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Sample records for rat ventral tegmental

  1. Glutamatergic neurons are present in the rat ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Yamaguchi, Tsuyoshi; Sheen, Whitney; Morales, Marisela

    2010-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is thought to play an important role in reward function. Two populations of neurons, containing either dopamine (DA) or γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), have been extensively characterized in this area. However, recent electrophysiological studies are consistent with the notion that neurons that utilize neurotransmitters other than DA or GABA are likely to be present in the VTA. Given the pronounced phenotypic diversity of neurons in this region, we have proposed that additional cell types, such as those that express the neurotransmitter glutamate may also be present in this area. Thus, by using in situ hybridization histochemistry we investigated whether transcripts encoded by genes for the two vesicular glutamate transporters, VGluT1 or VGluT2, were expressed in the VTA. We found that VGluT2 mRNA but not VGluT1 mRNA is expressed in the VTA. Neurons expressing VGluT2 mRNA were differentially distributed throughout the rostro-caudal and medio-lateral aspects of the VTA, with the highest concentration detected in rostro-medial areas. Phenotypic characterization with double in situ hybridization of these neurons indicated that they rarely co–expressed mRNAs for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, marker for DAergic neurons) or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD, marker for GABAergic neurons). Based on the results described here, we concluded that the VTA contains glutamatergic neurons that in their vast majority are clearly non-DAergic and non-GABAergic. PMID:17241272

  2. Ventral tegmental analgesia in two strains of rats: effects of amphetamine, naloxone and parachlorophenylalanine.

    PubMed

    Moreau, J L; Cohen, E; Lieblich, I

    1984-05-21

    Pain sensitivity and analgesia induced by the stimulation of the ventral tegmentum (VT) were studied in 72 male rats of two lines, LC2-Hi and LC2-Lo, genetically selected for high and low rates of lateral hypothalamic self-stimulation, respectively. LC2-Lo rats were more sensitive to acute peripheral pain and developed a stronger analgesia than their LC2-Hi counterparts. In order to assess the pharmacological substrate of ventral tegmental stimulation-induced analgesia (VT-SIA), the effects of amphetamine (AMP, 21 animals), naloxone (NX, 24 animals) and parachlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 27 animals) injections were studied. VT-SIA was found to be clearly decreased by PCPA, slightly decreased by AMP and not significantly affected by NX. Ventral tegmental self-stimulation ( VTSS ) was increased by PCPA treatment. The comparison of VTSS and VT-SIA did not reveal any correlation between both phenomena. These data suggest that VT-SIA may be mediated by serotonin while catecholamines may have a modulatory role in this analgesia and that VTSS and VT-SIA seem to be governed by different neuronal systems.

  3. Functional evidence for a direct excitatory projection from the lateral habenula to the ventral tegmental area in the rat.

    PubMed

    Brown, P Leon; Shepard, Paul D

    2016-09-01

    The lateral habenula, a phylogenetically conserved epithalamic structure, is activated by aversive stimuli and reward omission. Excitatory efferents from the lateral habenula predominately inhibit midbrain dopamine neuronal firing through a disynaptic, feedforward inhibitory mechanism involving the rostromedial tegmental nucleus. However, the lateral habenula also directly targets dopamine neurons within the ventral tegmental area, suggesting that opposing actions may result from increased lateral habenula activity. In the present study, we tested the effect of habenular efferent stimulation on dopamine and nondopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area of Sprague-Dawley rats using a parasagittal brain slice preparation. Single pulse stimulation of the fasciculus retroflexus excited 48% of dopamine neurons and 51% of nondopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area of rat pups. These proportions were not altered by excision of the rostromedial tegmental nucleus and were evident in both cortical- and striatal-projecting dopamine neurons. Glutamate receptor antagonists blocked this excitation, and fasciculus retroflexus stimulation elicited evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials with a nearly constant onset latency, indicative of a monosynaptic, glutamatergic connection. Comparison of responses in rat pups and young adults showed no significant difference in the proportion of neurons excited by fasciculus retroflexus stimulation. Our data indicate that the well-known, indirect inhibitory effect of lateral habenula activation on midbrain dopamine neurons is complemented by a significant, direct excitatory effect. This pathway may contribute to the role of midbrain dopamine neurons in processing aversive stimuli and salience.

  4. The Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area Mediates Alcohol-Seeking Behavior in Alcohol-Preferring Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Zheng-Ming; Getachew, Bruk; Toalston, Jamie E.; Oster, Scott M.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2011-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system is involved in the rewarding process of drugs of abuse and is activated during the anticipation of drug availability. However, the neurocircuitry that regulates ethanol (EtOH)-seeking has not been adequately investigated. The objectives of the present study were to determine 1) whether the posterior ventral tegmental area (p-VTA) mediates EtOH-seeking, 2) whether microinjections of EtOH into the p-VTA could stimulate EtOH-seeking, and (3) the involvement of p-VTA DA neurons in EtOH-seeking. Alcohol-preferring rats were trained to self-administer 15% EtOH and water. After 10 weeks, rats underwent extinction training, followed by 2 weeks in their home cages. During the home-cage period, rats were then bilaterally implanted with guide cannulae aimed at the p-VTA or anterior ventral tegmental area (a-VTA). EtOH-seeking was assessed by the Pavlovian spontaneous recovery model. Separate experiments examined the effects of: 1) microinjection of quinpirole into the p-VTA, 2) EtOH microinjected into the p-VTA, 3) coadministration of EtOH and quinpirole into the p-VTA, 4) microinjection of quinpirole into the a-VTA, and 5) microinjection of EtOH into the a-VTA. Quinpirole microinjected into the p-VTA reduced EtOH-seeking. Microinjections of EtOH into the p-VTA increased EtOH-seeking. Pretreatment with both quinpirole and EtOH into the p-VTA reduced EtOH-seeking. Microinjections of quinpirole or EtOH into the a-VTA did not alter EtOH-seeking. Overall, the results suggest that the p-VTA is a neuroanatomical substrate mediating alcohol-seeking behavior and that activation of local DA neurons is involved. PMID:21148248

  5. Efferent connections of the rostral linear nucleus of the ventral tegmental area in the rat.

    PubMed

    Del-Fava, F; Hasue, R H; Ferreira, J G P; Shammah-Lagnado, S J

    2007-03-30

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is crucially involved in brain reward, motivated behaviors, and drug addiction. This district is functionally heterogeneous, and studying the connections of its different parts may contribute to clarify the structural basis of intra-VTA functional specializations. Here, the efferents of the rostral linear nucleus (RLi), a midline VTA component, were traced in rats with the Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) technique. The results show that the RLi heavily innervates the olfactory tubercle (mainly the polymorph layer) and the ventrolateral part of the ventral pallidum, but largely avoids the accumbens. The RLi also sends substantial projections to the magnocellular preoptic nucleus, lateral hypothalamus, central division of the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus, lateral part of the lateral habenula and supraoculomotor region, and light projections to the prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala, and dorsal raphe nucleus. A similar set of projections was observed after injections in rostromedial VTA districts adjacent to RLi, but these districts also send major outputs to the lateral ventral striatum. Overall, the data suggest that the RLi is a distinct VTA component in that it projects primarily to pallidal regions of the olfactory tubercle and to their diencephalic targets, the central division of the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and the lateral part of the lateral habenula. Because the rat RLi reportedly contains a lower density of dopaminergic neurons as compared with most of the VTA, its unusual projections may reflect a non-dopaminergic, putative GABAergic, phenotype, and this distinctive cell population seemingly extends beyond RLi boundaries into the laterally adjacent VTA. By being connected to the central division of the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (directly and via ventral striatopallidal system) and to the magnocellular preoptic nucleus, the RLi and its surroundings may play a role in olfactory-guided behaviors, which

  6. Affective Analgesia following Muscarinic Activation of the Ventral Tegmental Area in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kender, Robert G.; Harte, Steven E.; Munn, Elizabeth M.; Borszcz, George S.

    2009-01-01

    Cholinergic stimulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) underlies activation of the brain reward circuitry. Activation of this circuit is proposed to preferentially suppress the affective reaction to noxious stimulation. Vocalization afterdischarges (VADs) are a validated model of the affective response of rats to noxious tailshock. The antinociceptive action of the acetylcholine agonist carbachol microinjected into the VTA on VAD threshold was compared to its effect on the thresholds of other tailshock-elicited responses (VDS = vocalizations during shock, and SMR = spinal motor reflexes). Whereas VADs are organized within the forebrain, VDSs and SMRs are organized at medullary and spinal levels of the neuraxis, respectively. Carbachol (1 μg, 2 μg, and 4 μg) injected into VTA produced dose-dependent increases in VAD and VDS thresholds, although increases in VAD threshold were significantly greater than increases in VDS threshold. Administration of carbachol into VTA failed to elevate SMR threshold. Elevations in vocalization thresholds produced by intra-VTA carbachol were reversed in a dose-dependent manner by local administration of the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine sulfate (30 μg and 60 μg). These results provide the first demonstration of the involvement of the VTA in muscarinic-induced suppression of pain affect. Perspective Cholinergic activation of the brain reward circuit produced a preferential suppression of rats’ affective reaction to noxious stimulation. The neurobiology that relates reinforcement to suppression of pain affect may provide insights into new treatments for pain and its associated affective disorders. PMID:18387853

  7. Glutamate Synaptic Inputs to Ventral Tegmental Area Neurons in the Rat Derive Primarily from Subcortical Sources

    PubMed Central

    Omelchenko, Natalia; Sesack, Susan R.

    2007-01-01

    Dopamine and GABA neurons in the ventral tegmental area project to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex and modulate locomotor and reward behaviors as well as cognitive and affective processes. Both midbrain cell types receive synapses from glutamate afferents that provide an essential control of behaviorally-linked activity patterns, although the sources of glutamate inputs have not yet been completely characterized. We used antibodies against the vesicular glutamate transporters VGlut1 and VGlut2 to investigate the morphology and synaptic organization of axons containing these proteins as putative markers of glutamate afferents from cortical versus subcortical sites, respectively. We also characterized the ventral tegmental area cell populations receiving VGlut1+ or VGlut2+ synapses according to their transmitter phenotype (dopamine or GABA) and major projection target (nucleus accumbens or prefrontal cortex). By light and electron microscopic examination, VGlut2+ as opposed to VGlut1+ axon terminals were more numerous, had a larger average size, synapsed more proximally, and were more likely to form convergent synapses onto the same target. Both axon types formed predominantly asymmetric synapses, although VGlut2+ terminals more often formed synapses with symmetric morphology. No absolute selectivity was observed for VGlut1+ or VGlut2+ axons to target any particular cell population. However, the synapses onto mesoaccumbens neurons more often involved VGlut2+ terminals, whereas mesoprefrontal neurons received relatively equal synaptic inputs from VGlut1+ and VGlut2+ profiles. The distinct morphological features of VGlut1 and VGlut2 positive axons suggest that glutamate inputs from presumed cortical and subcortical sources, respectively, differ in the nature and intensity of their physiological actions on midbrain neurons. More specifically, our findings imply that subcortical glutamate inputs to the ventral tegmental area expressing VGlut2 predominate over

  8. Orexin-1 receptor signalling in the prelimbic cortex and ventral tegmental area regulates cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking in iP rats.

    PubMed

    Brown, Robyn Mary; Kim, Andrezza K; Khoo, Shaun Yon-Seng; Kim, Jee Hyun; Jupp, Bianca; Lawrence, Andrew John

    2016-05-01

    Orexins (hypocretins) are hypothalamic neuropeptides that innervate the entire neuraxis, including the prelimbic cortex and ventral tegmental area and have been implicated in ethanol-seeking behaviour. The present study aimed to use the orexin-1 (OX1 ) receptor antagonist SB-334867 to examine the role of prelimbic cortex and ventral tegmental area OX1 receptors in cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking. Ethanol-preferring rats (iP) rats were trained to self-administer ethanol (10 percent v/v, FR3) or sucrose (0.2-1 percent w/v, FR3) in the presence of reward-associated cues before being implanted with indwelling guide cannulae. Rats then underwent extinction training for 11 days. On test days, rats were given a microinjection of vehicle or SB-334867 (3 μg/side) and presented with reward-associated cues to precipitate reinstatement. Results show SB-334867 infused into the prelimbic cortex attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking, but not sucrose-seeking. OX1 antagonism in the ventral tegmental area also attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol-seeking. These findings suggest that OX1 receptors located in the prelimbic cortex and ventral tegmental area are part of a circuit driving cue-mediated ethanol-seeking behaviour.

  9. Afferents to the GABAergic tail of the ventral tegmental area in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kaufling, Jennifer; Veinante, Pierre; Pawlowski, Sophie A; Freund-Mercier, Marie-Jose; Barrot, Michel

    2009-04-20

    We previously showed that chronic psychostimulant exposure induces the transcription factor DeltaFosB in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons of the caudal tier of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This subregion was defined as the tail of the VTA (tVTA). In the present study, we showed that tVTA can also be visualized by analyzing FosB/DeltaFosB response following acute cocaine injection. This induction occurs in GABAergic neurons, as identified by glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) expression. To characterize tVTA further, we mapped its inputs by using the retrograde tracers Fluoro-Gold or cholera toxin B subunit. Retrogradely labeled neurons were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex, the lateral septum, the ventral pallidum, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the substantia innominata, the medial and lateral preoptic areas, the lateral and dorsal hypothalamic areas, the lateral habenula, the intermediate layers of the superior colliculus, the dorsal raphe, the periaqueductal gray, and the mesencephalic and pontine reticular formation. Projections from the prefrontal cortex, the hypothalamus, and the lateral habenula to the tVTA were also shown by using the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA). We showed that the central nucleus of the amygdala innervates the anterior extent of the VTA but not the tVTA. Moreover, the tVTA mainly receives non-aminergic inputs from the dorsal raphe and the locus coeruleus. Although the tVTA has a low density of dopaminergic neurons, its afferents are mostly similar to those targeting the rest of the VTA. This suggests that the tVTA can be considered as a VTA subregion despite its caudal location.

  10. Offline reactivation of experience-dependent neuronal firing patterns in the rat ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Valdés, José L.; McNaughton, Bruce L.

    2015-01-01

    In a rest period immediately after a task, neurons in the hippocampus, neocortex, and striatum exhibit spatiotemporal correlation patterns resembling those observed during the task. This reactivation has been proposed as a neurophysiological substrate for memory consolidation. We provide new evidence that rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons are selective for different types of food stimuli and that stimulus-sensitive neurons strongly reactivate during the rest period following a task that involved those stimuli. Reactivation occurred primarily during slow wave sleep and during quiet awakeness. In these experiments, VTA reactivation patterns were uncompressed and occurred at the firing rate level, rather than on a spike-to-spike basis. Mildly aversive stimuli were reactivated more often than positive ones. The VTA is a pivotal structure involved in the perception and prediction of reward and stimulus salience and is a key neuromodulatory system involved in synaptic plasticity. These results suggest new ways in which dopaminergic signals could contribute to the biophysical mechanisms of selective, system-wide, memory consolidation, and reconsolidation during sleep. PMID:26108957

  11. Fos activation of selective afferents to ventral tegmental area during cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats.

    PubMed

    Mahler, Stephen V; Aston-Jones, Gary S

    2012-09-19

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons are crucial for appetitive responses to Pavlovian cues, including cue-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. However, it is unknown which VTA inputs help activate these neurons, transducing stimuli into salient cues that drive drug-seeking behavior. Here we examined 56 VTA afferents from forebrain and midbrain that are Fos activated during cue-induced reinstatement. We injected the retrograde tracer cholera toxin β subunit (CTb) unilaterally into rostral or caudal VTA of male rats. All animals were trained to self-administer cocaine, then extinguished of this behavior. On a final test day, animals were exposed to response-contingent cocaine-associated cues, extinction conditions, a non-cocaine-predictive CS-, or a novel environment, and brains were processed to visualize CTb and Fos immunoreactivity to identify VTA afferents activated in relation to behaviors. VTA-projecting neurons in subregions of medial accumbens shell, ventral pallidum, elements of extended amygdala, and lateral septum (but not prefrontal cortex) were activated specifically during cue-induced cocaine seeking, and some of these were also activated proportionately to the degree of cocaine seeking. Surprisingly, though efferents from the lateral hypothalamic orexin field were also Fos activated during reinstatement, these were largely non-orexinergic. Also, VTA afferents from the rostromedial tegmental nucleus and lateral habenula were specifically activated during extinction and CS- tests, when cocaine was not expected. These findings point to a select set of subcortical nuclei which provide reinstatement-related inputs to VTA, translating conditioned stimuli into cocaine-seeking behavior.

  12. Serotonin-3 receptors in the posterior ventral tegmental area regulate ethanol self-administration of alcohol-preferring (P) rats.

    PubMed

    Rodd, Zachary A; Bell, Richard L; Oster, Scott M; Toalston, Jamie E; Pommer, Tylene J; McBride, William J; Murphy, James M

    2010-05-01

    Several studies indicated the involvement of serotonin-3 ([5-hydroxy tryptamine] 5-HT(3)) receptors in regulating alcohol-drinking behavior. The objective of this study was to determine the involvement of 5-HT(3) receptors within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in regulating ethanol self-administration by alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Standard two-lever operant chambers (Coulbourn Instruments, Allentown, PA) were used to examine the effects of seven consecutive bilateral microinfusions of ICS 205-930 (ICS), a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist, directly into the posterior VTA on the acquisition and maintenance of 15% (vol/vol) ethanol self-administration. P rats readily acquired ethanol self-administration by the fourth session. The three highest doses (0.125, 0.25, and 1.25 microg) of ICS prevented acquisition of ethanol self-administration. During the acquisition postinjection period, all rats treated with ICS demonstrated higher responding on the ethanol lever, with the highest dose producing the greatest effect. In contrast, during the maintenance phase, the three highest doses (0.75, 1.0, and 1.25 microg) of ICS significantly increased responding on the ethanol lever; after the 7-day dosing regimen, responding on the ethanol lever returned to control levels. Microinfusion of ICS into the posterior VTA did not alter the low responding on the water lever and did not alter saccharin (0.0125% wt/v) self-administration. Microinfusion of ICS into the anterior VTA did not alter ethanol self-administration. Overall, the results of this study suggest that 5-HT(3) receptors in the posterior VTA of the P rat may be involved in regulating ethanol self-administration. In addition, chronic operant ethanol self-administration and/or repeated treatments with a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist may alter neuronal circuitry within the posterior VTA.

  13. Serotonin-3 Receptors in the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area Regulate Ethanol Self-Administration of Alcohol-Preferring (P) Rats

    PubMed Central

    Rodd, Zachary A.; Bell, Richard L.; Oster, Scott M.; Toalston, Jamie E.; Pommer, Tylene J.; McBride, William J.; Murphy, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Several studies indicated the involvement of serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptors in regulating alcohol-drinking behavior. The objective of this study was to determine the involvement of 5-HT3 receptors within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in regulating ethanol self-administration by alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Standard two-lever operant chambers were used to examine the effects of 7 consecutive bilateral micro-infusions of ICS205-930 (ICS), a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, directly into the posterior VTA on the acquisition and maintenance of 15% (v/v) ethanol self-administration. P rats readily acquired ethanol self-administration by the 4th session. The three highest doses (0.125, 0.25 and 1.25 ug) of ICS prevented acquisition of ethanol self-administration. During the acquisition post-injection period, all rats treated with ICS demonstrated higher responding on the ethanol lever, with the highest dose producing the greatest effect. In contrast, during the maintenance phase, the 3 highest doses (0.75, 1.0 and 1.25 ug) of ICS significantly increased responding on the ethanol lever; following the 7-day dosing regimen, responding on the ethanol lever returned to control levels. Micro-infusion of ICS into the posterior VTA did not alter the low responding on the water lever, and did not alter saccharin (0.0125% w/v) self-administration.. Micro-infusion of ICS into the anterior VTA did not alter ethanol self-administration. Overall, the results of this study suggest that 5-HT3 receptors in the posterior VTA of the P rat may be involved in regulating ethanol self-administration. In addition, chronic operant ethanol self-administration, and/or repeated treatments with a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist may alter neuronal circuitry within the posterior VTA. PMID:20682192

  14. Differential behavioral reinforcement effects of dopamine receptor agonists in the rat with bilateral lesion of the posterior ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Ouachikh, Omar; Dieb, Wisam; Durif, Franck; Hafidi, Aziz

    2013-09-01

    Dopamine dysregulation syndrome in Parkinson's disease has been attributed to dopamine replacement therapies and/or a lesion of the dopaminergic system. The dopaminergic neuronal loss targets the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We hypothesize that dopamine replacement therapy is responsible for the potential reinforcement effect in Parkinson's disease by acting on the neuronal reward circuitry. Therefore this study was designed to explore the potential motivational effect of dopamine replacement therapy in bilateral VTA-lesioned animals. The posterior (p)VTA, which project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) constitutes the major dopamine neuronal circuitry implicated in addictive disorders. Using the conditioned place preference (CPP) behavioral paradigm, we investigated the motivational effects of dopamine receptor agonists, and cocaine in rat with a 6-OHDA bilateral lesion of the pVTA. Amongst the dopamine receptor agonists used in this study only the D2R and D3R agonists (bromocriptine, PD128907 and pramipexole), induced a significant CPP in pVTA-lesioned animals. Dopamine receptor agonists did not induce behavioral sensitization in sham animals. Moreover, confocal D2R immunostaining analysis showed a significant increase in the number of D2R per cell body in the NAc shell of pVTA lesioned rats compared to sham. This result correlated, for the first time, the dopamine receptor agonists effect with DR2 overexpression in the NAc shell of pVTA-lesioned rats. In addition, cocaine, which is known to increase dopamine release, induced behavioral sensitization in sham group but not in dopamine deprived group. Thus, the later result highlighted the importance of pVTA-NAc dopaminergic pathway in positive reinforcements. Altogether these data suggested that the implication of the dopamine replacement therapy in the appearance of dopamine dysregulation syndrome in Parkinson's disease is probably due to both neuronal degeneration in the posterior VTA and

  15. Place preference conditioning with ventral tegmental injections of cytisine.

    PubMed

    Museo, E; Wise, R A

    1994-01-01

    The present experiment was designed to determine whether ventral tegmental injections of the nicotinic agonist cytisine can establish place preferences. Two groups of rats were tested: one group received injections into the ventral tegmentum and a second group received injections into sites dorsal to the ventral tegmentum; this latter group was used to assess whether the diffusion of drug into sites dorsal to the ventral tegmentum might in itself be sufficient to account for the effects associated with injections into the ventral tegmentum. A total of eight sets of injections were made. On days 1, 3, 5, and 7, animals were injected with cytisine (10 nmol per 0.5 microliter per side) and placed in one of the two main compartments of a place-preference apparatus. On days 2, 4, 6, and 8, injections of physiological saline, the drug vehicle, were paired with the other main compartment. Animals that received ventral tegmental injections of cytisine spent significantly more time in the cytisine-paired compartment than in the saline-paired compartment. Animals given cytisine injections into sites dorsal to the ventral tegmentum did not show a preference for the cytisine-paired compartment. These findings provide additional evidence in support of the hypothesis that nicotinic actions at the level of the ventral tegmentum contribute to the reinforcing actions of systemic injections of nicotine.

  16. Ethanol drinking reduces extracellular dopamine levels in the posterior ventral tegmental area of nondependent alcohol-preferring rats.

    PubMed

    Engleman, Eric A; Keen, Elizabeth J; Tilford, Sydney S; Thielen, Richard J; Morzorati, Sandra L

    2011-09-01

    Moderate ethanol exposure produces neuroadaptive changes in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system in nondependent rats and increases measures of DA neuronal activity in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, moderate ethanol drinking and moderate systemic exposure elevates extracellular DA levels in mesocorticolimbic projection regions. However, the neuroadaptive changes subsequent to moderate ethanol drinking on basal DA levels have not been investigated in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, adult female alcohol-preferring (P) rats were divided into alcohol-naive, alcohol-drinking, and alcohol-deprived groups. The alcohol-drinking group had continuous access to water and ethanol (15%, vol/vol) for 8 weeks. The alcohol-deprived group had 6 weeks of access followed by 2 weeks of ethanol deprivation, 2 weeks of ethanol re-exposure, followed again by 2 weeks of deprivation. The deprived rats demonstrated a robust alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) on ethanol reinstatement. The alcohol-naïve group had continuous access to water only. In the last week of the drinking protocol, all rats were implanted with unilateral microdialysis probes aimed at the posterior VTA and no-net-flux microdialysis was conducted to quantify extracellular DA levels and DA clearance. Results yielded significantly lower basal extracellular DA concentrations in the posterior VTA of the alcohol-drinking group compared with the alcohol-naive and alcohol-deprived groups (3.8±0.3nM vs. 5.0±0.5nM [P<.02] and 4.8±0.4nM, [P<.05], respectively). Extraction fractions were significantly (P<.0002) different between the alcohol-drinking and alcohol-naive groups (72±2% vs. 46±4%, respectively) and not significantly different (P=.051) between alcohol-deprived and alcohol-naive groups (61±6% for the alcohol-deprived group). The data indicate that reductions in basal DA levels within the posterior VTA occur after moderate chronic ethanol intake in nondependent P rats. This reduction may

  17. Somatodendritic Targeting of M5 Muscarinic Receptor in the Rat Ventral Tegmental Area: Implications for Mesolimbic Dopamine Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Garzón, Miguel; Pickel, Virginia M.

    2014-01-01

    Muscarinic modulation of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) plays an important role in reward, potentially mediated through the M5 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M5R). However, the key sites for M5R-mediated control of dopamine neurons within this region are still unknown. To address this question we examined the electron microscopic immunocytochemical localization of antipeptide antisera against M5R and the plasmalemmal dopamine transporter (DAT) in single sections through the rat VTA. M5R was located mainly to VTA somatodendritic profiles (71%; n = 627), at least one-third (33.2%; n = 208) of which also contained DAT. The M5R immunoreactivity was distributed along cytoplasmic tubulovesicular endomembrane systems in somata and large dendrites, but was more often located at plasmalemmal sites in small dendrites, the majority of which did not express DAT. The M5R-immunoreactive dendrites received a balanced input from unlabeled terminals forming either asymmetric or symmetric synapses. Compared with dendrites, M5R was less often seen in axon terminals, comprising only 10.8% (n = 102) of the total M5R-labeled profiles. These terminals were usually presynaptic to unlabeled dendrites, suggesting that M5R activation can indirectly modulate non–DAT-containing dendrites through presynaptic mechanisms. Our results provide the first ultrastructural evidence that in the VTA, M5R has a subcellular location conducive to major involvement in postsynaptic signaling in many dendrites, only some of which express DAT. These findings suggest that cognitive and rewarding effects ascribed to muscarinic activation in the VTA can primarily be credited to M5R activation at postsynaptic plasma membranes distinct from dopamine transport. PMID:23504804

  18. Subcellular Distribution of M2-muscarinic Receptors in Relation to Dopaminergic Neurons of the Rat Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Garzón, Miguel; Pickel, Virginia M.

    2008-01-01

    Acetylcholine can affect cognitive functions and reward, in part, through activation of muscarinic receptors in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to evoke changes in mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic transmission. Of the known muscarinic receptor subtypes present in the VTA, the M2 receptor (M2R) is most implicated in autoregulation, and also may play a heteroreceptor role in regulation of the output of the dopaminergic neurons. We sought to determine the functionally relevant sites for M2R activation in relation to VTA dopaminergic neurons by examining the electron microscopic immunolabeling of M2R and the dopamine transporter (DAT) in the VTA of rat brain. The M2R was localized to endomembranes in DAT-containing somatodendritic profiles, but showed a more prominent, size-dependent plasmalemmal location in non-dopaminergic dendrites. M2R also was located on the plasma membrane of morphologically heterogenous axon terminals contacting unlabeled as well as M2R or DAT-labeled dendrites. Some of these terminals formed asymmetric synapses resembling those of cholinergic terminals in the VTA. The majority, however, formed symmetric, inhibitory-type synapses, or were apposed without recognized junctions. Our results provide the first ultrastructural evidence that the M2R is expressed, but largely not available for local activation, on the plasma membrane of VTA dopaminergic neurons. Instead, the M2R in this region has a distribution suggesting more indirect regulation of mesocorticolimbic transmission through autoregulation of acetylcholine release and changes in the physiological activity or release of other, largely inhibitory transmitters. These findings could have implications for understanding the muscarinic control of cognitive and goal-directed behaviors within the VTA. PMID:16927256

  19. Phencyclidine affects firing activity of ventral tegmental area neurons that are related to reward and social behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Katayama, T; Okamoto, M; Suzuki, Y; Hoshino, K-Y; Jodo, E

    2013-06-14

    Patients with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in motivation and affect, which suggests an impairment in the reward system. The psychotomimetic drug, phencyclidine (PCP), also induces schizophrenia-like negative symptoms, such as reduced motivation, blunted affect, and social withdrawal in both humans and animals. Previous studies have indicated that the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play a pivotal role in the development of reward-associated learning and motivation. However, how PCP affects the activity of VTA neurons during performance of a reward-related task and social interaction with others in unanesthetized animals remains unclear. Here, we recorded the unit activity of VTA neurons in freely moving rats before and after systemic administration of PCP in a classical conditioning paradigm, and during social interaction with an unfamiliar partner. In the classical conditioning task, two different tones were sequentially presented, one of which accompanied electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle as an unconditioned stimulus. After identifying the response properties of recorded neurons in the classical conditioning task and social interaction, animals received an intraperitoneal injection of PCP. Our study demonstrated that most VTA neurons responsive to reward-associated stimuli were also activated during social interaction. Such activation of neurons was considerably suppressed by systemic administration of PCP, thus, PCP may affect the firing activity of VTA neurons that are involved in motivation, learning, and social interaction. Disruption of the response of VTA neurons to reward stimuli and socially interactive situations may be involved in PCP-induced impairments similar to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

  20. Chronic pramipexole treatment increases tolerance for sucrose in normal and ventral tegmental lesioned rats

    PubMed Central

    Dardou, David; Chassain, Carine; Durif, Franck

    2015-01-01

    The loss of dopamine neurons observed in Parkinson's disease (PD) elicits severe motor control deficits which are reduced by the use of dopamine agonists. However, recent works have indicated that D3-preferential agonists such as pramipexole can induce impulse control disorders (ICDs) such as food craving or compulsive eating. In the present study, we performed an intermittent daily feeding experiment to assess the effect of chronic treatment by pramipexole and VTA bilateral lesion on tolerance for sucrose solution. The impact of such chronic treatment on spontaneous locomotion and spatial memory was also examined. Changes in sucrose tolerance could indicate the potential development of a change in food compulsion or addiction related to the action of pramipexole. Neither the bilateral lesion of the VTA nor chronic treatment with pramipexole altered the spontaneous locomotion or spatial memory in rats. Rats without pramipexole treatment quickly developed a stable intake of sucrose solution in the 12 h access phase. On the contrary, when under daily pramipexole treatment, rats developed a stronger and ongoing escalation of their sucrose solution intakes. In addition, we noted that the change in sucrose consumption was sustained by an increase of the expression of the Dopamine D3 receptor in the core and the shell regions of the nucleus accumbens. The present results may suggest that long-term stimulation of the Dopamine D3 receptor in animals induces a strong increase in sucrose consumption, indicating an effect of this receptor on certain pathological aspects of food eating. PMID:25610366

  1. Chronic pramipexole treatment increases tolerance for sucrose in normal and ventral tegmental lesioned rats.

    PubMed

    Dardou, David; Chassain, Carine; Durif, Franck

    2014-01-01

    The loss of dopamine neurons observed in Parkinson's disease (PD) elicits severe motor control deficits which are reduced by the use of dopamine agonists. However, recent works have indicated that D3-preferential agonists such as pramipexole can induce impulse control disorders (ICDs) such as food craving or compulsive eating. In the present study, we performed an intermittent daily feeding experiment to assess the effect of chronic treatment by pramipexole and VTA bilateral lesion on tolerance for sucrose solution. The impact of such chronic treatment on spontaneous locomotion and spatial memory was also examined. Changes in sucrose tolerance could indicate the potential development of a change in food compulsion or addiction related to the action of pramipexole. Neither the bilateral lesion of the VTA nor chronic treatment with pramipexole altered the spontaneous locomotion or spatial memory in rats. Rats without pramipexole treatment quickly developed a stable intake of sucrose solution in the 12 h access phase. On the contrary, when under daily pramipexole treatment, rats developed a stronger and ongoing escalation of their sucrose solution intakes. In addition, we noted that the change in sucrose consumption was sustained by an increase of the expression of the Dopamine D3 receptor in the core and the shell regions of the nucleus accumbens. The present results may suggest that long-term stimulation of the Dopamine D3 receptor in animals induces a strong increase in sucrose consumption, indicating an effect of this receptor on certain pathological aspects of food eating. PMID:25610366

  2. Neurotensin self-injection in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Glimcher, P W; Giovino, A A; Hoebel, B G

    1987-02-10

    Earlier work with the conditioned place-preference paradigm suggested that neurotensin (NT) acts as a behavioral reinforcer when microinjected into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain. We report here that animals will perform an operant task to obtain microinfusions of NT into the VTA. Rats reliably pressed a lever to obtain NT infusions while neglecting an identical but inactive lever. Substitution of saline for NT initiated response extinction; following the reintroduction of NT, reliable responding resumed. These results extend earlier work suggesting that NT in the VTA can be a positive reinforcer.

  3. Afferent projections to the ventral tegmental area of Tsai and interfascicular nucleus: a horseradish peroxidase study in the rat.

    PubMed

    Phillipson, O T

    1979-09-01

    Using the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP), a study has been made of projections to the ventral tegmental area of Tsai (VTA) and related dopaminergic cell groups (A 10). In order to minimise the possibility of damage to fibres of passage, a technique was evolved for the microiontophoresis of HRP such that minimal current strengths and durations were applied. In addition to a sham injection, control injections were also made to the medial lemnisuc, red nucleus, deep tegmental decussations, mesencephalic reticular formation and brachium conjunctivum. Following HRP injections confined to the areas of the VTA containing the dopamine cell groups, labelled neurons appeared in prefrontal cortex, dorsal bank of rhinal sulcus, nucleus accumbens, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, amygdala, diagonal band of Broca, substantis innominata, magnocellular preoptic area, medial and lateral preoptic areas, anterior, lateral and postero-dorsal hypothalamus, lateral habenular, nucleus parafascicular nucleus of thalamus, superior colliculus, nucleus raphe dorsalis, nucleus raphe nagnus and pontis, dorsal and ventral parabrachial nuclei, locus coeruleus and deep cerebellar nuclei. Regions containing catecholamine groups A 1, A 5, A 6, A 7, A 9, A 13 and the serotonin group B 7 corresponded to the topography of labeled cell groups. Injections of HRP to the interfascicular nucleus resulted in labeling predominantly confined to the medial habenular and median raphe nuclei. The results are discussed in relation to the known connections of these regions. Other regions of the brain labelled by VTA injections are assessed in relation to control injections and the limitations of the HRP technique. A review of the organisation of some of these afferents in relation to the known cortical-subcortical-mesencephalic projection systems, suggests that the VTA is in a position to recieve information from a massively convergent system derived ultimately from the entire archi-, paleo

  4. CRF antagonism within the ventral tegmental area but not the extended amygdala attenuates the anxiogenic effects of cocaine in rats.

    PubMed

    Ettenberg, Aaron; Cotten, Samuel W; Brito, Michael A; Klein, Adam K; Ohana, Tatum A; Margolin, Benjamin; Wei, Alex; Wenzel, Jennifer M

    2015-11-01

    In addition to its initial rewarding effects, cocaine has been shown to produce profound negative/anxiogenic actions. Recent work on the anxiogenic effects of cocaine has examined the role of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), with particular attention paid to the CRF cell bodies resident to the extended amygdala (i.e., the central nucleus of the amygdala [CeA] and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis [BNST]) and the interconnections within and projections outside the region (e.g., to the ventral tegmental area [VTA]). In the current study, localized CRF receptor antagonism was produced by intra-BNST, intra-CeA or intra-VTA application of the CRF antagonists, D-Phe CRF(12-41) or astressin-B. The effect of these treatments were examined in a runway model of i.v. cocaine self-administration that has been shown to be sensitive to both the initial rewarding and delayed anxiogenic effects of the drug in the same animal on the same trial. These dual actions of cocaine are reflected in the development of an approach-avoidance conflict ("retreat behaviors") about goal box entry that stems from the mixed associations that subjects form about the goal. CRF antagonism within the VTA, but not the CeA or BNST, significantly reduced the frequency of approach-avoidance retreat behaviors while leaving start latencies (an index of the positive incentive properties of cocaine) unaffected. These results suggest that the critical CRF receptors contributing to the anxiogenic state associated with acute cocaine administration may lie outside the extended amygdala, and likely involve CRF projections to the VTA.

  5. CRF antagonism within the ventral tegmental area but not the extended amygdala attenuates the anxiogenic effects of cocaine in rats

    PubMed Central

    Ettenberg, Aaron; Cotten, Samuel W.; Brito, Michael A.; Klein, Adam K.; Ohana, Tatum A.; Margolin, Benjamin; Wei, Alex; Wenzel, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    In addition to its initial rewarding effects, cocaine has been shown to produce profound negative/anxiogenic actions. Recent work on the anxiogenic effects of cocaine has examined the role of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), with particular attention paid to the CRF cell bodies resident to the extended amygdala (i.e, the central nucleus of the amygdala [CeA] and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis [BNST]) and the interconnections within and projections outside the region (e.g., to the ventral tegmental area [VTA]). In the current study, localized CRF receptor antagonism was produced by intra-BNST, intra-CeA or intra-VTA application of the CRF antagonists, D-Phe CRF (12-41) or astressin-B. The effect of these treatments were examined in a runway model of i.v. cocaine self-administration that has been shown to be sensitive to both the initial rewarding and delayed anxiogenic effects of the drug in the same animal on the same trial. These dual actions of cocaine are reflected in the development of an approach-avoidance conflict (“retreat behaviors”) about goal box entry that stems from the mixed associations that subjects form about the goal. CRF antagonism within the VTA, but not the CeA or BNST, significantly reduced the frequency of approach-avoidance retreat behaviors while leaving start latencies (an index of the positive incentive properties of cocaine) unaffected. These results suggest that the critical CRF receptors contributing to the anxiogenic state associated with acute cocaine administration may lie outside the extended amygdala, and likely involve CRF projections to the VTA. PMID:26441142

  6. Anterior ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons are not involved in the motivational effects of bromocriptine, pramipexole and cocaine in drug-free rats.

    PubMed

    Ouachikh, Omar; Dieb, Wisam; Durif, Franck; Hafidi, Aziz

    2014-04-01

    Dopamine dysregulation syndrome in Parkinson's disease has been attributed to dopamine replacement therapies and/or a lesion of the dopaminergic system. Dopaminergic neuronal loss targets the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We hypothesize that dopamine replacement therapy is responsible for the potential reinforcement effect in Parkinson's disease, by acting on the neuronal reward circuitry. We previously demonstrated that the posterior (p) VTA, which projects to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), is implicated in the motivational effect of dopamine receptor agonists in 6-OHDA bilateral pVTA-lesioned drug-free animals. In the present study we investigated the implication of the anterior (a) VTA in the potential reinforcement effect of dopamine receptor agonists. Using the conditioned place preference (CPP) behavioral paradigm, we investigated the motivational effects of dopamine receptor agonists (bromocriptine and pramipexole), and cocaine in rats with a 6-OHDA bilateral lesion of the aVTA. Bromocriptine and pramipexole did not induce a significant CPP at 1mg/kg in both sham and bilateral 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. However bromocriptine induced CPP only at a dose of 3mg/kg in both animal groups. Moreover cocaine, which is known to increase dopamine release, induced reinforcing effects in both 6-OHDA-lesioned and sham rats. Our data show a lack of involvement of aVTA dopamine neurons in the motivational effects of bromocriptine, pramipexole and cocaine.

  7. Intracranial self-administration of ethanol within the ventral tegmental area of male Wistar rats: evidence for involvement of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Rodd, Zachary A; Melendez, Roberto I; Bell, Richard L; Kuc, Kelly A; Zhang, Ying; Murphy, James M; McBride, William J

    2004-02-01

    Previous work from our laboratory indicated that female Wistar rats will self-administer ethanol (EtOH) directly into the posterior ventral tegmental area (VTA). These results suggested that VTA dopamine (DA) neurons might be involved in mediating the reinforcing actions of EtOH within this region. The objectives of this study were to determine (1) the dose-response effects for the self-administration of EtOH into the VTA of male Wistar rats, and (2) the involvement of VTA DA neurons in the reinforcing actions of EtOH within the VTA. Adult male Wistar rats were implanted stereotaxically with guide cannulas aimed at the posterior or anterior VTA. After 1 week, rats were placed in standard two-lever (active and inactive) experimental chambers for a total of seven to eight sessions. The first experiment determined the intracranial self-administration of EtOH (0-400 mg%) into the posterior and anterior VTA. The second experiment examined the effects of coadministration of the D2/3 agonist quinpirole on the acquisition and maintenance of EtOH self-infusions into the posterior VTA. The final experiment determined the effects of a D2 antagonist (sulpiride) to reinstate self-administration behavior in rats given EtOH and quinpirole to coadminister. Male Wistar rats self-infused 100-300 mg% EtOH directly into the posterior, but not anterior, VTA. Coadministration of quinpirole prevented the acquisition and extinguished the maintenance of EtOH self-infusion into the posterior VTA, and addition of sulpiride reinstated EtOH self-administration. The results of this study indicate that EtOH is reinforcing within the posterior VTA of male Wistar rats and suggest that activation of VTA DA neurons is involved in this process.

  8. Microinjections of a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist into the ventral tegmental area block the expression of cocaine conditioned place preference in rats.

    PubMed

    Galaj, E; Manuszak, M; Arastehmanesh, D; Ranaldi, R

    2014-10-01

    Stimulation of dopamine (DA) D1 receptors in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is involved in primary rewards. In the current study we investigated whether VTA D1 receptor stimulation likewise plays a role in mediating the rewarding effects of cocaine-associated stimuli, using the cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Rats were prepared with cannulae so as to allow microinjections in the VTA and later conditioned to a cocaine-associated environment using the CPP paradigm. Prior to each conditioning session rats were injected with either saline or cocaine (10mg/kg, intraperitoneally) and then placed in one of the two sides of the CPP apparatus. Sessions lasted 30min a day over a period of eight days, such that rats alternated daily between consistently experiencing cocaine in one side and saline in the other. On the test day, which was conducted one day after conditioning, rats were given bilateral microinjections of one of four doses of the D1 antagonist, SCH 23390, (0, 2, 4 or 8μg/0.5μl) directly into the VTA and allowed free access to both sides of the apparatus. Preference for either side was measured as time spent in each side and compared to the same measures taken before conditioning. The D1 antagonist produced a dose-related, significant reduction in the preference for the cocaine-paired side compared to vehicle. These data suggest that the expression of cocaine conditioned place preference requires stimulation of VTA D1 receptors and, as such, are the first to suggest a role for VTA dendritically released DA in cocaine-, or other reward-, related learning. PMID:25017572

  9. Associated degeneration of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons in the rat nigrostriatal lactacystin model of parkinsonism and their neuroprotection by valproate

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Ian F.; Anis, Hiba K.; Dexter, David T.

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) manifests clinically as bradykinesia, rigidity, and development of a resting tremor, primarily due to degeneration of dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathways in the brain. Intranigral administration of the irreversible ubiquitin proteasome system inhibitor, lactacystin, has been used extensively to model nigrostriatal degeneration in rats, and study the effects of candidate neuroprotective agents on the integrity of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system. Recently however, adjacent extra-nigral brain regions such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have been noted to also become affected in this model, yet their integrity in studies of candidate neuroprotective agents in the model have largely been overlooked. Here we quantify the extent and distribution of dopaminergic degeneration in the VTA of rats intranigrally lesioned with lactacystin, and quantify the extent of VTA dopaminergic neuroprotection after systemic treatment with an epigenetic therapeutic agent, valproate, shown previously to protect dopaminergic SNpc neurons in this model. We found that unilateral intranigral administration of lactacystin resulted in a 53.81% and 31.72% interhemispheric loss of dopaminergic SNpc and VTA neurons, respectively. Daily systemic treatment of lactacystin lesioned rats with valproate however resulted in dose-dependant neuroprotection of VTA neurons. Our findings demonstrate that not only is the VTA also affected in the intranigral lactacystin rat model of PD, but that this extra-nigral brain region is substrate for neuroprotection by valproate, an agent shown previously to induce neuroprotection and neurorestoration of SNpc dopaminergic neurons in this model. Our results therefore suggest that valproate is a candidate for extra-nigral as well as intra-nigral neuroprotection. PMID:26742637

  10. Social defeat stress-induced sensitization and escalated cocaine self-administration: The role of ERK signaling in the rat ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Yap, Jasmine J.; Chartoff, Elena H.; Holly, Elizabeth N.; Potter, David N.; Carlezon, William A.; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Intermittent social defeat stress can induce neuroadaptations that promote compulsive drug taking. Within the mesocorticolimbic circuit, repeated cocaine administration activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Objective The present experiments examine whether changes in ERK phosphorylation are necessary for the behavioral and neural adaptations that occur as a consequence of intermittent defeat stress. Materials and methods Rats were exposed to four brief intermittent defeats over the course of 10 days. Ten days after the last defeat, rats were challenged with cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline, and ERK activity was examined in mesocorticolimbic regions. To determine the role of ERK in defeat stress-induced behavioral sensitization, we bilaterally microinjected the MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor U0126 (1 μg/side) or vehicle (20% DMSO) into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) prior to each of 4 defeats. Ten days following the last defeat, locomotor activity was assessed for the expression of behavioral cross-sensitization to cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.). Thereafter, rats self-administered cocaine under fixed and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement, including a 24-h continuous access “binge” (0.3 mg/kg/infusion). Results We found that repeated defeat stress increased ERK phosphorylation in the VTA. Inhibition of VTA ERK prior to each social defeat attenuated the development of stress-induced sensitization and prevented stress-induced enhancement of cocaine self-administration during a continuous access binge. Conclusions These results suggest that enhanced activation of ERK in the VTA due to brief defeats is critical in the induction of sensitization and escalated cocaine taking. PMID:25373870

  11. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 (TRPV3) in the ventral tegmental area of rat: Role in modulation of the mesolimbic-dopamine reward pathway.

    PubMed

    Singh, Uday; Kumar, Santosh; Shelkar, Gajanan P; Yadav, Manoj; Kokare, Dadasaheb M; Goswami, Chandan; Lechan, Ronald M; Singru, Praful S

    2016-11-01

    While dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) drive the mesolimbic-reward pathway, confluent lines of evidence underscore the importance of transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) channels as novel regulators of these neurons. Among the TRPV-subfamily, TRPV3 is of particular interest in reward, since active ingredients of flavour-enhancing spices in food serve as TRPV3 agonists and modulate DAergic neurotransmission. The nature of TRPV3 elements in the VTA and their role in driving the mesolimbic-DA-reward pathway has however, remained unexplored. We observed TRPV3 mRNA as well as TRPV3-immunoreactive neurons in the VTA of Wistar rats. We therefore explored whether these ion channels participate in modulating mesolimbic-DA reward pathway. In the posterior VTA (pVTA), 82 ± 2.6% of the TRPV3 neurons co-express tyrosine hydroxylase and 68 ± 5.5% of these neurons project to the nucleus accumbens shell (Acb shell). While ex vivo treatment of midbrain slices with TRPV3-agonist, thymol increased [Ca(2+)]i-activity in pVTA neurons, intra-pVTA injections of thymol in freely-moving, satiated rats enhanced positive reinforcement for active lever pressings in an operant chamber to self-administer sweet pellets. This behavior was attenuated by prior treatment with intra-Acb shell DA D1- and D2-like receptor antagonists. These results demonstrate a role for TRPV3 in driving mesolimbic-DA food-reward pathway, and underscores the importance of these channels in the VTA as key components processing reward. PMID:27084697

  12. Concurrent antagonism of NMDA and AMPA receptors in the ventral tegmental area reduces the expression of conditioned approach learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Hachimine, Priscila; Seepersad, Neal; Babic, Sandra; Ranaldi, Robert

    2016-02-01

    Conditioned stimuli (CSs) come to function as CSs by acquiring the capacity to activate the same mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons activated by primary rewards, producing conditioned activation of these neurons and their associated motivational states. This model stipulates that CSs activate mesocorticolimbic DA systems through the activation of glutamate receptors on DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We tested the hypothesis that glutamate receptor stimulation in the VTA is necessary for the expression of conditioned approach. Rats were tested in a conditioned approach protocol that consisted of 7 consecutive conditioning sessions (light presentations and food were paired), one session with no light or food and one test session with only light stimulus (CS-only) presentations. The number of head entries during the CS and pre-CS (baseline) periods was used to calculate difference scores. Bilateral VTA microinjections of glutamate receptor antagonists were made prior to the CS-only session. Kynurenic acid (ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonist; 1.125-4.5 μg/0.5 μl) significantly reduced difference scores compared to vehicle (0 μg), whereas MCPG (metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist; 1.875-7.5 μg), AP-5 (NMDA antagonist; 0.03125-2.0 μg), and NBQX (AMPA antagonist; 0.5-4.0 μg) had no effects. When AP-5 and NBQX were administered simultaneously at doses of 0.25/4.0 and 2.0/4.0 μg, respectively, the combination significantly reduced the difference scores compared to 0/0 μg, indicating a reduction in the expression of conditioned approach. These findings indicate that expression of conditioned approach learning requires NMDA or AMPA receptor stimulation in the VTA. PMID:26542814

  13. Full-gestational exposure to nicotine and ethanol augments nicotine self-administration by altering ventral tegmental dopaminergic function due to NMDA receptors in adolescent rats.

    PubMed

    Roguski, Emily E; Sharp, Burt M; Chen, Hao; Matta, Shannon G

    2014-03-01

    In adult rats, we have shown full-gestational exposure to nicotine and ethanol (Nic + EtOH) augmented nicotine self-administration (SA) (increased nicotine intake) compared to pair-fed (PF) offspring. Therefore, we hypothesized that full-gestational exposure to Nic + EtOH disrupts control of dopaminergic (DA) circuitry by ventral tegmental area (VTA) NMDA receptors, augmenting nicotine SA and DA release in nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of adolescents. Both NAcc DA and VTA glutamate release were hyper-responsive to intra-VTA NMDA in Nic + EtOH offspring versus PF (p = 0.03 and 0.02, respectively). Similarly, DA release was more responsive to i.v. nicotine in Nic + EtOH offspring (p = 0.02). Local DL-2-Amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid sodium salt (AP5) (NMDA receptor antagonist) infusion into the VTA inhibited nicotine-stimulated DA release in Nic + EtOH and PF offspring. Nicotine SA was augmented in adolescent Nic + EtOH versus PF offspring (p = 0.000001). Daily VTA microinjections of AP5 reduced nicotine SA by Nic + EtOH offspring, without affecting PF (p = 0.000032). Indeed, nicotine SA in Nic + EtOH offspring receiving AP5 was not different from PF offspring. Both VTA mRNA transcripts and NMDA receptor subunit proteins were not altered in Nic + EtOH offspring. In summary, adolescent offspring exposed to gestational Nic + EtOH show markedly increased vulnerability to become dependent on nicotine. This reflects the enhanced function of a subpopulation of VTA NMDA receptors that confer greater nicotine-induced DA release in NAcc. We hypothesized that concurrent gestational exposure to nicotine and ethanol would disrupt the control of VTA dopaminergic circuitry by NMDA receptors. Resulting in the augmented nicotine self-administration (SA) in adolescent offspring.

  14. Effects of insulin and leptin in the ventral tegmental area and arcuate hypothalamic nucleus on food intake and brain reward function in female rats

    PubMed Central

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.; Corrie, Lu W.; Rogers, Jessica A.; Yamada, Hidetaka

    2011-01-01

    There is evidence for a role of insulin and leptin in food intake, but the effects of these adiposity signals on the brain reward system are not well understood. Furthermore, the effects of insulin and leptin on food intake in females are underinvestigated. These studies investigated the role of insulin and leptin in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus (Arc) on food intake and brain reward function in female rats. The intracranial self-stimulation procedure was used to assess the effects of insulin and leptin on the reward system. Elevations in brain reward thresholds are indicative of a decrease in brain reward function. The bilateral administration of leptin into the VTA (15–500 ng/side) or Arc (15–150 ng/side) decreased food intake for 72 h. The infusion of leptin into the VTA or Arc resulted in weight loss during the first 48 (VTA) or 24 h (Arc) after the infusions. The administration of insulin (0.005–5 mU/side) into the VTA or Arc decreased food intake for 24 h but did not affect body weights. The bilateral administration of low, but not high, doses of leptin (15 ng/side) or insulin (0.005 mU/side) into the VTA elevated brain reward thresholds. Neither insulin nor leptin in the Arc affected brain reward thresholds. These studies suggest that a small increase in leptin or insulin levels in the VTA leads to a decrease in brain reward function. A relatively large increase in insulin or leptin levels in the VTA or Arc decreases food intake. PMID:21255613

  15. Area-specific analysis of the distribution of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the rat ventral tegmental area, with special reference to the GABAergic and glutamatergic efferents

    PubMed Central

    Kalló, Imre; Molnár, Csilla S.; Szöke, Sarolta; Fekete, Csaba; Hrabovszky, Erik; Liposits, Zsolt

    2015-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a main regulator of reward and integrates a wide scale of hormonal and neuronal information. Feeding-, energy expenditure-, stress, adaptation- and reproduction-related hypothalamic signals are processed in the VTA and influence the reward processes. However, the neuroanatomical origin and chemical phenotype of neurons mediating these signals to the VTA have not been fully characterized. In this study we have systematically mapped hypothalamic neurons that project to the VTA using the retrograde tracer Choleratoxin B subunit (CTB) and analyzed their putative gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glutamate character with in situ hybridization in male rats. 23.93 ± 3.91% of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the VTA was found in preoptic and 76.27 ± 4.88% in anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamic regions. Nearly half of the retrogradely-labeled neurons in the preoptic, and more than one third in the anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamus appeared in medially located regions. The analyses of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) mRNA expression revealed both amino acid markers in different subsets of retrogradely-labeled hypothalamic neurons, typically with the predominance of the glutamatergic marker VGLUT2. About one tenth of CTB-IR neurons were GAD65-positive even in hypothalamic nuclei expressing primarily VGLUT2. Some regions were populated mostly by GAD65 mRNA-containing retrogradely-labeled neurons. These included the perifornical part of the lateral hypothalamus where 58.63 ± 19.04% of CTB-IR neurons were GABAergic. These results indicate that both the medial and lateral nuclear compartments of the hypothalamus provide substantial input to the VTA. Furthermore, colocalization studies revealed that these projections not only use glutamate but also GABA for neurotransmission. These GABAergic afferents may underlie important inhibitory mechanism to fine-tune the

  16. Activation of D2 autoreceptors alters cocaine-induced locomotion and slows down local field oscillations in the rat ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Koulchitsky, Stanislav; Delairesse, Charlotte; Beeken, Thom; Monteforte, Alexandre; Dethier, Julie; Quertemont, Etienne; Findeisen, Rolf; Bullinger, Eric; Seutin, Vincent

    2016-09-01

    Psychoactive substances affecting the dopaminergic system induce locomotor activation and, in high doses, stereotypies. Network mechanisms underlying the shift from an active goal-directed behavior to a "seemingly purposeless" stereotypic locomotion remain unclear. In the present study we sought to determine the relationships between the behavioral effects of dopaminergic drugs and their effects on local field potentials (LFPs), which were telemetrically recorded within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of freely moving rats. We used the D2/D3 agonist quinpirole in a low, autoreceptor-selective (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) and in a high (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) dose, and a moderate dose of cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.). In the control group, power spectrum analysis revealed a prominent peak of LFP power in the theta frequency range during active exploration. Cocaine alone stimulated locomotion, but had no significant effect on the peak of the LFP power. In contrast, co-administration of low dose quinpirole with cocaine markedly altered the pattern of locomotion, from goal-directed exploratory behavior to recurrent motion resembling locomotor stereotypy. This behavioral effect was accompanied by a shift of the dominant theta power toward a significantly lower (by ∼15%) frequency. High dose quinpirole also provoked an increased locomotor activity with signs of behavioral stereotypies, and also induced a shift of the dominant oscillation frequency toward the lower range. These results demonstrate a correlation between the LFP oscillation frequency within the VTA and a qualitative aspect of locomotor behavior, perhaps due to a variable level of coherence of this region with its input or output areas.

  17. Exposure to repeated immobilization stress inhibits cocaine-induced increase in dopamine extracellular levels in the rat ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Zárate, Ramón; Abarca, Jorge; Araya, Katherine A; Renard, Georgina M; Andrés, María E; Gysling, Katia

    2015-11-01

    A higher vulnerability to drug abuse has been observed in human studies of individuals exposed to chronic or persistent stress, as well as in animal models of drug abuse. Here, we explored the effect of repeated immobilization stress on cocaine-induced increase in dopamine extracellular levels in VTA and its regulation by corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and GABA systems. Cocaine (10mg/Kg i.p.) induced an increase of VTA DA extracellular levels in control rats. However, this effect was not observed in repeated stress rats. Considering the evidence relating stress with CRF, we decided to perfuse CRF and CP-154526 (selective antagonist of CRF1 receptor) in the VTA of control and repeated stress rats, respectively. We observed that perfusion of 20μM CRF inhibited the increase of VTA DA extracellular levels induced by cocaine in control rats. Interestingly, we observed that in the presence of 10μM CP-154526, cocaine induced a significant increase of VTA DA extracellular levels in repeated stress rats. Regarding the role of VTA GABA neurotransmission, cocaine administration induced a significant increase in VTA GABA extracellular levels only in repeated stress rats. Consistently, cocaine was able to increase VTA DA extracellular levels in repeated stress rats when 100μM bicuculline, an antagonist of GABAA receptor, was perfused intra VTA. Thus, both CRF and GABA systems are involved in the lack of response to cocaine in the VTA of repeated stress rats. It is tempting to suggest that the loss of response in VTA dopaminergic neurons to cocaine, after repeated stress, is due to an interaction between CRF and GABA systems. PMID:26318765

  18. Exposure to repeated immobilization stress inhibits cocaine-induced increase in dopamine extracellular levels in the rat ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Zárate, Ramón; Abarca, Jorge; Araya, Katherine A; Renard, Georgina M; Andrés, María E; Gysling, Katia

    2015-11-01

    A higher vulnerability to drug abuse has been observed in human studies of individuals exposed to chronic or persistent stress, as well as in animal models of drug abuse. Here, we explored the effect of repeated immobilization stress on cocaine-induced increase in dopamine extracellular levels in VTA and its regulation by corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and GABA systems. Cocaine (10mg/Kg i.p.) induced an increase of VTA DA extracellular levels in control rats. However, this effect was not observed in repeated stress rats. Considering the evidence relating stress with CRF, we decided to perfuse CRF and CP-154526 (selective antagonist of CRF1 receptor) in the VTA of control and repeated stress rats, respectively. We observed that perfusion of 20μM CRF inhibited the increase of VTA DA extracellular levels induced by cocaine in control rats. Interestingly, we observed that in the presence of 10μM CP-154526, cocaine induced a significant increase of VTA DA extracellular levels in repeated stress rats. Regarding the role of VTA GABA neurotransmission, cocaine administration induced a significant increase in VTA GABA extracellular levels only in repeated stress rats. Consistently, cocaine was able to increase VTA DA extracellular levels in repeated stress rats when 100μM bicuculline, an antagonist of GABAA receptor, was perfused intra VTA. Thus, both CRF and GABA systems are involved in the lack of response to cocaine in the VTA of repeated stress rats. It is tempting to suggest that the loss of response in VTA dopaminergic neurons to cocaine, after repeated stress, is due to an interaction between CRF and GABA systems.

  19. Sensitization of locomotion following repeated ventral tegmental injections of cytisine.

    PubMed

    Museo, E; Wise, R A

    1994-06-01

    Systemic injections of nicotine increase locomotion, and repeating these injections brings about a sensitization of the locomotor response. Ventral tegmental injections of the nicotinic agonist cytisine also increase locomotion. In the present study cytisine was administered repeatedly into the ventral tegmentum to determine whether sensitization of its locomotor-activating effects would develop. Four groups of animals were tested; each group received a total of six injections at a rate of one injection every 48 h. Two of these groups received injections of cytisine (10 nmol/side): one group received injections into the ventral tegmentum, and, to insure the anatomical specificity of the locomotor effect, a second group received injections dorsal to the ventral tegmentum. The remaining two groups received vehicle injections: one group received injections into the ventral tegmentum, and the other received injections into more dorsal sites. The group of animals that received injections of cytisine into the ventral tegmentum locomoted more than any other group. In addition, only with this group was a progressive increase in the locomotor response evident across test days. These findings raise the possibility that a neural substrate in the ventral tegmentum mediates the locomotor-activating and sensitizing effects associated with the systemic administration of nicotine.

  20. Glutamatergic plasticity in medial prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area following extended-access cocaine self-administration

    PubMed Central

    Ghasemzadeh, M. Behnam; Vasudevan, Preethi; Giles, Chad; Purgianto, Anthony; Seubert, Chad; Mantsch, John R.

    2013-01-01

    Glutamate signaling in prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area plays an important role in the molecular and behavioral plasticity associated with addiction to drugs of abuse. The current study investigated the expression and postsynaptic density redistribution of glutamate receptors and synaptic scaffolding proteins in dorsomedial and ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area after cocaine self-administration. After 14 days of extended-access (6hr/day) cocaine self-administration, rats were exposed to one of three withdrawal regimen for 10 days. Animals either stayed in home cages (Home), returned to self-administration boxes with the levers withdrawn (Box), or underwent extinction training (Extinction). Extinction training was associated with significant glutamatergic plasticity. In dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of the Extinction group, there was an increase in postsynaptic density GluR1, PSD95, and actin proteins; while postsynaptic content of mGluR5 receptor protein decreased and there was no change in NMDAR1, Homer1b/c, or PICK1 proteins. These changes were not observed in ventromedial prefrontal cortex or ventral tegmental area. In ventral tegmental area, Extinction training reversed the decreased postsynaptic density NMDAR1 protein in the Home and Box withdrawal groups. These data suggest that extinction of drug seeking is associated with selective glutamatergic plasticity in prefrontal cortex and ventral tegmental area that include modulation of receptor trafficking to postsynaptic density. PMID:21855055

  1. Pyramidal Neurons in Rat Prefrontal Cortex Projecting to Ventral Tegmental Area and Dorsal Raphe Nucleus Express 5-HT2A Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Borsetti, Pablo; Cortés, Roser

    2009-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in higher brain functions altered in schizophrenia. Classical antipsychotics modulate cortico-limbic circuits mainly through subcortical D2 receptor blockade, whereas second generation (atypical) antipsychotics preferentially target cortical 5-HT receptors. Anatomical and functional evidence supports a PFC-based control of the brainstem monoaminergic nuclei. Using a combination of retrograde tracing experiments and in situ hybridization we report that a substantial proportion of PFC pyramidal neurons projecting to the dorsal raphe (DR) and/or ventral tegmental area (VTA) express 5-HT2A receptors. Cholera-toxin B application into the DR and the VTA retrogradely labeled projection neurons in the medial PFC (mPFC) and in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In situ hybridization of 5-HT2A receptor mRNA in the same tissue sections labeled a large neuronal population in mPFC and OFC. The percentage of DR-projecting neurons expressing 5-HT2A receptor mRNA was ∼60% in mPFC and ∼75% in OFC (n = 3). Equivalent values for VTA-projecting neurons were ∼55% in both mPFC and ventral OFC. Thus, 5-HT2A receptor activation/blockade in PFC may have downstream effects on dopaminergic and serotonergic systems via direct descending pathways. Atypical antipsychotics may distally modulate monoaminergic cells through PFC 5-HT2A receptor blockade, presumably decreasing the activity of neurons receiving direct cortical inputs. PMID:19029064

  2. Loss of dopaminergic neurons occurs in the ventral tegmental area and hypothalamus of rats following chronic stress: Possible pathogenetic loci for depression involved in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Sugama, Shuei; Kakinuma, Yoshihiko

    2016-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic pathways including ventral tegmental area (VTA). Although several factors for the neuronal loss have been suggested, most of the PD cases are sporadic and idiopathic. In our previous study, we demonstrated the first evidence that solely chronic restraint stress (RS) induced the DA neuronal loss in the substantia nigra (SN). In this study, we further investigated whether chronic stress could affect other major DA systems, VTA and tuberoinfundibular system (TIDA), by using immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization techniques. The present study showed that, in the VTA, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive neurons decreased by 9.8% at 2nd week, 19.2% at 4th week, 39.5% at 8th week, and 40.6% at 16th week during chronic RS as compared to control. Similarly, in the TIDA, the TH neurons decreased by 10.9% at 2nd week, 38.2% at 4th week, 56.3% at 8th week, and 57.1% at 16th week. The in situ hybridization results consistently demonstrated decreases in Th mRNA expressing cells in the VTA and TIDA in a comparable time dependent manner. Thus, exposure to chronic stress may simultaneously induce multiple neuronal loss of DA systems.

  3. Calcium influx through L-type channels generates protein kinase M to induce burst firing of dopamine cells in the rat ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yudan; Dore, Jules; Chen, Xihua

    2007-03-23

    Enhanced activity of the dopaminergic system originating in the ventral tegmental area is implicated in addictive and psychiatric disorders. Burst firing increases dopamine levels at the synapse to signal novelty and salience. We have previously reported a calcium-dependent burst firing of dopamine cells mediated by L-type channels following cholinergic stimulation; this paper describes a cellular mechanism resulting in burst firing following L-type channel activation. Calcium influx through L-type channels following FPL 64176 or (S)-(-)-Bay K8644 induced burst firing independent of dopamine, glutamate, or calcium from the internal stores. Burst firing induced as such was completely blocked by the substrate site protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor chelerythrine but not by the diacylglycerol site inhibitor calphostin C. Western blotting analysis showed that FPL 64176 and (S)-(-)-Bay K8644 increased the cleavage of PKC to generate protein kinase M (PKM) and the specific calpain inhibitor MDL28170 blocked this increase. Prevention of PKM production by inhibiting calpain or depleting PKC blocked burst firing induction whereas direct loading of purified PKM into cells induced burst firing. Activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid type glutamate or cholinergic receptors known to induce burst firing increased PKM expression. These results indicate that calcium influx through L-type channels activates a calcium-dependent protease that cleaves PKC to generate constitutively active and labile PKM resulting in burst firing of dopamine cells, a pathway that is involved in glutamatergic or cholinergic modulation of the central dopamine system.

  4. Cognitive Neurostimulation: Learning to Volitionally Sustain Ventral Tegmental Area Activation.

    PubMed

    MacInnes, Jeff J; Dickerson, Kathryn C; Chen, Nan-kuei; Adcock, R Alison

    2016-03-16

    Activation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and mesolimbic networks is essential to motivation, performance, and learning. Humans routinely attempt to motivate themselves, with unclear efficacy or impact on VTA networks. Using fMRI, we found untrained participants' motivational strategies failed to consistently activate VTA. After real-time VTA neurofeedback training, however, participants volitionally induced VTA activation without external aids, relative to baseline, Pre-test, and control groups. VTA self-activation was accompanied by increased mesolimbic network connectivity. Among two comparison groups (no neurofeedback, false neurofeedback) and an alternate neurofeedback group (nucleus accumbens), none sustained activation in target regions of interest nor increased VTA functional connectivity. The results comprise two novel demonstrations: learning and generalization after VTA neurofeedback training and the ability to sustain VTA activation without external reward or reward cues. These findings suggest theoretical alignment of ideas about motivation and midbrain physiology and the potential for generalizable interventions to improve performance and learning. PMID:26948894

  5. Locomotion induced by ventral tegmental microinjections of a nicotinic agonist.

    PubMed

    Museo, E; Wise, R A

    1990-03-01

    Bilateral microinjections of the nicotinic agonist cytisine (0.1, 1 or 10 nanomoles per side) into the ventral tegmental area increased locomotor activity. This increase in locomotion was antagonized by mecamylamine (2 mg/kg, IP), a nicotinic antagonist that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and by pimozide (0.3 mg/kg, IP), a central dopaminergic antagonist. Hexamethonium (2 mg/kg, IP), a nicotinic antagonist that, unlike mecamylamine, does not cross the blood-brain barrier, had no effect; this suggests that mecamylamine's attenuation of cytisine-induced locomotor activity resulted from a blockade of central and not peripheral nicotinic receptors. The data support the notion that nicotinic and dopaminergic substrates interact at the level of the VTA to produce increases in locomotor activity.

  6. Cognitive Neurostimulation: Learning to Volitionally Sustain Ventral Tegmental Area Activation.

    PubMed

    MacInnes, Jeff J; Dickerson, Kathryn C; Chen, Nan-kuei; Adcock, R Alison

    2016-03-16

    Activation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and mesolimbic networks is essential to motivation, performance, and learning. Humans routinely attempt to motivate themselves, with unclear efficacy or impact on VTA networks. Using fMRI, we found untrained participants' motivational strategies failed to consistently activate VTA. After real-time VTA neurofeedback training, however, participants volitionally induced VTA activation without external aids, relative to baseline, Pre-test, and control groups. VTA self-activation was accompanied by increased mesolimbic network connectivity. Among two comparison groups (no neurofeedback, false neurofeedback) and an alternate neurofeedback group (nucleus accumbens), none sustained activation in target regions of interest nor increased VTA functional connectivity. The results comprise two novel demonstrations: learning and generalization after VTA neurofeedback training and the ability to sustain VTA activation without external reward or reward cues. These findings suggest theoretical alignment of ideas about motivation and midbrain physiology and the potential for generalizable interventions to improve performance and learning.

