reinstatement produced by inactivation of AcbSh alone. Our results confirmed this. Together, these findings suggest that AcbSh mediates extinction of reward seeking by inhibiting hypothalamic neuropeptide neurons. Reversible inactivation of the AcbSh removes this influence, thereby releasing hypothalamus from AcbSh inhibition and enabling reinstatement of reward seeking. These ventral striatal-hypothalamic circuits for extinction overlap with those that mediate satiety, and we suggest that extinction training inhibits drug seeking because it co-opts neural circuits originally selected to produce satiety.

  10. Different Roles of BDNF in Nucleus Accumbens Core versus Shell during the Incubation of Cue-Induced Cocaine Craving and Its Long-Term Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuan; DeJoseph, M.R.; Urban, Janice H.; Bahi, Amine; Dreyer, Jean-Luc; Meredith, Gloria E.; Ford, Kerstin A.; Ferrario, Carrie R.; Loweth, Jessica A.; Wolf, Marina E.

    2013-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) contributes to diverse types of plasticity, including cocaine addiction. We investigated the role of BDNF in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the incubation of cocaine craving over 3 months of withdrawal from extended access cocaine self-administration. First, we confirmed by immunoblotting that BDNF levels are elevated after this cocaine regimen on withdrawal day 45 (WD45) and showed that BDNF mRNA levels are not altered. Next, we explored the time course of elevated BDNF expression using immunohistochemistry. Elevation of BDNF in the NAc core was detected on WD45 and further increased on WD90, whereas elevation in shell was not detected until WD90. Surface expression of activated tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) was also enhanced on WD90. Next, we used viral vectors to attenuate BDNF-TrkB signaling. Virus injection into the NAc core enhanced cue-induced cocaine seeking on WD1 compared with controls, whereas no effect was observed on WD30 or WD90. Attenuating BDNF-TrkB signaling in shell did not affect cocaine seeking on WD1 or WD45 but significantly decreased cocaine seeking on WD90. These results suggest that basal levels of BDNF transmission in the NAc core exert a suppressive effect on cocaine seeking in early withdrawal (WD1), whereas the late elevation of BDNF protein in NAc shell contributes to incubation in late withdrawal (WD90). Finally, BDNF protein levels in the NAc were significantly increased after ampakine treatment, supporting the novel hypothesis that the gradual increase of BDNF levels in NAc accompanying incubation could be caused by increased AMPAR transmission during withdrawal. PMID:23325250

  11. Infusion of fluoxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in the shell region of the nucleus accumbens increases blood glucose concentrations in rats.

    PubMed

    Diepenbroek, C; Rijnsburger, M; Eggels, L; van Megen, K M; Ackermans, M T; Fliers, E; Kalsbeek, A; Serlie, M J; la Fleur, S E

    2017-01-10

    The brain is well known to regulate blood glucose, and the hypothalamus and hindbrain, in particular, have been studied extensively to understand the underlying mechanisms. Nuclei in these regions respond to alterations in blood glucose concentrations and can alter glucose liver output or glucose tissue uptake to maintain blood glucose concentrations within strict boundaries. Interestingly, several cortico-limbic regions also respond to alterations in glucose concentrations and have been shown to project to hypothalamic nuclei and glucoregulatory organs. For instance, electrical stimulation of the shell of the nucleus accumbens (sNAc) results in increased circulating concentrations of glucose and glucagon and activation of the lateral hypothalamus (LH). Whether this is caused by the simultaneous increase in serotonin release in the sNAc remains to be determined. To study the effect of sNAc serotonin on systemic glucose metabolism, we implanted bilateral microdialysis probes in the sNAc of male Wistar rats and infused fluoxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or vehicle after which blood glucose, endogenous glucose production (EGP) and glucoregulatory hormones were measured. Fluoxetine in the sNAc for 1h significantly increased blood glucose concentrations without an effect on glucoregulatory hormones. This increase was accompanied by a higher EGP in the fluoxetine infused rats compared to the controls. These data provide further evidence for a role of sNAc-serotonin in the regulation of glucose metabolism.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-05-01

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

  15. Cocaine Withdrawal Impairs mGluR5-Dependent Long-Term Depression in Nucleus Accumbens Shell Neurons of Both Direct and Indirect Pathways.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chiung-Chun; Liang, Ying-Ching; Lee, Cheng-Che; Hsu, Kuei-Sen

    2015-12-01

    We previously reported that animals withdrawn from repeated cocaine exposure exhibited a selective deficit in the ability to elicit metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. To determine whether such impairment occurs in the NAc in a cell-type-specific manner, we used bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the control of gene regulatory elements for the dopamine D1 receptor (Drd1) or dopamine D2 receptor (Drd2) to identify distinct subpopulations of medium spiny neurons (MSNs). We found that bath application of group I mGluR agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) reliably induced LTD in both NAc shell and core MSNs of wild-type, hemizygous Drd1-eGFP, and Drd2-eGFP mice. Confirming our previous results, cocaine withdrawal selectively impaired DHPG-LTD in NAc shell Drd1-expressing direct and Drd2-expressing indirect pathway MSNs. We also found that the expression of DHPG-LTD in NAc MSNs was not affected by the Ca(2+)-permeable α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor antagonist 1-naphthyl acetyl spermine. Furthermore, systemic administration of mGluR5-negative allosteric modulator fenobam before the daily injection of cocaine preserved mGluR5 function and significantly reduced the expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. These results reveal that withdrawal from repeated cocaine exposure may result in the impairment of NAc mGluR5-LTD in a subregion- but not cell-type-specific manner and suggests that pharmacological antagonism of mGluR5 may represent a potential strategy for reducing cocaine-induced addictive behaviors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  17. D(1)-like receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell regulate the expression of contextual fear conditioning and activity of the anterior cingulate cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Albrechet-Souza, Lucas; Carvalho, Milene Cristina; Brandão, Marcus Lira

    2013-06-01

    Although dopamine-related circuits are best known for their roles in appetitive motivation, consistent data have implicated this catecholamine in some forms of response to stressful situations. In fact, projection areas of the ventral tegmental area, such as the amygdala and hippocampus, are well established to be involved in the acquisition and expression of fear conditioning, while less is known about the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) in these processes. In the present study, we initially investigated the involvement of the mPFC and NAc in the expression of conditioned fear, assessing freezing behaviour and Fos protein expression in the brains of rats exposed to a context, light or tone previously paired with footshocks. Contextual and cued stimuli were able to increase the time of the freezing response while only the contextual fear promoted a significant increase in Fos protein expression in the mPFC and caudal NAc. We then examined the effects of specific dopaminergic agonists and antagonists injected bilaterally into the posterior medioventral shell subregion of the NAc (NAcSh) on the expression of contextual fear. SKF38393, quinpirole and sulpiride induced no behavioural changes, but the D1-like receptor antagonist SCH23390 increased the freezing response of the rats and selectively reduced Fos protein expression in the anterior cingulate cortex and rostral NAcSh. These findings confirm the involvement of the NAcSh in the expression of contextual fear memories and indicate the selective role of NAcSh D1-like receptors and anterior cingulate cortex in this process.

  18. Accumbens Shell AMPA Receptors Mediate Expression of Extinguished Reward Seeking through Interactions with Basolateral Amygdala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millan, E. Zayra; McNally, Gavan P.

    2011-01-01

    Extinction is the reduction in drug seeking when the contingency between drug seeking behavior and the delivery of drug reward is broken. Here, we investigated a role for the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). Rats were trained to respond for 4% (v/v) alcoholic beer in one context (Context A) followed by extinction in a second context (Context B).…

  19. Opioid Hedonic Hotspot in Nucleus Accumbens Shell: Mu, Delta, and Kappa Maps for Enhancement of Sweetness “Liking” and “Wanting”

    PubMed Central

    Berridge, Kent C.

    2014-01-01

    A specialized cubic-millimeter hotspot in the rostrodorsal quadrant of medial shell in nucleus accumbens (NAc) of rats may mediate opioid enhancement of gustatory hedonic impact or “liking”. Here, we selectively stimulated the three major subtypes of opioid receptors via agonist microinjections [mu (DAMGO), delta (DPDPE), or kappa (U50488H)] and constructed anatomical maps for functional localizations of consequent changes in hedonic “liking” (assessed by affective orofacial reactions to sucrose taste) versus “wanting” (assessed by changes in food intake). Results indicated that the NAc rostrodorsal quadrant contains a shared opioid hedonic hotspot that similarly mediates enhancements of sucrose “liking” for mu, delta, and kappa stimulations. Within the rostrodorsal hotspot boundaries each type of stimulation generated at least a doubling or higher enhancement of hedonic reactions, with comparable intensities for all three types of opioid stimulation. By contrast, a negative hedonic coldspot was mapped in the caudal half of medial shell, where all three types of opioid stimulation suppressed “liking” reactions to approximately one-half normal levels. Different anatomical patterns were produced for stimulation of food “wanting”, reflected in food intake. Altogether, these results indicate that the rostrodorsal hotspot in medial shell is unique for generating opioid-induced hedonic enhancement, and add delta and kappa signals to mu as hedonic generators within the hotspot. Also, the identification of a separable NAc caudal coldspot for hedonic suppression, and separate NAc opioid mechanisms for controlling food “liking” versus “wanting” further highlights NAc anatomical heterogeneity and localizations of function within subregions of medial shell. PMID:24647944

  20. Alpha-conotoxin MII-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell regulate progressive ratio responding maintained by nicotine.

    PubMed

    Brunzell, Darlene H; Boschen, Karen E; Hendrick, Elizabeth S; Beardsley, Patrick M; McIntosh, J Michael

    2010-02-01

    Beta2 subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (beta2(*)nAChRs; asterisk ((*)) denotes assembly with other subunits) are critical for nicotine self-administration and nicotine-associated dopamine (DA) release that supports nicotine reinforcement. The alpha6 subunit assembles with beta2 on DA neurons where alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs regulate nicotine-stimulated DA release at neuron terminals. Using local infusion of alpha-conotoxin MII (alpha-CTX MII), an antagonist with selectivity for alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs, the purpose of these experiments was to determine if alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell are required for motivation to self-administer nicotine. Long-Evans rats lever-pressed for 0.03 mg/kg, i.v., nicotine accompanied by light+tone cues (NIC) or for light+tone cues unaccompanied by nicotine (CUEonly). Following extensive training, animals were tested under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule that required an increasing number of lever presses for each nicotine infusion and/or cue delivery. Immediately before each PR session, rats received microinfusions of alpha-CTX MII (0, 1, 5, or 10 pmol per side) into the NAc shell or the overlying anterior cingulate cortex. alpha-CTX MII dose dependently decreased break points and number of infusions earned by NIC rats following infusion into the NAc shell but not the anterior cingulate cortex. Concentrations of alpha-CTX MII that were capable of attenuating nicotine self-administration did not disrupt locomotor activity. There was no effect of infusion on lever pressing in CUEonly animals and NAc infusion alpha-CTX MII did not affect locomotor activity in an open field. These data suggest that alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs in the NAc shell regulate motivational aspects of nicotine reinforcement but not nicotine-associated locomotor activation.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-05

    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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-15

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

  7. NMDA and dopamine D1 receptors within NAc-shell regulate IEG proteins expression in reward circuit during cocaine memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Li, Y; Ge, S; Li, N; Chen, L; Zhang, S; Wang, J; Wu, H; Wang, X; Wang, X

    2016-02-19

    Reactivation of consolidated memory initiates a memory reconsolidation process, during which the reactivated memory is susceptible to strengthening, weakening or updating. Therefore, effective interference with the memory reconsolidation process is expected to be an important treatment for drug addiction. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been well recognized as a pathway component that can prevent drug relapse, although the mechanism underlying this function is poorly understood. We aimed to clarify the regulatory role of the NAc in the cocaine memory reconsolidation process, by examining the effect of applying different pharmacological interventions to the NAc on Zif 268 and Fos B expression in the entire reward circuit after cocaine memory reactivation. Through the cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) model, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining for Zif 268 and Fos B were used to explore the functional activated brain nuclei after cocaine memory reactivation. Our results showed that the expression of Zif 268 and Fos B was commonly increased in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the infralimbic cortex (IL), the NAc-core, the NAc-shell, the hippocampus (CA1, CA2, and CA3 subregions), the amygdala, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and the supramammillary nucleus (SuM) following memory reconsolidation, and Zif 268/Fos B co-expression was commonly observed (for Zif 268: 51-68%; for Fos B: 52-66%). Further, bilateral NAc-shell infusion of MK 801 and SCH 23390, but not raclopride or propranolol, prior to addictive memory reconsolidation, decreased Zif 268 and Fos B expression in the entire reward circuit, except for the amygdala, and effectively disturbed subsequent CPP-related behavior. In summary, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and dopamine D1 receptors, but not dopamine D2 or β adrenergic receptors, within the NAc-shell, may regulate Zif 268 and Fos B expression in most brain nuclei of the reward circuit after cocaine memory reactivation

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral flexibility is vital for survival in an environment of changing contingencies. The nucleus accumbens may play an important role in behavioral flexibility, representing learned stimulus–reward associations in neural activity during response selection and learning from results. To investigate the role of nucleus accumbens neural activity in behavioral flexibility, we used light-activated halorhodopsin to inhibit nucleus accumbens shell neurons during specific time segments of a bar-pressing task requiring a win–stay/lose–shift strategy. We found that optogenetic inhibition during action selection in the time segment preceding a lever press had no effect on performance. However, inhibition occurring in the time segment during feedback of results—whether rewards or nonrewards—reduced the errors that occurred after a change in contingency. Our results demonstrate critical time segments during which nucleus accumbens shell neurons integrate feedback into subsequent responses. Inhibiting nucleus accumbens shell neurons in these time segments, during reinforced performance or after a change in contingencies, increases lose–shift behavior. We propose that the activity of nucleus shell accumbens shell neurons in these time segments plays a key role in integrating knowledge of results into subsequent behavior, as well as in modulating lose–shift behavior when contingencies change. PMID:24639489

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Kelly; Wegner, Scott A.; Yu, Ji Hwan; Mototake, Arisa; Hu, Bing; Hopf, Frederic W.

    2016-01-01

    Addiction to alcohol remains a major social and economic problem, in part because of the high motivation for alcohol that humans exhibit and the hazardous binge intake this promotes. Orexin-1-type receptors (OX1Rs) promote reward intake under conditions of strong drives for reward, including excessive alcohol intake. While systemic modulation of OX1Rs can alter alcohol drinking, the brain regions that mediate this OX1R enhancement of excessive drinking remain unknown. Given the importance of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and anterior insular cortex (aINS) in driving many addictive behaviors, including OX1Rs within these regions, we examined the importance of OX1Rs in these regions on excessive alcohol drinking in C57BL/6 mice during limited-access alcohol drinking in the dark cycle. Inhibition of OX1Rs with the widely used SB-334867 within the medial NAc Shell (mNAsh) significantly reduced drinking of alcohol, with no effect on saccharin intake, and no effect on alcohol consumption when infused above the mNAsh. In contrast, intra-mNAsh infusion of the orexin-2 receptor TCS-OX2-29 had no impact on alcohol drinking. In addition, OX1R inhibition within the aINS had no effect on excessive drinking, which was surprising given the importance of aINS-NAc circuits in promoting alcohol consumption and the role for aINS OX1Rs in driving nicotine intake. However, OX1R inhibition within the mPFC did reduce alcohol drinking, indicating cortical OXR involvement in promoting intake. Also, in support of the critical role for mNAsh OX1Rs, SB within the mNAsh also significantly reduced operant alcohol self-administration in rats. Finally, orexin ex vivo enhanced firing in mNAsh neurons from alcohol-drinking mice, with no effect on evoked EPSCs or input resistance; a similar orexin increase in firing without a change in input resistance was observed in alcohol-naïve mice. Taken together, our results suggest that OX1Rs within the mNAsh and mPFC, but not the aINS, play a central role in

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Role of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor (CRF) Receptor-1 on the Catecholaminergic Response to Morphine Withdrawal in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc)

    PubMed Central

    Almela, Pilar; Navarro-Zaragoza, Javier; García-Carmona, Juan-Antonio; Mora, Lucía; Hidalgo, Juana; Milanés, María-Victoria; Laorden, María-Luisa

    2012-01-01

    Stress induces the release of the peptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) into the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and also increases dopamine (DA) levels in brain regions receiving dense VTA input. Since the role of stress in drug addiction is well established, the present study examined the possible involvement of CRF1 receptor in the interaction between morphine withdrawal and catecholaminergic pathways in the reward system. The effects of naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal on signs of withdrawal, hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity, dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) turnover in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and activation of VTA dopaminergic neurons, were investigated in rats pretreated with vehicle or CP-154,526 (selective CRF1R antagonist). CP-154,526 attenuated the increases in body weight loss and suppressed some of withdrawal signs. Pretreatment with CRF1 receptor antagonist resulted in no significant modification of the increased NA turnover at NAc or plasma corticosterone levels that were seen during morphine withdrawal. However, blockade of CRF1 receptor significantly reduced morphine withdrawal-induced increases in plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels, DA turnover and TH phosphorylation at Ser40 in the NAc. In addition, CP-154,526 reduced the number of TH containing neurons expressing c-Fos in the VTA after naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. Altogether, these results support the idea that VTA dopaminergic neurons are activated in response to naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal and suggest that CRF1 receptors are involved in the activation of dopaminergic pathways which project to NAc. PMID:23071721

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bradfield, Laura A.; McNally, Gavan P.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the role of nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were trained to fear conditioned stimulus A (CSA) in Stage I, which was then presented in compound with a neutral stimulus and paired with shock in Stage II. AcbSh lesions had no effect on fear-learning to CSA in Stage I, but selectively prevented learning…

  15. A Relationship between Reduced Nucleus Accumbens Shell and Enhanced Lateral Hypothalamic Orexin Neuronal Activation in Long-Term Fructose Bingeing Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Rorabaugh, Jacki M.; Stratford, Jennifer M.; Zahniser, Nancy R.

    2014-01-01

    Fructose accounts for 10% of daily calories in the American diet. Fructose, but not glucose, given intracerebroventricularly stimulates homeostatic feeding mechanisms within the hypothalamus; however, little is known about how fructose affects hedonic feeding centers. Repeated ingestion of sucrose, a disaccharide of fructose and glucose, increases neuronal activity in hedonic centers, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, but not the hypothalamus. Rats given glucose in the intermittent access model (IAM) display signatures of hedonic feeding including bingeing and altered DA receptor (R) numbers within the NAc. Here we examined whether substituting fructose for glucose in this IAM produces bingeing behavior, alters DA Rs and activates hedonic and homeostatic feeding centers. Following long-term (21-day) exposure to the IAM, rats given 8–12% fructose solutions displayed fructose bingeing but unaltered DA D1R or D2R number. Fructose bingeing rats, as compared to chow bingeing controls, exhibited reduced NAc shell neuron activation, as determined by c-Fos-immunoreactivity (Fos-IR). This activation was negatively correlated with orexin (Orx) neuron activation in the lateral hypothalamus/perifornical area (LH/PeF), a brain region linking homeostatic to hedonic feeding centers. Following short-term (2-day) access to the IAM, rats exhibited bingeing but unchanged Fos-IR, suggesting only long-term fructose bingeing increases Orx release. In long-term fructose bingeing rats, pretreatment with the Ox1R antagonist SB-334867 (30 mg/kg; i.p.) equally reduced fructose bingeing and chow intake, resulting in a 50% reduction in calories. Similarly, in control rats, SB-334867 reduced chow/caloric intake by 60%. Thus, in the IAM, Ox1Rs appear to regulate feeding based on caloric content rather than palatability. Overall, our results, in combination with the literature, suggest individual monosaccharides activate distinct neuronal circuits to promote feeding behavior

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

    PubMed Central

    Radke, Anna K; Gewirtz, Jonathan C

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NA) has been hypothesized to be part of a circuit in which cue-evoked information about expected outcomes is mobilized to guide behavior. Here we tested this hypothesis using a Pavlovian reinforcer devaluation task, previously applied to assess outcome-guided behavior after damage to regions such as the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala that send projections to NA. Rats with sham lesions or neurotoxic lesions of either the core or shell subdivision of NA were trained to associate a 10-s CS+ with delivery of three food pellets. After training, half of the rats in each lesion group received food paired with illness induced by LiCl injections; the remaining rats received food and illness unpaired. Subsequently, responding to the CS+ was assessed in an extinction probe test. Both sham and lesioned rats conditioned to the CS+ and formed a conditioned taste aversion. However only sham rats reduced their conditioned responding as a result of reinforcer devaluation; devalued rats with lesions of either core or shell showed levels of responding that were similar to lesioned, non-devalued rats. This impairment was not due to the loss of motivational salience conferred to the CS+ in lesioned rats as both groups responded similarly for the cue in conditioned reinforcement testing. These data suggest that NA core and shell are part of a circuit necessary for the use of cue-evoked information about expected outcomes to guide behavior.

  18. Overexpression of 5-HT(1B) mRNA in nucleus accumbens shell projection neurons differentially affects microarchitecture of initiation and maintenance of ethanol consumption.

    PubMed

    Furay, Amy R; Neumaier, John F; Mullenix, Andrew T; Kaiyala, Karl K; Sandygren, Nolan K; Hoplight, Blair J

    2011-02-01

    Serotonin 1B (5-HT(1B)) heteroreceptors on nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) projection neurons have been shown to enhance the voluntary consumption of alcohol by rats, presumably by modulating the activity of the mesolimbic reward pathway. The present study examined whether increasing 5-HT(1B) receptors expressed on NAcSh projection neurons by means of virus-mediated gene transfer enhances ethanol consumption during the initiation or maintenance phase of drinking and alters the temporal pattern of drinking behavior. Animals received stereotaxic injections of viral vectors expressing either 5-HT(1B) receptor and green fluorescent protein (GFP) or GFP alone. Home cages equipped with a three-bottle (water and 6 and 12% ethanol) lickometer system recorded animals' drinking behaviors continuously, capturing either initiation or maintenance of drinking behavior patterns. Overexpression of 5-HT(1B) receptors during initiation increased consumption of 12% ethanol during both forced-access and free-choice consumption. There was a shift in drinking pattern for 6% ethanol with an increase in number of drinking bouts per day, although the total number of drinking bouts for 12% ethanol was not different. Finally, increased 5-HT(1B) expression induced more bouts with very high-frequency licking from the ethanol bottle sippers. During the maintenance phase of drinking, there were no differences between groups in total volume of ethanol consumed; however, there was a shift toward drinking bouts of longer duration, especially for 12% ethanol. This suggests that during maintenance drinking, increased 5-HT(1B) receptors facilitate longer drinking bouts of more modest volumes. Taken together, these results indicate that 5-HT(1B) receptors expressed on NAcSh projection neurons facilitate ethanol drinking, with different effects during initiation and maintenance of ethanol-drinking behavior.

  19. Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell induces anti-obesity effects in obese rats with alteration of dopamine neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Wei, Nai-Li; Wang, Yao; Wang, Xiu; Zhang, Jian-Guo; Zhang, Kai

    2015-03-04

    The aim of this study was to assess the anti-obesity effects of nucleus accumbens shell (NAc-sh) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in diet-induced obese (DIO) and chow-fed (chow) rats. The influence of DBS on dopamine (DA) signaling in the NAc-sh was also evaluated. DIO and chow rats were subjected to DBS for 14 consecutive days. Food intake and weight gain were measured daily. The gene expression of the dopamine D1 and D2 receptors was evaluated by qPCR. In addition, the extracellular levels of DA and its metabolite, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), were determined by microdialysis. We observed that chronic DBS induced significant reductions in total energy intake (596.0±65.0kcal vs. 1161.6±22.2kcal, p<0.001) and weight gain (1.45±0.57% vs. 9.64±0.38%, p<0.001) in DIO rats compared to sham-DIO rats. Up-regulated D2 receptor gene expression (2.43±0.12 vs. 0.64±0.04, p<0.001) and increased DA levels (2.73±0.15pmol/mL vs. 0.62±0.05pmol/mL, p<0.001) were observed in DIO rats compared to sham-DIO rats. DBS had no influence on food intake, weight gain, or DA neurotransmission in chow rats. Our results support an association of the anorexigenic effects of NAc-sh DBS with mesolimbic DA signaling and indicate that the positive alteration of DA function in DIO rats may be responsible for the different effects of DBS in DIO and chow rats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-02

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

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The Melanocortin (MC) system is one of the crucial neuropeptidergic systems that modulate energy balance. The roles of endogenous MC and MC-4 receptor (MC4-R) signaling within the hypothalamus in the control of homeostatic aspects of feeding are well established. Additional evidence points to a key role for the central MC system in ethanol consumption. Recently, we have shown that nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not lateral hypothalamic (LH), infusion of a selective MC4-R agonist decreases ethanol consumption. Given that MC signaling might contribute to non-homeostatic aspects of feeding within limbic circuits, we assessed here whether MC4-R signaling within the NAc and the lateral hypothalamus (LH) alters normal ingestive hedonic and/or aversive responses to ethanol in rats as measured by a taste reactivity test. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were given NAc- or LH- bilateral infusion of the selective MC4-R agonist cyclo (NH-CH2-CH2-CO-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Glu)-NH2 (0, 0.75 or 1.5 µg/0.5µl/site) and following 30 min, the animals received 1 ml of ethanol solution (6% w/v) intraoral for 1 minute and aversive and hedonic behaviors were recorded. We found that NAc-, but not LH-administration, of a selective MC4-R agonist decreased total duration of hedonic reactions and significantly increased aversive reactions relative to saline-infused animals which support the hypothesis that MC signaling within the NAc may contribute to ethanol consumption by modulating non-homeostatic aspects (palatability) of intake. PMID:23146409

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

    PubMed

    Li, Susan S Y; McNally, Gavan P

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Accumbens shell AMPA receptors mediate expression of extinguished reward seeking through interactions with basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Millan, E Zayra; McNally, Gavan P

    2011-07-01

    Extinction is the reduction in drug seeking when the contingency between drug seeking behavior and the delivery of drug reward is broken. Here, we investigated a role for the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). Rats were trained to respond for 4% (v/v) alcoholic beer in one context (Context A) followed by extinction in a second context (Context B). Rats were subsequently tested in the training context, A (ABA), or the extinction context, B (ABB). Pre-test injections of the glutamate AMPA receptor antagonist, NBQX (1 µg) into AcbSh had no effect on renewal of alcoholic beer seeking when rats were returned to the training context (ABA). However, NBQX increased responding when rats were tested in the extinction context (ABB). In a second experiment, rats received training, extinction, and test in the same context. Pre-test injections of NBQX (0, 0.3, and 1 µg) into the AcbSh dose-dependently attenuated expression of extinction. We also found that NBQX in the AcbSh had no effect on initial acquisition of extinction or the motivation to respond for reward as measured by break point on a progressive ratio schedule. Finally, we show that pharmacological disconnection of a basolateral amygdala (BLA) → AcbSh pathway via NBQX in AcbSh combined with reversible inactivation of the contralateral BLA attenuates expression of extinction. Together, these results suggest that AcbSh AMPA receptors mediate expression of extinguished reward seeking through glutamatergic inputs from the BLA.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. NAc Shell Arc/Arg3.1 Protein Mediates Reconsolidation of Morphine CPP by Increased GluR1 Cell Surface Expression: Activation of ERK-Coupled CREB is Required

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Xiu-Fang; Sun, Lin-Lin; Han, Ji-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Background: Relapse into drug abuse evoked by reexposure to the drug-associated context has been a primary problem in the treatment of drug addiction. Disrupting the reconsolidation of drug-related context memory would therefore limit the relapse susceptibility. Methods: Morphine conditioned place preference (CPP) was used to assess activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) and correlative molecule expression in the Nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell during the reconsolidation of morphine CPP. U0126 and Arc/Arg3.1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide were adapted to evaluate the role and the underlying mechanism of Arc/Arg3.1 during the reconsolidation. Results: The retrieval of morphine CPP in rats specifically increased the Arc/Arg3.1 protein level in the NAc shell, accompanied simultaneously by increases in the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (pERK1/2), the phosphorylation of Cyclic Adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding (pCREB), and the up-regulation of the membrane α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) receptors GluR1 subunit level. Intra-NAc shell infusion U0126, an inhibitor of the Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK), prevented the retrieval-induced up-regulation of pERK1/2, pCREB, Arc/Arg3.1, and membrane GluR1 immediately after retrieval of morphine CPP. The effect of disrupting the reconsolidation of morphine CPP by U0126 could last for at least 14 days, and could not be evoked by a priming injection of morphine. Furthermore, the specific knockdown of Arc/Arg3.1 in the NAc shell decreased the membrane GluR1 level, and impaired both the reconsolidation and the reinstatement of morphine CPP. Conclusions: Arc/Arg3.1 in the NAc shell mediates the reconsolidation of morphine-associated context memory via up-regulating the level of membrane of GluR1, for which the local activation of the ERK-CREB signal pathway, as an upstream mechanism of Arc/Arg3.1, is required. PMID

  7. Nucleus accumbens shell and core dopamine responsiveness to sucrose in rats: role of response contingency and discriminative/conditioned cues.

    PubMed

    Bassareo, V; Cucca, F; Musio, P; Lecca, D; Frau, R; Di Chiara, G

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated by microdialysis the role of response contingency and food-associated cues in the responsiveness of dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens shell and core to sucrose feeding. In naive rats, single-trial non-contingent presentation and feeding of sucrose pellets increased dialysate shell dopamine and induced full habituation of dopamine responsiveness to sucrose feeding 24 and 48 h later. In rats trained to respond for sucrose pellets on a fixed ratio 1 (FR1) schedule, dialysate dopamine increased in the shell but not in the core during active responding as well as under extinction in the presence of sucrose cues. In rats yoked to the operant rats, the presentation of sucrose cues also increased dialysate dopamine selectively in the shell. In contrast, non-contingent sucrose presentation and feeding in FR1-trained and in yoked rats increased dialysate dopamine to a similar extent in the shell and core. It is concluded that, whereas non-contingent sucrose feeding activated dopamine transmission in the shell and core, response-contingent feeding activated, without habituation, dopamine transmission selectively in the shell as a result of the action of sucrose conditioned cues. These observations are consistent with a critical role of conditioned cues acquired during training and differential activation of shell vs. core dopamine for response-contingent sucrose feeding.

  8. Effects of fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibition on neuronal responses to nicotine, cocaine and morphine in the nucleus accumbens shell and ventral tegmental area: involvement of PPAR-alpha nuclear receptors.

    PubMed

    Luchicchi, Antonio; Lecca, Salvatore; Carta, Stefano; Pillolla, Giuliano; Muntoni, Anna L; Yasar, Sevil; Goldberg, Steven R; Pistis, Marco

    2010-07-01

    The endocannabinoid system regulates neurotransmission in brain regions relevant to neurobiological and behavioral actions of addicting drugs. We recently demonstrated that inhibition by URB597 of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the main enzyme that degrades the endogenous cannabinoid N-acylethanolamine (NAE) anandamide and the endogenous non-cannabinoid NAEs oleoylethanolamide and palmitoylethanolamide, blocks nicotine-induced excitation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons and DA release in the shell of the nucleus accumbens (ShNAc), as well as nicotine-induced drug self-administration, conditioned place preference and relapse in rats. Here, we studied whether effects of FAAH inhibition on nicotine-induced changes in activity of VTA DA neurons were specific for nicotine or extended to two drugs of abuse acting through different mechanisms, cocaine and morphine. We also evaluated whether FAAH inhibition affects nicotine-, cocaine- or morphine-induced actions in the ShNAc. Experiments involved single-unit electrophysiological recordings from DA neurons in the VTA and medium spiny neurons in the ShNAc in anesthetized rats. We found that URB597 blocked effects of nicotine and cocaine in the ShNAc through activation of both surface cannabinoid CB1-receptors and alpha-type peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor. URB597 did not alter the effects of either cocaine or morphine on VTA DA neurons. These results show that the blockade of nicotine-induced excitation of VTA DA neurons, which we previously described, is selective for nicotine and indicate novel mechanisms recruited to regulate the effects of addicting drugs within the ShNAc of the brain reward system.

  9. Optogenetic stimulation of accumbens shell or shell projections to lateral hypothalamus produce differential effects on the motivation for cocaine.

    PubMed

    Larson, Erin B; Wissman, Anne M; Loriaux, Amy L; Kourrich, Saïd; Self, David W

    2015-02-25

    Previous studies suggest that pharmacological or molecular activation of the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) facilitates extinction of cocaine-seeking behavior. However, overexpression of CREB, which increases excitability of AcbSh neurons, enhances cocaine-seeking behavior while producing depression-like behavior in tests of mood. These discrepancies may reflect activity in differential AcbSh outputs, including those to the lateral hypothalamus (LH), a target region known to influence addictive behavior and mood. Presently, it is unknown whether there is a causal link between altered activity in the AcbSh-LH pathway and changes in the motivation for cocaine. In this study, we used an optogenetics approach to either globally stimulate AcbSh neurons or to selectively stimulate AcbSh terminal projections in the LH, in rats self-administering cocaine. We found that stimulation of the AcbSh-LH pathway enhanced the motivation to self-administer cocaine in progressive ratio testing, and led to long-lasting facilitation of cocaine-seeking behavior during extinction tests conducted after withdrawal from cocaine self-administration. In contrast, global AcbSh stimulation reduced extinction responding. We compared these opposing motivational effects with effects on mood using the forced swim test, where both global AcbSh neuron and selective AcbSh-LH terminal stimulation facilitated depression-like behavioral despair. Together, these findings suggest that the AcbSh neurons convey complex, pathway-specific modulation of addiction and depression-like behavior, and that these motivation and mood phenomenon are dissociable.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. μ- and δ-Opioid-Related Processes in the Accumbens Core and Shell Differentially Mediate the Influence of Reward-Guided and Stimulus-Guided Decisions on Choice

    PubMed Central

    Laurent, Vincent; Leung, Beatrice; Maidment, Nigel

    2012-01-01

    Two motivational processes affect choice between actions: (1) changes in the reward value of the goal or outcome of an action and (2) changes in the predicted value of an action based on outcome-related stimuli. Here, we evaluated the role of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) and δ-opioid receptor (DOR) in the nucleus accumbens in the way these motivational processes influence choice using outcome revaluation and pavlovian-instrumental transfer tests. We first examined the effect of genetic deletion of MOR and DOR in specific knock-out mice. We then assessed the effect of infusing the MOR antagonist d-Phe-Cys-Tyr-d-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 (CTAP) or the DOR antagonist naltrindole into the core or shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens on these tests in rats. We found that, whereas MOR knock-outs showed normal transfer, they failed to show a selective outcome revaluation effect. Conversely, DOR knock-outs showed normal revaluation but were insensitive to the influence of outcome-related cues on choice. This double dissociation was also found regionally within the nucleus accumbens in rats. Infusion of naltrindole into the accumbens shell abolished transfer but had no effect on outcome revaluation and did not influence either effect when infused into the accumbens core. Conversely, infusion of CTAP into the accumbens core abolished sensitivity to outcome revaluation but had no effect on transfer and did not influence either effect when infused into the accumbens shell. These results suggest that reward-based and stimulus-based values exert distinct motivational influences on choice that can be doubly dissociated both neuroanatomically and neurochemically at the level of the nucleus accumbens. PMID:22302826

  13. Differential effects of blockade of dopamine D1-family receptors in nucleus accumbens core or shell on reinstatement of heroin seeking induced by contextual and discrete cues.

    PubMed

    Bossert, Jennifer M; Poles, Gabriela C; Wihbey, Kristina A; Koya, Eisuke; Shaham, Yavin

    2007-11-14

    In humans, exposure to environmental contexts previously associated with heroin intake can provoke drug relapse, but the neuronal mechanisms mediating this relapse are unknown. Using a drug relapse model, we found previously that reexposing rats to heroin-associated contexts, after extinction of drug-reinforced responding in different contexts, reinstates heroin seeking. This effect is attenuated by inhibition of glutamate transmission in the ventral tegmental area and medial accumbens shell, components of the mesolimbic dopamine system. Here, we explored the role of dopamine of the accumbens in context-induced reinstatement by using the D1-family receptor antagonist SCH 23390 [R(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine hydrochloride]. Rats were trained to self-administer heroin for 12 d; drug infusions were paired with a discrete tone-light cue. Subsequently, the heroin-reinforced lever pressing was extinguished in the presence of the discrete cue in a context that differed from the drug self-administration context in terms of visual, auditory, tactile, and circadian cues. When tested in the original drug self-administration context, systemic and medial or lateral accumbens shell SCH 23390 injections attenuated context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking, whereas accumbens core SCH 23390 injections were ineffective. In contrast, core but not lateral or medial shell SCH 23390 injections attenuated discrete-cue-induced reinstatement in a nondrug context after extinction of lever presses without this cue. Results indicate that activation of medial and lateral accumbens shell D1-family dopamine receptors mediate context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking and provide the first demonstration for a role of lateral shell dopamine in conditioned drug effects. Results also demonstrate novel dissociable roles of accumbens core and shell in context- versus discrete-cue-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking.