  7. GABAergic and Glutamatergic Efferents of the Mouse Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Seth R; Badurek, Sylvia; DiLeone, Ralph J; Nashmi, Raad; Minichiello, Liliana; Picciotto, Marina R

    2014-01-01

    The role of dopaminergic (DA) projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in appetitive and rewarding behavior has been widely studied, but the VTA also has documented DA-independent functions. Several drugs of abuse, including nicotine, act on VTA GABAergic neurons, and most studies have focused on local inhibitory connections. Relatively little is known about VTA GABA projection neurons and their connections to brain sites outside the VTA. In this study, we employed viral-vector mediated cell-type specific anterograde tracing, classical retrograde tracing and immunohistochemistry to characterize VTA GABA efferents throughout the brain. We found that VTA GABA neurons project widely to forebrain and brainstem targets, including the ventral pallidum, lateral and magnocellular preoptic nuclei, lateral hypothalamus and lateral habenula. Minor projections also go to central amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, dorsal raphe and deep mesencephalic nuclei, and sparse projections go to prefrontal cortical regions and to nucleus accumbens shell and core. Importantly, these projections differ from the major VTA DA target regions. Retrograde tracing studies confirmed results from the anterograde experiments and differences in projections from VTA subnuclei. Retrogradely-labeled GABA neurons were not numerous and most non-TH/retrogradely labeled cells lacked GABAergic markers. Many non-DA/retrogradely labeled cells projecting to several areas express VGluT2. VTA GABA and glutamate neurons project throughout the brain, most prominently to regions with reciprocal connections to the VTA. These data indicate that VTA GABA and glutamate neurons may have more dopamine-independent functions than previously recognized. PMID:24715505

  8. Interactions between amygdala central nucleus and the ventral tegmental area in the acquisition of conditioned cue-directed behavior in rats

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hongjoo J.; Wheeler, Daniel S.; Holland, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Rats orient to and approach localizable visual cues paired with food delivery. Previous studies from this laboratory show that the acquisition and expression of these learned cue-directed responses depend on integrity of a system including the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), and the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). Other investigators have suggested that cue-directed behaviors may also depend on interaction between CeA and the ventral striatum, perhaps via CeA projections to the ventral tegmentral area (VTA). In Experiment 1 we examined the effects of unilateral lesions of CeA and/or VTA on rats’ acquisition of conditioned responses to visual cues paired with food. Contrary to the results of previous studies that examined interactions of CeA with either SNc or DLS, rats with contralateral “disconnection” lesions of CeA and VTA were unimpaired in their acquisition of cue-directed responses. By contrast, rats with lesions of both structures in the same hemisphere failed to learn cue-directed responses, but were normal in their acquisition of conditioned responses directed to the food cup. In Experiment 2, we attempted to characterize VTA’s influence on CeA by examining FOS induction in CeA by a visual cue for food in rats with unilateral lesions of VTA. The results suggested an excitatory influence of VTA on CeA in the presence of food cues. Implications of these results for brain circuits involved in learned orienting and incentive motivation are discussed. PMID:21488988

  9. Enhanced alcohol-seeking behavior by nicotine in the posterior ventral tegmental area of female alcohol-preferring (P) rats: modulation by serotonin-3 and nicotinic cholinergic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Deehan, Gerald A.; Toalston, Jamie E.; Bell, Richard L.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Alcohol and nicotine co-use can reciprocally promote self-administration and drug-craving/drug-seeking behaviors. To date, the neurocircuitry in which nicotine influences ethanol (EtOH) seeking has not been elucidated. Clinical and preclinical research has suggested that the activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system is involved in the promotion of drug seeking. Alcohol, nicotine, and serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptors interact within the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) to regulate drug reward. Recently, our laboratory has reported that systemic administration of nicotine can promote context-induced EtOH seeking. Objectives The goals of the current study were to (1) determine if microinjections of pharmacologically relevant levels of nicotine into the pVTA would enhance EtOH seeking, (2) determine if coadministration of nicotinic cholinergic receptor antagonist (nACh) or 5-HT3 receptor antagonists would block the ability of nicotine microinjected into the pVTA to promote EtOH seeking, and (3) determine if 5-HT3 receptors in the pVTA can modulate EtOH seeking. Results Nicotine (100 and 200 µM) microinjected into the pVTA enhanced EtOH seeking. Coinfusion with 200 µM mecamylamine (nACh antagonist) or 100 and 200 µM zacopride (5-HT3 receptor antagonist) blocked the observed nicotine enhancement of EtOH seeking. The data also indicated that microinjection of 1 µM CPBG (5-HT3 receptor agonist) promotes context-induced EtOH seeking; conversely microinjection of 100 and 200 µM zacopride alone reduced context-induced EtOH seeking. Conclusions Overall, the results show that nicotine-enhanced EtOH-seeking behavior is modulated by 5-HT3 and nACh receptors within the pVTA and that the 5-HT3 receptor system within pVTA may be a potential pharmacological target to inhibit EtOH-seeking behaviors. PMID:24599396

  10. Ventral Tegmental Area Afferents and Drug-Dependent Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Idaira; Wanat, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Drug-related behaviors in both humans and rodents are commonly thought to arise from aberrant learning processes. Preclinical studies demonstrate that the acquisition and expression of many drug-dependent behaviors involves the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a midbrain structure comprised of dopamine, GABA, and glutamate neurons. Drug experience alters the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input onto VTA dopamine neurons, suggesting a critical role for VTA afferents in mediating the effects of drugs. In this review, we present evidence implicating the VTA in drug-related behaviors, highlight the diversity of neuronal populations in the VTA, and discuss the behavioral effects of selectively manipulating VTA afferents. Future experiments are needed to determine which VTA afferents and what neuronal populations in the VTA mediate specific drug-dependent behaviors. Further studies are also necessary for identifying the afferent-specific synaptic alterations onto dopamine and non-dopamine neurons in the VTA following drug administration. The identification of neural circuits and adaptations involved with drug-dependent behaviors can highlight potential neural targets for pharmacological and deep brain stimulation interventions to treat substance abuse disorders. PMID:27014097

  11. Ethanol and Nicotine Interaction within the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area in Male and Female Alcohol-Preferring Rats: Evidence of Synergy and Differential Gene Activation in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

    PubMed Central

    Truitt, William A.; Hauser, Sheketha R.; Deehan, Gerald A.; Toalston, Jamie E.; Wilden, Jessica A.; Bell, Richard L.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Ethanol and nicotine are frequently co-abused. The biological basis for the high co-morbidity rate is not known. Alcohol-preferring (P) rats will self-administer EtOH or nicotine directly into the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA). Objective The current experiments examined whether sub-threshold concentrations of EtOH and nicotine would support the development of self-administration behaviors if the drugs were combined. Methods Rats were implanted with a guide cannula aimed at the pVTA. Rats were randomly assigned to groups that self-administered sub-threshold concentrations of EtOH (50 mg%) or nicotine (1 μM) or combinations of ethanol (25 or 50 mg%) and nicotine (0.5 or 1.0 μM). Alterations in gene expression downstream projections areas (nucleus accumbens shell, AcbSh) were assessed following a single, acute exposure to EtOH (50 mg%), nicotine (1 μM) or ethanol and nicotine (50 mg% + 1 μM) directly into the pVTA. Results The results indicated that P rats would co-administer EtOH and nicotine directly into the pVTA at concentrations that did not support individual self-administration. EtOH and nicotine directly administered into the pVTA resulted in alterations in gene expression in the AcbSh (50.8-fold increase in BDNF, 2.4-fold decrease in GDNF, 10.3-fold increase in Vglut1) that were not observed following microinjections of equivalent concentrations/doses of ethanol or nicotine. Conclusion The data indicate that ethanol and nicotine act synergistically to produce reinforcement and alter gene expression within the mesolimbic dopamine system. The high rate of co-morbidity of alcoholism and nicotine dependence could the result of the interactions of EtOH and nicotine within the mesolimbic dopamine system. PMID:25155311

  12. Persistent Adaptations in Afferents to Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons after Opiate Withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Kaufling, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Protracted opiate withdrawal is accompanied by altered responsiveness of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, including a loss of DA cell response to morphine, and by behavioral alterations, including affective disorders. GABAergic neurons in the tail of the ventral tegmental area (tVTA), also called the rostromedial tegmental nucleus, are important for behavioral responses to opiates. We investigated the tVTA–VTA circuit in rats after chronic morphine exposure to determine whether tVTA neurons participate in the loss of opiate-induced disinhibition of VTA DA neurons observed during protracted withdrawal. In vivo recording revealed that VTA DA neurons, but not tVTA GABAergic neurons, are tolerant to morphine after 2 weeks of withdrawal. Optogenetic stimulation of tVTA neurons inhibited VTA DA neurons similarly in opiate-naive and long-term withdrawn rats. However, tVTA inactivation increased VTA DA activity in opiate-naive rats, but not in withdrawn rats, resembling the opiate tolerance effect in DA cells. Thus, although inhibitory control of DA neurons by tVTA is maintained during protracted withdrawal, the capacity for disinhibitory control is impaired. In addition, morphine withdrawal reduced both tVTA neural activity and tonic glutamatergic input to VTA DA neurons. We propose that these changes in glutamate and GABA inputs underlie the apparent tolerance of VTA DA neurons to opiates after chronic exposure. These alterations in the tVTA–VTA DA circuit could be an important factor in opiate tolerance and addiction. Moreover, the capacity of the tVTA to inhibit, but not disinhibit, DA cells after chronic opiate exposure may contribute to long-term negative affective states during withdrawal. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dopaminergic (DA) cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are the origin of a brain reward system and are critically involved in drug abuse. Morphine has long been known to affect VTA DA cells via GABAergic interneurons. Recently, GABAergic neurons

  13. Region-specific contribution of the ventral tegmental area to heroin-induced conditioned immunomodulation.

    PubMed

    Hutson, Lee W; Szczytkowski, Jennifer L; Saurer, Timothy B; Lebonville, Christina; Fuchs, Rita A; Lysle, Donald T

    2014-05-01

    Dopamine receptor stimulation is critical for heroin-conditioned immunomodulation; however, it is unclear whether the ventral tegmental area (VTA) contributes to this phenomenon. Hence, rats received repeated pairings of heroin with placement into a distinct environmental context. At test, they were re-exposed to the previously heroin-paired environment followed by systemic lipopolysaccharide treatment to induce an immune response. Bilateral GABA agonist-induced neural inactivation of the anterior, but not the posterior VTA, prior to context re-exposure inhibited the ability of the heroin-paired environment to suppress peripheral nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-α expression, suggesting a role for the anterior VTA in heroin-conditioned immunomodulation.

  14. Anti-opioid effects of neuropeptide FF receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Kersanté, Flavie; Wang, Jin-Ya; Chen, Jin-Chung; Mollereau, Catherine; Zajac, Jean-Marie

    2011-01-25

    The present study investigates the modulatory effects of neuropeptide FF (NPFF) receptors on the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway controlled by opioid receptors. A stable NPFF(2) receptor agonist, dNPA, was injected into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the release of dopamine and serotonin within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), induced by intraperitoneal injection of morphine, was monitored using the brain microdialysis, in non-constrained rat. dNPA decreased systemic morphine-induced elevation of dopamine and serotonin metabolites within the NAc. Furthermore, co-injected with morphine into the VTA, NPFF inhibited morphine-induced stereotypy 60-120min after the injection. This neurochemical and behavioural anti-opioid effect mediated by NPFF(2) receptors at the level of VTA suggests the involvement of NPFF in the rewarding effects of opiates on the mesolimbic dopamine system.

  15. Knockdown of ventral tegmental area mu-opioid receptors in rats prevents effects of social defeat stress: implications for amphetamine cross-sensitization, social avoidance, weight regulation and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Caitlin E; Herschel, Daniel J; Lasek, Amy W; Hammer, Ronald P; Nikulina, Ella M

    2015-02-01

    Social defeat stress causes social avoidance and long-lasting cross-sensitization to psychostimulants, both of which are associated with increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Moreover, social stress upregulates VTA mu-opioid receptor (MOR) mRNA. In the VTA, MOR activation inhibits GABA neurons to disinhibit VTA dopamine neurons, thus providing a role for VTA MORs in the regulation of psychostimulant sensitization. The present study determined the effect of lentivirus-mediated MOR knockdown in the VTA on the consequences of intermittent social defeat stress, a salient and profound stressor in humans and rodents. Social stress exposure induced social avoidance and attenuated weight gain in animals with non-manipulated VTA MORs, but both these effects were prevented by VTA MOR knockdown. Rats with non-manipulated VTA MOR expression exhibited cross-sensitization to amphetamine challenge (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.), evidenced by a significant augmentation of locomotion. By contrast, knockdown of VTA MORs prevented stress-induced cross-sensitization without blunting the locomotor-activating effects of amphetamine. At the time point corresponding to amphetamine challenge, immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine the effect of stress on VTA BDNF expression. Prior stress exposure increased VTA BDNF expression in rats with non-manipulated VTA MOR expression, while VTA MOR knockdown prevented stress-induced expression of VTA BDNF. Taken together, these results suggest that upregulation of VTA MOR is necessary for the behavioral and biochemical changes induced by social defeat stress. Elucidating VTA MOR regulation of stress effects on the mesolimbic system may provide new therapeutic targets for treating stress-induced vulnerability to substance abuse.

  16. Knockdown of ventral tegmental area mu-opioid receptors in rats prevents effects of social defeat stress: Implications for amphetamine cross-sensitization, social avoidance, weight regulation and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Caitlin E.; Herschel, Daniel; Lasek, Amy W.; Hammer, Ronald P.; Nikulina, Ella M.

    2014-01-01

    Social defeat stress causes social avoidance and long-lasting cross-sensitization to psychostimulants, both of which are associated with increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Moreover, social stress upregulates VTA mu-opioid receptor (MOR) mRNA. In the VTA, MOR activation inhibits GABA neurons to disinhibit VTA dopamine neurons, thus providing a role for VTA MORs in the regulation of psychostimulant sensitization. The present study determined the effect of lentivirus-mediated MOR knockdown in the VTA on the consequences of intermittent social defeat stress, a salient and profound stressor in humans and rodents. Social stress exposure induced social avoidance and attenuated weight gain in animals with non-manipulated VTA MORs, but both these effects were prevented by VTA MOR knockdown. Rats with non-manipulated VTA MOR expression exhibited cross-sensitization to amphetamine challenge (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.), evidenced by a significant augmentation of locomotion. By contrast, knockdown of VTA MORs prevented stress-induced cross-sensitization without blunting the locomotor-activating effects of amphetamine. At the time point corresponding to amphetamine challenge, immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine the effect of stress on VTA BDNF expression. Prior stress exposure increased VTA BDNF expression in rats with non-manipulated VTA MOR expression, while VTA MOR knockdown prevented stress-induced expression of VTA BDNF. Taken together, these results suggest that upregulation of VTA MOR is necessary for the behavioral and biochemical changes induced by social defeat stress. Elucidating VTA MOR regulation of stress effects on the mesolimbic system may provide new therapeutic targets for treating stress-induced vulnerability to substance abuse. PMID:25446676

  17. The neurokinin-3 (NK3) and the neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptors are differentially targeted to mesocortical and mesololimbic projection neurons, and to neuronal nuclei in the rat ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Lessard, Andrée; Savard, Martin; Gobeil, Fernand; Pierce, Joseph P.; Pickel, Virginia M.

    2009-01-01

    Tonic activation of neurokinin-3 (NK3) receptors in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. This psychiatric disorder is associated with a dysfunctional activity in VTA projection neurons that can affect cognitive function at the level of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) as well as motor and motivational states controlled in part by mesolimbic output to the nucleus accumbens (Acb). To determine the relevant sites for NK3 receptor activation within this neuronal network, we used confocal and electron microscopy to examine NK3 receptors (Cy5; immunogold) and retrograde labeling of fluorogold (FG, FITC; immunoperoxidase) in the VTA of rats receiving either Acb or mPFC injections of FG. Comparison was made with neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptors, which are also present, but less abundant then NK3 receptors, in dopaminergic and GABAergic VTA neurons. There were no observable differences between NK3 and NK1 receptors in their primary locations in the cytoplasm and on the plasma membrane of VTA somata and dendrites with or without FG. Dendrites labeled with FG retrogradely transported from mPFC, however, contained more NK3 or less NK1 immunogold particles (plasmalemmal + cytoplasmic) then those retrogradely labeled following FG injection in the Acb. Moreover, only the NK3 receptors were detected in neuronal nuclei in the VTA and in the nuclei of human HEK-293T NK3-transfected cells. The enrichment of NK3 receptors in mesocortical projection neurons and nuclear distribution of these receptors may provide insight for understanding the selective antipsychotic effectiveness of NK3 antagonists. PMID:19224600

  18. Role of the Ventral Tegmental Area in Methamphetamine Extinction: AMPA Receptor-Mediated Neuroplasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen Han-Ting; Chen, Jin-Chung

    2015-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying drug extinction remain largely unknown, although a role for medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) glutamate neurons has been suggested. Considering that the mPFC sends glutamate efferents to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), we tested whether the VTA is involved in methamphetamine (METH) extinction via conditioned…

  19. Ventral Tegmental Area and Substantia Nigra Neural Correlates of Spatial Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martig, Adria K.; Mizumori, Sheri J. Y.

    2011-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) may provide modulatory signals that, respectively, influence hippocampal (HPC)- and striatal-dependent memory. Electrophysiological studies investigating neural correlates of learning and memory of dopamine (DA) neurons during classical conditioning tasks have found DA…

  20. Reducing Ventral Tegmental Dopamine D2 Receptor Expression Selectively Boosts Incentive Motivation

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Johannes W; Roelofs, Theresia J M; Mol, Frédérique M U; Hillen, Anne E J; Meijboom, Katharina E; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; van der Eerden, Harrie A M; Garner, Keith M; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Adan, Roger A H

    2015-01-01

    Altered mesolimbic dopamine signaling has been widely implicated in addictive behavior. For the most part, this work has focused on dopamine within the striatum, but there is emerging evidence for a role of the auto-inhibitory, somatodendritic dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in addiction. Thus, decreased midbrain D2R expression has been implicated in addiction in humans. Moreover, knockout of the gene encoding the D2R receptor (Drd2) in dopamine neurons has been shown to enhance the locomotor response to cocaine in mice. Therefore, we here tested the hypothesis that decreasing D2R expression in the VTA of adult rats, using shRNA knockdown, promotes addiction-like behavior in rats responding for cocaine or palatable food. Rats with decreased VTA D2R expression showed markedly increased motivation for both sucrose and cocaine under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, but the acquisition or maintenance of cocaine self-administration were not affected. They also displayed enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor activity, but no change in basal locomotion. This robust increase in incentive motivation was behaviorally specific, as we did not observe any differences in fixed ratio responding, extinction responding, reinstatement or conditioned suppression of cocaine, and sucrose seeking. We conclude that VTA D2R knockdown results in increased incentive motivation, but does not directly promote other aspects of addiction-like behavior. PMID:25735756

  1. Reducing Ventral Tegmental Dopamine D2 Receptor Expression Selectively Boosts Incentive Motivation.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Johannes W; Roelofs, Theresia J M; Mol, Frédérique M U; Hillen, Anne E J; Meijboom, Katharina E; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; van der Eerden, Harrie A M; Garner, Keith M; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Adan, Roger A H

    2015-08-01

    Altered mesolimbic dopamine signaling has been widely implicated in addictive behavior. For the most part, this work has focused on dopamine within the striatum, but there is emerging evidence for a role of the auto-inhibitory, somatodendritic dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in addiction. Thus, decreased midbrain D2R expression has been implicated in addiction in humans. Moreover, knockout of the gene encoding the D2R receptor (Drd2) in dopamine neurons has been shown to enhance the locomotor response to cocaine in mice. Therefore, we here tested the hypothesis that decreasing D2R expression in the VTA of adult rats, using shRNA knockdown, promotes addiction-like behavior in rats responding for cocaine or palatable food. Rats with decreased VTA D2R expression showed markedly increased motivation for both sucrose and cocaine under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, but the acquisition or maintenance of cocaine self-administration were not affected. They also displayed enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor activity, but no change in basal locomotion. This robust increase in incentive motivation was behaviorally specific, as we did not observe any differences in fixed ratio responding, extinction responding, reinstatement or conditioned suppression of cocaine, and sucrose seeking. We conclude that VTA D2R knockdown results in increased incentive motivation, but does not directly promote other aspects of addiction-like behavior.

  2. Reducing Ventral Tegmental Dopamine D2 Receptor Expression Selectively Boosts Incentive Motivation.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Johannes W; Roelofs, Theresia J M; Mol, Frédérique M U; Hillen, Anne E J; Meijboom, Katharina E; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; van der Eerden, Harrie A M; Garner, Keith M; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Adan, Roger A H

    2015-08-01

    Altered mesolimbic dopamine signaling has been widely implicated in addictive behavior. For the most part, this work has focused on dopamine within the striatum, but there is emerging evidence for a role of the auto-inhibitory, somatodendritic dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in addiction. Thus, decreased midbrain D2R expression has been implicated in addiction in humans. Moreover, knockout of the gene encoding the D2R receptor (Drd2) in dopamine neurons has been shown to enhance the locomotor response to cocaine in mice. Therefore, we here tested the hypothesis that decreasing D2R expression in the VTA of adult rats, using shRNA knockdown, promotes addiction-like behavior in rats responding for cocaine or palatable food. Rats with decreased VTA D2R expression showed markedly increased motivation for both sucrose and cocaine under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, but the acquisition or maintenance of cocaine self-administration were not affected. They also displayed enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor activity, but no change in basal locomotion. This robust increase in incentive motivation was behaviorally specific, as we did not observe any differences in fixed ratio responding, extinction responding, reinstatement or conditioned suppression of cocaine, and sucrose seeking. We conclude that VTA D2R knockdown results in increased incentive motivation, but does not directly promote other aspects of addiction-like behavior. PMID:25735756

  3. Blockade of GABA(A) receptors within the extended amygdala attenuates D(2) regulation of alcohol-motivated behaviors in the ventral tegmental area of alcohol-preferring (P) rats.

    PubMed

    Eiler, William J A; June, Harry L

    2007-06-01

    The dopamine (DA) mesolimbic pathway, which originates from DA cell bodies within the ventral tegmental area (VTA), has been shown by various studies to play a role in the mediation of various drugs of abuse including alcohol (EtOH). It has been suggested that the VTA's control of EtOH reward is mediated in part by the D2 receptors within the VTA. These receptors may be under the regulation of reciprocal GABAergic inputs from forebrain components of the mesolimbic path such as the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a classic EtOH reward substrate, and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, a substrate recently implicated in EtOH reinforcement, forming a self-regulating feedback loop. To test this hypothesis, D2 regulation of EtOH self-administration (SA) was evaluated by the microinfusion of the D2 antagonist eticlopride into the VTA of P rats, which produced profound reductions in EtOH SA in the highest (20.0 and 40.0microg) doses tested in both BST/VTA and NAcc/VTA implanted P rats. To determine the role of GABA in the mediation of EtOH SA, a 32.0ng dose the non-selective GABA antagonist SR 95531 was microinfused into the BST producing no effect on responding for EtOH and into the NAcc which lead to a reduction in EtOH responding. Finally, the hypothesis that GABA innervation of the VTA from the mesolimbic forebrain may influence EtOH SA was examined by the simultaneous infusion of eticlopride (40.0microg) into the VTA and SR 95531 (32.0ng) into either the BST or NAcc. This combination infusion completely attenuated the reduction in EtOH SA observed with the 40.0microg dose of eticlopride alone in both groups of animals. These results suggest that while the D2 receptors within the VTA regulate EtOH-motivated behaviors, this is modulated by GABAergic input from the mesolimbic forebrain, specifically from the BST and NAcc. PMID:17451754

  4. Glycine blocks long-term potentiation of GABAergic synapses in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Guan, Y-Z; Ye, J-H

    2016-03-24

    The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, originating in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is normally constrained by GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition. Accumulating evidence indicates that long-term potentiation of GABAergic synapses (LTPGABA) in VTA dopamine neurons plays an important role in the actions of drugs of abuse, including ethanol. We previously showed that a single infusion of glycine into the VTA of rats strongly reduces ethanol intake for 24h. In the current study, we examined the effect of glycine on the electrophysiological activities of putative dopamine VTA neurons in midbrain slices from ethanol-naïve rats. We report here that a 15-min exposure to 10 μM glycine prevented trains of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) from producing LTPGABA, which was rescued by the glycine receptor (GlyR) antagonist strychnine. Glycine also concentration-dependently decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). By contrast, glycine pretreatment did not prevent potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) during a continuous exposure to the nitric oxide (NO) donor, SNAP (S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine), or a brief exposure to 10 μM glycine and 10 μM NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate), an agonist of NMDA-type glutamate receptors. Thus, the blockade of LTPGABA by glycine is probably resulted from suppressing glutamate release by activating the GlyRs on the glutamatergic terminals. This effect of glycine may contribute to the reduction in ethanol intake induced by intra-VTA glycine observed in vivo.

  5. Orexinergic Input to Dopaminergic Neurons of the Human Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Hrabovszky, Erik; Molnár, Csilla S.; Borsay, Beáta Á.; Gergely, Péter; Herczeg, László; Liposits, Zsolt

    2013-01-01

    The mesolimbic reward pathway arising from dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been strongly implicated in reward processing and drug abuse. In rodents, behaviors associated with this projection are profoundly influenced by an orexinergic input from the lateral hypothalamus to the VTA. Because the existence and significance of an analogous orexigenic regulatory mechanism acting in the human VTA have been elusive, here we addressed the possibility that orexinergic neurons provide direct input to DA neurons of the human VTA. Dual-label immunohistochemistry was used and orexinergic projections to the VTA and to DA neurons of the neighboring substantia nigra (SN) were analyzed comparatively in adult male humans and rats. Orexin B-immunoreactive (IR) axons apposed to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-IR DA and to non-DA neurons were scarce in the VTA and SN of both species. In the VTA, 15.0±2.8% of TH-IR perikarya in humans and 3.2±0.3% in rats received orexin B-IR afferent contacts. On average, 0.24±0.05 and 0.05±0.005 orexinergic appositions per TH-IR perikaryon were detected in humans and rats, respectively. The majority (86–88%) of randomly encountered orexinergic contacts targeted the dendritic compartment of DA neurons. Finally, DA neurons of the SN also received orexinergic innervation in both species. Based on the observation of five times heavier orexinergic input to TH-IR neurons of the human, compared with the rat, VTA, we propose that orexinergic mechanism acting in the VTA may play just as important roles in reward processing and drug abuse in humans, as already established well in rodents. PMID:24376626

  6. A subpopulation of neurochemically-identified ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons is excited by intravenous cocaine.

    PubMed

    Mejias-Aponte, Carlos A; Ye, Changquan; Bonci, Antonello; Kiyatkin, Eugene A; Morales, Marisela

    2015-02-01

    Systemic administration of cocaine is thought to decrease the firing rates of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. However, this view is based on categorizations of recorded neurons as DA neurons using preselected electrophysiological characteristics lacking neurochemical confirmation. Without applying cellular preselection, we recorded the impulse activity of VTA neurons in response to cocaine administration in anesthetized adult rats. The phenotype of recorded neurons was determined by their juxtacellular labeling and immunohistochemical detection of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a DA marker. We found that intravenous cocaine altered firing rates in the majority of recorded VTA neurons. Within the cocaine-responsive neurons, half of the population was excited and the other half was inhibited. Both populations had similar discharge rates and firing regularities, and most neurons did not exhibit changes in burst firing. Inhibited neurons were more abundant in the posterior VTA, whereas excited neurons were distributed evenly throughout the VTA. Cocaine-excited neurons were more likely to be excited by footshock. Within the subpopulation of TH-positive neurons, 36% were excited by cocaine and 64% were inhibited. Within the subpopulation of TH-negative neurons, 44% were excited and 28% were inhibited. Contrary to the prevailing view that all DA neurons are inhibited by cocaine, we found a subset of confirmed VTA DA neurons that is excited by systemic administration of cocaine. We provide evidence indicating that DA neurons are heterogeneous in their response to cocaine and that VTA non-DA neurons play an active role in processing systemic cocaine. PMID:25653355

  7. A Subpopulation of Neurochemically-Identified Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons Is Excited by Intravenous Cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Mejias-Aponte, Carlos A.; Ye, Changquan; Bonci, Antonello; Kiyatkin, Eugene A.

    2015-01-01

    Systemic administration of cocaine is thought to decrease the firing rates of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. However, this view is based on categorizations of recorded neurons as DA neurons using preselected electrophysiological characteristics lacking neurochemical confirmation. Without applying cellular preselection, we recorded the impulse activity of VTA neurons in response to cocaine administration in anesthetized adult rats. The phenotype of recorded neurons was determined by their juxtacellular labeling and immunohistochemical detection of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a DA marker. We found that intravenous cocaine altered firing rates in the majority of recorded VTA neurons. Within the cocaine-responsive neurons, half of the population was excited and the other half was inhibited. Both populations had similar discharge rates and firing regularities, and most neurons did not exhibit changes in burst firing. Inhibited neurons were more abundant in the posterior VTA, whereas excited neurons were distributed evenly throughout the VTA. Cocaine-excited neurons were more likely to be excited by footshock. Within the subpopulation of TH-positive neurons, 36% were excited by cocaine and 64% were inhibited. Within the subpopulation of TH-negative neurons, 44% were excited and 28% were inhibited. Contrary to the prevailing view that all DA neurons are inhibited by cocaine, we found a subset of confirmed VTA DA neurons that is excited by systemic administration of cocaine. We provide evidence indicating that DA neurons are heterogeneous in their response to cocaine and that VTA non-DA neurons play an active role in processing systemic cocaine. PMID:25653355

  8. Orexin–Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Receptor Heteromers in the Ventral Tegmental Area as Targets for Cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Navarro, Gemma; Quiroz, César; Moreno-Delgado, David; Sierakowiak, Adam; McDowell, Kimberly; Moreno, Estefanía; Rea, William; Cai, Ning-Sheng; Aguinaga, David; Howell, Lesley A.; Hausch, Felix; Cortés, Antonio; Mallol, Josefa; Casadó, Vicent; Lluís, Carme; Canela, Enric I.

    2015-01-01

    Release of the neuropeptides corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and orexin-A in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play an important role in stress-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. We provide evidence for pharmacologically significant interactions between CRF and orexin-A that depend on oligomerization of CRF1 receptor (CRF1R) and orexin OX1 receptors (OX1R). CRF1R–OX1R heteromers are the conduits of a negative crosstalk between orexin-A and CRF as demonstrated in transfected cells and rat VTA, in which they significantly modulate dendritic dopamine release. The cocaine target σ1 receptor (σ1R) also associates with the CRF1R–OX1R heteromer. Cocaine binding to the σ1R–CRF1R–OX1R complex promotes a long-term disruption of the orexin-A–CRF negative crosstalk. Through this mechanism, cocaine sensitizes VTA cells to the excitatory effects of both CRF and orexin-A, thus providing a mechanism by which stress induces cocaine seeking. PMID:25926444

  9. Voltage-sensitive dye imaging of primary motor cortex activity produced by ventral tegmental area stimulation.

    PubMed

    Kunori, Nobuo; Kajiwara, Riichi; Takashima, Ichiro

    2014-06-25

    The primary motor cortex (M1) receives dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) through the mesocortical dopamine pathway. However, few studies have focused on changes in M1 neuronal activity caused by VTA activation. To address this issue, we used voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSD) to reveal the spatiotemporal dynamics of M1 activity induced by single-pulse stimulation of VTA in anesthetized rats. VSD imaging showed that brief electrical stimulation of unilateral VTA elicited a short-latency excitatory-inhibitory sequence of neuronal activity not only in the ipsilateral but also in the contralateral M1. The contralateral M1 response was not affected by pharmacological blockade of ipsilateral M1 activity, but it was completely abolished by corpus callosum transection. Although the VTA-evoked neuronal activity extended throughout the entire M1, we found the most prominent activity in the forelimb area of M1. The 6-OHDA-lesioned VTA failed to evoke M1 activity. Furthermore, both excitatory and inhibitory intact VTA-induced activity was entirely extinguished by blocking glutamate receptors in the target M1. When intracortical microstimulation of M1 was paired with VTA stimulation, the evoked forelimb muscle activity was facilitated or inhibited, depending on the interval between the two stimuli. These findings suggest that VTA neurons directly modulate the excitability of M1 neurons via fast glutamate signaling and, consequently, may control the last cortical stage of motor command processing. PMID:24966388

  10. D-amino acid oxidase is expressed in the ventral tegmental area and modulates cortical dopamine.

    PubMed

    Betts, Jill F; Schweimer, Judith V; Burnham, Katherine E; Burnet, Philip W J; Sharp, Trevor; Harrison, Paul J

    2014-01-01

    D-amino acid oxidase (DAO, DAAO) degrades the NMDA receptor co-agonist D-serine, modulating D-serine levels and thence NMDA receptor function. DAO inhibitors are under development as a therapy for schizophrenia, a disorder involving both NMDA receptor and dopaminergic dysfunction. However, a direct role for DAO in dopamine regulation has not been demonstrated. Here, we address this question in two ways. First, using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we show that DAO mRNA and immunoreactivity are present in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the rat, in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive and -negative neurons, and in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive astrocytes. Second, we show that injection into the VTA of sodium benzoate, a DAO inhibitor, increases frontal cortex extracellular dopamine, as measured by in vivo microdialysis and high performance liquid chromatography. Combining sodium benzoate and D-serine did not enhance this effect, and injection of D-serine alone affected dopamine metabolites but not dopamine. These data show that DAO is expressed in the VTA, and suggest that it impacts on the mesocortical dopamine system. The mechanism by which the observed effects occur, and the implications of these findings for schizophrenia therapy, require further study. PMID:24822045

  11. A subpopulation of neurochemically-identified ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons is excited by intravenous cocaine.

    PubMed

    Mejias-Aponte, Carlos A; Ye, Changquan; Bonci, Antonello; Kiyatkin, Eugene A; Morales, Marisela

    2015-02-01

    Systemic administration of cocaine is thought to decrease the firing rates of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. However, this view is based on categorizations of recorded neurons as DA neurons using preselected electrophysiological characteristics lacking neurochemical confirmation. Without applying cellular preselection, we recorded the impulse activity of VTA neurons in response to cocaine administration in anesthetized adult rats. The phenotype of recorded neurons was determined by their juxtacellular labeling and immunohistochemical detection of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a DA marker. We found that intravenous cocaine altered firing rates in the majority of recorded VTA neurons. Within the cocaine-responsive neurons, half of the population was excited and the other half was inhibited. Both populations had similar discharge rates and firing regularities, and most neurons did not exhibit changes in burst firing. Inhibited neurons were more abundant in the posterior VTA, whereas excited neurons were distributed evenly throughout the VTA. Cocaine-excited neurons were more likely to be excited by footshock. Within the subpopulation of TH-positive neurons, 36% were excited by cocaine and 64% were inhibited. Within the subpopulation of TH-negative neurons, 44% were excited and 28% were inhibited. Contrary to the prevailing view that all DA neurons are inhibited by cocaine, we found a subset of confirmed VTA DA neurons that is excited by systemic administration of cocaine. We provide evidence indicating that DA neurons are heterogeneous in their response to cocaine and that VTA non-DA neurons play an active role in processing systemic cocaine.

  12. Afferent Inputs to Neurotransmitter-Defined Cell Types in the Ventral Tegmental Area.

    PubMed

    Faget, Lauren; Osakada, Fumitaka; Duan, Jinyi; Ressler, Reed; Johnson, Alexander B; Proudfoot, James A; Yoo, Ji Hoon; Callaway, Edward M; Hnasko, Thomas S

    2016-06-21

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) plays a central role in the neural circuit control of behavioral reinforcement. Though considered a dopaminergic nucleus, the VTA contains substantial heterogeneity in neurotransmitter type, containing also GABA and glutamate neurons. Here, we used a combinatorial viral approach to transsynaptically label afferents to defined VTA dopamine, GABA, or glutamate neurons. Surprisingly, we find that these populations received qualitatively similar inputs, with dominant and comparable projections from the lateral hypothalamus, raphe, and ventral pallidum. However, notable differences were observed, with striatal regions and globus pallidus providing a greater share of input to VTA dopamine neurons, cortical input preferentially on to glutamate neurons, and GABA neurons receiving proportionally more input from the lateral habenula and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus. By comparing inputs to each of the transmitter-defined VTA cell types, this study sheds important light on the systems-level organization of diverse inputs to VTA.

  13. Organization of the output of the ventral striatopallidal system in the rat: ventral pallidal efferents.

    PubMed

    Groenewegen, H J; Berendse, H W; Haber, S N

    1993-11-01

    The efferent projections of the ventral pallidum in the rat were studied using anterograde tracing of Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin and retrograde tracing of choleratoxin subunit B. The main aim of this study was to determine the degree of topographical organization in the outputs of the ventral pallidum. In the telencephalon, ventral pallidal fibers reach the prefrontal cortex, the ventral striatum, the lateral septum, the basolateral, lateral, and central amygdaloid nuclei, and the lateral entorhinal area. Diencephalic targets of ventral pallidal fibers are the lateral hypothalamus, the reticular nucleus of the thalamus, the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus, the dorsomedial part of the subthalamic nucleus, the medial part of the parafascicular nucleus and the lateral habenula. In the mesencephalon, ventral pallidal fibers terminate in the ventral tegmental area, the substantia nigra, the retrorubral area, the median raphe nucleus, the nucleus raphe magnus, the peribrachial area, the ventromedial part of the central gray substance and the locus coeruleus. The results of the experiments in which retrograde tracers were injected in different nuclei in the mesencephalon allow the distinction of two main areas in the ventral pallidum. Deposits of retrograde tracers in the substantia nigra, pars reticulata result in labeling of cells in the dorsolateral part of the ventral pallidum, located immediately ventral to the anterior limb of the anterior commissure. Retrograde tracer injections in other targets of the ventral mesencephalon, i.e. the dopaminergic cell groups A10, A9 or A8, or nuclei in the peribrachial area result in labeling of neurons in an extensive ventromedial and ventrolateral zone of the ventral pallidum. The medial part of this ventral pallidal zone projects to the ventral tegmental area, whereas ventral and lateral parts connect with more lateral and caudal mesencephalic targets. The projections from the ventral pallidum to the ventral striatum, the

  14. Ventral tegmental (A10) system: neurobiology. 1. Anatomy and connectivity.

    PubMed

    Oades, R D; Halliday, G M

    1987-05-01

    The VTA contains the A10 group of DA containing neurons. These neurons have been grouped into nuclei to be found on the floor of the midbrain tegmentum--Npn, Nif, Npbp and Nln rostralis and caudalis. The VTA is traversed by many blood vessels and nerve fibers. Close to its poorly defined borders are found DA (A8, A9, A11) and 5-HT containing neurons (B8). Efferent projections of the VTA can be divided into 5 subsystems. The mesorhombencephalic projects to other monoaminergic nuclei, the cerebellum and a fine projection descends to other tegmental nuclei as far as the inferior olive. Fibers to the spinal cord have not been demonstrated. The mesodiencephalic path projects to several thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei and possibly the median eminence. Functionally important examples are the anterior hypothalamic-preoptic area, N. medialis dorsalis and reuniens thalami. These two subsystems are largely non-dopaminergic. A minor mesostriatal projection is overshadowed by the large mesolimbic projection to the accumbens, tuberculum olfactorium, septum lateralis and n. interstitialis stria terminalis. There are also mesolimbic connections with several amygdaloid nuclei (especially centralis and basolateralis), the olfactory nuclei and entorhinal cortex. A minor projection to the hippocampus has been detected. The mesocortical pathway projects to sensory (e.g. visual), motor, limbic (e.g. retrosplenial) and polysensory association cortices (e.g. prefrontal). Prefrontal, orbitofrontal (insular) and cingulate cortices receive the most marked innervation from the VTA. A more widespread presence of DA in other cortices of rodents becomes progressively more evident in carnivores and primates. Most but not all projections are unilateral. Some neurons project to more than one area in mesodiencephalic, limbic and cortical systems. The majority of these fibers ascend in the MFB. Most areas receiving a projection from the VTA (DA or non-DA) project back to the VTA. The

  15. Ventral tegmental area orexin 1 receptors promote palatable food intake and oppose postingestive negative feedback.

    PubMed

    Terrill, Sarah J; Hyde, Kellie M; Kay, Kristen E; Greene, Hayden E; Maske, Calyn B; Knierim, Amanda E; Davis, Jon F; Williams, Diana L

    2016-09-01

    Hypothalamic orexin neurons project to numerous brain areas, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which is involved in motivation and food-seeking behavior. Here we address how exogenously administered orexin-A and endogenous orexin 1 receptor (OX1R) activation in the VTA affects feeding behavior. We hypothesized that orexin-A and OX1R antagonist SB334867 delivered to the VTA, at doses that were subthreshold for effect when injected into the ventricle, would affect intake of palatable foods in multiple test situations. We first used a hedonic feeding model in which satiated rats selectively consume a high-fat diet (HFD). Intra-VTA orexin-A stimulated additional consumption of chow and increased HFD intake in this model. In ad libitum-fed rats given daily 30-min test sessions, intra-VTA orexin-A also increased intake of HFD and 0.1 M sucrose. Further analysis of licking patterns revealed that that VTA orexin-A increased meal size and licking burst size only toward the end of the meal. Consistent with this finding, a subthreshold dose of VTA orexin-A prevented intake suppression induced by gastrointestinal nutrient infusion. Surprisingly, intra-VTA orexin-A had no effect on operant responding for sucrose pellets on a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. A role for endogenous VTA OX1R stimulation is supported by our finding that bilateral VTA injection of the selective OX1R antagonist SB334867 suppressed 0.1 M sucrose intake. Together, our data suggest that OX1R activity in the VTA facilitates food intake, potentially by counteracting postingestive negative feedback that would normally suppress feeding later in a meal. PMID:27385732

  16. ACUPUNCTURE INHIBITS GABA NEURON ACTIVITY IN THE VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA AND REDUCES ETHANOL SELF-ADMINISTRATION

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chae Ha; Yoon, Seong Shoon; Hansen, David M.; Wilcox, Jeffrey D.; Blumell, Bryan R; Park, Jung Jae; Steffensen, Scott C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Withdrawal from chronic ethanol enhances ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA neuron excitability and reduces mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurotransmission, which is suppressed by acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) points (Zhao et al., 2006). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of HT7 acupuncture on VTA GABA neuron excitability, ethanol inhibition of VTA GABA neuron firing rate, and ethanol self-administration. A role for opioid receptors (ORs) in ethanol and acupuncture effects is also explored. Methods Using electrophysiological methods in mature rats, we evaluated the effects of HT7 stimulation and opioid antagonists on VTA GABA neuron firing rate. Using behavioral paradigms in rats, we evaluated the effects of HT7 stimulation and opioid antagonists on ethanol self-administration using a modification of the sucrose fading procedure. Results HT7 stimulation produced a biphasic modulation of VTA GABA neuron firing rate characterized by transient enhancement followed by inhibition and subsequent recovery in 5 min. HT7 inhibition of VTA GABA neuron firing rate was blocked by systemic administration of the non-selective μ-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist naloxone. HT7 stimulation significantly reduced ethanol suppression of VTA GABA neuron firing rate, which was also blocked by naloxone. HT7 acupuncture reduced ethanol self-administration without affecting sucrose consumption. Systemic administration of the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist naltrindole blocked ethanol suppression of VTA GABA neuron firing rate and significantly reduced ethanol self-administration without affecting sucrose consumption. Conclusions These findings suggest that DOR-mediated opioid modulation of VTA GABA neurons may mediate acupuncture’s role in modulating mesolimbic DA release and suppressing the reinforcing effects of ethanol. PMID:20860620

  17. Intra-ventral tegmental area microinjections of urotensin II modulate the effects of cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, L E; Kausch, M A; Markovic, T; MacLaren, D A A; Dietz, D M; Park, J; Clark, S D

    2014-01-01

    Although the peptide urotensin II (UII) has well studied direct actions on the cardiovascular system, the UII receptor (UIIR) is expressed by neurons of the hindbrain. Specifically, the UIIR is expressed by the cholinergic neurons of the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDTg) and the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPTg). These neurons send axons to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), for which the PPTg and LDTg are the sole source of acetylcholine. Therefore, it was hypothesized that UIIR activation within the VTA would modulate reward-related behaviors, such as cocaine-induced drug seeking. Intra-VTA microinjections of UII at high concentrations (1 nmole) established conditioned place preference (CPP), but also blocked cocaine-mediated CPP (10 mg/kg). When rats received systemic sub-effectual doses of cocaine (7.5mg/kg) with intra-VTA injections of 1 or 10 pmole of UII CPP was formed. Furthermore, the second endogenous ligand for the UIIR, urotensin II-related peptide, had the same effect at the 10 pmole dose. The effects of low doses of UII were blocked by pretreatment with the UIIR antagonist SB657510. Furthermore, it was found that intra-VTA UII (10 pmole) further increased cocaine-mediated (7.5 mg/kg) rises in electrically evoked dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. Our study has found that activation of VTA-resident UIIR produces observable behavioral changes in rats, and that UIIR is able to modulate the effects of cocaine. In addition, it was found that UIIR activation within the VTA can potentiate cocaine-mediated neurochemical effects. Therefore, the coincident activation of the UII-system and cocaine administration may increase the liability for drug taking behavior. PMID:25264578

  18. Ventral tegmental area cholinergic mechanisms mediate behavioral responses in the forced swim test.

    PubMed

    Addy, N A; Nunes, E J; Wickham, R J

    2015-07-15

    Recent studies revealed a causal link between ventral tegmental area (VTA) phasic dopamine (DA) activity and pro-depressive and antidepressant-like behavioral responses in rodent models of depression. Cholinergic activity in the VTA has been demonstrated to regulate phasic DA activity, but the role of VTA cholinergic mechanisms in depression-related behavior is unclear. The goal of this study was to determine whether pharmacological manipulation of VTA cholinergic activity altered behavioral responding in the forced swim test (FST) in rats. Here, male Sprague-Dawley rats received systemic or VTA-specific administration of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine (systemic; 0.06 or 0.125mg/kg, intra-cranial; 1 or 2μg/side), the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antagonist scopolamine (2.4 or 24μg/side), or the nicotinic AChR antagonist mecamylamine (3 or 30μg/side), prior to the FST test session. In control experiments, locomotor activity was also examined following systemic and intra-cranial administration of cholinergic drugs. Physostigmine administration, either systemically or directly into the VTA, significantly increased immobility time in FST, whereas physostigmine infusion into a dorsal control site did not alter immobility time. In contrast, VTA infusion of either scopolamine or mecamylamine decreased immobility time, consistent with an antidepressant-like effect. Finally, the VTA physostigmine-induced increase in immobility was blocked by co-administration with scopolamine, but unaltered by co-administration with mecamylamine. These data show that enhancing VTA cholinergic tone and blocking VTA AChRs has opposing effects in FST. Together, the findings provide evidence for a role of VTA cholinergic mechanisms in behavioral responses in FST.

  19. Hyperinsulinemia and obesity in the dorsolateral tegmental rat.

    PubMed

    Wellman, P J; Elissalde, M; Watkins, P A; Pinto, A

    1984-01-01

    Adult female rats (N = 26) were prepared with either sham lesions or electrolytic lesions of the dorsolateral tegmentum (DLT). Body weight gain, adiposity, 72-hour food intake and day/night food intake, serum glucose and serum insulin levels were measured 15 and 17 days post-operatively. Dorsolateral tegmental lesions produced moderate weight gains and enhanced adiposity as assessed by the Lee Index. Although dorsolateral tegmental rats were hyperphagic only at night, hyperinsulinemia was observed during the day and the night. Hyperinsulinemia may contribute to the obesifying action of tegmental lesions in rats fed high-fat diets.

  20. Input-specific control of reward and aversion in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Lammel, Stephan; Lim, Byung Kook; Ran, Chen; Huang, Kee Wui; Betley, Michael J; Tye, Kay M; Deisseroth, Karl; Malenka, Robert C

    2012-11-01

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons have important roles in adaptive and pathological brain functions related to reward and motivation. However, it is unknown whether subpopulations of VTA dopamine neurons participate in distinct circuits that encode different motivational signatures, and whether inputs to the VTA differentially modulate such circuits. Here we show that, because of differences in synaptic connectivity, activation of inputs to the VTA from the laterodorsal tegmentum and the lateral habenula elicit reward and aversion in mice, respectively. Laterodorsal tegmentum neurons preferentially synapse on dopamine neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens lateral shell, whereas lateral habenula neurons synapse primarily on dopamine neurons projecting to the medial prefrontal cortex as well as on GABAergic (γ-aminobutyric-acid-containing) neurons in the rostromedial tegmental nucleus. These results establish that distinct VTA circuits generate reward and aversion, and thereby provide a new framework for understanding the circuit basis of adaptive and pathological motivated behaviours.

  1. Spike timing-dependent plasticity at GABAergic synapses in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Kodangattil, Jayaraj N; Dacher, Matthieu; Authement, Michael E; Nugent, Fereshteh S

    2013-10-01

    Persistent changes in excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strengths to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons in response to addictive drugs may underlie the transition from casual to compulsive drug use. While an enormous amount of work has been done in the area of glutamatergic plasticity of the VTA, little is known regarding the learning rules governing GABAergic plasticity in the VTA. Spike timing-dependent plasticity, STDP, has attracted considerable attention primarily due to its potential roles in processing and storage of information in the brain and there is emerging evidence for the existence of STDP at inhibitory synapses. We therefore used whole-cell recordings in rat midbrain slices to investigate whether near-coincident pre- and postsynaptic firing induces a lasting change in synaptic efficacy of VTA GABAergic synapses. We found that a Hebbian form of STDP including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) can be induced at GABAergic synapses onto VTA DA neurons and relies on the precise temporal order of pre- and postsynaptic spiking. Importantly, GABAergic STDP is heterosynaptic (NMDA receptor dependent): triggered by correlated activities of the presynaptic glutamatergic input and postsynaptic DA cells. GABAergic STDP is postsynaptic and has an associative component since pre- or postsynaptic spiking per se did not induce STDP. STDP of GABAergic synapses in the VTA provides physiologically relevant forms of inhibitory plasticity that may underlie natural reinforcement of reward-related behaviours. Moreover, this form of inhibitory plasticity may mediate some of the reinforcing, aversive and addictive properties of drugs of abuse.

  2. Modulation of cue-induced firing of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons by leptin and ghrelin

    PubMed Central

    van der Plasse, G; van Zessen, R; Luijendijk, M C M; Erkan, H; Stuber, G D; Ramakers, G M J; Adan, R A H

    2015-01-01

    Background/objectives: The rewarding value of palatable foods contributes to overconsumption, even in satiated subjects. Midbrain dopaminergic activity in response to reward-predicting environmental stimuli drives reward-seeking and motivated behavior for food rewards. This mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system is sensitive to changes in energy balance, yet it has thus far not been established whether reward signaling of DA neurons in vivo is under control of hormones that signal appetite and energy balance such as ghrelin and leptin. Subjects/methods: We trained rats (n=11) on an operant task in which they could earn two different food rewards. We then implanted recording electrodes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and recorded from DA neurons during behavior. Subsequently, we assessed the effects of mild food restriction and pretreatment with the adipose tissue-derived anorexigenic hormone leptin or the orexigenic hormone ghrelin on VTA DA reward signaling. Results: Animals showed an increase in performance following mild food restriction (P=0.002). Importantly, food-cue induced DA firing increased when animals were food restricted (P=0.02), but was significantly attenuated after leptin pretreatment (P=0.00). While ghrelin did affect baseline DA activity (P=0.025), it did not affect cue-induced firing (P⩾0.353). Conclusions: Metabolic signals, such as leptin, affect food seeking, a process that is dependent on the formation of cue-reward outcomes and involves midbrain DA signaling. These data show that food restriction engages the encoding of food cues by VTA DA neurons at a millisecond level and leptin suppresses this activity. This suggests that leptin is a key in linking metabolic information to reward signaling. PMID:26183405

  3. Assessment of Cytochrome C Oxidase Dysfunction in the Substantia Nigra/Ventral Tegmental Area in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Matthew W.; Smith, Kristen L.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.

    2014-01-01

    Perturbations in metabolism are a well-documented but complex facet of schizophrenia pathology. Optimal cellular performance requires the proper functioning of the electron transport chain, which is constituted by four enzymes located within the inner membrane of mitochondria. These enzymes create a proton gradient that is used to power the enzyme ATP synthase, producing ATP, which is crucial for the maintenance of cellular functioning. Anomalies in a single enzyme of the electron transport chain are sufficient to cause disruption of cellular metabolism. The last of these complexes is the cytochrome c oxidase (COX) enzyme, which is composed of thirteen different subunits. COX is a major site for oxidative phosphorylation, and anomalies in this enzyme are one of the most frequent causes of mitochondrial pathology. The objective of the present report was to assess if metabolic anomalies linked to COX dysfunction may contribute to substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA) pathology in schizophrenia. We tested COX activity in postmortem SN/VTA from schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls. We also tested the protein expression of key subunits for the assembly and activity of the enzyme, and the effect of antipsychotic medication on subunit expression. COX activity was not significantly different between schizophrenia and non-psychiatric controls. However, we found significant decreases in the expression of subunits II and IV-I of COX in schizophrenia. Interestingly, these decreases were observed in samples containing the entire rostro-caudal extent of the SN/VTA, while no significant differences were observed for samples containing only mid-caudal regions of the SN/VTA. Finally, rats chronically treated with antipsychotic drugs did not show significant changes in COX subunit expression. These findings suggest that COX subunit expression may be compromised in specific sub-regions of the SN/VTA (i.e. rostral regions), which may lead to a faulty assembly of the

  4. NEUROTROPHINS IN THE VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA: ROLE IN SOCIAL STRESS, MOOD DISORDERS AND DRUG ABUSE

    PubMed Central

    Nikulina, Ella M.; Johnston, Caitlin E.; Wang, Junshi; Hammer, Ronald P.

    2014-01-01

    This review discusses the impact of neurotrophins and other trophic factors, including fibroblast growth factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, on mood disorders, weight regulation and drug abuse, with an emphasis on stress- and drug-induced changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Neurotrophins, comprising nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and neurotrophins 3 and 4/5 play important roles in neuronal plasticity and the development of different psychopathologies. In the VTA, most research has focused on the role of BDNF, because other neurotrophins are not found there in significant quantities. BDNF originating in the VTA provides trophic support to dopamine neurons. The diverse intracellular signaling pathways activated by BDNF may underlie precise physiological functions specific to the VTA. In general, VTA BDNF expression increases after psychostimulant exposures, and enhanced BDNF level in the VTA facilitates psychostimulant effects. The impact of VTA BDNF on the behavioral effects of psychostimulants relies primarily on its action within the mesocorticolimbic circuit. In the case of opiates, VTA BDNF expression and effects seem to be dependent on whether an animal is drug-naïve or has a history of drug use, only the latter of which is related to dopamine mechanisms. Social defeat stress that is continuous in mice or intermittent in rats increases VTA BDNF expression, and is associated with depressive and social avoidance behaviors. Intermittent social defeat stress induces persistent VTA BDNF expression that triggers psychostimulant cross-sensitization. Understanding the cellular and molecular substrates of neurotrophin effects may lead to novel therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of substance use and mood disorders. PMID:24875178

  5. Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase-2 within the Ventral Tegmental Area Regulates Responses to Stress

    PubMed Central

    Iñiguez, Sergio D.; Vialou, Vincent; Warren, Brandon L.; Cao, Jun-Li; Alcantara, Lyonna F.; Davis, Lindsey C.; Manojlovic, Zarko; Neve, Rachael L.; Russo, Scott J.; Han, Ming-Hu; Nestler, Eric J.; Bolaños-Guzmán, Carlos A.

    2010-01-01

    Neurotrophic factors and their signaling pathways have been implicated in the neurobiological adaptations in response to stress and the regulation of mood-related behaviors. A candidate signaling molecule implicated in mediating these cellular responses is the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), although its functional role in mood regulation remains to be fully elucidated. Here we show that acute (1 d) or chronic (4 weeks) exposure to unpredictable stress increases phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and of two downstream targets (ribosomal S6 kinase and mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1) within the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an important substrate for motivated behavior and mood regulation. Using herpes simplex virus-mediated gene transfer to assess the functional significance of this ERK induction, we show that overexpressing ERK2 within the VTA increases susceptibility to stress as measured in the forced swim test, responses to unconditioned nociceptive stimuli, and elevated plus maze in Sprague Dawley male rats, and in the tail suspension test and chronic social defeat stress procedure in C57BL/6 male mice. In contrast, blocking ERK2 activity in the VTA produces stress-resistant behavioral responses in these same assays and also blocks a chronic stress-induced reduction in sucrose preference. The effects induced by ERK2 blockade were accompanied by decreases in the firing frequency of VTA dopamine neurons, an important electrophysiological hallmark of resilient-like behavior. Together, these results strongly implicate a role for ERK2 signaling in the VTA as a key modulator of responsiveness to stress and mood-related behaviors. PMID:20519540

  6. Self-Administration of Ethanol, Cocaine, or Nicotine Does Not Decrease the Soma Size of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mazei-Robison, Michelle S.; Appasani, Raghu; Edwards, Scott; Wee, Sunmee; Taylor, Seth R.; Picciotto, Marina R.; Koob, George F.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    Our previous observations show that chronic opiate administration, including self-administration, decrease the soma size of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rodents and humans, a morphological change correlated with increased firing rate and reward tolerance. Given that a general hallmark of drugs of abuse is to increase activity of the mesolimbic DA circuit, we sought to determine whether additional drug classes produced a similar morphological change. Sections containing VTA were obtained from rats that self-administered cocaine or ethanol and from mice that consumed nicotine. In contrast to opiates, we found no change in VTA DA soma size induced by any of these other drugs. These data suggest that VTA morphological changes are induced in a drug-specific manner and reinforce recent findings that some changes in mesolimbic signaling and neuroplasticity are drug-class dependent. PMID:24755634

  7. [The influence of L-glutamate and carbachol on burst firing of dopaminergic neurons in ventral tegmental area].

    PubMed

    Wang, Shan-shan; Wei, Chun-ling; Liu, Zhi-qiang; Ren, Wei

    2011-02-25

    Burst firing of dopaminergic neurons in ventral tegmental area (VTA) induces a large transient increase in synaptic dopamine (DA) release and thus is considered the reward-related signal. But the mechanisms of burst generation of dopaminergic neuron still remain unclear. This experiment investigated the burst firing of VTA dopaminergic neurons in rat midbrain slices perfused with carbachol and L-glutamate individually or simultaneously to understand the neurotransmitter mechanism underlying burst generation. The results showed that bath application of carbachol (10 μmol/L) and pulse application of L-glutamate (3 mmol/L) both induced burst firing in dopaminergic neuron. Co-application of carbachol and L-glutamate induced burst firing in VTA dopaminergic cells which couldn't be induced to burst by the two chemicals separately. The result indicates that carbachol and L-glutamate co-regulate burst firing of dopaminergic neuron.

  8. BOLD responses reflecting dopaminergic signals in the human ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    D'Ardenne, Kimberlee; McClure, Samuel M; Nystrom, Leigh E; Cohen, Jonathan D

    2008-02-29

    Current theories hypothesize that dopamine neuronal firing encodes reward prediction errors. Although studies in nonhuman species provide direct support for this theory, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in humans have focused on brain areas targeted by dopamine neurons [ventral striatum (VStr)] rather than on brainstem dopaminergic nuclei [ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra]. We used fMRI tailored to directly image the brainstem. When primary rewards were used in an experiment, the VTA blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response reflected a positive reward prediction error, whereas the VStr encoded positive and negative reward prediction errors. When monetary gains and losses were used, VTA BOLD responses reflected positive reward prediction errors modulated by the probability of winning. We detected no significant VTA BOLD response to nonrewarding events.

  9. The ventral tegmental area as a putative target for tachykinins in cardiovascular regulation

    PubMed Central

    Deschamps, Kathleen; Couture, Réjean

    2005-01-01

    Tachykinin receptor agonists and antagonists were microinjected into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to study the relative participation of the three tachykinin receptors in cardiovascular regulation in freely behaving rat. Selective agonists (1–100 pmol) for NK1 ([Sar9, Met (O2)11]SP), NK2 ([β-Ala8]NKA (4–10)) and NK3 (senktide) receptors evoked increases in blood pressure, heart rate (HR) along with behavioural manifestations (face washing, sniffing, head scratching, rearing, wet dog shake). At 1 pmol, NK1 and NK3 agonists did not affect behaviour and blood pressure but only HR. Tachykinin agonists-induced cardiovascular responses were selectively and reversibly blocked by the prior injection of antagonists for NK1 receptors (LY 303870 ((R)-1-[N-(2-methoxybenzyl)acetylamino]-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)-2-[N-(2-(4-(piperidin-1-yl)piperidin-1-yl)acetyl)amino]propane), 5 nmol), NK2 receptors (SR 48968 ([(S)-N-methyl-N-[4-acetylamino-4-phenylpiperidino-2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)butyl]benzamide]), 250 pmol) and NK3 receptors (SB 235375 ((−)-(S)-N-(α-ethylbenzyl)-3-(carboxymethoxy)-2-phenylquinoline-4-carboxamide), 25 nmol). With the exception of the NK2 agonist, most behavioural effects were also blocked by antagonists. Tachykinin agonists-induced cardiovascular responses were inhibited by intravenous (i.v.) treatments with antagonists for D1 dopamine receptor (SCH23390, 0.2 mg kg−1) and β1-adrenoceptor (atenolol, 5 mg kg−1) but not for D2 dopamine receptor (raclopride, 0.16 mg kg−1). Behavioural responses were blocked by SCH23390 only. The present study provides the first pharmacological evidence that the three tachykinin receptors in the rat VTA can affect the autonomic control of blood pressure and HR by increasing midbrain dopaminergic transmission. This mechanism may be involved in the coordination of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to stress and noxious stimulation. PMID:15895109

  10. Optogenetic Activation of a Lateral Hypothalamic-Ventral Tegmental Drive-Reward Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Gigante, Eduardo D.; Benaliouad, Faiza; Zamora-Olivencia, Veronica; Wise, Roy A.

    2016-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus can motivate feeding or can serve as a reward in its own right. It remains unclear whether the same or independent but anatomically overlapping circuitries mediate the two effects. Electrical stimulation findings implicate medial forebrain bundle (MFB) fibers of passage in both effects, and optogenetic studies confirm a contribution from fibers originating in the lateral hypothalamic area and projecting to or through the ventral tegmental area. Here we report that optogenetic activation of ventral tegmental fibers from cells of origin in more anterior or posterior portions of the MFB failed to induce either reward or feeding. The feeding and reward induced by optogenetic activation of fibers from the lateral hypothalamic cells of origin were influenced similarly by variations in stimulation pulse width and pulse frequency, consistent with the hypothesis of a common substrate for the two effects. There were, however, several cases where feeding but not self-stimulation or self-stimulation but not feeding were induced, consistent with the hypothesis that distinct but anatomically overlapping systems mediate the two effects. Thus while optogenetic stimulation provides a more selective tool for characterizing the mechanisms of stimulation-induced feeding and reward, it does not yet resolve the question of common or independent substrates. PMID:27387668

  11. Optogenetic Activation of a Lateral Hypothalamic-Ventral Tegmental Drive-Reward Pathway.

    PubMed

    Gigante, Eduardo D; Benaliouad, Faiza; Zamora-Olivencia, Veronica; Wise, Roy A

    2016-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus can motivate feeding or can serve as a reward in its own right. It remains unclear whether the same or independent but anatomically overlapping circuitries mediate the two effects. Electrical stimulation findings implicate medial forebrain bundle (MFB) fibers of passage in both effects, and optogenetic studies confirm a contribution from fibers originating in the lateral hypothalamic area and projecting to or through the ventral tegmental area. Here we report that optogenetic activation of ventral tegmental fibers from cells of origin in more anterior or posterior portions of the MFB failed to induce either reward or feeding. The feeding and reward induced by optogenetic activation of fibers from the lateral hypothalamic cells of origin were influenced similarly by variations in stimulation pulse width and pulse frequency, consistent with the hypothesis of a common substrate for the two effects. There were, however, several cases where feeding but not self-stimulation or self-stimulation but not feeding were induced, consistent with the hypothesis that distinct but anatomically overlapping systems mediate the two effects. Thus while optogenetic stimulation provides a more selective tool for characterizing the mechanisms of stimulation-induced feeding and reward, it does not yet resolve the question of common or independent substrates.

  12. Timing and expectation of reward: a neuro-computational model of the afferents to the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Vitay, Julien; Hamker, Fred H

    2014-01-01

    Neural activity in dopaminergic areas such as the ventral tegmental area is influenced by timing processes, in particular by the temporal expectation of rewards during Pavlovian conditioning. Receipt of a reward at the expected time allows to compute reward-prediction errors which can drive learning in motor or cognitive structures. Reciprocally, dopamine plays an important role in the timing of external events. Several models of the dopaminergic system exist, but the substrate of temporal learning is rather unclear. In this article, we propose a neuro-computational model of the afferent network to the ventral tegmental area, including the lateral hypothalamus, the pedunculopontine nucleus, the amygdala, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the ventral basal ganglia (including the nucleus accumbens and the ventral pallidum), as well as the lateral habenula and the rostromedial tegmental nucleus. Based on a plausible connectivity and realistic learning rules, this neuro-computational model reproduces several experimental observations, such as the progressive cancelation of dopaminergic bursts at reward delivery, the appearance of bursts at the onset of reward-predicting cues or the influence of reward magnitude on activity in the amygdala and ventral tegmental area. While associative learning occurs primarily in the amygdala, learning of the temporal relationship between the cue and the associated reward is implemented as a dopamine-modulated coincidence detection mechanism in the nucleus accumbens.

  13. Inactivation of the Ventral Tegmental Area Abolished the General Excitatory Influence of Pavlovian Cues on Instrumental Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murschall, Anja; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2006-01-01

    Pavlovian stimuli can markedly elevate instrumental responding, an effect known as Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT). As the role of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in PIT is yet unknown, we examined the effects of transient VTA inactivation by direct microinjections of a mixture of the GABA[subscript A] and GABA[subscript B] receptor…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Ventral tegmental area neurons in learned appetitive behavior and positive reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Fields, Howard L; Hjelmstad, Gregory O; Margolis, Elyssa B; Nicola, Saleem M

    2007-01-01

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) neuron firing precedes behaviors elicited by reward-predictive sensory cues and scales with the magnitude and unpredictability of received rewards. These patterns are consistent with roles in the performance of learned appetitive behaviors and in positive reinforcement, respectively. The VTA includes subpopulations of neurons with different afferent connections, neurotransmitter content, and projection targets. Because the VTA and substantia nigra pars compacta are the sole sources of striatal and limbic forebrain dopamine, measurements of dopamine release and manipulations of dopamine function have provided critical evidence supporting a VTA contribution to these functions. However, the VTA also sends GABAergic and glutamatergic projections to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, VTA-mediated but dopamine-independent positive reinforcement has been demonstrated. Consequently, identifying the neurotransmitter content and projection target of VTA neurons recorded in vivo will be critical for determining their contribution to learned appetitive behaviors.

  16. A unique population of ventral tegmental area neurons inhibits the lateral habenula to promote reward

    PubMed Central

    Stamatakis, Alice M.; Jennings, Joshua H.; Ung, Randall L.; Blair, Grace A.; Weinberg, Richard J.; Neve, Rachael L.; Boyce, Frederick; Mattis, Joanna; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Deisseroth, Karl; Stuber, Garret D.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Lateral habenula (LHb) neurons convey aversive and negative reward conditions through potent indirect inhibition of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons. While VTA dopaminergic neurons reciprocally project to the LHb, the electrophysiological properties and the behavioral consequences associated with selective manipulations of this circuit are unknown. Here, we identify a novel inhibitory input to the LHb arising from a unique population of VTA neurons expressing dopaminergic markers. Optogenetic activation of this circuit resulted in no detectable dopamine release in LHb brain slices. Instead, stimulation produced GABA-mediated inhibitory synaptic transmission, which suppressed the firing of postsynaptic LHb neurons in brain slices and increased the spontaneous firing rate of VTA dopaminergic neurons in vivo. Furthermore, in vivo activation of this pathway produced reward-related phenotypes that were dependent on intra-LHb GABAA receptor signaling. These results suggest that non-canonical inhibitory signaling by these hybrid dopaminergic-GABAergic neurons act to suppress LHb output under rewarding conditions. PMID:24267654

  17. Conjunctive Processing of Locomotor Signals by the Ventral Tegmental Area Neuronal Population

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dong V.; Tsien, Joe Z.

    2011-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) plays an essential role in reward and motivation. How the dopamine (DA) and non-DA neurons in the VTA engage in motivation-based locomotor behaviors is not well understood. We recorded activity of putative DA and non-DA neurons simultaneously in the VTA of awake mice engaged in motivated voluntary movements such as wheel running. Our results revealed that VTA non-DA neurons exhibited significant rhythmic activity that was correlated with the animal's running rhythms. Activity of putative DA neurons also correlated with the movement behavior, but to a lesser degree. More importantly, putative DA neurons exhibited significant burst activation at both onset and offset of voluntary movements. These findings suggest that VTA DA and non-DA neurons conjunctively process locomotor-related motivational signals that are associated with movement initiation, maintenance and termination. PMID:21304590

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-12

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

  19. Knockdown of corticotropin-releasing factor 1 receptors in the ventral tegmental area enhances conditioned fear.

    PubMed

    Chen, Nicola A; Ganella, Despina E; Bathgate, Ross A D; Chen, Alon; Lawrence, Andrew J; Kim, Jee Hyun

    2016-09-01

    The neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) coordinates the physiological and behavioural responses to stress. CRF receptors are highly expressed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an important region for motivated behaviour. Therefore, we examined the role of CRF receptor type 1 (CRFR1) in the VTA in conditioned fear, using a viral-mediated RNA interference approach. Following stereotaxic injection of a lentivirus that contained either shCRF-R1 or a control sequence, mice received tone-footshock pairings. Intra-VTA shCRF-R1 did not affect tone-elicited freezing during conditioning. Once conditioned fear was acquired, however, shCRF-R1 mice consistently showed stronger freezing to the tone even after extinction and reinstatement. These results implicate a novel role of VTA CRF-R1 in conditioned fear, and suggest how stress may modulate aversive learning and memory. PMID:27397862

  20. Ethanol Blocks Long-Term Potentiation of GABAergic Synapses in the Ventral Tegmental Area Involving μ-Opioid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yan-zhong; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2010-01-01

    It is well documented that ethanol exposure alters GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)-releasing synapses, and ethanol addiction is associated with endogenous opioid system. Emerging evidence indicates that opioids block long-term potentiation in the fast inhibitory GABAA receptor synapses (LTPGABA) onto dopamine-containing neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a brain region essential for reward-seeking behavior. However, how ethanol affects LTPGABA is not known. We report here that in acute midbrain slices from rats, clinically relevant concentrations of ethanol applied both in vitro and in vivo prevents LTPGABA, which is reversed, respectively, by in vitro and in vivo administration of naloxone, a μ-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist. Furthermore, the blockade of LTPGABA induced by a brief in vitro ethanol treatment is mimicked by DAMGO ([-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin), a MOR agonist. Paired-pulse ratios are similar in slices, 24 h after in vivo injection with either saline or ethanol. Sp-cAMPS, a stable cAMP analog, and pCPT-cGMP, a cGMP analog, potentiates GABAA-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in slices from ethanol-treated rats, indicating that a single in vivo ethanol exposure does not maximally increase GABA release, instead, ethanol produces a long-lasting inability to generate LTPGABA. These neuroadaptations to ethanol might contribute to early stage of addiction. PMID:20393452

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Rewarding Effects of Optical Stimulation of Ventral Tegmental Area Glutamatergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui-Ling; Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Huikun

    2015-01-01

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons play roles in reward and aversion. The VTA has three major neuronal phenotypes: dopaminergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic. VTA glutamatergic neurons—expressing vesicular glutamate transporter-2 (VGluT2)—project to limbic and cortical regions, but also excite neighboring dopaminergic neurons. Here, we test whether local photoactivation of VTA VGluT2 neurons expressing Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) under the VGluT2 promoter causes place preference and supports operant responding for the stimulation. By using a Cre-dependent viral vector, ChR2 (tethered to mCherry) was expressed in VTA glutamatergic neurons of VGluT2::Cre mice. The mCherry distribution was evaluated by immunolabeling. By confocal microscopy, we detected expression of mCherry in VTA cell bodies and local processes. In contrast, VGluT2 expression was restricted to varicosities, some of them coexpressing mCherry. By electron microscopy, we determined that mCherry-VGluT2 varicosities correspond to axon terminals, forming asymmetric synapses on neighboring dopaminergic neurons. These findings indicate that ChR2 was present in terminals containing glutamatergic synaptic vesicles and involved in local synaptic connections. Photoactivation of VTA slices from ChR2-expressing mice induced AMPA/NMDA receptor-dependent firing of dopaminergic neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. VTA photoactivation of ChR2-expressing mice reinforced instrumental behavior and established place preferences. VTA injections of AMPA or NMDA receptor antagonists blocked optical self-stimulation and place preference. These findings suggest a role in reward function for VTA glutamatergic neurons through local excitatory synapses on mesoaccumbens dopaminergic neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We show that previously discovered glutamatergic neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA), through their local connections, play a role in reward. The participation of VTA glutamatergic neurons in

  3. Heroin self-administration experience establishes control of ventral tegmental glutamate release by stress and environmental stimuli.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; You, Zhi-Bing; Wise, Roy A

    2012-12-01

    Heroin and cocaine have very different unconditioned receptor-mediated actions; however, in the brain circuitry of drug-reward and motivation, the two drugs establish common conditioned consequences. A single experience with either drug can change the sensitivity of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons to glutamatergic input. In the case of cocaine, repeated intravenous self-administration establishes de novo VTA glutamate release and dopaminergic activation in response to conditioned stimuli and mild footshock stress. Here we determined whether repeated self-administration of heroin would establish similar glutamate release and dopaminergic activation. Although self-administration of heroin itself did not cause VTA glutamate release, conditioned glutamate release was seen when rats expecting rewarding heroin were given nonrewarding saline in its place. Mild footshock stress also caused glutamate release in heroin-trained animals. In each case, the VTA glutamate release was accompanied by elevations in VTA dopamine levels, indicative of dopaminergic activation. In each case, infusion of the ionotropic glutamate antagonist kynurenic acid blocked the VTA dopamine release associated with VTA glutamate elevation. Although glutamate levels in the extinction and reinstatement tests were similar to those reported in cocaine studies, the effects of heroin self-administration itself were quite different from what has been seen during cocaine self-administration.

  4. Inhibitory effect of the ventral tegmental A10 region on the hypothalamic defence reaction: evidence for a possible dopaminergic mediation.

    PubMed

    Piazza, P V; Ferdico, M; Crescimanno, G; Benigno, A; Amato, G

    1987-06-16

    The influence of A10 region neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on the defence reaction evoked by stimulation of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) was studied in the cat. The latency of the hissing in the defence reaction increased when the VTA was stimulated both ipsi- and contralaterally. A sulpiride (50mg/kg i.p.) injection totally abolished the VTA-provoked increase of the hissing latency without affecting the basal response. PMID:3607485

  5. A SUBSET OF VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA DOPAMINE NEURONS RESPONDS TO ACUTE ETHANOL

    PubMed Central

    MREJERU, A.; MARTIÍ-PRATS, L.; AVEGNO, E. M.; HARRISON, N. L.; SULZER, D.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms by which alcohol drinking promotes addiction in humans and self-administration in rodents remain obscure, but it is well known that alcohol can enhance dopamine (DA) neurotransmission from neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and increase DA levels within the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. We recorded from identified DA neuronal cell bodies within ventral midbrain slices prepared from a transgenic mouse line (TH-GFP) using long-term stable extracellular recordings in a variety of locations and carefully mapped the responses to applied ethanol (EtOH). We identified a subset of DA neurons in the medial VTA located within the rostral linear and interfascicular nuclei that fired spontaneously and exhibited a concentration-dependent increase of firing frequency in response to EtOH, with some neurons responsive to as little as 20 mM EtOH. Many of these medial VTA DA neurons were also insensitive to the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole. In contrast, DA neurons in the lateral VTA (located within the parabrachial pigmented and paranigral nuclei) were either unresponsive or responded only to 100 mM EtOH. Typically, these lateral VTA DA cells had very slow firing rates, and all exhibited inhibition by quinpirole via D2 “autoreceptors”. VTA non-DA cells did not show any significant response to low levels of EtOH. These findings are consistent with evidence for heterogeneity among midbrain DA neurons and provide an anatomical and pharmacological distinction between DA neuron sub-populations that will facilitate future mechanistic studies on the actions of EtOH in the VTA. PMID:25660505

  6. Nicotinic receptors in the ventral tegmental area promote uncertainty-seeking.

    PubMed

    Naudé, Jérémie; Tolu, Stefania; Dongelmans, Malou; Torquet, Nicolas; Valverde, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Guillaume; Pons, Stéphanie; Maskos, Uwe; Mourot, Alexandre; Marti, Fabio; Faure, Philippe

    2016-03-01

    Cholinergic neurotransmission affects decision-making, notably through the modulation of perceptual processing in the cortex. In addition, acetylcholine acts on value-based decisions through as yet unknown mechanisms. We found that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in the translation of expected uncertainty into motivational value. We developed a multi-armed bandit task for mice with three locations, each associated with a different reward probability. We found that mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit showed less uncertainty-seeking than their wild-type counterparts. Using model-based analysis, we found that reward uncertainty motivated wild-type mice, but not mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit. Selective re-expression of the β2 subunit in the VTA was sufficient to restore spontaneous bursting activity in dopamine neurons and uncertainty-seeking. Our results reveal an unanticipated role for subcortical nAChRs in motivation induced by expected uncertainty and provide a parsimonious account for a wealth of behaviors related to nAChRs in the VTA expressing the β2 subunit. PMID:26780509

  7. Neuroimmune Regulation of GABAergic Neurons Within the Ventral Tegmental Area During Withdrawal from Chronic Morphine

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Anna M W; Castonguay, Annie; Ghogha, Atefeh; Vayssiere, Pia; Pradhan, Amynah A A; Xue, Lihua; Mehrabani, Sadaf; Wu, Juli; Levitt, Pat; Olmstead, Mary C; De Koninck, Yves; Evans, Christopher J; Cahill, Catherine M

    2016-01-01

    Opioid dependence is accompanied by neuroplastic changes in reward circuitry leading to a negative affective state contributing to addictive behaviors and risk of relapse. The current study presents a neuroimmune mechanism through which chronic opioids disrupt the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic circuitry that contributes to impaired reward behavior. Opioid dependence was induced in rodents by treatment with escalating doses of morphine. Microglial activation was observed in the VTA following spontaneous withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment. Opioid-induced microglial activation resulted in an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and a reduction in the expression and function of the K+Cl− co-transporter KCC2 within VTA GABAergic neurons. Inhibition of microglial activation or interfering with BDNF signaling prevented the loss of Cl− extrusion capacity and restored the rewarding effects of cocaine in opioid-dependent animals. Consistent with a microglial-derived BDNF-induced disruption of reward, intra-VTA injection of BDNF or a KCC2 inhibitor resulted in a loss of cocaine-induced place preference in opioid-naïve animals. The loss of the extracellular Cl− gradient undermines GABAA-mediated inhibition, and represents a mechanism by which chronic opioid treatments can result in blunted reward circuitry. This study directly implicates microglial-derived BDNF as a negative regulator of reward in opioid-dependent states, identifying new therapeutic targets for opiate addictive behaviors. PMID:26202104

  8. Nicotinic receptors in the ventral tegmental area promote uncertainty-seeking.

    PubMed

    Naudé, Jérémie; Tolu, Stefania; Dongelmans, Malou; Torquet, Nicolas; Valverde, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Guillaume; Pons, Stéphanie; Maskos, Uwe; Mourot, Alexandre; Marti, Fabio; Faure, Philippe

    2016-03-01

    Cholinergic neurotransmission affects decision-making, notably through the modulation of perceptual processing in the cortex. In addition, acetylcholine acts on value-based decisions through as yet unknown mechanisms. We found that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in the translation of expected uncertainty into motivational value. We developed a multi-armed bandit task for mice with three locations, each associated with a different reward probability. We found that mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit showed less uncertainty-seeking than their wild-type counterparts. Using model-based analysis, we found that reward uncertainty motivated wild-type mice, but not mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit. Selective re-expression of the β2 subunit in the VTA was sufficient to restore spontaneous bursting activity in dopamine neurons and uncertainty-seeking. Our results reveal an unanticipated role for subcortical nAChRs in motivation induced by expected uncertainty and provide a parsimonious account for a wealth of behaviors related to nAChRs in the VTA expressing the β2 subunit.

  9. Neuroimmune Regulation of GABAergic Neurons Within the Ventral Tegmental Area During Withdrawal from Chronic Morphine.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Anna M W; Castonguay, Annie; Ghogha, Atefeh; Vayssiere, Pia; Pradhan, Amynah A A; Xue, Lihua; Mehrabani, Sadaf; Wu, Juli; Levitt, Pat; Olmstead, Mary C; De Koninck, Yves; Evans, Christopher J; Cahill, Catherine M

    2016-03-01

    Opioid dependence is accompanied by neuroplastic changes in reward circuitry leading to a negative affective state contributing to addictive behaviors and risk of relapse. The current study presents a neuroimmune mechanism through which chronic opioids disrupt the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic circuitry that contributes to impaired reward behavior. Opioid dependence was induced in rodents by treatment with escalating doses of morphine. Microglial activation was observed in the VTA following spontaneous withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment. Opioid-induced microglial activation resulted in an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and a reduction in the expression and function of the K(+)Cl(-) co-transporter KCC2 within VTA GABAergic neurons. Inhibition of microglial activation or interfering with BDNF signaling prevented the loss of Cl(-) extrusion capacity and restored the rewarding effects of cocaine in opioid-dependent animals. Consistent with a microglial-derived BDNF-induced disruption of reward, intra-VTA injection of BDNF or a KCC2 inhibitor resulted in a loss of cocaine-induced place preference in opioid-naïve animals. The loss of the extracellular Cl(-) gradient undermines GABAA-mediated inhibition, and represents a mechanism by which chronic opioid treatments can result in blunted reward circuitry. This study directly implicates microglial-derived BDNF as a negative regulator of reward in opioid-dependent states, identifying new therapeutic targets for opiate addictive behaviors. PMID:26202104

  10. Role of the primate ventral tegmental area in reinforcement and motivation.

    PubMed

    Arsenault, John T; Rima, Samy; Stemmann, Heiko; Vanduffel, Wim

    2014-06-16

    Monkey electrophysiology suggests that the activity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) helps regulate reinforcement learning and motivated behavior, in part by broadcasting prediction error signals throughout the reward system. However, electrophysiological studies do not allow causal inferences regarding the activity of VTA neurons with respect to these processes because they require artificial manipulation of neuronal firing. Rodent studies fulfilled this requirement by demonstrating that electrical and optogenetic VTA stimulation can induce learning and modulate downstream structures. Still, the primate dopamine system has diverged significantly from that of rodents, exhibiting greatly expanded and uniquely distributed cortical and subcortical innervation patterns. Here, we bridge the gap between rodent perturbation studies and monkey electrophysiology using chronic electrical microstimulation of macaque VTA (VTA-EM). VTA-EM was found to reinforce cue selection in an operant task and to motivate future cue selection using a Pavlovian paradigm. Moreover, by combining VTA-EM with concurrent fMRI, we demonstrated that VTA-EM increased fMRI activity throughout most of the dopaminergic reward system. These results establish a causative role for primate VTA in regulating stimulus-specific reinforcement and motivation as well as in modulating activity throughout the reward system.

  11. Phasic activation of ventral tegmental neurons increases response and pattern similarity in prefrontal cortex neurons

    PubMed Central

    Iwashita, Motoko

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine is critical for higher neural processes and modifying the activity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the mechanism of dopamine contribution to the modification of neural representation is unclear. Using in vivo two-photon population Ca2+ imaging in awake mice, this study investigated how neural representation of visual input to PFC neurons is regulated by dopamine. Phasic stimulation of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) evoked prolonged Ca2+ transients, lasting ∼30 s in layer 2/3 neurons of the PFC, which are regulated by a dopamine D1 receptor-dependent pathway. Furthermore, only a conditioning protocol with visual sensory input applied 0.5 s before the VTA dopaminergic input could evoke enhanced Ca2+ transients and increased pattern similarity (or establish a neural representation) of PFC neurons to the same sensory input. By increasing both the level of neuronal response and pattern similarity, dopaminergic input may establish robust and reliable cortical representation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02726.001 PMID:25269147

  12. Prefrontal cortex gates acute morphine action on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changliang; Fang, Xing; Wu, Qianqian; Jin, Guozhang; Zhen, Xuechu

    2015-08-01

    Morphine excites dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an effect mediated by both local and systemic mechanisms. While the importance of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) - VTA circuit in opiate addiction is well established, little is known about how the PFC regulates the activity of VTA DA neurons upon morphine stimulation. One major challenge is that VTA DA neurons are highly heterogeneous in terms of projection and regulation, making their responses to PFC manipulations variable. Our previous work has identified a subgroup of VTA DA neurons exhibiting significant slow oscillation in their firing sequence, and demonstrated that most of these neurons are functionally connected with the PFC. In the present study, we focus our efforts only on VTA DA neurons expressing strong slow oscillation, and report that blocking the neuronal activity in the PFC remarkably attenuates the morphine-induced excitation of these neurons. Using in vivo microdialysis, we find that inactivation of the PFC also reduces the morphine-induced elevation of DA levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Furthermore, 24 h after only single morphine exposure, PFC-inactivation failed to prevent subsequent morphine challenge from exciting VTA DA neurons, which is paralleled by altered response of PFC pyramidal neurons to morphine stimulation. Our results indicate that the PFC gates acute morphine action on a subset of VTA DA neurons, which is highly plastic and can be functionally remodeled by morphine exposure.

  13. Role of the ventral tegmental area in methamphetamine extinction: AMPA receptor-mediated neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Han-Ting; Chen, Jin-Chung

    2015-03-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying drug extinction remain largely unknown, although a role for medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) glutamate neurons has been suggested. Considering that the mPFC sends glutamate efferents to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), we tested whether the VTA is involved in methamphetamine (METH) extinction via conditioned place preference (CPP). Among various METH-CPP stages, we found that the amount of phospho-GluR1/Ser845 increased in the VTA at behavioral extinction, but not the acquisition or withdrawal stage. Via surface biotinylation, we found that levels of membrane GluR1 were significantly increased during METH-CPP extinction, while no change was observed at the acquisition stage. Specifically, the number of dendritic spines in the VTA was increased at behavioral extinction, but not during acquisition. To validate the role of the mPFC in METH-CPP extinction, we lesioned the mPFC. Ibotenic acid lesioning of the mPFC did not affect METH-CPP acquisition, however, it abolished the extinction stage and reversed the enhanced phospho-GluR1/Ser845 levels as well as increases in VTA dendritic spines during METH-CPP extinction. Overall, this study demonstrates that the mPFC plays a critical role in METH-CPP extinction and identifies the VTA as an alternative target in mediating the extinction of drug conditioning.

  14. Cooperative interaction between the basolateral amygdala and ventral tegmental area modulates the consolidation of inhibitory avoidance memory.

    PubMed

    Nazari-Serenjeh, Farzaneh; Rezayof, Ameneh

    2013-01-10

    The aim of the current study was to examine the existence of a cooperative interaction between the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in inhibitory avoidance task. The BLA and the VTA regions of adult male Wistar rats were simultaneously cannulated and memory consolidation was measured in a step-through type inhibitory avoidance apparatus. Post-training microinjection of muscimol, a potent GABA-A receptor agonist (0.01-0.02 μg/rat), into the VTA impaired memory in a dose-dependent manner. Post-training intra-BLA microinjection of NMDA (0.02-0.04 μg/rat), 5 min before the intra-VTA injection of muscimol (0.02 μg/rat), attenuated muscimol-induced memory impairment. Microinjection of a NMDA receptor antagonist, D-AP5 (0.02-0.06 μg/rat) into the BLA inhibited NMDA effect on the memory impairment induced by intra-VTA microinjection of muscimol. On the other hand, post-training intra-BLA microinjection of muscimol (0.02-0.04 μg/rat) dose-dependently decreased step-through latency, indicating an impairing effect on memory. This impairing effect was however significantly attenuated by intra-VTA microinjection of NMDA (0.01-0.03 μg/rat). Intra-VTA microinjection of D-AP5 (0.02-0.08 μg/rat), 5 min prior to NMDA injection, inhibited NMDA response on the impairing effect induced by intra-BLA microinjection of muscimol. It should be considered that post-training microinjection of the same doses of NMDA or D-AP5 into the BLA or the VTA alone had no effect on memory consolidation. The data suggest that the relationship between the BLA and the VTA in mediating memory consolidation in inhibitory avoidance learning may be dependent on a cooperative interaction between the glutamatergic and GABAergic systems via NMDA and GABA-A receptors.

  15. Facilitation and recovery of shuttle box avoidance behavior after frontal cortex lesions is induced by a contingent electrical stimulation in the ventral tegmental nucleus.

    PubMed

    Castro-Alamancos, M A; Borrell, J

    1992-09-28

    A bilateral ablation of the frontal cortex was performed in rats before and after training in an active avoidance task in a shuttle box. Animals with this lesion showed an impairment in learning and in the reversal of the avoidance task. If the animals with the lesion were implanted with an electrode in the ventral tegmental nucleus and received an electrical stimulation in this area contingent to a correct response (avoidance or escape response) in the behavioral task, they did not show any impairment in the performance of the task. Furthermore, the effect of the stimulation persisted after it was retrieved. The present findings indicate that the motivational and cue properties of the electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental nucleus may serve to facilitate learning and reversal in an avoidance task and to induce at the long term a recovery process in animals in which the frontal cortex has been ablated. Therefore, this method may be useful to study the adaptative changes which take place in the nervous system after recovery from brain damage occurs. PMID:1333223

  16. Reinforcement-related regulation of AMPA glutamate receptor subunits in the ventral tegmental area enhances motivation for cocaine.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kwang Ho; Edwards, Scott; Graham, Danielle L; Larson, Erin B; Whisler, Kimberly N; Simmons, Diana; Friedman, Allyson K; Walsh, Jessica J; Rahman, Zia; Monteggia, Lisa M; Eisch, Amelia J; Neve, Rachael L; Nestler, Eric J; Han, Ming-Hu; Self, David W

    2011-05-25

    Chronic cocaine use produces numerous biological changes in brain, but relatively few are functionally associated with cocaine reinforcement. Here we show that daily intravenous cocaine self-administration, but not passive cocaine administration, induces dynamic upregulation of the AMPA glutamate receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR2 in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats. Increases in GluR1 protein and GluR1(S845) phosphorylation are associated with increased GluR1 mRNA in self-administering animals, whereas increased GluR2 protein levels occurred despite substantial decreases in GluR2 mRNA. We investigated the functional significance of GluR1 upregulation in the VTA on cocaine self-administration using localized viral-mediated gene transfer. Overexpression of GluR1(WT) in rat VTA primarily infected dopamine neurons (75%) and increased AMPA receptor-mediated membrane rectification in these neurons with AMPA application. Similar GluR1(WT) overexpression potentiated locomotor responses to intra-VTA AMPA, but not NMDA, infusions. In cocaine self-administering animals, overexpression of GluR1(WT) in the VTA markedly increased the motivation for cocaine injections on a progressive ratio schedule of cocaine reinforcement. In contrast, overexpression of protein kinase A-resistant GluR1(S845A) in the VTA reduced peak rates of cocaine self-administration on a fixed ratio reinforcement schedule. Neither viral vector altered sucrose self-administration, and overexpression of GluR1(WT) or GluR1(S845A) in the adjacent substantia nigra had no effect on cocaine self-administration. Together, these results suggest that dynamic regulation of AMPA receptors in the VTA during cocaine self-administration contributes to cocaine addiction by acting to facilitate subsequent cocaine use.

  17. GABAA receptor drugs and neuronal plasticity in reward and aversion: focus on the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Vashchinkina, Elena; Panhelainen, Anne; Aitta-Aho, Teemu; Korpi, Esa R

    2014-01-01

    GABAA receptors are the main fast inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian brain, and targets for many clinically important drugs widely used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia and in anesthesia. Nonetheless, there are significant risks associated with the long-term use of these drugs particularly related to development of tolerance and addiction. Addictive mechanisms of GABAA receptor drugs are poorly known, but recent findings suggest that those drugs may induce aberrant neuroadaptations in the brain reward circuitry. Recently, benzodiazepines, acting on synaptic GABAA receptors, and modulators of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (THIP and neurosteroids) have been found to induce plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons and their main target projections. Furthermore, depending whether synaptic or extrasynaptic GABAA receptor populations are activated, the behavioral outcome of repeated administration seems to correlate with rewarding or aversive behavioral responses, respectively. The VTA dopamine neurons project to forebrain centers such as the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, and receive afferent projections from these brain regions and especially from the extended amygdala and lateral habenula, forming the major part of the reward and aversion circuitry. Both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA drugs inhibit the VTA GABAergic interneurons, thus activating the VTA DA neurons by disinhibition and this way inducing glutamatergic synaptic plasticity. However, the GABAA drugs failed to alter synaptic spine numbers as studied from Golgi-Cox-stained VTA dendrites. Since the GABAergic drugs are known to depress the brain metabolism and gene expression, their likely way of inducing neuroplasticity in mature neurons is by disinhibiting the principal neurons, which remains to be rigorously tested for a number of clinically important anxiolytics, sedatives and anesthetics in different parts of the circuitry.

  18. Rewarding Effects of Optical Stimulation of Ventral Tegmental Area Glutamatergic Neurons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Ling; Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Huikun; Morales, Marisela

    2015-12-01

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons play roles in reward and aversion. The VTA has three major neuronal phenotypes: dopaminergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic. VTA glutamatergic neurons--expressing vesicular glutamate transporter-2 (VGluT2)--project to limbic and cortical regions, but also excite neighboring dopaminergic neurons. Here, we test whether local photoactivation of VTA VGluT2 neurons expressing Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) under the VGluT2 promoter causes place preference and supports operant responding for the stimulation. By using a Cre-dependent viral vector, ChR2 (tethered to mCherry) was expressed in VTA glutamatergic neurons of VGluT2::Cre mice. The mCherry distribution was evaluated by immunolabeling. By confocal microscopy, we detected expression of mCherry in VTA cell bodies and local processes. In contrast, VGluT2 expression was restricted to varicosities, some of them coexpressing mCherry. By electron microscopy, we determined that mCherry-VGluT2 varicosities correspond to axon terminals, forming asymmetric synapses on neighboring dopaminergic neurons. These findings indicate that ChR2 was present in terminals containing glutamatergic synaptic vesicles and involved in local synaptic connections. Photoactivation of VTA slices from ChR2-expressing mice induced AMPA/NMDA receptor-dependent firing of dopaminergic neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. VTA photoactivation of ChR2-expressing mice reinforced instrumental behavior and established place preferences. VTA injections of AMPA or NMDA receptor antagonists blocked optical self-stimulation and place preference. These findings suggest a role in reward function for VTA glutamatergic neurons through local excitatory synapses on mesoaccumbens dopaminergic neurons.

  19. Acute fasting increases somatodendritic dopamine release in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Roseberry, Aaron G

    2015-08-01

    Fasting and food restriction alter the activity of the mesolimbic dopamine system to affect multiple reward-related behaviors. Food restriction decreases baseline dopamine levels in efferent target sites and enhances dopamine release in response to rewards such as food and drugs. In addition to releasing dopamine from axon terminals, dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) also release dopamine from their soma and dendrites, and this somatodendritic dopamine release acts as an autoinhibitory signal to inhibit neighboring VTA dopamine neurons. It is unknown whether acute fasting also affects dopamine release, including the local inhibitory somatodendritic dopamine release in the VTA. In these studies, I have tested whether fasting affects the inhibitory somatodendritic dopamine release within the VTA by examining whether an acute 24-h fast affects the inhibitory postsynaptic current mediated by evoked somatodendritic dopamine release (D2R IPSC). Fasting increased the contribution of the first action potential to the overall D2R IPSC and increased the ratio of repeated D2R IPSCs evoked at short intervals. Fasting also reduced the effect of forskolin on the D2R IPSC and led to a significantly bigger decrease in the D2R IPSC in low extracellular calcium. Finally, fasting resulted in an increase in the D2R IPSCs when a more physiologically relevant train of D2R IPSCs was used. Taken together, these results indicate that fasting caused a change in the properties of somatodendritic dopamine release, possibly by increasing dopamine release, and that this increased release can be sustained under conditions where dopamine neurons are highly active.

  20. GABAA receptor drugs and neuronal plasticity in reward and aversion: focus on the ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Vashchinkina, Elena; Panhelainen, Anne; Aitta-aho, Teemu; Korpi, Esa R.

    2014-01-01

    GABAA receptors are the main fast inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian brain, and targets for many clinically important drugs widely used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia and in anesthesia. Nonetheless, there are significant risks associated with the long-term use of these drugs particularly related to development of tolerance and addiction. Addictive mechanisms of GABAA receptor drugs are poorly known, but recent findings suggest that those drugs may induce aberrant neuroadaptations in the brain reward circuitry. Recently, benzodiazepines, acting on synaptic GABAA receptors, and modulators of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (THIP and neurosteroids) have been found to induce plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons and their main target projections. Furthermore, depending whether synaptic or extrasynaptic GABAA receptor populations are activated, the behavioral outcome of repeated administration seems to correlate with rewarding or aversive behavioral responses, respectively. The VTA dopamine neurons project to forebrain centers such as the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, and receive afferent projections from these brain regions and especially from the extended amygdala and lateral habenula, forming the major part of the reward and aversion circuitry. Both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA drugs inhibit the VTA GABAergic interneurons, thus activating the VTA DA neurons by disinhibition and this way inducing glutamatergic synaptic plasticity. However, the GABAA drugs failed to alter synaptic spine numbers as studied from Golgi-Cox-stained VTA dendrites. Since the GABAergic drugs are known to depress the brain metabolism and gene expression, their likely way of inducing neuroplasticity in mature neurons is by disinhibiting the principal neurons, which remains to be rigorously tested for a number of clinically important anxiolytics, sedatives and anesthetics in different parts of the circuitry. PMID

  1. Mapping dopaminergic deficiencies in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Rice, Matthew W; Roberts, Rosalinda C; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Perez-Costas, Emma

    2016-01-01

    Previous work from our laboratory showed deficits in tyrosine hydroxylase protein expression within the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA) in schizophrenia. However, little is known about the nature and specific location of these deficits within the SN/VTA. The present study had two aims: (1) test if tyrosine hydroxylase deficits could be explained as the result of neuronal loss; (2) assess if deficits in tyrosine hydroxylase are sub-region specific within the SN/VTA, and thus, could affect specific dopaminergic pathways. To achieve these objectives: (1) we obtained estimates of the number of dopaminergic neurons, total number of neurons, and their ratio in matched SN/VTA schizophrenia and control samples; (2) we performed a qualitative assessment in SN/VTA schizophrenia and control matched samples that were processed simultaneously for tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry. We did not find any significant differences in the total number of neurons, dopaminergic neurons, or their ratio. Our qualitative study of TH expression showed a conspicuous decrease in labeling of neuronal processes and cell bodies within the SN/VTA, which was sub-region specific. Dorsal diencephalic dopaminergic populations of the SN/VTA presented the most conspicuous decrease in TH labeling. These data support the existence of pathway-specific dopaminergic deficits that would affect the dopamine input to the cortex without significant neuronal loss. Interestingly, these findings support earlier reports of decreases in tyrosine hydroxylase labeling in the target areas for this dopaminergic input in the prefrontal and entorhinal cortex. Finally, our findings support that tyrosine hydroxylase deficits could contribute to the hypodopaminergic state observed in cortical areas in schizophrenia. PMID:25269834

  2. Ventral tegmental area GABA projections pause accumbal cholinergic interneurons to enhance associative learning.

    PubMed

    Brown, Matthew T C; Tan, Kelly R; O'Connor, Eoin C; Nikonenko, Irina; Muller, Dominique; Lüscher, Christian

    2012-12-20

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) are essential for learning about environmental stimuli associated with motivationally relevant outcomes. The task of signalling such events, both rewarding and aversive, from the VTA to the NAc has largely been ascribed to dopamine neurons. The VTA also contains GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)-releasing neurons, which provide local inhibition and also project to the NAc. However, the cellular targets and functional importance of this long-range inhibitory projection have not been ascertained. Here we show that GABA-releasing neurons of the VTA that project to the NAc (VTA GABA projection neurons) inhibit accumbal cholinergic interneurons (CINs) to enhance stimulus-outcome learning. Combining optogenetics with structural imaging and electrophysiology, we found that VTA GABA projection neurons selectively target NAc CINs, forming multiple symmetrical synaptic contacts that generated inhibitory postsynaptic currents. This is remarkable considering that CINs represent a very small population of all accumbal neurons, and provide the primary source of cholinergic tone in the NAc. Brief activation of this projection was sufficient to halt the spontaneous activity of NAc CINs, resembling the pause recorded in animals learning stimulus-outcome associations. Indeed, we found that forcing CINs to pause in behaving mice enhanced discrimination of a motivationally important stimulus that had been associated with an aversive outcome. Our results demonstrate that VTA GABA projection neurons, through their selective targeting of accumbal CINs, provide a novel route through which the VTA communicates saliency to the NAc. VTA GABA projection neurons thus emerge as orchestrators of dopaminergic and cholinergic modulation in the NAc.

  3. Glial activation and midkine and pleiotrophin transcription in the ventral tegmental area are modulated by morphine administration.

    PubMed

    García-Pérez, Daniel; Luisa Laorden, M; Núñez, Cristina; Victoria Milanés, M

    2014-09-15

    Opiates cause persistent restructuring in the mesolimbic reward system. Although a possible role for midkine and pleiotrophin cytokines in the field of synaptic plasticity has been proposed, it has not been assessed whether morphine administration regulates astrogliosis and midkine and pleiotrophin transcription. We observed that single morphine injection and chronic morphine increased glial fibrillary acidic protein expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Interestingly, single morphine injection and chronic morphine increased VTA midkine and pleiotrophin mRNA expression. Given these results, we hypothesize a role for these cytokines in mediating, at least in part, acute neuroprotective effects and chronic neurotrophic adaptations that contribute to drug dependence.

  4. The involvement of ventral tegmental area cholinergic muscarinic receptors in classically conditioned fear expression as measured with fear-potentiated startle.

    PubMed

    Greba, Q; Munro, L J; Kokkinidis, L

    2000-07-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) contribute to the complex amygdala-based neurocircuitry that mediates fear-motivated behaviors. Because of acetylcholine's (ACh) role in DA neuronal activation, the involvement of VTA cholinergic muscarinic receptors in Pavlovian conditioned fear responding was evaluated in the present study. Fear-potentiated startle was used to assess the effects of intraVTA infused methylscopolamine on conditioned fear performance in laboratory rats. Application of this nonspecific muscarinic receptor antagonist to VTA neurons was observed to inhibit the ability of a conditioned stimulus (CS) previously paired with footshock to enhance the amplitude of the acoustic startle reflex. Doses of methylscopolamine that blocked conditioned fear expression did not alter baseline sensorimotor responding. These results identify ACh neurotransmission in the VTA as a potential excitatory mechanism underlying the fear-arousing properties of threatening environmental stimuli.

  5. Synergistic Self-Administration of Ethanol and Cocaine Directly into the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area: Involvement of Serotonin-3 Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Scott M.; Hauser, Sheketha R.; Toalston, Jamie E.; Bell, Richard L.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2012-01-01

    Ethanol (EtOH) and cocaine are both self-administered into the posterior ventral tegmental area (VTA). Self-administration of either drug is prevented by coadministration of a serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonist. Electrophysiological studies indicated that cocaine and EtOH can act synergistically to stimulate VTA dopamine neurons. The current experiment assessed whether cocaine and EtOH would synergistically interact to produce a reinforcing action within the posterior VTA. Adult female Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of 13 groups. There were three control groups: artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF), a subthreshold EtOH (100 mg%) group, and a subthreshold cocaine (25 pmol/100 nl) group. The other groups self-administered 50 or 75 mg% EtOH containing 6.25, 12.5, or 25 pmol/100 nl cocaine or 100 mg% EtOH containing 3.12, 6.25, 12.5, or 25 pmol/100 nl cocaine. All rats received the assigned infusate for sessions 1 through 4, aCSF alone in sessions 5 and 6, and the original infusate during session 7. The effects of adding a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist [tropisetron, C17H20N2O2 (ICS 205,930) and C17H22N4O.C4H4O4 (LY278-584)] on coadministration of EtOH and cocaine (75 mg% + 12.5 pmol/100 nl) were determined. Rats failed to self-administer aCSF or the subthreshold concentration of EtOH or cocaine. All three concentrations of EtOH (50, 75, and 100 mg%) combined with cocaine (12.5 and 25 pmol/100 nl) supported self-administration. Adding a 5HT3 receptor antagonist attenuated coadministration of EtOH + cocaine. Overall, the data indicate that the reinforcing properties of EtOH and cocaine interacted synergistically within the posterior VTA, and these synergistic effects were mediated, at least in part, by activation of local 5-HT3 receptors. PMID:22011435

  6. Differential Effects of Toluene and Ethanol on Dopaminergic Neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; You, Chang; Arora, Devinder S.; McElvain, Maureen A.; Vandegrift, Bertha J.; Brodie, Mark S.; Woodward, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Drugs of abuse increase the activity of dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and output from the VTA is critical for both natural and drug-induced reward and reinforcement. Ethanol and the abused inhalant toluene both enhance VTA neuronal firing, but the mechanisms of this effect is not fully known. In this study, we used extracellular recordings to compare the actions of toluene and ethanol on DA VTA neurons. Both ethanol and toluene increased the firing rate of DA neurons, although toluene was ~100 times more potent than ethanol. The mixed ion channel blocker quinine (100 μM) blocked the increases in firing produced by ethanol and toluene, indicating some similarity in mechanisms of excitation. A mixture of antagonists of GABA and cholinergic receptors did not prevent toluene-induced or ethanol-induced excitation, and toluene-induced excitation was not altered by co-administration of ethanol, suggesting independent mechanisms of excitation for ethanol and toluene. Concurrent blockade of NMDA, AMPA, and metabotropic glutamate receptors enhanced the excitatory effect of toluene while having no significant effect on ethanol excitation. Nicotine increased firing of DA VTA neurons, and this was blocked by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (1 μM). Mecamylamine did not alter ethanol or toluene excitation of firing but the muscarinic antagonist atropine (5 μM) or a combination of GABA antagonists (bicuculline and CGP35348, 10 μM each) reduced toluene-induced excitation without affecting ethanol excitation. The Ih current blocker ZD7288 abolished the excitatory effect of toluene but unlike the block of ethanol excitation, the effect of ZD7288 was not reversed by the GIRK channel blocker barium, but was reversed by GABA antagonists. These results demonstrate that the excitatory effects of ethanol and toluene have some similarity, such as block by quinine and ZD7288, but also indicate that there are important differences between these two drugs

  7. Microinjections of acetaldehyde or salsolinol into the posterior ventral tegmental area increase dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell

    PubMed Central

    Deehan, Gerald A.; Engleman, Eric A.; Ding, Zheng-Ming; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Published findings indicate that acetaldehyde (ACD; the first metabolite of EtOH) and salsolinol (SAL; formed through the non-enzymatic condensation of ACD and dopamine) can be formed following ethanol (EtOH) consumption. Both ACD and SAL exhibit reinforcing properties within the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) and both exhibit an inverted “U-shaped” dose-response curve. The current study was undertaken to examine the dose-response effects of microinjections of ACD or SAL into the pVTA on DA efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). Methods For the first experiment, separate groups of male Wistar rats received pulse microinjections of aCSF or 12, 23 or 90 µM ACD into the pVTA while extracellular DA levels were concurrently measured in the AcbSh. The second experiment was similarly conducted, except rats were given microinjections of aCSF or 0.03, 0.3, 1.0 or 3.0 µM SAL, while extracellular levels of DA were measured in the AcbSh. Results Both ACD and SAL produced a dose-dependent inverted “U-shaped” response on DA release in the AcbSh, with 23 µM ACD (200% baseline) and 0.3 µM SAL (300% baseline) producing maximal peak responses with higher concentrations of ACD (90 µM) and SAL (3.0 µM) producing significantly lower DA efflux. Conclusions The findings from the current study indicate that local application of intermediate concentrations of ACD and SAL stimulated DA neurons in the pVTA, whereas higher concentrations may be having secondary effects within the pVTA that inhibit DA neuronal activity. The present results parallel studies on the reinforcing effects of ACD and SAL in the pVTA and support the idea that the reinforcing effects of ACD and SAL within the pVTA are mediated by activating DA neurons. PMID:23278868

  8. Ventral tegmental area neurons are either excited or inhibited by cocaine’s actions in the peripheral nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Mejías-Aponte, Carlos A.; Kiyatkin, Eugene A.

    2012-01-01

    Cocaine’s multiple pharmacological substrates are ubiquitously present in the peripheral and central nervous system. Thus, upon its administration, cocaine acts in the periphery before directly acting in the brain. We determined whether cocaine alters ventral tegmental area (VTA) neuronal activity via peripheral actions, and whether this precedes its central actions. In urethane-anesthetized rats, we recorded VTA neurons responses to intravenous injections of two cocaine analogs: cocaine-hydrochloride (HCl, 0.25 mg/kg) that readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and cocaine-methiodide (MI, 0.33 mg/kg) that does not cross the BBB. Both cocaine analogs produced sustained changes in discharge rates that began 5s after the initiation of a 10s drug infusion. Within the first 90s post-injection the magnitudes of neuronal responsive of both cocaine analogs were comparable, but later in time the effects of cocaine-HCl were stronger and persisted longer than those of cocaine-MI. The proportion of neurons responsive to cocaine-HCl was twice to that of cocaine-MI (74% and 35% respectively). Both analogs also differed in the response onsets. Cocaine-MI rarely evoked responses after 1 min whereas cocaine-HCl continued to evoke responses within 3 min post-injection. VTA neurons were either excited or inhibited by both cocaine analogs. Most units responsive to cocaine-MI, regardless of excitation or inhibition, had electrophysiological characteristics of putative DA neurons. Units inhibited by cocaine-HCl also had characteristic of DA neurons whereas excited neurons had widely varying action potential durations and discharge rates. Cocaine-MI and cocaine-HCl each produced changes in VTA neuron activity under full DA receptor blockade. However, the duration of inhibition was shortened, the number of excitations increased, and they occurred with an earlier onset during DA receptor blockade. These findings indicate that cocaine acts peripherally with a short latency and

  9. Distinct effects of ventral tegmental area NMDA and acetylcholine receptor blockade on conditioned reinforcement produced by food-associated cues.

    PubMed

    Wickham, R J; Solecki, W B; Nunes, E J; Addy, N A

    2015-08-20

    Stimuli paired with rewards acquire reinforcing properties to promote reward-seeking behavior. Previous work supports the role of ventral tegmental area (VTA) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in mediating conditioned reinforcement elicited by drug-associated cues. However, it is not known whether these cholinergic mechanisms are specific to drug-associated cues or whether VTA cholinergic mechanisms also underlie the ability of cues paired with natural rewards to act as conditioned reinforcers. Burst firing of VTA dopamine (DA) neurons and the subsequent phasic DA release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays an important role in cue-mediated behavior and in the ability of cues to acquire reinforcing properties. In the VTA, both AChRs and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) regulate DA burst firing and phasic DA release. Here, we tested the role of VTA nAChRs, muscarinic AChRs (mAChRs), and NMDARs in the conditioned reinforcement elicited by a food-associated, natural reward cue. Subjects received 10 consecutive days of Pavlovian conditioning training where lever extension served as a predictive cue for food availability. On day 11, rats received bilateral VTA infusion of saline, AP-5 (0.1 or 1μg), mecamylamine (MEC: 3 or 30μg) or scopolamine (SCOP: 3 or 66.7μg) immediately prior to the conditioned reinforcement test. During the test, nosepoking into the active (conditioned reinforced, CR) noseport produced a lever cue while nosepoking on the inactive (non-conditioned reinforced, NCR) noseport had no consequence. AP-5 robustly attenuated conditioned reinforcement and blocked discrimination between CR and NCR noseports at the 1-μg dose. MEC infusion decreased responding for both CR and NCR while 66.7-μg SCOP disrupted the subject's ability to discriminate between CR and NCR. Together, our data suggest that VTA NMDARs and mAChRs, but not nAChRs, play a role in the ability of natural reward-associated cues to act as conditioned reinforcers.

  10. Distinct effects of ventral tegmental area NMDA and acetylcholine receptor blockade on conditioned reinforcement produced by food-associated cues.

    PubMed

    Wickham, R J; Solecki, W B; Nunes, E J; Addy, N A

    2015-08-20

    Stimuli paired with rewards acquire reinforcing properties to promote reward-seeking behavior. Previous work supports the role of ventral tegmental area (VTA) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in mediating conditioned reinforcement elicited by drug-associated cues. However, it is not known whether these cholinergic mechanisms are specific to drug-associated cues or whether VTA cholinergic mechanisms also underlie the ability of cues paired with natural rewards to act as conditioned reinforcers. Burst firing of VTA dopamine (DA) neurons and the subsequent phasic DA release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays an important role in cue-mediated behavior and in the ability of cues to acquire reinforcing properties. In the VTA, both AChRs and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) regulate DA burst firing and phasic DA release. Here, we tested the role of VTA nAChRs, muscarinic AChRs (mAChRs), and NMDARs in the conditioned reinforcement elicited by a food-associated, natural reward cue. Subjects received 10 consecutive days of Pavlovian conditioning training where lever extension served as a predictive cue for food availability. On day 11, rats received bilateral VTA infusion of saline, AP-5 (0.1 or 1μg), mecamylamine (MEC: 3 or 30μg) or scopolamine (SCOP: 3 or 66.7μg) immediately prior to the conditioned reinforcement test. During the test, nosepoking into the active (conditioned reinforced, CR) noseport produced a lever cue while nosepoking on the inactive (non-conditioned reinforced, NCR) noseport had no consequence. AP-5 robustly attenuated conditioned reinforcement and blocked discrimination between CR and NCR noseports at the 1-μg dose. MEC infusion decreased responding for both CR and NCR while 66.7-μg SCOP disrupted the subject's ability to discriminate between CR and NCR. Together, our data suggest that VTA NMDARs and mAChRs, but not nAChRs, play a role in the ability of natural reward-associated cues to act as conditioned reinforcers. PMID

  11. Electrophysiological characterization of dopamine neuronal activity in the ventral tegmental area across the light-dark cycle.

    PubMed

    Domínguez-López, Sergio; Howell, Rebecca Dean; López-Canúl, Martha Graciela; Leyton, Marco; Gobbi, Gabriella

    2014-10-01

    Direct evidence that dopamine (DA) neurotransmission varies during the 24 h of the day is lacking. Here, we have characterized the firing activity of DA neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) using single-unit extracellular recordings in anesthetized rats kept on a standard light-dark cycle. DA neuronal firing activity was measured under basal conditions and in response to intravenous administration of increasing doses of amphetamine (AMPH: 0.5, 1, 2, 5 mg/kg), apomorphine (APO: 25, 50, 100, 200 µg/kg) and melatonin (MLT: 0.1, 1, 10 mg/kg) at different time intervals of the light-dark cycle. DA firing activity peaked between 07:00 and 11:00 h (3.5 ± 0.3 Hz) and between 19:00 and 23:00 h (4.1 ± 0.7 Hz), with lowest activity occurring between 11:00 and 15:00 h (2.4 ± 0.2 Hz) and between 23:00 and 03:00 h (2.6 ± 0.2 Hz). The highest number of spontaneously active neurons was observed between 03:00 and 06:00 h (2.5 ± 0.3 neurons/track), whereas the lowest was between 19:00 and 23:00 h (1.5 ± 0.2 neurons/track). The inhibitory effect of AMPH on DA firing rate was similar in both phases. The inhibitory effect of low dose of APO (25 μg/kg, dose selective for D2 autoreceptor) was more potent in the dark phase, whereas APO effects at higher doses were similar in both phases. Finally, MLT administration (1 mg/kg) produced a moderate inhibition of DA cell firing in both phases. These experiments demonstrate the existence of an intradiurnal rhythmic pattern of VTA DA neuronal firing activity and a higher pharmacological response of D2 autoreceptors in the dark phase.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

  13. Morphine and cocaine increase serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 activity in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Heller, Elizabeth A; Kaska, Sophia; Fallon, Barbara; Ferguson, Deveroux; Kennedy, Pamela J; Neve, Rachael L; Nestler, Eric J; Mazei-Robison, Michelle S

    2015-01-01

    Drugs of abuse modulate the function and activity of the mesolimbic dopamine circuit. To identify novel mediators of drug-induced neuroadaptations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), we performed RNA sequencing analysis on VTA samples from mice administered repeated saline, morphine, or cocaine injections. One gene that was similarly up-regulated by both drugs was serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1). SGK1 activity, as measured by phosphorylation of its substrate N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG), was also increased robustly by chronic drug treatment. Increased NDRG phosphorylation was evident 1 but not 24 h after the last drug injection. SGK1 phosphorylation itself was similarly modulated. To determine the role of increased SGK1 activity on drug-related behaviors, we over-expressed constitutively active (CA) SGK1 in the VTA. SGK1-CA expression reduced locomotor sensitization elicited by repeated cocaine, but surprisingly had the opposite effect and promoted locomotor sensitization to morphine, without affecting the initial locomotor responses to either drug. SGK1-CA expression did not significantly affect morphine or cocaine conditioned place preference, although there was a trend toward increased conditioned place preference with both drugs. Further characterizing the role of this kinase in drug-induced changes in VTA may lead to improved understanding of neuroadaptations critical to drug dependence and addiction. We find that repeated, but not acute, morphine or cocaine administration induces an increase in serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (SGK1) gene expression and activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This increase in SGK1 activity may play a role in drug-dependent behaviors and suggests a novel signaling cascade for potential intervention in drug dependence and addiction.

  14. Episodic Social Stress-Escalated Cocaine Self-Administration: Role of Phasic and Tonic Corticotropin Releasing Factor in the Anterior and Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Boyson, Christopher O.; Montagud-Romero, Sandra; Stein, Dirson J.; Gobrogge, Kyle L.; DeBold, Joseph F.; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2016-01-01

    Intermittent social defeat stress escalates later cocaine self-administration. Reward and stress both activate ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons, increasing downstream extracellular dopamine concentration in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. The stress neuropeptide corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and its receptors (CRF-R1, CRF-R2) are located in the VTA and influence dopaminergic activity. These experiments explore how CRF release and the activation of its receptors within the VTA both during and after stress influence later cocaine self-administration in rats. In vivo microdialysis of CRF in the VTA demonstrated that CRF is phasically released in the posterior VTA (pVTA) during acute defeat, but, with repeated defeat, CRF is recruited into the anterior VTA (aVTA) and CRF tone is increased in both subregions. Intra-VTA antagonism of CRF-R1 in the pVTA and CRF-R2 in the aVTA during each social defeat prevented escalated cocaine self-administration in a 24 h “binge.” VTA CRF continues to influence cocaine seeking in stressed animals long after social defeat exposure. Unlike nonstressed controls, previously stressed rats show significant cocaine seeking after 15 d of forced abstinence. Previously stressed rats continue to express elevated CRF tone within the VTA and antagonism of pVTA CRF-R1 or aVTA CRF-R2 reverses cocaine seeking. In conclusion, these experiments demonstrate neuroadaptive changes in tonic and phasic CRF with repeated stress, that CRF release during stress may contribute to later escalated cocaine taking, and that persistently elevated CRF tone in the VTA may drive later cocaine seeking through increased activation of pVTA CRF-R1 and aVTA CRF-R2. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has emerged as a likely candidate molecule underlying the fundamental link between stress history and escalated drug self-administration. However, the nature of CRF

  15. Effects of social defeat on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area in male and female California mice.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Gian D; Steinman, Michael Q; Doig, Ian E; Hao, Rebecca; Trainor, Brian C

    2015-12-01

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have important functions related to rewards but are also activated in aversive contexts. Electrophysiology studies suggest that the degree to which VTA dopamine neurons respond to noxious stimuli is topographically organized across the dorsal-ventral extent. We used c-fos immunohistochemistry to examine the responses of VTA dopamine neurons in contexts of social defeat and social approach. Studying monogamous California mice (Peromyscus californicus) allowed us to observe the effects of social defeat on both males and females. Females exposed to three episodes of defeat, but not a single episode, had more tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)/c-fos-positive cells in the ventral (but not dorsal) VTA compared with controls. This observation suggests that repeated exposure to aversive contexts is necessary to trigger activation of VTA dopamine neurons. Defeat did not affect TH/c-fos colocalizations in males. We also examined the long-term effects of defeat on c-fos expression in a social interaction test. As previously reported, defeat reduced social interaction in females but not males. Surprisingly, there were no effects of defeat stress on TH/c-fos colocalizations in any subregion of the VTA. However, females had more TH/c-fos-positive cells than males across the entire VTA, and also had greater c-fos-positive cell counts in posterior subregions of the nucleus accumbens shell. Our results show that dopamine neurons in the VTA are more responsive to social contexts in females and that the ventral VTA in particular is sensitive to aversive contexts.

  16. Adrenergic and noradrenergic innervation of the midbrain ventral tegmental area and retrorubral field: Prominent inputs from medullary homeostatic centers

    PubMed Central

    Mejías-Aponte, Carlos A; Drouin, Candice; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Adrenergic agents modulate the activity of midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the sources of noradrenergic and adrenergic inputs are not well characterized. Immunostaining for dopamine beta-hydroxylase revealed fibers within dopamine (DA) neuron areas, with the highest density in the retrorubral field (A8 cell group), followed by the VTA (A10 cell group), and very few fibers within substantia nigra compacta. A less dense, but similar pattern of fibers was also found for the epinephrine marker, phenylethanolamine N-methyl transferase. Injection of the retrograde tracer wheat germ agglutinin-apo (inactivated) horseradish peroxidase conjugated to colloidal gold, or cholera toxin subunit b, revealed that the noradrenergic innervation of the A10 and A8 regions arise primarily from A1, A2, A5, and locus coeruleus neurons. Selective lesions of the ventral noradrenergic bundle confirmed a prominent innervation from A1 and A2 areas. Retrogradely labeled epinephrine neurons were found mainly in the C1 area. The identification of medullary noradrenergic and adrenergic afferents to DA neuron areas indicates new pathways for visceral-related inputs to reward-related areas in the midbrain. PMID:19295165

  17. A cytoarchitectonic and chemoarchitectonic analysis of the dopamine cell groups in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and retrorubral field in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yuhong; Yuan, Yuan; Halliday, Glenda; Rusznák, Zoltán; Watson, Charles; Paxinos, George

    2012-04-01

    The three main dopamine cell groups of the brain are located in the substantia nigra (A9), ventral tegmental area (A10), and retrorubral field (A8). Several subdivisions of these cell groups have been identified in rats and humans but have not been well described in mice, despite the increasing use of mice in neurodegenerative models designed to selectively damage A9 dopamine neurons. The aim of this study was to determine whether typical subdivisions of these dopamine cell groups are present in mice. The dopamine neuron groups were analysed in 15 adult C57BL/6J mice by anatomically localising tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter protein (DAT), calbindin, and the G-protein-activated inward rectifier potassium channel 2 (GIRK2) proteins. Measurements of the labeling intensity, neuronal morphology, and the proportion of neurons double-labeled with TH, DAT, calbindin, or GIRK2 were used to differentiate subregions. Coronal maps were prepared and reconstructed in 3D. The A8 cell group had the largest dopamine neurons. Five subregions of A9 were identified: the reticular part with few dopamine neurons, the larger dorsal and smaller ventral dopamine tiers, and the medial and lateral parts of A9. The latter has groups containing some calbindin-immunoreactive dopamine neurons. The greatest diversity of dopamine cell types was identified in the seven subregions of A10. The main dopamine cell groups in the mouse brain are similar in terms of diversity to those observed in rats and humans. These findings are relevant to models using mice to analyse the selective vulnerability of different types of dopamine neurons. PMID:21935672

  18. Ghrelin receptor activation in the ventral tegmental area amplified instrumental responding but not the excitatory influence of Pavlovian stimuli on instrumental responding.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Susanne; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2016-10-01

    Pavlovian stimuli predictive of food are able to amplify instrumental responding for food. This phenomenon termed Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT) critically depends on intact VTA function and mesoaccumbens dopamine transmission. Considerable evidence suggests that food-predictive stimuli can enhance the release of ghrelin, an orexigen hormone that promotes food-directed responding. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) appears to be a key region through which stimulation of ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A) invigorates food-directed responding, in part by activating the mesoaccumbens dopamine system. Thus, it is conceivable that stimulation of GHS-R1A in the VTA can amplify PIT, i.e. stimulus-elicited increase in lever pressing for food. Here we examined in rats the effects of VTA ghrelin microinfusion on PIT. Our results demonstrate that ghrelin microinfusion into the VTA failed to enhance PIT suggesting that VTA GHS-R1A stimulation was unable to enhance the motivational significance of food-predictive stimuli. Consistent with previous studies, our results further indicate that intra-VTA ghrelin microinfusion invigorated instrumental responding under a progressive ratio schedule. These data provide support to the notion that VTA GHS-R1A stimulation increases the tendency to work for food. PMID:27521247

  19. Increased number of TH-immunoreactive cells in the ventral tegmental area after deep brain stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus.

    PubMed

    Dela Cruz, J A D; Hescham, S; Adriaanse, B; Campos, F L; Steinbusch, H W M; Rutten, B P F; Temel, Y; Jahanshahi, A

    2015-09-01

    Dopamine (DA) has been long implicated with the processes of memory. In long-term memory, the hippocampus and ventral tegmental area (VTA) use DA to enhance long-term potentiation, while prefrontal DA D1 receptors are involved in working memory. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of specific brain areas have been shown to affect memory impairments in animal models. Here, we tested the hypothesis that DBS could reverse memory impairments by increasing the number of dopaminergic cells in the VTA. Rats received DBS at the level of the mammillothalamic tract, the anterior nucleus of the thalamus, and entorhinal cortex before euthanasia. These regions are part of the so-called memory circuit. Brain sections were processed for c-Fos and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunocytochemistry in the VTA and the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). c-Fos, TH and c-Fos/TH immunoreactive cells were analyzed by means of stereology and confocal microscopy. Our results showed that DBS of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus induced substantial higher numbers of TH-immunoreactive cells in the VTA, while there were no significant differences between the experimental groups in the number of TH immunoreactive cells in the SNc, c-Fos immunoreactive cells and c-Fos/TH double-labeled cells in both the SNc and VTA. Our findings suggest a phenotypic switch, or neurotransmitter respecification, of DAergic cells specifically in the VTA which may be induced by DBS in the anterior nucleus of the thalamus.

  20. Stimulation of glutamate receptors in the ventral tegmental area is necessary for serotonin-2 receptor-induced increases in mesocortical dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Pehek, E A; Hernan, A E

    2015-04-01

    Modulation of dopamine (DA) released by serotonin-2 (5-HT2) receptors has been implicated in the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs. The mesocortical DA system has been implicated particularly in the cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. Agonism at 5-HT2A receptors in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increases in cortical DA release. Evidence indicates that 5-HT2A receptors in the cortex regulate mesocortical DA release through stimulation of a "long-loop" feedback system from the PFC to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and back. However, a causal role for VTA glutamate in the 5-HT2-induced increases in PFC DA has not been established. The present study does so by measuring 5-HT2 agonist-induced DA release in the cortex after infusions of glutamate antagonists into the VTA of the rat. Infusions of a combination of a N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) (AP-5: 2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid) and an AMPA/kainate (CNQX: 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione) receptor antagonist into the VTA blocked the increases in cortical DA produced by administration of the 5-HT2 agonist DOI [(±)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine] (2.5mg/kg s.c.). These results demonstrate that stimulation of glutamate receptors in the VTA is necessary for 5-HT2 agonist-induced increases in cortical DA.

  1. Stimulation of glutamate receptors in the ventral tegmental area is necessary for serotonin-2 receptor-induced increases in mesocortical dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Pehek, E A; Hernan, A E

    2015-04-01

    Modulation of dopamine (DA) released by serotonin-2 (5-HT2) receptors has been implicated in the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs. The mesocortical DA system has been implicated particularly in the cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. Agonism at 5-HT2A receptors in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increases in cortical DA release. Evidence indicates that 5-HT2A receptors in the cortex regulate mesocortical DA release through stimulation of a "long-loop" feedback system from the PFC to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and back. However, a causal role for VTA glutamate in the 5-HT2-induced increases in PFC DA has not been established. The present study does so by measuring 5-HT2 agonist-induced DA release in the cortex after infusions of glutamate antagonists into the VTA of the rat. Infusions of a combination of a N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) (AP-5: 2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid) and an AMPA/kainate (CNQX: 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione) receptor antagonist into the VTA blocked the increases in cortical DA produced by administration of the 5-HT2 agonist DOI [(±)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine] (2.5mg/kg s.c.). These results demonstrate that stimulation of glutamate receptors in the VTA is necessary for 5-HT2 agonist-induced increases in cortical DA. PMID:25637799

  2. Reinforcing Properties and Neurochemical Response of Ethanol within the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area Are Enhanced in Adulthood by Periadolescent Ethanol Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Deehan, Gerald A.; Hauser, Sheketha R.; Engleman, Eric A.; Bell, Richard L.; Murphy, James M.; Truitt, William A.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol drinking during adolescence is associated with increased alcohol drinking and alcohol dependence in adulthood. Research examining the biologic consequences of adolescent ethanol (EtOH) consumption on the response to EtOH in the neurocircuitry shown to regulate drug reinforcement is limited. The experiments were designed to determine the effects of periadolescent alcohol drinking on the reinforcing properties of EtOH within the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) and the ability of EtOH microinjected into the pVTA to stimulate dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). EtOH access (24-hour free-choice) by alcohol-preferring rats occurred during postnatal days (PND) 30–60. Animals were tested for their response to EtOH after PND 85. Intracranial self-administration techniques were performed to assess EtOH self-infusion into the pVTA. In the second experiment, rats received microinjections of EtOH into the pVTA, and dialysis samples were collected from the AcbSh. The results indicate that in rats that consumed EtOH during adolescence, the pVTA was more sensitive to the reinforcing effects of EtOH (a lower concentration of EtOH supported self-administration) and the ability of EtOH microinjected into the pVTA to stimulate DA release in the AcbSh was enhanced (sensitivity and magnitude). The data indicate that EtOH consumption during adolescence altered the mesolimbic DA system to be more sensitive and responsive to EtOH. This increase in the response to EtOH within the mesolimbic DA during adulthood could be part of biologic sequelae that are the basis for the deleterious effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on the rate of alcoholism during adulthood. PMID:25150280

  3. micro-Opioid receptor endocytosis prevents adaptations in ventral tegmental area GABA transmission induced during naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; He, Li; Stuber, Garret D; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2010-03-01

    Chronic morphine drives adaptations in synaptic transmission thought to underlie opiate dependence. Here we examine the role of micro-opioid receptor (MOR) trafficking in one of these adaptations, specifically, changes in GABA transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). To address this question, we used a knock-in mouse, RMOR (for recycling MOR), in which genetic change in the MOR promotes morphine-induced receptor desensitization and endocytosis in GABA interneurons of the VTA. In wild-type mice (postnatal days 23-28) chronic morphine (10 mg/kg, s.c., twice daily for 5 d), induced a cAMP-dependent increase in the probability of GABA release onto VTA dopamine neurons. The increased GABA release frequency correlated with physical dependence on morphine measured by counting somatic signs of morphine withdrawal, such as, tremors, jumps, rears, wet-dog shakes, and grooming behavior precipitated by subcutaneous administration of naloxone (NLX) (2 mg/kg). This adaptation in GABA release was prevented in RMOR mice given the same morphine treatment, implicating MOR trafficking in this morphine-induced change in plasticity. Importantly, treatment with the cAMP activity inhibitor rp-cAMPS [(R)-adenosine, cyclic 3',5'-(hydrogenphosphorothioate) triethylammonium] (50 ng/0.5 microl), directly to the VTA, attenuated somatic withdrawal signs to systemic morphine produced by intra-VTA NLX (500 ng/0.5 microl), directly tying enhanced cAMP-driven GABA release to naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal in the VTA.

  4. Loss of D2 dopamine receptor function modulates cocaine-induced glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2013-07-24

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons.

  5. Opioid-Induced GABA potentiation after chronic morphine attenuates the rewarding effects of opioids in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2010-10-20

    GABA transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is critical for fine tuning the activity of dopamine neurons in response to opioids. However, the precise mechanism by which GABA input shapes opioid reward is poorly understood. We observed a reduction of conditioned place preference for low doses of the opioid [d-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly5-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) and a switch in the functional effects of μ-opioid receptor modulation of GABA postsynaptic currents in the mouse VTA 1 d after chronic morphine treatment. Specifically, whereas in naive mice DAMGO inhibits GABA postsynaptic currents, GABAergic currents are potentiated by DAMGO after chronic morphine treatment. Importantly, pretreatment with the cAMP signaling inhibitor (R)-adenosine, cyclic 3',5'-(hydrogenphosphorothioate) triethylammonium both restored DAMGO reward and reversed the DAMGO-mediated potentiation, thereby reestablishing the inhibitory effects of opioids on GABA currents. Thus, a paradoxical bidirectionality in μ-receptor-mediated control of GABA transmission following chronic morphine treatment is a critical mechanism that determines the expression of opioid reward in the VTA.

  6. Ventral tegmental area dopamine and GABA neurons: Physiological properties and expression of mRNA for endocannabinoid biosynthetic elements

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, Collin B.; Friend, Lindsey N.; Newton, Scott T.; Hopkins, Zachary H.; Edwards, Jeffrey G.

    2015-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is involved in adaptive reward and motivation processing and is composed of dopamine (DA) and GABA neurons. Defining the elements regulating activity and synaptic plasticity of these cells is critical to understanding mechanisms of reward and addiction. While endocannabinoids (eCBs) that potentially contribute to addiction are known to be involved in synaptic plasticity mechanisms in the VTA, where they are produced is poorly understood. In this study, DA and GABAergic cells were identified using electrophysiology, cellular markers, and a transgenic mouse model that specifically labels GABA cells. Using single-cell RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry, we investigated mRNA and proteins involved in eCB signaling such as diacylglycerol lipase α, N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D, and 12-lipoxygenase, as well as type I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Our results demonstrate the first molecular evidence of colocalization of eCB biosynthetic enzyme and type I mGluR mRNA in VTA neurons. Further, these data reveal higher expression of mGluR1 in DA neurons, suggesting potential differences in eCB synthesis between DA and GABA neurons. These data collectively suggest that VTA GABAergic and DAergic cells have the potential to produce various eCBs implicated in altering neuronal activity or plasticity in adaptive motivational reward or addiction. PMID:26553597

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Loss of D2 Dopamine Receptor Function Modulates Cocaine-Induced Glutamatergic Synaptic Potentiation in the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello

    2013-01-01

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons. PMID:23884939

  9. Loss of D2 dopamine receptor function modulates cocaine-induced glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2013-07-24

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons. PMID:23884939

  10. Functional Interaction between the Shell Sub-Region of the Nucleus Accumbens and the Ventral Tegmental Area in Response to Morphine: an Electrophysiological Study

    PubMed Central

    Moaddab, Mahsa; Kermani, Mojtaba; Azizi, Pegah; Haghparast, Abbas

    2013-01-01

    This study has examined the functional importance of nucleus accumbens (NAc)-ventral tegmental area (VTA) interactions. As it is known, this interaction is important in associative reward processes. Under urethane anesthesia, extracellular single unit recordings of the shell sub-region of the nucleus accumbens (NAcSh) neurons were employed to determine the functional contributions of the VTA to neuronal activity across NAcSh in rats. The baseline firing rate of NAcSh neurons varied between 0.42 and 11.44 spikes/sec and the average frequency of spontaneous activity over 45-minute period was 3.21±0.6 spikes/sec. The majority of NAcSh neurons responded excitatory in the first and second 15-min time blocks subsequent to the inactivation of VTA. In the next set of experiments, eight experimental rats received morphine (5 mg/kg; sc). Three patterns of neuronal activity were found. Among the recorded neurons only three had an increase followed by morphine administration. Whereas the other three neurons were attenuated following morphine administration; and there were no changes in the firing rates of the two neurons left. Finally, unilateral reversible inactivation of VTA attenuated the firing activity of the majority of ipsilateral NAcSh neuron in response to morphine, except for a single cell. These results suggest that transient inactivation of VTA reduces the ability of neurons in the NAcsh to respond to systemic morphine, and that NAcSh neuron activity depends on basal firing rate of VTA inputs. PMID:25337343

  11. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis

    PubMed Central

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four “subtypes” could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) “Mesocorticolimbic” FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) “Mesocortical” FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) “Mesolimbic” FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) “Mesostriatal” FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and

  12. Sex-dependent diversity in ventral tegmental dopaminergic neurons and developmental programing: A molecular, cellular and behavioral analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gillies, G.E.; Virdee, K.; McArthur, S.; Dalley, J.W.

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge that diverse populations of dopaminergic neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can be distinguished in terms of their molecular, electrophysiological and functional properties, as well as their differential projections to cortical and subcortical regions has significance for key brain functions, such as the regulation of motivation, working memory and sensorimotor control. Almost without exception, this understanding has evolved from landmark studies performed in the male sex. However, converging evidence from both clinical and pre-clinical studies illustrates that the structure and functioning of the VTA dopaminergic systems are intrinsically different in males and females. This may be driven by sex differences in the hormonal environment during adulthood (‘activational’ effects) and development (perinatal and/or pubertal ‘organizational’ effects), as well as genetic factors, especially the SRY gene on the Y chromosome in males, which is expressed in a sub-population of adult midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Stress and stress hormones, especially glucocorticoids, are important factors which interact with the VTA dopaminergic systems in order to achieve behavioral adaptation and enable the individual to cope with environmental change. Here, also, there is male/female diversity not only during adulthood, but also in early life when neurobiological programing by stress or glucocorticoid exposure differentially impacts dopaminergic developmental trajectories in male and female brains. This may have enduring consequences for individual resilience or susceptibility to pathophysiological change induced by stressors in later life, with potential translational significance for sex bias commonly found in disorders involving dysfunction of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic systems. These findings highlight the urgent need for a better understanding of the sexual dimorphism in the VTA if we are to improve strategies for the prevention and

  13. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis.

    PubMed

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four "subtypes" could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) "Mesocorticolimbic" FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) "Mesocortical" FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) "Mesolimbic" FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) "Mesostriatal" FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and brainstem structures.