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Sex differences exist in how the brain regulates motivated behavior and reward, both in normal and pathological contexts. Investigations into the underlying neural mechanisms have targeted the striatal brain regions, including the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens core and shell. These investigations yield accumulating evidence of sexually different electrophysiological properties, excitatory synaptic input, and sensitivity to neuromodulator/hormone action in select striatal regions both before and after puberty. It is unknown whether the electrical properties of neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell differ by sex, and whether sex differences in excitatory synaptic input are present before puberty. To test the hypothesis that these properties differ by sex, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on male and female medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in acute brain slices obtained from prepubertal rat nucleus accumbens shell. We analyzed passive and active electrophysiological properties, and miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs). No sex differences were detected; this includes those properties, such as intrinsic excitability, action potential afterhyperpolarization, threshold, and mEPSC frequency, that have been found to differ by sex in other striatal regions and/or developmental periods. These findings indicate that, unlike other striatal brain regions, the electrophysiological properties of nucleus accumbens shell MSNs do not differ by sex. Overall, it appears that sex differences in striatal function, including motivated behavior and reward, are likely mediated by other factors and striatal regions. PMID:27022621

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Katsuura, Y; Taha, S A

    2014-03-07

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    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…

  1. Control of food intake by MC4-R signaling in the lateral hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens shell and ventral tegmental area: Interactions with ethanol

    PubMed Central

    Lerma-Cabrera, Jose M.; Carvajal, Francisca; de la Torre, Lourdes; de la Fuente, Leticia; Navarro, Montserrat; Thiele, Todd E.; Cubero, Inmaculada

    2012-01-01

    The Melanocortin system is involved in animal models of obesity and anorexia-cachexia and MC4 receptors (MC4-R) are currently a target system for the development of drugs aimed to treat obesity and eating disorders in humans. Previous evidence suggest that feeding peptides might lack their orexigenic activity while stimulate ethanol intake. The present study comparatively evaluated food intake (4-h interval) in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats drinking ethanol (6% w/v, 2 bottle choice paradigm) (EE group) and ethanol-naïve (EN) rats in response to bilateral infusion of the selective MC4-R antagonist HS014 (0, 0.02 or 0.05 μg/0.5μl/site) or the selective MC4-R agonist cyclo(NH-CH2-CH2-CO-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Glu)-NH2 (0, 0.75 or 1.5 μg/0.5μl/site), into the lateral hypothalamus (LH), the nucleus accumbens (NAc), or the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The main findings in the study are: 1) LH-infusions of the MC4-R antagonist increased and the agonist reduced feeding and total calories consumed, while ethanol intake remained unaltered. 2) NAc- and VTA-infusions of the selective agonist reduced food, ethanol and total calories intake. 3) NAc- and VTA-infusions of the MC4-R antagonist increased feeding in EN rats, but not in EE animals which showed a mild increase in ethanol intake, while total calories consumed remained unaltered. Present data show that having ethanol available reduces feeding elicited by NAc and VTA-MC4-R blockade. Additionally, while MC4-R signalling in the LH appears to modulate homeostatic aspects of feeding, it may contribute to non-homeostatic aspects of ingestive behaviours in the VTA and the NAc. PMID:22713514

  2. Conditioned saccharin avoidance induced by infusion of amphetamine in the nucleus accumbens shell and morphine in the ventral tegmental area: behavioral and biochemical study.

    PubMed

    Fenu, S; Espa, E; Cadoni, C; Di Chiara, G

    2014-08-01

    Drugs of abuse possess the seemingly paradoxical property of conditioning rats to avoid from drinking a saccharin solution that had been predictively paired with their systemic administration (conditioned saccharin avoidance, CSA). CSA is dependent upon an intact dopamine (DA) transmission but the locus, central or peripheral, and eventually the brain area from which this effect originates and its relationship with the rewarding properties of the drug is debated. In order to clarify this issue we tested the ability of amphetamine and morphine to induce CSA after infusion at the same dose-range and in the same areas from which these drugs induce conditioned place preference (CPP). Drugs were infused intracerebrally immediately after saccharin drinking in two acquisition trials and CSA was tested on a two bottle saccharin/water choice. Amphetamine (10 and 20 μg/0.5 μl) induced CSA after infusion in the NAc shell but was ineffective in the NAc core. Morphine (0.5 and 1 μg/0.5 μl) induced CSA from the VTA at both doses tested. Amphetamine (20 μg/0.5 μl) and morphine (1 μg/0.5 μl) failed to induce CSA after infusion 1.2mm dorsal the NAc shell and the VTA respectively. Finally, morphine (1 μg/0.5 μl), infused in the VTA, elicited a selective increase in dialysate DA in the NAc shell. These results indicate that drugs of abuse induce CSA from the same intracerebral sites and at the same doses at which they induce CPP. These observations are consistent with the existence of a strong relationship between CSA and drug reward related to their ability to stimulate DA transmission in the NAc shell.

  3. The role of nucleus accumbens shell GABA receptors on ventral tegmental area intracranial self-stimulation and a potential role for the 5-HT(2C) receptor.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Dave J; Hoang, John; Greenshaw, Andrew J

    2011-12-01

    Brain γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)(2C) receptors are implicated in the neuronal regulation of reward- and aversion-related behaviour. Within the mesocorticolimbic pathways of the brain, relationships between GABA containing neurons and 5-HT(2C) receptor activity may be important in this context. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the role of NAc shell GABA receptors on ventral tegmental area intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and to examine the systemic effects of GABAergic ligands in this context. The second aim was to investigate the relationship between GABA receptor- and 5-HT(2C) receptor-related ICSS behaviour, using systemic administration of the selective agonist WAY 161503. Locomotor activity was assessed to compare the potential motor effects of drugs; feeding behaviour and intra-NAc injections of amphetamine (1.0 µg/side) were used as positive controls. When administered systemically the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol and antagonist picrotoxin did not selectively change ICSS reward thresholds, although the 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist WAY 161503 (1.0 mg/kg) decreased reward measures. Intra-NAc shell administration of muscimol (225 ng/side) and picrotoxin (125 ng/side), respectively, decreased and increased measures of reward. Intra-NAc shell baclofen (0-225 ng/side; GABA(B) receptor agonist) did not affect any ICSS measures although it increased feeding. Combining picrotoxin and WAY 161503 attenuated the effects of each. These results suggest that a 5-HT(2C) and GABA(A) receptor-mediated neuronal relationship in the NAc shell may be relevant for the regulation of brain reward pathways.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral flexibility is vital for survival in an environment of changing contingencies. The nucleus accumbens may play an important role in behavioral flexibility, representing learned stimulus-reward associations in neural activity during response selection and learning from results. To investigate the role of nucleus accumbens neural activity…

  5. Role of dopamine receptors subtypes, D1-like and D2-like, within the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, on memory consolidation in the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    Recent evidence demonstrated that dopamine within the nucleus accumbens mediates consolidation of both associative and nonassociative memories. However, the specific contribution of the nucleus accumbens subregions, core and shell, and of D1 and D2 receptors subtypes has not been yet clarified. The aim of this study was, therefore, to directly compare the effect of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor blockade within the core and the shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens on memory consolidation. Using the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task in CD1 mice, we demonstrated that SCH 23390 (vehicle, 12.5, 25, 50 ng/side) administration within the core, but not the shell, impaired step-through latency 24 h after the administration if injected immediately, but not 120 min post-training. Interestingly, sulpiride (vehicle, 25, 50 ng/side) injection in both the core and the shell of the accumbens affected step-through latency 24 h later; also, in this case the impairment was time dependent. These data provide the most complete and direct demonstration to date that early consolidation of aversive memory requires D2 receptor activation in both nucleus accumbens subregions, and D1 activation selectively in the nucleus accumbens core.

  6. Nucleus accumbens shell excitability is decreased by methamphetamine self-administration and increased by 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Steven M.; Clark, Mary J.; Traynor, John R.; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Napier, T. Celeste

    2014-01-01

    Methamphetamine profoundly increases brain monoamines and is a widely abused psychostimulant. The effects of methamphetamine self-administration on neuron function are not known for the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in addictive behaviors, including drug-seeking. One therapeutic target showing preclinical promise at attenuating psychostimulant-seeking is 5-HT2C receptors; however, the effects of 5-HT2C receptor ligands on neuronal physiology are unclear. 5-HT2C receptor agonism decreases psychostimulant-mediated behaviors, and the putative 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonist, SB 206553, attenuates methamphetamine-seeking in rats. To ascertain the effects of methamphetamine, and 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism, on neuronal function in the nucleus accumbens, we evaluated methamphetamine, SB 206553, and the 5-HT2C receptor agonist and Ro 60-0175, on neuronal excitability within the accumbens shell subregion using whole-cell current-clamp recordings in forebrain slices ex vivo. We reveal that methamphetamine self-administration decreased generation of evoked action potentials. In contrast, SB 206553 and Ro 60-0175 increased evoked spiking, effects that were prevented by the 5-HT2C receptor antagonist, SB 242084. We also assessed signaling mechanisms engaged by 5-HT2C receptors, and determined that accumbal 5-HT2C receptors stimulated Gq, but not Gi/o. These findings demonstrate that methamphetamine-induced decreases in excitability of neurons within the nucleus accumbens shell were abrogated by both 5-HT2C inverse agonism and agonism, and this effect likely involved activation of Gq–mediated signaling pathways. PMID:25229719

  7. Nucleus accumbens shell excitability is decreased by methamphetamine self-administration and increased by 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism.

    PubMed

    Graves, Steven M; Clark, Mary J; Traynor, John R; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Napier, T Celeste

    2015-02-01

    Methamphetamine profoundly increases brain monoamines and is a widely abused psychostimulant. The effects of methamphetamine self-administration on neuron function are not known for the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in addictive behaviors, including drug-seeking. One therapeutic target showing preclinical promise at attenuating psychostimulant-seeking is 5-HT2C receptors; however, the effects of 5-HT2C receptor ligands on neuronal physiology are unclear. 5-HT2C receptor agonism decreases psychostimulant-mediated behaviors, and the putative 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonist, SB 206553, attenuates methamphetamine-seeking in rats. To ascertain the effects of methamphetamine, and 5-HT2C receptor inverse agonism and agonism, on neuronal function in the nucleus accumbens, we evaluated methamphetamine, SB 206553, and the 5-HT2C receptor agonist and Ro 60-0175, on neuronal excitability within the accumbens shell subregion using whole-cell current-clamp recordings in forebrain slices ex vivo. We reveal that methamphetamine self-administration decreased generation of evoked action potentials. In contrast, SB 206553 and Ro 60-0175 increased evoked spiking, effects that were prevented by the 5-HT2C receptor antagonist, SB 242084. We also assessed signaling mechanisms engaged by 5-HT2C receptors, and determined that accumbal 5-HT2C receptors stimulated Gq, but not Gi/o. These findings demonstrate that methamphetamine-induced decreases in excitability of neurons within the nucleus accumbens shell were abrogated by both 5-HT2C inverse agonism and agonism, and this effect likely involved activation of Gq-mediated signaling pathways.

  8. Neural correlates of Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer in the nucleus accumbens shell are selectively potentiated following cocaine self-administration.

    PubMed

    Saddoris, Michael P; Stamatakis, Alice; Carelli, Regina M

    2011-06-01

    During Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT), learned Pavlovian cues significantly modulate ongoing instrumental actions. This phenomenon is suggested as a mechanism under which conditioned stimuli may lead to relapse in addicted populations. Following discriminative Pavlovian learning and instrumental conditioning with sucrose, one group of rats (naive) underwent electrophysiological recordings in the nucleus accumbens core and shell during a single PIT session. Other groups, following Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning, were subsequently trained to self-administer cocaine with nosepoke responses, or received yoked saline infusions and nosepoked for water rewards, and then performed PIT while electrophysiological recordings were taken in the nucleus accumbens. Behaviorally, although both naive and saline-treated groups showed increases in lever pressing during the conditioned stimulus cue, this effect was significantly enhanced in the cocaine-treated group. Neurons in the core and shell tracked these behavioral changes. In control animals, core neurons were significantly more likely to encode general information about cues, rewards and responses than those in the shell, and positively correlated with behavioral PIT performance, whereas PIT-specific encoding in the shell, but not core, tracked PIT performance. In contrast, following cocaine exposure, there was a significant increase in neural encoding of all task-relevant events that was selective to the shell. Given that cocaine exposure enhanced both behavior and shell-specific task encoding, these findings suggest that, whereas the core is important for acquiring the information about cues and response contingencies, the shell is important for using this information to guide and modulate behavior and is specifically affected following a history of cocaine self-administration.

  9. Prelimbic to Accumbens Core Pathway Is Recruited in a Dopamine-Dependent Manner to Drive Cued Reinstatement of Cocaine Seeking

    PubMed Central

    McGlinchey, Ellen M.; James, Morgan H.; Mahler, Stephen V.; Pantazis, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate inputs to nucleus accumbens (NAc) facilitate conditioned drug-seeking behavior and primarily originate from medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), basolateral amygdala (BLA), and ventral subiculum of the hippocampus (vSub). These regions express Fos (a marker of neural activity) during cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking, but only subpopulations of neurons within these regions drive drug seeking. One way to identify and functionally distinguish neural subpopulations activated during drug-seeking is to examine their projection targets. In rats, we examined Fos expression during cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine- and sucrose-seeking in prelimbic cortex (PL), infralimbic cortex (IL), BLA, and vSub neurons that project to NAc core (NAcC) or NAc shell (NAcSh). Neurons in PL, BLA, and vSub that project to NAcC, but not NAcSh, expressed Fos during cue-induced cocaine seeking, but not sucrose seeking. However, only activation of the PL-NAcC pathway positively correlated with cocaine reinstatement behavior, unlike BLA or vSub inputs to NAcC. To confirm a functional role for the PL-NAcC pathway, and to test the hypothesis that this pathway is recruited in a dopamine-dependent manner, we used a pharmacological disconnection approach whereby dopamine signaling was blocked in PL and glutamate signaling was blocked in the contralateral NAcC. This disconnection attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking but had no effect on reinstatement of sucrose seeking. Our results highlight a role for the PL-NAcC pathway in cocaine seeking and show that these glutamatergic projections are recruited in a dopamine-dependent manner to drive reinstatement. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Relapse represents a significant barrier to the successful treatment of cocaine addiction. Here, we characterize the relative activation of glutamatergic inputs to nucleus accumbens during cued reinstatement of cocaine seeking versus sucrose seeking. Prelimbic cortex (PL) projections to

  10. Ethanol Is Self-Administered Into the Nucleus Accumbens Shell, But Not the Core: Evidence of Genetic Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Engleman, Eric A.; Ding, Zheng-Ming; Oster, Scott M.; Toalston, Jamie E.; Bell, Richard L.; Murphy, James M.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2010-01-01

    Background A previous study indicated that selectively bred alcohol-preferring (P) rats self-administered ethanol (EtOH) directly into the posterior ventral tegmental area at lower concentrations than Wistar rats. The present study was undertaken to determine involvement of the nucleus accumbens (Acb) with EtOH reinforcement, and a relationship between genetic selection for high alcohol preference and sensitivity of the Acb to the reinforcing effects of EtOH. Methods Adult P and Wistar rats were assigned to groups that self-infused 0 to 300 mg% EtOH into the Acb shell (AcbSh) or Acb Core (AcbC). Rats were placed into 2-lever (active and inactive) operant chambers and given EtOH for the first 4 sessions (acquisition), artificial cerebro-spinal fluid (aCSF) for sessions 5 and 6 (extinction), and EtOH again in session 7 (reinstatement). Responding on the active lever produced a 100-nl injection of the infusate. Results Alcohol-preferring rats self-infused 75 to 300 mg% EtOH, whereas Wistar rats reliably self-infused 100 and 300 mg% EtOH into the AcbSh. Both P and Wistar rats reduced responding on the active lever when aCSF was substituted for EtOH, and reinstated responding in session 7 when EtOH was restored. EtOH was not self-infused into the AcbC by P or Wistar rats. Conclusions The present results indicate that the AcbSh, but not AcbC, is a neuroanatomical structure that mediates the reinforcing actions of EtOH. The data also suggest that, compared to Wistar rats, the AcbSh of P rats is more sensitive to the reinforcing effects of EtOH. PMID:19764930

  11. Protection genes in nucleus accumbens shell affect vulnerability to nicotine self-administration across isogenic strains of adolescent rat.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Luo, Rui; Gong, Suzhen; Matta, Shannon G; Sharp, Burt M

    2014-01-01

    Classical genetic studies show the heritability of cigarette smoking is 0.4-0.6, and that multiple genes confer susceptibility and resistance to smoking. Despite recent advances in identifying genes associated with smoking behaviors, the major source of this heritability and its impact on susceptibility and resistance are largely unknown. Operant self-administration (SA) of intravenous nicotine is an established model for smoking behavior. We recently confirmed that genetic factors exert strong control over nicotine intake in isogenic rat strains. Because the processing of afferent dopaminergic signals by nucleus accumbens shell (AcbS) is critical for acquisition and maintenance of motivated behaviors reinforced by nicotine, we hypothesized that differential basal gene expression in AcbS accounts for much of the strain-to-strain variation in nicotine SA. We therefore sequenced the transcriptome of AcbS samples obtained by laser capture microdissection from 10 isogenic adolescent rat strains and compared all RNA transcript levels with behavior. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis, a systems biology method, found 12 modules (i.e., unique sets of genes that covary across all samples) that correlated (p<0.05) with amount of self-administered nicotine; 9 of 12 correlated negatively, implying a protective role. PCR confirmed selected genes from these modules. Chilibot, a literature mining tool, identified 15 genes within 1 module that were nominally associated with cigarette smoking, thereby providing strong support for the analytical approach. This is the first report demonstrating that nicotine intake by adolescent rodents is associated with the expression of specific genes in AcbS of the mesolimbic system, which controls motivated behaviors. These findings provide new insights into genetic mechanisms that predispose or protect against tobacco addiction.

  12. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β in the nucleus accumbens core is critical for methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chun-Mei; Wang, Jun; Wu, Ping; Xue, Yan-Xue; Zhu, Wei-Li; Li, Qian-Qian; Zhai, Hai-Feng; Shi, Jie; Lu, Lin

    2011-07-01

    As a ubiquitous serine/threonine protein kinase, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) has been considered to be important in the synaptic plasticity that underlies dopamine-related behaviors and diseases. We recently found that GSK-3β activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core is critically involved in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. The present study further explored the association between the changes in GSK-3β activity in the NAc and the chronic administration of methamphetamine. We also examined whether blocking GSK-3β activity in the NAc could alter the initiation and expression of methamphetamine (1 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced locomotor sensitization in rats using systemic administration of lithium chloride (LiCl, 100 mg/kg, i.p) and brain region-specific administration of the GSK-3β inhibitor SB216763 (1 ng/side). We found that GSK-3β activity increased in the NAc core, but not NAc shell, after chronic methamphetamine administration. The initiation and expression of methamphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization was attenuated by systemic administration of LiCl and direct infusion of SB216763 into the NAc core, but not NAc shell. These results indicate that GSK-3β activity in the NAc core mediates the initiation and expression of methamphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization, suggesting that GSK-3β may be a potential target for the treatment of psychostimulant addiction.

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

    PubMed

    Xing, Bo; Liang, Xiao-Ping; Liu, Peng; Zhao, Yan; Chu, Zheng; Dang, Yong-Hui

    2015-01-01

    Valproate (VPA) has recently been shown to influence the behavioral effects of psycho-stimulants. Although glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a key role in mediating dopamine (DA)-dependent behaviors, there is less direct evidence that how VPA acts on the GSK3β signaling in the functionally distinct sub-regions of the NAc, the NAc core (NAcC) and the NAc shell (NAcSh), during psycho-stimulant-induced hyperactivity. In the present study, we applied locomotion test after acute methamphetamine (MA) (2 mg/kg) injection to identify the locomotor activity of rats received repeated VPA (300 mg/kg) pretreatment. We next measured phosphor-GSK3β at serine 9 and total GSK3β levels in NAcC and NAcSh respectively to determine the relationship between the effect of VPA on MA-induced hyperlocomotor and changes in GSK3β activity. We further investigated whether microinjection of VPA (300 μg/0.5 μl/side, once daily for 7 consecutive days) into NAcC or NAcSh could affect hyperactivity induced by MA. Our data indicated that repeated VPA treatment attenuated MA-induced hyperlocomotor, and the effect was associated with decreased levels of phosphorylated GSK3β at Ser 9 in the NAcC. Moreover, repeated bilateral intra-NAcC, but not intra-NAcSh VPA treatment, significantly attenuated MA-induced hyperactivity. Our results suggested that GSK3β activity in NAcC contributes to the inhibitory effects of VPA on MA-induced hyperactivity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-21

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

  15. Deep brain stimulation reveals a dissociation of consummatory and motivated behaviour in the medial and lateral nucleus accumbens shell of the rat.

    PubMed

    van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Schrama, Regina; van Seters, Sebastiaan P; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Westenberg, Herman G M

    2012-01-01

    Following the successful application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and promising results in clinical trials for obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression, DBS is currently being tested in small patient-populations with eating disorders and addiction. However, in spite of its potential use in a broad spectrum of disorders, the mechanisms of action of DBS remain largely unclear and optimal neural targets for stimulation in several disorders have yet to be established. Thus, there is a great need to examine site-specific effects of DBS on a behavioural level and to understand how DBS may modulate pathological behaviour. In view of the possible application of DBS in the treatment of disorders characterized by impaired processing of reward and motivation, like addiction and eating disorders, we examined the effect of DBS of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) on food-directed behavior. Rats were implanted with bilateral stimulation electrodes in one of three anatomically and functionally distinct sub-areas of the NAcc: the core, lateral shell (lShell) and medial shell (mShell). Subsequently, we studied the effects of DBS on food consumption, and the motivational and appetitive properties of food. The data revealed a functional dissociation between the lShell and mShell. DBS of the lShell reduced motivation to respond for sucrose under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, mShell DBS, however, profoundly and selectively increased the intake of chow. DBS of the NAcc core did not alter any form of food-directed behavior studied. DBS of neither structure affected sucrose preference. These data indicate that the intake of chow and the motivation to work for palatable food can independently be modulated by DBS of subregions of the NAcc shell. As such, these findings provide important leads for the possible future application of DBS as a treatment for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Cocaine and Amphetamine Induce Overlapping but Distinct Patterns of AMPAR Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jedynak, Jakub; Hearing, Matthew; Ingebretson, Anna; Ebner, Stephanie R; Kelly, Matthew; Fischer, Rachel A; Kourrich, Saïd; Thomas, Mark J

    2016-01-01

    Repeated exposure to psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine can promote drug-seeking and -taking behavior. In rodent addiction models, persistent changes in excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) appear to drive this drug-induced behavioral plasticity. To study whether changes in glutamatergic signaling are shared between or exclusive to specific psychostimulant drugs, we examined synaptic transmission from mice following repeated amphetamine or cocaine administration. Synaptic transmission mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors was potentiated in the NAc shell 10–14 days following repeated amphetamine or cocaine treatment. This synaptic enhancement was depotentiated by re-exposure to amphetamine or cocaine. By contrast, in the NAc core only repeated cocaine exposure enhanced synaptic transmission, which was subsequently depotentiated by an additional cocaine but not amphetamine injection during drug abstinence. To better understand the drug-induced depotentiation, we replicated these in vivo findings using an ex vivo model termed ‘challenge in the bath,' and showed that drug-induced decreases in synaptic strength occur rapidly (within 30 min) and require activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and protein synthesis in the NAc shell, but not NAc core. Overall, these data demonstrate the specificity of neuronal circuit changes induced by amphetamine, introduce a novel method for studying drug challenge-induced plasticity, and define NAc shell medium spiny neurons as a primary site of persistent AMPA-type glutamate receptor plasticity by two widely used psychostimulant drugs. PMID:26068728

  18. Cocaine and Amphetamine Induce Overlapping but Distinct Patterns of AMPAR Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons.

    PubMed

    Jedynak, Jakub; Hearing, Matthew; Ingebretson, Anna; Ebner, Stephanie R; Kelly, Matthew; Fischer, Rachel A; Kourrich, Saïd; Thomas, Mark J

    2016-01-01

    Repeated exposure to psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine can promote drug-seeking and -taking behavior. In rodent addiction models, persistent changes in excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) appear to drive this drug-induced behavioral plasticity. To study whether changes in glutamatergic signaling are shared between or exclusive to specific psychostimulant drugs, we examined synaptic transmission from mice following repeated amphetamine or cocaine administration. Synaptic transmission mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors was potentiated in the NAc shell 10-14 days following repeated amphetamine or cocaine treatment. This synaptic enhancement was depotentiated by re-exposure to amphetamine or cocaine. By contrast, in the NAc core only repeated cocaine exposure enhanced synaptic transmission, which was subsequently depotentiated by an additional cocaine but not amphetamine injection during drug abstinence. To better understand the drug-induced depotentiation, we replicated these in vivo findings using an ex vivo model termed 'challenge in the bath,' and showed that drug-induced decreases in synaptic strength occur rapidly (within 30 min) and require activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and protein synthesis in the NAc shell, but not NAc core. Overall, these data demonstrate the specificity of neuronal circuit changes induced by amphetamine, introduce a novel method for studying drug challenge-induced plasticity, and define NAc shell medium spiny neurons as a primary site of persistent AMPA-type glutamate receptor plasticity by two widely used psychostimulant drugs.

  19. Local Control of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Medial Nucleus Accumbens by a Glutamatergic Projection from the Infralimbic Cortex.

    PubMed

    Quiroz, César; Orrú, Marco; Rea, William; Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Yepes, Gabriel; Britt, Jonathan P; Ferré, Sergi

    2016-01-20

    It is generally assumed that infralimbic cortex (ILC) and prelimbic cortex, two adjacent areas of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents, provide selective excitatory glutamatergic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, respectively. It is also generally believed that mPFC influences the extracellular levels of dopamine in the NAc primarily by an excitatory collateral to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, we first established the existence of a selective functional connection between ILC and the posteromedial portions of the VTA (pmVTA) and the mNAc shell (pmNAc shell), by measuring striatal neuronal activation (immunohistochemical analysis of ERK1/2 phosphorylation) and glutamate release (in vivo microdialysis) upon ILC electrical stimulation. A novel optogenetic-microdialysis approach allowed the measurement of extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell upon local light-induced stimulation of glutamatergic terminals from ILC. Cortical electrical and local optogenetic stimulation produced significant increases in the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell. Local blockade of glutamate release by perfusion of an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in the pmNAc shell blocked the dopamine release induced by local optogenetic stimulation but only partially antagonized dopamine release induced by cortical electrical stimulation. The results demonstrate that ILC excitatory afferents directly modulate the extracellular concentration of dopamine in the pmNAc shell, but also support the involvement of an indirect mechanism of dopamine control, through a concomitant ILC-mediated activation of the pmVTA. Significance statement: We established the existence of a functional connection between the infralimbic cortex (ILC) and the posteromedial portions of the ventral tegmental area (pmVTA) and the medial nucleus acumbens shell (pmNAc shell). A novel optogenetic

  20. Local Control of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Medial Nucleus Accumbens by a Glutamatergic Projection from the Infralimbic Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Quiroz, César; Orrú, Marco; Rea, William; Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Yepes, Gabriel; Britt, Jonathan P.

    2016-01-01

    It is generally assumed that infralimbic cortex (ILC) and prelimbic cortex, two adjacent areas of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents, provide selective excitatory glutamatergic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, respectively. It is also generally believed that mPFC influences the extracellular levels of dopamine in the NAc primarily by an excitatory collateral to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, we first established the existence of a selective functional connection between ILC and the posteromedial portions of the VTA (pmVTA) and the mNAc shell (pmNAc shell), by measuring striatal neuronal activation (immunohistochemical analysis of ERK1/2 phosphorylation) and glutamate release (in vivo microdialysis) upon ILC electrical stimulation. A novel optogenetic-microdialysis approach allowed the measurement of extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell upon local light-induced stimulation of glutamatergic terminals from ILC. Cortical electrical and local optogenetic stimulation produced significant increases in the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell. Local blockade of glutamate release by perfusion of an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in the pmNAc shell blocked the dopamine release induced by local optogenetic stimulation but only partially antagonized dopamine release induced by cortical electrical stimulation. The results demonstrate that ILC excitatory afferents directly modulate the extracellular concentration of dopamine in the pmNAc shell, but also support the involvement of an indirect mechanism of dopamine control, through a concomitant ILC-mediated activation of the pmVTA. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We established the existence of a functional connection between the infralimbic cortex (ILC) and the posteromedial portions of the ventral tegmental area (pmVTA) and the medial nucleus acumbens shell (pmNAc shell). A novel optogenetic

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Alcohol has subjective and behavioral effects at the pharmacological levels typically reached during the consumption of one or two alcoholic drinks. Here we provide evidence that an α4-subunit-containing gamma-amino-butyric acid A (GABAA) receptor contributes to the consumption of low-to-moderate levels of alcohol. Using viral-mediated RNA-interference (RNAi), we found that reduced expression of the α4 subunit in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell of rats decreased their free consumption of and preference for alcohol. The time course for the reduced alcohol intake paralleled the time course of α4 mRNA reductions achieved after viral-mediated RNAi for α4. Further, the reduction in drinking was region- and alcohol-specific: there was no effect of reductions in α4 expression in the NAc core on alcohol intake, and reductions in α4 expression in the NAc shell did not alter sucrose or water intake. These results indicate that the GABAAR α4 subunit in the NAc shell mediates alcohol intake. PMID:19144854

  4. D1 receptors in the nucleus accumbens-shell, but not the core, are involved in mediating ethanol-seeking behavior of alcohol-preferring (P) rats.

    PubMed

    Hauser, S R; Deehan, G A; Dhaher, R; Knight, C P; Wilden, J A; McBride, W J; Rodd, Z A

    2015-06-04

    Clinical and preclinical research suggest that activation of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system is involved in mediating the rewarding actions of drugs of abuse, as well as promoting drug-seeking behavior. Inhibition of DA D1 receptors in the nucleus accumbens (Acb) can reduce ethanol (EtOH)-seeking behavior of non-selective rats triggered by environmental context. However, to date, there has been no research on the effects of D1 receptor agents on EtOH- seeking behavior of high alcohol-preferring (P) rats following prolonged abstinence. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of microinjecting the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 or the D1 agonist A-77636 into the Acb shell or Acb core on spontaneous recovery of EtOH-seeking behavior. After 10 weeks of concurrent access to EtOH and water, P rats underwent seven extinction sessions (EtOH and water withheld), followed by 2 weeks in their home cages without access to EtOH or operant sessions. In the 2nd week of the home cage phase, rats were bilaterally implanted with guide cannula aimed at the Acb shell or Acb core; rats were allowed 7d ays to recover before EtOH-seeking was assessed by the Pavlovian Spontaneous Recovery (PSR) model. Administration of SCH23390 (1μg/side) into the Acb shell inhibited responding on the EtOH lever, whereas administration of A-77636 (0.125μg/side) increased responding on the EtOH lever. Microinfusion of D1 receptor agents into the Acb core did not alter responding on the EtOH lever. Responses on the water lever were not altered by any of the treatments. The results suggest that activation of D1 receptors within the Acb shell, but not Acb core, are involved in mediating PSR of EtOH-seeking behavior of P rats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stratford, Thomas R; Wirtshafter, David

    2012-05-01

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

  7. Differential influence of the ventral subiculum on dopaminergic responses observed in core and dorsomedial shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens in latent inhibition.

    PubMed

    Peterschmitt, Y; Meyer, F; Louilot, A

    2008-06-26

    It has previously been reported that dopamine (DA) responses observed in the core and dorsomedial shell parts of the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) in latent inhibition (LI) are dependent on the left entorhinal cortex (ENT). The present study was designed to investigate the influence of the left ventral subiculum (SUB) closely linked to the ENT on the DA responses obtained in the Nacc during LI, using an aversive conditioned olfactory paradigm and in vivo voltammetry in freely moving rats. In the first (pre-exposure) session, functional blockade of the left SUB was achieved by local microinjection of tetrodotoxin (TTX). In the second session, rats were aversively conditioned to banana odor, the conditional stimulus (CS). In the retention (test) session the results were as follows: (1) pre-exposed (PE) conditioned animals microinjected with TTX, displayed aversion toward the CS; (2) in the core part of the Nacc, for PE-TTX-conditioned rats as for non-pre-exposed (NPE) conditioned animals, DA levels remained close to the baseline whereas DA variations in both groups were significantly different from the DA increases observed in PE-conditioned rats microinjected with the solvent (phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)); (3) in the shell part of the Nacc, for PE-TTX-conditioned rats, DA variations were close to or above the baseline. They were situated between the rapid DA increases observed in NPE-conditioned animals and the transient DA decreases obtained in PE-PBS-conditioned animals. These findings suggest that, in parallel to the left ENT, the left SUB controls DA LI-related responses in the Nacc. The present data may also offer new insight into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  8. The uncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist memantine reduces binge-like eating, food-seeking behavior, and compulsive eating: role of the nucleus accumbens shell.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen L; Rao, Rahul R; Velázquez-Sánchez, Clara; Valenza, Marta; Giuliano, Chiara; Everitt, Barry J; Sabino, Valentina; Cottone, Pietro

    2015-03-13

    Binge-eating disorder is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable consumption of palatable food within brief periods of time. The role of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor system in hedonic feeding is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterize the effects of the uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist memantine on palatable food-induced behavioral adaptations using a rat model, which mimics the characteristic symptomatology observed in binge-eating disorder. For this purpose, we allowed male Wistar rats to respond to obtain a highly palatable, sugary diet (Palatable group) or a regular chow diet (Chow control group), for 1 h a day, under a fixed-ratio 1 (FR1) schedule of reinforcement. Upon stabilization of food responding, we tested the effects of memantine on the Chow and Palatable food groups' intake. Then, we tested the effects of memantine on food-seeking behavior, under a second-order schedule of reinforcement. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of memantine on the intake of food when it was offered in an aversive, bright compartment of a light/dark conflict test. Finally, we evaluated the effects of memantine on FR1 responding for food, when microinfused into the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) shell or core. Memantine dose-dependently decreased binge-like eating and fully blocked food-seeking behavior and compulsive eating, selectively in the Palatable food group. The drug treatment did not affect performance of the control Chow food group. Finally, intra-NAcc shell, but not core, microinfusion of memantine decreased binge-like eating. Together, these findings substantiate a role of memantine as a potential pharmacological treatment for binge-eating disorder.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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)…

  11. Dissociable control of impulsivity in rats by dopamine d2/3 receptors in the core and shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Besson, Morgane; Belin, David; McNamara, Ruth; Theobald, David Eh; Castel, Aude; Beckett, Victoria L; Crittenden, Ben M; Newman, Amy H; Everitt, Barry J; Robbins, Trevor W; Dalley, Jeffrey W

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has identified the nucleus accumbens (NAcb) as an important brain region underlying inter-individual variation in impulsive behavior. Such variation has been linked to decreased dopamine (DA) D2/3 receptor availability in the ventral striatum of rats exhibiting spontaneously high levels of impulsivity on a 5-choice serial reaction time (5-CSRT) test of sustained visual attention. This study investigated the involvement of DA D2/3 receptors in the NAcb core (NAcbC) and the NAcb shell (NAcbS) in impulsivity. We investigated the effects of a DA D2/3 receptor antagonist (nafadotride) and a DA D2/3 partial agonist (aripiprazole) infused directly into either the NAcbC or NAcbS of rats selected for high (HI) and low (LI) impulsivity on the 5-CSRT task. Nafadotride increased significantly the level of impulsivity when infused into the NAcbS, but decreased impulsivity when infused into the NAcbC of HI rats. By contrast, intra-NAcb microinfusions of aripiprazole did not affect impulsivity. Systemic administration of nafadotride had no effect on impulsive behavior but increased the number of omissions and correct response latencies, whereas systemic injections of aripiprazole decreased impulsive and perseverative behavior, and increased the number of omissions and correct response latencies. These findings indicate an opponent modulation of impulsive behavior by DA D2/3 receptors in the NAcbS and NAcbC. Such divergent roles may have relevance for the etiology and treatment of clinical disorders of behavioral control, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and drug addiction.

  12. Opioid Receptor Antagonism in the Nucleus Accumbens Fails to Block the Expression of Sugar-Conditioned Flavor Preferences in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Bernal, Sonia Y.; Touzani, Khalid; Gerges, Meri; Abayev, Yana; Sclafani, Anthony; Bodnar, Richard J.

    2009-01-01

    In our prior studies, systemic administration of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (NTX) did not block flavor preference conditioning by the sweet taste or post-oral actions of sugar despite reducing intake. Because opioid signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is implicated in food reward, this study determined if NTX administered into the NAc would block the expression of sugar-conditioned preferences. In Experiment 1, food-restricted rats with bilateral NAc shell or core cannulae were trained to drink a fructose (8%) + saccharin (0.2%) solution mixed with one flavor (CS+) and a less-preferred 0.2% saccharin solution mixed with another flavor (CS−) during one-bottle sessions. Two-bottle tests with the two flavors mixed in saccharin solutions occurred 10 min following total bilateral NAc shell or core doses of 0, 1, 25 and 50 μg of NTX. The rats preferred the CS+ over CS− following vehicle (80%) and all NTX doses in the shell and core. The CS+ preference was reduced to 64% and 72% by 50 μg NTX in the shell and core, although only the core effect was significant. In Experiment 2, food-restricted rats were trained to drink one flavored saccharin solution (CS+) paired with an intragastic (IG) glucose (8%) infusion and a second flavored saccharin solution (CS−) paired with an IG water infusion. In subsequent two-bottle tests, the rats displayed significant preferences for the CS+ (81-91%) that were unaltered by any NTX dose in the shell or core. CS+ intake, however, was reduced by NTX in the shell, but not the core. These data indicate that accumbal opioid antagonism slightly attenuated, but did not block the expression of sugar-conditioned flavor preferences. Therefore, while opioid drugs can have potent effects on sugar intake they appear less effective in altering sugar-conditioned flavor preferences. PMID:20006967

  13. Re-exposure to morphine-associated context facilitated long-term potentiation in the vSUB-NAc glutamatergic pathway via GluN2B-containing receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi-Jing; Ping, Xing-Jie; Qi, Chong; Shen, Fang; Sun, Lin-Lin; Sun, Xiao-Wei; Ge, Fei-Fei; Xing, Guo-Gang; Cui, Cai-Lian

    2017-03-01

    The glutamatergic projection from the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus (vSUB) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell has been reported to play a key role in drug-related behavior. The GluN2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in the NAc can be selectively elevated after the retrieval of drug-conditioned memory. However, whether the increased GluN2B-containing NMDARs (GluN2B-NMDARs) are able to alter the synaptic plasticity of the vSUB-NAc glutamatergic pathway remains unclear. Here, we found that the long-term potentiation (LTP) in the vSUB-NAc pathway was facilitated and the GluN2B subunit protein level was elevated in synaptoneurosomes of the NAc shell, but not in the core, following morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) expression in rats. The facilitated LTP was prevented by the GluN2B-NMDAR antagonist RO25-6981. Also, a neurochemical disconnection following microinjection of RO25-6981 into the NAc shell, plus microinfusion of GABA agonist baclofen and muscimol into the contralateral vSUB prevented the expression of morphine-induced CPP. These findings suggest that the retrieval of drug-associated memory potentiated synaptic plasticity in the vSUB-NAc pathway, which was dependent on GluN2B-NMDAR activation in the NAc shell. These findings provide a new explanation for the mechanisms that underlie the morphine-associated-context memory. The GluN2B-NMDARs may be regarded as a potential target for erasing morphine-related memory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-16

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

  15. Norepinephrine and dopamine modulate impulsivity on the five-choice serial reaction time task through opponent actions in the shell and core sub-regions of the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Economidou, Daina; Theobald, David E H; Robbins, Trevor W; Everitt, Barry J; Dalley, Jeffrey W

    2012-08-01

    Impulsive behavior is a hallmark of several neuropsychiatric disorders (eg, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD). Although dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) have a significant role in the modulation of impulsivity their neural loci of action is not well understood. Here, we investigated the effects of the selective NE re-uptake inhibitor atomoxetine (ATO) and the mixed DA/NE re-uptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH), both with proven clinical efficacy in ADHD, on the number of premature responses on a five-choice serial reaction time task, an operational measure of impulsivity. Microinfusions of ATO into the shell, but not the core, sub-region of the nucleus accumbens (NAcb) significantly decreased premature responding whereas infusions of MPH in the core, but not the shell, sub-region significantly increased premature responding. However, neither ATO nor MPH significantly altered impulsive behavior when infused into the prelimbic or infralimbic cortices. The opposing effects of ATO and MPH in the NAcb core and shell on impulsivity were unlikely mediated by ancillary effects on behavioral activation as locomotor activity was either unaffected, as in the case of ATO infusions in the core and shell, or increased when MPH was infused into either the core and shell sub-region. These findings indicate an apparently 'opponent' modulation of premature responses by NE and DA in the NAcb shell or core, respectively, and suggest that the symptom clusters of hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD may have distinct neural and neurochemical substrates.

  16. A low-temperature process for the denitration of Hanford single-shell tank, nitrate-based waste utilizing the nitrate to ammonia and ceramic (NAC) process

    SciTech Connect

    Mattus, A.J.; Lee, D.D.; Dillow, T.A.; Farr, L.L.; Loghry, S.L.; Pitt, W.W.; Gibson, M.R.

    1994-12-01

    Bench-top feasibility studies with Hanford single-shell tank (SST) simulants, using a new, low-temperature (50 to 60C) process for converting nitrate to ammonia and ceramic (NAC), have conclusively shown that between 85 to 99% of the nitrate can be readily converted. In this process, aluminum powders or shot can be used to convert alkaline, nitrate-based supernate to ammonia and an aluminum oxide-sodium aluminate-based solid which might function as its own waste form. The process may actually be able to utilize already contaminated aluminum scrap metal from various DOE sites to effect the conversion. The final, nearly nitrate-free ceramic-like product can be pressed and sintered like other ceramics. Based upon the starting volumes of 6.2 and 3.1 M sodium nitrate solution, volume reductions of 50 to 55% were obtained for the waste form produced, compared to an expected 35 to 50% volume increase if the Hanford supernate were grouted. Engineering data extracted from bench-top studies indicate that the process will be very economical to operate, and data were used to cost a batch, 1,200-kg NO{sub 3}/h plant for working off Hanford SST waste over 20 years. Their total process cost analysis presented in the appendix, indicates that between $2.01 to 2.66 per kilogram of nitrate converted will be required. Additionally, data on the fate of select radioelements present in solution are presented in this report as well as kinetic, operational, and control data for a number of experiments. Additionally, if the ceramic product functions as its own waste form, it too will offer other cost savings associated with having a smaller volume of waste form as well as eliminating other process steps such as grouting.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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

  20. 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

  1. Chronic cocaine-induced H3 acetylation and transcriptional activation of CaMKIIalpha in the nucleus accumbens is critical for motivation for drug reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Lv, Zhigang; Hu, Zhaoyang; Sheng, Jian; Hui, Bin; Sun, Jie; Ma, Lan

    2010-03-01

    The regulation of gene expression in the brain reward regions is known to contribute to the pathogenesis and persistence of drug addiction. Increasing evidence suggests that the regulation of gene transcription is mediated by epigenetic mechanisms that alter the chromatin structure at specific gene promoters. To better understand the involvement of epigenetic regulation in drug reinforcement properties, rats were subjected to cocaine self-administration paradigm. Daily histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor infusions in the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) caused an upward shift in the dose-response curve under fixed-ratio schedule and increased the break point under progressive-ratio schedule, indicating enhanced motivation for self-administered drug. The effect of the HDAC inhibitor is attributed to the increased elevation of histone acetylation induced by chronic, but not acute, cocaine experience. In contrast, neutralizing the chronic cocaine-induced increase in histone modification by the bilateral overexpression of HDAC4 in the NAc shell reduced drug motivation. The association between the motivation for cocaine and the transcriptional activation of addiction-related genes by H3 acetylation in the NAc shell was analyzed. Among the genes activated by chronic cocaine experiences, the expression of CaMKIIalpha, but not CaMKIIbeta, correlated positively with motivation for the drug. Lentivirus-mediated shRNA knockdown experiments showed that CaMKIIalpha, but not CaMKIIbeta, in the NAc shell is essential for the maintenance of motivation to self-administered cocaine. These findings suggest that chronic drug-use-induced transcriptional activation of genes, such as CaMKIIalpha, modulated by H3 acetylation in the NAc is a critical regulatory mechanism underlying motivation for drug reinforcement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  3. Caudal Nucleus Accumbens Core Is Critical in the Regulation of Cue-Elicited Approach-Avoidance Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Hamel, Laurie; Thangarasa, Tharshika; Samadi, Osai

    2017-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is thought to be a site of integration of positively and negatively valenced information and action selection. Functional differentiation in valence processing has previously been found along the rostrocaudal axis of the shell region of the NAc in assessments of unconditioned motivation. Given that the core region of the NAc has been implicated in the elicitation of motivated behavior in response to conditioned cues, we sought to assess the role of caudal, intermediate, and rostral sites within this subregion in cue-elicited approach-avoidance decisions. Rats were trained to associate visuo-tactile cues with appetitive, aversive, and neutral outcomes. Following the successful acquisition of the cue-outcome associations, rats received microinfusions of GABAA and GABAB receptor agonists (muscimol/baclofen) or saline into the caudal, intermediate, or rostral NAc core and were then exposed to a superimposition of appetitively and aversively valenced cues versus neutral cues in a “conflict test,” as well as to the appetitive versus neutral cues, and aversive cues versus neutral cues, in separate conditioned preference/avoidance tests. Disruption of activity in the intermediate to caudal parts of the NAc core resulted in a robust avoidance bias in response to motivationally conflicting cues, as well as a potentiated avoidance of aversive cues as compared with control animals, coupled with an attenuated conditioned preference for the appetitive cue. These results suggest that the caudal NAc core may have the capacity to exert bidirectional control over appetitively and aversively motivated responses to valence signals. PMID:28275709

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

    PubMed

    Marchant, Nathan J; Kaganovsky, Konstantin

    2015-06-01

    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, in which extinction training in context (B) suppresses alcohol seeking, and renewal of this seeking occurs 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 in response to the negative consequences of excessive use. We recently developed a procedure to study renewal in laboratory rats after abstinence 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-29

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Intra-nucleus accumbens shell injections of R(+)- and S(-)-baclofen bidirectionally alter binge-like ethanol, but not saccharin, intake in C57Bl/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Kasten, Chelsea R; Boehm, Stephen L

    2014-10-01

    The GABAB agonist baclofen has been widely researched clinically and preclinically as a treatment of alcohol use disorders (AUDs). However, the efficacy of baclofen remains uncertain. The clinically used racemic compound can be separated into separate enantiomers. These enantiomers have produced different profiles in behavioral assays, with the S- compound often being ineffective compared to the R- compound, or the S- compound antagonizing the effects of the R- compound. We have previously demonstrated that the R(+)-baclofen enantiomer decreases binge-like ethanol intake in the Drinking-in-the-Dark (DID) paradigm, whereas the S(-)-baclofen enantiomer increases ethanol intake. One area implicated in drug abuse is the nucleus accumbens shell (NACsh).The current study sought to define the role of the NACsh in the enantioselective effects of baclofen on binge-like ethanol consumption by directly microinjecting each enantiomer into the structure. Following bilateral cannulation of the NACsh, C57Bl/6J mice were given 5 days of access to ethanol or saccharin for 2h, 3h into the dark cycle. On Day 5 mice were given an injection of aCSF, 0.02 R(+)-, 0.04R(+)-, 0.08 S(-)-, or 0.16 S(-)-baclofen (μg/side dissolved in 200nl of aCSF). It was found that the R(+)-baclofen dose-dependently decreased ethanol consumption, whereas the high S(-)-baclofen dose increased ethanol consumption, compared to the aCSF group. Saccharin consumption was not affected. These results further confirm that GABAB receptors and the NACsh shell are integral in mediating ethanol intake. They also demonstrate that baclofen displays bidirectional, enantioselective effects which are important when considering therapeutic uses of the drug.

  11. Nucleus accumbens invulnerability to methamphetamine neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Desire and Dread from the Nucleus Accumbens: Cortical Glutamate and Subcortical GABA Differentially Generate Motivation and Hedonic Impact in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Faure, Alexis; Richard, Jocelyn M.; Berridge, Kent C.

    2010-01-01

    Background GABAergic signals to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell arise from predominantly subcortical sources whereas glutamatergic signals arise mainly from cortical-related sources. Here we contrasted GABAergic and glutamatergic generation of hedonics versus motivation processes, as a proxy for comparing subcortical and cortical controls of emotion. Local disruptions of either signals in medial shell of NAc generate intense motivated behaviors corresponding to desire and/or dread, along a rostrocaudal gradient. GABA or glutamate disruptions in rostral shell generate appetitive motivation whereas disruptions in caudal shell elicit fearful motivation. However, GABA and glutamate signals in NAc differ in important ways, despite the similarity of their rostrocaudal motivation gradients. Methodology/Principal Findings Microinjections of a GABAA agonist (muscimol), or of a glutamate AMPA antagonist (DNQX) in medial shell of rats were assessed for generation of hedonic “liking” or “disliking” by measuring orofacial affective reactions to sucrose-quinine taste. Motivation generation was independently assessed measuring effects on eating versus natural defensive behaviors. For GABAergic microinjections, we found that the desire-dread motivation gradient was mirrored by an equivalent hedonic gradient that amplified affective taste “liking” (at rostral sites) versus “disliking” (at caudal sites). However, manipulation of glutamatergic signals completely failed to alter pleasure-displeasure reactions to sensory hedonic impact, despite producing a strong rostrocaudal gradient of motivation. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that the nucleus accumbens contains two functional affective keyboards for amino-acid signals: a motivation-generating keyboard and a hedonic-generating keyboard. Corticolimbic glutamate signals and subcortical GABA signals equivalently engage the motivation keyboard to generate desire and-or dread. Only subcortical GABA signals

  13. Opioids in the nucleus accumbens stimulate ethanol intake.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-19

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

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

    PubMed

    Floresco, Stan B

    2015-01-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Morphine withdrawal produces ERK-dependent and ERK-independent epigenetic marks in neurons of the nucleus accumbens and lateral septum.

    PubMed

    Ciccarelli, Alessandro; Calza, Arianna; Santoru, Francesca; Grasso, Fabrizio; Concas, Alessandra; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Giustetto, Maurizio

    2013-07-01

    Epigenetic changes such as covalent modifications of histone proteins represent complex molecular signatures that provide a cellular memory of previously experienced stimuli without irreversible changes of the genetic code. In this study we show that new gene expression induced in vivo by morphine withdrawal occurs with concomitant epigenetic modifications in brain regions critically involved in drug-dependent behaviors. We found that naloxone-precipitated withdrawal, but not chronic morphine administration, caused a strong induction of phospho-histone H3 immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell/core and in the lateral septum (LS), a change that was accompanied by augmented H3 acetylation (lys14) in neurons of the NAc shell. Morphine withdrawal induced the phosphorylation of the epigenetic factor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in Ser421 both in the LS and the NAc shell. These epigenetic changes were accompanied by the activation of members of the ERK pathway as well as increased expression of the immediate early genes (IEG) c-fos and activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1). Using a pharmacological approach, we found that H3 phosphorylation and IEG expression were partially dependent on ERK activation, while MeCP2 phosphorylation was fully ERK-independent. These findings provide new important information on the role of the ERK pathway in the regulation of epigenetic marks and gene expression that may concur to regulate in vivo the cellular changes underlying the onset of the opioid withdrawal syndrome.

  19. Prefrontal Cortex to Accumbens Projections in Sleep Regulation of Reward

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zheng; Wang, Yao; Cai, Li; Li, Yizhi; Chen, Bo; Dong, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Sleep profoundly affects the emotional and motivational state. In humans and animals, loss of sleep often results in enhanced motivation for reward, which has direct implications for health risks as well as potential benefits. Current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation (SDe)-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We found that after acute SDe, mice had an increase in sucrose seeking and consumption but not food intake, suggesting a selective enhancement of motivation for reward. In the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain region regulating emotional and motivational responses, we observed a decrease in the ratio of the overall excitatory over inhibitory synaptic inputs onto NAc principle neurons after SDe. The shift was partly mediated by reduced glutamatergic transmission of presynaptic origin. Further analysis revealed that there was selective reduction of the glutamate release probability at the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-to-NAc synapses, but not those from the hippocampus, thalamus, or the basal lateral amygdala. To reverse this SDe-induced synaptic alteration, we expressed the stabilized step function opsin (SSFO) in the mPFC; optogenetic stimulation of SSFO at mPFC-to-NAc projection terminals persistently enhanced the action potential-dependent glutamate release. Intra-NAc optogenetic stimulation of SSFO selectively at mPFC-to-NAc terminals restored normal sucrose seeking in mice after SDe without affecting food intake. These results highlight the mPFC-to-NAc projection as a key circuit-based target for sleep to regulate reward-motivated behaviors. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sleep loss, a costly challenge of modern society, has profound physiological and psychological consequences, including altered reward processing of the brain. The current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We identify that the medial prefrontal cortex (m

  20. 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

  1. Behavioral sensitization to delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cross-sensitization with morphine: differential changes in accumbal shell and core dopamine transmission.

    PubMed

    Cadoni, Cristina; Valentini, Valentina; Di Chiara, Gaetano

    2008-08-01

    Although cannabinoid-induced behavioral sensitization and cross-sensitization with opiates has been recently demonstrated, no information is available on the associated state and responsiveness of dopamine (DA) transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core. In this study we investigate by means of dual probe microdialysis, the effect of exposure to a sensitizing regimen of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) and morphine on the extracellular concentrations of DA under basal conditions and after challenge with Delta(9)-THC and morphine in the NAc shell and core. Different groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered twice daily for 3 days with increasing doses of Delta(9)-THC (2, 4, and 8 mg/kg i.p.), morphine (10, 20, and 40 mg/kg s.c.), and vehicle. After 14-20 days from the last injection, the animals were implanted with two microdialysis probes, one aimed at the NAc shell and the other at the core. The following day animals pre-treated with Delta(9)-THC and vehicle controls were challenged with 150 microg/kg i.v. of Delta(9)-THC or 0.5 mg/kg i.v. of morphine. Animals pre-treated with morphine and their vehicle controls were administered with 150 microg/kg i.v. of Delta(9)-THC. Rats pre-exposed to Delta(9)-THC showed behavioral sensitization associated with a reduced stimulation of DA transmission in the NAc shell and an increased stimulation in the NAc core in response to Delta(9)-THC challenge. Pre-exposure to Delta(9)-THC induced behavioral sensitization to morphine also, but only a reduced stimulation of DA transmission in the NAc shell was observed. Animals pre-treated with morphine showed behavioral sensitization and differential changes of DA in the NAc shell and core in response to Delta(9)-THC challenge with a decreased response in the shell and an increased response in the core. The results show that Delta(9)-THC-induced behavioral sensitization is associated with changes in the responsiveness of DA transmission in the NAc

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  3. NAC-1, a potential stem cell pluripotency factor, contributes to paclitaxel resistance in ovarian cancer through inactivating Gadd45 pathway.

    PubMed

    Jinawath, N; Vasoontara, C; Yap, K-L; Thiaville, M M; Nakayama, K; Wang, T-L; Shih, I-M

    2009-05-07

    Nucleus accumbens-1 (Nac1 or NAC-1) belongs to the BTB/POZ (Pox virus and Zinc finger/Bric-a-brac Tramtrack Broad complex) transcription factor family and is a novel protein that potentially participates in self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells. In human cancer, NAC-1 is upregulated in several types of neoplasms, but particularly in recurrent chemoresistant ovarian carcinomas, suggesting a biological role for NAC-1 in the development of drug resistance in ovarian cancer. We have assessed this possibility and shown a correlation between NAC-1 expression and ex vivo paclitaxel resistance in ovarian serous carcinoma tissues and cell lines. We found that expression of Gadd45-gamma-interacting protein 1 (Gadd45gip1), a downstream target negatively regulated by NAC-1, was reduced in paclitaxel-resistant cells. Ectopic expression of NAC-1 or knockdown of Gadd45gip1 conferred paclitaxel resistance, whereas NAC-1 knockdown or ectopic expression of Gadd45gip1 increased paclitaxel sensitivity. Furthermore, silencing NAC-1 expression or disrupting NAC-1 homodimerization by a dominant negative NAC-1 protein that contained only the BTB/POZ domain induced the expression of Gadd45gamma, which interacted with Gadd45gip1. Reducing Gadd45gamma expression by small hairpin RNAs partially enhanced paclitaxel resistance. Thus, this study provides new evidence that NAC-1 upregulation and homodimerization contribute to tumor recurrence by equipping ovarian cancer cells with the paclitaxel-resistant phenotype through negative regulation of the Gadd45 pathway.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Neuropeptide Y response to alcohol is altered in nucleus accumbens of mice selectively bred for drinking to intoxication

    PubMed Central

    Barkley-Levenson, Amanda M.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.; Crabbe, John C.

    2016-01-01

    The High Drinking in the Dark (HDID) mice have been selectively bred for drinking to intoxicating blood alcohol levels and represent a genetic model of risk for binge-like drinking. Presently, little is known about the specific genetic factors that promote excessive intake in these mice. Previous studies have identified neuropeptide Y (NPY) as a potential target for modulating alcohol intake. NPY expression differs in some rodent lines that have been selected for high and low alcohol drinking phenotypes, as well as inbred mouse strains that differ in alcohol preference. Alcohol drinking and alcohol withdrawal also produce differential effects on NPY expression in the brain. Here, we assessed brain NPY protein levels in HDID mice of two replicates of selection and control heterogeneous stock (HS) mice at baseline (water drinking) and after binge-like alcohol drinking to determine whether selection is associated with differences in NPY expression and its sensitivity to alcohol. NPY levels did not differ between HDID and HS mice in any brain region in the water-drinking animals. HS mice showed a reduction in NPY levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) – especially in the shell – in ethanol-drinking animals vs. water-drinking controls. However, HDID mice showed a blunted NPY response to alcohol in the NAc core and shell compared to HS mice. These findings suggest that the NPY response to alcohol has been altered by selection for drinking to intoxication in a region-specific manner. Thus, the NPY system may represent a potential target for altering binge-like alcohol drinking in these mice. PMID:26779672

  6. Neuropeptide Y response to alcohol is altered in nucleus accumbens of mice selectively bred for drinking to intoxication.

    PubMed

    Barkley-Levenson, Amanda M; Ryabinin, Andrey E; Crabbe, John C

    2016-04-01

    The High Drinking in the Dark (HDID) mice have been selectively bred for drinking to intoxicating blood alcohol levels and represent a genetic model of risk for binge-like drinking. Presently, little is known about the specific genetic factors that promote excessive intake in these mice. Previous studies have identified neuropeptide Y (NPY) as a potential target for modulating alcohol intake. NPY expression differs in some rodent lines that have been selected for high and low alcohol drinking phenotypes, as well as inbred mouse strains that differ in alcohol preference. Alcohol drinking and alcohol withdrawal also produce differential effects on NPY expression in the brain. Here, we assessed brain NPY protein levels in HDID mice of two replicates of selection and control heterogeneous stock (HS) mice at baseline (water drinking) and after binge-like alcohol drinking to determine whether selection is associated with differences in NPY expression and its sensitivity to alcohol. NPY levels did not differ between HDID and HS mice in any brain region in the water-drinking animals. HS mice showed a reduction in NPY levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) - especially in the shell - in ethanol-drinking animals vs. water-drinking controls. However, HDID mice showed a blunted NPY response to alcohol in the NAc core and shell compared to HS mice. These findings suggest that the NPY response to alcohol has been altered by selection for drinking to intoxication in a region-specific manner. Thus, the NPY system may represent a potential target for altering binge-like alcohol drinking in these mice.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  8. Persistent cue-evoked activity of accumbens neurons after prolonged abstinence from self-administered cocaine.

    PubMed

    Ghitza, Udi E; Fabbricatore, Anthony T; Prokopenko, Volodymyr; Pawlak, Anthony P; West, Mark O

    2003-08-13

    Persistent neural processing of information regarding drug-predictive environmental stimuli may be involved in motivating drug abusers to engage in drug seeking after abstinence. The addictive effects of various drugs depend on the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system innervating the nucleus accumbens. We used single-unit recording in rats to test whether accumbens neurons exhibit responses to a discriminative stimulus (SD) tone previously paired with cocaine availability during cocaine self-administration. Presentation of the tone after 3-4 weeks of abstinence resulted in a cue-induced relapse of drug seeking under extinction conditions. Accumbens neurons did not exhibit tone-evoked activity before cocaine self-administration training but exhibited significant SD tone-evoked activity during extinction. Under extinction conditions, shell neurons exhibited significantly greater activity evoked by the SD tone than that evoked by a neutral tone (i.e., never paired with reinforcement). In contrast, core neurons responded indiscriminately to presentations of the SD tone or the neutral tone. Accumbens shell neurons exhibited significantly greater SD tone-evoked activity than did accumbens core neurons. Although the onset of SD tone-evoked activity occurred well before the earliest movements commenced (150 msec), this activity often persisted beyond the onset of tone-evoked movements. These results indicate that accumbens shell neurons exhibit persistent processing of information regarding reward-related stimuli after prolonged drug abstinence. Moreover, the accumbens shell appears to be involved in discriminating the motivational value of reward-related associative stimuli, whereas the accumbens core does not.

  9. The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Von Schill, Lyndele; Ivory, Joyce

    2017-01-01

    The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students into STEM and STEM careers by providing unique summer research experiences followed by long-term mentoring and cohort support. Hallmarks of the NAC program include: research or internship opportunities at one of the NAC partner sites, a framework to continue research over the academic year, peer and faculty mentoring, monthly virtual hangouts, and much more. NAC students also participate in two professional travel opportunities each year: the annual NAC conference at Howard University and poster presentation at the annual AAS winter meeting following their summer internship.The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) is a program led by the National Radio Astronomy Consortium (NRAO) and Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), in partnership with the National Society of Black Physicist (NSBP), along with a number of minority and majority universities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-05-13

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

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

    PubMed

    Zernig, G; Fibiger, H C

    1998-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Heidbreder, C A; Baumann, M H

    2001-01-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Mefloquine continues to be a key drug used for malaria chemoprophylaxis and treatment, despite reports of adverse events like depression and anxiety. It is unknown how mefloquine acts within the central nervous system to cause depression and anxiety or why some individuals are more vulnerable. We show that intraperitoneal injection of mefloquine in mice, when coupled to subthreshold social defeat stress, is sufficient to produce depression-like social avoidance behavior. Direct infusion of mefloquine into the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, increased stress-induced social avoidance and anxiety behavior. In contrast, infusion into the ventral hippocampus had no effect. Whole cell recordings from NAc medium spiny neurons indicated that mefloquine application increases the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents, a synaptic adaptation that we have previously shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to social defeat stress. Together, these data demonstrate a role for the NAc in mefloquine-induced depression and anxiety-like behaviors.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Mefloquine continues to be a key drug used for malaria chemoprophylaxis and treatment, despite reports of adverse events like depression and anxiety. It is unknown how mefloquine acts within the central nervous system to cause depression and anxiety or why some individuals are more vulnerable. We show that intraperitoneal injection of mefloquine in mice, when coupled to subthreshold social defeat stress, is sufficient to produce depression-like social avoidance behavior. Direct infusion of mefloquine into the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, increased stress-induced social avoidance and anxiety behavior. In contrast, infusion into the ventral hippocampus had no effect. Whole cell recordings from NAc medium spiny neurons indicated that mefloquine application increases the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents, a synaptic adaptation that we have previously shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to social defeat stress. Together, these data demonstrate a role for the NAc in mefloquine-induced depression and anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:26471420

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  4. Acamprosate blocks the increase in dopamine extracellular levels in nucleus accumbens evoked by chemical stimulation of the ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

    Recently, we have shown that acamprosate is able to modulate extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and may act as an antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Neurochemical studies show that chemical stimulation (using NMDA) of the ventral subiculum (vSub) of the hippocampus produces robust and sustained increases in extracellular DA levels in the NAc, an effect mediated through ionotropic glutamate (iGlu) receptors. The present study examines whether acamprosate locally infused in the NAc of rats could block or attenuate the increase in NAc extracellular DA elicited by chemical stimulation (with 5 mM NMDA) of the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus. The stimulation of the vSub during perfusion of artificial cerebrospinal fluid in NAc induced a significant and persistent increase in NAc DA levels. Reverse dialysis of 0.05 mM acamprosate in NAc blocked the increase in DA evoked by the chemical stimulation of the vSub. These data support the possibility that the antagonism at the NMDA receptors in NAc can explain, at least in part, the mechanism of action of this drug.

  5. Role of Nucleus Accumbens in Neuropathic Pain: Linked Multi-Scale Evidence in the Rat Transitioning to Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Pei-Ching; Pollema-Mays, Sarah Lynn; Centeno, Maria Virginia; Procissi, Daniel; Contini, Massimos; Baria, Alex Tomas; Martina, Macro; Apkarian, Apkar Vania

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent evidence implicating the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as causally involved in the transition to chronic pain in humans, underlying mechanisms of this involvement remain entirely unknown. Here we elucidate mechanisms of NAc reorganizational properties (longitudinally and cross-sectionally), in an animal model of neuropathic pain (spared nerve injury, SNI). We observed inter-related changes: 1) In resting-state fMRI, functional connectivity of the NAc to dorsal striatum and cortex was reduced 28 days (but not 5 days) after SNI; 2) contralateral to SNI injury, gene expression of NAc dopamine 1A, 2, and κ-opioid receptors decreased 28 days after SNI; 3) In SNI (but not sham) covariance of gene expression was upregulated at 5 days and settled to a new state at 28 days; and 4) NAc functional connectivity correlated with dopamine receptor gene expression and with tactile allodynia. Moreover, interruption of NAc activity (via lidocaine infusion) reversibly alleviated neuropathic pain in SNI animals. Together, these results demonstrate macroscopic (fMRI) and molecular reorganization of NAc and indicate that NAc neuronal activity is necessary for full expression of neuropathic pain-like behavior. PMID:24607959

  6. Role of nucleus accumbens in neuropathic pain: linked multi-scale evidence in the rat transitioning to neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Chang, Pei-Ching; Pollema-Mays, Sarah Lynn; Centeno, Maria Virginia; Procissi, Daniel; Contini, Massimo; Baria, Alex Tomas; Martina, Marco; Apkarian, Apkar Vania

    2014-06-01

    Despite recent evidence implicating the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as causally involved in the transition to chronic pain in humans, underlying mechanisms of this involvement remain entirely unknown. Here we elucidate mechanisms of NAc reorganizational properties (longitudinally and cross-sectionally), in an animal model of neuropathic pain (spared nerve injury [SNI]). We observed interrelated changes: (1) In resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional connectivity of the NAc to dorsal striatum and cortex was reduced 28days (but not 5days) after SNI; (2) Contralateral to SNI injury, gene expression of NAc dopamine 1A, 2, and κ-opioid receptors decreased 28days after SNI; (3) In SNI (but not sham), covariance of gene expression was upregulated at 5days and settled to a new state at 28days; and (4) NAc functional connectivity correlated with dopamine receptor gene expression and with tactile allodynia. Moreover, interruption of NAc activity (via lidocaine infusion) reversibly alleviated neuropathic pain in SNI animals. Together, these results demonstrate macroscopic (fMRI) and molecular reorganization of NAc and indicate that NAc neuronal activity is necessary for full expression of neuropathic pain-like behavior.

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Cannabinoids and Glucocorticoids in the Basolateral Amygdala Modulate Hippocampal–Accumbens Plasticity After Stress

    PubMed Central

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Nicotinic activation of mesolimbic neurons assessed by rubidium efflux in rat accumbens and ventral tegmentum.

    PubMed

    Rowell, Peter P; Volk, Kelly A

    2004-01-01

    Dopaminergic mesolimbic neurons, with cell bodies in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), have been shown to be involved in the development of drug dependence. The application of nicotine to either the VTA or NAc produces an increase in dopamine release; however, the positive reinforcement produced by the systemic injection of nicotine is primarily due to stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the VTA. Because the brain levels of nicotine would likely be the same in both brain areas, the nAChRs in the NAc may be less sensitive than those in the VTA. This study was undertaken to make a direct comparison of the native nAChRs in intact slices of NAc and VTA by measuring nicotine-stimulated efflux of (86)Rb(+) in a superfusion assay. The potency of nicotine and several other agonists was similar in both brain areas, but nicotine was somewhat more efficacious in the NAc. The effects of treatment duration, calcium and nicotinic antagonists were also determined. The results suggest that the predominant effect of nicotine in the VTA following systemic administration is due to differences in neuronal circuitry or firing patterns rather than inherent differences in the two nAChR populations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. In silico identification and in vivo validation of miR-495 as a novel regulator of motivation for cocaine that targets multiple addiction-related networks in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Bastle, R M; Oliver, R J; Gardiner, A S; Pentkowski, N S; Bolognani, F; Allan, A M; Chaudhury, T; St Peter, M; Galles, N; Smith, C; Neisewander, J L; Perrone-Bizzozero, N I

    2017-01-03

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression and are implicated in the etiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including substance use disorders (SUDs). Using in silico genome-wide sequence analyses, we identified miR-495 as a miRNA whose predicted targets are significantly enriched in the Knowledgebase for Addiction Related Genes (ARG) database (KARG; http://karg.cbi.pku.edu.cn). This small non-coding RNA is also highly expressed within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a pivotal brain region underlying reward and motivation. Using luciferase reporter assays, we found that miR-495 directly targeted the 3'UTRs of Bdnf, Camk2a and Arc. Furthermore, we measured miR-495 expression in response to acute cocaine in mice and found that it is downregulated rapidly and selectively in the NAc, along with concomitant increases in ARG expression. Lentiviral-mediated miR-495 overexpression in the NAc shell (NAcsh) not only reversed these cocaine-induced effects but also downregulated multiple ARG mRNAs in specific SUD-related biological pathways, including those that regulate synaptic plasticity. miR-495 expression was also downregulated in the NAcsh of rats following cocaine self-administration. Most importantly, we found that NAcsh miR-495 overexpression suppressed the motivation to self-administer and seek cocaine across progressive ratio, extinction and reinstatement testing, but had no effect on food reinforcement, suggesting that miR-495 selectively affects addiction-related behaviors. Overall, our in silico search for post-transcriptional regulators identified miR-495 as a novel regulator of multiple ARGs that have a role in modulating motivation for cocaine.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 3 January 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.238.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-18

    Previous studies have shown that chronic cocaine administration induces SIRT1, a Class III histone deacetylase, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, and that such induction influences the gene regulation and place conditioning effects of cocaine. To determine the mechanisms by which SIRT1 mediates cocaine-induced plasticity in NAc, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq), 1 d after 7 daily cocaine (20 mg/kg) or saline injections, to map SIRT1 binding genome-wide in mouse NAc. Our unbiased results revealed two modes of SIRT1 action. First, despite its induction in NAc, chronic cocaine causes depletion of SIRT1 from most affected gene promoters in concert with enrichment of H4K16ac (itself a deacetylation target of SIRT1), which is associated with increased expression of these genes. Second, we deduced the forkhead transcription factor (FOXO) family to be a downstream mechanism through which SIRT1 regulates cocaine action. We proceeded to demonstrate that SIRT1 induction causes the deacetylation and activation of FOXO3a in NAc, which leads to the induction of several known FOXO3a gene targets in other systems. Finally, we directly establish a role for FOXO3a in promoting cocaine-elicited behavioral responses by use of viral-mediated gene transfer: we show that overexpressing FOXO3a in NAc enhances cocaine place conditioning. The discovery of these two actions of SIRT1 in NAc in the context of behavioral adaptations to cocaine represents an important step forward in advancing our understanding of the molecular adaptations underlying cocaine action.