  14. Hyper-reactive human ventral tegmental area and aberrant mesocorticolimbic connectivity in overgeneralization of fear in generalized anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Cha, Jiook; Carlson, Joshua M; Dedora, Daniel J; Greenberg, Tsafrir; Proudfit, Greg H; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2014-04-23

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been primarily implicated in reward-motivated behavior. Recently, aberrant dopaminergic VTA signaling has also been implicated in anxiety-like behaviors in animal models. These findings, however, have yet to be extended to anxiety in humans. Here we hypothesized that clinical anxiety is linked to dysfunction of the mesocorticolimbic circuit during threat processing in humans; specifically, excessive or dysregulated activity of the mesocorticolimbic aversion circuit may be etiologically related to errors in distinguishing cues of threat versus safety, also known as "overgeneralization of fear." To test this, we recruited 32 females with generalized anxiety disorder and 25 age-matched healthy control females. We measured brain activity using fMRI while participants underwent a fear generalization task consisting of pseudo-randomly presented rectangles with systematically varying widths. A mid-sized rectangle served as a conditioned stimulus (CS; 50% electric shock probability) and rectangles with widths of CS ±20%, ±40%, and ±60% served as generalization stimuli (GS; never paired with electric shock). Healthy controls showed VTA reactivity proportional to the cue's perceptual similarity to CS (threat). In contrast, patients with generalized anxiety disorder showed heightened and less discriminating VTA reactivity to GS, a feature that was positively correlated with trait anxiety, as well as increased mesocortical and decreased mesohippocampal coupling. Our results suggest that the human VTA and the mesocorticolimbic system play a crucial role in threat processing, and that abnormalities in this system are implicated in maladaptive threat processing in clinical anxiety. PMID:24760845

  15. Glucocorticoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex regulate dopamine efflux to stress via descending glutamatergic feedback to the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Butts, Kelly A; Phillips, Anthony G

    2013-09-01

    Enhanced dopamine (DA) efflux in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is a well-documented response to acute stress. We have previously shown that glucocorticoid receptors in the mPFC regulate stress-evoked DA efflux but the underlying mechanism is unknown. DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) receive excitatory input from and send reciprocal projections to the mPFC. We hypothesize that blockade of prefrontal glucocorticoid receptors can reduce activity of descending glutamatergic input to the VTA, thereby attenuating stress-evoked DA efflux in the mPFC. Using in vivo microdialysis, we demonstrate that acute tail-pinch stress leads to a significant increase in glutamate efflux in the VTA. Blockade of prefrontal glucocorticoid receptors with the selective antagonist CORT 108297 attenuates stress-evoked glutamate efflux in the VTA together with DA efflux in the mPFC. Furthermore, blockade of ionotrophic glutamate receptors in the VTA attenuates stress-evoked DA efflux in the mPFC. We also examine the possible role of glucocorticoid-induced synthesis and release of endocannabinoids acting presynaptically via cannabinoid CB1 receptors to inhibit GABA release onto prefrontal pyramidal cells, thus enhancing descending glutamatergic input to the VTA leading to an increase in mPFC DA efflux during stress. However, administration of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist into the mPFC does not attenuate stress-evoked DA efflux in the mPFC. Taken together, our data indicate that glucocorticoids act locally within the mPFC to modulate mesocortical DA efflux by potentiation of glutamatergic drive onto DA neurons in the VTA. PMID:23590841

  16. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis.

    PubMed

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four "subtypes" could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) "Mesocorticolimbic" FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) "Mesocortical" FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) "Mesolimbic" FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) "Mesostriatal" FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and brainstem structures

  17. Anatomical and pharmacological characterization of catecholamine transients in the medial prefrontal cortex evoked by ventral tegmental area stimulation.

    PubMed

    Shnitko, Tatiana A; Robinson, Donita L

    2014-04-01

    Voltammetric measurements of catecholamines in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are infrequent because of lack of chemical selectivity between dopamine and norepinephrine and their overlapping anatomical inputs. Here, we examined the contribution of norepinephrine to the catecholamine release in the mPFC evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Initially, electrical stimulation was delivered in the midbrain at incremental depths of -5 to -9.4 mm from bregma while catecholamine release was monitored in the mPFC. Although catecholamine release was observed at dorsal stimulation sites that may correspond to the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB, containing noradrenergic axonal projections to the mPFC), maximal release was evoked by stimulation of the VTA (the source of dopaminergic input to the mPFC). Next, VTA-evoked catecholamine release was monitored in the mPFC before and after knife incision of the DNB, and no significant changes in the evoked catecholamine signals were found. These data indicated that DNB fibers did not contribute to the VTA-evoked catecholamine release observed in the mPFC. Finally, while the D2-receptor antagonist raclopride significantly altered VTA-evoked catecholamine release, the α₂-adrenergic receptor antagonist idazoxan did not. Specifically, raclopride reduced catecholamine release in the mPFC, opposite to that observed in the striatum, indicating differential autoreceptor regulation of mesocortical and mesostriatal neurons. Together, these findings suggest that the catecholamine release in the mPFC arising from VTA stimulation was predominately dopaminergic rather than noradrenergic. PMID:24285555

  18. Phasic excitation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons potentiates the initiation of conditioned approach behavior: parametric and reinforcement-schedule analyses.

    PubMed

    Ilango, Anton; Kesner, Andrew J; Broker, Carl J; Wang, Dong V; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2014-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons are implicated in motivation and learning. However, it is unclear how phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, which is implicated in learning, is involved in motivation. Here we used a self-stimulation procedure to examine how mice seek for optogenetically-induced phasic excitation of dopamine neurons, with an emphasis on the temporal dimension. TH-Cre transgenic mice received adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 into the ventral tegmental area, resulting in selective expression of the opsin in dopamine neurons. These mice were trained to press on a lever for photo-pulse trains that phasically excited dopamine neurons. They learned to self-stimulate in a fast, constant manner, and rapidly reduced pressing during extinction. We first determined effective parameters of photo-pulse trains in self-stimulation. Lever-press rates changed as a function of the manipulation of pulse number, duration, intensity, and frequency. We then examined effects of interval and ratio schedules of reinforcement on photo-pulse train reinforcement, which was contrasted with food reinforcement. Reinforcement with food inhibited lever pressing for a few seconds, after which pressing was robustly regulated in a goal-directed manner. In contrast, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons robustly potentiated the initiation of lever pressing; however, this effect did not last more than 1 s and quickly diminished. Indeed, response rates markedly decreased when lever pressing was reinforced with inter-reinforcement interval schedules of 3 or 10 s or ratio schedules requiring multiple responses per reinforcement. Thus, phasic excitation of dopamine neurons briefly potentiates the initiation of approach behavior with apparent lack of long-term motivational regulation.

  19. Key role of salsolinol in ethanol actions on dopamine neuronal activity of the posterior ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Melis, Miriam; Carboni, Ezio; Caboni, Pierluigi; Acquas, Elio

    2015-01-01

    Ethanol excites dopamine (DA) neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA). This effect is responsible for ethanol's motivational properties and may contribute to alcoholism. Evidence indicates that catalase-mediated conversion of ethanol into acetaldehyde in pVTA plays a critical role in this effect. Acetaldehyde, in the presence of DA, condensates with it to generate salsolinol. Salsolinol, when administered in pVTA, excites pVTA DA cells, elicits DA transmission in nucleus accumbens and sustains its self-administration in pVTA. Here we show, by using ex vivo electrophysiology, that ethanol and acetaldehyde, but not salsolinol, failed to stimulate pVTA DA cell activity in mice administered α-methyl-p-tyrosine, a DA biosynthesis inhibitor that reduces somatodendritic DA release. This effect was specific for ethanol and acetaldehyde since morphine, similarly to salsolinol, was able to excite pVTA DA cells in α-methyl-p-tyrosine-treated mice. However, when DA was bath applied in slices from α-methyl-p-tyrosine-treated mice, ethanol-induced excitation of pVTA DA neurons was restored. This effect requires ethanol oxidation into acetaldehyde given that, when H2 O2 -catalase system was impaired by either 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole or in vivo administration of α-lipoic acid, ethanol did not enhance DA cell activity. Finally, high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of bath medium detected salsolinol only after co-application of ethanol and DA in α-methyl-p-tyrosine-treated mice. These results demonstrate the relationship between ethanol and salsolinol effects on pVTA DA neurons, help to untangle the mechanism(s) of action of ethanol in this area and contribute to an exciting research avenue prosperous of theoretical and practical consequences.

  20. Voluntary adolescent drinking enhances excitation by low levels of alcohol in a subset of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Avegno, Elizabeth M; Salling, Michael C; Borgkvist, Anders; Mrejeru, Ana; Whitebirch, Alexander C; Margolis, Elyssa B; Sulzer, David; Harrison, Neil L

    2016-11-01

    Enhanced dopamine (DA) neurotransmission from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the ventral striatum is thought to drive drug self-administration and mediate positive reinforcement. We examined neuronal firing rates in slices of mouse midbrain following adolescent binge-like alcohol drinking and find that prior alcohol experience greatly enhanced the sensitivity to excitation by ethanol itself (10-50 mM) in a subset of ventral midbrain DA neurons located in the medial VTA. This enhanced response after drinking was not associated with alterations of firing rate or other measures of intrinsic excitability. In addition, the phenomenon appears to be specific to adolescent drinking, as mice that established a drinking preference only after the onset of adulthood showed no change in alcohol sensitivity. Here we demonstrate not only that drinking during adolescence induces enhanced alcohol sensitivity, but also that this DA neuronal response occurs over a range of alcohol concentrations associated with social drinking in humans. PMID:27475082

  1. NMDA receptors regulate nicotine-enhanced brain reward function and intravenous nicotine self-administration: role of the ventral tegmental area and central nucleus of the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Kenny, Paul J; Chartoff, Elena; Roberto, Marisa; Carlezon, William A; Markou, Athina

    2009-01-01

    Nicotine is considered an important component of tobacco responsible for the smoking habit in humans. Nicotine increases glutamate-mediated transmission throughout brain reward circuitries. This action of nicotine could potentially contribute to its intrinsic rewarding and reward-enhancing properties, which motivate consumption of the drug. Here we show that the competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist LY235959 (0.5-2.5 mg per kg) abolished nicotine-enhanced brain reward function, reflected in blockade of the lowering of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) thresholds usually observed after experimenter-administered (0.25 mg per kg) or intravenously self-administered (0.03 mg per kg per infusion) nicotine injections. The highest LY235959 dose (5 mg per kg) tested reversed the hedonic valence of nicotine from positive to negative, reflected in nicotine-induced elevations of ICSS thresholds. LY235959 doses that reversed nicotine-induced lowering of ICSS thresholds also markedly decreased nicotine self-administration without altering responding for food reinforcement, whereas the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor antagonist NBQX had no effects on nicotine intake. In addition, nicotine self-administration upregulated NMDA receptor subunit expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), suggesting important interactions between nicotine and the NMDA receptor. Furthermore, nicotine (1 microM) increased NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents in rat CeA slices, similar to its previously described effects in the VTA. Finally, infusion of LY235959 (0.1-10 ng per side) into the CeA or VTA decreased nicotine self-administration. Taken together, these data suggest that NMDA receptors, including those in the CeA and VTA, gate the magnitude and valence of the effects of nicotine on brain reward systems, thereby regulating motivation to consume the drug.

  2. Src-protein tyrosine kinases are required for cocaine-induced increase in the expression and function of the NMDA receptor in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Schumann, Johanna; Michaeli, Avner; Yaka, Rami

    2009-02-01

    Cocaine-induced long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synapses in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been proposed as a key process that contributes to the development of addictive behaviors. In particular, the activation of ionotrophic glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR) in the VTA is critical for the initiation of cocaine sensitization. Here we show that application of cocaine both in slices and in vivo induced an increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of the NR2A, but not the NR2B subunit of the NMDAR in juvenile rats. Cocaine induced an increase in the activity of both Fyn and Src kinases, and the Src-protein tyrosine kinase (Src-PTKs) inhibitor, 4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine (PP2), abolished both cocaine-induced increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of the NR2A subunit and the increase in the expression of NR1, NR2A, and NR2B in the VTA. Moreover, cocaine-induced enhancement in NMDAR-mediated excitatory post-synaptic currents was completely abolished by PP2. Taken together, these results suggest that acute cocaine induced an increase in the expression of NMDAR subunits and enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2A-containing NMDAR through members of the Src-PTKs. This in turn, increased NMDAR-mediated currents in VTA dopamine neurons. These results provide a potential cellular mechanism by which cocaine triggers NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity of VTA neurons that may underlie the development of behavioral sensitization. PMID:19046409

  3. NMDA receptors regulate nicotine-enhanced brain reward function and intravenous nicotine self-administration: Role of the ventral tegmental area and central nucleus of the amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Kenny, Paul J.; Chartoff, Elena; Roberto, Marisa; Carlezon, William A.; Markou, Athina

    2009-01-01

    Nicotine is considered an important component of tobacco responsible for the smoking habit in humans. Nicotine increases glutamate-mediated transmission throughout brain reward circuitries. This action of nicotine could potentially contribute to its intrinsic rewarding and reward-enhancing properties, which motivate consumption of the drug. Here we show that the competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist LY235959 (0.5–2.5 mg/kg) abolished nicotine-enhanced brain reward function, reflected in blockade of the lowering of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) thresholds usually observed after experimenter-administered (0.25 mg/kg) or intravenously self-administered (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) nicotine injections. The highest LY235959 dose (5 mg/kg) tested reversed the hedonic valence of nicotine from positive to negative, reflected in nicotine-induced elevations of ICSS thresholds. LY235959 doses that reversed nicotine-induced lowering of ICSS thresholds also markedly decreased nicotine self-administration without altering responding for food reinforcement, whereas the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptor antagonist NBQX had no effects on nicotine intake. In addition, nicotine self-administration upregulated NMDA receptor subunit expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), suggesting important interactions between nicotine and the NMDA receptor. Furthermore, nicotine (1 μM) increased NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in rat CeA slices, similar to its previously described effects in the VTA. Finally, infusion of LY235959 (0.1–10 ng/side) into the CeA or VTA decreased nicotine self-administration. Taken together, these data suggest that NMDA receptors, including those in the CeA and VTA, gate the magnitude and valence of the effects of nicotine on brain reward systems, thereby regulating motivation to consume the drug. PMID:18418357

  4. Micturition-related electrophysiological properties in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the ventral tegmental area in cats.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Ryuji; Nakazawa, Ken; Uchiyama, Tomoyuki; Yoshiyama, Mitsuharu; Yamanishi, Tomonori; Hattori, Takamichi

    2002-11-29

    Parkinson's disease patients are known to have not only motor but also urinary autonomic disorders, suggesting central dopaminergic pathways being involved in the micturition function. However, there is little evidence that the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the major dopamine-containing nuclei in the midbrain, should participate in regulating micturition. We investigated micturition-related electrophysiological properties in the SNC and VTA. In 20 male cats under ketamine anaesthesia, in which spontaneous isovolumetric micturition reflex was generated, we performed electrical stimulation and extracellular single-unit recording in the SNC and the VTA, and correlation analysis of the neuronal firings and antidromic stimulation between the SNC/VTA and the pontine storage centre (PSC). Electrical stimulations in the SNC elicited termination of the micturition reflex, whereas those in the VTA elicited both termination and facilitation of the reflex. Forty-nine neurons in the SNC/VTA showed firing in response to the bladder storage/micturition cycles. The major neurons were tonic storage (55%) and phasic storage neurons (22%), which were found diffusely in th e SNC/VTA. The rest were tonic micturition (16%) and phasic micturition neurons (6%), which were concentrated in the caudal part (A2-4 in the Horsley-Clarke coordinates). These neuronal types were further subclassified into augmenting, constant, binary and decrementing neurons according to their temporal discharge rate change. The decrementing neurons were concentrated in the caudal part (A2-4), whereas the augmenting neurons in the rostral part (A4-6). Some of the recorded neurons had preceding firing pattern, which was more frequently found in the tonic type than in the phasic-type neurons. Twenty-four of the neuronal firings in the SNC/VTA were recorded simultaneously with those in the PSC. However, there was no apparent time-correlation between both sets of neuronal

  5. Increased gabaergic input to ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons associated with decreased cocaine reinforcement in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Mathon, D S; Lesscher, H M B; Gerrits, M A F M; Kamal, A; Pintar, J E; Schuller, A G P; Spruijt, B M; Burbach, J P H; Smidt, M P; van Ree, J M; Ramakers, G M J

    2005-01-01

    There is general agreement that dopaminergic neurons projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex play a key role in drug reinforcement. The activity of these neurons is strongly modulated by the inhibitory and excitatory input they receive. Activation of mu-opioid receptors, located on GABAergic neurons in the VTA, causes hyperpolarization of these GABAergic neurons, thereby causing a disinhibition of VTA dopaminergic neurons. This effect of mu-opioid receptors upon GABA neurotransmission is a likely mechanism for mu-opioid receptor modulation of drug reinforcement. We studied mu-opioid receptor signaling in relation to cocaine reinforcement in wild-type and mu-opioid receptor knockout mice using a cocaine self-administration paradigm and in vitro electrophysiology. Cocaine self-administration was reduced in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, suggesting a critical role of mu-opioid receptors in cocaine reinforcement. The frequency of spontaneous inhibitory post-synaptic currents onto dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area was increased in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice compared with wild-type controls, while the frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents was unaltered. The reduced cocaine self-administration and increased GABAergic input to VTA dopaminergic neurons in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice supports the notion that suppression of GABAergic input onto dopaminergic neurons in the VTA contributes to mu-opioid receptor modulation of cocaine reinforcement. PMID:15664692

  6. Ghrelin and GHS-R1A signaling within the ventral and laterodorsal tegmental area regulate sexual behavior in sexually naïve male mice.

    PubMed

    Prieto-Garcia, Luna; Egecioglu, Emil; Studer, Erik; Westberg, Lars; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2015-12-01

    In addition to food intake and energy balance regulation, ghrelin mediate the rewarding and motivational properties of palatable food as well as addictive drugs. The ability of ghrelin to regulate reinforcement involves the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link, which encompasses a cholinergic projection from the laterodorsal tegmental area (LDTg) to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) together with mesolimbic dopaminergic projections from the VTA to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Recently, systemic ghrelin was shown to regulate sexual behavior and motivation in male mice via dopamine neurotransmission. The present study therefore elucidates the role of ghrelin and ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1A) antagonist treatment within NAc, VTA or LDTg for sexual behavior in sexually naïve male mice. Local administration of the GHSR-1A antagonist, JMV2959, into the VTA or LDTg was found to reduce the preference for female mice, the number of mounts and the duration of mounting as well as to prolong the latency to mount. This was further substantiated by the findings that ghrelin administration into the VTA or LDTg increased the number of mounts and the duration of mounting and decreased the latency to mount. Moreover, ghrelin administered into the LDTg increased the preference for female mice. Accumbal administration of ghrelin increased whereas GHS-R1A antagonist decreased the intake of palatable food, but did not alter sexual behavior. In males exposed to sexual interaction, systemic administration of ghrelin increases whereas JMV2959 decreases the turnover of dopamine in the VTA. These data suggest that ghrelin signaling within the tegmental areas is required for sexual behavior in sexually naïve male mice.

  7. Aversive behavior induced by optogenetic inactivation of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons is mediated by dopamine D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Danjo, Teruko; Yoshimi, Kenji; Funabiki, Kazuo; Yawata, Satoshi; Nakanishi, Shigetada

    2014-04-29

    Dopamine (DA) transmission from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is critical for controlling both rewarding and aversive behaviors. The transient silencing of DA neurons is one of the responses to aversive stimuli, but its consequences and neural mechanisms regarding aversive responses and learning have largely remained elusive. Here, we report that optogenetic inactivation of VTA DA neurons promptly down-regulated DA levels and induced up-regulation of the neural activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) as evaluated by Fos expression. This optogenetic suppression of DA neuron firing immediately evoked aversive responses to the previously preferred dark room and led to aversive learning toward the optogenetically conditioned place. Importantly, this place aversion was abolished by knockdown of dopamine D2 receptors but not by that of D1 receptors in the NAc. Silencing of DA neurons in the VTA was thus indispensable for inducing aversive responses and learning through dopamine D2 receptors in the NAc.

  8. Loss of the trpc4 gene is associated with a reduction in cocaine self-administration and reduced spontaneous ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronal activity, without deficits in learning for natural rewards.

    PubMed

    Klipec, William D; Burrow, Kristin R; O'Neill, Casey; Cao, Jun-Li; Lawyer, Chloe R; Ostertag, Eric; Fowler, Melissa; Bachtell, Ryan K; Illig, Kurt R; Cooper, Donald C

    2016-06-01

    Among the canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels, the TRPC4 non-selective cation channel is one of the most abundantly expressed subtypes within mammalian corticolimbic brain regions, but its functional and behavioral role is unknown. To identify a function for TRPC4 channels we compared the performance of rats with a genetic knockout of the trpc4 gene (trpc4 KO) to wild-type (WT) controls on the acquisition of simple and complex learning for natural rewards, and on cocaine self-administration (SA). Despite the abundant distribution of TRPC4 channels through the corticolimbic brain regions, we found trpc4 KO rats exhibited normal learning in Y-maze and complex reversal shift paradigms. However, a deficit was observed in cocaine SA in the trpc4 KO group, which infused significantly less cocaine than WT controls despite displaying normal sucrose SA. Given the important role of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in cocaine SA, we hypothesized that TRPC4 channels may regulate basal dopamine neuron excitability. Double-immunolabeling showed a selective expression of TRPC4 channels in a subpopulation of putative dopamine neurons in the VTA. Ex vivo recordings of spontaneous VTA dopamine neuronal activity from acute brain slices revealed fewer cells with high-frequency firing rates in trpc4 KO rats compared to WT controls. Since deletion of the trpc4 gene does not impair learning involving natural rewards, but reduces cocaine SA, these data demonstrate a potentially novel role for TRPC4 channels in dopamine systems and may offer a new pharmacological target for more effective treatment of a variety of dopamine disorders. PMID:26988269

  9. Loss of the trpc4 gene is associated with a reduction in cocaine self-administration and reduced spontaneous ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronal activity, without deficits in learning for natural rewards.

    PubMed

    Klipec, William D; Burrow, Kristin R; O'Neill, Casey; Cao, Jun-Li; Lawyer, Chloe R; Ostertag, Eric; Fowler, Melissa; Bachtell, Ryan K; Illig, Kurt R; Cooper, Donald C

    2016-06-01

    Among the canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels, the TRPC4 non-selective cation channel is one of the most abundantly expressed subtypes within mammalian corticolimbic brain regions, but its functional and behavioral role is unknown. To identify a function for TRPC4 channels we compared the performance of rats with a genetic knockout of the trpc4 gene (trpc4 KO) to wild-type (WT) controls on the acquisition of simple and complex learning for natural rewards, and on cocaine self-administration (SA). Despite the abundant distribution of TRPC4 channels through the corticolimbic brain regions, we found trpc4 KO rats exhibited normal learning in Y-maze and complex reversal shift paradigms. However, a deficit was observed in cocaine SA in the trpc4 KO group, which infused significantly less cocaine than WT controls despite displaying normal sucrose SA. Given the important role of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in cocaine SA, we hypothesized that TRPC4 channels may regulate basal dopamine neuron excitability. Double-immunolabeling showed a selective expression of TRPC4 channels in a subpopulation of putative dopamine neurons in the VTA. Ex vivo recordings of spontaneous VTA dopamine neuronal activity from acute brain slices revealed fewer cells with high-frequency firing rates in trpc4 KO rats compared to WT controls. Since deletion of the trpc4 gene does not impair learning involving natural rewards, but reduces cocaine SA, these data demonstrate a potentially novel role for TRPC4 channels in dopamine systems and may offer a new pharmacological target for more effective treatment of a variety of dopamine disorders.

  10. Inhibitory effect of A10 dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area on the orienting response evoked by acoustic stimulation in the cat.

    PubMed

    Crescimanno, G; Sorbera, F; Emmi, A; Amato, G

    1998-01-01

    The effect of bilateral electric stimulation of A10 dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (80-300 microA, 20-50 Hz, 0.1-0.5 ms, 2 s duration) on latency and duration of the orienting response, evoked by acoustic stimuli (4500-8000 Hz, 2 s), was studied in the cat. A10 neuron stimulation, simultaneous with the acoustic one, was performed with threshold parameters inducing minimal behavioral signs (head searching movement, sniffing, increase in alertness). By means of a videoanalysis system, a statistically significant increase, both of latency and duration of the response, was observed. The possible role of dopamine was studied administrating sulpiride (20 mg/kg i.p.), a dopaminergic antagonist prevalently acting on the mesolimbic-mesocortical system. In this condition, the disappearance of A10 neuron effect occurred. Sulpiride injection did not affect the parameters of the orienting response to acoustic stimulus alone, suggesting a direct effect on A10 dopaminergic neurons. Moreover, when saline administration was carried out, no significant modification of the effects, obtained following A10 neuron activation, was observed. The data suggest that A10 dopaminergic neurons, origin of the mesolimbic-mesocortical system, may be involved in the control of the response to sensory stimuli, likely by influencing sensorimotor integration processes. An involvement in the inhibitory regulation of the switching of attention is also discussed. PMID:9434203

  11. Selective dopaminergic lesions of the ventral tegmental area impair preference for sucrose but not for male sexual pheromones in female mice.

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-01

    The role of the meso-accumbens dopaminergic pathway in reward-related behaviours is the subject of intense investigation. In this regard, here we analyse the effects of specific lesions of dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of female mice on two goal-directed behaviours, namely sucrose preference (intake of sucrose solution vs. water) and preference for male sexual pheromones (exploration of male-soiled vs. clean bedding). The results indicate that partial lesions of the VTA that impair neither locomotion nor general exploratory behaviour reduce the preference for sucrose (over a 48-h period) but do not alter the innate attraction that females display for male sexual pheromones (in 5-min tests). This differential effect of the lesions can be interpreted as demonstrating the existence of separate neural mechanisms and circuits for signalling the reward of different natural reinforcers (e.g. sweet taste of sucrose and sexual pheromones). Alternatively, VTA lesions may result in an impaired attribution of incentive salience (which depends on the dopaminergic tegmento-striatal system) of sucrose-predicting cues, thus leading to a long-term decrease in sucrose consumption. By contrast, the same lesions do not affect the unconditioned attraction to male-derived pheromones, which may depend on amygdalo-striatal pathways. PMID:16930416

  12. Differential distribution of hypoxia-inducible factor 1-beta (ARNT or ARNT2) in mouse substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Dela Cruz, J A D; Schmidt-Kastner, R; Stevens, J A A; Steinbusch, H W M; Rutten, B P F

    2014-11-01

    Hypoxia has been proposed as a mechanism underlying gene-environment interactions in the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) could mediate the interactions. In the current study, we analyzed the HIF-1 beta subunit, as formed by aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) or ARNT2, in the mouse substantia nigra (SN) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We performed immunohistochemical studies of ARNT and ARNT2 in the adult mouse brain, and colocalization analyses, with specific emphasis on dopaminergic cells, i.e. tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive cells. Bioinformatic analyses identified shared protein partners for ARNT and ARNT2. ARNT immunoreactivity showed widespread neuronal labeling without overt regional specificity. We observed co-localization of ARNT and TH in the SN compacta and VTA. Nuclei strongly labeled for ARNT2 were observed in the SN reticulata, while only weak immunoreactivity for ARNT2 was found in TH-immunoreactive neurons in SN compacta and VTA. Stereological analysis showed that ARNT was preferentially expressed in dopaminergic neurons in SN compacta and VTA. Nuclei strongly labeled for ARNT2 were present in neocortex and CA1 of hippocampus. Differential expression of ARNT and ARNT2 in dopaminergic neurons may relate to the vulnerability of distinct dopaminergic projections to hypoxia and to functional vulnerability in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:25017895

  13. Corticosterone enhances N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor signaling to promote isolated ventral tegmental area activity in a reconstituted mesolimbic dopamine pathway.

    PubMed

    Berry, Jennifer N; Saunders, Meredith A; Sharrett-Field, Lynda J; Reynolds, Anna R; Bardo, Michael T; Pauly, James R; Prendergast, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Elevations in circulating corticosteroids during periods of stress may influence activity of the mesolimbic dopamine reward pathway by increasing glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor expression and/or function in a glucocorticoid receptor-dependent manner. The current study employed organotypic co-cultures of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) to examine the effects of corticosterone exposure on NMDA receptor-mediated neuronal viability. Co-cultures were pre-exposed to vehicle or corticosterone (CORT; 1 μM) for 5 days prior to a 24 h co-exposure to NMDA (200 μM). Co-cultures pre-exposed to a non-toxic concentration of corticosterone and subsequently NMDA showed significant neurotoxicity in the VTA only. This was evidenced by increases in propidium iodide uptake as well as decreases in immunoreactivity of the neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN). Co-exposure to the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-7-phosphonovaleric acid (APV; 50 μM) or the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist mifepristone (10 μM) attenuated neurotoxicity. In contrast, the combination of corticosterone and NMDA did not produce any significant effects on either measure within the NAcc. Cultures of the VTA and NAcc maintained without synaptic contact showed no response to CORT or NMDA. These results demonstrate the ability to functionally reconstitute key regions of the mesolimbic reward pathway ex vivo and to reveal a GR-dependent enhancement of NMDA receptor-dependent signaling in the VTA. PMID:26631585

  14. A cytoarchitectonic and TH-immunohistochemistry characterization of the dopamine cell groups in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area and retrorubral field in the rock cavy (Kerodon rupestris).

    PubMed

    Cavalcanti, José R L P; Soares, Joacil G; Oliveira, Francisco G; Guzen, Fausto P; Pontes, André L B; Sousa, Twyla B; Cavalcante, Jeferson S; Nascimento, Expedito S; Cavalcante, Judney C; Costa, Miriam S M O

    2014-01-01

    The 3-hydroxytyramine/dopamine is a monoamine of the catecholamine group and it is a precursor of the noradrenaline and adrenaline synthesis, in which the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase acts as a rate-limiting enzyme. The dopaminergic nuclei retrorubral field (A8 group), substantia nigra pars compacta (A9 group) and ventral tegmental area (A10 group) are involved in three complex circuitries named mesostriatal, mesocortical and mesolimbic, which are directly related to various behavioral manifestations such as motor control, reward signaling in behavioral learning, motivation and pathological manifestations of Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to describe the delimitation of A8, A9 and A10 groups and the morphology of their neurons in the brain of the rock cavy (Kerodon rupestris), a typical Brazilian Northeast rodent belonging to the suborder Hystricomorpha, family Caviidae. Coronal and sagittal sections of the rock cavy brains were submitted to Nissl staining and TH immunohistochemistry. The organization of these dopaminergic nuclei in the rock cavy brain is very similar to that found in other animals of the Rodentia order, except for the presence of the tail of the substantia nigra, which is found only in the species under study. The results revealed that, apart some morphological variations, A8, A9 and A10 groups are phylogenetically stable brain structures. PMID:24444614

  15. Anti-ataxic effects of TRH and its analogue, TA-0910, in Rolling mouse Nagoya by metabolic normalization of the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, K.; Watanabe, Y.; Asai, H.; Yamamura, M.; Matsuoka, Y.

    1995-01-01

    1. The mechanism of the anti-ataxic action of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and its analogue. TA-0910, in the Rolling mouse Nagoya (RMN), an ataxic mutant mouse, has been investigated. 2. TRH (30 mg kg-1, i.p.) and TA-0910 (3 mg kg-1, i.p.) reduced the fall index (number of falls/spontaneous motor activity), an index of ataxia, 10-30 and 10-60 min after administration, respectively. 3. Relative local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) in the cerebellum and ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the rolling mouse was significantly smaller than that in normal animals. TRH (30 mg kg-1, i.p.) and TA-0910 (3 mg kg-1, i.p.) increased the relative LCGU value of the VTA but not of the cerebellum in rolling mice to the level of normal animals. 4. These results suggest that the ataxia of the rolling mouse may be due to dysfunction of the cerebellum and VTA, and that amelioration by TRH and TA-0910 could result from metabolic normalization of the VTA. PMID:8719807

  16. Neural correlates for angular head velocity in the rat dorsal tegmental nucleus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bassett, J. P.; Taube, J. S.; Oman, C. M. (Principal Investigator)

    2001-01-01

    Many neurons in the rat lateral mammillary nuclei (LMN) fire selectively in relation to the animal's head direction (HD) in the horizontal plane independent of the rat's location or behavior. One hypothesis of how this representation is generated and updated is via subcortical projections from the dorsal tegmental nucleus (DTN). Here we report the type of activity in DTN neurons. The majority of cells (75%) fired as a function of the rat's angular head velocity (AHV). Cells exhibited one of two types of firing patterns: (1) symmetric, in which the firing rate was positively correlated with AHV during head turns in both directions, and (2) asymmetric, in which the firing rate was positively correlated with head turns in one direction and correlated either negatively or not at all in the opposite direction. In addition to modulation by AHV, some of the AHV cells (40.1%) were weakly modulated by the rat's linear velocity, and a smaller number were modulated by HD (11%) or head pitch (15.9%). Autocorrelation analyses indicated that with the head stationary, AHV cells displayed irregular discharge patterns. Because afferents from the DTN are the major source of information projecting to the LMN, these results suggest that AHV information from the DTN plays a significant role in generating the HD signal in LMN. A model is proposed showing how DTN AHV cells can generate and update the LMN HD cell signal.

  17. Emotional memory impairments induced by AAV-mediated overexpression of human α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Alvarsson, A; Caudal, D; Björklund, A; Svenningsson, P

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with extensive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons originating in the substantia nigra pars compacta, but neuronal loss is also found in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA projects to areas involved in cognitive and emotional processes, including hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex, and has thus been proposed to play a role in emotional memory impairments in PD. Since the formation of α-synuclein inclusions throughout the central nervous system is a pathological hallmark of PD, we studied the progressive effects of α-synuclein overexpression in the VTA on motor functions, emotional behaviour and emotional memory. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding either human α-synuclein or green fluorescent protein (GFP) were injected stereotactically into the VTA, and behaviour was monitored 3 and 8 weeks following AAV injection. At week 8, there was a 22% reduction of TH+ neurons in the VTA. We demonstrate that α-synuclein overexpression in dopaminergic neurons of the VTA induced mild motor deficits that appeared 3 weeks following AAV-α-synuclein injection and were aggravated at week 8. No depressive- or anxiety-like behaviours were found. To address emotional memory, we used the passive avoidance test, a one-trial associative learning paradigm based on contextual conditioning which requires minimal training. Interestingly, emotional memory impairments were found in α-synuclein overexpressing animals at week 8. These findings indicate that α-synuclein overexpression induces progressive memory impairments likely caused by a loss of function of mesolimbic dopaminergic projections.

  18. Acute cocaine exposure weakens GABA(B) receptor-dependent G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying K+ signaling in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Arora, Devinder; Hearing, Matthew; Haluk, Desirae M; Mirkovic, Kelsey; Fajardo-Serrano, Ana; Wessendorf, Martin W; Watanabe, Masahiko; Luján, Rafael; Wickman, Kevin

    2011-08-24

    Enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission in dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), triggered by a single cocaine injection, represents an early adaptation linked to the more enduring effects of abused drugs that characterize addiction. Here, we examined the impact of in vivo cocaine exposure on metabotropic inhibitory signaling involving G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying K(+) (Girk) channels in VTA DA neurons. Somatodendritic Girk currents evoked by the GABA(B) receptor (GABA(B)R) agonist baclofen were diminished in a dose-dependent manner in mice given a single cocaine injection. This adaptation persisted for 3-4 d, was specific for DA neurons of the VTA, and occurred in parallel with an increase in spontaneous glutamatergic neurotransmission. No additional suppression of GABA(B)R-Girk signaling was observed following repeated cocaine administration. While total Girk2 and GABA(B)R1 mRNA and protein levels were unaltered by cocaine exposure in VTA DA neurons, the cocaine-induced decrease in GABA(B)R-Girk signaling correlated with a reduction in Girk2-containing channels at the plasma membrane in VTA DA neurons. Systemic pretreatment with sulpiride, but not SCH23390 (7-chloro-3-methyl-1-phenyl-1,2,4,5-tetrahydro-3-benzazepin-8-ol), prevented the cocaine-induced suppression of GABA(B)R-Girk signaling, implicating D(2/3) DA receptor activation in this adaptation. The acute cocaine-induced weakening of somatodendritic Girk signaling complements the previously demonstrated cocaine-induced strengthening of glutamatergic neurotransmission, likely contributing to enhanced output of VTA DA neurons during the early stages of addiction. PMID:21865468

  19. The Effects of Methylphenidate on Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Basal Nucleus of Meynert, Locus Coeruleus, and Ventral Tegmental Area in Healthy Adults

    PubMed Central

    Kline, Ryan L.; Zhang, Sheng; Farr, Olivia M.; Hu, Sien; Zaborszky, Laszlo; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; Li, Chiang-Shan R.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Methylphenidate (MPH) influences catecholaminergic signaling. Extant work examined the effects of MPH on the neural circuits of attention and cognitive control, but few studies have investigated the effect of MPH on the brain's resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). Methods: In this observational study, we compared rsFC of a group of 24 healthy adults who were administered an oral 45 mg dose of MPH with a group of 24 age and gender matched controls who did not receive MPH. We focused on three seed regions: basal nucleus of Meynert (BNM), locus coeruleus (LC), and ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra, pars compacta (VTA/SNc), each providing cholinergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic inputs to the cerebral cortex. Images were pre-processed and analyzed as in our recent work (Li et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2015). We used one-sample t-test to characterize group-specific rsFC of each seed region and two-sample t-test to compare rsFC between groups. Results: MPH reversed negative connectivity between BNM and precentral gyri. MPH reduced positive connectivity between LC and cerebellum, and induced positive connectivity between LC and right hippocampus. MPH decreased positive VTA/SNc connectivity to the cerebellum and putamen, and reduced negative connectivity to left middle occipital gyrus. Conclusion: MPH had distinct effects on the rsFC of BNM, LC, and VTA/SNc in healthy adults. These new findings may further our understanding of the role of catecholaminergic signaling in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson's disease and provide insights into the therapeutic mechanisms of MPH in the treatment of clinical conditions that implicate catecholaminergic dysfunction. PMID:27148006

  20. Increased dopamine D2 receptor activity in the striatum alters the firing pattern of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Krabbe, Sabine; Duda, Johanna; Schiemann, Julia; Poetschke, Christina; Schneider, Gaby; Kandel, Eric R; Liss, Birgit; Roeper, Jochen; Simpson, Eleanor H

    2015-03-24

    There is strong evidence that the core deficits of schizophrenia result from dysfunction of the dopamine (DA) system, but details of this dysfunction remain unclear. We previously reported a model of transgenic mice that selectively and reversibly overexpress DA D2 receptors (D2Rs) in the striatum (D2R-OE mice). D2R-OE mice display deficits in cognition and motivation that are strikingly similar to the deficits in cognition and motivation observed in patients with schizophrenia. Here, we show that in vivo, both the firing rate (tonic activity) and burst firing (phasic activity) of identified midbrain DA neurons are impaired in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but not in the substantia nigra (SN), of D2R-OE mice. Normalizing striatal D2R activity by switching off the transgene in adulthood recovered the reduction in tonic activity of VTA DA neurons, which is concordant with the rescue in motivation that we previously reported in our model. On the other hand, the reduction in burst activity was not rescued, which may be reflected in the observed persistence of cognitive deficits in D2R-OE mice. We have identified a potential molecular mechanism for the altered activity of DA VTA neurons in D2R-OE mice: a reduction in the expression of distinct NMDA receptor subunits selectively in identified mesolimbic DA VTA, but not nigrostriatal DA SN, neurons. These results suggest that functional deficits relevant for schizophrenia symptoms may involve differential regulation of selective DA pathways. PMID:25675529

  1. Increased desensitization of dopamine D₂ receptor-mediated response in the ventral tegmental area in the absence of adenosine A(2A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Al-Hasani, R; Foster, J D; Metaxas, A; Ledent, C; Hourani, S M O; Kitchen, I; Chen, Y

    2011-09-01

    G-protein coupled receptors interact to provide additional regulatory mechanisms for neurotransmitter signaling. Adenosine A(2A) receptors are expressed at a high density in striatal neurons, where they closely interact with dopamine D₂ receptors and modulate effects of dopamine and responses to psychostimulants. A(2A) receptors are expressed at much lower densities in other forebrain neurons but play a more prominent yet opposing role to striatal receptors in response to psychostimulants in mice. It is, therefore, possible that A(2A) receptors expressed at low levels elsewhere in the brain may also regulate neurotransmitter systems and modulate neuronal functions. Dopamine D₂ receptors play an important role in autoinhibition of neuronal firing in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and dopamine release in other brain areas. Here, we examined the effect of A(2A) receptor deletion on D₂ receptor-mediated inhibition of neuronal firing in dopamine neurons in the VTA. Spontaneous activity of dopamine neurons was recorded in midbrain slices, and concentration-dependent effects of the dopamine D₂ receptor agonist, quinpirole, was compared between wild-type and A(2A) knockout mice. The potency of quinpirole applied in single concentrations and the expression of D₂ receptors were not altered in the VTA of the knockout mice. However, quinpirole applied in stepwise escalating concentrations caused significantly reduced maximal inhibition in A(2A) knockout mice, indicating an enhanced agonist-induced desensitization of D₂ receptors in the absence of A(2A) receptors. The A(2A) receptor agonist, CGS21680, did not exert any effect on dopamine neuron firing or response to quinpirole, revealing a novel non-pharmacological interaction between adenosine A(2A) receptors and dopaminergic neurotransmission in midbrain dopamine neurons. Altered D₂ receptor desensitization may result in changes in dopamine neuron firing rate and pattern and dopamine

  2. A corticotropin releasing factor pathway for ethanol regulation of the ventral tegmental area in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

    PubMed

    Silberman, Yuval; Matthews, Robert T; Winder, Danny G

    2013-01-16

    A growing literature suggests that catecholamines and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) interact in a serial manner to activate the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) to drive stress- or cue-induced drug- and alcohol-seeking behaviors. Data suggest that these behaviors are driven in part by BNST projections to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Together, these findings suggest the existence of a CRF-signaling pathway within the BNST that is engaged by catecholamines and regulates the activity of BNST neurons projecting to the VTA. Here we test three aspects of this model to determine: (1) whether catecholamines modify CRF neuron activity in the BNST; (2) whether CRF regulates excitatory drive onto VTA-projecting BNST neurons; and (3) whether this system is altered by ethanol exposure and withdrawal. A CRF neuron fluorescent reporter strategy was used to identify BNST CRF neurons for whole-cell patch-clamp analysis in acutely prepared slices. Using this approach, we found that both dopamine and isoproterenol significantly depolarized BNST CRF neurons. Furthermore, using a fluorescent microsphere-based identification strategy we found that CRF enhances the frequency of spontaneous EPSCs onto VTA-projecting BNST neurons in naive mice. This action of CRF was occluded during acute withdrawal from chronic intermittent ethanol exposure. These findings suggest that dopamine and isoproterenol may enhance CRF release from local BNST sources, leading to enhancement of excitatory neurotransmission on VTA-projecting neurons, and that this pathway is engaged by patterns of alcohol exposure and withdrawal known to drive excessive alcohol intake.

  3. Cocaine disinhibits dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area via use-dependent blockade of GABA neuron voltage-sensitive sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Steffensen, Scott C; Taylor, Seth R; Horton, Malia L; Barber, Elise N; Lyle, Laura T; Stobbs, Sarah H; Allison, David W

    2008-11-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of cocaine on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Utilizing single-unit recordings in vivo, microelectrophoretic administration of DA enhanced the firing rate of VTA GABA neurons via D2/D3 DA receptor activation. Lower doses of intravenous cocaine (0.25-0.5 mg/kg), or the DA transporter (DAT) blocker methamphetamine, enhanced VTA GABA neuron firing rate via D2/D3 receptor activation. Higher doses of cocaine (1.0-2.0 mg/kg) inhibited their firing rate, which was not sensitive to the D2/D3 antagonist eticlopride. The voltage-sensitive sodium channel (VSSC) blocker lidocaine inhibited the firing rate of VTA GABA neurons at all doses tested (0.25-2.0 mg/kg). Cocaine or lidocaine reduced VTA GABA neuron spike discharges induced by stimulation of the internal capsule (ICPSDs) at dose levels 0.25-2 mg/kg (IC(50) 1.2 mg/kg). There was no effect of DA or methamphetamine on ICPSDs, or of DA antagonists on cocaine inhibition of ICPSDs. In VTA GABA neurons in vitro, cocaine reduced (IC(50) 13 microm) current-evoked spikes and TTX-sensitive sodium currents in a use-dependent manner. In VTA DA neurons, cocaine reduced IPSCs (IC(50) 13 microm), increased IPSC paired-pulse facilitation and decreased spontaneous IPSC frequency, without affecting miniature IPSC frequency or amplitude. These findings suggest that cocaine acts on GABA neurons to reduce activity-dependent GABA release on DA neurons in the VTA, and that cocaine's use-dependent blockade of VTA GABA neuron VSSCs may synergize with its DAT inhibiting properties to enhance mesolimbic DA transmission implicated in cocaine reinforcement.

  4. Identification of the sites of 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis and action imply retrograde endocannabinoid signaling at both GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Mátyás, Ferenc; Urbán, Gabriella M; Watanabe, Masahiko; Mackie, Ken; Zimmer, Andreas; Freund, Tamás F; Katona, István

    2008-01-01

    Intact endogenous cannabinoid signaling is involved in several aspects of drug addiction. Most importantly, endocannabinoids exert pronounced influence on primary rewarding effects of abused drugs, including exogenous cannabis itself, through the regulation of drug-induced increase in bursting activity of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Previous electrophysiological studies have proposed that these dopaminergic neurons may release endocannabinoids in an activity-dependent manner to regulate their various synaptic inputs; however, the underlying molecular and anatomical substrates have so far been elusive. To facilitate understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms involving endocannabinoid signaling in drug addiction, we carried out detailed analysis of the molecular architecture of the endocannabinoid system in the VTA. In situ hybridization for sn-1-diacylglycerol lipase-alpha (DGL-alpha), the biosynthetic enzyme of the most abundant endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), revealed that DGL-alpha was expressed at moderate to high levels by most neurons of the VTA. Immunostaining for DGL-alpha resulted in a widespread punctate pattern at the light microscopic level, whereas high-resolution electron microscopic analysis demonstrated that this pattern is due to accumulation of the enzyme adjacent to postsynaptic specializations of several distinct morphological types of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. These axon terminal types carried presynaptic CB(1) cannabinoid receptors on the opposite side of DGL-alpha-containing synapses and double immunostaining confirmed that DGL-alpha is present on the plasma membrane of both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive (dopaminergic) and TH-negative dendrites. These findings indicate that retrograde synaptic signaling mediated by 2-AG via CB(1) may influence the drug-reward circuitry at multiple types of synapses in the VTA.

  5. Overexpression of the steroidogenic enzyme cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage in the ventral tegmental area increases 3α,5α-THP and reduces long-term operant ethanol self-administration.

    PubMed

    Cook, Jason B; Werner, David F; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Leonard, Maggie N; Fisher, Kristen R; O'Buckley, Todd K; Porcu, Patrizia; McCown, Thomas J; Besheer, Joyce; Hodge, Clyde W; Morrow, A Leslie

    2014-04-23

    Neuroactive steroids are endogenous neuromodulators capable of altering neuronal activity and behavior. In rodents, systemic administration of endogenous or synthetic neuroactive steroids reduces ethanol self-administration. We hypothesized this effect arises from actions within mesolimbic brain regions that we targeted by viral gene delivery. Cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage (P450scc) converts cholesterol to pregnenolone, the rate-limiting enzymatic reaction in neurosteroidogenesis. Therefore, we constructed a recombinant adeno-associated serotype 2 viral vector (rAAV2), which drives P450scc expression and neuroactive steroid synthesis. The P450scc-expressing vector (rAAV2-P450scc) or control GFP-expressing vector (rAAV2-GFP) were injected bilaterally into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) or nucleus accumbens (NAc) of alcohol preferring (P) rats trained to self-administer ethanol. P450scc overexpression in the VTA significantly reduced ethanol self-administration by 20% over the 3 week test period. P450scc overexpression in the NAc, however, did not alter ethanol self-administration. Locomotor activity was unaltered by vector administration to either region. P450scc overexpression produced a 36% increase in (3α,5α)-3-hydroxypregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP, allopregnanolone)-positive cells in the VTA, but did not increase 3α,5α-THP immunoreactivity in NAc. These results suggest that P450scc overexpression and the resultant increase of 3α,5α-THP-positive cells in the VTA reduces ethanol reinforcement. 3α,5α-THP is localized to neurons in the VTA, including tyrosine hydroxylase neurons, but not astrocytes. Overall, the results demonstrate that using gene delivery to modulate neuroactive steroids shows promise for examining the neuronal mechanisms of moderate ethanol drinking, which could be extended to other behavioral paradigms and neuropsychiatric pathology.

  6. Inflammatory Pain Promotes Increased Opioid Self-Administration: Role of Dysregulated Ventral Tegmental Area μ Opioid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Hipólito, Lucia; Wilson-Poe, Adrianne; Campos-Jurado, Yolanda; Zhong, Elaine; Gonzalez-Romero, Jose; Virag, Laszlo; Whittington, Robert; Comer, Sandra D.; Carlton, Susan M.; Walker, Brendan M.; Bruchas, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    Pain management in opioid abusers engenders ethical and practical difficulties for clinicians, often resulting in pain mismanagement. Although chronic opioid administration may alter pain states, the presence of pain itself may alter the propensity to self-administer opioids, and previous history of drug abuse comorbid with chronic pain promotes higher rates of opioid misuse. Here, we tested the hypothesis that inflammatory pain leads to increased heroin self-administration resulting from altered mu opioid receptor (MOR) regulation of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) transmission. To this end, the complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) model of inflammation was used to assess the neurochemical and functional changes induced by inflammatory pain on MOR-mediated mesolimbic DA transmission and on rat intravenous heroin self-administration under fixed ratio (FR) and progressive ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement. In the presence of inflammatory pain, heroin intake under an FR schedule was increased for high, but attenuated for low, heroin doses with concomitant alterations in mesolimbic MOR function suggested by DA microdialysis. Consistent with the reduction in low dose FR heroin self-administration, inflammatory pain reduced motivation for a low dose of heroin, as measured by responding under a PR schedule of reinforcement, an effect dissociable from high heroin dose PR responding. Together, these results identify a connection between inflammatory pain and loss of MOR function in the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway that increases intake of high doses of heroin. These findings suggest that pain-induced loss of MOR function in the mesolimbic pathway may promote opioid dose escalation and contribute to opioid abuse-associated phenotypes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study provides critical new insights that show that inflammatory pain alters heroin intake through a desensitization of MORs located within the VTA. These findings expand our knowledge of the interactions between

  7. DOPAMINE D2 AND ACETYLCHOLINE α7 NICOTINIC RECEPTORS HAVE SUBCELLULAR DISTRIBUTIONS FAVORING MEDIATION OF CONVERGENT SIGNALING IN THE MOUSE VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA

    PubMed Central

    GARZÓN, M.; DUFFY, A. M.; CHAN, J.; LYNCH, M.-K.; MACKIE, K.; PICKEL, V. M.

    2014-01-01

    Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) mediate nicotine-induced burst-firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a limbic brain region critically involved in reward and in dopamine D2 receptor (D2R)-related cortical dysfunctions associated with psychosis. The known presence of α7nAChRs and Gi-coupled D2Rs in dopamine neurons of the VTA suggests that these receptors are targeted to at least some of the same neurons in this brain region. To test this hypothesis, we used electron microscopic immunolabeling of antisera against peptide sequences of α7nACh and D2 receptors in the mouse VTA. Dual D2R and α7nAChR labeling was seen in many of the same somata (co-localization over 97%) and dendrites (co-localization over 49%), where immunoreactivity for each of the receptors was localized to endomembranes as well as to non-synaptic or synaptic plasma membranes often near excitatory-type synapses. In comparison with somata and dendrites, many more small axons and axon terminals were separately labeled for each of the receptors. Thus, single-labeled axon terminals were predominant for both α7nAChR (57.9%) and D2R (89.0%). The majority of the immunolabeled axonal profiles contained D2R-immunoreactivity (81.6%) and formed either symmetric or asymmetric synapses consistent with involvement in the release of both inhibitory and excitatory transmitters. Of 160 D2R-labeled terminals, 81.2% were presynaptic to dendrites that expressed α7nAChR alone or together with the D2R. Numerous glial processes inclusive of those enveloping either excitatory- or inhibitory-type synapses also contained single labeling for D2R (n = 152) and α7nAChR (n =561). These results suggest that classic antipsychotic drugs, all of which block the D2R, may facilitate α7nAChR-mediated burst-firing by elimination of D2R-dependent inhibition in neurons expressing both receptors as well as by indirect pre-synaptic and glial mechanisms. PMID:23954803

  8. REM sleep diversity following the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus lesion in rat.

    PubMed

    Petrovic, Jelena; Lazic, Katarina; Kalauzi, Aleksandar; Saponjic, Jasna

    2014-09-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate that two REM clusters, which emerge following bilateral pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT) lesions in rats, are two functionally distinct REM states. We performed the experiments in Wistar rats, chronically instrumented for sleep recording. Bilateral PPT lesions were produced by the microinfusion of 100 nl of 0.1M ibotenic acid (IBO). Following a recovery period of 2 weeks, we recorded their sleep for 6h. Bilateral PPT lesions were identified by NADPH - diaphorase histochemistry. We applied Fourier analysis to the signals acquired throughout the 6h recordings, and each 10s epoch was differentiated as a Wake, NREM or REM state. We analyzed the topography of the sleep/wake states architecture and their transition structure, their all state-related EEG microstructures, and the sensorimotor (SMCx) and motor (MCx) cortex REM related cortico-muscular coherences (CMCs). Bilateral PPT lesion in rats increased the likelihood of the emergence of two distinct REM sleep states, specifically expressed within the MCx: REM1 and REM2. Bilateral PPT lesion did not change the sleep/wake states architecture of the SMCx, but pathologically increased the duration of REM1 within the MCx, alongside increasing Wake/REM1/Wake and NREM/REM2/NREM transitions within both cortices. In addition, the augmented total REM SMCx EEG beta amplitude and REM1 MCx EEG theta amplitude was the underlying EEG microstructure pathology. PPT lesion induced REM1 and REM2 are differential states with regard to total EMG power, topographically distinct EEG microstructures, and locomotor drives to nuchal musculature.

  9. DECREASED EXPRESSION OF ErbB4 AND TYROSINE HYDROXYLASE mRNA AND PROTEIN IN THE VENTRAL MIDBRAIN OF AGED RATS

    PubMed Central

    DICKERSON, J. W.; HEMMERLE, A. M.; NUMAN, S.; LUNDGREN, K. H.; SEROOGY, K. B.

    2009-01-01

    Decreased availability or efficacy of neurotrophic factors may underlie an increased susceptibility of mesencephalic dopaminergic cells to age-related degeneration. Neuregulins (NRGs) are pleotrophic growth factors for many cell types including mesencephalic dopamine cells in culture and in vivo. The functional NRG receptor ErbB4 is expressed by virtually all midbrain dopamine neurons. To determine if levels of the NRG receptor are maintained during aging in the dopaminergic ventral mesencephalon, expression of ErbB4 mRNA and protein was examined in young (3 months), middle-aged (18 months), and old (24–25 months) Brown Norway/Fischer 344 F1 rats. ErbB4 mRNA levels in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), but not the adjacent ventral tegmental area (VTA) or subtantia nigra pars lateralis (SNl), were significantly reduced in the middle-aged and old animals when compared to young rats. Protein expression of ErbB4 in the ventral midbrain was significantly decreased in the old rats when compared to the young rats. Expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA levels were significantly reduced in the old rats when compared to young animals in the SNpc, but not in the VTA or SNl. Tyrosine hydroxylase protein levels in the ventral midbrain were also decreased in the old animals when compared to the young animals. These data demonstrate a progressive decline of ErbB4 expression, coinciding with a loss of the dopamine-synthesizing enzyme TH, in the ventral midbrain of aged rats, particularly in the SNpc. These findings may implicate a role for diminished NRG/ErbB4 trophic support in dopamine-related neurodegenerative disorders of aging such as Parkinson’s disease. PMID:19505538

  10. Cholinergic excitation from the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus to the dentate nucleus in the rat.

    PubMed

    Vitale, F; Mattei, C; Capozzo, A; Pietrantoni, I; Mazzone, P; Scarnati, E

    2016-03-11

    In spite of the existence of pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) projections to cerebellar nuclei, their nature and functional role is unknown. These fibers may play a crucial role in postural control and may be involved in the beneficial effects induced by deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of brainstem structures in motor disorders. We investigated the effects of PPTg microstimulation on single-unit activity of dentate, fastigial and interpositus nuclei. The effects of PPTg stimulation were also studied in rats whose PPTg neurons were destroyed by ibotenic acid and subsequently subjected to iontophoretically applied cholinergic antagonists. The main response recorded in cerebellar nuclei was a short-latency (1.5-2 ms) and brief (13-15 ms) orthodromic activation. The dentate nucleus was the most responsive to PPTg stimulation. The destruction of PPTg cells reduced the occurrence of PPTg-evoked activation of dentate neurons, suggesting that the effect was due to stimulation of cell bodies and not due to fibers passing through or close to the PPTg. Application of cholinergic antagonists reduced or eliminated the PPTg-evoked response recorded in the dentate nucleus. The results show that excitation is exerted by the PPTg on the cerebellar nuclei, in particular on the dentate nucleus. Taken together with the reduction of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase-positive neurons in lesioned animals, the iontophoretic experiments suggest that the activation of dentate neurons is due to cholinergic fibers. These data help to explain the effects of DBS of the PPTg on axial motor disabilities in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26762800

  11. Microinjection of the melanin-concentrating hormone into the sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus inhibits REM sleep in the rat.

    PubMed

    Monti, Jaime M; Torterolo, Pablo; Jantos, Héctor; Lagos, Patricia

    2016-09-01

    A study was performed on the effects of local microinjection of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) into the right sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus (SLD) on sleep and wakefulness in rats prepared for chronic sleep recordings. MCH 200ng significantly decreased rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) time during the first and second 2-h of the recording period which was related to the reduction of the number of REMS periods and the increase of REMS latency. It is proposed that REMS inhibition was related to the direct deactivation of SLD glutamatergic neurons by the peptide. PMID:27461793

  12. Calcium-binding protein immunoreactivity in Gudden’s tegmental nuclei and the hippocampal formation: differential co-localization in neurons projecting to the mammillary bodies

    PubMed Central

    Dillingham, Christopher M.; Holmes, Joshua D.; Wright, Nicholas F.; Erichsen, Jonathan T.; Aggleton, John P.; Vann, Seralynne D.

    2015-01-01

    The principal projections to the mammillary bodies arise from just two sites, Gudden’s tegmental nuclei (dorsal and ventral nuclei) and the hippocampal formation (subiculum and pre/postsubiculum). The present study sought to compare the neurochemical properties of these mammillary body inputs in the rat, with a focus on calcium-binding proteins. Neuronal calretinin (CR) immunoreactivity was sparse in Gudden’s tegmental nuclei and showed no co-localization with neurons projecting to the mammillary bodies. In contrast, many of the ventral tegmental nucleus of Gudden cell that project to the mammillary bodies were parvalbumin (PV)-positive whereas a smaller number of mammillary inputs stained for calbindin (CB). Only a few mammillary body projection cells in the dorsal tegmental nucleus of Gudden co-localized with PV and none co-localized with CB. A very different pattern was found in the hippocampal formation. Here, a large proportion of postsubiculum cells that project to the mammillary bodies co-localized with CR, but not CB or PV. While many neurons in the dorsal and ventral subiculum projected to the mammillary bodies, these cells did not co-localize with the immunofluorescence of any of the three tested proteins. These findings highlight marked differences between hippocampal and tegmental inputs to the rat mammillary bodies as well as differences between the medial and lateral mammillary systems. These findings also indicate some conserved neurochemical properties in Gudden’s tegmental nuclei across rodents and primates. PMID:26300741

  13. A systematic investigation of the differential roles for ventral tegmentum serotonin 1- and 2-type receptors on food intake in the rat.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Wayne E; Clissold, Kara A; Lin, Peagan; Cain, Amanda E; Ciesinski, Alexa F; Hopkins, Thomas R; Ilesanmi, Adeolu O; Kelly, Erin A; Pierce-Messick, Zachary; Powell, Daniel S; Rosner, Ian A

    2016-10-01

    Central serotonin (5-HT) pathways are known to influence feeding and other ingestive behaviors. Although the ventral tegmentum is important for promoting the seeking and consumption of food and drugs of abuse, the roles of 5-HT receptor subtypes in this region on food intake have yet to be comprehensively examined. In these experiments, food restricted rats were given 2-h access to rat chow; separate groups of non-restricted animals had similar access to a sweetened fat diet. Feeding and locomotor activity were monitored following ventral tegmentum stimulation or blockade of 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, or 5-HT2C receptors. 5-HT1A receptor stimulation transiently inhibited rearing behavior and chow intake in food-restricted rats, and had a biphasic effect on non-restricted rats offered the palatable diet. 5-HT1B receptor agonism transiently inhibited feeding in restricted animals, but did not affect intake of non-restricted rats. In contrast, 5-HT1B receptor antagonism decreased palatable feeding. Although stimulation of ventral tegmental 5-HT2B receptors with BW723C86 did not affect hunger-driven food intake, it significantly affected palatable feeding, with a trend for an increasing intake at 2.0µg/side but not at 5.0µg/side. Antagonism of the same receptor modestly but significantly inhibited feeding of the palatable diet at 5.0µg/side ketanserin. Neither stimulation nor blockade of 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptors caused prolonged effects on intake or locomotion. These data suggest that serotonin's effects on feeding within the ventral tegmentum depend upon the specific receptor targeted, as well as whether intake is motivated by food restriction or the palatable nature of the offered diet. PMID:27431937

  14. A systematic investigation of the differential roles for ventral tegmentum serotonin 1- and 2-type receptors on food intake in the rat.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Wayne E; Clissold, Kara A; Lin, Peagan; Cain, Amanda E; Ciesinski, Alexa F; Hopkins, Thomas R; Ilesanmi, Adeolu O; Kelly, Erin A; Pierce-Messick, Zachary; Powell, Daniel S; Rosner, Ian A

    2016-10-01

    Central serotonin (5-HT) pathways are known to influence feeding and other ingestive behaviors. Although the ventral tegmentum is important for promoting the seeking and consumption of food and drugs of abuse, the roles of 5-HT receptor subtypes in this region on food intake have yet to be comprehensively examined. In these experiments, food restricted rats were given 2-h access to rat chow; separate groups of non-restricted animals had similar access to a sweetened fat diet. Feeding and locomotor activity were monitored following ventral tegmentum stimulation or blockade of 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, or 5-HT2C receptors. 5-HT1A receptor stimulation transiently inhibited rearing behavior and chow intake in food-restricted rats, and had a biphasic effect on non-restricted rats offered the palatable diet. 5-HT1B receptor agonism transiently inhibited feeding in restricted animals, but did not affect intake of non-restricted rats. In contrast, 5-HT1B receptor antagonism decreased palatable feeding. Although stimulation of ventral tegmental 5-HT2B receptors with BW723C86 did not affect hunger-driven food intake, it significantly affected palatable feeding, with a trend for an increasing intake at 2.0µg/side but not at 5.0µg/side. Antagonism of the same receptor modestly but significantly inhibited feeding of the palatable diet at 5.0µg/side ketanserin. Neither stimulation nor blockade of 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptors caused prolonged effects on intake or locomotion. These data suggest that serotonin's effects on feeding within the ventral tegmentum depend upon the specific receptor targeted, as well as whether intake is motivated by food restriction or the palatable nature of the offered diet.

  15. Anticipatory reward signals in ventral striatal neurons of behaving rats.

    PubMed

    Khamassi, Mehdi; Mulder, Antonius B; Tabuchi, Eiichi; Douchamps, Vincent; Wiener, Sidney I

    2008-11-01

    It has been proposed that the striatum plays a crucial role in learning to select appropriate actions, optimizing rewards according to the principles of 'Actor-Critic' models of trial-and-error learning. The ventral striatum (VS), as Critic, would employ a temporal difference (TD) learning algorithm to predict rewards and drive dopaminergic neurons. This study examined this model's adequacy for VS responses to multiple rewards in rats. The respective arms of a plus-maze provided rewards of varying magnitudes; multiple rewards were provided at 1-s intervals while the rat stood still. Neurons discharged phasically prior to each reward, during both initial approach and immobile waiting, demonstrating that this signal is predictive and not simply motor-related. In different neurons, responses could be greater for early, middle or late droplets in the sequence. Strikingly, this activity often reappeared after the final reward, as if in anticipation of yet another. In contrast, previous TD learning models show decremental reward-prediction profiles during reward consumption due to a temporal-order signal introduced to reproduce accurate timing in dopaminergic reward-prediction error signals. To resolve this inconsistency in a biologically plausible manner, we adapted the TD learning model such that input information is nonhomogeneously distributed among different neurons. By suppressing reward temporal-order signals and varying richness of spatial and visual input information, the model reproduced the experimental data. This validates the feasibility of a TD-learning architecture where different groups of neurons participate in solving the task based on varied input information. PMID:18973599

  16. Lesions of cholinergic pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus neurons fail to affect cocaine or heroin self-administration or conditioned place preference in rats.

    PubMed

    Steidl, Stephan; Wang, Huiling; Wise, Roy A

    2014-01-01

    Cholinergic input to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is known to contribute to reward. Although it is known that the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) provides an important source of excitatory input to the dopamine system, the specific role of PPTg cholinergic input to the VTA in cocaine reward has not been previously determined. We used a diphtheria toxin conjugated to urotensin-II (Dtx::UII), the endogenous ligand for urotensin-II receptors expressed by PPTg cholinergic but not glutamatergic or GABAergic cells, to lesion cholinergic PPTg neurons. Dtx::UII toxin infusion resulted in the loss of 95.78 (±0.65)% of PPTg cholinergic cells but did not significantly alter either cocaine or heroin self-administration or the development of cocaine or heroin conditioned place preferences. Thus, cholinergic cells originating in PPTg do not appear to be critical for the rewarding effects of cocaine or of heroin.

  17. Extent of colocalization of serotonin and GABA in neurons of the ventral medulla oblongata in rat.

    PubMed

    Millhorn, D E; Hökfelt, T; Seroogy, K; Verhofstad, A A

    1988-09-27

    The colocalization of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the ventral aspect of the rat medulla oblongata was studied using antibodies directed against 5-HT and GABA. Although 5-HT- and GABA-immunoreactive cell bodies were observed over the entire rostral-caudal extent of the ventral medulla, the colocalization of these two classical neurotransmitters in single cells was, for the most part, limited to a region that corresponds anatomically to nucleus raphe magnus/nucleus paragigantocellularis. Schematic drawings showing the distribution of 5-HT/GABA cell bodies in the ventral medulla are provided. PMID:3066433

  18. Enhanced Endocannabinoid-Mediated Modulation of Rostromedial Tegmental Nucleus Drive onto Dopamine Neurons in Sardinian Alcohol-Preferring Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sagheddu, Claudia; De Felice, Marta; Casti, Alberto; Madeddu, Camilla; Spiga, Saturnino; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Mackie, Kenneth; Marsicano, Giovanni; Colombo, Giancarlo; Castelli, Maria Paola; Pistis, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The progressive predominance of rewarding effects of addictive drugs over their aversive properties likely contributes to the transition from drug use to drug dependence. By inhibiting the activity of DA neurons in the VTA, GABA projections from the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) are well suited to shift the balance between drug-induced reward and aversion. Since cannabinoids suppress RMTg inputs to DA cells and CB1 receptors affect alcohol intake in rodents, we hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system, by modulating this pathway, might contribute to alcohol preference. Here we found that RMTg afferents onto VTA DA neurons express CB1 receptors and display a 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)-dependent form of short-term plasticity, that is, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI). Next, we compared rodents with innate opposite alcohol preference, the Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) and alcohol-nonpreferring (sNP) rats. We found that DA cells from alcohol-naive sP rats displayed a decreased probability of GABA release and a larger DSI. This difference was due to the rate of 2-AG degradation. In vivo, we found a reduced RMTg-induced inhibition of putative DA neurons in sP rats that negatively correlated with an increased firing. Finally, alcohol failed to enhance RMTg spontaneous activity and to prolong RMTg-induced silencing of putative DA neurons in sP rats. Our results indicate functional modifications of RMTg projections to DA neurons that might impact the reward/aversion balance of alcohol attributes, which may contribute to the innate preference observed in sP rats and to their elevated alcohol intake. PMID:25232109

  19. Regulation of 5alpha-reductase isoforms by oxytocin in the rat ventral prostate.

    PubMed

    Assinder, S J; Johnson, C; King, K; Nicholson, H D

    2004-12-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is present in the male reproductive tract, where it is known to modulate contractility, cell growth, and steroidogenesis. Little is known about how OT regulates these processes. This study describes the localization of OT receptor in the rat ventral prostate and investigates if OT regulates gene expression and/or activity of 5alpha-reductase isoforms I and II. The ventral prostates of adult male Wistar rats were collected following daily sc administration of saline (control), OT, a specific OT antagonist or both OT plus antagonist for 3 d. Expression of the OT receptor was identified in the ventral prostate by RT-PCR and Western blot, and confirmed to be a single active binding site by radioreceptor assay. Immunohistochemistry localized the receptor to the epithelium of prostatic acini and to the stromal tissue. Real-time RT-PCR determined that OT treatment significantly reduced expression of 5alpha-reductase I but significantly increased 5alpha-reductase II expression in the ventral prostate. Activity of both isoforms of 5alpha-reductase was significantly increased by OT, resulting in increased concentration of prostatic dihydrotestosterone. In conclusion, OT is involved in regulating conversion of testosterone to the biologically active dihydrotestosterone in the rat ventral prostate. It does so by differential regulation of 5alpha-reductase isoforms I and II.

  20. Ventral Lateral Geniculate Input to the Medial Pons Is Necessary for Visual Eyeblink Conditioning in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halverson, Hunter E.; Freeman, John H.

    2010-01-01

    The conditioned stimulus (CS) pathway that is necessary for visual delay eyeblink conditioning was investigated in the current study. Rats were initially given eyeblink conditioning with stimulation of the ventral nucleus of the lateral geniculate (LGNv) as the CS followed by conditioning with light and tone CSs in separate training phases.…

  1. GENE ARRAY ANALYSIS OF THE VENTRAL PROSTATE IN RATS EXPOSED TO EITHER VINCLOZOLIN OR PROCYMIDONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    GENE ARRAY ANALYSIS OF THE VENTRAL PROSTATE IN RATS EXPOSED TO EITHER VINCLOZOLIN OR PROCYMIDONE. MB Rosen, VS Wilson, JE Schmid, and LE Gray Jr. US EPA, ORD, NHEERL, RTP, NC.

    Vinclozolin (Vi) and procymidone (Pr) are antiandrogenic fungicides. While changes in gene expr...