  20. 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

  1. NAC Off-Vehicle Brake Testing Project

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-05-01

    Supporting the Objective Force – NAC Off-vehicle Brake Testing Project -Version: 01 May 2007 FinalR1 UNCLAS: Dist A. Approved for public release NAC ...Project Officer (TIPO) US Army National Automotive Center ( NAC ) Warren, MI Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden... NAC Off-vehicle Brake Testing Project 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Miller, Leo 5d. PROJECT NUMBER

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-23

    Striatal dopamine receptor D1-expressing neurons have been classically associated with positive reinforcement and reward, whereas D2 neurons are associated with negative reinforcement and aversion. Here we demonstrate that the pattern of activation of D1 and D2 neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predicts motivational drive, and that optogenetic activation of either neuronal population enhances motivation in mice. Using a different approach in rats, we further show that activating NAc D2 neurons increases cue-induced motivational drive in control animals and in a model that presents anhedonia and motivational deficits; conversely, optogenetic inhibition of D2 neurons decreases motivation. Our results suggest that the classic view of D1-D2 functional antagonism does not hold true for all dimensions of reward-related behaviours, and that D2 neurons may play a more prominent pro-motivation role than originally anticipated.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rocha, Angelica; Kalivas, Peter W

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lex, Bjoern; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mishra, Devesh; Chergui, Karima

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Brian R; Ma, Yao-Ying; Huang, Yanhua H; Wang, Xiusong; Otaka, Mami; Ishikawa, Masago; Neumann, Peter A; Graziane, Nicholas 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

    2013-11-01

    In rat models of drug relapse and craving, cue-induced cocaine seeking progressively increases after withdrawal from the drug. This 'incubation of cocaine craving' is partially mediated by time-dependent adaptations at glutamatergic synapses in nucleus accumbens (NAc). However, the circuit-level adaptations mediating this plasticity remain elusive. We studied silent synapses, often regarded as immature synapses that express stable NMDA receptors with AMPA receptors being either absent or labile, in the projection from the basolateral amygdala to the NAc in incubation of cocaine craving. Silent synapses were detected in this projection during early withdrawal from cocaine. As the withdrawal period progressed, these silent synapses became unsilenced, a process that involved 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 incubation of cocaine craving. Our findings indicate that silent synapse-based reorganization of the amygdala-to-NAc projection is critical for persistent cocaine craving and relapse after withdrawal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    du Hoffmann, Johann; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. A NAC for regulating metabolism: the nitrogen assimilation control protein (NAC) from Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Bender, Robert A

    2010-10-01

    The nitrogen assimilation control protein (NAC) is a LysR-type transcriptional regulator (LTTR) that is made under conditions of nitrogen-limited growth. NAC's synthesis is entirely dependent on phosphorylated NtrC from the two-component Ntr system and requires the unusual sigma factor σ54 for transcription of the nac gene. NAC activates the transcription of σ70-dependent genes whose products provide the cell with ammonia or glutamate. NAC represses genes whose products use ammonia and also represses its own transcription. In addition, NAC also subtly adjusts other cellular functions to keep pace with the supply of biosynthetically available nitrogen.

  20. Rising taurine and ethanol concentrations in nucleus accumbens interact to produce the dopamine-activating effects of alcohol.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Mia; Chau, Peipei; Adermark, Louise; Söderpalm, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol misuse and addiction is a worldwide problem causing enormous individual suffering as well as financial costs for the society. To develop pharmacological means to reduce suffering, we need to understand the mechanisms underlying the effects of ethanol in the brain. Ethanol is known to increase extracellular levels of both dopamine and taurine in the nucleus accumbens (nAc), a part of the brain reward system, but the two events have not been connected. In previous studies we have demonstrated that glycine receptors in the nAc are involved in modulating both basal- and ethanol-induced dopamine output in the same brain region. By means of in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats we here demonstrate that the endogenous glycine receptor ligand taurine mimics ethanol in activating the brain reward system. Furthermore, administration of systemic ethanol diluted in an isotonic (0.9% NaCl) or hypertonic (3.6% NaCl) saline solution was investigated with respect to extracellular levels of taurine and dopamine in the nAc. We found that ethanol given in a hypertonic solution, contrary to an isotonic solution, failed to increase concentrations of both taurine and dopamine in the nAc. However, a modest, non-dopamine elevating concentration of taurine in the nAc disclosed a dopamine elevating effect of systemic ethanol also when given in a hypertonic solution. We conclude that the elevations of taurine and dopamine in the nAc are closely related and that in order for ethanol to induce dopamine release, a simultaneous increase of extracellular taurine levels in the nAc is required. These data also -provide support for the notion that the nAc is the primary target for ethanol in its dopamine-activating effect after systemic administration and that taurine is a prominent participant in activating the brain reward system.

  1. 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.

  2. Dynamic risk control by human nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project (Secondary Items)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-09-25

    NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project (Secondary Items) SAE Paper #2006-01-3192 25 September 2006, Grapevine Version R4 (Final) Report...REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project (Secondary Items) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...PAGE unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project By: Leo Miller, USA

  4. NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project (Secondary Items)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-06

    Supporting the Objective Force – NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project Version: 06 February 2007 Final UNCLAS: Dist A. Approved for public...release NAC Aftermarket Brake Components Project (Secondary Items) Version: 06 February 2007 Final UNCLAS: Dist A. Approved for public release Leo Miller...Technology Insertion Project Officer (TIPO) US Army National Automotive Center ( NAC ) Warren, MI Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704

  5. 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

  6. Nicotine addiction reduces the large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels expression in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lan; Wu, Yu-Mei; Guo, Yan-Yan; Yang, Qi; Feng, Bin; Song, Qian; Liu, Shui-Bing; Zhao, Da-Qing; Zhao, Ming-Gao

    2013-06-01

    Large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BKCa) are widely expressed in the central nervous system and play important roles in neural activities. Nicotine exposure leads to long-lasting changes in behavioral and neuronal plasticity. However, little is known the roles of BKCa in the development of nicotine addiction. In the present study, a significant reduction in BKCa channel expression was found in nucleus accumbens (NAc) from nicotine addiction mice. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from NAc neurons of the addicted animals revealed a pronounced reduction in the fast after-hyperpolarization of action potentials mediated by BKCa channels that led to hyperexcitability of the NAc neurons. Activation of BKCa channels in the NAc reversed drug-seeking behaviors which were detected by conditioned place preference test. Furthermore, knockdown of BKCa channels using short hairpin RNAs significantly increased the drug-seeking behavior. These findings provide direct evidence that alterations of BKCa channels in the NAc play critical roles in the development of nicotine addiction and that modulation of the BKCa channels may be potential therapeutics for drug addiction.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-09-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Individual Variation in Incentive Salience Attribution and Accumbens Dopamine Transporter Expression and Function

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Bryan F.; Guptaroy, Bipasha; Austin, Curtis J.; Wohl, Isabella; Lovic, Vedran; Seiler, Jillian L; Vaughan, Roxanne A.; Gnegy, Margaret E.; Robinson, Terry E.; Aragona, Brandon J.

    2015-01-01

    Cues (conditioned stimuli; CSs) associated with rewards can come to motivate behavior, but there is considerable individual variation in their ability to do so. For example, a lever-CS that predicts food reward becomes attractive, wanted, and elicits reward-seeking behavior to a greater extent in some rats (“sign-trackers”; STs), than others (“goal-trackers”; GTs). Variation in dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core is thought to contribute to such individual variation. Given that the DA transporter (DAT) exerts powerful regulation over DA signaling, we characterized the expression and function of the DAT in the accumbens of STs and GTs. STs showed greater DAT surface expression in ventral striatal synaptosomes than GTs, and ex vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry recordings of electrically-evoked DA release confirmed enhanced DAT function in STs, as indicated by faster DA uptake, specifically in the NAc core. Consistent with this, systemic amphetamine (AMPH) produced greater inhibition of DA uptake in STs than in GTs. Furthermore, injection of AMPH directly into the NAc core enhanced lever-directed approach in STs, presumably by amplifying the incentive value of the CS, but had no effect on goal tracking behavior. On the other hand, there were no differences between STs and GTs in electrically-evoked DA release in slices, or in total ventral striatal DA content. We conclude that greater DAT surface expression may facilitate the attribution of incentive salience to discrete reward cues. Investigating this variability in animal sub-populations may help explain why some people abuse drugs, while others do not. PMID:26613374

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. The Inhibitory Effects of Nesfatin-1 in Ventromedial Hypothalamus on Gastric Function and Its Regulation by Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Shengli; Guo, Feifei; Sun, Xiangrong; Zhang, Nana; Gong, Yanling; Xu, Luo

    2017-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nesfatin-1 signaling in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) on gastric functions, as well as the regulation of these effects by nucleus accumbens (NAc) projections to VMH. Methods: The expression of c-fos in nesfatinergic VMH neurons induced by gastric distension (GD) was measured using the double fluoro-immunohistochemical staining. The firing rates of neurons were monitored with single-unit extracellular electric discharge recording. The projection of nesfatinergic neurons from NAc to VMH was observed by fluorogold retrograde tracer combined with fluoro-immunohistochemical staining. The effect of nesfatin-1 in VMH or electric stimulation in NAc on gastric function was studied by measuring food intake, gastric acid output, gastric motility, and gastric emptying, and the ability of the melanocortin-3/4 receptor antagonist SHU9119 or the anti-nesfatin-1 antibody to block nesfatin-1 in the VMH was assessed. Results: Expression of c-fos was observed in VMH nesfatinergic neurons following GD in rats. Further, nesfatin-1 delivery to single GD-responsive neurons changed the firing rates of these neurons in the VMH. In awake, behaving rats, intra-VMH administration of nesfatin-1 inhibited food intake, gastric acid output, gastric motility, and gastric emptying. These effects were abolished by SHU9119. Fluorogold retrograde tracing showed nesfatinergic neural projection from the NAc to the VMH. Electrical stimulation of NAc modified the firing rates of the VMH neurons and inhibited food intake and gastric functions. The pretreatment with an anti-nesfatin-1 antibody in the VMH reversed the effects of NAc electrical stimulation on the VMH neuronal firing rates and gastric function. Conclusions: Nesfatin-1 in the VMH inhibited food intake, gastric acid output, gastric motility, and gastric emptying. A nesfatinergic pathway between NAc and VMH transmitted metabolism-regulating signals. PMID:28105016

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Kindled seizure in the prefrontal cortex activated behavioral hyperactivity and increase in accumbens gamma oscillations through the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingyi; Leung, L Stan

    2010-01-05

    In previous studies, we reported that a single afterdischarge (AD) or repeated ADs (kindling) in the hippocampus resulted in schizophrenia-like behaviors such as hyperactivity and loss of sensorimotor gating. Given that medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction is also found in models of schizophrenia, we hypothesized that a single AD in the PFC induces postictal hyperactivity, and PFC kindling results in loss in prepulse inhibition (PPI). An AD was induced by stimulating the PFC with a 5s stimulus train of 60 Hz frequency and 600-800 microA intensity. An initial AD evoked in the PFC was not accompanied by clear postictal behavioral change. After partial kindling (11+/-2 ADs) of the PFC, the PFC-AD propagated into the hippocampus and nucleus accumbens (NAC) and postictal hyperactivity lasted > 5 min. The postictal hyperactivity was accompanied by increased gamma EEG oscillations in both PFC and NAC. A single AD in hippocampal CA1 also induced > 5 min of postictal hyperactivity and increased gamma oscillations in the NAC and the PFC, with a transient increase in hippocampus-NAC gamma coherence occurring 2-3 min after a hippocampal AD. Electrolytic lesion or inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus abolished the behavioral hyperactivity and the NAC/PFC gamma wave increase induced by a PFC-AD. Kindling of the PFC (21 ADs) but not of the lateral frontal cortex resulted in a deficit of PPI to the acoustic startle response tested 3 days after the last AD. In summary, gamma waves in the NAC were found to accompany postictal hyperactivity induced by an AD in the PFC. Postictal gamma and hyperactivity required an intact hippocampus, perhaps through the hippocampal-NAC pathway. PFC kindling, similar to hippocampal CA1 kindling, resulted in a prolonged deficit in PPI.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Carlezon, William A; Thomas, Mark J

    2009-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical element of the mesocorticolimbic system, a brain circuit implicated in reward and motivation. This basal forebrain structure receives dopamine (DA) input from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and glutamate (GLU) input from regions including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (AMG), and hippocampus (HIP). As such, it integrates inputs from limbic and cortical regions, linking motivation with action. The NAc has a well-established role in mediating the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and natural rewards such as food and sexual behavior. However, accumulating pharmacological, molecular, and electrophysiological evidence has raised the possibility that it also plays an important (and sometimes underappreciated) role in mediating aversive states. Here we review evidence that rewarding and aversive states are encoded in the activity of NAc medium spiny GABAergic neurons, which account for the vast majority of the neurons in this region. While admittedly simple, this working hypothesis is testable using combinations of available and emerging technologies, including electrophysiology, genetic engineering, and functional brain imaging. A deeper understanding of the basic neurobiology of mood states will facilitate the development of well-tolerated medications that treat and prevent addiction and other conditions (e.g., mood disorders) associated with dysregulation of brain motivation systems.

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

    PubMed Central

    Swapna, Immani; Bondy, Brian; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  4. Gustatory Reward and the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Expression of 5-HT2A receptors in prefrontal cortex pyramidal neurons projecting to nucleus accumbens. Potential relevance for atypical antipsychotic action.

    PubMed

    Mocci, Giuseppe; Jiménez-Sánchez, Laura; Adell, Albert; Cortés, Roser; Artigas, Francesc

    2014-04-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in higher brain functions altered in schizophrenia. Classical antipsychotic drugs modulate information processing in cortico-limbic circuits via dopamine D2 receptor blockade in nucleus accumbens (NAc) whereas atypical antipsychotic drugs preferentially target cortical serotonin (5-HT) receptors. The brain networks involved in the therapeutic action of atypical drugs are not fully understood. Previous work indicated that medial PFC (mPFC) pyramidal neurons projecting to ventral tegmental area express 5-HT2A receptors suggesting that atypical antipsychotic drugs modulate dopaminergic activity distally, via 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2A-R) blockade in PFC. Since the mPFC also projects heavily to NAc, we examined whether NAc-projecting pyramidal neurons also express 5-HT2A-R. Using a combination of retrograde tracing experiments and in situ hybridization we report that a substantial proportion of mPFC-NAc pyramidal neurons in rat brain express 5-HT2A-R mRNA in a layer- and area-specific manner (up to 68% in layer V of contralateral cingulate). The functional relevance of 5-HT2A-R to modulate mPFC-NAc projections was examined in dual-probe microdialysis experiments. The application of the preferential 5-HT2A-R agonist DOI into mPFC enhanced glutamate release locally (+66 ± 18%) and in NAc (+74 ± 12%) indicating that cortical 5-HT2A-R activation augments glutamatergic transmission in NAc. Since NAc integrates glutamatergic and dopaminergic inputs, blockade of 5-HT2A-R by atypical drugs may reduce cortical excitatory inputs onto GABAergic neurons of NAc, adding to dopamine D2 receptor blockade. Together with previous observations, the present results suggest that atypical antipsychotic drugs may control the activity of the mesolimbic pathway at cell body and terminal level.

  9. 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

    2016-10-03

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. UDP-GlcNAc: Gal beta 3GalNAc-mucin: (GlcNAc----GalNAc) beta 6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase and UDP-GlcNAc: Gal beta 3(GlcNAc beta 6) GalNAc-mucin (GlcNAc----Gal)beta 3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase from swine trachea epithelium.

    PubMed

    Sangadala, S; Sivakami, S; Mendicino, J

    1991-03-13

    Two specific beta-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases involved in the branching and elongation of mucin oligosaccharide chains, namely, a beta 1,6 N-acetylglucosaminylsaminyltransferase that transfers N-acetylglucosamine from UDP-N-acetylglucosamine to Gal beta 3GalNAc-mucin to yield Gal beta 3(GlcNAc beta 6)GalNAc-Mucin and a beta 3-N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase that transfers N-acetylglucosamine from UDP-N-acetylglucosamine to Gal beta 3(GlcNAc beta 6)GalNAc-mucin to yield GlcNAc beta 3Gal beta 3 (GlcNAc beta 6)GalNAc-Mucin were purified from the microsomal fraction of swine trachea epithelium. The beta 1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase was purified about 21,800-fold by procedures which included affinity chromatography on DEAE columns containing bound asialo Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein with Gal beta 1,3GalNAc side chains. The apparent molecular weight estimated by gel filtration was found to be about 60 Kd. The purified enzyme showed a high specificity for Gal beta 1,3GalNAc chains and the most active substrates were mucin glycoproteins containing these chains. The apparent Km of the beta 6-glucosaminyltrans-ferase for Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein containing Gal beta 1,3GalNAc chains was 0.53 microM; for UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, 12 microM; and for Gal beta 1,3GalNAc alpha NO2 phi, 4 mM. The activity of the beta 6-glucosaminyltransferase was dependent on the extent of glycosylation of the Gal beta 3GalNAc chains in Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein. The best substrate for the partially purified beta 3-Glucosaminyltransferase was Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein containing Gal beta 1,3(GlcNAc beta 6)GalNAc side chains. This enzyme showed little or no activity with intact sialylated Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein or derivatives of this glycoprotein containing GalNAc or Gal beta 1,3GalNAc side chains. The radioactive oligosaccharides formed by these enzymes in large scale reaction mixtures were released from the mucin glycoproteins by treatment with

  12. The roles of the nucleus accumbens core, dorsomedial striatum, and dorsolateral striatum in learning: performance and extinction of Pavlovian fear-conditioned responses and instrumental avoidance responses.

    PubMed

    Wendler, Etieli; Gaspar, Jessica C C; Ferreira, Tatiana L; Barbiero, Janaína K; Andreatini, Roberto; Vital, Maria A B F; Blaha, Charles D; Winn, Philip; Da Cunha, Claudio

    2014-03-01

    This study examined the effects of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the nucleus accumbens core (NAc-co), dorsomedial striatum (DMS) or dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of rats on the learning and extinction of Pavlovian and instrumental components of conditioned avoidance responses (CARs). None of the lesions caused sensorimotor deficits that could affect locomotion. Lesions of the NAc-co, but not DMS or DLS, decreased unconditioned and conditioned freezing. The NAc-co and DLS lesioned rats learned the 2-way active avoidance task more slowly. These results suggest: (i) CARs depend on both Pavlovian and instrumental learning; (ii) learning the Pavlovian component of CARs depends on the NAc-co; learning the instrumental component of CARs depends on the DLS, NAc and DMS; (iii) although the NAc-co is also needed for learning the instrumental component, it is not clear whether it plays a role in learning the instrumental component per se or if it simply allows learning of the Pavlovian component which is a pre-condition for learning the instrumental component; (iv) we did not find evidence that the DMS and DLS play the same roles in habit and goal-directed aspects of the instrumental component of CARs as observed in appetitive motivated instrumental responding.

  13. OGA inhibition by GlcNAc-selenazoline.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    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.

  14. Nucleus accumbens mu opioid receptors mediate immediate postictal decrease in locomotion after an amygdaloid kindled seizure in rats.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingyi; Boyce, Richard; Leung, L Stan

    2010-02-01

    Postictal movement dysfunction is a common symptom in patients with epilepsy. We investigated the involvement of opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) in amygdaloid kindling-induced postictal decrease in locomotion (PDL) in rats. Seizures were induced by daily electrical stimulation of the basolateral amygdala until four consecutive stage 5 seizures were elicited. Locomotion was quantified before and after infusion of an opioid receptor antagonist or saline into the NAC. Whereas PDL was induced after a stage 5 seizure in saline-infused rats, pre-infusion of the mu opioid receptor antagonist H-D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2) (CTAP, 5 microg/1 microL/side) into the NAC prevented PDL. Pre-infusion of delta (naltrindole, 30 microg/1 microL/side), kappa (nor-binaltorphimine, 1.8 microg/1 microL/side), or nonselective (naloxone, 10 microg/1 microL/side) opioid receptor antagonists did not block PDL, but late postictal hyperactivity was blocked by naltrindole. None of the antagonists affected amygdaloid evoked afterdischarge duration. It is suggested that mu opioid receptors in the NAC participate in amygdaloid seizure-induced PDL without affecting seizure duration.

  15. Observational learning in mice can be prevented by medial prefrontal cortex stimulation and enhanced by nucleus accumbens stimulation.

    PubMed

    Jurado-Parras, M Teresa; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M

    2012-02-21

    The neural structures involved in ongoing appetitive and/or observational learning behaviors remain largely unknown. Operant conditioning and observational learning were evoked and recorded in a modified Skinner box provided with an on-line video recording system. Mice improved their acquisition of a simple operant conditioning task by observational learning. Electrical stimulation of the observer's medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) at a key moment of the demonstration (when the demonstrator presses a lever in order to obtain a reward) cancels out the benefits of observation. In contrast, electrical stimulation of the observer's nucleus accumbens (NAc) enhances observational learning. Ongoing cognitive processes in the demonstrator could also be driven by electrical stimulation of these two structures, preventing the proper execution of the ongoing instrumental task (mPFC) or stopping pellet intake (NAc). Long-term potentiation (LTP) evoked in these two cortical structures did not prevent the acquisition or retrieval process--namely, mPFC and/or NAc stimulation only prevented, or modified, the ongoing behavioral process. The dorsal hippocampus was not involved in either of these two behavioral processes. Thus, both ongoing observational learning and performance of an instrumental task require the active contribution of the mPFC and/or the NAc.

  16. The absence of VGLUT3 predisposes to cocaine abuse by increasing dopamine and glutamate signaling in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Sakae, D Y; Marti, F; Lecca, S; Vorspan, F; Martín-García, E; Morel, L J; Henrion, A; Gutiérrez-Cuesta, J; Besnard, A; Heck, N; Herzog, E; Bolte, S; Prado, V F; Prado, M A M; Bellivier, F; Eap, C B; Crettol, S; Vanhoutte, P; Caboche, J; Gratton, A; Moquin, L; Giros, B; Maldonado, R; Daumas, S; Mameli, M; Jamain, S; El Mestikawy, S

    2015-11-01

    Tonically active cholinergic interneurons (TANs) from the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are centrally involved in reward behavior. TANs express a vesicular glutamate transporter referred to as VGLUT3 and thus use both acetylcholine and glutamate as neurotransmitters. The respective roles of each transmitter in the regulation of reward and addiction are still unknown. In this study, we showed that disruption of the gene that encodes VGLUT3 (Slc17a8) markedly increased cocaine self-administration in mice. Concomitantly, the amount of dopamine (DA) release was strongly augmented in the NAc of VGLUT3(-/-) mice because of a lack of signaling by metabotropic glutamate receptors. Furthermore, dendritic spines and glutamatergic synaptic transmission on medium spiny neurons were increased in the NAc of VGLUT3(-/-) mice. Increased DA and glutamate signaling in the NAc are hallmarks of addiction. Our study shows that TANs use glutamate to reduce DA release and decrease reinforcing properties of cocaine in mice. Interestingly, we also observed an increased frequency of rare variations in SLC17A8 in a cohort of severe drug abusers compared with controls. Our findings identify VGLUT3 as an unexpected regulator of drug abuse.

  17. Time-limited modulation of appetitive Pavlovian memory by D1 and NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Dalley, Jeffrey W.; Lääne, Kristjan; Theobald, David E. H.; Armstrong, Hannah C.; Corlett, Philip R.; Chudasama, Yogita; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2005-01-01

    Recent research has implicated the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in consolidating recently acquired goal-directed appetitive memories, including spatial learning and other instrumental processes. However, an important but unresolved issue is whether this forebrain structure also contributes to the consolidation of fundamental forms of appetitive learning acquired by Pavlovian associative processes. In addition, although dopaminergic and glutamatergic influences in the NAc have been implicated in instrumental learning, it is unclear whether similar mechanisms operate during Pavlovian conditioning. To evaluate these issues, the effects of posttraining intra-NAc infusions of D1, D2, and NMDA receptor antagonists, as well as d-amphetamine, were determined on Pavlovian autoshaping in rats, which assesses learning by discriminated approach behavior to a visual conditioned stimulus predictive of food reward. Intracerebral infusions were given either immediately after each conditioning session to disrupt early memory consolidation or after a delay of 24 h. Findings indicate that immediate, but not delayed, infusions of both D1 (SCH 23390) and NMDA (AP-5) receptor antagonists significantly impair learning on this task. By contrast, amphetamine and the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride were without significant effect. These findings provide the most direct demonstration to date that D1 and NMDA receptors in the NAc contribute to, and are necessary for, the early consolidation of appetitive Pavlovian learning. PMID:15833811

  18. Positive reinforcement mediated by midbrain dopamine neurons requires D1 and D2 receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Elizabeth E; Boivin, Josiah R; Saunders, Benjamin T; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl; Janak, Patricia H

    2014-01-01

    The neural basis of positive reinforcement is often studied in the laboratory using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), a simple behavioral model in which subjects perform an action in order to obtain exogenous stimulation of a specific brain area. Recently we showed that activation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons supports ICSS behavior, consistent with proposed roles of this neural population in reinforcement learning. However, VTA dopamine neurons make connections with diverse brain regions, and the specific efferent target(s) that mediate the ability of dopamine neuron activation to support ICSS have not been definitively demonstrated. Here, we examine in transgenic rats whether dopamine neuron-specific ICSS relies on the connection between the VTA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region also implicated in positive reinforcement. We find that optogenetic activation of dopaminergic terminals innervating the NAc is sufficient to drive ICSS, and that ICSS driven by optical activation of dopamine neuron somata in the VTA is significantly attenuated by intra-NAc injections of D1 or D2 receptor antagonists. These data demonstrate that the NAc is a critical efferent target sustaining dopamine neuron-specific ICSS, identify receptor subtypes through which dopamine acts to promote this behavior, and ultimately help to refine our understanding of the neural circuitry mediating positive reinforcement.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-05

    Previous studies have demonstrated that cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization is associated with persistent functional and structural alterations in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc); however, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes have not been elucidated. In this study, the behavioral sensitization to cocaine was established in Sprague Dawley rats and was measured by locomotion and behavioral rating. The brain tissue homogenization was used for measuring the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the expression and activity of integrin-linked kinase (ILK), level of protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation at serine 473 and threonine 308, and the expression of p75(NTR), TrkA, and TrkB protein. The Results showed that cocaine sensitization was associated with increased BDNF, ILK activity, phospho-Akt Ser(473), p75(NTR), and TrkB protein levels in the mPFC and NAc core. The combination of pergolide and ondansetron normalized not only behavioral sensitization, but also the increases in these molecular markers. Dual immunofluoresence staining showed that ILK expression is co-distributed with p75(NTR) and TrkA expression in both the mPFC and NAc core. Results suggested that the BDNF-TrkA/p75(NTR)-ILK-Akt signaling pathway may be active in cocaine sensitization and associated neural plasticity in the mPFC and NAc core.

  2. Calcium-Permeable AMPA Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Regulate Depression-Like Behaviors in the Chronic Neuropathic Pain State

    PubMed Central

    Goffer, Yossef; Xu, Duo; Eberle, Sarah E.; D'amour, James; Lee, Michelle; Tukey, David; Froemke, Robert C.; Ziff, Edward B.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is a salient emotional feature of chronic pain. Depression alters the pain threshold and impairs functional recovery. To date, however, there has been limited understanding of synaptic or circuit mechanisms that regulate depression in the pain state. Here, we demonstrate that depression-like behaviors are induced in a rat model of chronic neuropathic pain. Using this model, we show that chronic pain selectively increases the level of GluA1 subunits of AMPA-type glutamate receptors at the synapses of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key component of the brain reward system. We find, in addition, that this increase in GluA1 levels leads to the formation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CPARs). Surprisingly, pharmacologic blockade of these CPARs in the NAc increases depression-like behaviors associated with pain. Consistent with these findings, an AMPA receptor potentiator delivered into the NAc decreases pain-induced depression. These results show that transmission through CPARs in the NAc represents a novel molecular mechanism modulating the depressive symptoms of pain, and thus CPARs may be a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of pain-induced depression. More generally, these findings highlight the role of central glutamate signaling in pain states and define the brain reward system as an important region for the regulation of depressive symptoms of pain. PMID:24285907

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Environmental reward-predictive stimuli provide a major source of motivation for instrumental reward-seeking activity and this has been linked to dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This cue-induced incentive motivation can be quite general, not restricted to instrumental actions that earn the same unique reward, and is also typically regulated by one’s current need state, such that cues only motivate actions when this is adaptive. But it is unknown whether cue-evoked dopamine signaling is similarly regulated by need state. Here we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to monitor dopamine concentration changes in the NAc core of rats during a Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT) task in which the motivating influence of two cues, each signaling a distinct food reward (sucrose or food pellets), over an action earning a third unique food reward (grape-flavored polycose) was assessed in a state of hunger and of satiety. Both cues elicited a robust NAc dopamine response when hungry. The magnitude of the sucrose cue-evoked dopamine response correlated with the PIT effect that was selectively induced by this stimulus. Satiety attenuated these cue-evoked dopamine responses and behavioral responding, even though rats had never experienced the specific food rewards in this state. These data demonstrate that cue-evoked NAc core responses are sensitive to current need state, one critical variable that determines the current adaptive utility of cue-motivated behavior. PMID:26715366

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-22

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Repeated cocaine administration suppresses HVA-Ca2+ potentials and enhances activity of K+ channels in rat nucleus accumbens neurons.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiu-Ti; Basu, Somnath; White, Francis J

    2004-09-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important forebrain area involved in sensitization, withdrawal effects, and self-administration of cocaine. However, little is known about cocaine-induced alterations in the neuronal excitability and whole cell neuroplasticity in this region that may affect behaviors. Our recent investigations have demonstrated that repeated cocaine administration decreases voltage-sensitive sodium and calcium currents (VSSCs and VSCCs, respectively) in freshly dissociated NAc neurons of rats. In this study, current-clamp recordings were performed in slice preparations to determine the effects of chronic cocaine on evoked Ca(2+) potentials and voltage-sensitive K(+) currents in NAc neurons. Repeated cocaine administration with 3-4 days of withdrawal caused significant alterations in Ca(2+) potentials, including suppression of Ca(2+)-mediated spikes, increase in the intracellular injected current intensity required for generation of Ca(2+) potentials (rheobase), reduced duration of Ca(2+) plateau potentials, and abolishment of secondary Ca(2+) potentials associated with the primary Ca(2+) plateau potential. Application of nickel (Ni(2+)), which blocks low-voltage activated T-type Ca(2+) channels, had no impact on evoked Ca(2+) plateau potentials in NAc neurons, indicating that these Ca(2+) potentials are high-voltage activated (HVA). In addition, repeated cocaine pretreatment also hyperpolarized the resting membrane potential, increased the amplitude of afterhyperpolarization in Ca(2+) spikes, and enhanced the outward rectification observed during membrane depolarization. These findings indicate that repeated cocaine administration not only suppressed HVA-Ca(2+) potentials but also significantly enhanced the activity of various K(+) channels in NAc neurons. They also demonstrate an integrative role of whole cell neuroplasticity during cocaine withdrawal, by which the subthreshold membrane excitability of NAc neurons is significantly decreased.

  12. Relief learning requires a coincident activation of dopamine D1 and NMDA receptors within the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Bergado Acosta, Jorge R; Kahl, Evelyn; Kogias, Georgios; Uzuneser, Taygun C; Fendt, Markus

    2017-03-01

    Relief learning is the association of a stimulus with the offset of an aversive event. Later, the now conditioned relief stimulus induces appetitive-like behavioral changes. We previously demonstrated that the NMDA receptors within the nucleus accumbens (NAC) are involved in relief learning. The NAC is also important for reward learning and it has been shown that reward learning is mediated by an interaction of accumbal dopamine and NMDA glutamate receptors. Since conditioned relief has reward-like properties, we hypothesized that (a) acquisition of relief learning requires the activation of dopamine D1 receptors in the NAC, and (b) if D1 receptors are involved in this process as expected, a concurrent dopamine D1 and NMDA receptor activation may mediate this learning. The present study tested these hypotheses. Therefore, rats received intra-NAC injections of the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 and the NMDA antagonist AP5, either separately or together, at different time points of a relief conditioning procedure. First, we showed that SCH23390 dose-dependently blocked acquisition and the expression of conditioned relief. Next, we demonstrated that co-injections of SCH23390 and AP5 into the NAC, at doses that were ineffective when applied separately, blocked acquisition but not consolidation or expression of relief learning. Notably, neither of the injections affected the locomotor response of the animals to the aversive stimuli suggesting that their perception is not changed. This data indicates that a co-activation of dopamine D1 and NMDA receptors in the NAC is required for acquisition of relief learning.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Overexpression of GalNAc-transferase GalNAc-T3 Promotes Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth

    PubMed Central

    Taniuchi, Keisuke; Cerny, Ronald L.; Tanouchi, Aki; Kohno, Kimitoshi; Kotani, Norihiro; Honke, Koichi; Saibara, Toshiji; Hollingsworth, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    O-linked glycans of secreted and membrane bound proteins play an important role in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer by modulating immune responses, inflammation, and tumorigenesis. A critical aspect of O-glycosylation, the position at which proteins are glycosylated with N-acetyl-galactosamine on serine and threonine residues, is regulated by the substrate specificity of UDP-GalNAc: polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyl-transferases (GalNAc-Ts). Thus, GalNAc-Ts regulate the first committed step in O-glycosylated protein biosynthesis, determine sites of O-glycosylation on proteins, and are important for understanding normal and carcinoma-associated O-glycosylation. We have found that one of these enzymes, GalNAc-T3, is overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer tissues, and suppression of GalNAc-T3 significantly attenuates growth of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, suppression of GalNAc-T3 induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells. Our results indicate that GalNAc-T3 is likely to be involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Modification of cellular glycosylation occurs in nearly all types of cancer as a result of alterations in the expression levels of glycosyltransferases. We report guanine nucleotide binding protein, alpha transducing activity polypeptide 1 (GNAT1) as a possible substrate protein of GalNAc-T3. GalNAc-T3 is associated with O-glycosylation of GNAT1, and affects the subcellular distribution of GNAT1. Knocking down endogenous GNAT1 significantly suppresses the growth/survival of PDAC cells. Our results imply that GalNAc-T3 contributes to the function of O-glycosylated proteins and thereby affects the growth and survival of pancreatic cancer cells. Thus, substrate proteins of GalNAc-T3 should serve as important therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancers. PMID:21625220

  16. Overexpression of GalNAc-transferase GalNAc-T3 promotes pancreatic cancer cell growth.

    PubMed

    Taniuchi, K; Cerny, R L; Tanouchi, A; Kohno, K; Kotani, N; Honke, K; Saibara, T; Hollingsworth, M A

    2011-12-08

    O-linked glycans of secreted and membrane-bound proteins have an important role in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer by modulating immune responses, inflammation and tumorigenesis. A critical aspect of O-glycosylation, the position at which proteins are glycosylated with N-acetyl-galactosamine on serine and threonine residues, is regulated by the substrate specificity of UDP-GalNAc:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyl-transferases (GalNAc-Ts). Thus, GalNAc-Ts regulate the first committed step in O-glycosylated protein biosynthesis, determine sites of O-glycosylation on proteins and are important for understanding normal and carcinoma-associated O-glycosylation. We have found that one of these enzymes, GalNAc-T3, is overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer tissues and suppression of GalNAc-T3 significantly attenuates the growth of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, suppression of GalNAc-T3 induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells. Our results indicate that GalNAc-T3 is likely involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Modification of cellular glycosylation occurs in nearly all types of cancer as a result of alterations in the expression levels of glycosyltransferases. We report guanine the nucleotide-binding protein, α-transducing activity polypeptide-1 (GNAT1) as a possible substrate protein of GalNAc-T3. GalNAc-T3 is associated with O-glycosylation of GNAT1 and affects the subcellular distribution of GNAT1. Knocking down endogenous GNAT1 significantly suppresses the growth/survival of PDAC cells. Our results imply that GalNAc-T3 contributes to the function of O-glycosylated proteins and thereby affects the growth and survival of pancreatic cancer cells. Thus, substrate proteins of GalNAc-T3 should serve as important therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancers.

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

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Sheila M; Berridge, Kent C

    2008-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Dysregulation of dopamine and glutamate release in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens following methamphetamine self-administration and during reinstatement in rats.

    PubMed

    Parsegian, Aram; See, Ronald E

    2014-03-01

    Methamphetamine (meth) addicts often exhibit enduring cognitive and neural deficits that likely contribute to persistent drug seeking and the high rates of relapse. These deficits may be related to changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its glutamatergic projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Here, we performed in vivo microdialysis in the PFC and NAc in rats following either meth self-administration or yoked-saline control histories to assess baseline glutamate (GLU) levels, or reinstatement-evoked GLU and dopamine (DA) efflux in both regions simultaneously under cue-induced, meth-primed, or combined cues+meth reinstatement conditions. Our results show that meth self-administration (1) reduced basal GLU levels in both the dmPFC and NAc, (2) concurrently increased dmPFC and NAc GLU efflux during reinstatement, and (3) increased DA efflux in the dmPFC, but not in the NAc, under all reinstatement conditions when compared with yoked-saline controls. These data demonstrate for the first time that a history of psychostimulant self-administration alters GLU homeostasis not only in the NAc, but also in the dmPFC, its primary GLU projection source. Furthermore, combined cues+meth-primed reinstatement conditions produced the most pronounced increases in mPFC and NAc extracellular GLU, suggesting that the cue and meth prime conditions are additive in promoting reinstatement. Finally, increased efflux of DA in the dmPFC, but not in the NAc, across reinstatement conditions suggests that DA release in the dmPFC may be an important mediator of drug seeking initiated by multiple relapse triggers.