  2. Modulation of Locomotor Activation by the Rostromedial Tegmental Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Lavezzi, Heather N; Parsley, Kenneth P; Zahm, Daniel S

    2015-01-01

    The rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) is a strong inhibitor of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) reported to influence neurobiological and behavioral responses to reward omission, aversive and fear-eliciting stimuli, and certain drugs of abuse. Insofar as previous studies implicate ventral mesencephalic dopamine neurons as an essential component of locomotor activation, we hypothesized that the RMTg also should modulate locomotion activation. We observed that bilateral infusions into the RMTg of the gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) agonist, muscimol, indeed activate locomotion. Alternatively, bilateral RMTg infusions of the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline, suppress robust activations of locomotion elicited in two distinct ways: (1) by disinhibitory stimulation of neurons in the lateral preoptic area and (2) by return of rats to an environment previously paired with amphetamine administration. The possibility that suppressive locomotor effects of RMTg bicuculline infusions were due to unintended spread of drug to the nearby VTA was falsified by a control experiment showing that bilateral infusions of bicuculline into the VTA produce activation rather than suppression of locomotion. These results objectively implicate the RMTg in the regulation of locomotor activation. The effect is important because much evidence reported in the literature suggests that locomotor activation can be an involuntary behavioral expression of expectation and/or want without which the willingness to execute adaptive behaviors is impaired. PMID:25164249

  3. Some behavioral effects of transecting ventral or dorsal fiber connections of the septum in the rat.

    PubMed

    Ross, J F; Grossman, L; Grossman, S P

    1975-03-01

    The behavioral effects of large electrolytic lesions in the septal area were compared with those of knife cuts that severed the ventral or dorsal connections of this structure. Rats with septal lesions lost weight and were transiently hyperdipsic. Ventral cuts produced similar effects, but dorsal cuts did not. All three operations decreased the latency to eat in a novel environment, increased the intake of sweetened milk, enhanced acquisition of a food-rewarded running response, and facilitated acquisition of a shuttle box avoidance response, The lesion, but neither of the knife cuts, reduced the effects of punishment and impaired the acquisition of a one-way avoidance response. PMID:1150960

  4. Intrinsic membrane plasticity via increased persistent sodium conductance of cholinergic neurons in the rat laterodorsal tegmental nucleus contributes to cocaine-induced addictive behavior.

    PubMed

    Kamii, Hironori; Kurosawa, Ryo; Taoka, Naofumi; Shinohara, Fumiya; Minami, Masabumi; Kaneda, Katsuyuki

    2015-05-01

    The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) is a brainstem nucleus implicated in reward processing and is one of the main sources of cholinergic afferents to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Neuroplasticity in this structure may affect the excitability of VTA dopamine neurons and mesocorticolimbic circuitry. Here, we provide evidence that cocaine-induced intrinsic membrane plasticity in LDT cholinergic neurons is involved in addictive behaviors. After repeated experimenter-delivered cocaine exposure, ex vivo whole-cell recordings obtained from LDT cholinergic neurons revealed an induction of intrinsic membrane plasticity in regular- but not burst-type neurons, resulting in increased firing activity. Pharmacological examinations showed that increased riluzole-sensitive persistent sodium currents, but not changes in Ca(2+) -activated BK, SK or voltage-dependent A-type potassium conductance, mediated this plasticity. In addition, bilateral microinjection of riluzole into the LDT immediately before the test session in a cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm inhibited the expression of cocaine-induced CPP. These findings suggest that intrinsic membrane plasticity in LDT cholinergic neurons is causally involved in the development of cocaine-induced addictive behaviors.

  5. Cannabinoid transmission in the prefrontal cortex bi-phasically controls emotional memory formation via functional interactions with the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Draycott, Brittany; Loureiro, Michael; Ahmad, Tasha; Tan, Huibing; Zunder, Jordan; Laviolette, Steven R

    2014-09-24

    Disturbances in cortical cannabinoid CB1 receptor signaling are well established correlates of various neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. Importantly, the ability of cannabinoid transmission to modulate emotional processing is functionally linked to interactions with subcortical DA systems. While considerable evidence demonstrates that CB1 receptor-mediated modulation of emotional processing and related behaviors follows a biphasic functional curve, little is known regarding how CB1 signaling within cortical networks may interact with subcortical DAergic systems involved in emotional behavior regulation. Using a combination of in vivo electrophysiological recordings and behavioral pharmacology in rats, we investigated the relationship between mPFC cannabinoid transmission, fear memory formation, and subcortical DA neuron activity patterns. We report that direct intra-mPFC CB1 activation biphasically modulates spontaneous, subcortical VTA DA neuron activity in a dose-dependent fashion; while lower doses of a CB1 receptor agonist, WIN 55,212-2, significantly increased spontaneous firing and bursting rates of VTA DA neurons, higher doses strongly inhibited spontaneous DA neuron activity. Remarkably, this same dose-related functional difference was observed with the regulation of fear-related emotional memory formation. Thus, lower levels of CB1 activation potentiated the emotional salience of normally subthreshold fear memory, whereas higher levels completely blocked fear memory acquisition. Furthermore, while the potentiation of subthreshold fear memory salience was blocked by DA receptor antagonism, CB1-mediated blunting of suprathreshold fear memory was rescued by intra-VTA administration of a GABAB receptor antagonist, demonstrating that reversal of GABAergic inhibitory mechanisms in the VTA can reverse the inhibitory influence of intra-PFC CB1 transmission on mesolimbic DA activity. PMID:25253856

  6. 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.

  7. Serotonin(2C) receptors in the ventral pallidum regulate motor function in rats.

    PubMed

    Graves, Steven M; Viskniskki, Annika A; Cunningham, Kathryn A; Napier, T Celeste

    2013-08-01

    The ventral pallidum is a limbic brain region that regulates motor function. This region is extensively innervated by serotoninergic neurons from the dorsal raphe nucleus. Serotonergic receptors, including the 5-HT(2C) receptor subtype, are located in the ventral pallidum. However, little is known regarding the behavioral consequences of serotonergic transmission in the ventral pallidum, and the role of 5-HT(2C) receptors has not been studied. To address this paucity, we measured the motoric consequences of injections of 0.33-10 ng of the 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist MK 212 into the ventral pallidum of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. We determined that locomotor activity was attenuated by 6.6 ng MK 212, and rearing was attenuated by both 1 and 6.6 ng. The motor suppressant effects of MK 212 were lost at the higher dose of 10 ng, likely reflecting a loss of selectivity of this ligand. These findings indicate negative regulation of motor function by 5-HT(2C) receptors in the ventral pallidum.

  8. The HDAC Inhibitor Phenylbutyrate Reverses Effects of Neonatal Ventral Hippocampal Lesion in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sandner, Guy; Host, Lionel; Angst, Marie-Josée; Guiberteau, Thierry; Guignard, Blandine; Zwiller, Jean

    2011-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms play a role in psychiatric diseases. In this study, we considered rats with neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions (NVHL) that are currently used for modeling neurodevelopmental aspects of schizophrenia. Contribution of epigenetic regulation to the effects of the lesion was investigated, using a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Lesioned or sham-operated rats were treated with the general HDAC inhibitor phenylbutyrate, which was injected daily from the day after surgery until adulthood. Changes in the volume of the lesion were monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Anxiety was analyzed in the Plus Maze Test. Hypersensitivity of the dopaminergic system was evaluated by measuring the locomotor response to apomorphine. An associative conditioning test rewarded with food was used to evaluate learning abilities. The volume of the lesions expanded long after surgery, independently of the treatment, as assessed by MRI. Removal of the ventral hippocampus reduced anxiety, and this remained unchanged when animals were treated with phenylbutyrate. In contrast, NVHL rats’ hypersensitivity to apomorphine and deterioration of the associative learning were reduced by the treatment. Global HDAC activity, which was increased in the prefrontal cortex of lesioned non-treated rats, was found to be reversed by HDAC inhibition. The study provides evidence that chromatin remodeling may be useful for limiting behavioral consequences due to lesioning of the ventral hippocampus at an early age. This represents a novel approach for treating disorders resulting from insults occurring during brain development. PMID:21423460

  9. Effect of Combined Stress on Morphological Changes and Expression of NO Synthases in Rat Ventral Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, A V; Tyurenkov, I N; Shmidt, M V; Ekova, M R; Mednikov, D S; Borodin, D D

    2015-11-01

    Adult rats were subjected to 7-day combined stress with stochastic changes of stressors of different modalities (noise, vibration, pulsating bright light) along with mobility restriction and elevated temperature in the chamber during stress exposures (daily 30-min sessions). Circulatory disorders, inhibition of endothelial NO-synthase expression in endothelial cells of the microcirculatory bed, perivascular edema, pronounced degenerative changes, and enhanced expression of inducible NO synthase in CA3 pyramidal neurons in the ventral hippocampus of stressed 12-month-old rats were observed. These findings can attest to the involvement NOdependent mechanisms and different contribution of NO synthase isoforms into the formation of hippocampal neuronal damage. PMID:26608376

  10. REM sleep modulation by perifornical orexinergic inputs to the pedunculo-pontine tegmental neurons in rats.

    PubMed

    Khanday, M A; Mallick, B N

    2015-11-12

    Rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) is regulated by the interaction of the REM-ON and REM-OFF neurons located in the pedunculo-pontine-tegmentum (PPT) and the locus coeruleus (LC), respectively. Many other brain areas, particularly those controlling non-REMS (NREMS) and waking, modulate REMS by modulating these REMS-related neurons. Perifornical (PeF) orexin (Ox)-ergic neurons are reported to increase waking and reduce NREMS as well as REMS; dysfunction of the PeF neurons are related to REMS loss-associated disorders. Hence, we were interested in understanding the neural mechanism of PeF-induced REMS modulation. As a first step we have recently reported that PeF Ox-ergic neurons modulate REMS by influencing the LC neurons (site for REM-OFF neurons). Thereafter, in this in vivo study we have explored the role of PeF inputs on the PPT neurons (site for REM-ON neurons) for the regulation of REMS. Chronic male rats were surgically prepared with implanted bilateral cannulae in PeF and PPT and electrodes for recording sleep-waking patterns. After post-surgical recovery sleep-waking-REMS were recorded when bilateral PeF neurons were stimulated by glutamate and simultaneously bilateral PPT neurons were infused with either saline or orexin receptor1 (OX1R) antagonist. It was observed that PeF stimulation increased waking and decreased NREMS as well as REMS, which were prevented by OX1R antagonist into the PPT. We conclude that the PeF stimulation-induced reduction in REMS was likely to be due to inhibition of REM-ON neurons in the PPT. As waking and NREMS are inversely related, subject to confirmation, the reduction in NREMS could be due to increased waking or vice versa. Based on our findings from this and earlier studies we have proposed a model showing connections between PeF- and PPT-neurons for REMS regulation.

  11. Functional Organization of Locomotor Interneurons in the Ventral Lumbar Spinal Cord of the Newborn Rat

    PubMed Central

    Antri, Myriam; Mellen, Nicholas; Cazalets, Jean-René

    2011-01-01

    Although the mammalian locomotor CPG has been localized to the lumbar spinal cord, the functional-anatomical organization of flexor and extensor interneurons has not been characterized. Here, we tested the hypothesis that flexor and extensor interneuronal networks for walking are physically segregated in the lumbar spinal cord. For this purpose, we performed optical recordings and lesion experiments from a horizontally sectioned lumbar spinal cord isolated from neonate rats. This ventral hemi spinal cord preparation produces well-organized fictive locomotion when superfused with 5-HT/NMDA. The dorsal surface of the preparation was visualized using the Ca2+ indicator fluo-4 AM, while simultaneously monitoring motor output at ventral roots L2 and L5. Using calcium imaging, we provided a general mapping view of the interneurons that maintained a stable phase relationship with motor output. We showed that the dorsal surface of L1 segment contains a higher density of locomotor rhythmic cells than the other segments. Moreover, L1 segment lesioning induced the most important changes in the locomotor activity in comparison with lesions at the T13 or L2 segments. However, no lesions led to selective disruption of either flexor or extensor output. In addition, this study found no evidence of functional parcellation of locomotor interneurons into flexor and extensor pools at the dorsal-ventral midline of the lumbar spinal cord of the rat. PMID:21698092

  12. Apparent quiescence of the metallothionein gene in the rat ventral prostate: association with cadmium-induced prostate tumors in rats.

    PubMed

    Coogan, T P; Shiraishi, N; Waalkes, M P

    1994-09-01

    Several chronic studies in rats indicating that cadmium exposure can induce tumors of the ventral prostate have recently been completed in our laboratory. In one such study, a single dose of cadmium, s.c., increased prostatic tumor incidence only at doses below 5.0 mumol/kg, the approximate threshold for cadmium-induced testicular damage. In a further study, prostatic tumors were elevated with higher doses of cadmium (30 mumol/kg, s.c.) if testicular damage was prevented by zinc pretreatment. Most recently, we found that dietary cadmium (25 to 200 micrograms/g) also can increase prostatic neoplastic lesions, but these were reduced by zinc-deficient diets. Thus it appears that cadmium produces prostatic tumors only if testicular function is maintained. Furthermore, we find that metallothionein (MT), a protein associated with cadmium tolerance, may be deficient in the rat prostate, and the prostatic MT gene, at least in the ventral lobe, is unresponsive to metal stimuli. In liver, MT gene expression, as assessed by MT-1 mRNA, was quite apparent in control tissue and was induced in a dose-dependent manner 24 hr following cadmium exposure (1 to 10 mumol/kg, s.c.). However, in the ventral prostate very low constitutive levels of MT-1 mRNA were detected and increases did not occur with cadmium exposure. Cadmium concentrations in the ventral prostate were in excess of those that cause significant induction in the liver. In sharp contrast to the gene in the ventral prostate, in the dorsal prostate the MT gene was quite active. The dorsal prostate is not susceptible to cadmium carcinogenesis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7843088

  13. Diets Rich in Saturated and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Induce Morphological Alterations in the Rat Ventral Prostate

    PubMed Central

    Furriel, Angélica; Campos-Silva, Pamella; Silva, Paola Cariello Guedes Picarote; Costa, Waldemar Silva; Sampaio, Francisco José Barcellos; Gregório, Bianca Martins

    2014-01-01

    Aim To evaluate the influence of dietary lipid quality on the body mass, carbohydrate metabolism and morphology of the rat ventral prostate. Materials and Methods Wistar rats were divided into four groups: SC (standard chow), HF-S (high-fat diet rich in saturated fatty acids), HF-P (high-fat diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids) and HF-SP (high-fat diet rich in saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids). We analyzed body mass, fat mass deposits, plasma blood, insulin resistance and the ventral prostate structure. Results Groups that received high-fat diets were heavier and presented larger fat deposits than SC group. The HF-S and HF-SP groups had higher glucose, insulin and total cholesterol serum levels and insulin resistance compared with the SC. The acinar area, epithelium height and area density of the lumen were higher in the HF-SP than in the other groups. The epithelium area density and epithelial cell proliferation were greater in the HF-P and HF-SP than in the SC group. All of the groups that received high-fat diets had greater area density of the stroma, area density of smooth muscle cells and stromal cell proliferation compared with the SC group. Conclusion Diets rich in saturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids induced overweight. Independently of insulin resistance, polyunsaturated fatty acids increased prostate stromal and epithelial cell proliferation. Saturated fatty acids influenced only stromal cellular proliferation. These structural and morphometric alterations may be considered risk factors for the development of adverse remodeling process in the rat ventral prostate. PMID:25029463

  14. Rotenone-induced energy stress decompensated in ventral mesocerebrum is associated with Parkinsonism progression in rats

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Qunhua; He, Junlin; Tang, Yong; Wang, Shibo; Qiu, Jingfu; Wang, Yang; Yu, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, which is characterized by the hallmark feature of loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Energy metabolic disorder is associated with the pathogenesis of PD; however, the development of this disorder is yet to be elucidated. PD-like characteristics have been demonstrated in a rotenone rat model. In the present study, energy metabolism status was investigated in a rat model following intraperitoneal treatment with 1.0 mg/kg rotenone every 48 h. The behavior and tyrosine hydroxylase-positive levels in the substantia nigra of rats that were treated with rotenone for 24 weeks demonstrated that these rats developed more severe parkinsonism, as compared with that were treated for 16 weeks. Detection of ATP, lactic acid, NADH dehydrogenase 1 mRNA and lactate dehydrogenase B mRNA levels in the ventral mesocerebrum (VM) and skeletal muscle (SM) of the rats that had been treated with rotenone for 16 and 24 weeks demonstrated that the energy stress induced by rotenone progressed in both VM and SM. Notably, the energy stress detected in VM was more severe, and this energy stress was decompensated in the VM of rats that had been treated with rotenone for 24 weeks. The progression of energy stress and the incidence of energy decompensation in VM may be important for the improvement of PD pathology. PMID:27446321

  15. The effect of CIS hydroxyproline on ventral prostatic growth in rats.

    PubMed

    Uke, E; Lee, C; Grayhack, J T

    1983-01-01

    Changes in prostatic collagen were measured in Sprague-Dawley rats to gain further insight into the relationship between this stromal component and androgen mediated prostatic growth. Regulation of prostatic collagen by other endocrine factors was also studied. Collagen content per prostate was estimated by determination of tissue levels of hydroxyproline. The 1st experiment examined changes in the content of hydroxyproline in the prostate during pre- and post-pubertal growth with the use of rats between 21 and 80 days of age. As the animals grew, their prostatic weights and hydroxyproline contents increased in a parallel fashion (correlation coefficient R = 0.977, p less than 0.01). In the 2nd experiment, rats were castrated for a period up to 28 days. The hydroxyproline content in the prostate did not change significantly by castration despite a marked decrease in prostatic weights. Results of the 3rd experiment indicated that castration-hypophysectomy or castration-hypophysectomy plus estrogen treatment did not significantly change the content of prostatic hydroxyproline from that in the untreated intact animals. The 4th experiment studied the effect of the collagen synthesis inhibitor, cis-4-hydroxyproline, on prostatic growth. Subcutaneous injection of cis-4-hydroxyproline to castrated testosterone treated rats caused a significantly slower increase in total ventral prostatic weights and contents of protein, DNA and hydroxyproline than those of saline treated controls. This inhibition in prostatic growth is unlikely to be related to any antiandrogenic effect of cis hydroxyproline as the protein/DNA ratio in the prostate was the same for both saline and cis-4-hydroxyproline treated groups. Electron microscopic studies revealed that cis-4-hydroxyproline treatment resulted in a derangement of the basement membrane in the ventral prostate. The above results suggest that collagen plays an important role in limiting prostatic growth since inhibition of collagen

  16. The ventral surface of the medulla in the rat: pharmacologic and autoradiographic localization of GABA-induced cardiovascular effects.

    PubMed

    Keeler, J R; Shults, C W; Chase, T N; Helke, C J

    1984-04-16

    Experiments were done to evaluate a rat model for studying the cardiovascular effects of pharmacological manipulations of the ventral surface of the medulla. GABAergic drugs were used because of their well-characterized actions at the ventral surface of the medulla in the cat. GABA and muscimol, applied to the exposed ventral surface with filter paper pledgets, produced dose-dependent decreases in heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) which were reversed with bicuculline but not with strychnine. Bicuculline alone raised HR and MAP. The GABA- or bicuculline-induced cardiovascular effects were mediated primarily by inhibition of sympathetic outflow. The most sensitive site was localized to an intermediate area on the ventral surface of the medulla, between the trapezoid body and exits of the hypoglossal nerves and just lateral to the pyramids. Topical application of [3H]GABA to the intermediate area resulted in labeling that was concentrated at the site of application, and which penetrated the parenchyma 1 mm dorsally. The heaviest labeling was found primarily in the ventral halves of the lateral paragigantocellular nuclei. No tritium was detected in peripheral blood. These data provide evidence for a neuronal system at the ventral medullary surface of the rat which influences sympathetic outflow and is modulated by GABA. PMID:6326937

  17. Dynamic secondary degeneration in the spinal cord and ventral root after a focal cerebral infarction among hypertensive rats

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Ge; Chen, Xinran; Chen, Yicong; Zhao, Yuhui; Ouyang, Fubing; Zeng, Jinsheng

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral infarction can cause secondary damage to nonischemic brain regions. However, whether this phenomenon will appear in central nervous system regions outside the brain remains unclear. Here we investigated pathological changes in the spinal cord and ventral root after ischemic stroke. All rats exhibited apparent neurological deficits post-MCAO, which improved gradually but could still be detected 12-weeks. Neuronal filaments in the corticospinal tract (CST) and neurons in the ventral horn were significantly declined in the contralateral cervical and lumbar enlargement 1-week post-MCAO. These decreases remained stable until 12-weeks, accompanied by progressively increased glial activation in the ventral horn. Axonal degeneration and structural derangement were evident in the contralateral cervical and lumbar ventral root 1-week post-MCAO; these changes spontaneously attenuated over time, but abnormalities could still be observed 12-weeks. The number of neural fibers in the contralateral CST and neurons in the contralateral ventral horn were positively correlated with neurological scores 12-weeks post-MCAO. Additionally, GFAP+cell density in the contralateral CST and ventral horn was negatively correlated with neurological scores. Our results suggest that cerebral infarction can elicit secondary degeneration in the cervical and lumbar spinal cord, as well as the projecting ventral root, which may hamper functional recovery after stroke. PMID:26949108

  18. Rewarded associative and instrumental conditioning after neonatal ventral hippocampus lesions in rats.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Carlos Eduardo; Sandner, Guy; Angst, Marie-Josée; Guiberteau, Thierry

    2008-06-18

    Sprague Dawley rats were submitted to bilateral ventral hippocampus lesions 7 days after birth. This corresponds to the Lipska and Weinberger's procedure for modeling schizophrenia. The aim of the present work was to test the learning capacity of such rats with an associative Pavlovian and an instrumental learning paradigm, both methods using reward outcome (food, sucrose or polycose). The associative paradigm comprised also a second learning test with reversed learning contingencies. The instrumental conditioning comprised an extinction test under outcome devaluation conditions. Neonatally lesioned rats, once adults (over 60 days of age), showed a conditioning deficit in the associative paradigm but not in the instrumental one. Lesioned rats remained able to adapt as readily as controls to the reversed learning contingency and were as sensitive as controls to the devaluation of outcome. Such observations indicate that the active access (instrumental learning) to a reward could have compensated for the deficit observed under the "passive" stimulus-reward associative learning condition. This feature is compared to the memory management impairments observed in clinical patients.

  19. Influence of spaceflight on succinate dehydrogenase activity and soma size of rat ventral horn neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ishihara, A.; Ohira, Y.; Roy, R. R.; Nagaoka, S.; Sekiguchi, C.; Hinds, W. E.; Edgerton, V. R.

    1996-01-01

    Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activities and soma cross-sectional areas (CSA) of neurons in the dorsolateral region of the ventral horn at the L5 segmental level of the spinal cord in the rat were determined after 14 days of spaceflight and after 9 days of recovery on earth. The results were compared to those in age-matched ground-based control rats. Spinal cords were quick-frozen, and the SDH activity and CSA of a sample of neurons with a visible nucleus were determined using a digitizer and a computer-assisted image analysis system. An inverse relationship between CSA and SDH activity of neurons was observed in all groups of rats. No change in mean CSA or mean SDH activity or in the size distribution of neurons was observed following spaceflight or recovery. However, there was a selective decrease in the SDH activity of neurons with soma CSA between 500 and 800 microns2 in the flight rats, and this effect persisted for at least 9 days following return to 1 g. It remains to be determined whether the selected population of motoneurons or the specific motor pools affected by spaceflight may be restricted to specific muscles.

  20. Spontaneous hyperplasia of the ventral lobe of the prostate in aging genetically hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Golomb, E; Rosenzweig, N; Eilam, R; Abramovici, A

    2000-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that the prostatic autonomic innervation takes part in its homeostasis and growth. Other works showed that spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) show excessive sympathetic activity, accompanied by lower urinary tract symptoms, increased growth capacity of prostatic stromal cells, and increased levels of androgens and their receptors. Furthermore, young SHR were reported to present incipient stages of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The aim of the present study was to examine whether this strain indeed develops spontaneous BPH with age, and can thus serve as a genuine natural model for this disorder. For this purpose, ventral lobes of prostates of one-year-old, male SHR and their normotensive counterparts, Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, were examined histopathologically, and the degree of hyperplasia was evaluated according to a score-chart protocol (histoscore). SHR exhibited severe adenomatous spontaneous BPH, characterized by piling-up of epithelial cells, with papillary formations, accompanied by a mild increase in the amount of fibrocytes and smooth muscle cells in the stroma. This was reflected by histoscore values of 38 +/-2. Thickening of prostatic arterioles also was noted, as well as mild chronic inflammatory exudate. WKY rats did not show any of these features of BPH despite their age (histoscore 17 +/- 3, significantly different from that of SHR). We conclude that SHR can serve as a rodent model for the spontaneous development of BPH with age, most probably due to the excessive neuroendocrine activity characteristic of this rat strain.

  1. Neuronal hyperexcitability in the ventral posterior thalamus of neuropathic rats: modality selective effects of pregabalin

    PubMed Central

    Dickenson, Anthony H.

    2016-01-01

    Neuropathic pain represents a substantial clinical challenge; understanding the underlying neural mechanisms and back-translation of therapeutics could aid targeting of treatments more effectively. The ventral posterior thalamus (VP) is the major termination site for the spinothalamic tract and relays nociceptive activity to the somatosensory cortex; however, under neuropathic conditions, it is unclear how hyperexcitability of spinal neurons converges onto thalamic relays. This study aimed to identify neural substrates of hypersensitivity and the influence of pregabalin on central processing. In vivo electrophysiology was performed to record from VP wide dynamic range (WDR) and nociceptive-specific (NS) neurons in anesthetized spinal nerve-ligated (SNL), sham-operated, and naive rats. In neuropathic rats, WDR neurons had elevated evoked responses to low- and high-intensity punctate mechanical stimuli, dynamic brushing, and innocuous and noxious cooling, but less so to heat stimulation, of the receptive field. NS neurons in SNL rats also displayed increased responses to noxious punctate mechanical stimulation, dynamic brushing, noxious cooling, and noxious heat. Additionally, WDR, but not NS, neurons in SNL rats exhibited substantially higher rates of spontaneous firing, which may correlate with ongoing pain. The ratio of WDR-to-NS neurons was comparable between SNL and naive/sham groups, suggesting relatively few NS neurons gain sensitivity to low-intensity stimuli leading to a “WDR phenotype.” After neuropathy was induced, the proportion of cold-sensitive WDR and NS neurons increased, supporting the suggestion that changes in frequency-dependent firing and population coding underlie cold hypersensitivity. In SNL rats, pregabalin inhibited mechanical and heat responses but not cold-evoked or elevated spontaneous activity. PMID:27098028

  2. Chromatin-associated protein phosphokinases of rat ventral prostate. Characteristics and effects of androgenic status.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, K; Wilson, M J

    1975-03-25

    Protein phosphokinase activity endogenous to rat ventral prostate chromatin was assayed by using edphosphophosvitin as an exogenous substrate. For maximal activity of the kinase reaction, the presence of 200 mM NaCl, 5 mM MgCl2, and 1 mM dithiothreitol was essential. Two apparent pH optima were observed, a broad one between pH 7 and 7.4, and one at pH 7.89. At pH 7.4 the apparent Km for 31% dephosphophosvitin was 0.3 mg per ml. With respect to ATP, two apparent Km values (0.04 and 0.41 mM) were found. The kinase activity was minimal toward exogenous histones when used as substrates (3% for lysine-rich and 0.3% for arginine-rich (f3) histones, compared with dephosphophosvitin controls). The protein phosphokinases were not significantly stimulated by cyclic adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP) when histones used as substrate. With dephosphophosvitin as substrate, cyclic AMP produced a small inhibition (5 to 15%). Orchiectomy of adult rats resulted in a rapid decline in the chromatin-associated protein phosphokinase activity assayed using optimal experimental condition described above. At 9 hours postorchiectomy, a 30% decline in the activity was observed; this was further reduced to about 50% of the control by 18 hours. This decrease in the kinase activity (e.g. at 9 hours postorchiectomy) appears to precede measurable changes in the protein and RNA complements of chromatin. Testosterone replacement following orchiectomy abolished this decline in the chromatin-associated activity. The chromatin-associated protein phosphokinase activity toward lysine-rich and arginine-rich histones was also sensitive to androgenic status of the animals and declined rapidly postorchiectomy. The results suggest the presence of multiple and androgen-sensitive protien phosphokinases associated with rat ventral prostate chromatin, which may modulate the phosphorylation of nuclear nonhistone phosphoproteins with changing gene action mediated by testosterone in this target tissue.

  3. Evidence for a nucleus accumbens CCK2 receptor regulation of rat ventral pallidal GABA levels: a dual probe microdialysis study.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, L; O'Connor, W T; Glennon, J; Tomasini, M C; Bebe, B W; Tanganelli, S; Antonelli, T

    2000-12-22

    We employed dual probe microdialysis in the nucleus accumbens and ipsilateral ventral pallidum of the halothane anaesthetized rat to investigate the effect of intra-accumbens perfusion with the sulphated octapeptide cholecystokinin (CCK-8S, 10-1000 nM, 60 min) alone and in the presence of the selective CCK1 and CCK2 receptor antagonists L-364,718 (10 and 100 nM) and PD134308 (10 nM), tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1000 nM) and the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline (1000 nM), on dialysate GABA levels in the ventral pallidum. Intra-accumbens perfusion with the 100 and 1000 nM concentration of CCK-8S was associated with a significant decrease (-16+/-3% and -23+/-3% vs basal, respectively) in ventral pallidum GABA levels. The CCK-8S (1000 nM) induced decrease in ventral pallidal dialysate GABA levels was abolished when PD134308, TTX and bicuculline, but not L-364,718, were included into the perfusion medium of the accumbens probe. The data indicate that nucleus accumbens CCK-8S exerts a CCK2 receptor mediated inhibition of ventral pallidal GABA levels. Furthermore, the TTX and bicuculline sensitivity of this effect suggests that this is possibly mediated via CCK2 receptors probably located on local GABA interneurons.

  4. Expression and localization of Kv1 potassium channels in rat dorsal and ventral spinal roots.

    PubMed

    Utsunomiya, Iku; Yoshihashi, Eikichi; Tanabe, Shinya; Nakatani, Yoshihiko; Ikejima, Hideaki; Miyatake, Tadashi; Hoshi, Keiko; Taguchi, Kyoji

    2008-03-01

    We investigated the expression and localization of Kv1 channels in dorsal spinal roots (DRs) and ventral spinal roots (VRs) in rats. Among Kv1.1-1.6 tested by RT-PCR, mRNAs of Kv1.1, 1.2, and 1.5 were moderately expressed, those of Kv1.3 and Kv1.6 were weakly expressed, and that of Kv1.4 was hardly expressed at all in both DRs and VRs, whereas all six mRNAs were detected in spinal cord. Western blotting revealed that the major immunoreactive proteins were Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 in both DRs and VRs. Quantitative analysis indicated that levels of Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 protein were significantly higher in DRs than VRs. Immunohistochemical examination showed that Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 were colocalized in juxtaparanodal regions of axons in both DRs and VRs. Finally, immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 were coassembled. These findings indicate that Kv1 subtypes in DRs and VRs are somewhat different from those in spinal cord, and that the numbers of Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 channels are higher in DRs than VRs. PMID:18053989

  5. Postnatal developmental changes in activation profiles of the respiratory neuronal network in the rat ventral medulla

    PubMed Central

    Oku, Yoshitaka; Masumiya, Haruko; Okada, Yasumasa

    2007-01-01

    Two putative respiratory rhythm generators (RRGs), the para-facial respiratory group (pFRG) and the pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC), have been identified in the neonatal rodent brainstem. To elucidate their functional roles during the neonatal period, we evaluated developmental changes of these RRGs by optical imaging using a voltage-sensitive dye. Optical signals, recorded from the ventral medulla of brainstem–spinal cord preparations of neonatal (P0–P4) rats (n = 44), were analysed by a cross correlation method. With development during the first few postnatal days, the respiratory-related activity in the pFRG reduced and shifted from a preinspiratory (P0–P1) to an inspiratory (P2–P4) pattern, whereas preBötC activity remained unchanged. The μ-opioid agonist [d-Ala(2),N-Me-Phe(4),Gly(5)-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) augmented preinspiratory activity in the pFRG, while the μ-opioid antagonist naloxone induced changes in spatiotemporal activation profiles that closely mimicked the developmental changes. These results are consistent with the recently proposed hypothesis by Janczewski and Feldman that the pFRG is activated to compensate for the depression of the preBötC by perinatal opiate surge. We conclude that significant reorganization of the respiratory neuronal network, characterized by a reduction of preinspiratory activity in the pFRG, occurs at P1–P2 in rats. The changes in spatiotemporal activation profiles of the pFRG neurones may reflect changes in the mode of coupling of the two respiratory rhythm generators. PMID:17884928

  6. Electron microscopic localization of M2-muscarinic receptors in cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental and pedunculopontine nuclei of the rat mesopontine tegmentum.

    PubMed

    Garzón, Miguel; Pickel, Virginia M

    2016-10-15

    Muscarinic m2 receptors (M2Rs) are implicated in autoregulatory control of cholinergic output neurons located within the pedunculopontine (PPT) and laterodorsal tegmental (LTD) nuclei of the mesopontine tegmentum (MPT). However, these nuclei contain many noncholinergic neurons in which activation of M2R heteroceptors may contribute significantly to the decisive role of the LTD and PPT in sleep-wakefulness. We examined the electron microscopic dual immunolabeling of M2Rs and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAchT) in the MPT of rat brain to identify the potential sites for M2R activation. M2R immunogold labeling was predominately seen in somatodendritic profiles throughout the PPT/LTD complex. In somata, M2R immunogold particles were often associated with Golgi lamellae and cytoplasmic endomembrannes, but were rarely in contact with the plasma membrane, as was commonly seen in dendrites. Approximately 36% of the M2R-labeled somata and 16% of the more numerous M2R-labeled dendrites coexpressed VAchT. M2R and M2R/VAchT-labeled dendritic profiles received synapses from inhibitory- and excitatory-type axon terminals, over 88% of which were unlabeled and others contained exclusively M2R or VAchT immunoreactivity. In axonal profiles M2R immunogold was localized to plasmalemmal and cytoplasmic regions and showed a similar distribution in many VAchT-negative glial profiles. These results provide ultrastructural evidence suggestive of somatic endomembrane trafficking of M2Rs, whose activation serves to regulate the postsynaptic excitatory and inhibitory responses in dendrites of cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons in the MPT. They also suggest the possibility that M2Rs in this brain region mediate the effects of acetylcholine on the release of other neurotransmitters and on glial signaling. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3084-3103, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Electron microscopic localization of M2-muscarinic receptors in cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental and pedunculopontine nuclei of the rat mesopontine tegmentum.

    PubMed

    Garzón, Miguel; Pickel, Virginia M

    2016-10-15

    Muscarinic m2 receptors (M2Rs) are implicated in autoregulatory control of cholinergic output neurons located within the pedunculopontine (PPT) and laterodorsal tegmental (LTD) nuclei of the mesopontine tegmentum (MPT). However, these nuclei contain many noncholinergic neurons in which activation of M2R heteroceptors may contribute significantly to the decisive role of the LTD and PPT in sleep-wakefulness. We examined the electron microscopic dual immunolabeling of M2Rs and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAchT) in the MPT of rat brain to identify the potential sites for M2R activation. M2R immunogold labeling was predominately seen in somatodendritic profiles throughout the PPT/LTD complex. In somata, M2R immunogold particles were often associated with Golgi lamellae and cytoplasmic endomembrannes, but were rarely in contact with the plasma membrane, as was commonly seen in dendrites. Approximately 36% of the M2R-labeled somata and 16% of the more numerous M2R-labeled dendrites coexpressed VAchT. M2R and M2R/VAchT-labeled dendritic profiles received synapses from inhibitory- and excitatory-type axon terminals, over 88% of which were unlabeled and others contained exclusively M2R or VAchT immunoreactivity. In axonal profiles M2R immunogold was localized to plasmalemmal and cytoplasmic regions and showed a similar distribution in many VAchT-negative glial profiles. These results provide ultrastructural evidence suggestive of somatic endomembrane trafficking of M2Rs, whose activation serves to regulate the postsynaptic excitatory and inhibitory responses in dendrites of cholinergic and noncholinergic neurons in the MPT. They also suggest the possibility that M2Rs in this brain region mediate the effects of acetylcholine on the release of other neurotransmitters and on glial signaling. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3084-3103, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27038330

  8. Separation of acid phosphatases in the rat ventral prostate by gel filtration, isoelectric focusing, and chromatofocusing.

    PubMed

    Jauhiainen, A; Rytöluoto-Kärkkäinen, R; Vanha-Perttula, T

    1983-01-01

    Acid phosphatases of the rat ventral prostate were fractionated by gel filtration (GF) on Sepharose 6B, isoelectric focusing (IEF), and chromatofocusing (CF). In GF three activity peaks (GF-1, GF-2, GF-3) were disclosed. They showed some differences in substrate preference when six substrates (p-nitrophenyl phosphate; p-NPP; phenolphthalein phosphate, Phe-P; thymolphthalein phosphate, Tym-P; alpha-naphthyl phosphate, alpha-NP; beta-naphthyl phosphate, beta-NP; naphthol ASBI phosphate, N-ASBI-P) were tested. Differences were also encountered in their sensitivity to tartrate and fluoride. IEF gave seven bands at different pI values (8.3, 8.1, 7.9, 7.1, 6.4, 5.5, and 5.0) with alpha-NP and beta-NP but only four with N-ASBI-P. Four of the bands (8.3, 8.1, 7.9, 5.5) were sensitive to tartrate. In CF eight activity peaks (CF-1 to CF-8) were resolved with the six substrates. They differed from each other in pI values, pH optima, substrate preference, and modifier characteristics. Peaks CF-1 (pI 8.3, pH 5.5), CF-2 (pI 8.1, pH 4.2) and CF-3 (pI 7.9, pH 4.2) had a large substrate spectrum and high sensitivity to tartrate and fluoride. CF-4 (pI 7.1, pH 6.0) and CF-7 (pI 5.5, pH 4.2) were low in activity, preferred alpha-NP as substrate, and were moderately sensitive to tartrate. CF-5 (pI 6.4, pH 5.5) and CF-8 (pI 5.0, pH 5.0) were able to hydrolyse all substrates tested with moderate inhibition by tartrate. CF-6 (pI 6.0, pH 5.0) showed a relative preference for p-NPP and Phe-P with no hydrolysis of N-ASBI-P and Tym-P. Of these activities CF-6 and CF-7 were also clearly activated by Co2+. Peaks CF-6 and CF-7 appeared the most sensitive to p-chloromercuribenzoate. It is concluded that activities CF-1, CF-2, and CF-3 are lysosomal isoenzymes with minor structural differences. The others are possibly all nonlysosomal with greater biochemical differences. Some of them apparently represent the secretory form(s) of acid phosphatase in the rat ventral prostate.

  9. Electrophysiological properties and cholinergic responses of rat ventral oral pontine reticular neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Nuñez, A; De la Roza, C; Rodrigo-Angulo, M L; Buño, W; Reinoso-Suárez, F

    1997-04-18

    In order to characterize the electrophysiological properties of morphologically identified neurons of the ventral part of the oral pontine reticular (vRPO) nucleus and the effects of cholinergic agonists on them, intracellular recordings were obtained from 45 cells in a rat brain-slice preparation. Intracellular staining was performed with 2% biocytin in potassium acetate (1 M)-filled micropipettes. Results demonstrated the presence of two types of vRPO neurons. Type I cells (n = 12, 24%) were characterized by a break with a decrease of the depolarizing slope following hyperpolarizing pulses which delayed the return to the resting Vm and subsequent spike-firing. The delay was antagonized by 4-AP (200-500 microM) which specifically blocks the transient outward K+-mediated current I(A). Type II neurons (n = 38, 76%) displayed a typical depolarizing sag during hyperpolarizing current pulses which was blocked by Cs+. This behavior is characteristic of the hyperpolarization-activated current I(Q). These two neuronal types displayed different morphological features. Most type I and II cells (100 and 73.7%, respectively) were depolarized by acetylcholine (1-15 microM), carbachol (0.5-1 microM) and muscarine (1-10 microM) through the activation of post-synaptic muscarinic receptors. The remaining type II cells (26.3%) were hyperpolarized (1-10 min, 3-15 mV) through the activation of post-synaptic muscarinic receptors. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that the vRPO could be a neuronal target of Cch in eliciting paradoxical sleep because most of its neurons are activated by muscarinic agonists.

  10. Dexamethasone induces different morphological changes in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus of rats.

    PubMed

    Silva-Gómez, Adriana Berenice; Aguilar-Salgado, Yuritze; Reyes-Hernández, Diego Octavio; Flores, Gonzalo

    2013-01-01

    Dexamethasone (DEX), a synthetic glucocorticoid widely used in neurological illnesses because of its antiinflammatory properties, has many serious side effects, including severe psychiatric symptoms such as psychoses. The hippocampus is divided in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) and ventral hippocampus (VH) with each region having a subfield of CA1 and CA3 pyramidal layers. Great interest has recently emerged showing that the DH and VH are functionally different. In our work we determined whether, and what, changes occurred, after five days of DEX (0.2mg/kg) treatment, on the dendritic morphology of the CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons of the DH and VH of adult Sprague-Dawley rats. The dendritic morphology and characteristics were measured by using the Golgi-Cox procedure followed by a Sholl analysis. DEX decreased the number of dendritic spines of both apical and basolateral dendrites. Interestingly, this decrease was more pronounced in the VH. Only the VH neurons were affected by DEX with a decrease in their total dendritic length (TDL). An interesting point is that the VH neurons are longer that the DH neurons among the groups injected with saline only as the control. The length per branch order was only altered in the apical dendritic tree of the CA1 neurons. These data taken together show that the VH is more susceptible to DEX and its neurons are larger than the DH neurons. These results support previous observations related to differences between the DH and VH and suggest differences in the expression of the glucocorticoid receptors in connectivity and the space to elongate their dendritic arbor.

  11. Activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptors enhances glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus of prenatally restraint stressed rats.

    PubMed

    Mairesse, Jérôme; Gatta, Eleonora; Reynaert, Marie-Line; Marrocco, Jordan; Morley-Fletcher, Sara; Soichot, Marion; Deruyter, Lucie; Camp, Gilles Van; Bouwalerh, Hammou; Fagioli, Francesca; Pittaluga, Anna; Allorge, Delphine; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Maccari, Stefania

    2015-12-01

    Oxytocin receptors are known to modulate synaptic transmission and network activity in the hippocampus, but their precise function has been only partially elucidated. Here, we have found that activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptor with the potent agonist, carbetocin, enhanced depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus with no effect on GABA release. This evidence paved the way for examining the effect of carbetocin treatment in "prenatally restraint stressed" (PRS) rats, i.e., the offspring of dams exposed to repeated episodes of restraint stress during pregnancy. Adult PRS rats exhibit an anxious/depressive-like phenotype associated with an abnormal glucocorticoid feedback regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and, remarkably, with a reduced depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus. Chronic systemic treatment with carbetocin (1mg/kg, i.p., once a day for 2-3 weeks) in PRS rats corrected the defect in glutamate release, anxiety- and depressive-like behavior, and abnormalities in social behavior, in the HPA response to stress, and in the expression of stress-related genes in the hippocampus and amygdala. Of note, carbetocin treatment had no effect on these behavioral and neuroendocrine parameters in prenatally unstressed (control) rats, with the exception of a reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor gene in the amygdala. These findings disclose a novel function of oxytocin receptors in the hippocampus, and encourage the use of oxytocin receptor agonists in the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders in adult life.

  12. Histological correlates of N40 auditory evoked potentials in adult rats after neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion: animal model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Romero-Pimentel, A L; Vázquez-Roque, R A; Camacho-Abrego, I; Hoffman, K L; Linares, P; Flores, G; Manjarrez, E

    2014-11-01

    The neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) is an established neurodevelopmental rat model of schizophrenia. Rats with NVHL exhibit several behavioral, molecular and physiological abnormalities that are similar to those found in schizophrenics. Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric illness characterized by profound disturbances of mental functions including neurophysiological deficits in brain information processing. These deficits can be assessed by auditory evoked potentials (AEPs), where schizophrenics exhibit abnormalities in amplitude, duration and latency of such AEPs. The aim of the present study was to compare the density of cells in the temporal cerebral cortex and the N40-AEP of adult NVHL rats versus adult sham rats. We found that rats with NVHL exhibit significant lower amplitude of the N40-AEP and a significant lower number of cells in bilateral regions of the temporal cerebral cortex compared to sham rats. Because the AEP recordings were obtained from anesthetized rats, we suggest that NVHL leads to inappropriate innervation in thalamic-cortical pathways in the adult rat, leading to altered function of cortical networks involved in processing of primary auditory information.

  13. Ventral hippocampal α7 and α4β2 nicotinic receptor blockade and clozapine effects on memory in female rats

    PubMed Central

    Pocivavsek, Ana; Icenogle, Laura; Levin, Edward D.

    2007-01-01

    Rationale Nicotinic systems in the hippocampus play important roles in memory function. Decreased hippocampal nicotinic receptor concentration is associated with cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Methods We modeled in rats the cognitive effects of chronic decrease in hippocampal α7 or α4β2 receptors with 4-week continuous bilateral local infusions of the α7 nicotinic antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) or the α4β2 antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE). The working memory effects of these infusions were assessed by performance on the radial-arm maze. To test the effect of antipsychotic medication, we gave acute injections of clozapine and to determine the impact of nicotine, which is widely used by people with schizophrenia approximately half of the rats received chronic systemic infusions of nicotine. Results Chronic ventral hippocampal DHβE infusion caused a significant (p<0.001) working memory impairment. Acute systemic clozapine (2.5 mg/kg) caused a significant (p<0.005) working memory impairment in rats given control aCSF hippocampal infusions. Clozapine significantly (p<0.025) attenuated the memory deficit caused by chronic hippocampal DHβE infusions. Chronic ventral hippocampal infusions with MLA did not significantly affect the working memory performance in the radial-arm maze, but it did significantly (p<0.05) potentiate the memory impairment caused by 1.25 mg/kg of clozapine. Chronic systemic nicotine did not significantly interact with these effects. Conclusions The state of nicotinic receptor activation in the ventral hippocampus significantly affected the impact of clozapine on working memory with blockade of α7 nicotinic receptors potentiating clozapine-induced memory impairment and blockade of α4β2 receptors reversing the clozapine effect from impairing to improving memory. PMID:16715255

  14. Afferent connections of the laterodorsal and the pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei in the rat: a retro- and antero-grade transport and immunohistochemical study.

    PubMed

    Semba, K; Fibiger, H C

    1992-09-15

    Increasingly strong evidence suggests that cholinergic neurons in the mesopontine tegmentum play important roles in the control of wakefulness and sleep. To understand better how the activity of these neurons is regulated, the potential afferent connections of the laterodorsal (LDT) and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei (PPT) were investigated in the rat. This was accomplished by using retrograde and anterograde axonal transport methods and NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry. Immunohistochemistry was also used to identify the transmitter content of some of the retrogradely identified afferents. Following injections of the retrograde tracer wheatgerm agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) into either the LDT or the PPT, labelled neurons were seen in a number of limbic forebrain structures. The medial prefrontal cortex and lateral habenula contained more retrogradely labelled neurons from the LDT, whereas in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and central nucleus of the amygdala, more cells were labelled from the PPT. Moderate numbers of neurons were seen in the magnocellular regions of the basal forebrain, and many labelled neurons were observed in the lateral hypothalamus, the zona incerta, and the midbrain central gray from both the LDT and the PPT. Accessory oculomotor nuclei in the midbrain as well as eye movement-related structures in the lower brainstem contained some neurons labelled from the LDT, and fewer neurons from the PPT. A few labelled neurons were seen in somatosensory and other sensory relay nuclei in the brainstem and the spinal cord. Retrograde labelling was seen in a number of extrapyramidal structures, including the globus pallidus, entopenduncular and subthalamic nuclei, and substantia nigra following PPT injections; with LDT injections, labelling was similar in density in the substantia nigra but virtually absent in the entopeduncular and subthalamic nuclei. Data with the fluorescent retrograde tracer fluorogold combined with

  15. A novel turning behavior control method for rat-robot through the stimulation of ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kedi; Zhang, Jiacheng; Zhou, Hong; Lee, Ji Chao Tristan; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2016-02-01

    The concept of a rat-robot was initially introduced in 2002, bringing to the field, a novel area of research using modern research into neuroscience and robotics. This paper brings to the table, a study into the method best used for navigation systems in a rat-robot. Current research is epitomized by the use of reward-based spatial navigation, combining the concept of an induced reward sensation as well as a 'virtual touch' sensation to control the movement of the rat-robot. However, such methods are plagued by limitations affecting the success rate as well as preparation procedures which may have varying effects on different rats, even under similar conditions. Hence, this paper studies the stimulation of two different portions of the brain to induce a turning motion within the rat, namely the Ventral Posteromedial (VPM) thalamic nucleus as well as the Barrel-Field (BF) cortex and demonstrates the preferential usage of VPM as the choice use of navigational control in a rat-robot.

  16. Dietary zinc deficiency effects dorso-lateral and ventral prostate of Wistar rats: histological, biochemical and trace element study.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Sangeeta; Nair, Neena; Bedwal, R S

    2014-10-01

    Zinc deficiency has become a global problem affecting the developed and developing countries due to inhibitors in the diet which prevents its absorption or due to a very low concentration of bioavailable zinc in the diet. Being present in high concentration in the prostate and having diverse biological function, we investigated the effects of dietary zinc deficiency for 2 and 4 weeks on dorso-lateral and ventral prostate. Sixty prepubertal rats were divided into three groups: zinc control (ZC), pair fed (PF) and zinc deficient (ZD) and fed on 100 μg/g (zinc control and pair fed groups) and 1 μg/g (zinc deficient) diet. Zinc deficiency was associated with degenerative changes in dorso-lateral and ventral prostate as made evident by karyolysis, karyorhexis, cytoplasmolysis, loss of cellularisation, decreased intraluminar secretion and degeneration of fibromuscular stroma. In response, protein carbonyl, nitric oxide, acid phosphatase, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase increased, exhibiting variable level of significance. Total protein and total zinc concentration in dorso-lateral and ventral prostate as well as in serum decreased (P < 0.001). Decrease (P < 0.001) was recorded in serum FSH and testosterone after 2 and 4 weeks of zinc deficiency. The changes were more prominent after 4 weeks of synthetic zinc deficient diet. The results indicate that zinc deficiency during prepubertal period affects the prostate structure, total protein concentration, enhanced protein carbonyl concentration, nitric oxide as well as acid phosphatase activities and impaired hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activities. Evidently these changes could be attributed to dysfunction of dorso-lateral and ventral prostate after dietary zinc deficiency as well as impairment of metabolic and secretory activity, reduced gonadotropin levels by hypothalamus -hypophysial system which is indicative of a critical role of zinc in maintaining the prostate integrity. PMID

  17. Intranigral grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue in adult 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats can induce behavioral recovery.

    PubMed

    Johnston, R E; Becker, J B

    1997-01-01

    Intrastriatal grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalon in rats with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions can reduce and even reverse rotational behavior in response to direct and indirect dopamine agonists. These grafts can ameliorate deficits on simple spontaneous behaviors, but do not improve complex behaviors that require the skilled integration of the use of both paws. We report here that rats with grafts into the DA-depleted substantia nigra, that receive cyclosporine A, can experience recovery on spontaneous behaviors that mimic those observed in Parkinson's disease. Specific cyclosporine A treatment conditions can differentially affect whether intranigral grafts normalize paw use during initiation or termination of a movement sequence. These findings may have important implications for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. PMID:9171159

  18. Initiation and elongation of polyribonucleotide chains on rat ventral-prostate chromatin transcribed by homologous ribonucleic acid polymerase B.

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, P; Davies, P; Griffiths, K

    1977-01-01

    The characteristics of initiation of RNA synthesis and the elongation of RNA chains on rat ventral-prostate chromatin by RNA polymerase B were investigated by two methods. 1. Initiation was carried out under low-salt conditions with three ribonucleoside triphosphates, and elongation was begun in the absence of reinitiation by the addition of the fourth ribonucleoside triphosphate and increasing the salt concentration. 2. Stable initiation complexes were formed by preincubation of enzyme with template at 37 degrees C, elongation was started by the addition of all four ribonucleoside triphosphates and reinitiation or spurious RNA synthesis was prevented by rifamycin AF/013. The latter method gave more reliable results. The dependence of those parameters on the androgenic status of the animal was studied. During the first 24h after castration, elongation was mainly affected, whereas after 72h a smaller number of initiation sites for RNA polymerase B on chromatin was evident. Considerable diurnal variations in the various parameters were observed. Changes in the relative concentrations of the chromatin-associated proteins were also observed after castration. In the rat ventral-prostate gland androgenic steroids may not only influence one stage of the transcriptional process, but may affect many factors involved in the control of gene expression. PMID:562164

  19. Chronic cerebrolysin administration attenuates neuronal abnormalities in the basolateral amygdala induced by neonatal ventral hippocampus lesion in the rat.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Roque, Rubén Antonio; Ubhi, Kiren; Masliah, Eliezer; Flores, Gonzalo

    2014-01-01

    The neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (nVHL) has emerged as a model of schizophrenia-related behavior in the rat. Our previous report demonstrated that cerebrolysin (Cbl), a neuropeptide preparation which mimics the action of endogenous neurotrophic factors on brain protection and repair, promoted recovery of dendritic and neuronal damage of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens and behavioral improvements in postpubertal nVHL rats. We recently demonstrated that nVHL animals exhibit dendritic atrophy and spine loss in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). This study aimed to determine whether Cbl treatment was capable of reducing BLA neuronal alterations observed in nVHL rats. The morphological evaluation included examination of dendrites using the Golgi-Cox procedure and stereology to quantify the total cell number in BLA. Golgi-Cox staining revealed that nVHL induced dendritic retraction and spine loss in BLA pyramidal neurons. Stereological analysis demonstrated nVHL also produced a reduction in cells in BLA. Interestingly, repeated Cbl treatment ameliorated dendritic pathology and neuronal loss in the BLA of the nVHL rats. Our data show that Cbl may foster recovery of BLA damage in postpubertal nVHL rats and suggests that the use of neurotrophic agents for the management of some schizophrenia-related symptoms may present an alternative therapeutic pathway in these disorders.

  20. Olanzapine Treatment of Adolescent Rats Alters Adult D2 Modulation of Cortical Inputs to the Ventral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Julie M.; Frost, Douglas O.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The striatal dopamine system undergoes vast ontogenetic changes during adolescence, making the brain vulnerable to drug treatments that target this class of neurotransmitters. Atypical antipsychotic drugs are often prescribed to children and adolescents for off-label treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, yet the long-term impact this treatment has on brain development remains largely unknown. Methods: Adolescent male rats were treated with olanzapine or vehicle for 3 weeks (during postnatal day 28–49) using a dosing condition designed to approximate closely D2 receptor occupancies in the human therapeutic range. We assessed D2 receptor modulation of corticostriatal inputs onto medium spiny neurons in the adult ventral striatum using in vitro whole-cell current clamp recordings. Results: The D2/D3 agonist quinpirole (5 µM) enhanced cortically driven medium spiny neuron synaptic responses in slices taken from adult rats treated with vehicle during adolescence, as in untreated adult rats. However, in slices from mature rats treated with olanzapine during adolescence, quinpirole reduced medium spiny neuron activation. The magnitude of decrease was similar to previous observations in untreated, prepubertal rats. These changes may reflect alterations in local inhibitory circuitry, as the GABA-A antagonist picrotoxin (100 µM) reversed the effects of quinpirole in vehicle-treated slices but had no impact on cortically evoked responses in olanzapine-treated slices. Conclusions: These data suggest that adolescent atypical antipsychotic drug treatment leads to enduring changes in dopamine modulation of corticostriatal synaptic function. PMID:27207908

  1. Effect of Silodosin, an Alpha1A-Adrenoceptor Antagonist, on Ventral Prostatic Hyperplasia in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Shogo; Shimizu, Takahiro; Tsounapi, Panagiota; Higashi, Youichirou; Martin, Darryl T.; Nakamura, Kumiko; Honda, Masashi; Inoue, Keiji; Saito, Motoaki

    2015-01-01

    Background A decreased prostatic blood flow could be one of the risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia/benign prostatic enlargement. The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) shows a chronic prostatic ischemia and hyperplastic morphological abnormalities in the ventral prostate. The effect of silodosin, a selective alpha1A-adrenoceptor antagonist, was investigated in the SHR prostate as a prostatic hyperplasia model focusing on prostatic blood flow. Methods Twelve-week-old male SHRs were administered perorally with silodosin (100 μg/kg/day) or vehicle once daily for 6 weeks. Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats were used as normotensive controls and were treated with the vehicle. The effect of silodosin on blood pressure and prostatic blood flow were estimated and then the prostates were removed and weighed. The tissue levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), interleukin-6 (IL-6), chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1/cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant 1 (CXCL1/CINC1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) were measured. The histological evaluation was also performed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Results There was a significant increase in blood pressure, prostate weight, prostate body weight ratio (PBR), tissue levels of MDA, IL-6, CXCL1/CINC1, TNF-α, TGF-β1, bFGF and α-SMA in the SHR compared to the WKY rat. The ventral prostate in the SHR showed the morphological abnormalities compared to the WKY rat. Prostatic blood flow was decreased in the SHR. However, treatment with silodosin significantly restored the decreased prostatic blood flow in the SHR. Moreover, silodosin normalized tissue levels of MDA, IL-6, CXCL1/CINC1, TNF-α, TGF-β1, bFGF and α-SMA, and it ameliorated ventral prostatic hyperplasia in the SHR excluding blood pressure. Silodosin decreased PBR but not prostate weight in the SHR. Conclusions Silodosin can inhibit the

  2. Proteomic analysis of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus of rats maintained on a high fat and refined sugar diet.

    PubMed

    Francis, Heather M; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Pardey, Margery C; Haynes, Paul A; Cornish, Jennifer L

    2013-10-01

    The typical Western diet, rich in high saturated fat and refined sugar (HFS), has been shown to increase cognitive decline with aging and Alzheimer's disease, and to affect cognitive functions that are dependent on the hippocampus, including memory processes and reversal learning. To investigate neurophysiological changes underlying these impairments, we employed a proteomic approach to identify differentially expressed proteins in the rat dorsal and ventral hippocampus following maintenance on an HFS diet. Rats maintained on the HFS diet for 8 weeks were impaired on a novel object recognition task that assesses memory and on a Morris Water Maze task assessing reversal learning. Quantitative label-free shotgun proteomic analysis was conducted on biological triplicates for each group. For the dorsal hippocampus, 59 proteins were upregulated and 36 downregulated in the HFS group compared to controls. Pathway ana-lysis revealed changes to proteins involved in molecular transport and cellular and molecular signaling, and changes to signaling pathways including calcium signaling, citrate cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. For the ventral hippocampus, 25 proteins were upregulated and 27 downregulated in HFS fed rats. Differentially expressed proteins were involved in cell-to-cell signaling and interaction, and cellular and molecular function. Changes to signaling pathways included protein ubiquitination, ubiquinone biosynthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. This is the first shotgun proteomics study to examine protein changes in the hippocampus following long-term consumption of a HFS diet, identifying changes to a large number of proteins including those involved in synaptic plasticity and energy metabolism. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000028.

  3. Up-regulated uridine kinase gene identified by RLCS in the ventral horn after crush injury to rat sciatic nerves.

    PubMed

    Yuh, I; Yaoi, T; Watanabe, S; Okajima, S; Hirasawa, Y; Fushiki, S

    1999-12-01

    Rat sciatic nerve crush injury is one of the models commonly employed for studying the mechanisms of nerve regeneration. In this study, we analyzed the temporal change of gene expression after injury in this model, to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in nerve regeneration. First, a cDNA analysis method, Restriction Landmark cDNA Scanning (RLCS), was applied to cells in the ventral horn of the spinal cord during a 7-day period after the crush injury. A total of 1991 cDNA species were detected as spots on gels, and 37 of these were shown to change after the injury. Temporally changed patterns were classified into three categories: the continuously up-regulated type (10 species), the transiently up-regulated type (22 species), and the down-regulated type (5 species). These complex patterns of gene expression demonstrated after the injury suggest that precise regulation in molecular pathways is required for accomplishing nerve regeneration. Secondly, the rat homologue of uridine kinase gene was identified as one of the up-regulated genes. Northern blot analysis on rat ventral horn tissue and brain revealed that the UK gene had three transcripts with different sizes (4.3, 1. 4, and 1.35 kb, respectively). All of the transcripts, especially the 4.3 kb one, were up-regulated mainly in a bimodal fashion during the 28-day period after the injury. The RLCS method that we employed in the present study shows promise as a means to fully analyze molecular changes in nerve regeneration in detail. PMID:10581173

  4. Oxidative stress in ventral prostate, ovary, and breast by 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in pre- and postnatal exposed rats.

    PubMed

    Pochettino, Aristides A; Bongiovanni, Bettina; Duffard, Ricardo O; Evangelista de Duffard, Ana María

    2013-01-01

    The herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) has been widely used in agriculture and forestry since the 1940s. 2,4-D has been shown to produce a wide range of adverse effects-from embryotoxicity and teratogenicity to neurotoxicity-on animal and human health. The purpose of this study was to determine the possible effects of pre- and postnatal exposure to 2,4-D on oxidative stress in ventral prostate, ovary and breast. Pregnant rats were daily exposed to oral doses of 70 mg/kg/day of 2,4-D from 16 days of gestation up to 23 days after delivery. Then, the pups were sacrificed by decapitation at postnatal day (PND) 45, 60, or 90. Antioxidant enzyme activities and some parameters of the oxidative stress were assessed in ventral prostate, breast, and ovary. Results show that 2,4-D produced three different effects. First, it increased the concentration of some radical oxygen species and the rates of lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation in ventral prostate, thereby causing oxidative stress at all ages studied. Although an increase in the activity of some antioxidant enzymes was detected, this seemed to have been not enough to counteract the oxidative stress. Second, 2,4-D promoted the oxidative stress in the breasts, mainly during puberty and adulthood, probably because the developing gland is more sensitive to xenobiotics than the adult organ. Third, 2,4-D altered the activity of some antioxidant enzymes and increased lipid peroxide concentration in the ovary. This effect could reflect the variety of ovarian cell types and their different responses to endocrine changes during development.

  5. Region-specific roles of the prelimbic cortex, the dorsal CA1, the ventral DG and ventral CA1 of the hippocampus in the fear return evoked by a sub-conditioning procedure in rats.

    PubMed

    Fu, Juan; Xing, Xiaoli; Han, Mengfi; Xu, Na; Piao, Chengji; Zhang, Yue; Zheng, Xigeng

    2016-02-01

    The return of learned fear is an important issue in anxiety disorder research since an analogous process may contribute to long-term fear maintenance or clinical relapse. A number of studies demonstrate that mPFC and hippocampus are important in the modulation of post-extinction re-expression of fear memory. However, the region-specific role of these structures in the fear return evoked by a sub-threshold conditioning (SC) is not known. In the present experiments, we first examined specific roles of the prelimbic cortex (PL), the dorsal hippocampus (DH, the dorsal CA1 area in particular), the ventral hippocampus (the ventral dentate gyrus (vDG) and the ventral CA1 area in particular) in this fear return process. Then we examined the role of connections between PL and vCA1 with this behavioral approach. Rats were subjected to five tone-shock pairings (1.0-mA shock) to induce conditioned fear (freezing), followed by three fear extinction sessions (25 tone-alone trials each session). After a post-test for extinction memory, some rats were retrained with the SC procedure to reinstate tone-evoked freezing. Rat groups were injected with low doses of the GABAA agonist muscimol to selectively inactivate PL, DH, vDG, or vCA1 120 min before the fear return test. A disconnection paradigm with ipsilateral or contralateral muscimol injection of the PL and the vCA1 was used to examine the role of this pathway in the fear return. We found that transient inactivation of these areas significantly impaired fear return (freezing): inactivation of the prelimbic cortex blocked SC-evoked fear return in particular but did not influence fear expression in general; inactivation of the DH area impaired fear return, but had no effect on the extinction retrieval process; both ventral DG and ventral CA1 are required for the return of extinguished fear whereas only ventral DG is required for the extinction retrieval. These findings suggest that PL, DH, vDG, and vCA1 all contribute to the fear

  6. Effect of cardiopulmonary C fibre activation on the firing activity of ventral respiratory group neurones in the rat.

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, C G; Bonham, A C

    1997-01-01

    1. Cardiopulmonary C fibre receptor stimulation elicits apnoea and rapid shallow breathing, but the effects on the firing activity of central respiratory neurones are not well understood. This study examined the responses of ventral respiratory group neurones: decrementing expiratory (Edec), augmenting expiratory (Eaug), and inspiratory (I) neurones during cardiopulmonary C fibre receptor-evoked apnoea and rapid shallow breathing. 2. Extracellular neuronal activity, phrenic nerve activity and arterial pressure were recorded in urethane-anaesthetized rats. Cardiopulmonary C fibre receptors were stimulated by right atrial injections of phenylbiguanide. Neurones were tested for antidromic activation from the contra- and ipsilateral ventral respiratory group (VRG), spinal cord and cervical vagus nerve. 3. Edec neurones discharged tonically during cardiopulmonary C fibre-evoked apnoea and rapid shallow breathing, displaying increased burst durations, number of impulses per burst, and mean impulse frequencies. Edec neurones recovered either with the phrenic nerve activity (25 s) or much later (3 min). 4. By contrast, the firing activity of Eaug and most I neurones was decreased, featuring decreased burst durations and number of impulses per burst and increased interburst intervals. Eaug activity recovered in approximately 3 min and inspiratory activity in approximately 1 min. 5. The results indicate that cardiopulmonary C fibre receptor stimulation causes tonic firing of Edec neurones and decreases in Eaug and I neuronal activity coincident with apnoea or rapid shallow breathing. PMID:9365917

  7. Voxelized computational model for convection-enhanced delivery in the rat ventral hippocampus: comparison with in vivo MR experimental studies.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Hwan; Astary, Garrett W; Kantorovich, Svetlana; Mareci, Thomas H; Carney, Paul R; Sarntinoranont, Malisa

    2012-09-01

    Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is a promising local delivery technique for overcoming the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and treating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). For CED, therapeutics are infused directly into brain tissue and the drug agent is spread through the extracellular space, considered to be highly tortuous porous media. In this study, 3D computational models developed using magnetic resonance (MR) diffusion tensor imaging data sets were used to predict CED transport in the rat ventral hippocampus using a voxelized modeling previously developed by our group. Predicted albumin tracer distributions were compared with MR-measured distributions from in vivo CED in the ventral hippocampus up to 10 μL of Gd-DTPA albumin tracer infusion. Predicted and measured tissue distribution volumes and distribution patterns after 5 and 10 μL infusions were found to be comparable. Tracers were found to occupy the underlying landmark structures with preferential transport found in regions with less fluid resistance such as the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. Also, tracer spread was bounded by high fluid resistance layers such as the granular cell layer and pyramidal cell layer of dentate gyrus. Leakage of tracers into adjacent CSF spaces was observed towards the end of infusions.

  8. PERINATAL EXPOSURE TO ESTROGENIC COMPOUNDS AND THE SUBSEQUENT EFFECTS ON THE PROSTRATE OF THE ADULT RAT: EVALUATION OF INFLAMMATION IN THE VENTRAL AND LATERAL LOBES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Perinatal exposure to estrogenic compounds and the subsequent effects on the prostate of the adult rat: evaluation of inflammation in the ventral and lateral lobes.

    Stoker TE, Robinette CL, Cooper RL.

    Endocrinology Branch, Reproductive Toxicology Division, National ...