  20. Methamphetamine induces Shati/Nat8L expression in the mouse nucleus accumbens via CREB- and dopamine D1 receptor-dependent mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Uno, Kyosuke; Miyazaki, Toh; Sodeyama, Kengo; Miyamoto, Yoshiaki

    2017-01-01

    Shati/Nat8L significantly increased in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of mice after repeated methamphetamine (METH) treatment. We reported that Shati/Nat8L overexpression in mouse NAc attenuated METH-induced hyperlocomotion, locomotor sensitization, and conditioned place preference. We recently found that Shati/Nat8L overexpression in NAc regulates the dopaminergic neuronal system via the activation of group II mGluRs by elevated N-acetylaspartylglutamate following N-acetylaspartate increase due to the overexpression. These findings suggest that Shati/Nat8L suppresses METH-induced responses. However, the mechanism by which METH increases the Shati/Nat8L mRNA expression in NAc is unclear. To investigate the regulatory mechanism of Shati/Nat8L mRNA expression, we performed a mouse Shati/Nat8L luciferase assay using PC12 cells. Next, we investigated the response of METH to Shati/Nat8L expression and CREB activity using mouse brain slices of NAc, METH administration to mice, and western blotting for CREB activity of specific dopamine receptor signals in vivo and ex vivo. We found that METH activates CREB binding to the Shati/Nat8L promoter to induce the Shati/Nat8L mRNA expression. Furthermore, the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390, but not the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride, inhibited the upregulation of Shati/Nat8L and CREB activities in the mouse NAc slices. Thus, the administration of the dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF38393 increased the Shati/Nat8L mRNA expression in mouse NAc. These results showed that the Shati/Nat8L mRNA was increased by METH-induced CREB pathway via dopamine D1 receptor signaling in mouse NAc. These findings may contribute to development of a clinical tool for METH addiction. PMID:28319198

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Chao-Yi; Berridge, Kent C.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Meyer, Francisca F; Louilot, Alain

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Depression-like phenotype by deletion of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: Role of BDNF-TrkB in nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ji-chun; Yao, Wei; Ren, Qian; Yang, Chun; Dong, Chao; Ma, Min; Wu, Jin; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The α7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays a role in the inflammation which is implicated in depression. This study was undertaken to examine the role of α7 nAChR in depression using α7 nAChR knock-out (KO) mice. Serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and interlukin-1β in KO mice were higher than wild-type mice, suggesting an inflammatory process in KO mice. α7 nAChR KO mice showed depression-like phenotype. Furthermore, KO mice showed increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB signaling, as well as increased synaptogenesis and spine density in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), although BDNF-TrkB signaling and synaptogenesis were not altered in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Systemic administration of the TrkB antagonist ANA-12, but not the TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine, showed a rapid antidepressant effect in KO mice by normalizing increased synaptogenesis in the NAc. In addition, bilateral infusion of ANA-12 into NAc promoted a rapid antidepressant effect in KO mice by normalizing increased synaptogenesis in the NAc. These findings suggest that increased BDNF-TrkB signaling and synaptogenesis in the NAc by deletion of α7 nAChR plays a key role in depression. PMID:27821848

  9. The effect of dopamine receptor blockade in the rodent nucleus accumbens on local field potential oscillations and motor activity in response to ketamine.

    PubMed

    Matulewicz, Pawel; Kasicki, Stefan; Hunt, Mark Jeremy

    2010-12-17

    Altered functioning of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been implicated in the psychotomimetic actions of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonists and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We have shown previously that NMDAR antagonists enhance the power of high-frequency oscillations (HFO) in the NAc in a dose-dependent manner, as well as increase locomotor activity. Systemic administration of NMDAR antagonists is known to increase the release of dopamine in the NAc and dopamine antagonists can reduce ketamine-induced hyperactivity. In this study, we examined the effect of 0.5 μl intra-NAc infusion of 3.2 μg SCH23390 (D1 antagonist), 10 μg raclopride (D2 antagonist) and saline on ketamine-induced changes in motor and oscillatory activity. We found that local blockade of D1 receptors attenuated ketamine-induced increases in motor activity and blockade of D2 receptors produced a much weaker effect, with respect to saline-infused control groups. In contrast, none of the antagonists, infused separately or together, significantly modified the power or dominant frequency of ketamine-induced increases in HFO, but changes in delta and theta frequency bands were observed. Together, these findings suggest, that, in contrast to delta and theta frequency bands, the generation of ketamine enhanced-HFO in the NAc is not causally related to locomotor activation and occurs largely independently of local changes in dopamine receptor activation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Repeated Cocaine Exposure Decreases Dopamine D2-Like Receptor Modulation of Ca2+ Homeostasis in Rat Nucleus Accumbens Neurons

    PubMed Central

    PEREZ, MARIELA F.; FORD, KERSTIN A.; GOUSSAKOV, IVAN; STUTZMANN, GRACE E.; HU, XIU-TI

    2013-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a limbic structure in the forebrain that plays a critical role in cognitive function and addiction. Dopamine modulates activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAc. Both dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptors (including D1R or D1,5R and D2R or D2,3,4R, respectively) are thought to play critical roles in cocaine addiction. Our previous studies demonstrated that repeated cocaine exposure (which alters dopamine transmission) decreases excitability of NAc MSNs in cocaine-sensitized, withdrawn rats. This decrease is characterized by a reduction in voltage-sensitive Na+ currents and high voltage-activated Ca2+ currents, along with increased voltage-gated K+ currents. These changes are associated with enhanced activity in the D1R/cAMP/PKA/protein phosphatase 1 pathway and diminished calcineurin function. Although D1R-mediated signaling is enhanced by repeated cocaine exposure, little is known whether and how the D2R is implicated in the cocaine-induced NAc dysfunction. Here, we performed a combined electrophysiological, biochemical, and neuroimaging study that reveals the cocaine-induced dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis with involvement of D2R. Our novel findings reveal that D2R stimulation reduced Ca2+ influx preferentially via the L-type Ca2+ channels and evoked intracellular Ca2+ release, likely via inhibiting the cAMP/PKA cascade, in the NAc MSNs of drug-free rats. However, repeated cocaine exposure abolished the D2R effects on modulating Ca2+ homeostasis with enhanced PKA activity and led to a decrease in whole-cell Ca2+ influx. These adaptations, which persisted for 21 days during cocaine abstinence, may contribute to the mechanism of cocaine withdrawal. PMID:20665696

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    An imbalance in molecular signaling cascades and transcriptional regulation in nucleus accumbens (NAc) medium spiny neuron (MSN) subtypes, those enriched in dopamine D1 versus D2 receptors, is implicated in the behavioral responses to psychostimulants. To provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms occurring in MSN subtypes by cocaine, we examined the transcription factor early growth response 3 (Egr3). We evaluated Egr3 because it is a target of critical cocaine-mediated signaling pathways and because Egr3-binding sites are found on promoters of key cocaine-associated molecules. We first used a RiboTag approach to obtain ribosome-associated transcriptomes from each MSN subtype and found that repeated cocaine administration induced Egr3 ribosome-associated mRNA in NAc D1-MSNs while reducing Egr3 in D2-MSNs. Using Cre-inducible adeno-associated viruses combined with D1-Cre and D2-Cre mouse lines, we observed that Egr3 overexpression in D1-MSNs enhances rewarding and locomotor responses to cocaine, whereas overexpression in D2-MSNs blunts these behaviors. miRNA knock-down of Egr3 in MSN subtypes produced opposite behavioral responses from those observed with overexpression. Finally, we found that repeated cocaine administration altered Egr3 binding to promoters of genes that are important for cocaine-mediated cellular and behavioral plasticity. Genes with increased Egr3 binding to promoters, Camk2α, CREB, FosB, Nr4a2, and Sirt1, displayed increased mRNA in D1-MSNs and, in some cases, a reduction in D2-MSNs. Histone and the DNA methylation enzymes G9a and Dnmt3a displayed reduced Egr3 binding to their promoters and reduced mRNA in D1-MSNs. Our study provides novel insight into an opposing role of Egr3 in select NAc MSN subtypes in cocaine action. PMID:25995477

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Dynamics of neural coding in the accumbens during extinction and reinstatement of rewarded behavior.

    PubMed

    Janak, Patricia H; Chen, Ming-Teh; Caulder, Tara

    2004-09-23

    Neural correlates of reward-seeking behavior are observed in the nucleus accumbens (NAC). The dependence of these correlates upon the presence of a reward was studied by comparing the behavioral correlates observed when the presence of the reward was manipulated within a single behavioral session. Rats were well-trained on a continuous reinforcement instrumental task reinforced by 0.1 ml drops of 5% sucrose. Extracellular single-unit neural activity was recorded from electrode arrays implanted into the NAC when instrumental behavior was and then was not reinforced with sucrose (within-session extinction). A variable delay between the instrumental response and the sucrose delivery allowed for separation of neural activity related to these task events. A spike activity increase around the time of the instrumental response was the most common behavioral correlate, while a decrease in spike activity upon sucrose delivery was the second most common behavioral correlate. Following removal of the reinforcer, subjects continued to perform the instrumental response, allowing for the examination of response-related spike activity under extinction conditions in which the response was no longer reinforced by sucrose. A majority of the response-related neural activity patterns were lost when sucrose was no longer available. New neural responses also were detected during this period. For some subjects, the reinforcer was again made available during the same session. Encoding of the primary behavioral events during this period of reinstated reinforcer was similar, but not identical, to that observed during the first period of reinforced responding. These findings reveal that instrumental task-associated spike activity within the NAC is partially dependent upon the presence of the reinforcer, and that encoding across the population is distinct under reinforced and extinction conditions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Eating 'Junk-Food' Produces Rapid and Long-Lasting Increases in NAc CP-AMPA Receptors: Implications for Enhanced Cue-Induced Motivation and Food Addiction.

    PubMed

    Oginsky, Max F; Goforth, Paulette B; Nobile, Cameron W; Lopez-Santiago, Luis F; Ferrario, Carrie R

    2016-12-01

    Urges to eat are influenced by stimuli in the environment that are associated with food (food cues). Obese people are more sensitive to food cues, reporting stronger craving and consuming larger portions after food cue exposure. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) mediates cue-triggered motivational responses, and activations in the NAc triggered by food cues are stronger in people who are susceptible to obesity. This has led to the idea that alterations in NAc function similar to those underlying drug addiction may contribute to obesity, particularly in obesity-susceptible individuals. Motivational responses are mediated in part by NAc AMPA receptor (AMPAR) transmission, and recent work shows that cue-triggered motivation is enhanced in obesity-susceptible rats after 'junk-food' diet consumption. Therefore, here we determined whether NAc AMPAR expression and function is increased by 'junk-food' diet consumption in obesity-susceptible vs -resistant populations using both outbred and selectively bred models of susceptibility. In addition, cocaine-induced locomotor activity was used as a general 'read out' of mesolimbic function after 'junk-food' consumption. We found a sensitized locomotor response to cocaine in rats that gained weight on a 'junk-food' diet, consistent with greater responsivity of mesolimbic circuits in obesity-susceptible groups. In addition, eating 'junk-food' increased NAc calcium-permeable-AMPAR (CP-AMPAR) function only in obesity-susceptible rats. This increase occurred rapidly, persisted for weeks after 'junk-food' consumption ceased, and preceded the development of obesity. These data are considered in light of enhanced cue-triggered motivation and striatal function in obesity-susceptible rats and the role of NAc CP-AMPARs in enhanced motivation and addiction.

  3. Eating ‘Junk-Food' Produces Rapid and Long-Lasting Increases in NAc CP-AMPA Receptors: Implications for Enhanced Cue-Induced Motivation and Food Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Oginsky, Max F; Goforth, Paulette B; Nobile, Cameron W; Lopez-Santiago, Luis F; Ferrario, Carrie R

    2016-01-01

    Urges to eat are influenced by stimuli in the environment that are associated with food (food cues). Obese people are more sensitive to food cues, reporting stronger craving and consuming larger portions after food cue exposure. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) mediates cue-triggered motivational responses, and activations in the NAc triggered by food cues are stronger in people who are susceptible to obesity. This has led to the idea that alterations in NAc function similar to those underlying drug addiction may contribute to obesity, particularly in obesity-susceptible individuals. Motivational responses are mediated in part by NAc AMPA receptor (AMPAR) transmission, and recent work shows that cue-triggered motivation is enhanced in obesity-susceptible rats after ‘junk-food' diet consumption. Therefore, here we determined whether NAc AMPAR expression and function is increased by ‘junk-food' diet consumption in obesity-susceptible vs -resistant populations using both outbred and selectively bred models of susceptibility. In addition, cocaine-induced locomotor activity was used as a general ‘read out' of mesolimbic function after ‘junk-food' consumption. We found a sensitized locomotor response to cocaine in rats that gained weight on a ‘junk-food' diet, consistent with greater responsivity of mesolimbic circuits in obesity-susceptible groups. In addition, eating ‘junk-food' increased NAc calcium-permeable-AMPAR (CP-AMPAR) function only in obesity-susceptible rats. This increase occurred rapidly, persisted for weeks after ‘junk-food' consumption ceased, and preceded the development of obesity. These data are considered in light of enhanced cue-triggered motivation and striatal function in obesity-susceptible rats and the role of NAc CP-AMPARs in enhanced motivation and addiction. PMID:27383008

  4. Novel roles for GlcNAc in cell signaling.

    PubMed

    Naseem, Shamoon; Parrino, Salvatore M; Buenten, Dane M; Konopka, James B

    2012-03-01

    N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) has long been known to play important roles in cell surface structure. Recent studies are now revealing new functions for GlcNAc in cell signaling. Exposure to GlcNAc regulates virulence functions in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans and in pathogenic bacteria. These signaling pathways sense exogenous GlcNAc and are distinct from the O-GlcNAc signaling pathways in mammalian cells in which increased levels of intracellular GlcNAc synthesis leads to post-translational modification of proteins by attachment of O-GlcNAc. The novel roles of GlcNAc in cell signaling will be the subject of this mini-review.

  5. Novel roles for GlcNAc in cell signaling

    PubMed Central

    Naseem, Shamoon; Parrino, Salvatore M.; Buenten, Dane M.; Konopka, James B.

    2012-01-01

    N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) has long been known to play important roles in cell surface structure. Recent studies are now revealing new functions for GlcNAc in cell signaling. Exposure to GlcNAc regulates virulence functions in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans and in pathogenic bacteria. These signaling pathways sense exogenous GlcNAc and are distinct from the O-GlcNAc signaling pathways in mammalian cells in which increased levels of intracellular GlcNAc synthesis leads to post-translational modification of proteins by attachment of O-GlcNAc. The novel roles of GlcNAc in cell signaling will be the subject of this mini-review. PMID:22808320

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

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

  7. Enhanced ability of TRPV1 channels in regulating glutamatergic transmission after repeated morphine exposure in the nucleus accumbens of rat.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haitao; Jia, Dong; Wang, Yuan; Qu, Liang; Wang, Xuelian; Song, Jian; Heng, Lijun; Gao, Guodong

    2017-04-01

    Glutamatergic projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) drive drug-seeking behaviors during opioids withdrawal. Modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission provides a novel pharmacotherapeutic avenue for treatment of opioids dependence. Great deals of researches have verified that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels alters synaptic transmitter release and regulate neural plasticity. In the present study, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were adopted to examine the activity of TRPV1 Channels in regulating glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in NAc of rat during morphine withdrawal for 3days and 3weeks. The data showed that the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and the amplitudes of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) were increased during morphine withdrawal after applied with capsaicin (TRPV1 agonist). Capsaicin decreased the paired pulse ratio (PPR) and increased sEPSCs frequency but not their amplitudes suggesting a presynaptic locus of action during morphine withdrawal. All these effects were fully blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist Capsazepine. Additionally, In the presence of AM251 (CB1 receptor antagonist), depolarization-induced release of endogenous cannabinoids activated TRPV1 channels to enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission during morphine withdrawal. The functional enhancement of TRPV1 Channels in facilitating glutamatergic transmission was not recorded in dorsal striatum. Our findings demonstrate the ability of TRPV1 in regulating excitatory glutamatergic transmission is enhanced during morphine withdrawal in NAc, which would deepen our understanding of glutamatergic modulation during opioids withdrawal.

  8. Antagonism of nucleus accumbens M(2) muscarinic receptors disrupts operant responding for sucrose under a progressive ratio reinforcement schedule.

    PubMed

    Cousens, Graham A; Beckley, Jacob T

    2007-07-19

    Diverse cholinergic signaling mechanisms regulate the excitability of striatal principal neurons and modulate striatal-dependent behavior. These effects are mediated, in part, by action at muscarinic receptors (mAChR), subtypes of which exhibit distinct patterns of expression across striatal neuronal populations. Non-selective mAChR blockade within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been shown to disrupt operant responding for food and to inhibit food consumption. However, the specific receptor subtypes mediating these effects are not known. Thus, we evaluated effects of intra-NAc infusions of pirenzepine and methoctramine, mAChR antagonisits with distinct binding affinity profiles, on operant responding for sucrose reward under a progressive ratio (PR) reinforcement schedule. Moderate to high doses of methoctramine disrupted operant responding and reduced behavioral breakpoint. In contrast, pirenzepine failed to impact operant performance at any dose tested. Methoctramine failed to affect latencies to complete appetitive-consummatory response sequences or to impact measures of acoustic startle, suggesting that its' disruptive effects on operant behavior were not consequent to gross motor impairment. Since methoctramine has a greater affinity for M(2) receptors compared to pirenzepine, which has a greater relative affinity for M(1) and M(3) receptors, these findings suggest that M(2) mAChRs within the NAc regulate behavioral processes underling the acquisition of reward.

  9. Intra-accumbens baclofen, but not muscimol, increases second order instrumental responding for food reward in rats.

    PubMed

    Pulman, Kim G T; Somerville, Elizabeth M; Clifton, Peter G

    2012-01-01

    Stimulation of either GABA(A) or GABA(B) receptors within the nucleus accumbens shell strongly enhances food intake in rats. However the effects of subtype-selective stimulation of GABA receptors on instrumental responses for food reward are less well characterized. Here we contrast the effects of the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol and GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen on instrumental responding for food using a second order reinforcement schedule. Bilateral intra-accumbens administration of baclofen (220-440 pmol) stimulated responding but a higher dose (660 pmol) induced stereotyped oral behaviour that interfered with responding. Baclofen (220-660 pmol) also stimulated intake of freely available chow. Muscimol (220-660 pmol) was without effect on responding for food on this schedule but did stimulate intake of freely available chow. Unilateral administration of either baclofen or muscimol (220 pmol) induced similar patterns of c-fos immunoreactivity in several hypothalamic sites but differed in its induction in the central nucleus of the amygdala. We conclude that stimulation of GABA(A) or GABA(B) receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell of rats produces clearly distinguishable effects on operant responding for food.

  10. Intra-accumbens amphetamine increases the conditioned incentive salience of sucrose reward: enhancement of reward "wanting" without enhanced "liking" or response reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Wyvell, C L; Berridge, K C

    2000-11-01

    Amphetamine microinjection into the nucleus accumbens shell enhanced the ability of a Pavlovian reward cue to trigger increased instrumental performance for sucrose reward in a pure conditioned incentive paradigm. Rats were first trained to press one of two levers to obtain sucrose pellets. They were separately conditioned to associate a Pavlovian cue (30 sec light) with free sucrose pellets. On test days, the rats received bilateral microinjection of intra-accumbens vehicle or amphetamine (0.0, 2.0, 10.0, or 20.0 microgram/0.5 microliter), and lever pressing was tested in the absence of any reinforcement contingency, while the Pavlovian cue alone was freely presented at intervals throughout the session. Amphetamine microinjection selectively potentiated the cue-elicited increase in sucrose-associated lever pressing, although instrumental responding was not reinforced by either sucrose or the cue during the test. Intra-accumbens amphetamine can therefore potentiate cue-triggered incentive motivation for reward in the absence of primary or secondary reinforcement. Using the taste reactivity measure of hedonic impact, it was shown that intra-accumbens amphetamine failed to increase positive hedonic reaction patterns elicited by sucrose (i.e., sucrose "liking") at doses that effectively increase sucrose "wanting." We conclude that nucleus accumbens dopamine specifically mediates the ability of reward cues to trigger "wanting" (incentive salience) for their associated rewards, independent of both hedonic impact and response reinforcement.

  11. 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.

  12. Early social isolation disrupts latent inhibition and increases dopamine D2 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiao; Li, Nanxin; Xue, Xiaofang; Shao, Feng; Wang, Weiwen

    2012-04-04

    Adolescence is a critical period for neurodevelopment. In the present study, we investigated the effects of peri-adolescent social isolation on latent inhibition (LI) and dopamine D2 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of young adult rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into adolescent isolation (ISO; isolated housing, 21-34 days of age) and social housing (SOC) groups. LI was tested at postnatal day 56. After behavioral testing, the number of dopamine D2 receptor-expressing cells was determined using immunohistochemistry. Adolescent social isolation impaired LI and increased the number of cells expressing the D2 receptor in the mPFC and NAc. The results suggest that adolescent social isolation produces profound effects on cognitive and dopaminergic function in adult rats, and could be used as an animal model of various neurodevelopmental disorders.

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

    PubMed

    Caillé, Stéphanie; Parsons, Loren H

    2003-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Chronic alcohol consumption leads to neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens that are not fully reversed by withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Pedro A; Neves, João; Vilela, Manuel; Sousa, Sérgio; Cruz, Catarina; Madeira, M Dulce

    2014-01-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY)- and acetylcholine-containing interneurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) seem to play a major role in the rewarding effects of alcohol. This study investigated the relationship between chronic alcohol consumption and subsequent withdrawal and the expression of NPY and acetylcholine in the NAc, and the possible involvement of nerve growth factor (NGF) in mediating the effects of ethanol. Rats ingesting an aqueous ethanol solution over 6months and rats subsequently deprived from ethanol during 2months were used to estimate the total number and the somatic volume of NPY and cholinergic interneurons, and the numerical density of cholinergic varicosities in the NAc. The tissue content of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and catecholamines were also determined. The number of NPY interneurons increased during alcohol ingestion and returned to control values after withdrawal. Conversely, the number and the size of cholinergic interneurons, and the amount of ChAT were unchanged in ethanol-treated and withdrawn rats, but the density of cholinergic varicosities was reduced by 50% during alcohol consumption and by 64% after withdrawal. The concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine were unchanged both during alcohol consumption and after withdrawal. The administration of NGF to withdrawn rats significantly increased the number of NPY-immunoreactive neurons, the size of cholinergic neurons and the density of cholinergic varicosities. Present data show that chronic alcohol consumption leads to long-lasting neuroadaptive changes of the cholinergic innervation of the NAc and suggest that the cholinergic system is a potential target for the development of therapeutic strategies in alcoholism and abstinence.

  18. 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.

  19. Dynamics of rapid dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens during goal-directed behaviors for cocaine versus natural rewards.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Courtney M; Wightman, R Mark; Carelli, Regina M

    2014-11-01

    Electrophysiological studies show that distinct subsets of nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons differentially encode information about goal-directed behaviors for intravenous cocaine versus natural (food/water) rewards. Further, NAc rapid dopamine signaling occurs on a timescale similar to phasic cell firing during cocaine and natural reward-seeking behaviors. However, it is not known whether dopamine signaling is reinforcer specific (i.e., is released during responding for only one type of reinforcer) within discrete NAc locations, similar to neural firing dynamics. Here, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) was used to measure rapid dopamine release during multiple schedules involving sucrose reward and cocaine self-administration (n = 8 rats) and, in a separate group of rats (n = 6), during a sucrose/food multiple schedule. During the sucrose/cocaine multiple schedule, dopamine increased within seconds of operant responding for both reinforcers. Although dopamine release was not reinforcer specific, more subtle differences were observed in peak dopamine concentration [DA] across reinforcer conditions. Specifically, peak [DA] was higher during the first phase of the multiple schedule, regardless of reinforcer type. Further, the time to reach peak [DA] was delayed during cocaine-responding compared to sucrose. During the sucrose/food multiple schedule, increases in dopamine release were also observed relative to operant responding for both natural rewards. However, peak [DA] was higher relative to responding for sucrose than food, regardless of reinforcer order. Overall, the results reveal the dynamics of rapid dopamine signaling in discrete locations in the NAc across reward conditions, and provide novel insight into the functional role of this system in reward-seeking behaviors.

  20. Functional interaction between the orexin-1 and CB1 receptors within the nucleus accumbens in the conditioned place preference induced by the lateral hypothalamus stimulation.

    PubMed

    Fatahi, Zahra; Assar, Nasim; Mahmoudi, Dorna; Pahlevani, Pouyan; Moradi, Marzieh; Haghparast, Abbas

    2015-02-28

    Several studies have shown that chemical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) by carbachol induces the conditioned place preference (CPP) in rats. LH is the main source of the orexinergic neurons and sends projections to some areas of the brain such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We tried to determine the role of intra-accumbal orexin-1 (OX1) receptors in development (acquisition) and expression of reward-related behaviors induced by LH stimulation and involvement of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in this area. Adult male Wistar rats were unilaterally implanted by two separate cannulae into the LH and NAc. The CPP paradigm was done; conditioning scores and locomotor activities were recorded. The results showed that intra-accumbal administration of SB334867 as a selective OX1 receptor antagonist (1, 3, 10 and 30nM/0.5μl DMSO) 5min before intra-LH carbachol (250nM/0.5μl saline) during 3-day conditioning phase, could dose-dependently inhibit the development of LH-induced CPP. In expression experiments, intra-NAc administration of SB334867 on the test day could decrease the expression of LH stimulation-induced CPP. Furthermore, concurrent intra-accumbal administration of effective/ineffective doses of SB334867 and AM251 (45 and 15μM) as a CB1 receptor antagonist, before carbachol during the conditioning phase, could attenuate the development of LH stimulation-induced CPP. It seems that the orexinergic projection from the LH to the NAc is involved in the LH stimulation-induced CPP and OX1 receptor in the NAc has a substantial role in this phenomenon. Our findings also suggest the existence a functional interaction between OX1 and CB1 receptors within the NAc in place preference.

  1. mTORC1 Inhibition in the Nucleus Accumbens ‘Protects' Against the Expression of Drug Seeking and ‘Relapse' and Is Associated with Reductions in GluA1 AMPAR and CAMKIIα Levels

    PubMed Central

    James, Morgan H; Quinn, Rikki K; Ong, Lin Kooi; Levi, Emily M; Charnley, Janine L; Smith, Doug W; Dickson, Phillip W; Dayas, Christopher V

    2014-01-01

    The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is necessary for synaptic plasticity, as it is critically involved in the translation of synaptic transmission-related proteins, such as Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent kinase II alpha (CAMKIIα) and AMPA receptor subunits (GluAs). Although recent studies have implicated mTORC1 signaling in drug-motivated behavior, the ineffectiveness of rapamycin, an mTORC1 inhibitor, in suppressing cocaine self-administration has raised questions regarding the specific role of mTORC1 in drug-related behaviors. Here, we examined mTORC1's role in three drug-related behaviors: cocaine taking, withdrawal, and reinstatement of cocaine seeking, by measuring indices of mTORC1 activity and assessing the effect of intra-cerebroventricular rapamycin on these behaviors in rats. We found that withdrawal from cocaine self-administration increased indices of mTORC1 activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAC). Intra-cerebroventricular rapamycin attenuated progressive ratio (PR) break points and reduced phospho-p70 ribosomal S6 kinase, GluA1 AMPAR, and CAMKIIα levels in the NAC shell (NACsh) and core (NACc). In a subsequent study, we treated rats with intra-NACsh infusions of rapamycin (2.5 μg/side/day for 5 days) during cocaine self-administration and then tracked the expression of addiction-relevant behaviors through to withdrawal and extinction. Rapamycin reduced drug seeking in signaled non-drug-available periods, PR responding, and cue-induced reinstatement, with these effects linked to reduced mTORC1 activity, total CAMKIIα, and GluA1 AMPAR levels in the NACsh. Together, these data highlight a role for mTORC1 in the neural processes that control the expression and maintenance of drug reward, including protracted relapse vulnerability. These effects appear to involve a role for mTORC1 in the regulation of GluA1 AMPARs and CAMKIIα in the NACsh. PMID:24469593

  2. Banana NAC transcription factor MusaNAC042 is positively associated with drought and salinity tolerance.

    PubMed

    Tak, Himanshu; Negi, Sanjana; Ganapathi, T R

    2017-03-01

    Banana is an important fruit crop and its yield is hampered by multiple abiotic stress conditions encountered during its growth. The NAC (NAM, ATAF, and CUC) transcription factors are involved in plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present study, we studied the induction of banana NAC042 transcription factor in drought and high salinity conditions and its overexpression in transgenic banana to improve drought and salinity tolerance. MusaNAC042 expression was positively associated with stress conditions like salinity and drought and it encoded a nuclear localized protein. Transgenic lines of banana cultivar Rasthali overexpressing MusaNAC042 were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of banana embryogenic cells and T-DNA insertion was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analysis. Our results using leaf disc assay indicated that transgenic banana lines were able to tolerate drought and high salinity stress better than the control plants and retained higher level of total chlorophyll and lower level of MDA content (malondialdehyde). Transgenic lines analyzed for salinity (250 mM NaCl) and drought (Soil gravimetric water content 0.15) tolerance showed higher proline content, better Fv/Fm ratio, and lower levels of MDA content than control suggesting that MusaNAC042 may be involved in responses to higher salinity and drought stresses in banana. Expression of several abiotic stress-related genes like those coding for CBF/DREB, LEA, and WRKY factors was altered in transgenic lines indicating that MusaNAC042 is an efficient modulator of abiotic stress response in banana.

  3. 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.

  4. Prolonged nicotine exposure down-regulates presynaptic NMDA receptors in dopaminergic terminals of the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Salamone, Alessia; Zappettini, Stefania; Grilli, Massimo; Olivero, Guendalina; Agostinho, Paula; Tomé, Angelo R; Chen, Jiayang; Pittaluga, Anna; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Marchi, Mario

    2014-04-01

    The presynaptic control of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) by glutamate and acetylcholine has a profound impact on reward signaling. Here we provide immunocytochemical and neurochemical evidence supporting the co-localization and functional interaction between nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors in dopaminergic terminals of the NAc. Most NAc dopaminergic terminals possessed the nAChR α4 subunit and the pre-exposure of synaptosomes to nicotine (30 μM) or to the α4β2-containing nAChR agonist 5IA85380 (10 nM) selectively inhibited the NMDA (100 μM)-evoked, but not the 4-aminopyridine (10 μM)-evoked, [(3)H] dopamine outflow; this inhibition was blunted by mecamylamine (10 μM). Nicotine and 5IA85380 pretreatment also inhibited the NMDA (100 μM)-evoked increase of calcium levels in single nerve terminals, an effect prevented by dihydro-β-erythroidine (1 μM). This supports a functional interaction between α4β2-containing nAChR and NMDA receptors within the same terminal, as supported by the immunocytochemical co-localization of α4 and GluN1 subunits in individual NAc dopaminergic terminals. The NMDA-evoked [(3)H]dopamine outflow was blocked by MK801 (1 μM) and inhibited by the selective GluN2B-selective antagonists ifenprodil (1 μM) and RO 25-6981 (1 μM), but not by the GluN2A-preferring antagonists CPP-19755 (1 μM) and ZnCl2 (1 nM). Notably, nicotine pretreatment significantly decreased the density of biotin-tagged GluN2B proteins in NAc synaptosomes. These results show that nAChRs dynamically and negatively regulate NMDA receptors in NAc dopaminergic terminals through the internalization of GluN2B receptors.

  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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-20

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

  8. CB1 Cannabinoid Agonist (WIN55,212-2) Within the Basolateral Amygdala Induced Sensitization to Morphine and Increased the Level of μ-Opioid Receptor and c-fos in the Nucleus Accumbens.

    PubMed

    Molaei, Marzieh; Fatahi, Zahra; Zaringhalam, Jalal; Haghparast, Abbas

    2016-04-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is rich of CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) and has reciprocal connections with the nucleus accumbens (NAc) which is involved in opioid sensitization. In this study, effects of intra-BLA administration of CB1R agonist on sensitization to antinociceptive effect of morphine and changes in the levels of μ-opioid receptor (MOR), p-CREB, and c-fos in the NAc were investigated. Animals received intra-BLA microinjection of CB1R agonist (WIN55,212-2) once daily for 3 days consecutively (sensitization period). After 5 days free of drug, tail-flick test was performed before and after the administration of an ineffective dose of morphine. Afterward, the levels of MOR, p-CREB, and c-fos proteins were measured in the NAc by Western blot analysis. The results indicated that intra-BLA injection of WIN55,212-2 during sensitization period resulted in the induction of antinociceptive responses by ineffective dose of morphine and caused a significant increase in the MOR and c-fos levels but not p-CREB/CREB ratio in the NAc. These finding revealed that CB1 receptor agonist in the BLA induces development of morphine sensitization and increases expression of MOR in the NAc. It seems that c-fos is one of the important factors involved in the induction of sensitization to antinociceptive effect of morphine.

  9. Increased expression of proenkephalin and prodynorphin mRNAs in the nucleus accumbens of compulsive methamphetamine taking rats

    PubMed Central

    Cadet, Jean Lud; Krasnova, Irina N.; Walther, Donna; Brannock, Christie; Ladenheim, Bruce; McCoy, Michael T.; Collector, Daniel; Torres, Oscar V.; Terry, Ndeah; Jayanthi, Subramaniam

    2016-01-01

    Addiction is associated with neuroadaptive changes in the brain. In the present paper, we used a model of methamphetamine self-administration during which we used footshocks to divide rats into animals that continue to press a lever to get methamphetamine (shock-resistant) and those that significantly reduce pressing the lever (shock-sensitive) despite the shocks. We trained male Sprague-Dawley rats to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) for 9 hours daily for 20 days. Control group self-administered saline. Subsequently, methamphetamine self-administration rats were punished by mild electric footshocks for 10 days with gradual increases in shock intensity. Two hours after stopping behavioral experiments, we euthanized rats and isolated nucleus accumbens (NAc) samples. Affymetrix Array experiments revealed 24 differentially expressed genes between the shock-resistant and shock-sensitive rats, with 15 up- and 9 downregulated transcripts. Ingenuity pathway analysis showed that these transcripts belong to classes of genes involved in nervous system function, behavior, and disorders of the basal ganglia. These genes included prodynorphin (PDYN) and proenkephalin (PENK), among others. Because PDYN and PENK are expressed in dopamine D1- and D2-containing NAc neurons, respectively, these findings suggest that mechanisms, which impact both cell types may play a role in the regulation of compulsive methamphetamine taking by rats. PMID:27841313

  10. ADOLESCENT INTERMITTENT ETHANOL EXPOSURE ENHANCES ETHANOL ACTIVATION OF THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS WHILE BLUNTING THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX RESPONSES IN ADULT RAT

    PubMed Central

    LIU, W.; CREWS, F. T.

    2016-01-01

    The brain continues to develop through adolescence when excessive alcohol consumption is prevalent in humans. We hypothesized that binge drinking doses of ethanol during adolescence will cause changes in brain ethanol responses that persist into adulthood. To test this hypothesis Wistar rats were treated with an adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE; 5 g/kg, i.g. 2 days on–2 days off; P25–P54) model of underage drinking followed by 25 days of abstinence during maturation to young adulthood (P80). Using markers of neuronal activation c-Fos, EGR1, and phophorylated extracellar signal regulated kinase (pERK1/2), adult responses to a moderate and binge drinking ethanol challenge, e.g., 2 or 4 g/kg, were determined. Adult rats showed dose dependent increases in neuronal activation markers in multiple brain regions during ethanol challenge. Brain regional responses correlated are consistent with anatomical connections. AIE led to marked decreases in adult ethanol PFC (prefrontal cortex) and blunted responses in the amygdala. Binge drinking doses led to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) activation that correlated with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) activation. In contrast to other brain regions, AIE enhanced the adult NAc response to binge drinking doses. These studies suggest that adolescent alcohol exposure causes long-lasting changes in brain responses to alcohol that persist into adulthood. PMID:25727639

  11. 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.

  12. Increased expression of proenkephalin and prodynorphin mRNAs in the nucleus accumbens of compulsive methamphetamine taking rats.