  9. Survival and functional restoration of human fetal ventral mesencephalon following transplantation in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Rath, Anika; Klein, Alexander; Papazoglou, Anna; Pruszak, Jan; Garcia, Joanna; Krause, Martin; Maciaczyk, Jaroslaw; Dunnett, Stephen B; Nikkhah, Guido

    2013-01-01

    Cell replacement therapy by intracerebral transplantation of fetal dopaminergic neurons has become a promising therapeutic option for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease during the last decades. However, limited availability of human fetal tissue as well as ethical issues, lack of alternative nonfetal donor cells, and the absence of standardized transplantation protocols have prevented neurorestorative therapies from becoming a routine procedure in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Improvement of graft survival, surgery techniques, and identification of the optimal target area are imperative for further optimization of this novel treatment. In the present study, human primary fetal ventral mesencephalon-derived tissue from 7- to 9-week-old human fetuses was transplanted into 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Graft survival, fiber outgrowth, and drug-induced rotational behavior up to 14 weeks posttransplantation were compared between different intrastriatal transplantation techniques (full single cell suspension vs. partial tissue pieces suspension injected by glass capillary or metal cannula) and the intranigral glass capillary injection of a full (single cell) suspension. The results demonstrate a higher survival rate of dopamine neurons, a greater reduction in amphetamine-induced rotations (overcompensation), and more extensive fiber outgrowth for the intrastriatally transplanted partial (tissue pieces) suspension compared to all other groups. Apomorphine-induced rotational bias was significantly reduced in all groups including the intranigral group. The data confirm that human ventral mesencephalon-derived cells serve as a viable cell source, survive in a xenografting paradigm, and functionally integrate into the host tissue. In contrast to rat donor cells, keeping the original (fetal) neuronal network by preparing only a partial suspension containing tissue pieces seems to be beneficial for human cells, although a

  10. Covert Expectation-of-Reward in Rat Ventral Striatum at Decision Points

    PubMed Central

    van der Meer, Matthijs A. A.; Redish, A. David

    2009-01-01

    Flexible decision-making strategies (such as planning) are a key component of adaptive behavior, yet their neural mechanisms have remained resistant to experimental analysis. Theories of planning require prediction and evaluation of potential future rewards, suggesting that reward signals may covertly appear at decision points. To test this idea, we recorded ensembles of ventral striatal neurons on a spatial decision task, in which hippocampal ensembles are known to represent future possibilities at decision points. We found representations of reward which were not only activated at actual reward delivery sites, but also at a high-cost choice point and before error correction. This expectation-of-reward signal at decision points was apparent at both the single cell and the ensemble level, and vanished with behavioral automation. We conclude that ventral striatal representations of reward are more dynamic than suggested by previous reports of reward- and cue-responsive cells, and may provide the necessary signal for evaluation of internally generated possibilities considered during flexible decision-making. PMID:19225578

  11. Programming of Dopaminergic Neurons by Neonatal Sex Hormone Exposure: Effects on Dopamine Content and Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression in Adult Male Rats

    PubMed Central

    Espinosa, Pedro; Silva, Roxana A.; Sanguinetti, Nicole K.; Venegas, Francisca C.; Riquelme, Raul; González, Luis F.; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M.; Moya, Pablo R.; Sotomayor-Zárate, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    We sought to determine the long-term changes produced by neonatal sex hormone administration on the functioning of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in adult male rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously at postnatal day 1 and were assigned to the following experimental groups: TP (testosterone propionate of 1.0 mg/50 μL); DHT (dihydrotestosterone of 1.0 mg/50 μL); EV (estradiol valerate of 0.1 mg/50 μL); and control (sesame oil of 50 μL). At postnatal day 60, neurochemical studies were performed to determine dopamine content in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area and dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. Molecular (mRNA expression of tyrosine hydroxylase) and cellular (tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity) studies were also performed. We found increased dopamine content in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area of TP and EV rats, in addition to increased dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. However, neonatal exposure to DHT, a nonaromatizable androgen, did not affect midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Correspondingly, compared to control rats, levels of tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA and protein were significantly increased in TP and EV rats but not in DHT rats, as determined by qPCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Our results suggest an estrogenic mechanism involving increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression, either by direct estrogenic action or by aromatization of testosterone to estradiol in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area. PMID:26904299

  12. Programming of Dopaminergic Neurons by Neonatal Sex Hormone Exposure: Effects on Dopamine Content and Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression in Adult Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Espinosa, Pedro; Silva, Roxana A; Sanguinetti, Nicole K; Venegas, Francisca C; Riquelme, Raul; González, Luis F; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M; Moya, Pablo R; Sotomayor-Zárate, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    We sought to determine the long-term changes produced by neonatal sex hormone administration on the functioning of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in adult male rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously at postnatal day 1 and were assigned to the following experimental groups: TP (testosterone propionate of 1.0 mg/50 μL); DHT (dihydrotestosterone of 1.0 mg/50 μL); EV (estradiol valerate of 0.1 mg/50 μL); and control (sesame oil of 50 μL). At postnatal day 60, neurochemical studies were performed to determine dopamine content in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area and dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. Molecular (mRNA expression of tyrosine hydroxylase) and cellular (tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity) studies were also performed. We found increased dopamine content in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area of TP and EV rats, in addition to increased dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. However, neonatal exposure to DHT, a nonaromatizable androgen, did not affect midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Correspondingly, compared to control rats, levels of tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA and protein were significantly increased in TP and EV rats but not in DHT rats, as determined by qPCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Our results suggest an estrogenic mechanism involving increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression, either by direct estrogenic action or by aromatization of testosterone to estradiol in substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area.

  13. No effect of hypergravity on adult rat ventral horn neuron size or SDH activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roy, R. R.; Ishihara, A.; Moran, M. M.; Wade, C. E.; Edgerton, V. R.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Spaceflights of short duration (approximately 2 wk) result in adaptations in the size and/or metabolic properties of a select population of motoneurons located in the lumbosacral region of the rat spinal cord. A decrease in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH, an oxidative marker enzyme) activity of moderately sized (500-800 microm2) motoneurons in the retrodorsolateral region of the spinal cord (L6) has been observed after a 14-d flight. HYPOTHESIS: Our hypothesis was that exposure to short-term hypergravity would result in adaptations in the opposite direction, reflecting a continuum of morphological and biochemical responses in the spinal motoneurons from zero gravity to hypergravity. METHODS: Young, male rats were centrifuged at either 1.5 or 2.0 G for 2 wk. The size and SDH activity of a population of motoneurons in the retrodorsolateral region of the spinal cord (L5) were determined and compared with age-matched rats maintained at 1.0 G. The absolute and relative (to body weight) masses of the soleus, gastrocnemius, adductor longus and tibialis anterior muscles were compared among the three groups. RESULTS: There were no effects of either hypergravity intervention on the motoneuron properties. Rats maintained under hypergravity conditions gained less body mass than rats kept at 1.0 G. For the 1.5 and 2.0 G groups, the muscle absolute mass was smaller and relative mass similar to that observed in the 1.0 G rats, except for the adductor longus. The adductor longus absolute mass was similar to and the relative mass larger in both hypergravity groups than in the 1.0 G group. CONCLUSIONS: Our hypothesis was rejected. The findings suggest that rat motoneurons are more responsive to short-term chronic exposure to spaceflight than to hypergravity conditions.

  14. Early intervention with intranasal NPY prevents single prolonged stress-triggered impairments in hypothalamus and ventral hippocampus in male rats.

    PubMed

    Laukova, Marcela; Alaluf, Lishay G; Serova, Lidia I; Arango, Victoria; Sabban, Esther L

    2014-10-01

    Intranasal administration of neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a promising treatment strategy to reduce traumatic stress-induced neuropsychiatric symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We evaluated the potential of intranasal NPY to prevent dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a core neuroendocrine feature of PTSD. Rats were exposed to single prolonged stress (SPS), a PTSD animal model, and infused intranasally with vehicle or NPY immediately after SPS stressors. After 7 days undisturbed, hypothalamus and hippocampus, 2 structures regulating the HPA axis activity, were examined for changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and CRH expression. Plasma ACTH and corticosterone, and hypothalamic CRH mRNA, were significantly higher in the vehicle but not NPY-treated group, compared with unstressed controls. Although total GR levels were not altered in hypothalamus, a significant decrease of GR phosphorylated on Ser232 and increased FK506-binding protein 5 mRNA were observed with the vehicle but not in animals infused with intranasal NPY. In contrast, in the ventral hippocampus, only vehicle-treated animals demonstrated elevated GR protein expression and increased GR phosphorylation on Ser232, specifically in the nuclear fraction. Additionally, SPS-induced increase of CRH mRNA in the ventral hippocampus was accompanied by apparent decrease of CRH peptide particularly in the CA3 subfield, both prevented by NPY. The results show that early intervention with intranasal NPY can prevent traumatic stress-triggered dysregulation of the HPA axis likely by restoring HPA axis proper negative feedback inhibition via GR. Thus, intranasal NPY has a potential as a noninvasive therapy to prevent negative effects of traumatic stress.

  15. Intrastriatal grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalon improve allodynia-like withdrawal response to mechanical stimulation in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Ryuichiro; Ishida, Yasushi; Ebihara, Kosuke; Abe, Hiroshi; Matsuo, Hisae; Ikeda, Tetsuya; Koganemaru, Go; Kuramashi, Aki; Funahashi, Hideki; Magata, Yasuhiro; Kawai, Keiichi; Nishimori, Toshikazu

    2014-06-24

    We previously reported that a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of Parkinson's disease showed allodynia-like withdrawal response to mechanical stimulation of the ipsilateral side of the rat hindpaw. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of intrastriatal grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalon (VM) on the withdrawal response in 6-OHDA rats. The withdrawal threshold in response to the mechanical stimulation of the rat hindpaw was measured using von Frey filaments. In the ipsilateral side of the 6-OHDA lesions, the withdrawal threshold in response to mechanical stimulation significantly increased in 6-OHDA rats with VM grafts compared with those with sham grafts, but did not change in the contralateral side at 5 weeks after transplantation. The present results suggest that the intrastriatal grafts of fetal VM may relieve pain sensation induced by mechanical stimulation in 6-OHDA rats. PMID:24831182

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

    PubMed Central

    Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the ventral hippocampus improved stress-induced amnesia in rat.

    PubMed

    Mohammadmirzaei, Negin; Rezayof, Ameneh; Ghasemzadeh, Zahra

    2016-09-01

    The ventral hippocampus (VH) has a high distribution of cannabinoid CB1 receptors which are important in modulating stress responses. Stress exposure activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) which can impact hippocampal formation to change hippocampus-based memories. The purpose of the present study was to determine the possible role of the VH cannabinoid CB1 receptors in stress-induced amnesia using a step-through passive avoidance procedure in male Wistar rats. In order to induce acute stress, the animals were placed on an elevated platform for different time periods (10, 20 and 30min). Our results indicated that post-training 20 and 30min exposure to stress, but not 10min, induced amnesia. Post-training microinjection of a cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist, arachydonilcyclopropylamide (ACPA; 2.5-7.5ng/rat) into the VH (intra-VH) induced amnesia. Interestingly, post-training intra-VH microinjection of the same doses of ACPA improved stress-induced amnesia. On the other hand, post-training intra-VH microinjection of a selective CB1 receptor antagonist, AM-251 (20-50ng/rat) with exposure to an ineffective stress (10min) potentiated the effect of stress on memory consolidation and induced amnesia. It should be noted that post-training intra-VH microinjection of the same doses of AM-251 alone had no effect on memory consolidation. Our results revealed that post-training intra-VH microinjection of AM-251, prior to ACPA microinjection, inhibited the reversal effect of ACPA on acute elevated platform stress. Taken together, it can be concluded that exposure to post-training inescapable stress impaired memory consolidation. The impairing effects of stress on memory retrieval may be mediated by the VH cannabinoid CB1 receptors.

  18. Activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the ventral hippocampus improved stress-induced amnesia in rat.

    PubMed

    Mohammadmirzaei, Negin; Rezayof, Ameneh; Ghasemzadeh, Zahra

    2016-09-01

    The ventral hippocampus (VH) has a high distribution of cannabinoid CB1 receptors which are important in modulating stress responses. Stress exposure activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) which can impact hippocampal formation to change hippocampus-based memories. The purpose of the present study was to determine the possible role of the VH cannabinoid CB1 receptors in stress-induced amnesia using a step-through passive avoidance procedure in male Wistar rats. In order to induce acute stress, the animals were placed on an elevated platform for different time periods (10, 20 and 30min). Our results indicated that post-training 20 and 30min exposure to stress, but not 10min, induced amnesia. Post-training microinjection of a cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist, arachydonilcyclopropylamide (ACPA; 2.5-7.5ng/rat) into the VH (intra-VH) induced amnesia. Interestingly, post-training intra-VH microinjection of the same doses of ACPA improved stress-induced amnesia. On the other hand, post-training intra-VH microinjection of a selective CB1 receptor antagonist, AM-251 (20-50ng/rat) with exposure to an ineffective stress (10min) potentiated the effect of stress on memory consolidation and induced amnesia. It should be noted that post-training intra-VH microinjection of the same doses of AM-251 alone had no effect on memory consolidation. Our results revealed that post-training intra-VH microinjection of AM-251, prior to ACPA microinjection, inhibited the reversal effect of ACPA on acute elevated platform stress. Taken together, it can be concluded that exposure to post-training inescapable stress impaired memory consolidation. The impairing effects of stress on memory retrieval may be mediated by the VH cannabinoid CB1 receptors. PMID:27282634

  19. Delayed Recall of Fear Extinction in Rats with Lesions of Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lebron, Kelimer; Milad, Mohammed R.; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2004-01-01

    Extinction of auditory fear conditioning is thought to form a new memory. We previously found that rats with vmPFC lesions could extinguish fear to the tone within a session, but showed no recall of extinction 24 h later. One interpretation is that the vmPFC is the sole storage site of extinction memory. However, it is also possible that lesioned…

  20. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 modulates the rewarding effects of cocaine in rats: involvement of a ventral pallidal GABAergic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Li, Xia; Li, Jie; Peng, Xiao-Qing; Spiller, Krista; Gardner, Eliot L; Xi, Zheng-Xiong

    2009-06-01

    The metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) has received much attention as a potential target for the treatment of epilepsy, major depression, and anxiety. In this study, we investigated the possible involvement of mGluR7 in cocaine reward in animal models of drug addiction. Pretreatment with the selective mGluR7 allosteric agonist N,N'-dibenzyhydryl-ethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082; 1-20 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently inhibited cocaine-induced enhancement of electrical brain-stimulation reward and intravenous cocaine self-administration under both fixed-ratio and progressive-ratio reinforcement conditions, but failed to alter either basal or cocaine-enhanced locomotion or oral sucrose self-administration, suggesting a specific inhibition of cocaine reward. Microinjections of AMN082 (1-5 microg/microl per side) into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) or ventral pallidum (VP), but not dorsal striatum, also inhibited cocaine self-administration in a dose-dependent manner. Intra-NAc or intra-VP co-administration of 6-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-methyl-3-pyridin-4-ylisoxazolo[4,5-c]pyridin-4(5H)-one (MMPIP, 5 microg/microl per side), a selective mGluR7 allosteric antagonist, significantly blocked AMN082's action, suggesting an effect mediated by mGluR7 in these brain regions. In vivo microdialysis demonstrated that cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) priming significantly elevated extracellular DA in the NAc or VP, while decreasing extracellular GABA in VP (but not in NAc). AMN082 pretreatment selectively blocked cocaine-induced changes in extracellular GABA, but not in DA, in both naive rats and cocaine self-administration rats. These data suggest: (1) mGluR7 is critically involved in cocaine's acute reinforcement; (2) GABA-, but not DA-, dependent mechanisms in the ventral striatopallidal pathway appear to underlie AMN082's actions; and (3) AMN082 or other mGluR7-selective agonists may be useful in the treatment of cocaine addiction.

  1. Dynamic and distributed properties of many-neuron ensembles in the ventral posterior medial thalamus of awake rats.

    PubMed Central

    Nicolelis, M A; Lin, R C; Woodward, D J; Chapin, J K

    1993-01-01

    The traditional view that the map of the face in the ventral posterior medial thalamus (VPM) is static and highly discrete was derived largely from qualitative studies that reported only small, robust, and nonoverlapping receptive fields (RFs). Here, by using more quantitative techniques, we have provided evidence for an alternative hypothesis: the RFs in the VPM are large and overlapping and tend to shift as a function of post-stimulus time. These results were obtained through simultaneous recordings of up to 23 single neurons across the whisker representation in the VPM of rats. Under both awake and anesthetized conditions, these neurons responded robustly at short (4-6 ms) and/or long (15-25 ms) latencies to discrete vibromechanical stimulation of single facial whiskers. Computer graphics were used to construct three-dimensional plots depicting the magnitudes of neuronal responses to stimulation of each of several whiskers as a function of post-stimulus time. These "spatiotemporal RFs" demonstrated that (i) the RFs of VPM neurons are quite large, covering up to 20 whiskers and (ii) the spatial locations of these RFs may shift dramatically over the first 35 ms of post-stimulus time, especially from the caudal-most to the rostral-most whiskers on the face. These results suggest that the VPM contains a dynamic and distributed representation of the face, in which stimulus information is coded in both spatial and temporal domains. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 PMID:8460124

  2. Ventral Striatum Dopamine D2 Receptor Activity Inhibits Rat Pups’ Vocalization Response to Loss of Maternal Contact

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Jeff M.; Moore, Holly; Myers, Michael M.; Shair, Harry N.

    2010-01-01

    Most mammalian infants vocalize when isolated. The vocalization promotes caregiver proximity, which is critical to survival. If, before isolation, a rat pup has contact with its dam, its isolation vocalization rate is increased (maternal potentiation) relative to isolation preceded only by littermate contact. Prior work showed that systemic administration of a D2 receptor agonist blocks maternal potentiation at doses that do not alter baseline vocalization. In this study, infusion of quinpirole (2 µg/side) into the nucleus accumbens also blocks maternal potentiation. Infusion of the accumbens with the D2 antagonist raclopride (4 µg/side) prevents systemic quinpirole from blocking potentiation. Quinpirole infusion in the dorsal striatum did not affect maternal potentiation and infusion of raclopride in the dorsal striatum did not reverse the block of maternal potentiation by systemic quinpirole. Vocalization results after a second vehicle infusion on a given day are no different than the results following an initial vehicle infusion, so experimental design can not account for the effects of drug infusions. Because activity level was increased by both dorsal and ventral striatum infusions, activity level can not account for the results. PMID:18298255

  3. Effects of somatostatin and related peptides on the membrane potential and input resistance of rat ventral subicular neurons, in vitro.

    PubMed

    Greene, J R; Mason, A

    1996-02-01

    The effects of bath-applied somatostatin (SS), and related peptides on the membrane potential and input resistance of 117 ventral subicular neurons were investigated by intracellular recording in rat brain slices. Electrophysiological properties, which included burst-firing in response to depolarizing current pulses, indicated that the neurons studied were of the pyramidal type. For the 89 cells analyzed quantitatively, membrane potential was -69.1 +/- 0.3 mV (mean +/- S.E.) and input resistance was 23.9 +/- 0.5 megohms. SS (5 microM) caused a hyperpolarization of 3.4 +/- 0.3 mV (n = 9) and reduced input resistance by 16 +/- 3.1% (n = 6). SS D-Trp8, somatostatin, octreotide, CGP 23996 and MK 678 shared these effects, but somatostatin was inactive. SS effects persisted when bathing solutions contained tetrodotoxin, reduced calcium and elevated magnesium concentrations and when both of these treatments were combined. They were unaltered by antagonists at gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors or at ionotropic glutamate receptors. The effects of MK 678, SS, SS D-Trp8 and somatostatin were concentration-dependent, and these peptides were equipotent at 500 nM and at 5 microM. For MK 678, the EC50 was 316 nM for the hyperpolarization and 90 nM for the reduction in input resistance. We conclude that SS acts directly on pyramidal neurons of the rat subiculum to cause a hyperpolarization and a decrease in input resistance. We suggest that these effects are mediated by the SSTR2 receptor subtype. PMID:8632306

  4. Delta-opioid receptor blockade in the ventral pallidum increases perceived palatability and consumption of saccharin solution in rats.

    PubMed

    Inui, Tadashi; Shimura, Tsuyoshi

    2014-08-01

    The ventral pallidum (VP) is involved in ingestive behaviour. It receives dense GABAergic projections from the nucleus accumbens. GABAergic terminals in the VP co-express enkephalin, an endogenous ligand of delta-opioid receptors. The role of the delta-opioid receptors in the VP in the context of ingestive behaviour remains unclear, in contrast to the well-understood involvement of the mu-opioid receptors. We used the single-bottle test to examine the effects of VP microinjections of the delta-opioid receptor antagonist naltrindole on consumption of a saccharin solution. Naltrindole injections significantly increased the intake of saccharin, but not water, during a 2-h test session. We also investigated perceived palatability of saccharin using a taste reactivity test. The drug treatments increased ingestive responses to intraorally infused saccharin. Further experimentation explored the role of VP delta-opioid receptors in behavioural responses to saccharin that were previously paired with malaise upon the retrieval of conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Naltrindole-injected rats exhibited longer latency for the first occurrence of aversive responses than vehicle-injected control rats. However, there was no between-group difference in total aversive responses. These results suggest that naltrindole injections into the VP induce an enhancement of perceived palatability of a normally preferred saccharin solution, and thereby facilitate consumption of the solution. On the other hand, delayed aversive responses to the conditioned aversive saccharin suggest that the delta-opioid receptors in the VP mediate the initiation of aversive taste reactivity responses to the conditioned stimulus upon CTA retrieval.

  5. Local glutamate release in the rat ventral lateral thalamus evoked by high-frequency stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnesi, Filippo; Blaha, Charles D.; Lin, Jessica; Lee, Kendall H.

    2010-04-01

    Thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) is proven therapy for essential tremor, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome. We tested the hypothesis that high-frequency electrical stimulation results in local thalamic glutamate release. Enzyme-linked glutamate amperometric biosensors were implanted in anesthetized rat thalamus adjacent to the stimulating electrode. Electrical stimulation was delivered to investigate the effect of frequency, pulse width, voltage-controlled or current-controlled stimulation, and charge balancing. Monophasic electrical stimulation-induced glutamate release was linearly dependent on stimulation frequency, intensity and pulse width. Prolonged stimulation evoked glutamate release to a plateau that subsequently decayed back to baseline after stimulation. Glutamate release was less pronounced with voltage-controlled stimulation and not present with charge balanced current-controlled stimulation. Using fixed potential amperometry in combination with a glutamate bioprobe and adjacent microstimulating electrode, the present study has shown that monophasic current-controlled stimulation of the thalamus in the anesthetized rat evoked linear increases in local extracellular glutamate concentrations that were dependent on stimulation duration, frequency, intensity and pulse width. However, the efficacy of monophasic voltage-controlled stimulation, in terms of evoking glutamate release in the thalamus, was substantially lower compared to monophasic current-controlled stimulation and entirely absent with biphasic (charge balanced) current-controlled stimulation. It remains to be determined whether similar glutamate release occurs with human DBS electrodes and similar charge balanced stimulation. As such, the present results indicate the importance of evaluating local neurotransmitter dynamics in studying the mechanism of action of DBS.

  6. Responses of neurons in the rat's ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus to amplitude-modulated tones.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huiming; Kelly, Jack B

    2006-12-01

    Recordings were made from single neurons in the rat's ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (VNLL) to determine responses to amplitude-modulated (AM) tones. The neurons were first characterized on the basis of their response to tone bursts presented to the contralateral ear and a distinction was made between those with transient onset responses and those with sustained responses. Sinusoidal AM tones were then presented to the contralateral ear with a carrier that matched the neuron's characteristic frequency (CF). Modulation transfer functions were generated on the basis of firing rate (MTF(FR)) and vector strength (MTF(VS)). Ninety-two percent of onset neurons that responded continuously to AM tones had band-pass MTF(FR)s with best modulation frequencies from 10 to 300 Hz. Fifty-four percent of sustained neurons had band-pass MTF(FR)s with best modulation frequencies from 10 to 500 Hz; other neurons had band-suppressed, all-pass, low-pass, or high-pass functions. Most neurons showed either band-pass or low-pass MTF(VS). Responses were well synchronized to the modulation cycle with maximum vector strengths ranging from 0.37 to 0.98 for sustained neurons and 0.78 to 0.99 for onset neurons. The upper frequency limit for response synchrony was higher than that reported for inferior colliculus, but lower than that seen in more peripheral structures. Results suggest that VNLL neurons, especially those with onset responses to tone bursts, are sensitive to temporal features of sounds and narrowly tuned to different modulation rates. However, there was no evidence of a topographic relation between dorsoventral position along the length of VNLL and best modulation frequency as determined by either firing rate or vector strength. PMID:16928797

  7. Long term exposure to combination paradigm of environmental enrichment, physical exercise and diet reverses the spatial memory deficits and restores hippocampal neurogenesis in ventral subicular lesioned rats.

    PubMed

    Kapgal, Vijayakumar; Prem, Neethi; Hegde, Preethi; Laxmi, T R; Kutty, Bindu M

    2016-04-01

    Subiculum is an important structure of the hippocampal formation and plays an imperative role in spatial learning and memory functions. We have demonstrated earlier the cognitive impairment following bilateral ventral subicular lesion (VSL) in rats. We found that short term exposure to enriched environment (EE) did not help to reverse the spatial memory deficits in water maze task suggesting the need for an appropriate enriched paradigm towards the recovery of spatial memory. In the present study, the efficacy of long term exposure of VSL rats to combination paradigm of environmental enrichment (EE), physical exercise and 18 C.W. diet (Combination Therapy - CT) in reversing the spatial memory deficits in Morris water maze task has been studied. Ibotenate lesioning of ventral subiculum produced significant impairment of performance in the Morris water maze and reduced the hippocampal neurogenesis in rats. Post lesion exposure to C.T. restored the hippocampal neurogenesis and improved the spatial memory functions in VSL rats. Our study supports the hypothesis that the combination paradigm is critical towards the development of an enhanced behavioral and cognitive experience especially in conditions of CNS insults and the associated cognitive dysfunctions. PMID:26851129

  8. Long term exposure to combination paradigm of environmental enrichment, physical exercise and diet reverses the spatial memory deficits and restores hippocampal neurogenesis in ventral subicular lesioned rats.

    PubMed

    Kapgal, Vijayakumar; Prem, Neethi; Hegde, Preethi; Laxmi, T R; Kutty, Bindu M

    2016-04-01

    Subiculum is an important structure of the hippocampal formation and plays an imperative role in spatial learning and memory functions. We have demonstrated earlier the cognitive impairment following bilateral ventral subicular lesion (VSL) in rats. We found that short term exposure to enriched environment (EE) did not help to reverse the spatial memory deficits in water maze task suggesting the need for an appropriate enriched paradigm towards the recovery of spatial memory. In the present study, the efficacy of long term exposure of VSL rats to combination paradigm of environmental enrichment (EE), physical exercise and 18 C.W. diet (Combination Therapy - CT) in reversing the spatial memory deficits in Morris water maze task has been studied. Ibotenate lesioning of ventral subiculum produced significant impairment of performance in the Morris water maze and reduced the hippocampal neurogenesis in rats. Post lesion exposure to C.T. restored the hippocampal neurogenesis and improved the spatial memory functions in VSL rats. Our study supports the hypothesis that the combination paradigm is critical towards the development of an enhanced behavioral and cognitive experience especially in conditions of CNS insults and the associated cognitive dysfunctions.

  9. Activity-based anorexia during adolescence disrupts normal development of the CA1 pyramidal cells in the ventral hippocampus of female rats.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Tara G; Ríos, Mariel B; Chan, Thomas E; Cassataro, Daniela S; Barbarich-Marsteller, Nicole C; Aoki, Chiye

    2014-12-01

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric illness characterized by restricted eating and irrational fears of gaining weight. There is no accepted pharmacological treatment for AN, and AN has the highest mortality rate among psychiatric illnesses. Anorexia nervosa most commonly affects females during adolescence, suggesting an effect of sex and hormones on vulnerability to the disease. Activity-based anorexia (ABA) is a rodent model of AN that shares symptoms with AN, including over-exercise, elevation of stress hormones, and genetic links to anxiety traits. We previously reported that ABA in adolescent female rats results in increased apical dendritic branching in CA1 pyramidal cells of the ventral hippocampus at postnatal day 44 (P44). To examine the long-term effects of adolescent ABA (P44) in female rats, we compared the apical branching in the ventral hippocampal CA1 after recovery from ABA (P51) and after a relapse of ABA (P55) with age-matched controls. To examine the age-dependence of the hippocampal plasticity, we examined the effect of ABA during adulthood (P67). We found that while ABA at P44 resulted in increased branching of ventral hippocampal pyramidal cells, relapse of ABA at P55 resulted in decreased branching. ABA induced during adulthood did not have an effect on dendritic branching, suggesting an age-dependence of the vulnerability to structural plasticity. Cells from control animals were found to exhibit a dramatic increase in branching, more than doubling from P44 to P51, followed by pruning from P51 to P55. The proportion of mature spines on dendrites from the P44-ABA animals is similar to that on dendrites from P55-CON animals. These results suggest that the experience of ABA may cause precocious anatomical development of the ventral hippocampus. Importantly, we found that adolescence is a period of continued development of the hippocampus, and increased vulnerability to mental disorders during adolescence may be due to insults during this

  10. Serotonin axons of the neostriatum show a higher affinity for striatal than for ventral mesencephalic transplants: a quantitative study in adult and immature recipient rats.

    PubMed

    Pierret, P; Vallée, A; Bosler, O; Dorais, M; Moukhles, H; Abbaszadeh, R; Lepage, Y; Doucet, G

    1998-07-01

    We previously showed that grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue are practically not innervated by host serotonin (5-HT) axons after implantation into the striatum of rats aged more than 14 days, at variance with transplants of cortical or striatal tissue into the adult striatum, which are well innervated by these axons. Using 5-HT immunohistochemistry and in vitro [3H]5-HT uptake/autoradiography, we have examined and quantified the innervation of ventral mesencephalic versus striatal grafts several months after implantation into the striatum of neonatal (postnatal day 5 or P5), juvenile (P15), and adult rats. Ventral mesencephalic grafts implanted in P5 rats received a moderate 5-HT innervation, while similar grafts implanted in P15 or adult recipients were almost free of any 5-HT fibers (-80%, compared to P5). The density of 5-HT innervation showed a tendency toward higher values in striatal than in ventral mesencephalic grafts (1.6-2 times higher in P5 and adult recipients; 4 times higher in P15 recipients). The difference was more striking, and significant, when only the true striatal portions of the striatal grafts were considered, i.e., DARPP-32-immunopositive areas (4-5 times higher in P5 and adult recipients; 10 times higher in P15 recipients). Accordingly, these DARPP-32-positive areas were also more densely innervated than the DARPP-32-negative zones of the same grafts (3 times higher at any age). The 5-HT innervation density also decreased with increasing age of the recipients in DARPP-32-positive, as well as DARPP-32-negative compartments of the striatal grafts (-75% in adults), but this decrease appeared more gradual (-50% in juveniles) than with mesencephalic grafts. It is concluded that the 5-HT axons innervating the neostriatum have a better affinity for striatal grafts than for ventral mesencephalic grafts or the nonstriatal portions of striatal grafts. In adulthood, the relative affinity of these axons for the different types of grafts is

  11. Relationship between noise-induced hearing-loss, persistent tinnitus and GAP-43 expression in the rat cochlear nucleus: Does synaptic plasticity in ventral cochlear nucleus suppress tinnitus?

    PubMed Central

    Kraus, Kari Suzanne; Ding, Dalian; Jiang, Haiyan; Lobarinas, Ed; Sun, Wei; Salvi, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Aberrant, lesion-induced neuroplastic changes in the auditory pathway are believed to give rise to the phantom sound of tinnitus. Noise-induced cochlear damage can induce extensive fiber growth and synaptogenesis in the cochlear nucleus, but it is currently unclear if these changes are linked to tinnitus. To address this issue, we unilaterally exposed nine rats to narrowband noise centered at 12 kHz at 126 dB SPL for two hours and sacrificed them 10 weeks later for evaluation of synaptic plasticity (GAP-43 expression) in the cochlear nucleus. Noise-exposed rats along with three age-matched controls were screened for tinnitus-like behavior with gap prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle (GPIAS) before, 1–10 days after and 8–10 weeks after the noise exposure. All nine noise-exposed rats showed similar patterns of severe hair cell loss at high- and mid-frequency regions in the exposed ear. Eight of the 9 showed strong up-regulation of GAP-43 in auditory nerve fibers and pronounced shrinkage of the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) on the noise-exposed side, and strong up-regulation of GAP-43 in the medial ventral VCN, but not in the lateral VCN or the dorsal cochlear nucleus. GAP-43 up-regulation in VCN was significantly greater in Noise-No-Tinnitus rats than in Noise-Tinnitus rats. One Noise-No-Tinnitus rat showed no up-regulation of GAP-43 in auditory nerve fibers and only little VCN shrinkage, suggesting that auditory nerve degeneration plays a role in tinnitus generation. Our results suggest that noise-induced tinnitus is suppressed by strong up-regulation of GAP-43 in the medial VCN. GAP-43 up-regulation most likely originates from medial olivocochlear neurons. Their increased excitatory input on inhibitory neurons in VCN may possibly reduce central hyperactivity and tinnitus. PMID:21821100

  12. The activation of histamine-sensitive sites of the ventral hippocampus modulates the consolidation of a learned active avoidance response in rats.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Edgardo O; Banzan, Arturo M

    2008-05-16

    Previous evidence from our laboratory has shown that histamine receptors located into the ventral hippocampus modulate learning and memory processes. Stimulation of histamine hippocampal sensitive receptors during the acquisition phase of a conditioned avoidance response to an ultrasonic tone was able to increase latency to escape and impair memory in the rat. Histamine application into the same hippocampal region also impaired the evocation of the response. The purpose of the present work was to evaluate if histaminergic neuron circuits have participation on the consolidation processes of the conditioned avoiding response. Male adult rats were implanted into the ventral hippocampus with microinjection cannulae and subjected consecutively to 2 sessions of 8 trials to learn an avoidance response after an ultrasonic tone of 40 kHz was on, as it was previously described. Immediately after the training period was over, or 15 min after, different groups of rats were microinjected with saline, histamine or a combination of histamine H(1)- or H(2)-receptor antagonists. Twenty four hours later, animals were tested in a new session for the retention of the avoiding response. Results showed that histamine treatment interfered with the consolidation of the avoiding response, affecting latency and the memory efficiency. This interference was mediated by histamine H(1)- and H(2)-receptors, since pretreatment with pyrilamine or ranitidine blocked the inhibitory effect of histamine. Results support the concept that histaminergic neurotransmission modulates learning and memory by affecting selectively the three stages of learning.

  13. Effect of endogenous histamine in the ventral hippocampus on fear memory deficits induced by scopolamine as evaluated by step-through avoidance response in rats.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chaoyang; Shen, Yao; Xu, Lisha; Zhu, Yuanyuan; Zhuge, Zhenbin; Huang, Yuwen; Henk, Timmerman; Rob, Leurs; Wei, Erqing; Chen, Zhong

    2006-04-15

    In the present study, the effects of endogenous histamine in the ventral hippocampus on fear memory deficits induced by scopolamine were investigated as evaluated by step-through avoidance response in adult male rats. Bilateral ventral hippocampal injection of scopolamine (i.h., 2, 5 microg/site) significantly produced depressant effects on the active avoidance response in a dose-dependent manner. Histamine H(3)-antagonist clobenpropit (5, 10 microg/site) significantly ameliorated the fear memory deficits induced by scopolamine in a dose-dependent manner. Its procognitive effect was completely antagonized by immepip (10 microg/site), a selective histamine H(3)-agonist. Both histamine H(1)-antagonist pyrilamine and H(2)-antagonist cimetidine, also inhibited the procognitive effects of clobenpropit. Additionally, the procognitive effects of clobenpropit on the fear memory deficits induced by scopolamine were significantly potentiated by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of histidine, a precursor of histamine, but markedly reversed by i.h. injection of alpha-fluoromethylhistidine (FMH, 10 microg/site), a selective and potent histidine decarboxylase inhibitor. It is concluded that the increased endogenous histamine release in the ventral hippocampus ameliorates the scopolamine-induced fear memory deficits, and its action is mainly mediated by histamine presynaptic H(3)-receptors and postsynaptic H(1)- and H(2)-receptors.

  14. Deficit in sustained attention following selective cholinergic lesion of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus in rat, as measured with both post-mortem immunocytochemistry and in vivo PET imaging with [¹⁸F]fluoroethoxybenzovesamicol.

    PubMed

    Cyr, Marilyn; Parent, Maxime J; Mechawar, Naguib; Rosa-Neto, Pedro; Soucy, Jean-Paul; Clark, Stewart D; Aghourian, Meghmik; Bedard, Marc-Andre

    2015-02-01

    Cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) are thought to be involved in cognitive functions such as sustained attention, and lesions of these cells have been documented in patients showing fluctuations of attention such as in Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy Body. Animal studies have been conducted to support the role of these cells in attention, but the lesions induced in these animals were not specific to the cholinergic PPTg system, and were assessed by post-mortem methods remotely performed from the in vivo behavioral assessments. Moreover, sustained attention have not been directly assessed in these studies, but rather deduced from indirect measurements. In the present study, rats were assessed on the 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT), and a specific measure of variability in response latency was created. Animals were observed both before and after selective lesion of the PPTg cholinergic neurons. Brain cholinergic denervation was assessed both in vivo and ex vivo, using PET imaging with [(18)F]fluoroethoxybenzovesamicol ([(18)F]FEOBV) and immunocytochemistry respectively. Results showed that the number of correct responses and variability in response latency in the 5-CSRTT were the only behavioral measures affected following the lesions. These measures were found to correlate significantly with the number of PPTg cholinergic cells, as measured with both [(18)F]FEOBV and immunocytochemistry. This suggests the primary role of the PPTg cholinergic cells in sustained attention. It also allows to reliably use the PET imaging with [(18)F]FEOBV for the purpose of assessing the relationship between behavior and cholinergic innervation in living animals. PMID:25257103

  15. Glutamic acid and histamine-sensitive neurons in the ventral hippocampus and the basolateral amygdala of the rat: functional interaction on memory and learning processes.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Edgardo O; Ruarte, Marcela B

    2004-07-01

    The possibility of a functional interaction between the amygdala and the ventral hippocampus during learning of a conditioned avoidance response when both brain structures are chemically stimulated with glutamic acid and/or histamine receptor antagonists (pyrilamine, H1-histamine antagonist and ranitidine, H2-histamine receptor antagonist) was studied in rats. Adult male rats were stereotaxically implanted with guide cannulae into the basolateral amygdala (A) and the ventral hippocampus (H). Seventy-two hours after the implant, rats were microinjected with 1 microl of saline solution, 10 nmol glutamic acid or 45 nmol of histamine receptor antagonists in several brain structures combinations. These combinations were: HsalAsal; HmsgAmsg; HmsgAsal; HsalAmsg; HpyrAmsg; HmsgApyr; HranAmsg and HmsgAran. Five minutes after the injection, rats were subjected to a learning task which consisted to avoid an electric shock applied to the animal's feet when an ultrasonic tone of 40 kHz is on for 30 s. Results showed that the simultaneous application of glutamic acid into hippocampus and amygdala interfered with the latency to escape and memory consolidation process. Stimulation with glutamic acid alone into the hippocampus or into the amygdala (HsalAmsg and HmsgAsal groups) interfered slightly with latency but impaired the consolidation process. Blocking the H1-histamine receptors of the amygdala affected slightly latency and efficiency of learning, meanwhile the blocking of H2-histamine receptors interfered with both parameters. Blocking H1- and H2-histamine receptors of the hippocampus significantly impaired latency and efficiency of learning of rats stimulated with glutamic acid into the amygdala. In conclusion, the experimental evidence suggests that hippocampal glutamic acid-neurons functionally interact with histamine-neurons in the basolateral amygdala to modulate memory and learning process. PMID:15196788

  16. Ventral Midbrain NTS1 Receptors Mediate Conditioned Reward Induced by the Neurotensin Analog, D-Tyr[11]neurotensin

    PubMed Central

    Rouibi, Khalil; Bose, Poulomee; Rompré, Pierre-Paul; Warren, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed at characterizing the mechanisms by which neurotensin (NT) is acting within the ventral midbrain to induce a psychostimulant-like effect. In a first experiment, we determine which subtype(s) of NT receptors is/are involved in the reward-inducing effect of ventral midbrain microinjection of NT using the conditioned place-preference (CPP) paradigm. In a second study, we used in vitro patch clamp recording technique to characterize the NT receptor subtype(s) involved in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission (excitatory post-synaptic current, EPSC) in ventral tegmental neurons that expressed (Ih+), or do not express (Ih-), a hyperpolarization-activated cationic current. Behavioral studies were performed with adult male Long-Evans rats while electrophysiological recordings were obtained from brain slices of rat pups aged between 14 and 21 days. Results show that bilateral ventral midbrain microinjections of 1.5 and 3 nmol of D-Tyr[11]NT induced a CPP that was respectively attenuated or blocked by co-injection with 1.2 nmol of the NTS1/NTS2 antagonist, SR142948, and the preferred NTS1 antagonist, SR48692. In electrophysiological experiments, D-Tyr[11]NT (0.01-0.5 μM) attenuated glutamatergic EPSC in Ih+ but enhanced it in Ih- neurons. The attenuation effect (Ih+ neurons) was blocked by SR142948 (0.1 μM) while the enhancement effect (Ih- neurons) was blocked by both antagonists (0.1 μM). These findings suggest that (i) NT is acting on ventral midbrain NTS1 receptors to induce a rewarding effect and (ii) that this psychostimulant-like effect could be due to a direct action of NT on dopamine neurons and/or an enhancement of glutamatergic inputs to non-dopamine (Ih-) neurons. PMID:26733785

  17. Discovering the mechanisms underlying serotonin (5-HT)2A and 5-HT2C receptor regulation following nicotine withdrawal in rats.

    PubMed

    Zaniewska, Magdalena; Alenina, Natalia; Wydra, Karolina; Fröhler, Sebastian; Kuśmider, Maciej; McCreary, Andrew C; Chen, Wei; Bader, Michael; Filip, Małgorzata

    2015-08-01

    We have previously demonstrated that nicotine withdrawal produces depression-like behavior and that serotonin (5-HT)2A/2C receptor ligands modulate that mood-like state. In the present study we aimed to identify the mechanisms (changes in radioligand binding, transcription or RNA-editing) related to such a behavioral outcome. Rats received vehicle or nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, s.c.) for 5 days in home cages. Brain 5-HT2A/2C receptors were analyzed on day 3 of nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal increased [(3)H]ketanserin binding to 5-HT2A receptors in the ventral tegmental area and ventral dentate gyrus, yet decreased binding in the nucleus accumbens shell. Reduction in [(3)H]mesulergine binding to 5-HT2C receptors was seen in the ventral dentate gyrus. Profound decrease in the 5-HT2A receptor transcript level was noted in the hippocampus and ventral tegmental area. Out of five 5-HT2C receptor mRNA editing sites, deep sequencing data showed a reduction in editing at the E site and a trend toward reduction at the C site in the hippocampus. In the ventral tegmental area, a reduction for the frequency of CD 5-HT2C receptor transcript was seen. These results show that the reduction in the 5-HT2A receptor transcript level may be an auto-regulatory response to the increased receptor density in the hippocampus and ventral tegmental area during nicotine withdrawal, while decreased 5-HT2C receptor mRNA editing may explain the reduction in receptor labeling in the hippocampus. Serotonin (5-HT)2A/2C receptor ligands alleviate depression-like state in nicotine-withdrawn rats. Here, we show that the reduction in 5-HT2A receptor transcript level may be an auto-regulatory response to the increased receptor number in the hippocampus and ventral tegmental area during nicotine withdrawal, while attenuated 5-HT2C receptor mRNA editing in the hippocampus might explain reduced inverse agonist binding to 5-HT2C receptor and suggest a shift toward a population of more active receptors. 5

  18. Basolateral Amygdala Projections to Ventral Hippocampus Modulate the Consolidation of Footshock, but Not Contextual, Learning in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huff, Mary L.; Emmons, Eric B.; Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; LaLumiere, Ryan T.

    2016-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulates memory consolidation for a variety of types of learning, whereas other brain regions play more selective roles in specific kinds of learning suggesting a role for differential consolidation via distinct BLA pathways. The ventral hippocampus (VH), an efferent target of the BLA, has been suggested to…

  19. Regulation of σ-1 Receptors and Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperones in the Brain of Methamphetamine Self-Administering Rats

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Teruo; Justinova, Zuzana; Hayashi, Eri; Cormaci, Gianfrancesco; Mori, Tomohisa; Tsai, Shang-Yi; Barnes, Chanel; Goldberg, Steven R.

    2010-01-01

    σ-1 Receptors are endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones that are implicated in the neuroplasticity associated with psychostimulant abuse. We immunocytochemically examined the distribution of σ-1 receptors in the brain of drug-naive rats and then examined the dynamics of σ-1 receptors and other ER chaperones in specific brain subregions of rats that self-administered methamphetamine, received methamphetamine passively, or received only saline injections. σ-1 Receptors were found to be expressed in moderate to high levels in the olfactory bulb, striatum, nucleus accumbens shell, olfactory tubercle, amygdala, hippocampus, red nucleus, ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra, and locus ceruleus. Methamphetamine, whether self-administered or passively received, significantly elevated ER chaperones including the σ-1 receptor, BiP, and calreticulin in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra. In the olfactory bulb, however, only the σ-1 receptor chaperone was increased, and this increase occurred only in rats that actively self-administered methamphetamine. Consistent with an increase in σ-1 receptors, extracellular signal-regulated kinase was found to be activated and protein kinase A attenuated in the olfactory bulb of methamphetamine self-administering rats. σ-1 Receptors in the olfactory bulb were found to be colocalized with dopamine D1 receptors. These results indicate that methamphetamine induces ER stress in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra in rats whether the drug is received actively or passively. However, the changes seen only in rats that actively self-administered methamphetamine suggest that D1 and σ-1 receptors in the olfactory bulb might play an important role in the motivational conditioning/learning aspects of methamphetamine self-administration in the rat. PMID:19940104

  20. Ventral Medial Thalamic Nucleus Promotes Synchronization of Increased High Beta Oscillatory Activity in the Basal Ganglia–Thalamocortical Network of the Hemiparkinsonian Rat

    PubMed Central

    Brazhnik, Elena; McCoy, Alex J.; Novikov, Nikolay; Hatch, Christina E.

    2016-01-01

    Loss of dopamine is associated with increased synchronization and oscillatory activity in the subthalamic nucleus and basal ganglia (BG) output nuclei in both Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and animal models of PD. We have previously observed substantial increases in spectral power in the 25–40 Hz range in LFPs recorded in the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) and motor cortex (MCx) in the hemiparkinsonian rat during treadmill walking. The current study explores the hypothesis that SNpr output entrains activity in the ventral medial thalamus (VM) in this frequency range after loss of dopamine, which in turn contributes to entrainment of the MCx and BG. Electrode bundles were implanted in MCx, SNpr, and VM of rats with unilateral dopamine cell lesions. Spiking and LFP activity were recorded during epochs of rest and walking on a circular treadmill. After dopamine cell lesion, 30–36 Hz LFP activity in the VM became more robust during treadmill walking and more coherent with LFP activity in the same range in MCx and SNpr. Infusion of the GABAA antagonist picrotoxin into the VM reduced both high beta power in MCx and SNpr and coherence between MCx and SNpr while temporarily restoring walking ability. Infusion of the GABAA agonist muscimol into the VM also reduced MCx–SNpr coherence and beta power but failed to improve walking. These results support the view that synchronized neuronal activity in the VM contributes to the emergence of high beta oscillations throughout the BG-thalamocortical network in the behaving parkinsonian rat. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Parkinson's disease symptoms are associated with dramatic increases in synchronized beta range (15–35 Hz) oscillatory local field activity in several brain areas involved in motor control, but the mechanisms promoting this activity and its functional significance remain unresolved. This oscillatory activity can be recorded in awake behaving rats with unilateral dopamine cell lesions using chronically

  1. Chronic Administration of the Neurotrophic Agent Cerebrolysin Ameliorates the Behavioral and Morphological Changes Induced by Neonatal Ventral Hippocampus Lesion in a Rat Model of Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Roque, Rubén Antonio; Ramos, Brenda; Tecuatl, Carolina; Juárez, Ismael; Adame, Anthony; de la Cruz, Fidel; Zamudio, Sergio; Mena, Raúl; Rockenstein, Edward; Masliah, Eliezer; Flores, Gonzalo

    2012-01-01

    Neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (nVHL) in rats has been widely used as a neurodevelopmental model to mimic schizophrenia-like behaviors. Recently, we reported that nVHLs result in dendritic retraction and spine loss in prefrontal cortex (PFC) pyramidal neurons and medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Cerebrolysin (Cbl), a neurotrophic peptide mixture, has been reported to ameliorate the synaptic and dendritic pathology in models of aging and neurodevelopmental disorder such as Rett syndrome. This study sought to determine whether Cbl was capable of reducing behavioral and neuronal alterations in nVHL rats. The behavioral analysis included locomotor activity induced by novel environment and amphetamine, social interaction, and sensoriomotor gating. The morphological evaluation included dendritic analysis by using the Golgi-Cox procedure and stereology to quantify the total cell number in PFC and NAcc. Behavioral data show a reduction in the hyperresponsiveness to novel environment- and amphetamine-induced locomotion, with an increase in the total time spent in social interactions and in prepulse inhibition in Cbl-treated nVHL rats. In addition, neuropathological analysis of the limbic regions also showed amelioration of dendritic retraction and spine loss in Cbl-treated nVHL rats. Cbl treatment also ameliorated dendritic pathology and neuronal loss in the PFC and NAcc in nVHL rats. This study demonstrates that Cbl promotes behavioral improvements and recovery of dendritic neuronal damage in postpubertal nVHL rats and suggests that Cbl may have neurotrophic effects in this neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia. These findings support the possibility that Cbl has beneficial effects in the management of schizophrenia symptoms. PMID:21932359

  2. Chronic administration of the neurotrophic agent cerebrolysin ameliorates the behavioral and morphological changes induced by neonatal ventral hippocampus lesion in a rat model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Roque, Rubén Antonio; Ramos, Brenda; Tecuatl, Carolina; Juárez, Ismael; Adame, Anthony; de la Cruz, Fidel; Zamudio, Sergio; Mena, Raúl; Rockenstein, Edward; Masliah, Eliezer; Flores, Gonzalo

    2012-01-01

    Neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (nVHL) in rats has been widely used as a neurodevelopmental model to mimic schizophrenia-like behaviors. Recently, we reported that nVHLs result in dendritic retraction and spine loss in prefrontal cortex (PFC) pyramidal neurons and medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Cerebrolysin (Cbl), a neurotrophic peptide mixture, has been reported to ameliorate the synaptic and dendritic pathology in models of aging and neurodevelopmental disorder such as Rett syndrome. This study sought to determine whether Cbl was capable of reducing behavioral and neuronal alterations in nVHL rats. The behavioral analysis included locomotor activity induced by novel environment and amphetamine, social interaction, and sensoriomotor gating. The morphological evaluation included dendritic analysis by using the Golgi-Cox procedure and stereology to quantify the total cell number in PFC and NAcc. Behavioral data show a reduction in the hyperresponsiveness to novel environment- and amphetamine-induced locomotion, with an increase in the total time spent in social interactions and in prepulse inhibition in Cbl-treated nVHL rats. In addition, neuropathological analysis of the limbic regions also showed amelioration of dendritic retraction and spine loss in Cbl-treated nVHL rats. Cbl treatment also ameliorated dendritic pathology and neuronal loss in the PFC and NAcc in nVHL rats. This study demonstrates that Cbl promotes behavioral improvements and recovery of dendritic neuronal damage in postpubertal nVHL rats and suggests that Cbl may have neurotrophic effects in this neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia. These findings support the possibility that Cbl has beneficial effects in the management of schizophrenia symptoms.

  3. Ventral Subiculum Stimulation Promotes Persistent Hyperactivity of Dopamine Neurons and Facilitates Behavioral Effects of Cocaine.

    PubMed

    Glangetas, Christelle; Fois, Giulia R; Jalabert, Marion; Lecca, Salvatore; Valentinova, Kristina; Meye, Frank J; Diana, Marco; Faure, Philippe; Mameli, Manuel; Caille, Stéphanie; Georges, François

    2015-12-15

    The ventral subiculum (vSUB) plays a key role in addiction, and identifying the neuronal circuits and synaptic mechanisms by which vSUB alters the excitability of dopamine neurons is a necessary step to understand the motor changes induced by cocaine. Here, we report that high-frequency stimulation of the vSUB (HFSvSUB) over-activates ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in vivo and triggers long-lasting modifications of synaptic transmission measured ex vivo. This potentiation is caused by NMDA-dependent plastic changes occurring in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Finally, we report that the modification of the BNST-VTA neural circuits induced by HFSvSUB potentiates locomotor activity induced by a sub-threshold dose of cocaine. Our findings unravel a neuronal circuit encoding behavioral effects of cocaine in rats and highlight the importance of adaptive modifications in the BNST, a structure that influences motivated behavior as well as maladaptive behaviors associated with addiction. PMID:26628379

  4. COMPARISON OF THE EFFECTS OF TWO AR ANTAGONISTS ON ANDROGEN DEPENDENT TISSUES WEIGHTS AND HORMONE LEVELS IN MALE RATS AND ON EXPRESSION OF THREE ANDROGEN DEPENDENT GENES IN THE VENTRAL PROSTATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Comparison of the effects of two AR antagonists on tissue weights and hormone levels in male rats and on expression of three androgen dependent genes in the ventral prostate
    VS Wilson, CR Wood, GA Held, CS Lambright, JS Ostby, JR Furr, LE Gray Jr. US EPA, ORD, NHEERL, RTD, ...

  5. Effects of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on the ventral prostate of rats during the peri-pubertal, pubertal and adult stage.

    PubMed

    Pochettino, Arístides A; Hapon, María Belén; Biolatto, Silvana M; Madariaga, María José; Jahn, Graciela A; Konjuh, Cintia N

    2016-10-01

    The herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is used on a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic broadleaf weeds. 2,4-D has been shown to produce a wide range of adverse effects on animal and human health. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of pre- and postnatal exposure to 2,4-D on rat ventral prostate (VP). Pregnant rats were exposed daily to oral doses of 70 mg/kg/day of 2,4-D from 16 days of gestation up to 23 days after delivery. Then, the treated groups (n = 8) were fed with a 2,4-D added diet until sacrificed by decapitation on postnatal day (PND) 45, 60, or 90. Morphometric studies were performed and androgen receptor (AR) protein levels in the VP were determined. AR, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-1R) mRNA expression in the VP along with testosterone (T), dihydroxytestosterone (DHT), growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1 serum levels were also determined to ascertain whether these parameters were differentially affected. Results of this study showed that 2,4-D exposure during gestation and until adulthood altered development of the prostate gland in male rats, delaying it at early ages while increasing its size in adults, indicate that 2,4-D could behave as endocrine disruptors (EDs). PMID:26759115

  6. Noradrenergic alpha-2 receptor modulators in the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis – effects on anxiety behavior in postpartum and virgin female rats

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Carl D.; Piasecki, Christopher C.; Weera, Marcus; Olszewicz, Joshua; Lonstein, Joseph S.

    2014-01-01

    Emotional hyper-reactivity can inhibit maternal responsiveness in female rats and other animals. Maternal behavior in postpartum rats is disrupted by increasing norepinephrine release in the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTv) with the α2-autoreceptor antagonist, yohimbine, or the more selective α2-autoreceptor antagonist, idazoxan (Smith et al., 2012). Because high noradrenergic activity in the BSTv can also increase anxiety-related behaviors, increased anxiety may underlie the disrupted mothering of dams given yohimbine or idazoxan. To assess this possibility, anxiety-related behaviors in an elevated plus maze were assessed in postpartum rats after administration of yohimbine or idazoxan. It was further assessed if the α2-autoreceptor agonist clonidine (which decreases norepinephrine release) would, conversely, reduce dams’ anxiety. Groups of diestrous virgins were also examined. It was found that peripheral or intra-BSTv yohimbine did increase anxiety-related behavior in postpartum females. However, BSTv infusion of idazoxan did not reproduce yohimbine’s anxiogenic effects and anxiety was not reduced by peripheral or intra-BSTv clonidine. Because yohimbine is a weak 5HT1A receptor agonist, other groups of females received BSTv infusion of the 5HT1A receptor agonist 8OH-DPAT, but it did not alter their anxiety-related behavior. Lastly, levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in tissue punches from the BSTv did not differ between postpartum and diestrous rats, but serotonin turnover was lower in mothers. These results suggest that the impaired maternal behavior after BSTv infusion of yohimbine or idazoxan cannot both be readily explained by an increase in dams’ anxiety, and that BSTv α2-autoreceptor modulation alone has little influence anxiety-related behaviors in postpartum or diestrous rats. PMID:23796237

  7. Dissociation of function between the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus in spatial learning abilities of the rat: a within-subject, within-task comparison of reference and working spatial memory.

    PubMed

    Pothuizen, Helen H J; Zhang, Wei-Ning; Jongen-Rêlo, Ana L; Feldon, Joram; Yee, Benjamin K

    2004-02-01

    Lesions restricted to the dorsal, but not the ventral, hippocampus severely impair the formation of spatial memory. This dissociation was first demonstrated using the water maze task. The present study investigated whether the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus are involved differentially in spatial reference and spatial working memory using a four-baited/four-unbaited version of the eight-arm radial maze task. This test allows the concurrent evaluation of reference and working memory with respect to the same set of spatial cues, and thereby enables a within-subjects within-task comparison between the two forms of memory functions. Rats with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid-induced excitotoxic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus, ventral hippocampus or both were compared with sham and unoperated controls. We showed that dorsal lesions were as effective as complete lesions in severely disrupting both reference and working spatial memory, whereas rats with ventral lesions performed at a level comparable with controls. These results lend further support to the existence of a functional dissociation between the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus, with the former being preferentially involved in spatial learning.

  8. Effects of maternal separation, early handling, and gonadal sex on regional metabolic capacity of the preweanling rat brain.

    PubMed

    Spivey, Jaclyn M; Padilla, Eimeira; Shumake, Jason D; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    2011-01-01

    This is the first study to assess the effects of mother-infant separation on regional metabolic capacity in the preweanling rat brain. Mother-infant separation is generally known to be stressful for rat pups. Holtzman adolescent rats show a depressive-like behavioral phenotype after maternal separation during the preweanling period. However, information is lacking on the effects of maternal separation on the brains of rat pups. We addressed this issue by mapping the brains of preweanling Holtzman rat pups using cytochrome oxidase histochemistry, which reflects long-term changes in brain metabolic capacity, following two weeks of repeated, prolonged maternal separation, and compared this to both early handled and non-handled pups. Quantitative image analysis revealed that maternal separation reduced cytochrome oxidase activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens shell. Maternal separation reduced prefrontal cytochrome oxidase to a greater degree in female pups than in males. Early handling reduced cytochrome oxidase activity in the posterior parietal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and subiculum, but increased cytochrome oxidase activity in the lateral frontal cortex. The sex-dependent effects of early handling on cytochrome oxidase activity were limited to the medial prefrontal cortex. Regardless of separation group, females had greater cytochrome oxidase activity in the habenula and ventral tegmental area compared to males. These findings suggest that early life mother-infant separation results in dysfunction of prefrontal and mesolimbic regions in the preweanling rat brain that may contribute to behavioral changes later in life.

  9. Gudden's dorsal tegmental nucleus is activated in carbachol-induced active (REM) sleep and active wakefulness.

    PubMed

    Torterolo, Pablo; Sampogna, Sharon; Morales, Francisco R; Chase, Michael H

    2002-07-19

    Previous studies have shown that GABAergic processes in the ponto-mesencephalic region of the brainstem are involved in the generation of wakefulness and active sleep (AS). The dorsal and ventral tegmental nuclei of Gudden (DTN and VTN, respectively) are known to contain a large population of GABAergic neurons. In the present study, utilizing Fos immunoreactivity as a marker of neuronal activity, it was determined that GABAergic DTN pars dorsalis neurons are active during active wakefulness and AS induced by carbachol, but not during quiet wakefulness or quiet sleep. In contrast, no differences in the number of Fos immunoreactive neurons were observed in the DTN pars ventralis and VTN across behavioral states.

  10. Effects of neonatal allopregnanolone manipulations and early maternal separation on adult alcohol intake and monoamine levels in ventral striatum of male rats.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Changes in endogenous neonatal levels of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone (AlloP) as well as a single 24h period of early maternal separation (EMS) on postnatal day (PND) 9 affect the development of the central nervous system (CNS), causing adolescent/adult alterations including systems and behavioural traits that could be related to vulnerability to drug abuse. In rats, some behavioural alterations caused by EMS can be neutralised by previous administration of AlloP. Thus, the aim of the present work is to analyse if manipulations of neonatal AlloP could increase adult alcohol consumption, and if EMS could change these effects. We administered AlloP or finasteride, a 5α-reductase inhibitor, from PND5 to PND9, followed by 24h of EMS at PND9. At PND70 we measured alcohol consumption using a two-bottle free-choice model (ethanol 10% (v/v)+glucose 3% (w/v), and glucose 3% (w/v)) for 15days. Ventral striatum samples were obtained to determine monoamine levels. Results revealed that neonatal finasteride increased both ethanol and glucose consumption, and AlloP increased alcohol intake compared with neonatal vehicle-injected animals. The differences between neonatal groups in alcohol consumption were not found in EMS animals. In accordance, both finasteride and AlloP animals that did not suffer EMS showed lower levels of dopamine and serotonin in ventral striatum. Taken together, these results reveal that neonatal neurosteroids alterations affect alcohol intake; an effect which can be modified by subsequent EMS. Thus, these data corroborate the importance of the relationship between neonatal neurosteroids and neonatal stress for the correct CNS development.

  11. Effects of neonatal allopregnanolone manipulations and early maternal separation on adult alcohol intake and monoamine levels in ventral striatum of male rats.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Changes in endogenous neonatal levels of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone (AlloP) as well as a single 24h period of early maternal separation (EMS) on postnatal day (PND) 9 affect the development of the central nervous system (CNS), causing adolescent/adult alterations including systems and behavioural traits that could be related to vulnerability to drug abuse. In rats, some behavioural alterations caused by EMS can be neutralised by previous administration of AlloP. Thus, the aim of the present work is to analyse if manipulations of neonatal AlloP could increase adult alcohol consumption, and if EMS could change these effects. We administered AlloP or finasteride, a 5α-reductase inhibitor, from PND5 to PND9, followed by 24h of EMS at PND9. At PND70 we measured alcohol consumption using a two-bottle free-choice model (ethanol 10% (v/v)+glucose 3% (w/v), and glucose 3% (w/v)) for 15days. Ventral striatum samples were obtained to determine monoamine levels. Results revealed that neonatal finasteride increased both ethanol and glucose consumption, and AlloP increased alcohol intake compared with neonatal vehicle-injected animals. The differences between neonatal groups in alcohol consumption were not found in EMS animals. In accordance, both finasteride and AlloP animals that did not suffer EMS showed lower levels of dopamine and serotonin in ventral striatum. Taken together, these results reveal that neonatal neurosteroids alterations affect alcohol intake; an effect which can be modified by subsequent EMS. Thus, these data corroborate the importance of the relationship between neonatal neurosteroids and neonatal stress for the correct CNS development. PMID:27090561

  12. The ventral tegmentum and dopamine: A new wave of diversity.

    PubMed

    Barrot, M

    2014-12-12

    Projection systems arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the substantia nigra (SN) have a critical role in a broad range of functions, as well as in the etiology, symptoms and treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Mostly studied for its dopamine neurons, the ventral tegmentum is in fact heterogeneous at cellular and functional levels. This special issue of Neuroscience gathered some experts in the field to review the connectivity of the ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic complex, its cellular heterogeneity with attention given to glutamate neurons, the D2 autoreceptor and the cholinergic controls of dopamine activity, the influence of neurotrophins, the controls of bursting activity and the heterogeneity of neuronal activity across traits and states, the pedunculopontine tegmental and the sensory controls of dopamine activity, the sex-dependent diversity, the links between circadian and dopamine systems, the functional antero-posterior heterogeneity of the VTA and the role of its GABA tail (tVTA/rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg)), the functional heterogeneity of the VTA outputs, the place of dopamine in cortico-basal ganglia circuitry, the different roles of the D1 and D2 striatal pathways and the role of dopamine in associative learning and memory. Recent progress also highlights the need for molecular markers of functional subpopulations within the ventral tegmentum, for deeper developmental knowledge of this region, and for a single cell level of connectomic. It also raises the question of inter-individual, sex, strain and species heterogeneity, and conversely the question of data generalization in a context of human pathology models, which warrant comparative studies and translational effort. PMID:25453764

  13. Enhanced consumption of salient solutions following pedunculopontine tegmental lesions

    PubMed Central

    MacLaren, Duncan AA; Markovic, Tamara; Daniels, Derek; Clark, Stewart D

    2014-01-01

    Rats with lesions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) reliably overconsume high concentration sucrose solution. This effect is thought to be indicative of response-perseveration or loss of behavioral control in conditions of high excitement. While these theories have anatomical and behavioral support, they have never been explicitly tested. Here, we used a contact lickometer to examine the microstructure of drinking behavior to gain insight into the behavioral changes during overconsumption. Rats received either excitotoxic (ibotenic acid) damage to all PPTg neuronal subpopulations or selective depletion of the cholinergic neuronal sub-population (Dtx-UII lesions). We offered rats a variety of pleasant, neutral and aversive tastants to assess the generalizability and specificity of the overconsumption effect. Ibotenic lesioned rats consumed significantly more 20% sucrose than sham controls, and did so through licking significantly more times. However, the behavioral microstructure during overconsumption was unaffected by the lesion and showed no indications of response-perseveration. Furthermore, the overconsumption effect did not generalize to highly consumed saccharin. In contrast, while only consuming small amounts of quinine solution, ibotenic lesioned rats had significantly more licks and bursts for this tastant. Selective depletion of cholinergic PPTg neurons had no effect on consumption of any tastant. We then assessed whether it is the salience of the solution which determines overconsumption by ibotenic lesioned rats. While maintained on free-food, ibotenic lesioned rats had normal consumption of sucrose and hypertonic saline. After mild food deprivation ibotenic PPTg lesioned rats overconsumed 20% sucrose. Subsequently, after dietary induced sodium deficiency, lesioned rats consumed significantly more saline than controls. These results establish that it is the salience of the solution which is the determining factor leading to

  14. Enhanced consumption of salient solutions following pedunculopontine tegmental lesions.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, D A A; Markovic, T; Daniels, D; Clark, S D

    2015-01-22

    Rats with lesions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) reliably overconsume high concentration sucrose solution. This effect is thought to be indicative of response-perseveration or loss of behavioral control in conditions of high excitement. While these theories have anatomical and behavioral support, they have never been explicitly tested. Here, we used a contact lickometer to examine the microstructure of drinking behavior to gain insight into the behavioral changes during overconsumption. Rats received either excitotoxic (ibotenic acid) damage to all PPTg neuronal subpopulations or selective depletion of the cholinergic neuronal sub-population (diphtheria toxin-urotensin II (Dtx-UII) lesions). We offered rats a variety of pleasant, neutral and aversive tastants to assess the generalizability and specificity of the overconsumption effect. Ibotenic-lesioned rats consumed significantly more 20% sucrose than sham controls, and did so through licking significantly more times. However, the behavioral microstructure during overconsumption was unaffected by the lesion and showed no indications of response-perseveration. Furthermore, the overconsumption effect did not generalize to highly consumed saccharin. In contrast, while only consuming small amounts of quinine solution, ibotenic-lesioned rats had significantly more licks and bursts for this tastant. Selective depletion of cholinergic PPTg neurons had no effect on consumption of any tastant. We then assessed whether it is the salience of the solution which determines overconsumption by ibotenic-lesioned rats. While maintained on free-food, ibotenic-lesioned rats had normal consumption of sucrose and hypertonic saline. After mild food deprivation ibotenic PPTg-lesioned rats overconsumed 20% sucrose. Subsequently, after dietary-induced sodium deficiency, lesioned rats consumed significantly more saline than controls. These results establish that it is the salience of the solution which is the determining

  15. Role of enhanced noradrenergic transmission within the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in visceral pain-induced aversion in rats.

    PubMed

    Deyama, Satoshi; Katayama, Takahiro; Kondoh, Naoto; Nakagawa, Takayuki; Kaneko, Shuji; Yamaguchi, Taku; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro; Minami, Masabumi

    2009-02-11

    Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. We demonstrated the crucial role of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in the negative affective component of somatic and visceral pain induced by intraplantar formalin and intraperitoneal acetic acid injections, respectively, in rats. Recently, we reported the involvement of enhanced noradrenergic transmission via beta-adrenoceptors within the ventral BNST (vBNST) in formalin-induced aversion. Here, we examined the role of intra-vBNST noradrenergic transmission in the negative affective component of visceral pain induced by intraperitoneal acetic acid injection. In vivo microdialysis showed that extracellular noradrenaline levels within the vBNST significantly increased after intraperitoneal acetic acid injection. Using a conditioned place aversion (CPA) test, we found that intra-vBNST injection of timolol, a beta-adrenoceptor antagonist, dose-dependently attenuated the acetic acid-induced CPA without reducing nociceptive behaviors. These results suggest that enhanced noradrenergic transmission via beta-adrenoceptors within the vBNST plays a pivotal role in the negative affective, but not sensory, component of visceral pain.

  16. Co-transplantation of carotid body and ventral mesencephalic cells as an alternative approach towards functional restoration in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats: implications for Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Shukla, S; Agrawal, A K; Chaturvedi, R K; Seth, K; Srivastava, N; Sinha, C; Shukla, Y; Khanna, V K; Seth, P K

    2004-10-01

    Exogenous administration of various neurotrophic factors has been shown to protect neurons in animal model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Several attempts are being made to search a tissue source simultaneously expressing many of these neurotrophic factors. Carotid body (CB) contains oxygen-sensitive glomus cells rich in dopamine (DA) and expresses glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3. We have attempted to study the functional restoration following co-transplantation of CB cells and ventral mesencephalic cells (VMC) in a 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rat model of PD. A significant recovery (p < 0.001) in d-amphetamine-induced circling behavior (80%) and spontaneous locomotor activity (85%) was evident in co-transplanted animals at 12 weeks post-transplantation as compared to lesioned animals. Similarly, a significant (p < 0.001) restoration was observed in DA-D(2) receptor binding (77%), striatal DA (87%) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) (85%) levels and nigral DA (75%) and DOPAC (74%) levels. Functional recovery was accompanied by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression and quantification of TH-positive cells by image analysis revealed a significant restoration in TH-immunoreactive (IR) fiber density in striatum, as well as TH-IR neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta in co-transplanted animals over VMC-transplanted animals. The result suggests that co-transplantation of CB cells along with VMC provides better and long-term functional restoration in the rat model of PD, possibly by supporting the survival of newly grafted cells as well as remaining host DA neurons. PMID:15447661

  17. [Organization of the pallidal projections of the rostromedial tegmental nucleus in the dog brain].

    PubMed

    Gorbachevskaya, A I

    2014-01-01

    The method of retrograde and anterograde transport of horse-radish peroxidase was used to study the organization of the projections of the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTN) to functionally distinct regions of pallidal structures of brain in dogs (n = 13). It was found that the fibers formed by the neurons of the limbic medial segments of RMTN rostral and caudal regions projected to the limbic pallidal regions--ventral globus pallidus and ventral pallidum. The reciprocal projections were detected between the ventral pallidum and medial segment of the rostral RMTN. These data indicate the possibility of the segregated conduction of the limbic information in the examined projection systems. However, in the majority of the pallidal structures, the convergence of the projection fibers originating from the neurons of functionally different parts of RMTN was observed. Thus, the projection fibers formed by the neurons of motor lateral and limbic medial parts of RMTN are directed to the limbic ventral segment of the globus pallidus and to the entopeduncular nucleus, which is innervated by the fibers formed by the neurons of functionally diverse structures. The possible pathways for conduction of functionally different information and its integration in the projection systems investigated are discussed. PMID:25823285

  18. Vomeronasal inputs to the rodent ventral striatum.

    PubMed

    Ubeda-Bañon, I; Novejarque, A; Mohedano-Moriano, A; Pro-Sistiaga, P; Insausti, R; Martinez-Garcia, F; Lanuza, E; Martinez-Marcos, A

    2008-03-18

    Vertebrates sense chemical signals through the olfactory and vomeronasal systems. In squamate reptiles, which possess the largest vomeronasal system of all vertebrates, the accessory olfactory bulb projects to the nucleus sphericus, which in turn projects to a portion of the ventral striatum known as olfactostriatum. Characteristically, the olfactostriatum is innervated by neuropeptide Y, tyrosine hydroxylase and serotonin immunoreactive fibers. In this study, the possibility that a structure similar to the reptilian olfactostriatum might be present in the mammalian brain has been investigated. Injections of dextran-amines have been aimed at the posteromedial cortical amygdaloid nucleus (the putative mammalian homologue of the reptilian nucleus sphericus) of rats and mice. The resulting anterograde labeling includes the olfactory tubercle, the islands of Calleja and sparse terminal fields in the shell of the nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum. This projection has been confirmed by injections of retrograde tracers into the ventral striato-pallidum that render retrograde labeling in the posteromedial cortical amygdaloid nucleus. The analysis of the distribution of neuropeptide Y, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and substance P in the ventral striato-pallidum of rats, and the anterograde tracing of the vomeronasal amygdaloid input in the same material confirm that, similar to reptiles, the ventral striatum of mammals includes a specialized vomeronasal structure (olfactory tubercle and islands of Calleja) displaying dense neuropeptide Y-, tyrosine hydroxylase- and serotonin-immunoreactive innervations. The possibility that parts of the accumbens shell and/or ventral pallidum could be included in the mammalian olfactostriatum cannot be discarded.

  19. Thoracic Hemisection in Rats Results in Initial Recovery Followed by a Late Decrement in Locomotor Movements, with Changes in Coordination Correlated with Serotonergic Innervation of the Ventral Horn

    PubMed Central

    Leszczyńska, Anna N.; Majczyński, Henryk; Wilczyński, Grzegorz M.; Sławińska, Urszula; Cabaj, Anna M.

    2015-01-01

    Lateral thoracic hemisection of the rodent spinal cord is a popular model of spinal cord injury, in which the effects of various treatments, designed to encourage locomotor recovery, are tested. Nevertheless, there are still inconsistencies in the literature concerning the details of spontaneous locomotor recovery after such lesions, and there is a lack of data concerning the quality of locomotion over a long time span after the lesion. In this study, we aimed to address some of these issues. In our experiments, locomotor recovery was assessed using EMG and CatWalk recordings and analysis. Our results showed that after hemisection there was paralysis in both hindlimbs, followed by a substantial recovery of locomotor movements, but even at the peak of recovery, which occurred about 4 weeks after the lesion, some deficits of locomotion remained present. The parameters that were abnormal included abduction, interlimb coordination and speed of locomotion. Locomotor performance was stable for several weeks, but about 3–4 months after hemisection secondary locomotor impairment was observed with changes in parameters, such as speed of locomotion, interlimb coordination, base of hindlimb support, hindlimb abduction and relative foot print distance. Histological analysis of serotonergic innervation at the lumbar ventral horn below hemisection revealed a limited restoration of serotonergic fibers on the ipsilateral side of the spinal cord, while on the contralateral side of the spinal cord it returned to normal. In addition, the length of these fibers on both sides of the spinal cord correlated with inter- and intralimb coordination. In contrast to data reported in the literature, our results show there is not full locomotor recovery after spinal cord hemisection. Secondary deterioration of certain locomotor functions occurs with time in hemisected rats, and locomotor recovery appears partly associated with reinnervation of spinal circuitry by serotonergic fibers. PMID

  20. Optogenetic excitation of LDTg axons in the VTA reinforces operant responding in rats.

    PubMed

    Steidl, Stephan; Veverka, Kevin

    2015-07-21

    The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg) importantly contributes to regulating firing activity of midbrain dopamine neurons and forebrain dopamine levels. Whether excitation of LDTg afferents to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can reinforce operant behavior in rats is not known. Rats received adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) and EYFP or EYFP only into the LDTg and were implanted with bilateral optic probes aimed at the VTA. LDTg ChR2-infected rats, but not LDTg EYFP-infected rats acquired lever pressing to obtain photostimulation into the VTA. During reversal testing, where contingencies between response levers were reversed, LDTg ChR2-infected rats learned to press the alternate, now reinforced, lever within one session. Following pretreatment with the broad-spectrum dopamine receptor blocker flupenthixol LDTg ChR2-infected rats initiated lever-pressing with normal latencies and lever-pressed normally for the first ten minutes of the session. Lever-pressing rates were strongly reduced thereafter. These results provide further support for an important role of LDTg inputs to the VTA in appetitively motivated behaviors. PMID:25911581

  1. Optogenetic excitation of LDTg axons in the VTA reinforces operant responding in rats.

    PubMed

    Steidl, Stephan; Veverka, Kevin

    2015-07-21

    The laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg) importantly contributes to regulating firing activity of midbrain dopamine neurons and forebrain dopamine levels. Whether excitation of LDTg afferents to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) can reinforce operant behavior in rats is not known. Rats received adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) and EYFP or EYFP only into the LDTg and were implanted with bilateral optic probes aimed at the VTA. LDTg ChR2-infected rats, but not LDTg EYFP-infected rats acquired lever pressing to obtain photostimulation into the VTA. During reversal testing, where contingencies between response levers were reversed, LDTg ChR2-infected rats learned to press the alternate, now reinforced, lever within one session. Following pretreatment with the broad-spectrum dopamine receptor blocker flupenthixol LDTg ChR2-infected rats initiated lever-pressing with normal latencies and lever-pressed normally for the first ten minutes of the session. Lever-pressing rates were strongly reduced thereafter. These results provide further support for an important role of LDTg inputs to the VTA in appetitively motivated behaviors.

  2. Long-term, calorie-restricted intake of a high-fat diet in rats reduces impulse control and ventral striatal D2 receptor signalling - two markers of addiction vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Adams, Wendy K; Sussman, Jacob L; Kaur, Sukhbir; D'souza, Anna M; Kieffer, Timothy J; Winstanley, Catharine A

    2015-12-01

    High impulsivity, mediated through ventral striatal dopamine signalling, represents an established risk factor for substance abuse, and may likewise confer vulnerability to pathological overeating. Mechanistically, the assumption is that trait impulsivity facilitates the initiation of maladaptive eating styles or choices. However, whether consumption of appetitive macronutrients themselves causes deficits in impulse control and striatal signalling, thereby contributing to cognitive changes permissive of overeating behaviour, has yet to be considered. We examined the effects of chronic maintenance on restricted equicaloric, but high-fat or high-sugar, diets (48 kcal/day; 60 kcal% fat or sucrose) on rats' performance in the five-choice serial reaction time task, indexing impulsivity and attention. Markers of dopamine signalling in the dorsal and ventral striatum, and plasma insulin and leptin levels, were also assessed. Rats maintained on the high-fat diet (HFD) were more impulsive, whereas the high-sugar diet (HSD) did not alter task performance. Importantly, body weight and hormone levels were similar between groups when behavioural changes were observed. Maintenance on HFD, but not on HSD, reduced the levels of dopamine D2 receptor (D2 R), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and phosphophorylated CREB (Ser133) proteins in the ventral, but not dorsal, striatum. D2 R expression in the ventral striatum also negatively correlated with impulsive responding, independently of diet. These data indicate that chronic exposure to even limited amounts of high-fat foods may weaken impulse control and alter neural signalling in a manner associated with vulnerability to addictions - findings that have serious implications for the propagation of uncontrolled eating behaviour in obesity and binge-eating disorder.

  3. Dismantling the Papez circuit for memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Vann, Seralynne D

    2013-06-25

    Over the last 50 years, anatomical models of memory have repeatedly highlighted the hippocampal inputs to the mammillary bodies via the postcommissural fornix. Such models downplay other projections to the mammillary bodies, leaving them largely ignored. The present study challenged this dominant view by removing, in rats, the two principal inputs reaching the mammillary bodies: the postcommissural fornix from the hippocampal formation and Gudden's ventral tegmental nucleus. The principal mammillary body output pathway, the mammillothalamic tract, was disconnected in a third group. Only mammillothalamic tract and Gudden's ventral tegmental nucleus lesions impaired behavioral tests of spatial working memory and, in particular, disrupted the use of extramaze spatial landmarks. The same lesions also produced widespread reductions in immediate-early gene (c-fos) expression in a network of memory-related regions, not seen after postcommissural fornix lesions. These findings are inconsistent with previous models of mammillary body function (those dominated by hippocampal inputs) and herald a new understanding of why specific diencephalic structures are vital for memory. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00736.001.

  4. Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair

    MedlinePlus

    ... the likelihood of a hernia including persistent coughing, difficulty with bowel movements or urination, or frequent need for straining. What are the Advantages of Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair? Keep reading... Page 1 of 2 1 2 » Brought to ...

  5. Pontomesencephalic Tegmental Afferents to VTA Non-dopamine Neurons Are Necessary for Appetitive Pavlovian Learning.

    PubMed

    Yau, Hau-Jie; Wang, Dong V; Tsou, Jen-Hui; Chuang, Yi-Fang; Chen, Billy T; Deisseroth, Karl; Ikemoto, Satoshi; Bonci, Antonello

    2016-09-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) receives phenotypically distinct innervations from the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg). While PPTg-to-VTA inputs are thought to play a critical role in stimulus-reward learning, direct evidence linking PPTg-to-VTA phenotypically distinct inputs in the learning process remains lacking. Here, we used optogenetic approaches to investigate the functional contribution of PPTg excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the VTA in appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. We show that photoinhibition of PPTg-to-VTA cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs during cue presentation dampens the development of anticipatory approach responding to the food receptacle during the cue. Furthermore, we employed in vivo optetrode recordings to show that photoinhibition of PPTg cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs significantly decreases VTA non-dopamine (non-DA) neural activity. Consistently, photoinhibition of VTA non-DA neurons disrupts the development of cue-elicited anticipatory approach responding. Taken together, our study reveals a crucial regulatory mechanism by PPTg excitatory inputs onto VTA non-DA neurons during appetitive Pavlovian conditioning.

  6. Pontomesencephalic Tegmental Afferents to VTA Non-dopamine Neurons Are Necessary for Appetitive Pavlovian Learning.

    PubMed

    Yau, Hau-Jie; Wang, Dong V; Tsou, Jen-Hui; Chuang, Yi-Fang; Chen, Billy T; Deisseroth, Karl; Ikemoto, Satoshi; Bonci, Antonello

    2016-09-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) receives phenotypically distinct innervations from the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg). While PPTg-to-VTA inputs are thought to play a critical role in stimulus-reward learning, direct evidence linking PPTg-to-VTA phenotypically distinct inputs in the learning process remains lacking. Here, we used optogenetic approaches to investigate the functional contribution of PPTg excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the VTA in appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. We show that photoinhibition of PPTg-to-VTA cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs during cue presentation dampens the development of anticipatory approach responding to the food receptacle during the cue. Furthermore, we employed in vivo optetrode recordings to show that photoinhibition of PPTg cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs significantly decreases VTA non-dopamine (non-DA) neural activity. Consistently, photoinhibition of VTA non-DA neurons disrupts the development of cue-elicited anticipatory approach responding. Taken together, our study reveals a crucial regulatory mechanism by PPTg excitatory inputs onto VTA non-DA neurons during appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. PMID:27568569

  7. Aversive Counterconditioning Attenuates Reward Signaling in the Ventral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Kaag, Anne Marije; Schluter, Renée S.; Karel, Peter; Homberg, Judith; van den Brink, Wim; Reneman, Liesbeth; van Wingen, Guido A.

    2016-01-01

    Appetitive conditioning refers to the process of learning cue-reward associations and is mediated by the mesocorticolimbic system. Appetitive conditioned responses are difficult to extinguish, especially for highly salient reward such as food and drugs. We investigate whether aversive counterconditioning can alter reward reinstatement in the ventral striatum in healthy volunteers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the initial conditioning phase, two different stimuli were reinforced with a monetary reward. In the subsequent counterconditioning phase, one of these stimuli was paired with an aversive shock to the wrist. In the following extinction phase, none of the stimuli were reinforced. In the final reinstatement phase, reward was reinstated by informing the participants that the monetary gain could be doubled. Our fMRI data revealed that reward signaling in the ventral striatum and ventral tegmental area following reinstatement was smaller for the stimulus that was counterconditioned with an electrical shock, compared to the non-counterconditioned stimulus. A functional connectivity analysis showed that aversive counterconditioning strengthened striatal connectivity with the hippocampus and insula. These results suggest that reward signaling in the ventral striatum can be attenuated through aversive counterconditioning, possibly by concurrent retrieval of the aversive association through enhanced connectivity with hippocampus and insula. PMID:27594829

  8. Aversive Counterconditioning Attenuates Reward Signaling in the Ventral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Kaag, Anne Marije; Schluter, Renée S.; Karel, Peter; Homberg, Judith; van den Brink, Wim; Reneman, Liesbeth; van Wingen, Guido A.

    2016-01-01

    Appetitive conditioning refers to the process of learning cue-reward associations and is mediated by the mesocorticolimbic system. Appetitive conditioned responses are difficult to extinguish, especially for highly salient reward such as food and drugs. We investigate whether aversive counterconditioning can alter reward reinstatement in the ventral striatum in healthy volunteers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the initial conditioning phase, two different stimuli were reinforced with a monetary reward. In the subsequent counterconditioning phase, one of these stimuli was paired with an aversive shock to the wrist. In the following extinction phase, none of the stimuli were reinforced. In the final reinstatement phase, reward was reinstated by informing the participants that the monetary gain could be doubled. Our fMRI data revealed that reward signaling in the ventral striatum and ventral tegmental area following reinstatement was smaller for the stimulus that was counterconditioned with an electrical shock, compared to the non-counterconditioned stimulus. A functional connectivity analysis showed that aversive counterconditioning strengthened striatal connectivity with the hippocampus and insula. These results suggest that reward signaling in the ventral striatum can be attenuated through aversive counterconditioning, possibly by concurrent retrieval of the aversive association through enhanced connectivity with hippocampus and insula.

  9. Aversive Counterconditioning Attenuates Reward Signaling in the Ventral Striatum.

    PubMed

    Kaag, Anne Marije; Schluter, Renée S; Karel, Peter; Homberg, Judith; van den Brink, Wim; Reneman, Liesbeth; van Wingen, Guido A

    2016-01-01

    Appetitive conditioning refers to the process of learning cue-reward associations and is mediated by the mesocorticolimbic system. Appetitive conditioned responses are difficult to extinguish, especially for highly salient reward such as food and drugs. We investigate whether aversive counterconditioning can alter reward reinstatement in the ventral striatum in healthy volunteers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the initial conditioning phase, two different stimuli were reinforced with a monetary reward. In the subsequent counterconditioning phase, one of these stimuli was paired with an aversive shock to the wrist. In the following extinction phase, none of the stimuli were reinforced. In the final reinstatement phase, reward was reinstated by informing the participants that the monetary gain could be doubled. Our fMRI data revealed that reward signaling in the ventral striatum and ventral tegmental area following reinstatement was smaller for the stimulus that was counterconditioned with an electrical shock, compared to the non-counterconditioned stimulus. A functional connectivity analysis showed that aversive counterconditioning strengthened striatal connectivity with the hippocampus and insula. These results suggest that reward signaling in the ventral striatum can be attenuated through aversive counterconditioning, possibly by concurrent retrieval of the aversive association through enhanced connectivity with hippocampus and insula. PMID:27594829

  10. Aversive Counterconditioning Attenuates Reward Signaling in the Ventral Striatum.

    PubMed

    Kaag, Anne Marije; Schluter, Renée S; Karel, Peter; Homberg, Judith; van den Brink, Wim; Reneman, Liesbeth; van Wingen, Guido A

    2016-01-01

    Appetitive conditioning refers to the process of learning cue-reward associations and is mediated by the mesocorticolimbic system. Appetitive conditioned responses are difficult to extinguish, especially for highly salient reward such as food and drugs. We investigate whether aversive counterconditioning can alter reward reinstatement in the ventral striatum in healthy volunteers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the initial conditioning phase, two different stimuli were reinforced with a monetary reward. In the subsequent counterconditioning phase, one of these stimuli was paired with an aversive shock to the wrist. In the following extinction phase, none of the stimuli were reinforced. In the final reinstatement phase, reward was reinstated by informing the participants that the monetary gain could be doubled. Our fMRI data revealed that reward signaling in the ventral striatum and ventral tegmental area following reinstatement was smaller for the stimulus that was counterconditioned with an electrical shock, compared to the non-counterconditioned stimulus. A functional connectivity analysis showed that aversive counterconditioning strengthened striatal connectivity with the hippocampus and insula. These results suggest that reward signaling in the ventral striatum can be attenuated through aversive counterconditioning, possibly by concurrent retrieval of the aversive association through enhanced connectivity with hippocampus and insula.

  11. Gudden's Ventral Tegmental Nucleus Is Vital for Memory: Re-Evaluating Diencephalic Inputs for Amnesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vann, Seralynne D.

    2009-01-01

    Mammillary body atrophy is present in a number of neurological conditions and recent clinical findings highlight the importance of these nuclei for memory. While most accounts of diencephalic amnesia emphasize the functional importance of the hippocampal projections to the mammillary bodies, the present study tested the importance of the other…

  12. Nicotinic Cholinergic Synaptic Mechanisms in the Ventral Tegmental Area Contribute to Nicotine Addiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pidoplichko, Volodymyr I.; Noguchi, Jun; Areola, Oluwasanmi O.; Liang, Yong; Peterson, Jayms; Zhang, Tianxiang; Dani, John A.

    2004-01-01

    Tobacco use is a major health problem that is estimated to cause 4 million deaths a year worldwide. Nicotine is the main addictive component of tobacco. It acts as an agonist to activate and desensitize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). A component of nicotine's addictive power is attributable to actions on the mesolimbic dopaminergic…

  13. Metabolic mapping of the effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine on the brains of congenitally helpless rats.

    PubMed

    Shumake, Jason; Colorado, Rene A; Barrett, Douglas W; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    2010-07-01

    Antidepressants require adaptive brain changes before efficacy is achieved, and they may impact the affectively disordered brain differently than the normal brain. We previously demonstrated metabolic disturbances in limbic and cortical regions of the congenitally helpless rat, a model of susceptibility to affective disorder, and we wished to test whether administration of fluoxetine would normalize these metabolic differences. Fluoxetine was chosen because it has become a first-line drug for the treatment of affective disorders. We hypothesized that fluoxetine antidepressant effects may be mediated by decreasing metabolism in the habenula and increasing metabolism in the ventral tegmental area. We measured the effects of fluoxetine on forced swim behavior and regional brain cytochrome oxidase activity in congenitally helpless rats treated for 2 weeks with fluoxetine (5mg/kg, i.p., daily). Fluoxetine reduced immobility in the forced swim test as anticipated, but congenitally helpless rats responded in an atypical manner, i.e., increasing climbing without affecting swimming. As hypothesized, fluoxetine reduced metabolism in the habenula and increased metabolism in the ventral tegmental area. In addition, fluoxetine reduced the metabolism of the hippocampal dentate gyrus and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. This study provided the first detailed mapping of the regional brain effects of an antidepressant drug in congenitally helpless rats. All of the effects were consistent with previous studies that have metabolically mapped the effects of serotonergic antidepressants in the normal rat brain, and were in the predicted direction of metabolic normalization of the congenitally helpless rat for all affected brain regions except the prefrontal cortex.

  14. Impact of prenatal nicotine on the structure of midbrain dopamine regions in the rat.

    PubMed

    Omelchenko, Natalia; Roy, Priya; Balcita-Pedicino, Judith Joyce; Poloyac, Samuel; Sesack, Susan R

    2016-05-01

    In utero exposure of rats to nicotine (NIC) provides a useful animal model for studying the impact of smoking during pregnancy on human offspring. Certain sequelae of prenatal NIC exposure suggest an impact on the development of the midbrain dopamine (DA) system, which receives a robust cholinergic innervation from the mesopontine tegmentum. We therefore investigated whether prenatal NIC induced structural changes in cells and synapses within the midbrain that persisted into adulthood. Osmotic minipumps delivering either sodium bitartrate (vehicle; VEH) or NIC bitartrate at 2 mg/kg/day were implanted into nine timed-pregnant dams at E4. At birth, rat pups were culled to litters of six males each, and the litters were cross-fostered. Plasma levels of NIC and cotinine from killed pups provided evidence of NIC exposure in utero. Pups separated from dams at weaning showed a trend toward reduced locomotor activity at this time point but not when tested again in adulthood. Adult rats were killed for anatomical studies. Estimates of brain size and volume did not vary with NIC treatment. Midbrain sections stained for Nissl or by immunoperoxidase for tyrosine hydroxylase and analyzed using unbiased stereology revealed no changes in volume or cell number in the substantia nigra compacta or ventral tegmental area as a result of NIC exposure. Within the ventral tegmental area, electron microscopic physical disector analysis showed no significant differences in the number of axon terminals or the number of asymmetric (putative excitatory) or symmetric (putative inhibitory) synapses. Although too infrequent to estimate by unbiased stereology, no obvious difference in the proportion of cholinergic axons was noted in NIC- versus VEH-treated animals. These data suggest that activation of nicotinic receptors during prenatal development induces no significant modifications in the structure of cells in the ventral midbrain when assessed in adulthood.

  15. EFFECTS OF CHRONIC ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND ELECTROCONVULSIVE SHOCK ON ACTIVITY OF DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS IN THE VENTRAL TEGMENTUM

    PubMed Central

    West, Charles Hutchison Keesor; Weiss, Jay Michael

    2010-01-01

    Increasing attention is now focused on reduced dopaminergic neurotransmission in the forebrain as participating in depression. The present paper assessed whether effective antidepressant (AD) treatments might counteract, or compensate for, such a change by altering the neuronal activity of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA-DA neurons), the cell bodies of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system. Eight AD drugs or vehicle were administered to rats for 14 days via subcutaneously-implanted minipumps, at which time single-unit electrophysiological activity of VTA-DA neurons was recorded under anesthesia. Also, animals received a series of five electroconvulsive shocks (ECS) or control procedures, after which VTA-DA activity was measured either three or five days after the last ECS. Results showed that the chronic administration of all AD drugs tested except for the monoamine oxidase inhibitor increased the spontaneous firing rate of VTA-DA neurons, while effects on “burst” firing activity were found to be considerably less notable or consistent. ECS increased both spontaneous firing rate and burst firing of VTA-DA neurons. It is suggested that the effects observed are consistent with reports of increased dopamine release in regions to which VTA neurons project after effective AD treatment. However, it is further suggested that changes in VTA-DA neuronal activity in response to AD treatment should be most appropriately assessed under conditions associated with depression, such as stressful conditions. PMID:20482941

  16. Regulation of rat MOR-1 gene expression after chronic intracerebroventricular administration of morphine

    PubMed Central

    ZHU, ZHI-PING; BADISA, RAMESH B.; PALM, DONALD E.; GOODMAN, CARL B.

    2012-01-01

    The μ-opioid receptor is the primary site for the action of morphine. In the present study, we investigated the regulation of the μ-opioid receptor mRNA levels in the locus ceruleus, ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, and hypothalamus of the rat brain following intracerebroventricular administration of morphine for 7 days. The isolated mRNA from these regions was subjected to real-time quantitative RT-PCR to determine the regulation of μ-opioid receptor gene expression. It was observed that 7 days of treatment with morphine significantly down-regulated the μ-opioid receptor mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of the brain in comparison to the control group. However, the μ-opioid receptor levels in the locus ceruleus, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens regions remained the same as the control levels. Down-regulation of μ-opioid receptor mRNA levels in the hypothalamus region of the brain indicates the probable role of opioids to influence neuroendocrine function. The results further indicate that cellular adaptation for morphine tolerance is tissue-specific. These findings help us to understand the mechanism of morphine tolerance in various regions of the brain. PMID:22089925

  17. Dopaminergic neurons expressing Fos during waking and paradoxical sleep in the rat.

    PubMed

    Léger, Lucienne; Sapin, Emilie; Goutagny, Romain; Peyron, Christelle; Salvert, Denise; Fort, Patrice; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé

    2010-07-01

    Formerly believed to contribute to behavioural waking (W) alone, dopaminergic (DA) neurons are now also known to participate in the regulation of paradoxical sleep (PS or REM) in mammals. Indeed, stimulation of postsynaptic DA1 receptors with agonists induces a reduction in the daily amount of PS. DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area were recently shown to fire in bursts during PS, but nothing is known about the activity of the other DA cell groups in relation to waking or PS. To fulfil this gap, we used a protocol in which rats were maintained in continuous W for 3h in a novel environment, or specifically deprived of PS for 3 days with some of them allowed to recover from this deprivation. A double immunohistochemical labeling with Fos and tyrosine hydroxylase was then performed. DA neurons in the substantia nigra (A9) and ventral tegmental area (A10), and its dorsocaudal extension in the periaqueductal gray (A10dc), almost never showed a Fos-immunoreactive nucleus, regardless of the experimental condition. The caudal hypothalamic (A11) group showed a moderate activation after PS deprivation and novel environment. During PS-recovery, the zona incerta (A13) group contained a significant number and percentage of double-labeled neurons. These results suggest that some DA neurons (A11) could participate in waking and/or the inhibition of PS during PS deprivation whereas others (A13) would be involved in the control of PS.

  18. Innate BDNF expression is associated with ethanol intake in alcohol-preferring AA and alcohol-avoiding ANA rats.

    PubMed

    Raivio, Noora; Miettinen, Pekka; Kiianmaa, Kalervo

    2014-09-01

    We have shown recently that acute administration of ethanol modulates the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in several rat brain areas known to be involved in the development of addiction to ethanol and other drugs of abuse, suggesting that BDNF may be a factor contributing to the neuroadaptive changes set in motion by ethanol exposure. The purpose of the present study was to further clarify the role of BDNF in reinforcement from ethanol and in the development of addiction to ethanol by specifying the effect of acute administration of ethanol (1.5 or 3.0 g/kg i.p.) on the expression profile of BDNF mRNA in the ventral tegmental area and in the terminal areas of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in the brain of alcohol-preferring AA and alcohol-avoiding ANA rats, selected for high and low voluntary ethanol intake, respectively. The level of BDNF mRNA expression was higher in the amygdala and ventral tegmental area of AA than in those of ANA rats, and there was a trend for a higher level in the nucleus accumbens. In the amygdala and hippocampus, a biphasic change in the BDNF mRNA levels was detected: the levels were decreased at 3 and 6h but increased above the basal levels at 24h. Furthermore, there was a difference between the AA and ANA lines in the effect of ethanol, the ANA rats showing an increase in BDNF mRNA levels while such a change was not seen in AA rats. These findings suggest that the innate levels of BDNF expression may play a role in the mediation of the reinforcing effects of ethanol and in the control of ethanol intake.

  19. Autoradiographic distribution of /sup 125/I-galanin binding sites in the rat central nervous system

    SciTech Connect

    Skofitsch, G.; Sills, M.A.; Jacobowitz, D.M.

    1986-11-01

    Galanin (GAL) binding sites in coronal sections of the rat brain were demonstrated using autoradiographic methods. Scatchard analysis of /sup 125/I-GAL binding to slide-mounted tissue sections revealed saturable binding to a single class of receptors with a Kd of approximately 0.2 nM. /sup 125/I-GAL binding sites were demonstrated throughout the rat central nervous system. Dense binding was observed in the following areas: prefrontal cortex, the anterior nuclei of the olfactory bulb, several nuclei of the amygdaloid complex, the dorsal septal area, dorsal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the ventral pallidum, the internal medullary laminae of the thalamus, medial pretectal nucleus, nucleus of the medial optic tract, borderline area of the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus adjacent to the spinal trigeminal tract, the substantia gelatinosa and the superficial layers of the dorsal spinal cord. Moderate binding was observed in the piriform, periamygdaloid, entorhinal, insular cortex and the subiculum, the nucleus accumbens, medial forebrain bundle, anterior hypothalamic, ventromedial, dorsal premamillary, lateral and periventricular thalamic nuclei, the subzona incerta, Forel's field H1 and H2, periventricular gray matter, medial and superficial gray strata of the superior colliculus, dorsal parts of the central gray, peripeduncular area, the interpeduncular nucleus, substantia nigra zona compacta, ventral tegmental area, the dorsal and ventral parabrachial and parvocellular reticular nuclei. The preponderance of GAL-binding in somatosensory as well as in limbic areas suggests a possible involvement of GAL in a variety of brain functions.

  20. Propentofylline treatment on open field behavior in rats with focal ethidium bromide-induced demyelination in the ventral surface of the brainstem.

    PubMed

    Martins-Júnior, J L; Bernardi, M M; Bondan, E F

    2016-03-01

    Propentofylline (PPF) is a xanthine derivative with pharmacological effects that are distinct from those of classic methylxanthines. It depresses the activation of microglial cells and astrocytes, which is associated with neuronal damage during neural inflammation and hypoxia. Our previous studies showed that PPF improved remyelination following gliotoxic lesions that were induced by ethidium bromide (EB). In the present study, the long-term effects of PPF on open field behavior in rats with EB-induced focal demyelination were examined. The effects of PPF were first evaluated in naive rats that were not subjected to EB lesions. Behavior in the beam walking test was also evaluated during chronic PPF treatment because impairments in motor coordination can interfere with behavior in the open field. The results showed that PPF treatment in unlesioned rats decreased general activity and caused motor impairment in the beam walking test. Gliotoxic EB injections increased general activity in rats that were treated with PPF compared with rats that received saline solution. Motor incoordination was also attenuated in PPF-treated rats. These results indicate that PPF reversed the effects of EB lesions on behavior in the open field and beam walking test.

  1. Propentofylline treatment on open field behavior in rats with focal ethidium bromide-induced demyelination in the ventral surface of the brainstem.

    PubMed

    Martins-Júnior, J L; Bernardi, M M; Bondan, E F

    2016-03-01

    Propentofylline (PPF) is a xanthine derivative with pharmacological effects that are distinct from those of classic methylxanthines. It depresses the activation of microglial cells and astrocytes, which is associated with neuronal damage during neural inflammation and hypoxia. Our previous studies showed that PPF improved remyelination following gliotoxic lesions that were induced by ethidium bromide (EB). In the present study, the long-term effects of PPF on open field behavior in rats with EB-induced focal demyelination were examined. The effects of PPF were first evaluated in naive rats that were not subjected to EB lesions. Behavior in the beam walking test was also evaluated during chronic PPF treatment because impairments in motor coordination can interfere with behavior in the open field. The results showed that PPF treatment in unlesioned rats decreased general activity and caused motor impairment in the beam walking test. Gliotoxic EB injections increased general activity in rats that were treated with PPF compared with rats that received saline solution. Motor incoordination was also attenuated in PPF-treated rats. These results indicate that PPF reversed the effects of EB lesions on behavior in the open field and beam walking test. PMID:26872980

  2. Lesions in Guddesn's tegmental nuclei produce behavioral and 5-HT effects similar to those after raphe lesions.

    PubMed

    Lorens, S A; Köhler, C; Guldberg, H C

    1975-01-01

    Lesions largely restricted to the dorsal and ventral tegmental nuclei of Gudden (GTN) produced several effects similar to those seen after midbrain raphe lesions. GTN lesions significantly reduced the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) concentration of the diencephalon (31 percent), hippocampus (59 percent), and remaining portion of the telencephalon (29 percent). Striatal 5-HT, however, was not affected. GTN lesions enhanced activity in an enclosed field and facilitated two-way avoidance acquisition. Pain sensitivity as measured by the flinch-jump method was not affected. These results suggest that the GTN may be the origin of ascending 5-HT fides and may be involved in the regulation of activity level and the adaptation of an animal to aversive situations. Thus, some of the behavioral and 5-HT effects of lesions in the midbrain raphe nuclei may be due to their involvement of the GTN and associated pathways. PMID:1187729

  3. Functional reorganization of motor and limbic circuits after exercise training in a rat model of bilateral parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Myers, Kalisa G; Guo, Yumei; Ocampo, Marco A; Pang, Raina D; Jakowec, Michael W; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2013-01-01

    Exercise training is widely used for neurorehabilitation of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the functional reorganization of the injured brain after long-term aerobic exercise. We examined the effects of 4 weeks of forced running wheel exercise in a rat model of dopaminergic deafferentation (bilateral, dorsal striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions). One week after training, cerebral perfusion was mapped during treadmill walking or at rest using [(14)C]-iodoantipyrine autoradiography. Regional cerebral blood flow-related tissue radioactivity (rCBF) was analyzed in three-dimensionally reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping. In non-exercised rats, lesions resulted in persistent motor deficits. Compared to sham-lesioned rats, lesioned rats showed altered functional brain activation during walking, including: 1. hypoactivation of the striatum and motor cortex; 2. hyperactivation of non-lesioned areas in the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit; 3. functional recruitment of the red nucleus, superior colliculus and somatosensory cortex; 4. hyperactivation of the ventrolateral thalamus, cerebellar vermis and deep nuclei, suggesting recruitment of the cerebellar-thalamocortical circuit; 5. hyperactivation of limbic areas (amygdala, hippocampus, ventral striatum, septum, raphe, insula). These findings show remarkable similarities to imaging findings reported in PD patients. Exercise progressively improved motor deficits in lesioned rats, while increasing activation in dorsal striatum and rostral secondary motor cortex, attenuating a hyperemia of the zona incerta and eliciting a functional reorganization of regions participating in the cerebellar-thalamocortical circuit. Both lesions and exercise increased activation in mesolimbic areas (amygdala, hippocampus, ventral striatum, laterodorsal tegmental n., ventral pallidum), as well as in related paralimbic regions (septum, raphe, insula). Exercise, but not lesioning, resulted in decreases

  4. Restricted feeding with scheduled sucrose access results in an upregulation of the rat dopamine transporter.

    PubMed

    Bello, Nicholas T; Sweigart, Kristi L; Lakoski, Joan M; Norgren, Ralph; Hajnal, Andras

    2003-05-01

    Recent studies suggest that the mesoaccumbens dopamine system undergoes neurochemical alterations as a result of restricted feeding conditions with access to sugars. This effect appears to be similar to the neuroadaptation resulting from drugs of abuse and may underlay some pathological feeding behaviors. To further investigate the cellular mechanisms of these alterations, the present study used quantitative autoradiography and in situ hybridization to assess dopamine membrane transporter (DAT) protein density and mRNA expression in restricted-fed and free-fed adult male rats. The restricted feeding regimen consisted of daily limited access to either a normally preferred sucrose solution (0.3 M) or a less preferred chow in a scheduled (i.e., contingent) fashion for 7 days. Restricted-fed rats with the contingent sucrose access lost less body weight, ate more total food, and drank more fluid than free-fed, contingent food, or noncontingent controls. In addition, these animals had selectively higher DAT binding in the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. This increase in protein binding also was accompanied by an increase in DAT mRNA levels in the ventral tegmental area. In contrast to the restricted-fed groups, no differential effect in DAT regulation was observed across free-fed groups. The observed alteration in behavior and DAT regulation suggest that neuroadaptation in the mesoaccumbens dopamine system develops in response to repeated feeding on palatable foods under dietary constraints. This supports the notion that similar cellular changes may be involved in restrictive eating disorders and bingeing.

  5. Effects of acute administration of ethanol on cerebral glucose utilization in adult alcohol-preferring and alcohol-nonpreferring rats.

    PubMed

    Strother, Wendy N; McBride, William J; Lumeng, Lawrence; Li, Ting-Kai

    2005-02-01

    Local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) rates, as determined by the [(14)C]-2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) technique, were examined after acute ethanol administration within selected brain regions of alcohol-preferring (P) and alcohol-nonpreferring (NP) rats. Adult male P and NP rats were injected with saline, 0.25 g/kg, or 1.0 g/kg ethanol, intraperitoneally (ip), 10 min before an intravenous bolus of [(14)C]2-DG (125 microCi/kg). Timed arterial blood samples were collected over 45 min and assayed for plasma glucose, ethanol, and [(14)C]2-DG levels. Image densities were determined using quantitative autoradiography and LCGU values calculated. Data were collected from several key limbic, basal ganglionic, cortical, and subcortical structures. Low-dose ethanol (0.25 g/kg) significantly decreased LCGU rates in several brain regions including the medial prefrontal cortex, olfactory tubercles, and the CA1 subregion of the hippocampus of P rats. Low-dose ethanol had no significant effects on LCGU rates in the NP rats. Moderate-dose ethanol (1.0 g/kg) also significantly lowered LCGU rates in many brain regions of P rats, including key limbic structures, such as the medial prefrontal cortex, olfactory tubercles, ventral tegmental area, basolateral nucleus of the amygdala, lateral septum, and ventral pallidum. Moderate-dose ethanol also significantly lowered LCGU rates in the medial prefrontal cortex as well as in the habenula of NP rats. All other regions were unaffected in the NP rats. These findings support the suggestion that certain central nervous system regions of P rats may be more sensitive than those of NP rats to the effects of low to intermediate doses of ethanol.

  6. Modified laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy.

    PubMed

    Sileri, P; Capuano, I; Franceschilli, L; Giorgi, F; Gaspari, A L

    2014-06-01

    We present a modified laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy procedure using biological mesh and bilateral anterior mesh fixation. The rectopexy is anterior with a minimal posterior mobilization. The rectum is symmetrically suspended to the sacral promontory through a mesorectal window.

  7. [Neurochemical mechanisms of depression-like behavior in WAG/Rij rats].

    PubMed

    Sarkisova, K Iu; Kulikov, M A; Kudrin, V S; Narkevich, V B; Midzianovskaia, I S; Biriukova, L M; Folomkina, A A; Basian, A S

    2013-01-01

    Behavior in the light-dark choice, open-field, sucrose consumption/preference and forced swimming tests, monoamines and their metabolites level in 6 brain structures (prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, striatum, hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala), and density of D2-like dopamine receptors in 21 brain regions were studied in WAG/Rij and Wistar rats. WAG/Rij rats exhibited symptoms of depression-like behavior such as increased immobility in the forced swim test and decreased sucrose consumption/preference (anhedonia). Substantial changes in behavior indicating increased anxiety in WAG/Rij rats were not revealed. Neurochemical abnormalities suggesting hypofunction of the mesolimbic dopaminergic brain system were found in "depressive" WAG/Rij rats compared with "normal" Wistar rats: decreased levels of noradrenaline, dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, 3-methoxytyramine in the nucleus accumbens, and increased density of D2-like dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. Reduced levels of dopamine were also observed in the prefrontal cortex and striatum. No substantial changes in the content of monoamines and their metabolites have been revealed in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and amygdala as well as in the content ofserotonin and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid in all studied brain structures with the exception of increased level ofserotonin in the amygdala. Results suggest that hypofunction of the mesolimbic dopaminergic brain system (nucleus accumbens) is a neurochemical mechanism of depression-like behavior in WAG/Rij rats. PMID:24450162

  8. Nicotinic activation of laterodorsal tegmental neurons: implications for addiction to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Leonard, Christopher S; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2009-11-01

    Identifying the neurological mechanisms underlying nicotine reinforcement is a healthcare imperative, if society is to effectively combat tobacco addiction. The majority of studies of the neurobiology of addiction have focused on dopamine (DA)-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, recent data suggest that neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental (LDT) nucleus, which sends cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic-containing projections to DA-containing neurons of the VTA, are critical to gating normal functioning of this nucleus. The actions of nicotine on LDT neurons are unknown. We addressed this issue by examining the effects of nicotine on identified cholinergic and non-cholinergic LDT neurons using whole-cell patch clamp and Ca(2+)-imaging methods in brain slices from mice (P12-P45). Nicotine applied by puffer pipette or bath superfusion elicited membrane depolarization that often induced firing and TTX-resistant inward currents. Nicotine also enhanced sensitivity to injected current; and, baseline changes in intracellular calcium were elicited in the dendrites of some cholinergic LDT cells. In addition, activity-dependent calcium transients were increased, suggesting that nicotine exposure sufficient to induce firing may lead to enhancement of levels of intracellular calcium. Nicotine also had strong actions on glutamate and GABA-releasing presynaptic terminals, as it greatly increased the frequency of miniature EPSCs and IPSCs to both cholinergic and non-cholinergic neurons. Utilization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) subunit antagonists revealed that presynaptic, inhibitory terminals on cholinergic neurons were activated by receptors containing alpha 7, beta2, and non-alpha 7 subunits, whereas, presynaptic glutamatergic terminals were activated by nAChRs that comprised non-alpha 7 subunits. We also found that direct nicotinic actions on cholinergic LDT neurons were mediated by receptors containing alpha 7, beta2, and non

  9. Behavioral effects of lesions in the A10 dopaminergic area of the rat.

    PubMed

    Galey, D; Simon, H; Le Moal, M

    1977-03-18

    Experiments have been carried out with 150 rats in order to study some psychophysiological functions of the mesencephalocortico limbic dopaminergic A10 group. Lesions in the A10 area were made by using 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) local injections; 2 small volumes of injections were used at the same concentration (2 mug/1 mul or 1 mug/0.5 mul). In a first experiment the effects of these two injections were tested on locomotor activity measured in a circular corridor, 10 and 30 days after surgery. Injections provoked hyperactivity, mainly during nocturnal basal activity periods, but not during initial exploratory activity periods. The larger the injection, the more important the hyperactivity was. The larger injections induced important food spillage evidence through the wire floor of the home cage and perturbation in a passive avoidance learning. There was no change in body weight or in amount of ingested food. In a second experiment, the effects of local injection of 6-OHDA in the other CA structures or bundles situated in or near the ventral tegmental area were tested. Injections in the substantia nigra compacta, in the noradrenergic ventral bundle, in the dorsal periventricular system-tegmental radiations did not provoke locomotor hyperactivity. In a third experiment, a possible role of the median raphe (MR) nucleus in the A10-lesion induced hyperactivity was tested: first, radiofrequency MR lesions were made and no durable significant hyperactivity was recorded; secondly, 6-OHDA (1 mug/0.5 mul) was injected into the A10 area and activity was measured 10 days later: these injections provoked significant hyperactivity during the nocturnal basal and the diurnal basal activity periods. It might be concluded that neither the neighboring CA fibers nor the MR were directly involved in the ventral tegmental -- 6-OHDA lesions syndrome. Anatomical controls by using the Fink-Heimer silver impregnating method have demonstrated, first, that the 6-OHDA injections did not

  10. Activation of the beta-adrenoceptor-protein kinase A signaling pathway within the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis mediates the negative affective component of pain in rats.

    PubMed

    Deyama, Satoshi; Katayama, Takahiro; Ohno, Atsushi; Nakagawa, Takayuki; Kaneko, Shuji; Yamaguchi, Taku; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro; Minami, Masabumi

    2008-07-30

    Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. The neural systems underlying the sensory component of pain have been studied extensively, but we are only beginning to understand those underlying its affective component. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) has been implicated in stress responses and negative affective states, such as anxiety, fear, and aversion. Recently, we demonstrated the crucial role of the BNST in the negative affective component of pain using the conditioned place aversion (CPA) test. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of the beta-adrenoceptor-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway within the BNST, in particular, within the ventral part of the BNST (vBNST), in pain-induced aversion in male Sprague Dawley rats. In vivo microdialysis showed that extracellular noradrenaline levels within the vBNST were significantly increased by intraplantar formalin injection. Using the CPA test, we found that intra-vBNST injection of timolol, a beta-adrenoceptor antagonist, dose-dependently attenuated the intraplantar-formalin-induced CPA (F-CPA) without reducing nociceptive behaviors. Experiments with subtype-selective antagonists demonstrated the essential role of beta(2)-adrenoceptors in F-CPA. Intra-vBNST injection of isoproterenol, a beta-adrenoceptor agonist, dose-dependently produced CPA even in the absence of noxious stimulation. This isoproterenol-induced CPA was reversed by the coinjection of Rp-cyclic adenosine monophosphorothioate (Rp-cAMPS), a selective PKA inhibitor. Furthermore, intra-vBNST injection of Rp-cAMPS dose-dependently attenuated the F-CPA. Together, these results suggest that PKA activation within the vBNST via the enhancement of beta-adrenergic transmission is important for the negative affective component of pain.

  11. Peripheral vagus nerve stimulation significantly affects lipid composition and protein secondary structure within dopamine-related brain regions in rats.

    PubMed

    Surowka, Artur Dawid; Krygowska-Wajs, Anna; Ziomber, Agata; Thor, Piotr; Chrobak, Adrian Andrzej; Szczerbowska-Boruchowska, Magdalena

    2015-06-01

    Recent immunohistochemical studies point to the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve as the point of departure of initial changes which are related to the gradual pathological developments in the dopaminergic system. In the light of current investigations, it is likely that biochemical changes within the peripheral nervous system may influence the physiology of the dopaminergic system, suggesting a putative role for it in the development of neurodegenerative disorders. By using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy, coupled with statistical analysis, we examined the effect of chronic, unilateral electrical vagus nerve stimulation on changes in lipid composition and in protein secondary structure within dopamine-related brain structures in rats. It was found that the chronic vagal nerve stimulation strongly affects the chain length of fatty acids within the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, substantia nigra, striatum, dorsal motor nucleus of vagus and the motor cortex. In particular, the level of lipid unsaturation was found significantly increasing in the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra and motor cortex as a result of vagal nerve stimulation. When it comes to changes in protein secondary structure, we could see that the mesolimbic, mesocortical and nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathways are particularly affected by vagus nerve stimulation. This is due to the co-occurrence of statistically significant changes in the content of non-ordered structure components, alpha helices, beta sheets, and the total area of Amide I. Macromolecular changes caused by peripheral vagus nerve stimulation may highlight a potential connection between the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system in rat during the development of neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. Peripheral vagus nerve stimulation significantly affects lipid composition and protein secondary structure within dopamine-related brain regions in rats.

    PubMed

    Surowka, Artur Dawid; Krygowska-Wajs, Anna; Ziomber, Agata; Thor, Piotr; Chrobak, Adrian Andrzej; Szczerbowska-Boruchowska, Magdalena

    2015-06-01

    Recent immunohistochemical studies point to the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve as the point of departure of initial changes which are related to the gradual pathological developments in the dopaminergic system. In the light of current investigations, it is likely that biochemical changes within the peripheral nervous system may influence the physiology of the dopaminergic system, suggesting a putative role for it in the development of neurodegenerative disorders. By using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy, coupled with statistical analysis, we examined the effect of chronic, unilateral electrical vagus nerve stimulation on changes in lipid composition and in protein secondary structure within dopamine-related brain structures in rats. It was found that the chronic vagal nerve stimulation strongly affects the chain length of fatty acids within the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, substantia nigra, striatum, dorsal motor nucleus of vagus and the motor cortex. In particular, the level of lipid unsaturation was found significantly increasing in the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra and motor cortex as a result of vagal nerve stimulation. When it comes to changes in protein secondary structure, we could see that the mesolimbic, mesocortical and nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathways are particularly affected by vagus nerve stimulation. This is due to the co-occurrence of statistically significant changes in the content of non-ordered structure components, alpha helices, beta sheets, and the total area of Amide I. Macromolecular changes caused by peripheral vagus nerve stimulation may highlight a potential connection between the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system in rat during the development of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25893743

  13. Ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 3 in the ventral and lateral hypothalamic area of female rats: morphological characterization and functional implications

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, David S; Zsarnovszky, Attila; Horvath, Krisztina; Gyorffy, Andrea; Bartha, Tibor; Hazai, Diana; Sotonyi, Peter; Somogyi, Virag; Frenyo, Laszlo V; Diano, Sabrina

    2009-01-01

    Background Based on its distribution in the brain, ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 3 (NTPDase3) may play a role in the hypothalamic regulation of homeostatic systems, including feeding, sleep-wake behavior and reproduction. To further characterize the morphological attributes of NTPDase3-immunoreactive (IR) hypothalamic structures in the rat brain, here we investigated: 1.) The cellular and subcellular localization of NTPDase3; 2.) The effects of 17β-estradiol on the expression level of hypothalamic NTPDase3; and 3.) The effects of NTPDase inhibition in hypothalamic synaptosomal preparations. Methods Combined light- and electron microscopic analyses were carried out to characterize the cellular and subcellular localization of NTPDase3-immunoreactivity. The effects of estrogen on hypothalamic NTPDase3 expression was studied by western blot technique. Finally, the effects of NTPDase inhibition on mitochondrial respiration were investigated using a Clark-type oxygen electrode. Results Combined light- and electron microscopic analysis of immunostained hypothalamic slices revealed that NTPDase3-IR is linked to ribosomes and mitochondria, is predominantly present in excitatory axon terminals and in distinct segments of the perikaryal plasma membrane. Immunohistochemical labeling of NTPDase3 and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) indicated that γ-amino-butyric-acid- (GABA) ergic hypothalamic neurons do not express NTPDase3, further suggesting that in the hypothalamus, NTPDase3 is predominantly present in excitatory neurons. We also investigated whether estrogen influences the expression level of NTPDase3 in the ventrobasal and lateral hypothalamus. A single subcutaneous injection of estrogen differentially increased NTPDase3 expression in the medial and lateral parts of the hypothalamus, indicating that this enzyme likely plays region-specific roles in estrogen-dependent hypothalamic regulatory mechanisms. Determination of mitochondrial respiration rates

  14. Fast transmission from the dopaminergic ventral midbrain to the sensory cortex of awake primates.

    PubMed

    Mylius, Judith; Happel, Max F K; Gorkin, Alexander G; Huang, Ying; Scheich, Henning; Brosch, Michael

    2015-11-01

    Motivated by the increasing evidence that auditory cortex is under control of dopaminergic cell structures of the ventral midbrain, we studied how the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra affect neuronal activity in auditory cortex. We electrically stimulated 567 deep brain sites in total within and in the vicinity of the two dopaminergic ventral midbrain structures and at the same time, recorded local field potentials and neuronal discharges in cortex. In experiments conducted on three awake macaque monkeys, we found that electrical stimulation of the dopaminergic ventral midbrain resulted in short-latency (~35 ms) phasic activations in all cortical layers of auditory cortex. We were also able to demonstrate similar activations in secondary somatosensory cortex and superior temporal polysensory cortex. The electrically evoked responses in these parts of sensory cortex were similar to those previously described for prefrontal cortex. Moreover, these phasic responses could be reversibly altered by the dopamine D1-receptor antagonist SCH23390 for several tens of minutes. Thus, we speculate that the dopaminergic ventral midbrain exerts a temporally precise, phasic influence on sensory cortex using fast-acting non-dopaminergic transmitters and that their effects are modulated by dopamine on a longer timescale. Our findings suggest that some of the information carried by the neuronal discharges in the dopaminergic ventral midbrain, such as the motivational value or the motivational salience, is transmitted to auditory cortex and other parts of sensory cortex. The mesocortical pathway may thus contribute to the representation of non-auditory events in the auditory cortex and to its associative functions. PMID:25084746

  15. Fast transmission from the dopaminergic ventral midbrain to the sensory cortex of awake primates.

    PubMed

    Mylius, Judith; Happel, Max F K; Gorkin, Alexander G; Huang, Ying; Scheich, Henning; Brosch, Michael

    2015-11-01

    Motivated by the increasing evidence that auditory cortex is under control of dopaminergic cell structures of the ventral midbrain, we studied how the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra affect neuronal activity in auditory cortex. We electrically stimulated 567 deep brain sites in total within and in the vicinity of the two dopaminergic ventral midbrain structures and at the same time, recorded local field potentials and neuronal discharges in cortex. In experiments conducted on three awake macaque monkeys, we found that electrical stimulation of the dopaminergic ventral midbrain resulted in short-latency (~35 ms) phasic activations in all cortical layers of auditory cortex. We were also able to demonstrate similar activations in secondary somatosensory cortex and superior temporal polysensory cortex. The electrically evoked responses in these parts of sensory cortex were similar to those previously described for prefrontal cortex. Moreover, these phasic responses could be reversibly altered by the dopamine D1-receptor antagonist SCH23390 for several tens of minutes. Thus, we speculate that the dopaminergic ventral midbrain exerts a temporally precise, phasic influence on sensory cortex using fast-acting non-dopaminergic transmitters and that their effects are modulated by dopamine on a longer timescale. Our findings suggest that some of the information carried by the neuronal discharges in the dopaminergic ventral midbrain, such as the motivational value or the motivational salience, is transmitted to auditory cortex and other parts of sensory cortex. The mesocortical pathway may thus contribute to the representation of non-auditory events in the auditory cortex and to its associative functions.

  16. Metamers of the ventral stream

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Jeremy; Simoncelli, Eero P.

    2011-01-01

    The human capacity to recognize complex visual patterns emerges in a sequence of brain areas known as the ventral stream, beginning with primary visual cortex (V1). We develop a population model for mid-ventral processing, in which non-linear combinations of V1 responses are averaged within receptive fields that grow with eccentricity. To test the model, we generate novel forms of visual metamers — stimuli that differ physically, but look the same. We develop a behavioral protocol that uses metameric stimuli to estimate the receptive field sizes in which the model features are represented. Because receptive field sizes change along the ventral stream, the behavioral results can identify the visual area corresponding to the representation. Measurements in human observers implicate V2, providing a new functional account of this area. The model explains deficits of peripheral vision known as “crowding”, and provides a quantitative framework for assessing the capabilities of everyday vision. PMID:21841776

  17. Tegmental pontine hemorrhages: clinical features and prognostic factors.

    PubMed

    Lancman, M; Norscini, J; Mesropian, H; Bardeci, C; Bauso, T; Granillo, R

    1992-05-01

    We report six patients with partial, predominantly paramedian, tegmental pontine hemorrhages. Constant clinical manifestations consisted of: ipsilateral miosis, horizontal gaze paresis, lower motor neuron facial paresis, contralateral hemisensory loss and mild and transitory hemiparesis, dysarthria and mild or no compromise of consciousness. Five out of six were hypertensive. All patients survived with mild sequelae, oculomotor disturbances being the most persistent deficit. We found in our patients that a transverse diameter of less than 17 mm, unilaterality of the injury and absence of coma were the major indicators of a favorable outcome.

  18. Comparative analysis of the central CCK system in Fawn Hooded and Wistar Kyoto rats: extended localisation of CCK-A receptors throughout the rat brain using a novel radioligand.

    PubMed

    Lodge, D J; Lawrence, A J

    2001-06-15

    The neuropeptide cholecystokinin has been implicated in the actions of a number of central processes including anxiety and reward. For this reason, the aim of the present study was to compare the density of CCK-A and -B receptors and the mRNA encoding preproCCK throughout the brains of an alcohol-preferring (Fawn Hooded) rat strain with that of a non-alcohol-preferring (Wistar Kyoto) strain of rat. Our study revealed significant differences with regard to the central CCK system of the FH compared to the WKY rat, including differences in CCK-A receptor binding throughout the dorsal medulla, and altered CCK-B binding density throughout the cerebral cortex and reticular nucleus of the thalamus. The most striking result, given the altered behavioural phenotype of the FH rat, was the 33% lower density of CCKmRNA measured throughout the ventral tegmental area of the FH rat when compared to the WKY. This study also reports on a protocol to utilise a novel radioligand, [125I]-D-Tyr-Gly-A-71378, for autoradiographic detection of CCK-A receptors throughout the rat brain. As previously reported, CCK-A receptors were located throughout the area postrema, interpeduncular nucleus and nucleus tractus solitarii; however, binding to CCK-A receptors was also visualised throughout the medial pre-optic area, the arcuate nucleus and the circumventricular regions of the ventral hypothalamus, regions known to contain CCK-A receptors but which were previously undetectable using autoradiography in rat brain.

  19. Effect of voluntary alcohol consumption on Maoa expression in the mesocorticolimbic brain of adult male rats previously exposed to prolonged maternal separation

    PubMed Central

    Bendre, M; Comasco, E; Nylander, I; Nilsson, K W

    2015-01-01

    Discordant associations between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype and high alcohol drinking have been reported in human and non-human primates. Environmental influences likely moderate genetic susceptibility. The biological basis for this interplay remains elusive, and inconsistencies call for translational studies in which conditions can be controlled and brain tissue is accessible. The present study investigated whether early life stress and subsequent adult episodic alcohol consumption affect Maoa expression in stress- and reward-related brain regions in the rat. Outbred Wistar rats were exposed to rearing conditions associated with stress (prolonged maternal separation) or no stress during early life, and given free choice between alcohol and/or water in adulthood. Transcript levels of Maoa were assessed in the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens (NAc), medial prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, amygdala and dorsal striatum (DS). Blood was collected to assess corticosterone levels. After alcohol consumption, lower blood corticosterone and Maoa expression in the NAc and DS were found in rats exposed to early life stress compared with control rats. An interaction between early life stress and voluntary alcohol intake was found in the NAc. Alcohol intake before death correlated negatively with Maoa expression in DS in high alcohol-drinking rats exposed to early life stress. Maoa expression is sensitive to adulthood voluntary alcohol consumption in the presence of early life stress in outbred rats. These findings add knowledge of the molecular basis of the previously reported associations between early life stress, MAOA and susceptibility to alcohol misuse. PMID:26645625

  20. Effect of voluntary alcohol consumption on Maoa expression in the mesocorticolimbic brain of adult male rats previously exposed to prolonged maternal separation.

    PubMed

    Bendre, M; Comasco, E; Nylander, I; Nilsson, K W

    2015-01-01

    Discordant associations between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype and high alcohol drinking have been reported in human and non-human primates. Environmental influences likely moderate genetic susceptibility. The biological basis for this interplay remains elusive, and inconsistencies call for translational studies in which conditions can be controlled and brain tissue is accessible. The present study investigated whether early life stress and subsequent adult episodic alcohol consumption affect Maoa expression in stress- and reward-related brain regions in the rat. Outbred Wistar rats were exposed to rearing conditions associated with stress (prolonged maternal separation) or no stress during early life, and given free choice between alcohol and/or water in adulthood. Transcript levels of Maoa were assessed in the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens (NAc), medial prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, amygdala and dorsal striatum (DS). Blood was collected to assess corticosterone levels. After alcohol consumption, lower blood corticosterone and Maoa expression in the NAc and DS were found in rats exposed to early life stress compared with control rats. An interaction between early life stress and voluntary alcohol intake was found in the NAc. Alcohol intake before death correlated negatively with Maoa expression in DS in high alcohol-drinking rats exposed to early life stress. Maoa expression is sensitive to adulthood voluntary alcohol consumption in the presence of early life stress in outbred rats. These findings add knowledge of the molecular basis of the previously reported associations between early life stress, MAOA and susceptibility to alcohol misuse. PMID:26645625

  1. A 14C-2-deoxyglucose analysis of the neural pathways of the limbic forebrain in the rat: II. The hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Watson, R E; Troiano, R; Poulakos, J; Weiner, S; Siegel, A

    1982-05-01

    An attempt was made to characterize the nature of the functional organization of the hypothalamus by observing the patterns of uptake of 14C-2-deoxyglucose (2DG) following electrical stimulation of different regions within the preoptico-hypothalamus in the rat. The experimental paradigm consisted of electrical brain stimulation delivered continuously for periods of 30 sec on and 30 sec off for 45 minutes following injection of 2DG. Brains were removed and processed for autoradiography. Activation of the medial forebrain bundle was noted following stimulation of the nucleus accumbens and lateral preoptico-hypothalamus. Activated fibers could be followed only in a caudal direction through the medial forebrain bundle and into the ventral tegmental area as a result of nucleus accumbens stimulation. Stimulation of the lateral preoptic region or of the anterior half of lateral hypothalamus produced activation of the lateral septal nucleus, lateral habenular nucleus, perifornical region, midline thalamus and ventral tegmental area. Since stimulation of the perifornical hypothalamus significantly activated the rostro-caudal extent of the midbrain cental gray, it is suggested that impulses from the lateral hypothalamus reach the lower brainstem via its connections with the perifornical hypothalamus. Ventromedial hypothalamic stimulation activated only the lateral septal nucleus, cortico-medial amygdala and medial preoptico-hypothalamus, while medial preoptico-hypothalamic stimulation resulted in increased 2DG uptake in the midbrain central gray, thus suggesting that medial hypothalamic impulses reach the brainstem by first ascending to the level of the preoptico-hypothalamus. Mammillary body stimulation orthodromically activated fibers in the mammillothalamic and mammillotegmental tracts and antidromically fibers in the fornix for a short distance.

  2. Pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus lesions impair probabilistic reversal learning by reducing sensitivity to positive reward feedback.

    PubMed

    Syed, Anam; Baker, Phillip M; Ragozzino, Michael E

    2016-05-01

    Recent findings indicate that pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) neurons encode reward-related information that is context-dependent. This information is critical for behavioral flexibility when reward outcomes change signaling a shift in response patterns should occur. The present experiment investigated whether NMDA lesions of the PPTg affects the acquisition and/or reversal learning of a spatial discrimination using probabilistic reinforcement. Male Long-Evans rats received a bilateral infusion of NMDA (30nmoles/side) or saline into the PPTg. Subsequently, rats were tested in a spatial discrimination test using a probabilistic learning procedure. One spatial location was rewarded with an 80% probability and the other spatial location rewarded with a 20% probability. After reaching acquisition criterion of 10 consecutive correct trials, the spatial location - reward contingencies were reversed in the following test session. Bilateral and unilateral PPTg-lesioned rats acquired the spatial discrimination test comparable to that as sham controls. In contrast, bilateral PPTg lesions, but not unilateral PPTg lesions, impaired reversal learning. The reversal learning deficit occurred because of increased regressions to the previously 'correct' spatial location after initially selecting the new, 'correct' choice. PPTg lesions also reduced the frequency of win-stay behavior early in the reversal learning session, but did not modify the frequency of lose-shift behavior during reversal learning. The present results suggest that the PPTg contributes to behavioral flexibility under conditions in which outcomes are uncertain, e.g. probabilistic reinforcement, by facilitating sensitivity to positive reward outcomes that allows the reliable execution of a new choice pattern. PMID:26976089

  3. Modulation of nucleus accumbens connectivity by alcohol drinking and naltrexone in alcohol-preferring rats: A manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Mateusz; Canals, Santiago; Sommer, Wolfgang H; Hyytiä, Petri

    2016-03-01

    The nonselective opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone is now used for the treatment of alcoholism, yet naltrexone's central mechanism of action remains poorly understood. One line of evidence suggests that opioid antagonists regulate alcohol drinking through interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine system. Hence, our goal here was to examine the role of the nucleus accumbens connectivity in alcohol reinforcement and naltrexone's actions using manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI). Following long-term free-choice drinking of alcohol and water, AA (Alko Alcohol) rats received injections of MnCl2 into the nucleus accumbens for activity-dependent tracing of accumbal connections. Immediately after the accumbal injections, rats were imaged using MEMRI, and then allowed to drink either alcohol or water for the next 24h. Naltrexone was administered prior to the active dark period, and the second MEMRI was performed 24h after the first scan. Comparison of signal intensity at 1 and 24h after accumbal MnCl2 injections revealed an ipsilateral continuum through the ventral pallidum, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, globus pallidus, and lateral hypothalamus to the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Activation was also seen in the rostral part of the insular cortex and regions of the prefrontal cortex. Alcohol drinking resulted in enhanced activation of these connections, whereas naltrexone suppressed alcohol-induced activity. These data support the involvement of the accumbal connections in alcohol reinforcement and mediation of naltrexone's suppressive effects on alcohol drinking through their deactivation.

  4. Increased efficacy of the 6-hydroxydopamine lesion of the median forebrain bundle in small rats, by modification of the stereotaxic coordinates.

    PubMed

    Torres, E M; Lane, E L; Heuer, A; Smith, G A; Murphy, E; Dunnett, S B

    2011-08-30

    The 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion is the most widely used rat model of Parkinson's disease. A single unilateral injection of 6-OHDA into the median forebrain bundle (MFB) selectively destroys dopamine neurons in the ipsilateral substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), removing more than 95% of the dopamine innervation from target areas. The stereotaxic coordinates used to deliver 6-OHDA to the MFB have been used in our laboratory successfully for more than 25 years. However, in recent years we have observed a decline in the success rate of this lesion. Previously regular success rates of >80% of rats lesioned, have become progressively more variable, with rates as low as 20% recorded in some experiments. Having excluded variability of the neurotoxin and operator errors, we hypothesized that the change seen might be due to the use of smaller rats at the time of first surgery. An attempt to proportionally adjust the lesion coordinates base on head size did not increase lesion efficacy. However, in support of the small rat hypothesis it was observed that, using the standard coordinates, rat's heads had a "nose-up" position in the stereotaxic fame. Adjustment of the nose bar to obtain a flat head position during surgery improved lesion success, and subsequent adjustments of the lesion coordinates to account for smaller head size led to a greatly increased lesion efficacy (>90%) as assessed by amphetamine induced rotation.

  5. Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone, 'meow'): acute behavioural effects and distribution of Fos expression in adolescent rats.

    PubMed

    Motbey, Craig P; Hunt, Glenn E; Bowen, Michael T; Artiss, Suzanne; McGregor, Iain S

    2012-03-01

    Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a novel recreational drug that has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years. Users report mephedrone as having the stimulant-like qualities of methamphetamine and cocaine, combined with the prosocial, entactogenic effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Anecdotal and case study reports indicate that mephedrone may have the potential to engender compulsive patterns of use as well as toxicity in overdose. However, there have been almost no neuropharmacological investigations of the drug up to this point. Here we examined the effects of two different mephedrone doses [15 and 30 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (IP)] relative to the well-known stimulant methamphetamine (2 mg/kg IP) in adolescent rats. Rats were injected, assessed for locomotor activity for 60 minutes and then tested in a 10-minute social preference test (measuring time spent in close proximity to a real rat versus a dummy rat). Their brains were then processed using Fos immunohistochemistry to determine patterns of brain activation. Results showed that mephedrone caused profound locomotor hyperactivity at both dose levels while tending to reduce social preference. Patterns of Fos expression with mephedrone resembled a combination of those observed with methamphetamine and MDMA, with particularly strong Fos expression in the cortex, dorsal and ventral striatum, ventral tegmental area (typical of both MDMA and methamphetamine) and supraoptic nucleus (typical of MDMA). These results demonstrate for the first time the powerful stimulant effects of mephedrone in animal models and its capacity to activate mesolimbic regions. These results also provide some empirical basis to user reports that mephedrone subjectively resembles a MDMA/methamphetamine hybrid.

  6. Orbitofrontal lesions eliminate signalling of biological significance in cue-responsive ventral striatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Cooch, Nisha K; Stalnaker, Thomas A; Wied, Heather M; Bali-Chaudhary, Sheena; McDannald, Michael A; Liu, Tzu-Lan; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    The ventral striatum has long been proposed as an integrator of biologically significant associative information to drive actions. Although inputs from the amygdala and hippocampus have been much studied, the role of prominent inputs from orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) are less well understood. Here, we recorded single-unit activity from ventral striatum core in rats with sham or ipsilateral neurotoxic lesions of lateral OFC, as they performed an odour-guided spatial choice task. Consistent with prior reports, we found that spiking activity recorded in sham rats during cue sampling was related to both reward magnitude and reward identity, with higher firing rates observed for cues that predicted more reward. Lesioned rats also showed differential activity to the cues, but this activity was unbiased towards larger rewards. These data support a role for OFC in shaping activity in the ventral striatum to represent the biological significance of associative information in the environment.

  7. Autoradiographic localization of nicotinic receptor binding in rat brain using (/sup 3/H)methylcarbamylcholine, a novel radioligand

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, S.; Gehlert, D.R.; Hawkins, K.N.; Nakayama, K.; Roeske, W.R.; Yamamura, H.I.

    1987-12-28

    Light microscopic autoradiography was used to visualize the neuroanatomical distribution of nicotinic receptors in rat brain using a novel radioligand, (/sup 3/H)methylcarbamylcholine (MCC). Specific (/sup 3/H)MCC binding to slide-mounted tissue sections of rat brain was saturable, reversible and of high affinity. Data analysis revealed a single population of (/sup 3/H)MCC binding sites with a K/sub d/ value or 1.8 nM and B/sub max/ of 20.1 fmol/mg protein. Nicotinic agonists and antagonists competed for (/sup 3/H)MCC binding sites in slide-mounted brain sections with much greater potency than muscarinic drugs. The rat brain areas containing the highest densities of (/sup 3/H)MCC binding were in thalamic regions, the medial habenular nucleus and the superior colliculus. Moderate densities of (/sup 3/H)MCC binding were seen over the anterior cingulate cortex, the nucleus accumbens, the zona compacta of substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. Low densities of (/sup 3/H)MCC binding were found in most other brain regions. These data suggest that (/sup 3/H)MCC selectively labels central nicotinic receptors and that these receptors are concentrated in the thalamus, the medial habenular nucleus and the superior colliculus of the rat brain. 29 references, 6 figures, 2 tables.

  8. Tail pinch induces fos immunoreactivity within several regions of the male rat brain: effects of age.

    PubMed

    Smith, W J; Stewart, J; Pfaus, J G

    1997-05-01

    Brief, intermittent stressors, such as low-level foot shock or tail pinch, induce a general excitement and autonomic arousal in rats that increases their sensitivity to external incentives. Such stimulation can facilitate a variety of behaviors, including feeding, aggression, sexual activity, parental behavior, and drug taking if the appropriate stimuli exist in the environment. However, the ability of tail pinch to induce general arousal and incentive motivation appears to diminish with age. Here we report on the ability of tail pinch to induce Fos immunoreactivity within several brain regions as a function of age. Young (2-3 months) and middle-aged (12-13 months) male rats were administered either five tail pinches (one every 2 min), one tail pinch, or zero (sham) tail pinches (n = 4 per stimulation condition). Rats were sacrificed 75 min following the onset of stimulation, and their brains were prepared for immunocytochemical detection of Fos protein. Fos immunoreactivity was induced by one and five tail pinches in several brain regions, including the anterior medial preoptic area (mPOA), paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PV-Thal), medial amygdala (MEA), basolateral amygdala (BLA), lateral habenula (LHab), and ventral tegmental area (VTA), of young rats compared with those that received zero tail pinches. In contrast to young rats, middle-aged rats had significantly less Fos induced by one and five tail pinches in the mPOA, PVN, MEA, BLA, and VTA, but an equivalent amount induced in the LHab. Fos immunoreactivity was not found within the medial prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, striatum, lateral septum, or locus coeruleus in either young or old rats. Tail pinch appears to activate regions of the brain known to be involved in behavioral responses to both incentive cues and stressors. The lower level of cellular reactivity to tail pinch in middle-aged rats suggests a diminished neural responsiveness to

  9. Preferential Reactivation of Motivationally Relevant Information in the Ventral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Lansink, Carien S.; Goltstein, Pieter M.; Lankelma, Jan V.; Joosten, Ruud N. J. M. A.; McNaughton, Bruce L.