    PubMed

    Cadet, Jean Lud; Krasnova, Irina N; Walther, Donna; Brannock, Christie; Ladenheim, Bruce; McCoy, Michael T; Collector, Daniel; Torres, Oscar V; Terry, Ndeah; Jayanthi, Subramaniam

    2016-11-14

    Addiction is associated with neuroadaptive changes in the brain. In the present paper, we used a model of methamphetamine self-administration during which we used footshocks to divide rats into animals that continue to press a lever to get methamphetamine (shock-resistant) and those that significantly reduce pressing the lever (shock-sensitive) despite the shocks. We trained male Sprague-Dawley rats to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) for 9 hours daily for 20 days. Control group self-administered saline. Subsequently, methamphetamine self-administration rats were punished by mild electric footshocks for 10 days with gradual increases in shock intensity. Two hours after stopping behavioral experiments, we euthanized rats and isolated nucleus accumbens (NAc) samples. Affymetrix Array experiments revealed 24 differentially expressed genes between the shock-resistant and shock-sensitive rats, with 15 up- and 9 downregulated transcripts. Ingenuity pathway analysis showed that these transcripts belong to classes of genes involved in nervous system function, behavior, and disorders of the basal ganglia. These genes included prodynorphin (PDYN) and proenkephalin (PENK), among others. Because PDYN and PENK are expressed in dopamine D1- and D2-containing NAc neurons, respectively, these findings suggest that mechanisms, which impact both cell types may play a role in the regulation of compulsive methamphetamine taking by rats.

  13. Adolescent intermittent ethanol exposure enhances ethanol activation of the nucleus accumbens while blunting the prefrontal cortex responses in adult rat.

    PubMed

    Liu, W; Crews, F T

    2015-05-07

    The brain continues to develop through adolescence when excessive alcohol consumption is prevalent in humans. We hypothesized that binge drinking doses of ethanol during adolescence will cause changes in brain ethanol responses that persist into adulthood. To test this hypothesis Wistar rats were treated with an adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE; 5 g/kg, i.g. 2 days on-2 days off; P25-P54) model of underage drinking followed by 25 days of abstinence during maturation to young adulthood (P80). Using markers of neuronal activation c-Fos, EGR1, and phophorylated extracellar signal regulated kinase (pERK1/2), adult responses to a moderate and binge drinking ethanol challenge, e.g., 2 or 4 g/kg, were determined. Adult rats showed dose dependent increases in neuronal activation markers in multiple brain regions during ethanol challenge. Brain regional responses correlated are consistent with anatomical connections. AIE led to marked decreases in adult ethanol PFC (prefrontal cortex) and blunted responses in the amygdala. Binge drinking doses led to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) activation that correlated with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) activation. In contrast to other brain regions, AIE enhanced the adult NAc response to binge drinking doses. These studies suggest that adolescent alcohol exposure causes long-lasting changes in brain responses to alcohol that persist into adulthood.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Martin, Gilles E.

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g., the prefrontal cortex (PFCx), the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different information (e.g., spatial, emotional and cognitive). Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term potentiation (tLTP) and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute Ethyl Alcohol (EtOH) has little effects on higher order information coming from the PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength. PMID:26257641

  15. Chronic co-administration of nicotine and methamphetamine causes differential expression of immediate early genes in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens of rats.

    PubMed

    Saint-Preux, F; Bores, L R; Tulloch, I; Ladenheim, B; Kim, R; Thanos, P K; Volkow, N D; Cadet, J L

    2013-07-23

    Nicotine and methamphetamine (METH) cause addiction by triggering neuroplastic changes in brain reward pathways though they each engage distinct molecular targets (nicotine receptors and dopamine transporters respectively). Addiction to both drugs is very prevalent, with the vast majority of METH users also being smokers of cigarettes. This co-morbid occurrence thus raised questions about potential synergistic rewarding effects of the drugs. However, few studies have investigated the chronic neurobiological changes associated with co-morbid nicotine and METH addiction. Here we investigated the effects of these two drugs alone and in combination on the expression of several immediate early genes (IEGs) that are sensitive to drug exposures. Chronic exposure to either nicotine or METH caused significant decreases in the expression of fosb, fra1, and fra2 in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) but not in the dorsal striatum whereas the drug combination increased fra2 expression in both structures. Except for junB mRNA levels that were decreased by the three drug treatments in the NAc, there were no significant changes in the Jun family members. Of the Egr family members, NAc egr2 expression was decreased after nicotine and the drug combination whereas NAc egr3 was decreased after METH and the drug combination. The drug combination also increased striatal egr3 expression. The Nr4a family member, nr4a2/nurr1, showed increased striatal expression after all three drug treatments, while striatal nr4a3/nor-1 expression was increased by the drug combination whereas NAc nr4a1/nurr77 was decreased by nicotine and the drug combination. These observations suggest that, when given in combination, the two drugs exert distinct effects on the expression of IEGs in dopaminergic projection areas from those elicited by each drug alone. The significance of these changes in IEG expression and in other molecular markers in fostering co-morbid METH and nicotine abuse needs to be further evaluated.

  16. Nucleus accumbens neurotransmission and effort-related choice behavior in food motivation: effects of drugs acting on dopamine, adenosine, and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Eric J; Randall, Patrick A; Podurgiel, Samantha; Correa, Mercè; Salamone, John D

    2013-11-01

    Mesolimbic dopamine (DA) is a critical component of the brain circuitry regulating behavioral activation and effort-related processes. Although nucleus accumbens (NAc) DA depletions or antagonism leave aspects of appetite and primary food motivation intact, rats with impaired DA transmission reallocate their instrumental behavior away from food-reinforced tasks with high response requirements, and instead select less effortful food-seeking behaviors. Previous work showed that adenosine A2A antagonists can reverse the effects of DA D2 antagonists on effort-related choice, and that stimulation of adenosine A2A receptors produces behavioral effects that are similar to those induced by DA antagonism. The present review summarizes the literature on the role of NAc DA and adenosine in effort-related processes, and also presents original data on the effects of local stimulation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in NAc core. Local injections of the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine directly into NAc core produces shifts in effort-related choice behavior similar to those induced by DA antagonism or A2A receptor stimulation, decreasing lever pressing but increasing chow intake in rats responding on a concurrent fixed ratio/chow feeding choice task. In contrast, injections into a neostriatal control site dorsal to the NAc were ineffective. The actions of pilocarpine on this task were attenuated by co-administration of the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine. Thus, drugs that act on DA, adenosine A2A, and muscarinic receptors regulate effort-related choice behavior, which may have implications for the treatment of psychiatric symptoms such as psychomotor slowing, fatigue or anergia that can be observed in depression and other disorders.

  17. Altered responsiveness to cocaine and increased immobility in the forced swim test associated with elevated cAMP response element-binding protein expression in nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Pliakas, A M; Carlson, R R; Neve, R L; Konradi, C; Nestler, E J; Carlezon, W A

    2001-09-15

    Drugs of abuse regulate the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in striatal regions, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc). To explore how regulation of CREB in the NAc affects behavior, we used herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors to elevate CREB expression in this region or to overexpress a dominant-negative mutant CREB (mCREB) that blocks CREB function. Rats treated with HSV-mCREB in place conditioning studies spent more time in environments associated with cocaine, indicating increased cocaine reward. Conversely, rats treated with HSV-CREB spent less time in cocaine-associated environments, indicating increased cocaine aversion. Studies in which drug-environment pairings were varied to coincide with either the early or late effects of cocaine suggest that CREB-associated place aversions reflect increased cocaine withdrawal. Because cocaine withdrawal can be accompanied by symptoms of depression, we examined how altered CREB function in the NAc affects behavior in the forced swim test (FST). Elevated CREB expression increased immobility in the FST, an effect that is opposite to that caused by standard antidepressants and is consistent with a link between CREB and dysphoria. Conversely, overexpression of mCREB decreased immobility, an effect similar to that caused by antidepressants. Moreover, the kappa opioid receptor antagonist nor-Binaltorphimine decreased immobility in HSV-CREB- and HSV-mCREB-treated rats, suggesting that CREB-mediated induction of dynorphin (an endogenous kappa receptor ligand) contributes to immobility behavior in the FST. Exposure to the FST itself dramatically increased CREB function in the NAc. These findings raise the possibility that CREB-mediated transcription within the NAc regulates dysphoric states.

  18. Control of nucleus accumbens activity with neurofeedback.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) plays critical roles in healthy motivation and learning, as well as in psychiatric disorders (including schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Thus, techniques that confer control of NAcc activity might inspire new therapeutic interventions. By providing second-to-second temporal resolution of activity in small subcortical regions, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can resolve online changes in NAcc activity, which can then be presented as "neurofeedback." In an fMRI-based neurofeedback experiment designed to elicit NAcc activity, we found that subjects could increase their own NAcc activity, and that display of neurofeedback significantly enhanced their ability to do so. Subjects were not as capable of decreasing their NAcc activity, however, and enhanced control did not persist after subsequent removal of neurofeedback. Further analyses suggested that individuals who recruited positive aroused affect were better able to increase NAcc activity in response to neurofeedback, and that NAcc neurofeedback also elicited functionally correlated activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. Together, these findings suggest that humans can modulate their own NAcc activity and that fMRI-based neurofeedback may augment their efforts. The observed association between positive arousal and effective NAcc control further supports an anticipatory affect account of NAcc function.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Intermittent-access binge consumption of sweet high-fat liquid does not require opioid or dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lardeux, Sylvie; Kim, James J.; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2015-01-01

    Binge eating disorders are characterized by episodes of intense consumption of high-calorie food. In recently developed animal models of binge eating, rats given intermittent access to such food escalate their consumption over time. Consumption of calorie-dense food is associated with neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens, including dopamine release and alterations in dopamine and opioid receptor expression. Therefore, we hypothesized that binge-like consumption on intermittent access schedules is dependent on opioid and/or dopamine neurotransmission in the accumbens. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether injection of dopamine and opioid receptor antagonists into the core and shell of the accumbens reduced consumption of a sweet high-fat liquid in rats with and without a history of intermittent binge access to the liquid. Although injection of a μ opioid agonist increased consumption, none of the antagonists (including μ opioid, δ opioid, κ opioid, D1 dopamine and D2 dopamine receptor antagonists, as well as the broad-spectrum opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone) reduced consumption, and this was the case whether or not the animals had a prior history of intermittent access. These results suggest that consumption of sweet, fatty food does not require opioid or dopamine receptor activation in the accumbens even under intermittent access conditions that resemble human binge episodes. PMID:26097003

  2. 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.

  3. 75 FR 56654 - RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-16

    ... 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 published a... public of a meeting of RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee. The Agenda in that notice has been revised....

  4. 75 FR 54221 - RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-03

    ...] [FR Doc No: 2010-22098] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of RTCA NextGen... NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC). DATES: The meeting will be held September 23, 2010, from 8:30 a.m....

  5. Alcohol intoxications during adolescence increase motivation for alcohol in adult rats and induce neuroadaptations in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Alaux-Cantin, Stéphanie; Warnault, Vincent; Legastelois, Rémi; Botia, Béatrice; Pierrefiche, Olivier; Vilpoux, Catherine; Naassila, Mickaël

    2013-04-01

    Adolescent alcohol binge drinking constitutes a major vulnerability factor to develop alcoholism. However, mechanisms underlying this susceptibility remain unknown. We evaluated the effect of adolescent binge-like ethanol intoxication on vulnerability to alcohol abuse in Sprague-Dawley rats. To model binge-like ethanol intoxication, every 2 days, rats received an ethanol injection (3.0 g/kg) for 2 consecutive days across 14 days either from postnatal day 30 (PND30) to 43 (early adolescence) or from PND 45 to PND 58 (late adolescence). In young adult animals, we measured free ethanol consumption in the two-bottle choice paradigm, motivation for ethanol in the operant self-administration task and both ethanol's rewarding and aversive properties in the conditioned place preference (CPP) and taste aversion (CTA) paradigms. While intermittent ethanol intoxications (IEI) during late adolescence had no effect on free-choice 10% ethanol consumption, we found that IEI during early adolescence promoted free-choice 10% ethanol consumption, enhanced motivation for ethanol in the self-administration paradigm and induced a loss of both ethanol-induced CPP and CTA in young adults. No modification in either sucrose self-administration or amphetamine-induced CPP was observed. As the nucleus accumbens (Nac) is particularly involved in addictive behavior, we analyzed IEI-induced long-term neuroadaptations in the Nac using c-Fos immunohistochemistry and an array of neurotransmission-related genes. This vulnerability to ethanol abuse was associated with a lower c-Fos immunoreactivity in the Nac and enduring alterations of the expression of Penk and Slc6a4, 2 neurotransmission-related genes that have been shown to play critical roles in the behavioral effects of ethanol and alcoholism.

  6. Implications for glycine receptors and astrocytes in ethanol-induced elevation of dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Adermark, Louise; Clarke, Rhona B C; Olsson, Torsten; Hansson, Elisabeth; Söderpalm, Bo; Ericson, Mia

    2011-01-01

    Elevated dopamine levels are believed to contribute to the rewarding sensation of ethanol (EtOH), and previous research has shown that strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) are involved in regulating dopamine release and in mediating the reinforcing effects of EtOH. Furthermore, the osmoregulator taurine, which is released from astrocytes treated with EtOH, can act as an endogenous ligand for the glycine receptor, and increase extracellular dopamine levels. The aim of this study was to address if EtOH-induced swelling of astrocytes could contribute to elevated dopamine levels by increasing the extracellular concentration of taurine. Cell swelling was estimated by optical sectioning of fluorescently labeled astrocytes in primary cultures from rat, and showed that EtOH (25-150 mM) increased astrocyte cell volumes in a concentration- and ion-dependent manner. The EtOH-induced cell swelling was inhibited in cultures treated with the Na(+) /K(+) /2Cl⁻ cotransporter blocker furosemide (1 mM), Na(+) /K(+) -ATPase inhibitor ouabain (0.1 mM), potassium channel inhibitor BaCl₂ (50 µM) and in cultures containing low extracellular sodium concentration (3 mM). In vivo microdialysis performed in the nAc of awake and freely moving rats showed that local treatment with EtOH enhanced the concentrations of dopamine and taurine in the microdialysate, while glycine and β-alanine levels were not significantly modulated. EtOH-induced dopamine release was antagonized by local treatment with the glycine receptor antagonist strychnine (20 µM) or furosemide (100 µM or 1 mM). Furosemide also prevented EtOH-induced taurine release in the nAc. In conclusion, our data suggest that extracellular concentrations of dopamine and taurine are interconnected and that swelling of astrocytes contributes to the acute rewarding sensation of EtOH.

  7. Arginine Vasopressin gene expression changes within the nucleus accumbens during environment elicited cocaine-conditioned response in rats

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Borrero, E.; Rivera-Escalera, F.; Candelas, F.; Montalvo, J.; Muñoz-Miranda, W.J.; Walker, J.R.; Maldonado-Vlaar, C.S.

    2009-01-01

    It is known that changes in gene expression within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) occur during cocaine dependence development. However, identification of specific genes involved in cocaine conditioning awaits further investigation. We conducted a high throughput gene expression profile analysis of the NAc, during different stages of the environment-elicited cocaine conditioning. Rats were assigned to two different environmental conditions. Cocaine conditioned group received a cocaine injection (10 mg/kg, i.p.) prior to being placed in the activity chambers. Control rats received saline injections before being exposed to their environment. Both groups received a saline injection in their home cage. Conditioning training lasted for 10 days. Animals were then re-exposed to their previously paired environments only on day 12 (test session). We found that the gene for arginine vasopressin (AVP) was differentially expressed on experimental subjects during all stages of environment-elicited cocaine conditioning. To further validate our molecular results, biochemical and immunolocalization experiments were conducted. We found the presence of AVP within accumbal fibers and changes in AVP protein levels following cocaine conditioning. Moreover, we tested the effects of accumbal microinfusions of either AVP receptor V1A agonist [pGlu4, Cyt6, Arg8] AVP 4-9 1.0 ng/0.5μl, or V1A antagonist (CH2) 5[Tyr (Me) 2] AVP, 1.0 ng/0.5μl or vehicle solution (0.9% saline solution) during different stages of the cocaine conditioning. Blockade of V1A receptors within the NAc during acquisition interrupted the expression of the conditioned response, while activation leads to an increase in this response. Our findings propose a new role for AVP in cocaine addiction. PMID:19596360

  8. Synergistic elevations in nucleus accumbens extracellular dopamine concentrations during self-administration of cocaine/heroin combinations (Speedball) in rats.

    PubMed

    Hemby, S E; Co, C; Dworkin, S I; Smith, J E

    1999-01-01

    The abuse of cocaine/opiate combinations (speedball) represents a growing trend in illicit drug use. Delineation of neurobiological substrates mediating the reinforcing effects of the combination may increase our knowledge of reinforcement mechanisms and provide useful new information for the development of pharmacotherapies. Several studies suggest dopaminergic innervations of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have a central role in the brain processes underlying drug reinforcement. The present study was undertaken to determine the relationship between the self-administration of cocaine/heroin combinations and NAc extracellular dopamine concentrations ([DA]e) using in vivo microdialysis and microbore high-pressure liquid chromatography. Rats were assigned randomly to one of three groups to self-administer i.v. cocaine (125, 250, and 500 micrograms/infusion; n = 5), heroin (4.5, 9, and 18 micrograms/infusion; n = 5), or cocaine/heroin combinations (125/4.5; 250/9, and 500/18 micrograms/infusion; n = 4) under a fixed ratio (FR) 10: 20-s time-out schedule of reinforcement/multicomponent dosing session. After stable rates of responding were engendered and maintained, microdialysis samples were collected in 10-min intervals during the self-administration session. Self-administration of cocaine/heroin combinations produced synergisitic elevations in NAc [DA]e (1000% baseline) compared with cocaine (400% baseline) and heroin (not significantly different from baseline levels). Neither the number of infusions nor the interinfusion intervals was significantly different between the groups across the self-administration session. Moreover, cocaine concentrations were not significantly different between the cocaine and cocaine/heroin groups. These results demonstrate that heroin interacts with cocaine to produce synergistic elevations in [DA]e, providing a neurochemical basis for understanding the abuse liability of cocaine/opiate combinations.

  9. The nac (nitrogen assimilation control) gene from Klebsiella aerogenes.

    PubMed Central

    Schwacha, A; Bender, R A

    1993-01-01

    The Klebsiella aerogenes nac gene, whose product is necessary for nitrogen regulation of a number of operons, was identified and its DNA sequence determined. The nac sequence predicted a protein a 305 amino acids with a strong similarity to members of the LysR family of regulatory proteins, especially OxyR from Escherichia coli. Analysis of proteins expressed in minicells showed that nac is a single-gene operon whose product has an apparent molecular weight of about 32 kDa as measured in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Immediately downstream from nac is a two-gene operon, the first gene of which encodes another member of the LysR family. Upstream from nac is a tRNAAsn gene transcribed divergently from nac. About 60 bp upstream from the nac open reading frame lies a sequence nearly identical to the consensus for sigma 54-dependent promoters, with the conserved GG and GC nucleotides at -26 and -14 relative to the start of transcription. About 130 bp farther upstream (at -153 relative to the start of transcription) is a sequence nearly identical to the transcriptional activator NTRC-responsive enhancer consensus. Another weaker NTRC-binding site is located adjacent to this site (at -133 relative to the start of transcription). Thus, we propose that nac is transcribed by RNA polymerase carrying sigma 54 in response to the nitrogen regulatory (NTR) system. A transposon located between the promoter and the nac ORF prevented NTR-mediated expression of nac, supporting this identification of the promoter sequence. The insertion of over 5 kb of transposon DNA between the enhancer and its target promoter had only a weak effect on enhancer-mediated regulation, suggesting that enhancers may be able to act at a considerable distance on the bacterial chromosome. Images PMID:8458853

  10. Genomic analysis of NAC transcription factors in banana (Musa acuminata) and definition of NAC orthologous groups for monocots and dicots.

    PubMed

    Cenci, Albero; Guignon, Valentin; Roux, Nicolas; Rouard, Mathieu

    2014-05-01

    Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying tolerance to abiotic stresses is important in crop breeding. A comprehensive understanding of the gene families associated with drought tolerance is therefore highly relevant. NAC transcription factors form a large plant-specific gene family involved in the regulation of tissue development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. The main goal of this study was to set up a framework of orthologous groups determined by an expert sequence comparison of NAC genes from both monocots and dicots. In order to clarify the orthologous relationships among NAC genes of different species, we performed an in-depth comparative study of four divergent taxa, in dicots and monocots, whose genomes have already been completely sequenced: Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera, Musa acuminata and Oryza sativa. Due to independent evolution, NAC copy number is highly variable in these plant genomes. Based on an expert NAC sequence comparison, we propose forty orthologous groups of NAC sequences that were probably derived from an ancestor gene present in the most recent common ancestor of dicots and monocots. These orthologous groups provide a curated resource for large-scale protein sequence annotation of NAC transcription factors. The established orthology relationships also provide a useful reference for NAC function studies in newly sequenced genomes such as M. acuminata and other plant species.

  11. Distinct Effects of Nalmefene on Dopamine Uptake Rates and Kappa Opioid Receptor Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Following Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure.

    PubMed

    Rose, Jamie H; Karkhanis, Anushree N; Steiniger-Brach, Björn; Jones, Sara R

    2016-07-27

    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.

  12. The effect of daily caffeine exposure on lever-pressing for sucrose and c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens in the rat.

    PubMed

    Retzbach, Edward P; Dholakia, Paulomi H; Duncan-Vaidya, Elizabeth A

    2014-08-01

    Recent reports suggest that caffeine exposure increases the motivation to consume drugs of abuse. As such, it may also enhance the motivation to consume palatable food. Because caffeine is a common constituent in over-the-counter weight-loss supplements, it is important to better understand the relationship between caffeine and food intake. The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of daily intermittent caffeine exposure on lever pressing for sucrose in rats and to assess the impact of caffeine on neuronal activation in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Male Sprague-Dawley rats that received either saline or caffeine (1, 5, 20mg/kgi.p.) daily were tested on a fixed ratio 4 schedule for sucrose in operant chambers for 10days and then again following a 5-day treatment withdrawal period. After behavioral testing, a subset of the animals was sacrificed to measure the impact of caffeine on neuronal activation in the NAc using c-Fos as a marker. There was a significant increase in active lever presses for sucrose in the rats that had received 5mg/kg of caffeine when compared with the saline group. This treatment effect was no longer present after the withdrawal period. Acute, but not chronic, caffeine exposure elevated c-Fos expression in the NAc. These data suggest that intermittent daily caffeine exposure increases lever pressing for sucrose in rats, but leaves no lasting effect.

  13. 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

  14. A Diverse Range of Bacterial and Eukaryotic Chitinases Hydrolyzes the LacNAc (Galβ1–4GlcNAc) and LacdiNAc (GalNAcβ1–4GlcNAc) Motifs Found on Vertebrate and Insect Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Frederiksen, Rikki F.; Yoshimura, Yayoi; Storgaard, Birgit G.; Paspaliari, Dafni K.; Petersen, Bent O.; Chen, Kowa; Larsen, Tanja; Duus, Jens Ø.; Ingmer, Hanne; Bovin, Nicolai V.; Westerlind, Ulrika; Blixt, Ola; Palcic, Monica M.; Leisner, Jørgen J.

    2015-01-01

    There is emerging evidence that chitinases have additional functions beyond degrading environmental chitin, such as involvement in innate and acquired immune responses, tissue remodeling, fibrosis, and serving as virulence factors of bacterial pathogens. We have recently shown that both the human chitotriosidase and a chitinase from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium hydrolyze LacNAc from Galβ1–4GlcNAcβ-tetramethylrhodamine (LacNAc-TMR (Galβ1–4GlcNAcβ(CH2)8CONH(CH2)2NHCO-TMR)), a fluorescently labeled model substrate for glycans found in mammals. In this study we have examined the binding affinities of the Salmonella chitinase by carbohydrate microarray screening and found that it binds to a range of compounds, including five that contain LacNAc structures. We have further examined the hydrolytic specificity of this enzyme and chitinases from Sodalis glossinidius and Polysphondylium pallidum, which are phylogenetically related to the Salmonella chitinase, as well as unrelated chitinases from Listeria monocytogenes using the fluorescently labeled substrate analogs LacdiNAc-TMR (GalNAcβ1–4GlcNAcβ-TMR), LacNAc-TMR, and LacNAcβ1–6LacNAcβ-TMR. We found that all chitinases examined hydrolyzed LacdiNAc from the TMR aglycone to various degrees, whereas they were less active toward LacNAc-TMR conjugates. LacdiNAc is found in the mammalian glycome and is a common motif in invertebrate glycans. This substrate specificity was evident for chitinases of different phylogenetic origins. Three of the chitinases also hydrolyzed the β1–6 bond in LacNAcβ1–6LacNAcβ-TMR, an activity that is of potential importance in relation to mammalian glycans. The enzymatic affinities for these mammalian-like structures suggest additional functional roles of chitinases beyond chitin hydrolysis. PMID:25561735

  15. Dyadic social interaction inhibits cocaine-conditioned place preference and the associated activation of the accumbens corridor.

    PubMed

    Zernig, Gerald; Pinheiro, Barbara S

    2015-09-01

    Impaired social interaction is a hallmark symptom of many psychiatric disorders. In substance use disorders, impaired social interaction is triply harmful (a) because addicts increasingly prefer the drug of abuse to the natural reward of drug-free social interaction, thus worsening the progression of the disease by increasing their drug consumption, (b) because treatment adherence and, consequently, treatment success itself depends on the ability of the recovering addict to maintain social interaction and adhere to treatment, and (c) because socially interacting with an individual suffering from a substance use disorder may be harmful for others. Helping the addict reorient his/her behavior away from the drug of abuse toward social interaction would therefore be of considerable therapeutic benefit. This article reviews our work on the neural basis of such a reorientation from cocaine, as a prototypical drug of abuse, toward dyadic (i.e. one-to-one) social interaction and compares our findings with the effects of other potentially beneficial interventions, that is, environmental enrichment or paired housing, on the activation of the accumbens and other brain regions involved in behavior motivated by drugs of abuse or nondrug stimuli. Our experimental models are based on the conditioned place preference paradigm. As the therapeutically most promising finding, only four 15 min episodes of dyadic social interaction were able to inhibit both the subsequent reacquisition/re-expression of preference for cocaine and the neural activation associated with this behavior, that is, an increase in the expression of the immediate early gene Early Growth Response protein 1 (EGR1, Zif268) in the nucleus accumbens, basolateral and central amygdala, and the ventral tegmental area. The time spent in the cocaine-associated conditioning compartment was correlated with the density of EGR1-activated neurons not only in the medial core (AcbCm) and medial shell (AcbShm) of the nucleus

  16. Dyadic social interaction inhibits cocaine-conditioned place preference and the associated activation of the accumbens corridor

    PubMed Central

    Pinheiro, Barbara S.

    2015-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is a hallmark symptom of many psychiatric disorders. In substance use disorders, impaired social interaction is triply harmful (a) because addicts increasingly prefer the drug of abuse to the natural reward of drug-free social interaction, thus worsening the progression of the disease by increasing their drug consumption, (b) because treatment adherence and, consequently, treatment success itself depends on the ability of the recovering addict to maintain social interaction and adhere to treatment, and (c) because socially interacting with an individual suffering from a substance use disorder may be harmful for others. Helping the addict reorient his/her behavior away from the drug of abuse toward social interaction would therefore be of considerable therapeutic benefit. This article reviews our work on the neural basis of such a reorientation from cocaine, as a prototypical drug of abuse, toward dyadic (i.e. one-to-one) social interaction and compares our findings with the effects of other potentially beneficial interventions, that is, environmental enrichment or paired housing, on the activation of the accumbens and other brain regions involved in behavior motivated by drugs of abuse or nondrug stimuli. Our experimental models are based on the conditioned place preference paradigm. As the therapeutically most promising finding, only four 15 min episodes of dyadic social interaction were able to inhibit both the subsequent reacquisition/re-expression of preference for cocaine and the neural activation associated with this behavior, that is, an increase in the expression of the immediate early gene Early Growth Response protein 1 (EGR1, Zif268) in the nucleus accumbens, basolateral and central amygdala, and the ventral tegmental area. The time spent in the cocaine-associated conditioning compartment was correlated with the density of EGR1-activated neurons not only in the medial core (AcbCm) and medial shell (AcbShm) of the nucleus

  17. Targeting Protein O-GlcNAc Modifications in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-01

    transport system. Role of hexosamine biosynthesis in the induction of insulin resistance . J Biol Chem 266:4706-12. 17. Myatt, S. S., and E. W. Lam. 2008...Wells, M. D. Lane, and G. W. Hart. 2002. Elevated nucleocytoplasmic glycosylation by O-GlcNAc results in insulin resistance associated with defects...G., K. A. Robinson, B. A. Marshall, R. C. Hresko, and M. M. Mueckler. 2002. Enhanced O-GlcNAc protein modification is associated with insulin

  18. Metabolic glycoengineering through the mammalian GalNAc salvage pathway.

    PubMed

    Pouilly, Sabrina; Piller, Véronique; Piller, Friedrich

    2012-02-01

    GalNAc is the initial sugar of mucin-type O-glycans, and is a component of several tumor antigens. The aim of this work was to determine whether synthetic GalNAc analogs could be taken up from the medium and incorporated into complex cellular O-glycans. The cell line employed was CHO ldlD, which can only use GalNAc and Gal present in the medium for the synthesis of its glycans. All GalNAc analogs with modified N-acyl groups (N-formyl, N-propionyl, N-glycolyl, N-azidoacetyl, N-bromoacetyl, and N-chloroacetyl) were incorporated into cellular O-glycans, although to different extents. The GalNAc analogs linked to Ser or Thr could be extended by the β3-galactosyltransferase glycoprotein-N-acetylgalactosamine 3β-galactosyl transferase 1 in vitro and in vivo and by α6-sialyltransferase α-N-acetylgalactosaminide-α-2,6-sialyltransferase 1. At the surface of CHO ldlD cells, all analogs were incorporated into sialylated O-glycan structures like those present on wild-type CHO cells, indicating that the GalNAc analogs do not change the overall structure of core-1 O-glycans. In addition, this study shows that the unnatural synthetic GalNAc analogs can be incorporated into human tumor cells, and that a tumor antigen modified by an analog can be readily detected by a specific antiserum. GalNAc analogs are therefore potential targets for tumor immunotherapy.

  19. Activation of mGluR5 induces spike afterdepolarization and enhanced excitability in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens by modulating persistent Na+ currents

    PubMed Central

    D’Ascenzo, Marcello; Podda, Maria Vittoria; Fellin, Tommaso; Azzena, Gian Battista; Haydon, Philip; Grassi, Claudio

    2009-01-01

    The involvement of metabotropic glutamate receptors type 5 (mGluR5) in drug-induced behaviours is well-established but limited information is available on their functional roles in addiction-relevant brain areas like the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This study demonstrates that pharmacological and synaptic activation of mGluR5 increases the spike discharge of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAc. This effect was associated with the appearance of a slow afterdepolarization (ADP) which, in voltage-clamp experiments, was recorded as a slowly inactivating inward current. Pharmacological studies showed that ADP was elicited by mGluR5 stimulation via G-protein-dependent activation of phospholipase C and elevation of intracellular Ca2+ levels. Both ADP and spike aftercurrents were significantly inhibited by the Na+ channel-blocker, tetrodotoxin (TTX). Moreover, the selective blockade of persistent Na+ currents (INaP), achieved by NAc slice pre-incubation with 20 nm TTX or 10 μm riluzole, significantly reduced the ADP amplitude, indicating that this type of Na+ current is responsible for the mGluR5-dependent ADP. mGluR5 activation also produced significant increases in INaP, and the pharmacological blockade of this current prevented the mGluR5-induced enhancement of spike discharge. Collectively, these data suggest that mGluR5 activation upregulates INaP in MSNs of the NAc, thereby inducing an ADP that results in enhanced MSN excitability. Activation of mGluR5 will significantly alter spike firing in MSNs in vivo, and this effect could be an important mechanism by which these receptors mediate certain aspects of drug-induced behaviours. PMID:19433572

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization and intrinsic excitability of NAc medium spiny neurons in adult but not adolescent rats susceptible to diet-induced obesity

    PubMed Central

    Oginsky, Max F.; Maust, Joel D.; Corthell, John T.; Ferrario, Carrie R.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Basal and diet-induced differences in mesolimbic function, particularly within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), may contribute to human obesity; these differences may be more pronounced in susceptible populations. Objectives We determined whether there are differences in cocaine-induced behavioral plasticity in rats that are susceptible vs. resistant to diet-induced obesity, and basal differences in the striatal neuron function in adult and adolescent obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats. Methods Susceptible and resistant outbred rats were identified based on “junk-food” diet-induced obesity. Then, the induction and expression of cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization, which is mediated by enhanced striatal function and is associated with increased motivation for rewards and reward-paired cues, were evaluated. Basal differences in mesolimbic function were examined in selectively bred obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats (P70-80 and P30-40) using both cocaine induced locomotion and whole-cell patch clamping approaches in NAc core medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Results In rats that became obese after eating “junk-food”, the expression of locomotor sensitization was enhanced compared to non-obese rats, with similarly strong responses to 7.5 and 15 mg/kg cocaine. Without diet manipulation, obesity-prone rats were hyper-responsive to the acute locomotor-activating effects of cocaine, and the intrinsic excitability of NAc core MSNs was enhanced by ~60% at positive and negative potentials. These differences were present in adult, but not adolescent rats. Post-synaptic glutamatergic transmission was similar between groups. Conclusions Mesolimbic systems, particularly NAc MSNs, are hyper-responsive in obesity-prone individuals; and interactions between predisposition and experience influence neurobehavioral plasticity in ways that may promote weight gain and hamper weight loss in susceptible rats. PMID:26612617

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Chronic Methamphetamine Self-Administration Dysregulates Oxytocin Plasma Levels and Oxytocin Receptor Fibre Density in the Nucleus Accumbens Core and Subthalamic Nucleus of the Rat.

    PubMed

    Baracz, S J; Parker, L M; Suraev, A S; Everett, N A; Goodchild, A K; McGregor, I S; Cornish, J L

    2016-04-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin attenuates reward and abuse for the psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH). Recent findings have implicated the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and subthalamic nucleus (STh) in oxytocin modulation of acute METH reward and relapse to METH-seeking behaviour. Surprisingly, the oxytocin receptor (OTR) is only modestly involved in both regions in oxytocin attenuation of METH-primed reinstatement. Coupled with the limited investigation of the role of the OTR in psychostimulant-induced behaviours, we primarily investigated whether there are cellular changes to the OTR in the NAc core and STh, as well as changes to oxytocin plasma levels, after chronic METH i.v. self-administration (IVSA) and after extinction of drug-taking. An additional aim was to examine whether changes to central corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and plasma corticosterone levels were also apparent because of the interaction of oxytocin with stress-regulatory mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to lever press for i.v. METH (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule or received yoked saline infusions during 2-h sessions for 20 days. An additional cohort of rats underwent behavioural extinction for 15 days after METH IVSA. Subsequent to the last day of IVSA or extinction, blood plasma was collected for enzyme immunoassay, and immunofluorescence was conducted on NAc core and STh coronal sections. Rats that self-administered METH had higher oxytocin plasma levels, and decreased OTR-immunoreactive (-IR) fibres in the NAc core than yoked controls. In animals that self-administered METH and underwent extinction, oxytocin plasma levels remained elevated, OTR-IR fibre density increased in the STh, and a trend towards normalisation of OTR-IR fibre density was evident in the NAc core. CRF-IR fibre density in both brain regions and corticosterone plasma levels did not change across treatment groups. These findings demonstrate that oxytocin systems, both centrally

  5. Biofuel Potential of Plants Transformed Genetically with NAC Family Genes

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sadhana; Grover, Atul; Nasim, M.

    2016-01-01

    NAC genes contribute to enhance survivability of plants under conditions of environmental stress and in secondary growth of the plants, thereby building biomass. Thus, genetic transformation of plants using NAC genes provides a possibility to tailor biofuel plants. Over-expression studies have indicated that NAC family genes can provide tolerance to various biotic and abiotic stresses, either by physiological or biochemical changes at the cellular level, or by affecting visible morphological and anatomical changes, for example, by development of lateral roots in a number of plants. Over-expression of these genes also work as triggers for development of secondary cell walls. In our laboratory, we have observed a NAC gene from Lepidium latifolium contributing to both enhanced biomass as well as cold stress tolerance of model plants tobacco. Thus, we have reviewed all the developments of genetic engineering using NAC genes which could enhance the traits required for biofuel plants, either by enhancing the stress tolerance or by enhancing the biomass of the plants. PMID:26858739

  6. Getting a Knack for NAC: N-Acetyl-Cysteine.

    PubMed

    Sansone, Randy A; Sansone, Lori A

    2011-01-01

    N-acetyl-cysteine, N-acetylcysteine, N-acetyl cysteine, and N-acetyl-L-cysteine are all designations for the same compound, which is abbreviated as NAC. NAC is a precursor to the amino acid cysteine, which ultimately plays two key metabolic roles. Through its metabolic contribution to glutathione production, cysteine participates in the general antioxidant activities of the body. Through its role as a modulator of the glutamatergic system, cysteine influences the reward-reinforcement pathway. Because of these functions, NAC may exert a therapeutic effect on psychiatric disorders allegedly related to oxidative stress (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) as well as psychiatric syndromes characterized by impulsive/compulsive symptoms (e.g., trichotillomania, pathological nail biting, gambling, substance misuse). While the dosages, pharmacological strategies (monotherapy versus augmentation), and long-term risks are not fully evident, NAC appears to be a promising, relatively low-risk intervention. If so, NAC might be an ideal treatment strategy for a variety of psychiatric conditions in both psychiatric and primary care settings.

  7. X-inactivation normalizes O-GlcNAc transferase levels and generates an O-GlcNAc-depleted Barr body

    PubMed Central

    Olivier-Van Stichelen, Stéphanie; Hanover, John A.

    2014-01-01

    O-GlcNAc Transferase (OGT) catalyzes protein O-GlcNAcylation, an abundant and dynamic nuclear and cytosolic modification linked to epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The steady-state levels of O-GlcNAc are influenced by extracellular glucose concentrations suggesting that O-GlcNAcylation may serve as a metabolic sensor. Intriguingly, human OGT is located on the X-chromosome (Xq13) close to the X-inactivation center (XIC), suggesting that OGT levels may be controlled by dosage compensation. In human female cells, dosage compensation is accomplished by X-inactivation. Long noncoding RNAs and polycomb repression act together to produce an inactive X chromosome, or Barr body. Given that OGT has an established role in polycomb repression, it is uniquely poised to auto-regulate its own expression through X-inactivation. In this study, we examined OGT expression in male, female and triple-X female human fibroblasts, which differ in the number of inactive X chromosomes (Xi). We demonstrate that OGT is subjected to random X-inactivation in normal female and triple X cells to regulate OGT RNA levels. In addition, we used chromatin isolation by RNA purification (ChIRP) and immunolocalization to examine O-GlcNAc levels in the Xi/Barr body. Despite the established role of O-GlcNAc in polycomb repression, OGT and target proteins bearing O-GlcNAc are largely depleted from the highly condensed Barr body. Thus, while O-GlcNAc is abundantly present elsewhere in the nucleus, its absence from the Barr body suggests that the transcriptional quiescence of the Xi does not require OGT or O-GlcNAc. PMID:25136351

  8. Two recently duplicated maize NAC transcription factor paralogs are induced in response to Colletotrichum graminicola infection

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background NAC transcription factors belong to a large family of plant-specific transcription factors with more than 100 family members in monocot and dicot species. To date, the majority of the studied NAC proteins are involved in the response to abiotic stress, to biotic stress and in the regulation of developmental processes. Maize NAC transcription factors involved in the biotic stress response have not yet been identified. Results We have found that two NAC transcription factors, ZmNAC41 and ZmNAC100, are transcriptionally induced both during the initial biotrophic as well as the ensuing necrotrophic colonization of maize leaves by the hemibiotrophic ascomycete fungus C. graminicola. ZmNAC41 transcripts were also induced upon infection with C. graminicola mutants that are defective in host penetration, while the induction of ZmNAC100 did not occur in such interactions. While ZmNAC41 transcripts accumulated specifically in response to jasmonate (JA), ZmNAC100 transcripts were also induced by the salicylic acid analog 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid (INA). To assess the phylogenetic relation of ZmNAC41 and ZmNAC100, we studied the family of maize NAC transcription factors based on the recently annotated B73 genome information. We identified 116 maize NAC transcription factor genes that clustered into 12 clades. ZmNAC41 and ZmNAC100 both belong to clade G and appear to have arisen by a recent gene duplication event. Including four other defence-related NAC transcription factors of maize and functionally characterized Arabidopsis and rice NAC transcription factors, we observed an enrichment of NAC transcription factors involved in host defense regulation in clade G. In silico analyses identified putative binding elements for the defence-induced ERF, Myc2, TGA and WRKY transcription factors in the promoters of four out of the six defence-related maize NAC transcription factors, while one of the analysed maize NAC did not contain any of these potential binding sites

  9. Uncertainty Analysis of LROC NAC Derived Elevation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, K.; Yates, D. G.; Speyerer, E.; Robinson, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    One of the primary objectives of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) [1] is to gather stereo observations with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) to generate digital elevation models (DEMs). From an altitude of 50 km, the NAC acquires images with a pixel scale of 0.5 meters, and a dual NAC observation covers approximately 5 km cross-track by 25 km down-track. This low altitude was common from September 2009 to December 2011. Images acquired during the commissioning phase and those acquired from the fixed orbit (after 11 December 2011) have pixel scales that range from 0.35 meters at the south pole to 2 meters at the north pole. Alimetric observations obtained by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) provide measurements of ±0.1 m between the spacecraft and the surface [2]. However, uncertainties in the spacecraft positioning can result in offsets (±20m) between altimeter tracks over many orbits. The LROC team is currently developing a tool to automatically register alimetric observations to NAC DEMs [3]. Using a generalized pattern search (GPS) algorithm, the new automatic registration adjusts the spacecraft position and pointing information during times when NAC images, as well as LOLA measurements, of the same region are acquired to provide an absolute reference frame for the DEM. This information is then imported into SOCET SET to aide in creating controlled NAC DEMs. For every DEM, a figure of merit (FOM) map is generated using SOCET SET software. This is a valuable tool for determining the relative accuracy of a specific pixel in a DEM. Each pixel in a FOM map is given a value to determine its "quality" by determining if the specific pixel was shadowed, saturated, suspicious, interpolated/extrapolated, or successfully correlated. The overall quality of a NAC DEM is a function of both the absolute and relative accuracies. LOLA altimetry provides the most accurate absolute geodetic reference frame with which the NAC DEMs can be compared. Offsets

  10. Overexpression of the Eggplant (Solanum melongena) NAC Family Transcription Factor SmNAC Suppresses Resistance to Bacterial Wilt

    PubMed Central

    Na, Chen; Shuanghua, Wu; Jinglong, Fu; Bihao, Cao; Jianjun, Lei; Changming, Chen; Jin, Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial wilt (BW) is a serious disease that affects eggplant (Solanum melongena) production. Although resistance to this disease has been reported, the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this study, we identified a NAC family transcription factor (SmNAC) from eggplant and characterized its expression, its localization at the tissue and subcellular levels, and its role in BW resistance. To this end, transgenic eggplant lines were generated in which the expression of SmNAC was constitutively up regulated or suppressed using RNAi. The results indicated that overexpression of SmNAC decreases resistance to BW. Moreover, SmNAC overexpression resulted in the reduced accumulation of the plant immune signaling molecule salicylic acid (SA) and reduced expression of ICS1 (a gene that encode isochorismate synthase 1, which is involved in SA biosynthesis). We propose that reduced SA content results in increased bacterial wilt susceptibility in the transgenic lines. Our results provide important new insights into the regulatory mechanisms of bacterial wilt resistance in eggplant. PMID:27528282

  11. Overexpression of the Eggplant (Solanum melongena) NAC Family Transcription Factor SmNAC Suppresses Resistance to Bacterial Wilt.

    PubMed

    Na, Chen; Shuanghua, Wu; Jinglong, Fu; Bihao, Cao; Jianjun, Lei; Changming, Chen; Jin, Jiang

    2016-08-16

    Bacterial wilt (BW) is a serious disease that affects eggplant (Solanum melongena) production. Although resistance to this disease has been reported, the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this study, we identified a NAC family transcription factor (SmNAC) from eggplant and characterized its expression, its localization at the tissue and subcellular levels, and its role in BW resistance. To this end, transgenic eggplant lines were generated in which the expression of SmNAC was constitutively up regulated or suppressed using RNAi. The results indicated that overexpression of SmNAC decreases resistance to BW. Moreover, SmNAC overexpression resulted in the reduced accumulation of the plant immune signaling molecule salicylic acid (SA) and reduced expression of ICS1 (a gene that encode isochorismate synthase 1, which is involved in SA biosynthesis). We propose that reduced SA content results in increased bacterial wilt susceptibility in the transgenic lines. Our results provide important new insights into the regulatory mechanisms of bacterial wilt resistance in eggplant.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Relief learning refers to the association of a stimulus with the relief from an aversive event. The thus-learned relief stimulus then can induce, e.g., an attenuation of the startle response or approach behavior, indicating positive valence. Previous studies revealed that the nucleus accumbens is essential for the acquisition and retrieval of relief memory. Here, we ask whether the nucleus accumbens is also the brain site for consolidation of relief memory into a long-term form. In rats, we blocked local protein synthesis within the nucleus accumbens by local infusions of anisomycin at different time points during a relief conditioning experiment. Accumbal anisomycin injections immediately after the relief conditioning session, but not 4 h later, prevented the consolidation into long-term relief memory. The retention of already consolidated relief memory was not affected by anisomycin injections. This identifies a time window and site for relief memory consolidation. These findings should complement our understanding of the full range of effects of adverse experiences, including cases of their distortion in humans such as post-traumatic stress disorder and/or phobias.

  14. Targeting Protein O-GlcNAc Modifications In Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-30

    vivo (months 6-12, PI:Reginato): Preliminary studies indicate elevated O-GlcNAc in ERBB2 transformed cells, and suggest that lowering O-GlcNAc levels...proteins (with OGT RNAi or OGT inhibitor) inhibits oncogenic phenotypes in vivo (months 6-12, PI:Reginato): Preliminary studies indicate elevated O...agar) of ERBB2 expressing MCF-10A cells and breast cancer cell lines (SKBR3 and MDA-MB-453). (months 1-3) Our studies completed Breast cancer cell

  15. 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.

  16. Oxytocin receptors are expressed on dopamine and glutamate neurons in the mouse ventral tegmental area that project to nucleus accumbens and other mesolimbic targets.

    PubMed

    Peris, Joanna; MacFadyen, Kaley; Smith, Justin A; de Kloet, Annette D; Wang, Lei; Krause, Eric G

    2017-04-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) circuitry determines which behaviors are positively reinforcing and therefore should be encoded in the memory to become a part of the behavioral repertoire. Natural reinforcers, like food and sex, activate this pathway, thereby increasing the likelihood of further consummatory, social, and sexual behaviors. Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in mediating natural reward and OT-synthesizing neurons project to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc); however, direct neuroanatomical evidence of OT regulation of DA neurons within the VTA is sparse. To phenotype OT-receptor (OTR) expressing neurons originating within the VTA, we delivered Cre-inducible adeno-associated virus that drives the expression of fluorescent marker into the VTA of male mice that had Cre-recombinase driven by OTR gene expression. OTR-expressing VTA neurons project to NAc, prefrontal cortex, the extended amygdala, and other forebrain regions but less than 10% of these OTR-expressing neurons were identified as DA neurons (defined by tyrosine hydroxylase colocalization). Instead, almost 50% of OTR-expressing cells in the VTA were glutamate (GLU) neurons, as indicated by expression of mRNA for the vesicular GLU transporter (vGluT). About one-third of OTR-expressing VTA neurons did not colocalize with either DA or GLU phenotypic markers. Thus, OTR expression by VTA neurons implicates that OT regulation of reward circuitry is more complex than a direct action on DA neurotransmission. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1094-1108, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Choline transporter hemizygosity results in diminished basal extracellular dopamine levels in nucleus accumbens and blunts dopamine elevations following cocaine or nicotine.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yu; Dani, John A; Blakely, Randy D

    2013-10-15

    Dopamine (DA) signaling in the central nervous system mediates the addictive capacities of multiple commonly abused substances, including cocaine, amphetamine, heroin and nicotine. The firing of DA neurons residing in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and the release of DA by the projections of these neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), is under tight control by cholinergic signaling mediated by nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs). The capacity for cholinergic signaling is dictated by the availability and activity of the presynaptic, high-affinity, choline transporter (CHT, SLC5A7) that acquires choline in an activity-dependent matter to sustain ACh synthesis. Here, we present evidence that a constitutive loss of CHT expression, mediated by genetic elimination of one copy of the Slc5a7 gene in mice (CHT+/-), leads to a significant reduction in basal extracellular DA levels in the NAc, as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Moreover, CHT heterozygosity results in blunted DA elevations following systemic nicotine or cocaine administration. These findings reinforce a critical role of ACh signaling capacity in both tonic and drug-modulated DA signaling and argue that genetically imposed reductions in CHT that lead to diminished DA signaling may lead to poor responses to reinforcing stimuli, possibly contributing to disorders linked to perturbed cholinergic signaling including depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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

    PubMed Central

    Ishiwari, Keita; Madson, Lisa J.; Farrar, Andrew M.; Mingote, Susana M.; Valenta, John P.; DiGianvittorio, Michael D.; Frank, Lauren E.; Correa, Merce; Hockemeyer, Jörg; Müller, Christa; Salamone, John D.

    2009-01-01

    There is considerable evidence of interactions between adenosine A2A receptors and dopamine D2 receptors in striatal areas, and antagonists of the A2A receptor have been shown to reverse the motor effects of DA antagonists in animal models. The D2 antagonist haloperidol produces parkinsonism in humans, and also induces motor effects in rats, such as suppression of locomotion. The present experiments were conducted to study the ability of the adenosine A2A antagonist MSX-3 to reverse the locomotor effects of acute or subchronic administration of haloperidol in rats. Systemic (i.p.) injections of MSX-3 (2.5–10.0 mg/kg) were capable of attenuating the suppression of locomotion induced by either acute or repeated (i.e., 14 day) administration of 0.5 mg/kg haloperidol. Bilateral infusions of MSX-3 directly into the nucleus accumbens core (2.5 µg or 5.0 µg in 0.5 µl per side) produced a dose-related increase in locomotor activity in rats treated with 0.5 mg/kg haloperidol either acutely or repeatedly. There were no overall significant effects of MSX-3 infused directly into the dorsomedial nucleus accumbens shell or the ventrolateral neostriatum. These results indicate that antagonism of adenosine A2A receptors can attenuate the locomotor suppression produced by DA antagonism, and that this effect may be at least partially mediated by A2A receptors in the nucleus accumbens core. These studies suggest that adenosine and dopamine systems interact to modulate the locomotor and behavioral activation functions of nucleus accumbens core. PMID:17223207

  19. Reacquisition of cocaine conditioned place preference and its inhibition by previous social interaction preferentially affect D1-medium spiny neurons in the accumbens corridor

    PubMed Central

    Prast, Janine M.; Schardl, Aurelia; Schwarzer, Christoph; Dechant, Georg; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald

    2014-01-01

    We investigated if counterconditioning with dyadic (i.e., one-to-one) social interaction, a strong inhibitor of the subsequent reacquisition of cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP), differentially modulates the activity of the diverse brain regions oriented along a mediolateral corridor reaching from the interhemispheric sulcus to the anterior commissure, i.e., the nucleus of the vertical limb of the diagonal band, the medial septal nucleus, the major island of Calleja, the intermediate part of the lateral septal nucleus, and the medial accumbens shell and core. We also investigated the involvement of the lateral accumbens core and the dorsal caudate putamen. The anterior cingulate 1 (Cg1) region served as a negative control. Contrary to our expectations, we found that all regions of the accumbens corridor showed increased expression of the early growth response protein 1 (EGR1, Zif268) in rats 2 h after reacquisition of CPP for cocaine after a history of cocaine CPP acquisition and extinction. Previous counterconditioning with dyadic social interaction inhibited both the reacquisition of cocaine CPP and the activation of the whole accumbens corridor. EGR1 activation was predominantly found in dynorphin-labeled cells, i.e., presumably D1 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs), with D2-MSNs (immunolabeled with an anti-DRD2 antibody) being less affected. Cholinergic interneurons or GABAergic interneurons positive for parvalbumin, neuropeptide Y or calretinin were not involved in these CPP-related EGR1 changes. Glial cells did not show any EGR1 expression either. The present findings could be of relevance for the therapy of impaired social interaction in substance use disorders, depression, psychosis, and autism spectrum disorders. PMID:25309368

  20. Association of time-dependent changes in mu opioid receptor mRNA, but not BDNF, TrkB, or MeCP2 mRNA and protein expression in the rat nucleus accumbens with incubation of heroin craving

    PubMed Central

    Theberge, Florence R. M.; Pickens, Charles L.; Goldart, Evan; Fanous, Sanya; Hope, Bruce T.; Liu, Qing-Rong

    2013-01-01

    Rationale and objectives Responding to heroin cues progressively increases after cessation of heroin self-administration (incubation of heroin craving). We investigated whether this incubation is associated with time-dependent changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) signaling and mu opioid receptor (MOR) expression in nucleus accumbens (NAc), dorsal striatum (DS), and medial pre-frontal cortex (mPFC). We also investigated the effect of the preferential MOR antagonist naloxone on cue-induced heroin seeking during abstinence. Methods We trained rats to self-administer heroin or saline for 9–10 days and then dissected the NAc, DS, and mPFC at different abstinence days and measured mRNA and protein levels of BDNF, TrkB, and MeCP2, as well as MOR mRNA (Oprm1). In other groups, we assessed cue-induced heroin seeking in extinction tests after 1, 11, and 30 abstinence days, and naloxone’s (0–1.0 mg/kg) effect on extinction responding after 1 and 15 days. Results Cue-induced heroin seeking progressively increased or incubated during abstinence. This incubation was not associated with changes in BDNF, TrkB, or MeCP2 mRNA or protein levels in NAc, DS, or mPFC; additionally, no molecular changes were observed after extinction tests on day 11. In NAc, but not DS or mPFC, MOR mRNA decreased on abstinence day 1 and returned to basal levels over time. Naloxone significantly decreased cue-induced heroin seeking after 15 abstinence days but not 1 day. Conclusions Results suggest a role of MOR in incubation of heroin craving. As previous studies implicated NAc BDNF in incubation of cocaine craving, our data suggest that different mechanisms contribute to incubation of heroin versus cocaine craving. PMID:22790874

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-24

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

  2. Targeted Epigenetic Remodeling of the Cdk5 Gene in Nucleus Accumbens Regulates Cocaine- and Stress-Evoked Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Peter J.; Burek, Dominika D.; Lombroso, Sonia I.; Peña, Catherine J.; Neve, Rachael L.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have implicated epigenetic remodeling in brain reward regions following psychostimulant or stress exposure. It has only recently become possible to target a given type of epigenetic remodeling to a single gene of interest, and to probe the functional relevance of such regulation to neuropsychiatric disease. We sought to examine the role of histone modifications at the murine Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5) locus, given growing evidence of Cdk5 expression in nucleus accumbens (NAc) influencing reward-related behaviors. Viral-mediated delivery of engineered zinc finger proteins (ZFP) targeted histone H3 lysine 9/14 acetylation (H3K9/14ac), a transcriptionally active mark, or histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2), which is associated with transcriptional repression, specifically to the Cdk5 locus in NAc in vivo. We found that Cdk5-ZFP transcription factors are sufficient to bidirectionally regulate Cdk5 gene expression via enrichment of their respective histone modifications. We examined the behavioral consequences of this epigenetic remodeling and found that Cdk5-targeted H3K9/14ac increased cocaine-induced locomotor behavior, as well as resilience to social stress. Conversely, Cdk5-targeted H3K9me2 attenuated both cocaine-induced locomotor behavior and conditioned place preference, but had no effect on stress-induced social avoidance behavior. The current study provides evidence for the causal role of Cdk5 epigenetic remodeling in NAc in Cdk5 gene expression and in the control of reward and stress responses. Moreover, these data are especially compelling given that previous work demonstrated opposite behavioral phenotypes compared with those reported here upon Cdk5 overexpression or knockdown, demonstrating the importance of targeted epigenetic remodeling tools for studying more subtle molecular changes that contribute to neuropsychiatric disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Addiction and depression are highly heritable diseases, yet it has been

  3. Cell cycle-dependent alteration in NAC1 nuclear body dynamics and morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Pei-Hsun; Hung, Shen-Hsiu; Ren, Tina; Shih, Ie-Ming; Tseng, Yiider

    2011-02-01

    NAC1, a BTB/POZ family member, has been suggested to participate in maintaining the stemness of embryonic stem cells and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of human cancer. In ovarian cancer, NAC1 upregulation is associated with disease aggressiveness and with the development of chemoresistance. Like other BTB/POZ proteins, NAC1 forms discrete nuclear bodies in non-dividing cells. To investigate the biological role of NAC1 nuclear bodies, we characterized the expression dynamics of NAC1 nuclear bodies during different phases of the cell cycle. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching assays revealed that NAC1 was rapidly exchanged between the nucleoplasm and NAC1 nuclear bodies in interphase cells. The number of NAC1 bodies significantly increased and their size decreased in the S phase as compared to the G0/G1 and G2 phases. NAC1 nuclear bodies disappeared and NAC1 became diffuse during mitosis. NAC1 nuclear bodies reappeared immediately after completion of mitosis. These results indicate that a cell cycle-dependent regulatory mechanism controls NAC1 body formation in the nucleus and suggest that NAC1 body dynamics are associated with mitosis or cytokinesis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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

  5. Nucleus accumbens deep-brain stimulation efficacy in ACTH-pretreated rats: alterations in mitochondrial function relate to antidepressant-like effects

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Y; McGee, S; Czeczor, J K; Walker, A J; Kale, R P; Kouzani, A Z; Walder, K; Berk, M; Tye, S J

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has a critical role in the pathophysiology of mood disorders and treatment response. To investigate this, we established an animal model exhibiting a state of antidepressant treatment resistance in male Wistar rats using 21 days of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) administration (100 μg per day). First, the effect of ACTH treatment on the efficacy of imipramine (10 mg kg−1) was investigated alongside its effect on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) mitochondrial function. Second, we examined the mood-regulatory actions of chronic (7 day) high-frequency nucleus accumbens (NAc) deep-brain stimulation (DBS; 130 Hz, 100 μA, 90 μS) and concomitant PFC mitochondrial function. Antidepressant-like responses were assessed in the open field test (OFT) and forced swim test (FST) for both conditions. ACTH pretreatment prevented imipramine-mediated improvement in mobility during the FST (P<0.05). NAc DBS effectively improved FST mobility in ACTH-treated animals (P<0.05). No improvement in mobility was observed for sham control animals (P>0.05). Analyses of PFC mitochondrial function revealed that ACTH-treated animals had decreased capacity for adenosine triphosphate production compared with controls. In contrast, ACTH animals following NAc DBS demonstrated greater mitochondrial function relative to controls. Interestingly, a proportion (30%) of the ACTH-treated animals exhibited heightened locomotor activity in the OFT and exaggerated escape behaviors during the FST, together with general hyperactivity in their home-cage settings. More importantly, the induction of this mania-like phenotype was accompanied by overcompensative increased mitochondrial respiration. Manifestation of a DBS-induced mania-like phenotype in imipramine-resistant animals highlights the potential use of this model in elucidating mechanisms of mood dysregulation. PMID:27327257

  6. Nicotine restores morphine-induced memory deficit through the D1 and D2 dopamine receptor mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Azizbeigi, Ronak; Ahmadi, Shamseddin; Babapour, Vahab; Rezayof, Ameneh; Zarrindast, Mohammad Reza

    2011-08-01

    Involvement of the dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) with interaction between morphine and nicotine on inhibitory avoidance (IA) memory was investigated. A step-through type of inhibitory avoidance tasks was used to assess memory in male Wistar rats. The results showed that subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of morphine (7.5 mg/kg) after training decreased retrieval of IA memory in the animals when tested 24 h later. Pre-test administration of the same dose of morphine significantly reversed the deficiency in retrieval. The results also showed that pre-test administration of nicotine (0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg, s.c.) by itself mimicked the effect of pre-test morphine, and lower doses of nicotine (0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg) also improved the effect of a low dose of morphine (2.5 mg/kg) on retrieval of IA memory. Pre-test intra-NAc administration of the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390 (0.001 and 0.01 µg/rat), and the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist, sulpiride (0.5 and 1 µg/rat) caused no significant effects on IA memory by themselves, but both prevented reinstatement of the retrieval of IA memory by the effective dose of nicotine (0.4 mg/kg). It can be concluded that the dopaminergic mechanism(s) in the NAc is a crosslink for the effect of morphine and nicotine on reinstatement of retrieval of IA memory impaired by post-training administration of morphine.

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of short-term abstinence from escalating doses of D-amphetamine on drug and sucrose-evoked dopamine efflux in the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Vacca, Giada; Ahn, Soyon; Phillips, Anthony G

    2007-04-01

    Abstinence from high doses of psychostimulant drugs, in both humans and rodents, is linked to adverse psychological effects including anhedonia, a core symptom of major depression, manifested behaviorally as decreased responding for rewarding stimuli. The present study used brain microdialysis in freely moving rats to examine the effect of D-amphetamine (D-amph) withdrawal on changes in extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) evoked by D-amph or behavior related to sucrose consumption. D-amph was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) according to an escalating dose (ED) schedule (from 1 to 10 mg/kg, 3 doses/day). We first confirmed the development of tolerance by monitoring DA efflux in the NAc in response to 5 and 10 mg/kg doses of D-amph administered during the ED schedule of drug administration and again in response to the 5 mg/kg dose of D-amph 72 h following the last 10 mg/kg D-amph injection. In a separate study, DA efflux in the NAc was first shown to be increased significantly during both preparatory and consummatory phases of responding for a 4% sucrose solution. Withdrawal from the ED schedule of D-amph caused a selective attenuation of DA efflux only during the preparatory phase of the sucrose test. These results provided convincing evidence of neurochemical adaptation within the mesocorticolimbic DA pathway during and following the administration of an ED schedule of D-amph as well as suppressed neurochemical responses to a psychostimulant drug and cues associated with a natural reward after withdrawal from drug treatment. Accordingly, these findings support the hypothesis that downregulation of mesocorticolimbic DA function maintained during D-amph withdrawal may account for the selective disruption of motivated behavior reported in studies employing psychostimulant drug withdrawal as a model of depression in rodents.

  9. The Effects of Maternal Separation on Adult Methamphetamine Self-Administration, Extinction, Reinstatement, and MeCP2 Immunoreactivity in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Candace R.; Staudinger, Kelsey; Scheck, Lena; Olive, M. Foster

    2013-01-01

    The maternal separation (MS) paradigm is an animal model of early life stress. Animals subjected to MS during the first 2 weeks of life display altered behavioral and neuroendocrinological stress responses as adults. MS also produces altered responsiveness to and self-administration (SA) of various drugs of abuse including cocaine, ethanol, and amphetamine. However, no studies have yet examined the effects of MS on methamphetamine (METH) SA. This study was performed to examine the effects of MS on the acquisition of METH SA, extinction, and reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior in adulthood. Given the known influence of early life stress and drug exposure on epigenetic processes, we also investigated group differences in levels of the epigenetic marker methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core. Long–Evans pups and dams were separated on postnatal days (PND) 2–14 for either 180 (MS180) or 15 min (MS15). Male offspring were allowed to acquire METH SA (0.05 mg/kg/infusion) in 15 2-h daily sessions starting at PND67, followed by extinction training and cue-induced reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior. Rats were then assessed for MeCP2 levels in the NAc core by immunohistochemistry. The MS180 group self-administered significantly more METH and acquired SA earlier than the MS15 group. No group differences in extinction or cue-induced reinstatement were observed. MS15 rats had significantly elevated MeCP2-immunoreactive cells in the NAc core as compared to MS180 rats. Together, these data suggest that MS has lasting influences on METH SA as well as epigenetic processes in the brain reward circuitry. PMID:23785337

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The Stress-Induced Soybean NAC Transcription Factor GmNAC81 Plays a Positive Role in Developmentally Programmed Leaf Senescence.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Maiana Reis; Silva, Priscila Alves; Mendes, Giselle Camargo; Alves, Janaína Roberta; Caetano, Hanna Durso Neves; Machado, Joao Paulo Batista; Brustolini, Otavio José Bernardes; Carpinetti, Paola Avelar; Melo, Bruno Paes; Silva, José Cleydson Ferreira; Rosado, Gustavo Leão; Ferreira, Márcia Flores Silva; Dal-Bianco, Maximillir; Picoli, Edgard Augusto de Toledo; Aragao, Francisco José Lima; Ramos, Humberto Josué Oliveira; Fontes, Elizabeth Pacheco Batista

    2016-05-01

    The onset of leaf senescence is a highly regulated developmental change that is controlled by both genetics and the environment. Senescence is triggered by massive transcriptional reprogramming, but functional information about its underlying regulatory mechanisms is limited. In the current investigation, we performed a functional analysis of the soybean (Glycine max) osmotic stress- and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced NAC transcription factor GmNAC81 during natural leaf senescence using overexpression studies and reverse genetics. GmNAC81-overexpressing lines displayed accelerated flowering and leaf senescence but otherwise developed normally. The precocious leaf senescence of GmNAC81-overexpressing lines was associated with greater Chl loss, faster photosynthetic decay and higher expression of hydrolytic enzyme-encoding GmNAC81 target genes, including the vacuolar processing enzyme (VPE), an executioner of vacuole-triggered programmed cell death (PCD). Conversely, virus-induced gene silencing-mediated silencing of GmNAC81 delayed leaf senescence and was associated with reductions in Chl loss, lipid peroxidation and the expression of GmNAC81 direct targets. Promoter-reporter studies revealed that the expression pattern of GmNAC81 was associated with senescence in soybean leaves. Our data indicate that GmNAC81 is a positive regulator of age-dependent senescence and may integrate osmotic stress- and ER stress-induced PCD responses with natural leaf senescence through the GmNAC81/VPE regulatory circuit.

  12. O-GlcNAc processing enzymes: catalytic mechanisms, substrate specificity, and enzyme regulation.

    PubMed

    Vocadlo, David J

    2012-12-01

    The addition of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) O-linked to serine and threonine residues of proteins is known as O-GlcNAc. This post-translational modification is found within multicellular eukaryotes on hundreds of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) installs O-GlcNAc onto target proteins and O-GlcNAcase (OGA) removes O-GlcNAc. Their combined action makes O-GlcNAc reversible and serves to regulate cellular O-GlcNAc levels. Here I review select recent literature on the catalytic mechanism of these enzymes and studies on the molecular basis by which these enzymes identify and process their substrates. Molecular level understanding of how these enzymes work, and the basis for their specificity, should aid understanding how O-GlcNAc contributes to diverse cellular processes ranging from cellular signaling through to transcriptional regulation.

  13. 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.

  14. 76 FR 22162 - Third Meeting RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-20

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Third Meeting RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: 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:...

  15. 76 FR 54526 - Fourth Meeting RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-01

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Fourth Meeting RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: 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:...

  16. Isolation and expression of NAC genes during persimmon fruit postharvest astringency removal.

    PubMed

    Min, Ting; Wang, Miao-Miao; Wang, Hongxun; Liu, Xiaofen; Fang, Fang; Grierson, Donald; Yin, Xue-Ren; Chen, Kun-Song

    2015-01-15

    NAC genes have been characterized in numerous plants, where they are involved in responses to biotic and abiotic stress, including low oxygen stress. High concentration of CO2 is one of the most effective treatments to remove astringency of persimmon fruit owing to the action of the accumulated anoxia metabolite acetaldehyde. In model plants, NAC genes have been identified as being responsive to low oxygen. However, the possible relationship between NAC transcription factors and persimmon astringency removal remains unexplored. In the present research, treatment with a high concentration of CO2 (95%) effectively removed astringency of "Mopan" persimmon fruit by causing decreases in soluble tannin. Acetaldehyde content increased in response to CO2 treatment concomitantly with astringency removal. Using RNA-seq and Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE), six DkNAC genes were isolated and studied. Transcriptional analysis indicated DkNAC genes responded differentially to CO2 treatment; DkNAC1, DkNAC3, DkNAC5 and DkNAC6 were transiently up-regulated, DkNAC2 was abundantly expressed 3 days after treatment, while the DkNAC4 was suppressed during astringency removal. It is proposed that DkNAC1/3/5/6 could be important candidates as regulators of persimmon astringency removal and the roles of other member are also discussed.

  17. Molecular characterization and function analysis of SlNAC2 in Suaeda liaotungensis K.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xing; Hu, Yu-Xin; Li, Xiao-Lan; Yu, Xiao-Dong; Li, Qiu-Li

    2014-06-15

    The plant-specific NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC) transcription factors have diverse roles in plant development and stress responses. In this study, a stress-responsive NAC gene, SlNAC2, was isolated and characterized from high-throughput Solexa sequencing of Suaeda liaotungensis. SlNAC2 showed high similarity to other NACs, especially ATAF subgroup members. Transcripts of SlNAC2 appeared in many Suaeda tissues including leaves, stems and roots. In particular, SlNAC2 was strongly expressed in leaves. Expression analysis showed that SlNAC2 was highly induced during salt and low temperature stress in leaves. Subcellular localization showed that the SlNAC2 protein localized to the nucleus. A transactivation assay in yeast demonstrated that SlNAC2 activated the expression of a reporter gene. To test its function, SlNAC2 was transformed into Arabidopsis under the control of the CaMV-35S promoter. Functional analysis showed that its overexpression resulted in enhanced tolerance to salinity stress. Therefore, SlNAC2 is a multifunctional regulatory factor in plants, and might be a good candidate gene for genetic improvement to produce stress tolerant plants.

  18. 76 FR 3931 - Second Meeting RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-21

    ... Federal Aviation Administration Second Meeting RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: 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:...

  19. Soybean NAC transcription factors promote abiotic stress tolerance and lateral root formation in transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Hao, Yu-Jun; Wei, Wei; Song, Qing-Xin; Chen, Hao-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Qin; Wang, Fang; Zou, Hong-Feng; Lei, Gang; Tian, Ai-Guo; Zhang, Wan-Ke; Ma, Biao; Zhang, Jin-Song; Chen, Shou-Yi

    2011-10-01

    NAC transcription factors play important roles in plant growth, development and stress responses. Previously, we identified multiple NAC genes in soybean (Glycine max). Here, we identify the roles of two genes, GmNAC11 and GmNAC20, in stress responses and other processes. The two genes were differentially induced by multiple abiotic stresses and plant hormones, and their transcripts were abundant in roots and cotyledons. Both genes encoded proteins that localized to the nucleus and bound to the core DNA sequence CGT[G/A]. In the protoplast assay system, GmNAC11 acts as a transcriptional activator, whereas GmNAC20 functions as a mild repressor; however, the C-terminal end of GmANC20 has transcriptional activation activity. Over-expression of GmNAC20 enhances salt and freezing tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants; however, GmNAC11 over-expression only improves salt tolerance. Over-expression of GmNAC20 also promotes lateral root formation. GmNAC20 may regulate stress tolerance through activation of the DREB/CBF-COR pathway, and may control lateral root development by altering auxin signaling-related genes. GmNAC11 probably regulates DREB1A and other stress-related genes. The roles of the two GmNAC genes in stress tolerance were further analyzed in soybean transgenic hairy roots. These results provide a basis for genetic manipulation to improve the agronomic traits of important crops.

  20. Barley plants over-expressing the NAC transcription factor gene HvNAC005 show stunting and delay in development combined with early senescence

    PubMed Central

    Christiansen, Michael W.; Matthewman, Colette; Podzimska-Sroka, Dagmara; O’Shea, Charlotte; Lindemose, Søren; Møllegaard, Niels Erik; Holme, Inger B.; Hebelstrup, Kim; Skriver, Karen; Gregersen, Per L.

    2016-01-01

    The plant-specific NAC transcription factors have attracted particular attention because of their involvement in stress responses, senescence, and nutrient remobilization. The HvNAC005 gene of barley encodes a protein belonging to subgroup NAC-a6 of the NAC family. This study shows that HvNAC005 is associated with developmental senescence. It was significantly up-regulated following ABA treatment, supported by ABA-responsive elements in its promoter, but it was not up-regulated during dark-induced senescence. The C-termini of proteins closely related to HvNAC005 showed overall high divergence but also contained conserved short motifs. A serine- and leucine-containing central motif was essential for transcriptional activity of the HvNAC005 C-terminus in yeast. Over-expression of HvNAC005 in barley resulted in a strong phenotype with delayed development combined with precocious senescence. The over-expressing plants showed up-regulation of genes involved with secondary metabolism, hormone metabolism, stress, signalling, development, and transport. Up-regulation of senescence markers and hormone metabolism and signalling genes supports a role of HvNAC005 in the cross field of different hormone and signalling pathways. Binding of HvNAC005 to promoter sequences of putative target genes containing the T[G/A]CGT core motif was shown by direct protein–DNA interactions of HvNAC005 with promoters for two of the up-regulated genes. In conclusion, HvNAC005 was shown to be a strong positive regulator of senescence and so is an obvious target for the fine-tuning of gene expression in future attempts to improve nutrient remobilization related to the senescence process in barley. PMID:27436280

  1. RhNAC3, a stress-associated NAC transcription factor, has a role in dehydration tolerance through regulating osmotic stress-related genes in rose petals.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Xinqiang; Zhang, Changqing; Lü, Peitao; Jiang, Guimei; Liu, Xiaowei; Dai, Fanwei; Gao, Junping

    2014-01-01

    Petal cell expansion depends on cell wall metabolism, changes in cell turgor pressure and restructuring of the cytoskeleton, and recovery ability of petal cell expansion is defined as an indicator of dehydration tolerance in flowers. We previously reported that RhNAC2, a development-related NAC domain transcription factor, confers dehydration tolerance through regulating cell wall-related genes in rose petals. Here, we identify RhNAC3, a novel rose SNAC gene, and its expression in petals induced by dehydration, wounding, exogenous ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA). Expression studies in Arabidopsis protoplasts and yeast show that RhNAC3 has transactivation activity along its full length and in the carboxyl-terminal domain. Silencing RhNAC3 in rose petals by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) significantly decreased the cell expansion of rose petals under rehydration conditions. In total, 24 of 27 osmotic stress-related genes were down-regulated in RhNAC3-silenced rose petals, while only 4 of 22 cell expansion-related genes were down-regulated. Overexpression of RhNAC3 in Arabidopsis gave improved drought tolerance, with lower water loss of leaves in transgenic plants. Arabidopsis ATH1 microarray analysis showed that RhNAC3 regulated the expression of stress-responsive genes in overexpressing lines, and further analysis revealed that most of the RhNAC3-up-regulated genes were involved in the response to osmotic stress. Comparative analysis revealed that different transcription regulation existed between RhNAC3 and RhNAC2. Taken together, these data indicate that RhNAC3, as a positive regulator, confers dehydration tolerance of rose petals mainly through regulating osmotic adjustment-associated genes.

  2. O-GlcNAc inhibits interaction between Sp1 and Elf-1 transcription factors

    SciTech Connect

    Lim, Kihong; Chang, Hyo-Ihl

    2009-03-13

    The novel protein modification, O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), plays an important role in various aspects of cell regulation. Although most of nuclear transcription regulatory factors are modified by O-GlcNAc, O-GlcNAc effects on transcription remain largely undefined yet. In this study, we show that O-GlcNAc inhibits a physical interaction between Sp1 and Elf-1 transcription factors, and negatively regulates transcription of placenta and embryonic expression oncofetal protein gene (Pem). These findings suggest that O-GlcNAc inhibits Sp1-mediated gene transcription possibly by interrupting Sp1 interaction with its cooperative factor.

  3. NAC-1 cask dose rate calculations for LWR spent fuel

    SciTech Connect

    CARLSON, A.B.

    1999-02-24

    A Nuclear Assurance Corporation nuclear fuel transport cask, NAC-1, is being considered as a transport and storage option for spent nuclear fuel located in the B-Cell of the 324 Building. The loaded casks will be shipped to the 200 East Area Interim Storage Area for dry interim storage. Several calculations were performed to assess the photon and neutron dose rates. This report describes the analytical methods, models, and results of this investigation.

  4. Photoassociation spectroscopy of ultracold highly excited NaCs molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayaseelan, Maitreyi; Haruza, Marek; Bigelow, Nicholas

    2013-05-01

    We report on our spectroscopic investigations of translationally ultracold NaCs molecules. Photoassociation from laser cooled mixtures of ground state sodium and excited cesium atoms creates molecules in excited states detuned from the Na(3s) + Cs(6d) dissociation asymptote. This is an as yet unexplored asymptote for molecule formation. We infer properties of the scattering wave from the PA spectra, and investigate the populated ground states using photoionization and depletion spectroscopy.

  5. O-GlcNAc and the cardiovascular system.

    PubMed

    Dassanayaka, Sujith; Jones, Steven P

    2014-04-01

    The cardiovascular system is capable of robust changes in response to physiologic and pathologic stimuli through intricate signaling mechanisms. The area of metabolism has witnessed a veritable renaissance in the cardiovascular system. In particular, the post-translational β-O-linkage of N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to cellular proteins represents one such signaling pathway that has been implicated in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. This highly dynamic protein modification may induce functional changes in proteins and regulate key cellular processes including translation, transcription, and cell death. In addition, its potential interplay with phosphorylation provides an additional layer of complexity to post-translational regulation. The hexosamine biosynthetic pathway generally requires glucose to form the nucleotide sugar, UDP-GlcNAc. Accordingly, O-GlcNAcylation may be altered in response to nutrient availability and cellular stress. Recent literature supports O-GlcNAcylation as an autoprotective response in models of acute stress (hypoxia, ischemia, oxidative stress). Models of sustained stress, such as pressure overload hypertrophy, and infarct-induced heart failure, may also require protein O-GlcNAcylation as a partial compensatory mechanism. Yet, in models of Type II diabetes, O-GlcNAcylation has been implicated in the subsequent development of vascular, and even cardiac, dysfunction. This review will address this apparent paradox and discuss the potential mechanisms of O-GlcNAc-mediated cardioprotection and cardiovascular dysfunction. This discussion will also address potential targets for pharmacologic interventions and the unique considerations related to such targets.

  6. O-GlcNAc profiling: from proteins to proteomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    O-linked β-D-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification (O-GlcNAcylation) onto serine and threonine residues of proteins is an important post-translational modification (PTM), which is involved in many crucial biological processes including transcription, translation, proteasomal degradation, and signal transduction. Aberrant protein O-GlcNAcylation is directly linked to the pathological progression of chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Identification, site mapping, and quantification of O-GlcNAc proteins are a prerequisite to decipher their functions. In this review, we mainly focus on technological developments regarding O-GlcNAc protein profiling. Specifically, on one hand, we show how these techniques are being used for the comprehensive characterization of certain targeted proteins in which biologists are most interested. On the other hand, we present several newly developed approaches for O-GlcNAcomic profiling as well as how they provide us with a systems perspective to crosstalk amongst different PTMs and complicated biological events. Promising technical trends are also highlighted to evoke more efforts by diverse laboratories, which would further expand our understanding of the physiological and pathological roles of protein O-GlcNAcylation in chronic diseases. PMID:24593906

  7. Shell Games.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Bill

    1982-01-01

    The author critiques the program design and educational aspects of the Shell Games, a program developed by Apple Computer, Inc., which can be used by the teacher to design objective tests for adaptation to specific assessment needs. (For related articles, see EC 142 959-962.) (Author)

  8. The rose (Rosa hybrida) NAC transcription factor 3 gene, RhNAC3, involved in ABA signaling pathway both in rose and Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Guimei; Jiang, Xinqiang; Lü, Peitao; Liu, Jitao; Gao, Junping; Zhang, Changqing

    2014-01-01

    Plant transcription factors involved in stress responses are generally classified by their involvement in either the abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent or the ABA-independent regulatory pathways. A stress-associated NAC gene from rose (Rosa hybrida), RhNAC3, was previously found to increase dehydration tolerance in both rose and Arabidopsis. However, the regulatory mechanism involved in RhNAC3 action is still not fully understood. In this study, we isolated and analyzed the upstream regulatory sequence of RhNAC3 and found many stress-related cis-elements to be present in the promoter, with five ABA-responsive element (ABRE) motifs being of particular interest. Characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana plants transformed with the putative RhNAC3 promoter sequence fused to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene revealed that RhNAC3 is expressed at high basal levels in leaf guard cells and in vascular tissues. Moreover, the ABRE motifs in the RhNAC3 promoter were observed to have a cumulative effect on the transcriptional activity of this gene both in the presence and absence of exogenous ABA. Overexpression of RhNAC3 in A. thaliana resulted in ABA hypersensitivity during seed germination and promoted leaf closure after ABA or drought treatments. Additionally, the expression of 11 ABA-responsive genes was induced to a greater degree by dehydration in the transgenic plants overexpressing RhNAC3 than control lines transformed with the vector alone. Further analysis revealed that all these genes contain NAC binding cis-elements in their promoter regions, and RhNAC3 was found to partially bind to these putative NAC recognition sites. We further found that of 219 A. thaliana genes previously shown by microarray analysis to be regulated by heterologous overexpression RhNAC3, 85 are responsive to ABA. In rose, the expression of genes downstream of the ABA-signaling pathways was also repressed in RhNAC3-silenced petals. Taken together, we propose that the rose RhNAC3 protein

  9. The 5-HT1A/1B-receptor agonist eltoprazine increases both catecholamine release in the prefrontal cortex and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens and decreases motivation for reward and "waiting" impulsivity, but increases "stopping" impulsivity.

    PubMed

    Korte, S Mechiel; Prins, Jolanda; Van den Bergh, Filip S; Oosting, Ronald S; Dupree, Rudy; Korte-Bouws, Gerdien A H; Westphal, Koen G C; Olivier, Berend; Denys, Damiaan A; Garland, Alexis; Güntürkün, Onur

    2017-01-05

    The 5-HT1A/1B-receptor agonist eltoprazine has a behavioral drug signature that resembles that of a variety of psychostimulant drugs, despite the differences in receptor binding profile. These psychostimulants are effective in treating impulsivity disorders, most likely because they increase norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) levels in the prefrontal cortex. Both amphetamine and methylphenidate, however, also increase dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which has a significant role in motivation, pleasure, and reward. How eltoprazine affects monoamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and the NAc is unknown. It is also unknown whether eltoprazine affects different forms of impulsivity and brain reward mechanisms. Therefore, in the present study, we investigate the effects of eltoprazine in rats in the following sequence: 1) the activity of the monoaminergic systems using in vivo microdialysis, 2) motivation for reward measured using the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) procedure, and finally, 3) "waiting" impulsivity in the delay-aversion task, and the "stopping" impulsivity in the stop-signal task. The microdialysis studies clearly showed that eltoprazine increased DA and NE release in both the mPFC and OFC, but only increased DA concentration in the NAc. In contrast, eltoprazine decreased 5-HT release in the mPFC and NAc (undetectable in the OFC). Remarkably, eltoprazine decreased impulsive choice, but increased impulsive action. Furthermore, brain stimulation was less rewarding following eltoprazine treatment. These results further support the long-standing hypothesis that "waiting" and "stopping" impulsivity are regulated by distinct neural circuits, because 5-HT1A/1B-receptor activation decreases impulsive choice, but increases impulsive action.

  10. Group I mGluR activation reverses cocaine-induced accumulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in nucleus accumbens synapses via a protein kinase C-dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    McCutcheon, James E; Loweth, Jessica A; Ford, Kerstin A; Marinelli, Michela; Wolf, Marina E; Tseng, Kuei Y

    2011-10-12

    Following prolonged withdrawal from extended access cocaine self-administration in adult rats, high conductance Ca2+ -ermeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) accumulate in nucleus accumbens (NAc) synapses and mediate the expression of "incubated" cue-induced cocaine craving. Using patch-clamp recordings from NAc slices prepared after extended access cocaine self-administration and >45 d of withdrawal, we found that group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) stimulation using 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG; 50 μm) rapidly eliminates the postsynaptic CP-AMPAR contribution to NAc synaptic transmission. This is accompanied by facilitation of Ca2+ -impermeable AMPAR (CI-AMPAR)-mediated transmission, suggesting that DHPG may promote an exchange between CP-AMPARs and CI-AMPARs. In saline controls, DHPG also reduced excitatory transmission but this occurred through a CB1 receptor-dependent presynaptic mechanism rather than an effect on postsynaptic AMPARs. Blockade of CB1 receptors had no significant effect on the alterations in AMPAR transmission produced by DHPG in the cocaine group. Interestingly, the effect of DHPG in the cocaine group was mediated by mGluR1 whereas its effect in the saline group was mediated by mGluR5. These results indicate that regulation of synaptic transmission in the NAc is profoundly altered after extended access cocaine self-administration and prolonged withdrawal. Furthermore, they suggest that activation of mGluR1 may represent a potential strategy for reducing cue-induced cocaine craving in abstinent cocaine addicts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-31

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

  12. Blockade of Cannabinoid CB1 receptor attenuates the acquisition of morphine-induced conditioned place preference along with a downregulation of ERK, CREB phosphorylation, and BDNF expression in the nucleus accumbens and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianbo; Wang, Na; Chen, Bo; Wang, Yi'nan; He, Jing; Cai, Xintong; Zhang, Hongbo; Wei, Shuguang; Li, Shengbin

    2016-09-06

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) is highly expressed in the mesocorticolimbic system and associated with drug craving and relapse. Clinical trials suggest that CB1R antagonists may represent new therapies for drug addiction. However, the downstream signaling of CB1R is not fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between CB1R and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and hippocampus in morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), which is used to assess the morphine-induced reward memory. The protein level of CB1R, ERK, CREB, and BDNF were detected by western blotting. Additionally, a CB1R antagonist, AM251, was used to study whether blockade of CB1R altered the CPP and above-mentioned molecules. We found an increase of CB1R expression in the NAc and hippocampus of the mice following morphine CPP, but not those after repeated morphine in home cage without context exposure (NO-CPP). Both morphine CPP and NO-CPP induced an upregulation of ERK, CREB phosphorylation and BDNF expression. Furthermore, pretreatment with AM251 before morphine attenuated the CPP acquisition and CB1R expression as well as the activation of ERK-CREB-BDNF cascade. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that (1) Repeated morphine with context exposures but not merely the pharmacological effects of morphine increased CB1R expression both in the NAc and hippocampus. (2) CB1R antagonist mediated blockade of ERK-CREB-BDNF signaling activation in the NAc and hippocampus may be an important mechanism underlying the attenuation of morphine CPP.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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

  14. Vibration of Shells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leissa, A. W.

    1973-01-01

    The vibrational characteristics and mechanical properties of shell structures are discussed. The subjects presented are: (1) fundamental equations of thin shell theory, (2) characteristics of thin circular cylindrical shells, (3) complicating effects in circular cylindrical shells, (4) noncircular cylindrical shell properties, (5) characteristics of spherical shells, and (6) solution of three-dimensional equations of motion for cylinders.

  15. An Arabidopsis NAC transcription factor NAC4 promotes pathogen-induced cell death under negative regulation by microRNA164.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myoung-Hoon; Jeon, Hwi Seong; Kim, Hye Gi; Park, Ohkmae K

    2017-04-01

    Hypersensitive response (HR) is a form of programmed cell death (PCD) and the primary immune response that prevents pathogen invasion in plants. Here, we show that a microRNAmiR164 and its target gene NAC4 (At5g07680), encoding a NAC transcription factor, play essential roles in the regulation of HR PCD in Arabidopsis thaliana. Cell death symptoms were noticeably enhanced in NAC4-overexpressing (35S:NAC4) and mir164 mutant plants in response to avirulent bacterial pathogens. NAC4 expression was induced by pathogen infection and negatively regulated by miR164 expression. NAC4-binding DNA sequences were determined by in vitro binding site selection using random oligonucleotide sequences. Microarray, chromatin immunoprecipitation and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses, followed by cell death assays in protoplasts, led to the identification of NAC4 target genes LURP1, WRKY40 and WRKY54, which act as negative regulators of cell death. Our results suggest that NAC4 promotes hypersensitive cell death by suppressing its target genes and this immune process is fine-tuned by the negative action of miR164.

  16. Production of O-GlcNAc Modified Recombinant Tau in E. coli and Detection of Ser400 O-GlcNAc Tau In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Yuzwa, Scott A; Vocadlo, David J

    2017-01-01

    Assembly of the microtubule-associated protein tau (tau) into paired helical filaments that ultimately give rise to neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) makes up one half of the two hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Tau has been shown to be modified with O-linked N-acetylglucosamine residues (O-GlcNAc), which is the modification of serine and threonine residues of nucleocytoplasmic proteins with N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) moieties. Increasing O-GlcNAc in mouse models of tauopathy has been shown to hinder the progression of symptoms in these mice and impair the aggregation of tau into NFTs. In order to study how O-GlcNAc on tau may contribute to the protective effects observed in tauopathy mouse models, it is beneficial to study O-GlcNAc modified tau in vitro. Here we describe a method for producing, purifying and enriching recombinant tau that is O-GlcNAc modified. These methods have enabled the identification of O-GlcNAc modification sites on tau including Ser400. We further describe the detection of Ser400 O-GlcNAc on tau from brain lysates.

  17. Overexpression of horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum Lam.Verdc.) NAC transcriptional factor (MuNAC4) in groundnut confers enhanced drought tolerance.

    PubMed

    Pandurangaiah, Merum; Lokanadha Rao, G; Sudhakarbabu, O; Nareshkumar, A; Kiranmai, K; Lokesh, U; Thapa, Ganesh; Sudhakar, Chinta

    2014-08-01

    The NAC family being the largest plant-specific transcription factors functions in diverse and vital physiological processes during development. NAC proteins are known to be crucial in imparting tolerance to plants against abiotic stresses, such as drought and salinity, but the functions of most of them are still elusive. In this study, we report for the first time expression of the MuNAC4, a member of NAC transcription factor from horsegram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) conferring drought tolerance. The groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) transgenics were generated using recombinant MuNAC4 binary vector transformation approach. Molecular analysis of these transgenic lines confirmed the stable gene integration and expression of the MuNAC4 gene. Twelve lines of T5 generation exhibited significantly enhanced tolerance to drought stress with proliferated lateral root growth as compared to wild types. Transgenics exposed to long-term desiccation stress assays showed increased lateral roots and greenish growth. The physiological parameters analysis also suggests that overexpression of MuNAC4 plays a significant role in improving the water stress tolerance of transgenic groundnut, reducing the damage to membrane structures and enhancing osmotic adjustment and antioxidative enzyme regulation under stress. This study validates MuNAC4 as an important candidate gene for future phytoengineering approaches for drought tolerance in crop plants.

  18. Building Atoms Shell by Shell.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sussman, Beverly

    1993-01-01

    Describes an atom-building activity where students construct three-dimensional models of atoms using a styrofoam ball as the nucleus and pom-poms, gum drops, minimarshmallows, or other small items of two different colors to represent protons and neutrons attached. Rings of various sizes with pom-poms attached represent electron shells and…

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

    PubMed

    Silva, Elizabeth; Hernández, Luis

    2007-06-01

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

  20. Methamphetamine causes differential alterations in gene expression and patterns of histone acetylation/hypoacetylation in the rat nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Martin, Tracey A; Jayanthi, Subramaniam; McCoy, Michael T; Brannock, Christie; Ladenheim, Bruce; Garrett, Tiffany; Lehrmann, Elin; Becker, Kevin G; Cadet, Jean Lud

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) addiction is associated with several neuropsychiatric symptoms. Little is known about the effects of METH on gene expression and epigenetic modifications in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAC). Our study investigated the effects of a non-toxic METH injection (20 mg/kg) on gene expression, histone acetylation, and the expression of the histone acetyltransferase (HAT), ATF2, and of the histone deacetylases (HDACs), HDAC1 and HDAC2, in that structure. Microarray analyses done at 1, 8, 16 and 24 hrs after the METH injection identified METH-induced changes in the expression of genes previously implicated in the acute and longterm effects of psychostimulants, including immediate early genes and corticotropin-releasing factor (Crf). In contrast, the METH injection caused time-dependent decreases in the expression of other genes including Npas4 and cholecystokinin (Cck). Pathway analyses showed that genes with altered expression participated in behavioral performance, cell-to-cell signaling, and regulation of gene expression. PCR analyses confirmed the changes in the expression of c-fos, fosB, Crf, Cck, and Npas4 transcripts. To determine if the METH injection caused post-translational changes in histone markers, we used western blot analyses and identified METH-mediated decreases in histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (H3K9ac) and lysine 18 (H3K18ac) in nuclear sub-fractions. In contrast, the METH injection caused time-dependent increases in acetylated H4K5 and H4K8. The changes in histone acetylation were accompanied by decreased expression of HDAC1 but increased expression of HDAC2 protein levels. The histone acetyltransferase, ATF2, showed significant METH-induced increased in protein expression. These results suggest that METH-induced alterations in global gene expression seen in rat NAC might be related, in part, to METH-induced changes in histone acetylation secondary to changes in HAT and HDAC expression. The causal role that HATs and HDACs might

  1. Expression of Vitis amurensis NAC26 in Arabidopsis enhances drought tolerance by modulating jasmonic acid synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Linchuan; Su, Lingye; Sun, Xiaoming; Li, Xinbo; Sun, Mengxiang; Karungo, Sospeter Karanja; Fang, Shuang; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Shaohua; Xin, Haiping

    2016-01-01

    The growth and fruit quality of grapevines are widely affected by abnormal climatic conditions such as water deficits, but many of the precise mechanisms by which grapevines respond to drought stress are still largely unknown. Here, we report that VaNAC26, a member of the NAC transcription factor family, was upregulated dramatically during cold, drought and salinity treatments in Vitis amurensis, a cold and drought-hardy wild Vitis species. Heterologous overexpression of VaNAC26 enhanced drought and salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. Higher activities of antioxidant enzymes and lower concentrations of H2O2 and O2 − were found in VaNAC26-OE lines than in wild type plants under drought stress. These results indicated that scavenging by reactive oxygen species (ROS) was enhanced by VaNAC26 in transgenic lines. Microarray-based transcriptome analysis revealed that genes related to jasmonic acid (JA) synthesis and signaling were upregulated in VaNAC26-OE lines under both normal and drought conditions. VaNAC26 showed a specific binding ability on the NAC recognition sequence (NACRS) motif, which broadly exists in the promoter regions of upregulated genes in transgenic lines. Endogenous JA content significantly increased in the VaNAC26-OE lines 2 and 3. Our data suggest that VaNAC26 responds to abiotic stresses and may enhance drought tolerance by transcriptional regulation of JA synthesis in Arabidopsis. PMID:27162276

  2. Global Analysis of O-GlcNAc Glycoproteins in Activated Human T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lund, Peder J.; Elias, Joshua E.

    2016-01-01

    T cell activation in response to Ag is largely regulated by protein posttranslational modifications. Although phosphorylation has been extensively characterized in T cells, much less is known about the glycosylation of serine/threonine residues by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). Given that O-GlcNAc appears to regulate cell signaling pathways and protein activity similarly to phosphorylation, we performed a comprehensive analysis of O-GlcNAc during T cell activation to address the functional importance of this modification and to identify the modified proteins. Activation of T cells through the TCR resulted in a global elevation of O-GlcNAc levels and in the absence of O-GlcNAc, IL-2 production and proliferation were compromised. T cell activation also led to changes in the relative expression of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) isoforms and accumulation of OGT at the immunological synapse of murine T cells. Using a glycoproteomics approach, we identified >200 O-GlcNAc proteins in human T cells. Many of the identified proteins had a functional relationship to RNA metabolism, and consistent with a connection between O-GlcNAc and RNA, inhibition of OGT impaired nascent RNA synthesis upon T cell activation. Overall, our studies provide a global analysis of O-GlcNAc dynamics during T cell activation and the first characterization, to our knowledge, of the O-GlcNAc glycoproteome in human T cells. PMID:27655845

  3. [Identification and analysis of the NAC transcription factor family in Triticum urartu].

    PubMed

    Jianhui, Ma; Doudou, Tong; Wenli, Zhang; Daijing, Zhang; Yun, Shao; Yun, Yang; Lina, Jiang

    2016-03-01

    NAC transcription factors are one of plant-specific gene families with diverse functions, and they regulate plant development, organ formation and stress responses. Currently, the researches about NAC transcription factors mainly focus on model plants, Arabidopsis and rice, whereas such studies are hardly reported in wheat and other plants. In this study, the full-length coding sequences (CDS) of NAC transcription factors from Triticum urartu (TuNAC) were identified through bioinformatic analysis. Their biological function, evolutionary relationship, gene duplication and chromosomal locations were further predicted and analyzed. The quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assay was used to verify the expression pattern of abiotic-related TuNAC transcription factors. A total of 87 TuNAC transcription factors with full-length CDS were identified, which were divided into seven subgroups through phylogenetic analysis. Thirty-nine TuNAC transcription factors were located on seven chromosomes, and five pairs of TuNAC transcription factors were duplicated. The expression of four TuNAC transcription factors was consistently increased under diverse abiotic stress by qRT-PCR assay. Our study thus provides basis for further functional investigations of TuNAC transcription factors.

  4. A NAC Transcription Factor Represses Putrescine Biosynthesis and Affects Drought Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hao; Fu, Bing; Sun, Peipei; Xiao, Chang; Liu, Ji-Hong

    2016-11-01

    Arginine decarboxylase (ADC)-mediated putrescine biosynthesis plays an important role in plant stress responses, but the transcriptional regulation of ADC in response to abiotic stress is not well understood. We isolated a NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC (NAC) domain-containing transcription factor, PtrNAC72, from trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) by yeast one-hybrid screening. PtrNAC72, localized to the nucleus, binds specifically to the promoter of PtADC and acts as a transcriptional repressor. PtrNAC72 expression was induced by cold, drought, and abscisic acid. ADC messenger RNA abundance and putrescine levels were decreased in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana nudicaulis) plants overexpressing PtrNAC72 but increased, compared with the wild type, in an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) transfer DNA insertion mutant, nac72 While transgenic tobacco lines overexpressing PtrNAC72 were more sensitive to drought, plants of the Arabidopsis nac72 mutant exhibited enhanced drought tolerance, consistent with the accumulation of reactive oxygen species in the tested genotypes. In addition, exogenous application of putrescine to the overexpression lines restored drought tolerance, while treatment with d-arginine, an ADC inhibitor, compromised the drought tolerance of nac72 Taken together, these results demonstrate that PtrNAC72 is a repressor of putrescine biosynthesis and may negatively regulate the drought stress response, at least in part, via the modulation of putrescine-associated reactive oxygen species homeostasis.

  5. Expression of Vitis amurensis NAC26 in Arabidopsis enhances drought tolerance by modulating jasmonic acid synthesis.

    PubMed

    Fang, Linchuan; Su, Lingye; Sun, Xiaoming; Li, Xinbo; Sun, Mengxiang; Karungo, Sospeter Karanja; Fang, Shuang; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Shaohua; Xin, Haiping

    2016-04-01

    The growth and fruit quality of grapevines are widely affected by abnormal climatic conditions such as water deficits, but many of the precise mechanisms by which grapevines respond to drought stress are still largely unknown. Here, we report that VaNAC26, a member of the NAC transcription factor family, was upregulated dramatically during cold, drought and salinity treatments in Vitis amurensis, a cold and drought-hardy wild Vitis species. Heterologous overexpression of VaNAC26 enhanced drought and salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. Higher activities of antioxidant enzymes and lower concentrations of H2O2 and O2 (-) were found in VaNAC26-OE lines than in wild type plants under drought stress. These results indicated that scavenging by reactive oxygen species (ROS) was enhanced by VaNAC26 in transgenic lines. Microarray-based transcriptome analysis revealed that genes related to jasmonic acid (JA) synthesis and signaling were upregulated in VaNAC26-OE lines under both normal and drought conditions. VaNAC26 showed a specific binding ability on the NAC recognition sequence (NACRS) motif, which broadly exists in the promoter regions of upregulated genes in transgenic lines. Endogenous JA content significantly increased in the VaNAC26-OE lines 2 and 3. Our data suggest that VaNAC26 responds to abiotic stresses and may enhance drought tolerance by transcriptional regulation of JA synthesis in Arabidopsis.

  6. Dynamic behaviors of vimentin induced by interaction with GlcNAc molecules.

    PubMed

    Komura, Kenta; Ise, Hirohiko; Akaike, Toshihiro

    2012-12-01

    The cytoskeleton protein vimentin is dramatically altered following pathological events such as fibrosis and tumorigenesis. Vimentin binds to multivalent N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) molecules at the cell surface and interacts with O-linked β-GlcNAc proteins. Moreover, dying cells can be engulfed by neighboring cells through surface interactions between vimentin and many O-GlcNAc proteins in cell debris. Here, we show that vimentin was altered by its interaction with GlcNAc-bearing molecules such as GlcNAc-bearing polymers. The interaction with GlcNAc-bearing polymers promoted the cell surface recruitment of vimentin followed by the phosphorylation of vimentin serine 71 and the increase in tetrameric vimentin disassembled from vimentin filaments in HeLa cells. Moreover, it was found that GlcNAc-bearing polymers and O-GlcNAc proteins from dying cells promoted vimentin expression and cell migration in the Madin-Darby canine kidney and Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 cells. These results suggest that interactions between surface vimentin and GlcNAc molecules, including the O-GlcNAc proteins from dying cells, may play a pivotal role in vimentin expression and the migration of cancer cells. We propose new mechanisms of vimentin expression in cancer cells.

  7. NAC Transcription Factors in Senescence: From Molecular Structure to Function in Crops

    PubMed Central

    Podzimska-Sroka, Dagmara; O’Shea, Charlotte; Gregersen, Per L.; Skriver, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Within the last decade, NAC transcription factors have been shown to play essential roles in senescence, which is the focus of this review. Transcriptome analyses associate approximately one third of Arabidopsis NAC genes and many crop NAC genes with senescence, thereby implicating NAC genes as important regulators of the senescence process. The consensus DNA binding site of the NAC domain is used to predict NAC target genes, and protein interaction sites can be predicted for the intrinsically disordered transcription regulatory domains of NAC proteins. The molecular characteristics of these domains determine the interactions in gene regulatory networks. Emerging local NAC-centered gene regulatory networks reveal complex molecular mechanisms of stress- and hormone-regulated senescence and basic physiological steps of the senescence process. For example, through molecular interactions involving the hormone abscisic acid, ArabidopsisNAP promotes chlorophyll degradation, a hallmark of senescence. Furthermore, studies of the functional rice ortholog, OsNAP, suggest that NAC genes can be targeted to obtain specific changes in lifespan control and nutrient remobilization in crop plants. This is also exemplified by the wheat NAM1 genes which promote senescence and increase grain zinc, iron, and protein content. Thus, NAC genes are promising targets for fine-tuning senescence for increased yield and quality. PMID:27135336

  8. Shell worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Kenneth I.; Kennedy, Robert G., III; Fields, David E.

    2013-02-01

    The traditional concept of terraforming assumes ready availability of candidate planets with acceptable qualities: orbiting a star in its "Goldilocks zone", liquid water, enough mass, years longer than days, magnetic field, etc. But even stipulating affordable interstellar travel, we still might never find a good candidate elsewhere. Whatever we found likely would require centuries of heavy terraforming, just as Mars or Venus would here. Our increasing appreciation of the ubiquity of life suggests that any terra nova would already possess it. We would then face the dilemma of introducing alien life forms (us, our microbes) into another living world. Instead, we propose a novel method to create habitable environments for humanity by enclosing airless, sterile, otherwise useless planets, moons, and even large asteroids within engineered shells, which avoids the conundrum. These shells are subject to two opposing internal stresses: compression due to the primary's gravity, and tension from atmospheric pressure contained inside. By careful design, these two cancel each other resulting in zero net shell stress. Beneath the shell an Earth-like environment could be created similar in almost all respects to that of Home, except for gravity, regardless of the distance to the sun or other star. Englobing a small planet, moon, or even a dwarf planet like Ceres, would require astronomical amounts of material (quadrillions of tons) and energy, plus a great deal of time. It would be a quantum leap in difficulty over building Dyson Dots or industrializing our solar system, perhaps comparable to a mission across interstellar space with a living crew within their lifetime. But when accomplished, these constructs would be complete (albeit small) worlds, not merely large habitats. They could be stable across historic timescales, possibly geologic. Each would contain a full, self-sustaining ecology, which might evolve in curious directions over time. This has interesting implications

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Novel poly-GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc (LacdiNAc) and fucosylated poly-LacdiNAc N-glycans from mammalian cells expressing beta1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase and alpha1,3-fucosyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Kawar, Ziad S; Haslam, Stuart M; Morris, Howard R; Dell, Anne; Cummings, Richard D

    2005-04-01

    Glycans containing the GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc (LacdiNAc or LDN) motif are expressed by many invertebrates, but this motif also occurs in vertebrates and is found on several mammalian glycoprotein hormones. This motif contrasts with the more commonly occurring Galbeta1-4GlcNAc (LacNAc or LN) motif. To better understand LDN biosynthesis and regulation, we stably expressed the cDNA encoding the Caenorhabditis elegans beta1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (GalNAcT), which generates LDN in vitro, in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) Lec8 cells, to establish L8-GalNAcT CHO cells. The glycan structures from these cells were determined by mass spectrometry and linkage analysis. The L8-GalNAcT cell line produces complex-type N-glycans quantitatively bearing LDN structures on their antennae. Unexpectedly, most of these complex-type N-glycans contain novel "poly-LDN" structures consisting of repeating LDN motifs (-3GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-)n. These novel structures are in contrast to the well known poly-LN structures consisting of repeating LN motifs (-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-)n. We also stably expressed human alpha1,3-fucosyltransferase IX in the L8-GalNAcT cells to establish a new cell line, L8-GalNAcT-FucT. These cells produce complex-type N-glycans with alpha1,3-fucosylated LDN (LDNF) GalNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-R as well as novel "poly-LDNF" structures (-3GalNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha 1-3)GlcNAcbeta1-)n. The ability of these cell lines to generate glycoprotein hormones with LDN-containing N-glycans was studied by expressing a recombinant form of the common alpha-subunit in L8-GalNAcT cells. The alpha-subunit N-glycans carried LDN structures, which were further modified by co-expression of the human GalNAc 4-sulfotransferase I, which generates SO4-4GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc-R. Thus, the generation of these stable mammalian cells will facilitate future studies on the biological activities and properties of LDN-related structures in glycoproteins.

  14. O-GlcNAc Signaling in the Cardiovascular System

    PubMed Central

    Ngoh, Gladys A.; Facundo, Heberty T.; Zafir, Ayesha; Jones, Steven P.

    2010-01-01

    Cardiovascular function is regulated at multiple levels. Some of the most important aspects of such regulation involve alterations in an ever-growing list of post-translational modifications. One such modification orchestrates input from numerous metabolic cues to modify proteins and alter their localization and/or function. Known as the beta-O-linkage of N-acetylglucosamine (i.e. O-GlcNAc) to cellular proteins, this unique monosaccharide is involved in a diverse array of physiologic and pathologic functions. This Review will introduce readers to the general concepts related to O-GlcNAc, the regulation of this modification, and its role in primary pathophysiology. Much of the existing literature regarding the role of O-GlcNAcylation in disease addresses the protracted elevations in O-GlcNAcylation observed during diabetes. In this Review, we will focus on the emerging evidence of its involvement in the cardiovascular system. In particular, we will highlight evidence of protein O-GlcNAcylation as an autoprotective alarm or stress response. We will discuss recent literature supporting the idea that promoting O-GlcNAcylation improves cell survival during acute stress (e.g. hypoxia, ischemia, oxidative stress), whereas limiting O-GlcNAcylation exacerbates cell damage in similar models. In addition to addressing the potential mechanisms of O-GlcNAc-mediated cardioprotection, we will discuss technical issues related to studying protein O-GlcNAcylation in biological systems. The reader should gain an understanding of what protein O-GlcNAcylation is, and, that its roles in the acute and chronic disease settings appear distinct. PMID:20651294

  15. O-GlcNAc signaling in the cardiovascular system.

    PubMed

    Ngoh, Gladys A; Facundo, Heberty T; Zafir, Ayesha; Jones, Steven P

    2010-07-23

    Cardiovascular function is regulated at multiple levels. Some of the most important aspects of such regulation involve alterations in an ever-growing list of posttranslational modifications. One such modification orchestrates input from numerous metabolic cues to modify proteins and alter their localization and/or function. Known as the beta-O-linkage of N-acetylglucosamine (ie, O-GlcNAc) to cellular proteins, this unique monosaccharide is involved in a diverse array of physiological and pathological functions. This review introduces readers to the general concepts related to O-GlcNAc, the regulation of this modification, and its role in primary pathophysiology. Much of the existing literature regarding the role of O-GlcNAcylation in disease addresses the protracted elevations in O-GlcNAcylation observed during diabetes. In this review, we focus on the emerging evidence of its involvement in the cardiovascular system. In particular, we highlight evidence of protein O-GlcNAcylation as an autoprotective alarm or stress response. We discuss recent literature supporting the idea that promoting O-GlcNAcylation improves cell survival during acute stress (eg, hypoxia, ischemia, oxidative stress), whereas limiting O-GlcNAcylation exacerbates cell damage in similar models. In addition to addressing the potential mechanisms of O-GlcNAc-mediated cardioprotection, we discuss technical issues related to studying protein O-GlcNAcylation in biological systems. The reader should gain an understanding of what protein O-GlcNAcylation is and that its roles in the acute and chronic disease settings appear distinct.

  16. 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.

  17. Identification of an NAC Transcription Factor Family by Deep Transcriptome Sequencing in Onion (Allium cepa L.)

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Siyuan; Dai, Qiuzhong; Liu, Touming

    2016-01-01

    Although onion has been used extensively in the past for cytogenetic st