    2008-01-01

    Spontaneous “off-line” reactivation of neuronal activity patterns may contribute to the consolidation of memory traces. The ventral striatum exhibits reactivation and has been implicated in the processing of motivational information. It is unknown, however, whether reactivating neuronal ensembles specifically recapitulate information relating to rewards that were encountered during wakefulness. We demonstrate a prolonged reactivation in rat ventral striatum during quiet wakefulness and slow-wave but not rapid eye movement sleep. Reactivation of reward-related information processed in this structure was particularly prominent, and this was primarily attributable to spike trains temporally linked to reward sites. It was accounted for by small, strongly correlated subgroups in recorded cell assemblies and can thus be characterized as a sparse phenomenon. Our results indicate that reactivated memory traces may not only comprise feature- and context-specific information but also contain a value component. PMID:18562607

  10. Time-dependent co-relation of BDNF and CREB mRNAs in adult rat brains following acute psychological stress in the communication box paradigm.

    PubMed

    Li, Gongying; Wang, Yanmei; Yan, Min; Ma, Hongxia; Gao, Yanjie; Li, Zexuan; Li, Changqi; Tian, Hongjun; Zhuo, Chuanjun

    2016-06-15

    Psychological stress affects human health, and chronic stress leads to life-threatening diseases, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychological stress coping mechanisms involve the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and downstream cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), which are targets of the adverse effects of stress paradigms. Fourty-seven adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control, physical stress and six psychological stress groups which were assayed at 0h, 0.5h, 1h, 2h, 6h and 24h after communication box (CB) stress induction. Behavioral assessment using open field and elevated plus maze tests determined that CB stress significantly increased anxiety. After CB stress, the alternation of mRNA levels of BDNF and CREB were assessed at different time points by in situ hybridization. The mRNA levels of BDNF and CREB were significantly decreased, then gradually recovered over 24h to maximum levels in the hippocampus (CA1 region), prefrontal cortex (PFC), central amygdaloid nuclei (AG), shell of accumbens nucleus (NAC), periaqueductal gray (PAG) and ventral tegmental area, except for the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Moreover, mRNA levels of BDNF and CREB were positively correlated in all examined brain regions, except for the VTA region at 0 and 24h after CB stress induction. These findings suggest that BDNF and CREB may belong to the same pathway and be involved in psychological stress response mechanisms, and protect the organism from stress induced, aversive processes leading to disease. PMID:27132084

  11. Time-dependent co-relation of BDNF and CREB mRNAs in adult rat brains following acute psychological stress in the communication box paradigm.

    PubMed

    Li, Gongying; Wang, Yanmei; Yan, Min; Ma, Hongxia; Gao, Yanjie; Li, Zexuan; Li, Changqi; Tian, Hongjun; Zhuo, Chuanjun

    2016-06-15

    Psychological stress affects human health, and chronic stress leads to life-threatening diseases, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychological stress coping mechanisms involve the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and downstream cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), which are targets of the adverse effects of stress paradigms. Fourty-seven adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control, physical stress and six psychological stress groups which were assayed at 0h, 0.5h, 1h, 2h, 6h and 24h after communication box (CB) stress induction. Behavioral assessment using open field and elevated plus maze tests determined that CB stress significantly increased anxiety. After CB stress, the alternation of mRNA levels of BDNF and CREB were assessed at different time points by in situ hybridization. The mRNA levels of BDNF and CREB were significantly decreased, then gradually recovered over 24h to maximum levels in the hippocampus (CA1 region), prefrontal cortex (PFC), central amygdaloid nuclei (AG), shell of accumbens nucleus (NAC), periaqueductal gray (PAG) and ventral tegmental area, except for the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Moreover, mRNA levels of BDNF and CREB were positively correlated in all examined brain regions, except for the VTA region at 0 and 24h after CB stress induction. These findings suggest that BDNF and CREB may belong to the same pathway and be involved in psychological stress response mechanisms, and protect the organism from stress induced, aversive processes leading to disease.

  12. The distribution of cannabinoid-induced Fos expression in rat brain: differences between the Lewis and Wistar strain.

    PubMed

    Arnold, J C; Topple, A N; Mallet, P E; Hunt, G E; McGregor, I S

    2001-12-01

    Previous studies have suggested that cannabis-like drugs produce mainly aversive and anxiogenic effects in Wistar strain rats, but rewarding effects in Lewis strain rats. In the present study we compared Fos expression, body temperature effects and behavioral effects elicited by the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor agonist CP 55,940 in Lewis and Wistar rats. Both a moderate (50 microg/kg) and a high (250 microg/kg) dose level were used. The 250 microg/kg dose caused locomotor suppression, hypothermia and catalepsy in both strains, but with a significantly greater effect in Wistar rats. The 50 microg/kg dose provoked moderate hypothermia and locomotor suppression but in Wistar rats only. CP 55,940 caused significant Fos immunoreactivity in 24 out of 33 brain regions examined. The most dense expression was seen in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, the islands of Calleja, the lateral septum (ventral), the central nucleus of the amygdala, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (lateral division) and the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. Despite having a similar distribution of CP 55,940-induced Fos expression, Lewis rats showed less overall Fos expression than Wistars in nearly every brain region counted. This held equally true for anxiety-related brain structures (e.g. central nucleus of the amygdala, periaqueductal gray and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) and reward-related sites (nucleus accumbens and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus). In a further experiment, Wistar rats and Lewis rats did not differ in the amount of Fos immunoreactivity produced by cocaine (15 mg/kg). These results indicate that Lewis rats are less sensitive to the behavioral, physiological and neural effects of cannabinoids. The exact mechanism underlying this subsensitivity requires further investigation.

  13. Quantitative Proteomics in Laser Capture Microdissected Sleep Nuclei From Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Ronald A.; Winrow, Christopher J.; Spellman, Daniel S.; Song, Qinghua; Reiss, Duane R.; Conway, James P.; Taylor, Rhonda R.; Coleman, Paul J.; Hendrickson, Ronald C.

    2014-01-01

    The combination of stable isotope labeling of amino acids in mammals (SILAM) and laser capture microdissection (LCM) for selective proteomic analysis of the targeted tissues holds tremendous potential for refined characterization of proteome changes within complex tissues such as the brain. The authors have applied this approach to measure changes in relative protein abundance in ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the rat brain that correlate to pharmacological perturbations. Enriched 13C6 15N2-lysine was introduced in vivo via diet. These animals were sacrificed during the middle of the 12-hour light period to extract isotopically “heavy” proteins, which were then used as a reference for extracts from dosed, unlabeled rats. Animals were administered an orexin peptide (Ox-B), an orexin receptor antagonist (ORA), or a mixture of both (Ox-B + ORA). All samples were obtained at same phase of the sleep cycle. Labeled-pair identification and differential quantitation provided protein identification and expression ratio data. Five proteins were found to exhibit decreased relative abundance after administration of an ORA, including α-synuclein and rat myelin basic protein. Conversely, six proteins showed increased relative abundance upon antagonist treatment, including 2’,3’-cyclic nucleotide 3’-phosphodiesterase. PMID:24579665

  14. The role of neurotensin in positive reinforcement in the rat central nucleus of amygdala.

    PubMed

    László, Kristóf; Tóth, Krisztián; Kertes, Erika; Péczely, László; Lénárd, László

    2010-04-01

    In the central nervous system neurotensin (NT) acts as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. It was shown that NT has positive reinforcing effects after its direct microinjection into the ventral tegmental area. The central nucleus of amygdala (CeA), part of the limbic system, plays an important role in learning, memory, regulation of feeding, anxiety and emotional behavior. By means of immunohistochemical and radioimmune methods it was shown that the amygdaloid body is relatively rich in NT immunoreactive elements and NT receptors. The aim of our study was to examine the possible effects of NT on reinforcement and anxiety in the CeA. In conditioned place preference test male Wistar rats were microinjected bilaterally with 100 or 250 ng NT in volume of 0.4 microl or 35 ng neurotensin receptor 1 (NTS1) antagonist SR 48692 alone, or NTS1 antagonist 15 min before 100 ng NT treatment. Hundred or 250 ng NT significantly increased the time rats spent in the treatment quadrant. Prior treatment with the non-peptide NTS1 antagonist blocked the effects of NT. Antagonist itself did not influence the reinforcing effect. In elevated plus maze test we did not find differences among the groups as far as the anxiety index (time spent on the open arms) was concerned. Our results suggest that in the rat ACE NT has positive reinforcing effects. We clarified that NTS1s are involved in this action. It was also shown that NT does not influence anxiety behavior.

  15. Reward cues in space: commonalities and differences in neural coding by hippocampal and ventral striatal ensembles

    PubMed Central

    Lansink, Carien S.; Jackson, Jadin; Lankelma, Jan V.; Ito, Rutsuko; Robbins, Trevor W.; Everitt, Barry J.; Pennartz, Cyriel M.A.

    2012-01-01

    Forming place-reward associations critically depends on the integrity of the hippocampal-ventral striatal system. The ventral striatum receives a strong hippocampal input conveying spatial-contextual information, but it is unclear how this structure integrates this information to invigorate reward-directed behavior. Neuronal ensembles in rat hippocampus and ventral striatum were simultaneously recorded during a conditioning task in which navigation depended on path integration. In contrast to hippocampus, ventral striatal neurons showed low spatial selectivity, but rather coded behavioral task phases towards reaching goal sites. Outcome-predicting cues induced a remapping of firing patterns in the hippocampus, consistent with its role in episodic memory. Ventral striatum remapped in conjunction with the hippocampus, indicating that remapping can take place in multiple brain regions engaged in the same task. Subsets of ventral striatal neurons showed a “flip” from high activity when cue lights were illuminated to low activity in intertrial intervals, or vice versa. The cues induced an increase in spatial information transmission and sparsity in both structures. These effects were paralleled by an enhanced temporal specificity of ensemble coding and a more accurate reconstruction of the animal’s position from population firing patterns. Altogether, the results reveal strong differences in spatial processing between hippocampal area CA1 and ventral striatum, but indicate similarities in how discrete cues impact on this processing. PMID:22956836

  16. Role for the rostromedial tegmental nucleus in signaling the aversive properties of alcohol

    PubMed Central

    Glover, Elizabeth J.; McDougle, Molly J.; Siegel, Griffin S.; Jhou, Thomas C.; Chandler, L. Judson

    2016-01-01

    Background While the rewarding effects of alcohol contribute significantly to its addictive potential, it is becoming increasingly appreciated that alcohol’s aversive properties also play an important role in the propensity to drink. Despite this, the neurobiological mechanism for alcohol’s aversive actions is not well understood. The rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) was recently characterized for its involvement in aversive signaling and has been shown to encode the aversive properties of cocaine, yet its involvement in alcohol’s aversive actions have not been elucidated. Methods Adult male and female Long-Evans rats underwent conditioned taste aversion (CTA) procedures where exposure to a novel saccharin solution was paired with i.p. administration of saline, lithium chloride (LiCl), or ethanol (EtOH). Control rats underwent the same paradigm except that drug and saccharin exposure were explicitly unpaired. Saccharin consumption was measured on test day in the absence of drug administration and rats were sacrificed 90–105 min following access to saccharin. Brains were subsequently harvested and processed for cFos immunohistochemistry. The number of cFos labeled neurons was counted in the RMTg and the lateral habenula (LHb) – a region that sends prominent glutamatergic input to the RMTg. Results In rats that received paired drug and saccharin exposure, EtOH and LiCl induced significant CTA compared to saline to a similar degree in males and females. Both EtOH- and LiCl-induced CTA significantly enhanced cFos expression in the RMTg and LHb but not the hippocampus. Similar to behavioral measures, no significant effect of sex on CTA-induced cFos expression was observed. cFos expression in both the RMTg and LHb was significantly correlated to CTA magnitude with greater cFos being associated with more pronounced CTA. In addition, cFos expression in the RMTg was positively correlated with LHb cFos. Conclusions These data suggest that the RMTg and LHb are

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 the present 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. PMID:24832868

  18. Chronic delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol during adolescence provokes sex-dependent changes in the emotional profile in adult rats: behavioral and biochemical correlates.

    PubMed

    Rubino, Tiziana; Vigano', Daniela; Realini, Natalia; Guidali, Cinzia; Braida, Daniela; Capurro, Valeria; Castiglioni, Chiara; Cherubino, Francesca; Romualdi, Patrizia; Candeletti, Sanzio; Sala, Mariaelvina; Parolaro, Daniela

    2008-10-01

    Few and often contradictory reports exist on the long-term neurobiological consequences of cannabinoid consumption in adolescents. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role during the different stages of brain development as cannabinoids influence the release and action of different neurotransmitters and promote neurogenesis. This study tested whether long-lasting interference by cannabinoids with the developing endogenous cannabinoid system during adolescence caused persistent behavioral alterations in adult rats. Adolescent female and male rats were treated with increasing doses of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for 11 days (postnatal day (PND) 35-45) and left undisturbed until adulthood (PND 75) when behavioral and biochemical assays were carried out. CB1 receptor level and CB1/G-protein coupling were significantly reduced by THC exposure in the amygdala (Amyg), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of female rats, whereas male rats had significant alterations only in the amygdala and hippocampal formation. Neither female nor male rats showed any changes in anxiety responses (elevated plus maze and open-field tests) but female rats presented significant 'behavioral despair' (forced swim test) paralleled by anhedonia (sucrose preference). In contrast, male rats showed no behavioral despair but did present anhedonia. This different behavioral picture was supported by biochemical parameters of depression, namely CREB alteration. Only female rats had low CREB activity in the hippocampal formation and prefrontal cortex and high activity in the NAc paralleled by increases in dynorphin expression. These results suggest that heavy cannabis consumption in adolescence may induce subtle alterations in the emotional circuit in female rats, ending in depressive-like behavior, whereas male rats show altered sensitivity to rewarding stimuli.

  19. Reward prediction error computation in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus neurons.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Yasushi; Okada, Ken-Ichi

    2007-05-01

    In this article, we address the role of neuronal activity in the pathways of the brainstem-midbrain circuit in reward and the basis for believing that this circuit provides advantages over previous reinforcement learning theory. Several lines of evidence support the reward-based learning theory proposing that midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons send a teaching signal (the reward prediction error signal) to control synaptic plasticity of the projection area. However, the underlying mechanism of where and how the reward prediction error signal is computed still remains unclear. Since the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTN) in the brainstem is one of the strongest excitatory input sources to DA neurons, we hypothesized that the PPTN may play an important role in activating DA neurons and reinforcement learning by relaying necessary signals for reward prediction error computation to DA neurons. To investigate the involvement of the PPTN neurons in computation of reward prediction error, we used a visually guided saccade task (VGST) during recording of neuronal activity in monkeys. Here, we predict that PPTN neurons may relay the excitatory component of tonic reward prediction and phasic primary reward signals, and derive a new computational theory of the reward prediction error in DA neurons.

  20. The ventral pallidum: Subregion-specific functional anatomy and roles in motivated behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Root, David H.; Melendez, Roberto I.; Zaborszky, Laszlo; Napier, T. Celeste

    2015-01-01

    The ventral pallidum (VP) plays a critical role in the processing and execution of motivated behaviors. Yet this brain region is often overlooked in published discussions of the neurobiology of mental health (e.g., addiction, depression). This contributes to a gap in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. This review is presented to help bridge the gap by providing a resource for current knowledge of VP anatomy, projection patterns and subregional circuits, and how this organization relates to the function of VP neurons and ultimately behavior. For example, ventromedial (VPvm) and dorsolateral (VPdl) VP subregions receive projections from nucleus accumbens shell and core, respectively. Inhibitory GABAergic neurons of the VPvm project to mediodorsal thalamus, lateral hypothalamus, and ventral tegmental area, and this VP subregion helps discriminate the appropriate conditions to acquire natural rewards or drugs of abuse, consume preferred foods, and perform working memory tasks. GABAergic neurons of the VPdl project to subthalamic nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata, and this VP subregion is modulated by, and is necessary for, drug-seeking behavior. Additional circuits arise from nonGABAergic neuronal phenotypes that are likely to excite rather than inhibit their targets. These subregional and neuronal phenotypic circuits place the VP in a unique position to process motivationally-relevant stimuli and coherent adaptive behaviors. PMID:25857550

  1. The ventral pallidum: Subregion-specific functional anatomy and roles in motivated behaviors.

    PubMed

    Root, David H; Melendez, Roberto I; Zaborszky, Laszlo; Napier, T Celeste

    2015-07-01

    The ventral pallidum (VP) plays a critical role in the processing and execution of motivated behaviors. Yet this brain region is often overlooked in published discussions of the neurobiology of mental health (e.g., addiction, depression). This contributes to a gap in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. This review is presented to help bridge the gap by providing a resource for current knowledge of VP anatomy, projection patterns and subregional circuits, and how this organization relates to the function of VP neurons and ultimately behavior. For example, ventromedial (VPvm) and dorsolateral (VPdl) VP subregions receive projections from nucleus accumbens shell and core, respectively. Inhibitory GABAergic neurons of the VPvm project to mediodorsal thalamus, lateral hypothalamus, and ventral tegmental area, and this VP subregion helps discriminate the appropriate conditions to acquire natural rewards or drugs of abuse, consume preferred foods, and perform working memory tasks. GABAergic neurons of the VPdl project to subthalamic nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata, and this VP subregion is modulated by, and is necessary for, drug-seeking behavior. Additional circuits arise from nonGABAergic neuronal phenotypes that are likely to excite rather than inhibit their targets. These subregional and neuronal phenotypic circuits place the VP in a unique position to process motivationally relevant stimuli and coherent adaptive behaviors.

  2. A Transgenic Rat for Investigating the Anatomy and Function of Corticotrophin Releasing Factor Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Pomrenze, Matthew B.; Millan, E. Zayra; Hopf, F. Woodward; Keiflin, Ronald; Maiya, Rajani; Blasio, Angelo; Dadgar, Jahan; Kharazia, Viktor; De Guglielmo, Giordano; Crawford, Elena; Janak, Patricia H.; George, Olivier; Rice, Kenner C.; Messing, Robert O.

    2015-01-01

    Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) is a 41 amino acid neuropeptide that coordinates adaptive responses to stress. CRF projections from neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) to the brainstem are of particular interest for their role in motivated behavior. To directly examine the anatomy and function of CRF neurons, we generated a BAC transgenic Crh-Cre rat in which bacterial Cre recombinase is expressed from the Crh promoter. Using Cre-dependent reporters, we found that Cre expressing neurons in these rats are immunoreactive for CRF and are clustered in the lateral CeA (CeL) and the oval nucleus of the BNST. We detected major projections from CeA CRF neurons to parabrachial nuclei and the locus coeruleus, dorsal and ventral BNST, and more minor projections to lateral portions of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and lateral hypothalamus. Optogenetic stimulation of CeA CRF neurons evoked GABA-ergic responses in 11% of non-CRF neurons in the medial CeA (CeM) and 44% of non-CRF neurons in the CeL. Chemogenetic stimulation of CeA CRF neurons induced Fos in a similar proportion of non-CRF CeM neurons but a smaller proportion of non-CRF CeL neurons. The CRF1 receptor antagonist R121919 reduced this Fos induction by two-thirds in these regions. These results indicate that CeL CRF neurons provide both local inhibitory GABA and excitatory CRF signals to other CeA neurons, and demonstrate the value of the Crh-Cre rat as a tool for studying circuit function and physiology of CRF neurons. PMID:26733798

  3. Heteropterys tomentosa (A. Juss.) infusion counteracts Cyclosporin a side effects on the ventral prostate

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cyclosporin A (CsA) is an immunosuppressive drug widely used in treatment of auto-immune diseases or after organ transplants. However, several side effects are commonly associated with CsA long term intake, some regarding to loss of reproductive organ function due to oxidative damage. Considering that phytotherapy is an important tool often used against oxidative stress, we would like to describe the beneficial effects of Heteropterys tomentosa intake to minimize the damage caused by CsA to the ventral prostate tissue of Wistar rats under laboratorial conditions. Methods Thirty adult Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus albinus) were divided into: control group (water); CsA group (Cyclosporin A); Ht group (H. tomentosa infusion) and CsA + Ht group (CsA and H. tomentosa infusion). Plasmic levels of hepatotoxicity markers, triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose were quantified. The ventral prostate tissue was analyzed under light microscopy, using stereological, morphometrical and immunohistochemical techniques. Results H. tomentosa did not cause any alterations either of the plasmic parameters or of the ventral prostate structure. CsA caused alterations of GOT, total and indirect bilirubin, cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels in the plasma; CsA-treated rats showed alterations of the ventral prostate tissue. There were no alterations regarding the plasma levels of GOT, triglycerides and glucose of CsA + Ht animals. The same group also showed normalization of most of the parameters analyzed on the ventral prostate tissue when compared to the CsA group. The treatments did not alter the pattern of AR expression or the apoptotic index of the ventral prostate epithelium. Conclusions The results suggest a protective action of the H. tomentosa infusion against the side effects of CsA on the ventral prostate tissue, which could also be observed with plasmic biochemical parameters. PMID:23406403

  4. Effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on impulsivity and motor activity in preadolescent rats prenatally-treated with alcohol.

    PubMed

    Juárez, Jorge; Guerrero-Álvarez, Ángeles

    2015-12-01

    Prenatal alcohol treatment (PA) produces a decrease in dopaminergic neuron activity in the ventral tegmental area, an alteration that is alleviated with methylphenidate treatment. Evidence exists that PA also produces hyperactivity, inattention and enhanced impulsivity, behavioral alterations that have been related to dopaminergic and noradrenergic functions. The purpose of this work was to study the effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on impulsivity and motor activity in preadolescent male rats prenatally exposed to alcohol. Pregnant Wistar rats were exposed to either alcohol or an isocaloric solution from Days 8 to 20 of gestation. Starting at 24 postnatal days, male offspring were tested for motor activity and trained in a delay-discounting task for impulsivity assessment before, and during, treatment with either 3 mg/kg i.p. of methylphenidate, 2 mg/kg i.p. of atomoxetine, or saline i.p. The group prenatally exposed to alcohol showed higher motor activity and more frequent choices of immediate, but small, rewards than the control group; a finding indicative of higher impulsivity. Atomoxetine reduced both motor activity and impulsivity. In contrast, methylphenidate had only a mild effect on impulsivity. Results suggest an important participation of noradrenergic transmission in cognitive impulsivity and hyperactivity in preadolescent rats with previous alterations in these behaviors. Dopaminergic participation in these behaviors is partially supported by the present findings on the basis of the effects of methylphenidate.

  5. The dual dopamine-glutamate phenotype of growing mesencephalic neurons regresses in mature rat brain.

    PubMed

    Bérubé-Carrière, Noémie; Riad, Mustapha; Dal Bo, Grégory; Lévesque, Daniel; Trudeau, Louis-Eric; Descarries, Laurent

    2009-12-20

    Coexpression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) mRNAs in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and colocalization of these proteins in axon terminals of the nucleus accumbens (nAcb) have recently been demonstrated in immature (15-day-old) rat. After neonatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion, the proportion of VTA neurons expressing both mRNAs and of nAcb terminals displaying the two proteins was enhanced. To determine the fate of this dual phenotype in adults, double in situ hybridization and dual immunolabeling for TH and VGLUT2 were performed in 90-day-old rats subjected or not to the neonatal 6-OHDA lesion. Very few neurons expressed both mRNAs in the VTA and substantia nigra (SN) of P90 rats, even after neonatal 6-OHDA. Dually immunolabeled terminals were no longer found in the nAcb of normal P90 rats and were exceedingly rare in the nAcb of 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, although they had represented 28% and 37% of all TH terminals at P15. Similarly, 17% of all TH terminals in normal neostriatum and 46% in the dopamine neoinnervation of SN in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats were also immunoreactive for VGLUT2 at P15, but none at P90. In these three regions, all dually labeled terminals made synapse, in contradistinction to those immunolabeled for only TH or VGLUT2 at P15. These results suggest a regression of the VGLUT2 phenotype of dopamine neurons with age, following normal development, lesion, or sprouting after injury, and a role for glutamate in the establishment of synapses by these neurons.

  6. A quantitative study of the brainstem cholinergic projections to the ventral part of the oral pontine reticular nucleus (REM sleep induction site) in the cat.

    PubMed

    Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita Lucía; Rodríguez-Veiga, Elisia; Reinoso-Suárez, Fernando

    2005-01-01

    The ventral part of the cat oral pontine reticular nucleus (vRPO) is the site in which microinjections of small dose and volume of cholinergic agonists produce long-lasting rapid eye movement sleep with short latency. The present study determined the precise location and proportions of the cholinergic brainstem neuronal population that projects to the vRPO using a double-labeling method that combines the neuronal tracer horseradish peroxidase-wheat germ agglutinin with choline acetyltransferase immunocytochemistry in cats. Our results show that 88.9% of the double-labeled neurons in the brainstem were located, noticeably bilaterally, in the cholinergic structures of the pontine tegmentum. These neurons occupied not only the pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei, which have been described to project to other pontine tegmentum structures, but also the locus ceruleus complex principally the locus ceruleus alpha and peri-alpha, and the parabrachial nuclei. Most double-labeled neurons were found in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and locus ceruleus complex and, much less abundantly, in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus and the parabrachial nuclei. The proportions of these neurons among all choline acetyltransferase positive neurons within each structure were highest in the locus ceruleus complex, followed in descending order by the pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei and then, the parabrachial nuclei. The remaining 11.1% of double-labeled neurons were found bilaterally in other cholinergic brainstem structures: around the oculomotor, facial and masticatory nuclei, the caudal pontine tegmentum and the praepositus hypoglossi nucleus. The disperse origins of the cholinergic neurons projecting to the vRPO, in addition to the abundant noncholinergic afferents to this nucleus may indicate that cholinergic stimulation is not the only or even the most decisive event in the generation of REM sleep.

  7. Differences in BOLD responses to intragastrically infused glucose and saccharin in rats.

    PubMed

    Tsurugizawa, Tomokazu; Uneyama, Hisayuki

    2014-10-01

    The postingestive effect is different between caloric and noncaloric sweeteners. The gut administration of glucose induces a preference for flavored water which is paired with the intragastric infusion of glucose. However, a comparison of the brain response to the gut glucose and saccharin stimuli still remains to be demonstrated. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal response to gut glucose and saccharin in the brain of conscious rats. Glucose induced a positive signal increase in the amygdala and nucleus accumben, both of which receive dopaminergic input from the ventral tegmental area. In contrast, saccharin administration did not activate these areas. Both glucose and saccharin increased the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal intensity in the insular cortex and the nucleus of the solitary tract. These results show that there were significant differences between postingestive glucose and saccharin-induced increases in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in rats. Together with previous findings, these results suggest distinct activation patterns in the brain for both glucose and saccharin, which is partially due to different changes of internal signals, including the blood glucose and insulin levels. PMID:25179231

  8. Cellular activation in limbic brain systems during social play behaviour in rats

    PubMed Central

    van Kerkhof, Linda W.M.; Trezza, Viviana; Mulder, Tessa; Gao, Ping; Voorn, Pieter; Vanderschuren, Louk J.M.J.

    2013-01-01

    Positive social interactions during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life are essential for proper social and cognitive development in mammals, including humans. During this developmental period, there is a marked increase in peer-peer interactions, signified by the abundance of social play behaviour. Despite its importance for behavioural development, our knowledge of the neural underpinnings of social play behaviour is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to map the neural circuits involved in social play behaviour in rats. This was achieved by examining cellular activity after social play using the immediate early gene c-fos as a marker. After a session of social play behaviour, pronounced increases in c-fos expression were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex, medial and ventral orbitofrontal cortex, dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens core and shell, lateral amygdala, several thalamic nuclei, dorsal raphe and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus. Importantly, the cellular activity patterns after social play were topographically organised in this network, as indicated by play-specific correlations in c-fos activity between regions with known direct connections. These correlations suggest involvement in social play behaviour of the projections from the medial prefrontal cortex to the striatum, and of amygdala and monoaminergic inputs to frontal cortex and striatum. The analyses presented here outline a topographically organised neural network implicated in processes such as reward, motivation and cognitive control over behaviour, which mediates social play behaviour in rats. PMID:23670540

  9. Electroacupuncture Alleviates Depressive-Like Symptoms and Modulates BDNF Signaling in 6-Hydroxydopamine Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Min; Wang, Ke; Yu, Yan; Su, Wen-Ting; Jiang, Xin-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have identified the beneficial effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on motor behaviors in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the role and potential mechanisms of EA in PD-associated depression remain unclear. In the present study, a rat model of PD with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions in the medial forebrain bundle was treated using EA for 4 weeks. We found that 100 Hz EA improved several motor phenotypes. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemical analysis showed that EA had a minimal impact on the TH-positive profiles of the ipsilateral ventral tegmental area. Compared with the 6-OHDA group, long-term EA stimulation significantly increased sucrose solution consumption and decreased immobility time in the forced swim test. EA treatment did not alter dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the striatum and hippocampus. Noticeably, EA treatment reversed the 6-OHDA-induced abnormal expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in the midbrain and hippocampus. These results demonstrate that EA at 100-Hz possesses the ability to improve depressive-like symptoms in PD rats, which is, at least in part, due to the distinct effect of EA on the mesostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic pathways. Moreover, BDNF seems to participate in the effect of EA in PD. PMID:27525025

  10. The effect of different durations of morphine exposure on mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons in morphine dependent rats.

    PubMed

    Shi, Weibo; Ma, Chunling; Qi, Qian; Liu, Lizhe; Bi, Haitao; Cong, Bin; Li, Yingmin

    2015-12-01

    Mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons are heavily involved in the development of drug dependence. Thyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis, plays an important role in the survival of dopaminergic neurons. Therefore, this study investigated TH changes in dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN), as well as the morphine effects on dopaminergic neurons induced by different durations of morphine dependence. Models of morphine dependence were established in rats, and paraffin-embedded sections, immunohistochemistry and western blotting were used to observe the changes in the expression of TH protein. Fluoro-Jade B staining was used to detect degeneration and necrosis, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end-labeling (TUNEL) detected the apoptosis of mesencephalic dopaminergic nerve cells. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting showed that the number of TH positive cells and the protein levels in the VTA and SN were significantly decreased in the rats with a long period of morphine dependency. With prolonged morphine exposure, the dopaminergic nerve cells in the VTA and SN showed degeneration and necrosis, while apoptotic cells were not observed. The number of VTA and SN dopaminergic nerve cells decreased with increasing periods of morphine dependence, which was most likely attributable to the degeneration and necrosis of nerve cells induced by morphine toxicity.

  11. Differences in BOLD responses to intragastrically infused glucose and saccharin in rats.

    PubMed

    Tsurugizawa, Tomokazu; Uneyama, Hisayuki

    2014-10-01

    The postingestive effect is different between caloric and noncaloric sweeteners. The gut administration of glucose induces a preference for flavored water which is paired with the intragastric infusion of glucose. However, a comparison of the brain response to the gut glucose and saccharin stimuli still remains to be demonstrated. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal response to gut glucose and saccharin in the brain of conscious rats. Glucose induced a positive signal increase in the amygdala and nucleus accumben, both of which receive dopaminergic input from the ventral tegmental area. In contrast, saccharin administration did not activate these areas. Both glucose and saccharin increased the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal intensity in the insular cortex and the nucleus of the solitary tract. These results show that there were significant differences between postingestive glucose and saccharin-induced increases in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in rats. Together with previous findings, these results suggest distinct activation patterns in the brain for both glucose and saccharin, which is partially due to different changes of internal signals, including the blood glucose and insulin levels.

  12. Electroacupuncture Alleviates Depressive-Like Symptoms and Modulates BDNF Signaling in 6-Hydroxydopamine Rats.

    PubMed

    Sun, Min; Wang, Ke; Yu, Yan; Su, Wen-Ting; Jiang, Xin-Xin; Yang, Jian; Jia, Jun; Wang, Xiao-Min

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have identified the beneficial effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on motor behaviors in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the role and potential mechanisms of EA in PD-associated depression remain unclear. In the present study, a rat model of PD with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions in the medial forebrain bundle was treated using EA for 4 weeks. We found that 100 Hz EA improved several motor phenotypes. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemical analysis showed that EA had a minimal impact on the TH-positive profiles of the ipsilateral ventral tegmental area. Compared with the 6-OHDA group, long-term EA stimulation significantly increased sucrose solution consumption and decreased immobility time in the forced swim test. EA treatment did not alter dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the striatum and hippocampus. Noticeably, EA treatment reversed the 6-OHDA-induced abnormal expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in the midbrain and hippocampus. These results demonstrate that EA at 100-Hz possesses the ability to improve depressive-like symptoms in PD rats, which is, at least in part, due to the distinct effect of EA on the mesostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic pathways. Moreover, BDNF seems to participate in the effect of EA in PD. PMID:27525025

  13. Cellular activation in limbic brain systems during social play behaviour in rats.

    PubMed

    van Kerkhof, Linda W M; Trezza, Viviana; Mulder, Tessa; Gao, Ping; Voorn, Pieter; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2014-07-01

    Positive social interactions during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life are essential for proper social and cognitive development in mammals, including humans. During this developmental period, there is a marked increase in peer-peer interactions, signified by the abundance of social play behaviour. Despite its importance for behavioural development, our knowledge of the neural underpinnings of social play behaviour is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to map the neural circuits involved in social play behaviour in rats. This was achieved by examining cellular activity after social play using the immediate early gene c-Fos as a marker. After a session of social play behaviour, pronounced increases in c-Fos expression were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex, medial and ventral orbitofrontal cortex, dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens core and shell, lateral amygdala, several thalamic nuclei, dorsal raphe and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus. Importantly, the cellular activity patterns after social play were topographically organized in this network, as indicated by play-specific correlations in c-Fos activity between regions with known direct connections. These correlations suggest involvement in social play behaviour of the projections from the medial prefrontal cortex to the striatum, and of amygdala and monoaminergic inputs to frontal cortex and striatum. The analyses presented here outline a topographically organized neural network implicated in processes such as reward, motivation and cognitive control over behaviour, which mediates social play behaviour in rats. PMID:23670540

  14. Cellular activation in limbic brain systems during social play behaviour in rats.

    PubMed

    van Kerkhof, Linda W M; Trezza, Viviana; Mulder, Tessa; Gao, Ping; Voorn, Pieter; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2014-07-01

    Positive social interactions during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life are essential for proper social and cognitive development in mammals, including humans. During this developmental period, there is a marked increase in peer-peer interactions, signified by the abundance of social play behaviour. Despite its importance for behavioural development, our knowledge of the neural underpinnings of social play behaviour is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to map the neural circuits involved in social play behaviour in rats. This was achieved by examining cellular activity after social play using the immediate early gene c-Fos as a marker. After a session of social play behaviour, pronounced increases in c-Fos expression were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex, medial and ventral orbitofrontal cortex, dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens core and shell, lateral amygdala, several thalamic nuclei, dorsal raphe and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus. Importantly, the cellular activity patterns after social play were topographically organized in this network, as indicated by play-specific correlations in c-Fos activity between regions with known direct connections. These correlations suggest involvement in social play behaviour of the projections from the medial prefrontal cortex to the striatum, and of amygdala and monoaminergic inputs to frontal cortex and striatum. The analyses presented here outline a topographically organized neural network implicated in processes such as reward, motivation and cognitive control over behaviour, which mediates social play behaviour in rats.

  15. Dopamine receptor gene expression by enkephalin neurons in rat forebrain

    SciTech Connect

    Le Moine, C.; Normand, E.; Guitteny, A.F.; Fouque, B.; Teoule, R.; Bloch, B. )

    1990-01-01

    In situ hybridization experiments were performed with brain sections from normal, control and haloperidol-treated rats to identify and map the cells expressing the D2 dopamine receptor gene. D2 receptor mRNA was detected with radioactive or biotinylated oligonucleotide probes. D2 receptor mRNA was present in glandular cells of the pituitary intermediate lobe and in neurons of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and forebrain, especially in caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and piriform cortex. Hybridization with D2 and preproenkephalin A probes in adjacent sections, as well as combined hybridization with the two probes in the same sections, demonstrated that all detectable enkephalin neurons in the striatum contained the D2 receptor mRNA. Large neurons in caudate putamen, which were unlabeled with the preproenkephalin A probe and which may have been cholinergic, also expressed the D2 receptor gene. Haloperidol treatment (14 or 21 days) provoked an increase in mRNA content for D2 receptor and preproenkephalin A in the striatum. This suggests that the increase in D2 receptor number observed after haloperidol treatment is due to increased activity of the D2 gene. These results indicate that in the striatum, the enkephalin neurons are direct targets for dopamine liberated from mesostriatal neurons.

  16. Current Trends in Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair

    PubMed Central

    Patapis, Paul; Zavras, Nick; Tzanetis, Panagiotis; Machairas, Anastasios

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives: The purpose of this study was to analyze the surgical technique, postoperative complications, and possible recurrence after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair (LVHR) in comparison with open ventral hernia repair (OVHR), based on the international literature. Database: A Medline search of the current English literature was performed using the terms laparoscopic ventral hernia repair and incisional hernia repair. Conclusions: LVHR is a safe alternative to the open method, with the main advantages being minimal postoperative pain, shorter recovery, and decreased wound and mesh infections. Incidental enterotomy can be avoided by using a meticulous technique and sharp dissection to avoid thermal injury. PMID:26273186

  17. Modulation Effect of HIV-1 Viral Proteins and Nicotine on Expression of the Immune-Related Genes in Brain of the HIV-1 Transgenic Rats.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhongli; Nesil, Tanseli; Connaghan, Kaitlyn P; Li, Ming D; Chang, Sulie L

    2016-09-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus-1 transgenic (HIV-1Tg) rat is a non-infectious rodent model for HIV-1 infection which develops altered immune-responses similar to those in persons infected with HIV-1. HIV-1Tg and F344 rats respond significantly different to morphine, ethanol, nicotine and other psychostimulants, although the molecular mechanisms underlying these differences remain largely undetermined. Here, we compared expression of 52 immune-related genes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAc), and ventral tegmental area (VTA) of HIV-1Tg and F344 rats treated with either nicotine (0.4 mg/kg nicotine, base, s.c.) or saline for 27 days, to identify differentially expressed genes in the presence of HIV-1 with and without nicotine treatment. Using quantitative RT-PCR array, we measured RNA expression levels. Results showed that RNA expression of CASP3, CCL5, CX3CL1, CX3CR1, IL1α, LRF4, LFR7, TGFβ1 and TLR4 in NAc, CCL2, CCL5, TGFβ1 and TLR4 in PFC, and CASP3, CX3CR1, IFNα1, IL1β and IL6 in VTA was significantly modulated in HIV-1Tg rats compared with F344 rats. IL1α showed a 58 % (P = 0.000072) decrease and IRF6 showed a 93.7 % increase (P = 0.000227) in the NAc of HIV-1Tg compared with F344 rats; results remained significant after correction for multiple testing. We also found that several genes were significantly modulated by nicotine in HIV-1Tg rats while only a small number of immune-related genes were altered by nicotine in F344 rats. These findings imply that HIV-1 viral proteins greatly impact immune function and alter responsiveness to nicotine in certain immune-related genes.

  18. Enhanced motivation to self-administer cocaine is predicted by self-grooming behaviour and relates to dopamine release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    PubMed

    Homberg, Judith R; van den Akker, Margot; Raasø, Halfdan S; Wardeh, George; Binnekade, Rob; Schoffelmeer, Anton N M; de Vries, Taco J

    2002-05-01

    Rats, like humans, show strong individual differences in their response to anxiogenic and stressful stimuli. In the present study we evaluated whether differences in stress-induced self-grooming behaviour may predict an individual's vulnerability to engage in drug self-administration behaviour. From a population of Wistar rats, the lower and upper quartile with respect to time spent self-grooming on an elevated plus maze (EPM) were selected and trained to intravenously self-administer cocaine under fixed and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement. High grooming (HG) rats reached considerably higher breakpoints than low grooming (LG) rats but showed no differences in acquisition rate and dose-response relationships. Further, EPM exposure elicited higher anxiety levels and enhanced plasma corticosterone secretion in HG rats. In addition, HG rats did not display enhanced novelty-seeking and still spent more time self-grooming during an EPM re-test following the cocaine self-administration procedure, indicating that stress-induced self-grooming is a stable behavioural trait marker. Neurochemically, electrically evoked [(3)H]dopamine release in vitro was profoundly lower in brain slices from the substantia nigra, medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala of naive HG rats as compared to LG rats, whereas no differences were found in the nucleus accumbens shell and core, the ventral tegmental area and caudate putamen. In conclusion, stress-induced self-grooming specifically predicts enhanced motivation to self-administer cocaine rather than sensitivity to its reinforcing effects. Responsiveness of dopaminergic nerve terminals in the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala may represent pre-existing underlying factors. PMID:12028365

  19. [Age-related changes in behavior, in monoamines and their metabolites content, and in density of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors in the brain structures of WAG/Rij rats with depression-like pathology].

    PubMed

    Sarkisova, K Yu; Kulikov, M A; Kudrin, V S; Midzyanovskaya, I S; Birioukova, L M

    2014-01-01

    Behavior in the light-dark choice, open field, sucrose consumption/preference and forced swimming tests, monoamines and their metabolites content in 5 brain structures (prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, striatum, hypothalamus, hippocampus), and density of D1- and D2-like dopamine receptors in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area were studied in WAG/Rij rats at age of 36 days, 3 and 6 months. It has been found that with age, as far as spike-wave discharges aggravate, behavioral symptoms of depression (enhanced immobility in the forced swimming test, reduced sucrose consumption/preference) as well as a hypo-function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic brain system increase in WAG/Rij rats. At age of 36 days, when phenotypic expression of absence epilepsy in WAG/Rij rats is absent, neurochemical alterations in the brain suggesting a hypo-function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system (deficit of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens), as well as symptoms of depression-like behavior, are not detected. In WAG/Rij rats, as well as in control rats, density of D1-like dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens decreased with age. A tendency to a lower density of D1-like dopamine receptors was found in WAG/Rij rats compared with controls at age of 3 months. In contrast with control rats, in WAG/Rij rats, density of D2-like dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens increased with age. Higher density of D2-like dopamine receptors was observed in WAG/Rij rats compared with controls only at age of 6 months when a hypo-function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic bran system was extremely pronounced indicating that this increase is a compensatory response to a deficit of dopamine.

  20. [Age-related changes in behavior, in monoamines and their metabolites content, and in density of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors in the brain structures of WAG/Rij rats with depression-like pathology].

    PubMed

    Sarkisova, K Yu; Kulikov, M A; Kudrin, V S; Midzyanovskaya, I S; Birioukova, L M

    2014-01-01

    Behavior in the light-dark choice, open field, sucrose consumption/preference and forced swimming tests, monoamines and their metabolites content in 5 brain structures (prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, striatum, hypothalamus, hippocampus), and density of D1- and D2-like dopamine receptors in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area were studied in WAG/Rij rats at age of 36 days, 3 and 6 months. It has been found that with age, as far as spike-wave discharges aggravate, behavioral symptoms of depression (enhanced immobility in the forced swimming test, reduced sucrose consumption/preference) as well as a hypo-function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic brain system increase in WAG/Rij rats. At age of 36 days, when phenotypic expression of absence epilepsy in WAG/Rij rats is absent, neurochemical alterations in the brain suggesting a hypo-function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system (deficit of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens), as well as symptoms of depression-like behavior, are not detected. In WAG/Rij rats, as well as in control rats, density of D1-like dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens decreased with age. A tendency to a lower density of D1-like dopamine receptors was found in WAG/Rij rats compared with controls at age of 3 months. In contrast with control rats, in WAG/Rij rats, density of D2-like dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens increased with age. Higher density of D2-like dopamine receptors was observed in WAG/Rij rats compared with controls only at age of 6 months when a hypo-function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic bran system was extremely pronounced indicating that this increase is a compensatory response to a deficit of dopamine. PMID:25975143

  1. Trans fat intake across gestation and lactation increases morphine preference in females but not in male rats: Behavioral and biochemical parameters.

    PubMed

    Roversi, Karine; Pase, Camila Simonetti; Roversi, Katiane; Vey, Luciana Taschetto; Dias, Verônica Tironi; Metz, Vinícia Garzella; Burger, Marilise Escobar

    2016-10-01

    The abuse of morphine has risen considerably in recent years, mainly due to the increase of its prescription in clinical medicine. Also, increased consumption of processed foods, rich in trans fatty acids (TFA), has caused concerns about human health. Thus, the aim of our study was to determine whether trans fat consumption in the perinatal period may affect preference for morphine in adolescent female and male rats. Dams were orally supplemented with water (C-control) or hydrogenated vegetable fat (HVF-rich in TFA) during gestation and lactation periods. On post-natal day 43, pups were exposed to morphine (4mg/kg i.p., for 4 days) and assessed in the conditioned place preference paradigm. Anxiety-like symptoms were assessed, and oxidative status of the brain was estimated by reactive species (RS) generation. Female rats with HVF supplementation showed increased morphine preference and less anxiety-like symptoms. Additionally, both male and female rats from HVF-supplementation showed increased RS generation in the ventral tegmental area, whose level was similar in morphine-conditioned female rats. RS generation was increased in the hippocampus of morphine-conditioned female rats, regardless of the supplementation of their dams. We may infer that gender is a predictive factor to opioid preference, since adolescent female rats showed more susceptibility to addiction than males. Furthermore, trans fat consumption across the perinatal period is able to modify parameters of opioid preference in female rats, possibly due to TFA incorporation in phospholipid membranes, modifying the endogenous opioid system and the oxidative status in brain areas related to drug addiction. PMID:27341999

  2. Trans fat intake across gestation and lactation increases morphine preference in females but not in male rats: Behavioral and biochemical parameters.

    PubMed

    Roversi, Karine; Pase, Camila Simonetti; Roversi, Katiane; Vey, Luciana Taschetto; Dias, Verônica Tironi; Metz, Vinícia Garzella; Burger, Marilise Escobar

    2016-10-01

    The abuse of morphine has risen considerably in recent years, mainly due to the increase of its prescription in clinical medicine. Also, increased consumption of processed foods, rich in trans fatty acids (TFA), has caused concerns about human health. Thus, the aim of our study was to determine whether trans fat consumption in the perinatal period may affect preference for morphine in adolescent female and male rats. Dams were orally supplemented with water (C-control) or hydrogenated vegetable fat (HVF-rich in TFA) during gestation and lactation periods. On post-natal day 43, pups were exposed to morphine (4mg/kg i.p., for 4 days) and assessed in the conditioned place preference paradigm. Anxiety-like symptoms were assessed, and oxidative status of the brain was estimated by reactive species (RS) generation. Female rats with HVF supplementation showed increased morphine preference and less anxiety-like symptoms. Additionally, both male and female rats from HVF-supplementation showed increased RS generation in the ventral tegmental area, whose level was similar in morphine-conditioned female rats. RS generation was increased in the hippocampus of morphine-conditioned female rats, regardless of the supplementation of their dams. We may infer that gender is a predictive factor to opioid preference, since adolescent female rats showed more susceptibility to addiction than males. Furthermore, trans fat consumption across the perinatal period is able to modify parameters of opioid preference in female rats, possibly due to TFA incorporation in phospholipid membranes, modifying the endogenous opioid system and the oxidative status in brain areas related to drug addiction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Protracted treatment with MDMA induces heteromeric nicotinic receptor up-regulation in the rat brain: an autoradiography study.

    PubMed

    Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Camarasa, Jorge; Pubill, David; Escubedo, Elena

    2014-08-01

    Previous studies indicate that 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) can induce a heteromeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR, mainly of α4β2 subtype) up-regulation. In this study we treated male Sprague-Dawley rats twice-daily for 10 days with either saline or MDMA (7 mg/kg) and sacrificed them the day after to perform [(125)I]Epibatidine binding autoradiograms on serial coronal slices. MDMA induced significant increases in nAChR density in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, anterior caudate-putamen, somatosensory, motor, auditory and retrosplenial cortex, laterodorsal thalamus nuclei, amygdala, postsubiculum and pontine nuclei. These increases ranged from 3% (retrosplenial cortex) to 30 and 34% (amygdala and substantia nigra). No increased α4 subunit immunoreactivity was found in up-regulated areas compared with saline-treated rats, suggesting a post-translational mechanism as occurs with nicotine. The heteromeric nAChR up-regulation in certain areas could account, at least in part, for the reinforcing, sensitizing and psychiatric disorders observed after long-term consumption of MDMA.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Separate neural substrates for skill learning and performance in the ventral and dorsal striatum.

    PubMed

    Atallah, Hisham E; Lopez-Paniagua, Dan; Rudy, Jerry W; O'Reilly, Randall C

    2007-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the striatum of the basal ganglia is a primary substrate for the learning and performance of skills. We provide evidence that two regions of the rat striatum, ventral and dorsal, play distinct roles in instrumental conditioning (skill learning), with the ventral striatum being critical for learning and the dorsal striatum being important for performance but, notably, not for learning. This implies an actor (dorsal) versus director (ventral) division of labor, which is a new variant of the widely discussed actor-critic architecture. Our results also imply that the successful performance of a skill can ultimately result in its establishment as a habit outside the basal ganglia. PMID:17187065

  7. The amygdala and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus: interactions controlling active (rapid eye movement) sleep.

    PubMed

    Xi, Mingchu; Fung, Simon J; Zhang, Jianhua; Sampogna, Sharon; Chase, Michael H

    2012-11-01

    There is a consensus that active sleep (AS; i.e., REM sleep) is produced by cholinergic projections from the pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei (PPT) that activate AS-on neurons in the nucleus pontis oralis (NPO) that are components of the AS-Generator. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that other sites, such as the amygdala, also participate in the control of AS by inducing the discharge of AS-Generator neurons. In this regard, we recently reported that there are direct, excitatory (glutamatergic) projections from the central nucleus of the amygdala (CNA) to presumptive AS-Generator neurons in the NPO. We therefore hypothesized that the CNA and the PPT act alone, as well as in concert, to promote AS. To test this hypothesis, the effects of stimulation of the CNA and the PPT on the activity of NPO neurons, recorded intracellularly, were examined in urethane-anesthetized rats. Stimulation of either the CNA or the PPT evoked short-latency excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in the same neurons within the NPO. The amplitude of PPT-evoked EPSPs that were recorded from NPO neurons increased by 20.1 to 58.6% when stimulation of the PPT was preceded by stimulation of the CNA at an interval of 0 to 12 ms: maximal potentiation occurred at an interval of 4 to 6 ms. Concurrent subthreshold stimulation of the CNA and the PPT resulted in the discharge of NPO neurons. NPO neurons that were activated following CNA and/or PPT stimulation were identified morphologically and found to be multipolar with diameters >20 μm; similar neurons in the same NPO site have been previously identified as AS-Generator neurons. The present data demonstrate the presence of converging excitatory synaptic inputs from the CNA and the PPT that are capable of promoting the discharge of AS-Generator neurons in the NPO. Therefore, we suggest that the occurrence of AS depends upon interactions between cholinergic projections from the PPT and glutamatergic projections from the

  8. Ventral hippocampal alpha 7 nicotinic receptor blockade and chronic nicotine effects on memory performance in the radial-arm maze.

    PubMed

    Bettany, J H; Levin, E D

    2001-12-01

    Chronic nicotine administration has been shown to significantly improve working memory. Nicotinic involvement in memory function critically involves the ventral hippocampus. Local ventral hippocampal infusions of the nicotinic antagonists mecamylamine, dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DH beta E) and methyllycaconitine (MLA) significantly impair working memory. The impairment caused by hippocampal infusion of the alpha 4 beta 2 antagonist DH beta E is reversed by chronic systemic nicotine. This study determined the interaction of chronic systemic nicotine with acute ventral hippocampal infusions of the alpha 7 antagonist MLA. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on an 8-arm radial maze working memory task. Then they underwent ventral hippocampal cannulation and received sc implants of minipumps delivering nicotine (0 or 5 mg/kg/day for 28 days). Acute ventral hippocampal infusions of MLA (0, 4.88, 14.64 and 43.92 microg/side) were given during 3-4 weeks of chronic nicotine. MLA caused a significant dose-related memory impairment. In the rats not receiving nicotine, the 14.64 and 43.92 microg/side MLA doses caused significant memory impairment. Chronic systemic nicotine exposure did not block the MLA-induced memory impairment. Comparing the current results with MLA with previous results with DH beta E, equimolar ventral hippocampal DH beta E more effectively impaired memory than MLA, but the DH beta E-induced impairment was more effectively reversed by chronic systemic nicotine administration.

  9. ANI inactivation: unconditioned anxiolytic effects of anisomycin in the ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Anastasia; Ward-Flanagan, Rachel; Dickson, Clayton T; Treit, Dallas

    2014-11-01

    Although hippocampal function is typically described in terms of memory, recent evidence suggests a differentiation along its dorsal/ventral axis, with dorsal regions serving memory and ventral regions serving emotion. While long-term memory is thought to be dependent on de novo protein synthesis because it is blocked by translational inhibitors such as anisomycin (ANI), online (moment-to-moment) functions of the hippocampus (such as unconditioned emotional responding) should not be sensitive to such manipulations since they are unlikely to involve neuroplasticity. However, ANI has recently been shown to suppress neural activity which suggests (1) that protein synthesis is critical for neural function and (2) that paradigms using ANI are confounded by its inactivating effects. We tested this idea using a neurobehavioral assay which compared the influence of intrahippocampal infusions of ANI at dorsal and ventral sites on unconditioned emotional behavior of rats. We show that ANI infusions in ventral, but not dorsal, hippocampus produced a suppression of anxiety-related responses in two well-established rodent tests: the elevated plus maze and shock-probe burying tests. These results are similar to those previously observed when ventral hippocampal activity is directly suppressed (e.g., by using sodium channel blockers). The present study offers compelling behavioral evidence for the proposal that ANI adversely affects ongoing neural function and therefore its influence is not simply limited to impairing the consolidation of long-term memories

  10. ANI inactivation: unconditioned anxiolytic effects of anisomycin in the ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Anastasia; Ward-Flanagan, Rachel; Dickson, Clayton T; Treit, Dallas

    2014-11-01

    Although hippocampal function is typically described in terms of memory, recent evidence suggests a differentiation along its dorsal/ventral axis, with dorsal regions serving memory and ventral regions serving emotion. While long-term memory is thought to be dependent on de novo protein synthesis because it is blocked by translational inhibitors such as anisomycin (ANI), online (moment-to-moment) functions of the hippocampus (such as unconditioned emotional responding) should not be sensitive to such manipulations since they are unlikely to involve neuroplasticity. However, ANI has recently been shown to suppress neural activity which suggests (1) that protein synthesis is critical for neural function and (2) that paradigms using ANI are confounded by its inactivating effects. We tested this idea using a neurobehavioral assay which compared the influence of intrahippocampal infusions of ANI at dorsal and ventral sites on unconditioned emotional behavior of rats. We show that ANI infusions in ventral, but not dorsal, hippocampus produced a suppression of anxiety-related responses in two well-established rodent tests: the elevated plus maze and shock-probe burying tests. These results are similar to those previously observed when ventral hippocampal activity is directly suppressed (e.g., by using sodium channel blockers). The present study offers compelling behavioral evidence for the proposal that ANI adversely affects ongoing neural function and therefore its influence is not simply limited to impairing the consolidation of long-term memories PMID:24910137

  11. Reduced limbic metabolism and fronto-cortical volume in rats vulnerable to alcohol addiction

    PubMed Central

    Gozzi, Alessandro; Agosta, Federica; Massi, Maurizio; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Bifone, Angelo

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol abuse is associated with long-term reductions in fronto-cortical volume and limbic metabolism. However, an unanswered question in alcohol research is whether these alterations are the sole consequence of chronic alcohol use, or contain heritable contributions reflecting biological propensity toward ethanol addiction. Animal models of genetic predisposition to alcohol dependence can be used to investigate the role of inborn brain abnormalities in the aetiology of alcoholism. Here we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in e Marchigian Sardinian (msP) alcohol-preferring rats to assess the presence of inherited structural or functional brain alterations. Alcohol-naïve msP (N=22) and control rats (N=26) were subjected to basal cerebral blood volume (bCBV) mapping followed by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of gray matter and tract-based spatial statistics mapping of white matter fractional anisotropy. msP rats exhibited significantly reduced bCBV, an established marker of resting brain function, in focal cortico-limbic and thalamic areas, together with reduced gray matter volume in the thalamus, ventral tegmental area, insular and cingulate cortex. No statistically significant differences in fractional anisotropy were observed between groups. These findings highlight the presence of inborn gray matter and metabolic abnormalities in alcohol-naïve msP rats, the localization and sign of which are remarkably similar to those mapped in abstinent alcoholics and subjects at high risk for alcohol dependence. Collectively, these results point for a significant role of heritable neurofunctional brain alterations in biological propensity toward ethanol addiction, and support the translational use of advanced imaging methods to describe the circuital determinants of vulnerability to drug addiction. PMID:23261637

  12. Decomposition of abnormal free locomotor behavior in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Grieb, Benjamin; von Nicolai, Constantin; Engler, Gerhard; Sharott, Andrew; Papageorgiou, Ismini; Hamel, Wolfgang; Engel, Andreas K.; Moll, Christian K.

    2013-01-01

    Poverty of spontaneous movement, slowed execution and reduced amplitudes of movement (akinesia, brady- and hypokinesia) are cardinal motor manifestations of Parkinson's disease that can be modeled in experimental animals by brain lesions affecting midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Most behavioral investigations in experimental parkinsonism have employed short-term observation windows to assess motor impairments. We postulated that an analysis of longer-term free exploratory behavior could provide further insights into the complex fine structure of altered locomotor activity in parkinsonian animals. To this end, we video-monitored 23 h of free locomotor behavior and extracted several behavioral measures before and after the expression of a severe parkinsonian phenotype following bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the rat dopaminergic substantia nigra. Unbiased stereological cell counting verified the degree of midbrain tyrosine hydroxylase positive cell loss in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area. In line with previous reports, overall covered distance and maximal motion speed of lesioned animals were found to be significantly reduced compared to controls. Before lesion surgery, exploratory rat behavior exhibited a bimodal distribution of maximal speed values obtained for single movement episodes, corresponding to a “first” and “second gear” of motion. 6-OHDA injections significantly reduced the incidence of second gear motion episodes and also resulted in an abnormal prolongation of these fast motion events. Likewise, the spatial spread of such episodes was increased in 6-OHDA rats. The increase in curvature of motion tracks was increased in both lesioned and control animals. We conclude that the discrimination of distinct modes of motion by statistical decomposition of longer-term spontaneous locomotion provides useful insights into the fine structure of fluctuating motor functions in a rat analog of Parkinson's disease. PMID:24348346

  13. Rats showing low and high sensitization of frequency-modulated 50-kHz vocalization response to amphetamine differ in amphetamine-induced brain Fos expression.

    PubMed

    Kaniuga, Ewelina; Taracha, Ewa; Stępień, Tomasz; Wierzba-Bobrowicz, Teresa; Płaźnik, Adam; Chrapusta, Stanisław J

    2016-10-01

    Individuals predisposed to addiction constitute a minority of drug users, in both humans and animal models of the disorder, but there are no established characteristics that would allow identifying them beforehand. Our studies demonstrate that sensitization of rat 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalization (USV) response to amphetamine shows marked inter-individual diversity but substantial intra-individual stability. Low sensitization of the response shows relevance to the acquisition of self-administration of this drug and hence might be of predictive value regarding the risk of addiction. We compared amphetamine-induced Fos expression in 16 brain regions considered important for the development of addiction between rats preselected for low and high sensitization of the response and next given nine daily amphetamine doses followed by a 2-week withdrawal and final amphetamine challenge. Ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens shell Fos-positive nuclei counts correlated positively with 50-kHz USV response to the challenge in high-sensitized rats. Compared to those in amphetamine-untreated controls, Fos-positive nuclei counts were significantly and markedly (2-6 times) higher in 12 regions in high-sensitized rats, whereas in low-sensitized rats they were significantly higher in the cingulate cortex and dorsomedial striatum only. The difference in the counts between the latter two subsets reached statistical significance in dorsomedial and dorsolateral striatum and three out of four cortical regions studied. The fact that the diversification was most distinct in dorsal striatum that plays a critical role in the transition from controlled to compulsive drug intake suggests that the USV-based categorization may be related to divergent vulnerability of rats to AMPH addiction. PMID:27507424

  14. National results after ventral hernia repair.

    PubMed

    Helgstrand, Frederik

    2016-07-01

    Ventral hernia repairs are among the most frequently performed surgical procedures. The variations of repair techniques are multiple and outcome has been unacceptable. Despite the high volume, it has been difficult to obtain sufficient data to provide evidence for best practice. In order to monitor national surgical quality and provide the warranted high volume data, the first national ventral hernia register (The Danish Ventral Hernia Database) was established in 2007 in Denmark. The present study series show that data from a well-established database supported by clinical examinations, patient files, questionnaires, and administrative data makes it possible to obtain nationwide high volume data and to achieve evidence for better outcome in a complex surgical condition as ventral hernia. Due to the high volume and included variables on surgical technique, it is now possible to make analyses adjusting for a variety of surgical techniques and different hernia specifications. We documented high 30-day complications and recurrence rates for both primary and secondary ventral hernias in a nationwide cohort. Furthermore, recurrence found by clinical examination was shown to exceed the number of patients undergoing reoperation for recurrence by a factor 4-5. The nationwide adjusted analyses proved that open mesh and laparoscopic repair for umbilical and epigastric hernias does not differ in 30-day outcome or in risk of recurrence. There is a minor risk reduction in early complications after open sutured repairs. However, the risk for a later recurrence repair is significantly higher after sutured repairs compared with mesh repairs. The study series showed that large hernia defects and open re-pairs were independent predictors for 30-day complications after an incisional hernia repair. Open procedures and large hernia defects were independent risk factors for a later recurrence re-pair. However, patients with large defects (> 15 cm) seemed to benefit from an open mesh

  15. Selective increase of in vivo firing frequencies in DA SN neurons after proteasome inhibition in the ventral midbrain.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Mahalakshmi; Kern, Beatrice; Vogel, Simone; Klose, Verena; Schneider, Gaby; Roeper, Jochen

    2014-09-01

    The impairment of protein degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is present in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), and might play a key role in selective degeneration of vulnerable dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SN). Further evidence for a causal role of dysfunctional UPS in familial PD comes from mutations in parkin, which results in a loss of function of an E3-ubiquitin-ligase. In a mouse model, genetic inactivation of an essential component of the 26S proteasome lead to widespread neuronal degeneration including DA midbrain neurons and the formation of alpha-synuclein-positive inclusion bodies, another hallmark of PD. Studies using pharmacological UPS inhibition in vivo had more mixed results, varying from extensive degeneration to no loss of DA SN neurons. However, it is currently unknown whether UPS impairment will affect the neurophysiological functions of DA midbrain neurons. To answer this question, we infused a selective proteasome inhibitor into the ventral midbrain in vivo and recorded single DA midbrain neurons 2 weeks after the proteasome challenge. We found a selective increase in the mean in vivo firing frequencies of identified DA SN neurons in anesthetized mice, while those in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were unaffected. Our results demonstrate that a single-hit UPS inhibition is sufficient to induce a stable and selective hyperexcitability phenotype in surviving DA SN neurons in vivo. This might imply that UPS dysfunction sensitizes DA SN neurons by enhancing 'stressful pacemaking'.

  16. An update on the connections of the ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic complex.

    PubMed

    Yetnikoff, L; Lavezzi, H N; Reichard, R A; Zahm, D S

    2014-12-12

    This review covers the intrinsic organization and afferent and efferent connections of the midbrain dopaminergic complex, comprising the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area and retrorubral field, which house, respectively, the A9, A10 and A8 groups of nigrostriatal, mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic neurons. In addition, A10dc (dorsal, caudal) and A10rv (rostroventral) extensions into, respectively, the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray and supramammillary nucleus are discussed. Associated intrinsic and extrinsic connections of the midbrain dopaminergic complex that utilize gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate and neuropeptides and various co-expressed combinations of these compounds are considered in conjunction with the dopamine-containing systems. A framework is provided for understanding the organization of massive afferent systems descending and ascending to the midbrain dopaminergic complex from the telencephalon and brainstem, respectively. Within the context of this framework, the basal ganglia direct and indirect output pathways are treated in some detail. Findings from rodent brain are briefly compared with those from primates, including humans. Recent literature is emphasized, including traditional experimental neuroanatomical and modern gene transfer and optogenetic studies. An attempt was made to provide sufficient background and cite a representative sampling of earlier primary papers and reviews so that people new to the field may find this to be a relatively comprehensive treatment of the subject. PMID:24735820

  17. Quantitative autoradiography of /sup 3/H-nomifensine binding sites in rat brain

    SciTech Connect

    Scatton, B.; Dubois, A.; Dubocovich, M.L.; Zahniser, N.R.; Fage, D.

    1985-03-04

    The distribution of /sup 3/H-nomifensine binding sites in the rat brain has been studied by quantitative autoradiography. The binding of /sup 3/H-nomifensine to caudate putamen sections was saturable, specific, of a highly affinity (Kd = 56 nM) and sodium-dependent. The dopamine uptake inhibitors benztropine, nomifensine, cocaine, bupropion and amfonelic acid were the most potent competitors of /sup 3/H-nomifensine binding to striatal sections. The highest levels of (benztropine-displaceable) /sup 3/H-nomifensine binding sites were found in the caudate-putamen, the olfactory tubercle and the nucleus accumbens. 6-Hydroxy-dopamine-induced lesion of the ascending dopaminergic bundle resulted in a marked decrease in the /sup 3/H-ligand binding in these areas. Moderately high concentrations of the /sup 3/H-ligand were observed in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the anteroventral thalamic nucleus, the cingulate cortex, the lateral septum, the hippocampus, the amygdala, the zona incerta and some hypothalamic nuclei. There were low levels of binding sites in the habenula, the dorsolateral geniculate body, the substantia nigra, the ventral tegmental area and the periaqueductal gray matter. These autoradiographic data are consistent with the hypothesis that /sup 3/H-nomifensine binds primarily to the presynaptic uptake site for dopamine but also labels the norepinephrine uptake site. 33 references, 2 figures, 1 table.

  18. Ventral-clap modes of hovering passerines.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yu-Hung; Ting, Shang-Chieh; Su, Jian-Yuan; Soong, Chyi-Yeou; Yang, Jing-Tang

    2013-02-01

    Some small birds typically clap their wings ventrally, particularly during hovering. To investigate this phenomenon, we analyzed the kinematic motion and wake flow field of two passerine species that hover with the same flapping frequency. For these two birds, the ventral clap is classified as direct and cupping. Japanese White-eyes undertake a direct clap via their hand wings, whereas Gouldian Finches undertake a cupping clap with one wing overlaying the other. As a result of their morphological limitation, birds of both greater size and wing span cup their wings to increase the wing speed during a ventral clap because of the larger wing loading. This morphological limitation leads also to a structural discrepancy of the wake flow fields between these two passerine species. At the instant of clapping, the direct clap induces a downward air velocity 1.68 times and generates a weight-normalized lift force 1.14 times that for the cupping clap. The direct clap produces a small upward jet and a pair of counter-rotating vortices, both of which abate the transient lift at the instant of clapping, but they are not engendered by the cupping clap. The aerodynamic mechanisms generated with a ventral clap help the small birds to avoid abrupt body swinging at the instant of clapping so as to maintain their visual stability during hovering. PMID:23496548

  19. Dorsal and Ventral Pathways for Prosody.

    PubMed

    Sammler, Daniela; Grosbras, Marie-Hélène; Anwander, Alfred; Bestelmeyer, Patricia E G; Belin, Pascal

    2015-12-01

    Our vocal tone--the prosody--contributes a lot to the meaning of speech beyond the actual words. Indeed, the hesitant tone of a "yes" may be more telling than its affirmative lexical meaning. The human brain contains dorsal and ventral processing streams in the left hemisphere that underlie core linguistic abilities such as phonology, syntax, and semantics. Whether or not prosody--a reportedly right-hemispheric faculty--involves analogous processing streams is a matter of debate. Functional connectivity studies on prosody leave no doubt about the existence of such streams, but opinions diverge on whether information travels along dorsal or ventral pathways. Here we show, with a novel paradigm using audio morphing combined with multimodal neuroimaging and brain stimulation, that prosody perception takes dual routes along dorsal and ventral pathways in the right hemisphere. In experiment 1, categorization of speech stimuli that gradually varied in their prosodic pitch contour (between statement and question) involved (1) an auditory ventral pathway along the superior temporal lobe and (2) auditory-motor dorsal pathways connecting posterior temporal and inferior frontal/premotor areas. In experiment 2, inhibitory stimulation of right premotor cortex as a key node of the dorsal stream decreased participants' performance in prosody categorization, arguing for a motor involvement in prosody perception. These data draw a dual-stream picture of prosodic processing that parallels the established left-hemispheric multi-stream architecture of language, but with relative rightward asymmetry. PMID:26549262

  20. Ventral-clap modes of hovering passerines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Yu-Hung; Ting, Shang-Chieh; Su, Jian-Yuan; Soong, Chyi-Yeou; Yang, Jing-Tang

    2013-02-01

    Some small birds typically clap their wings ventrally, particularly during hovering. To investigate this phenomenon, we analyzed the kinematic motion and wake flow field of two passerine species that hover with the same flapping frequency. For these two birds, the ventral clap is classified as direct and cupping. Japanese White-eyes undertake a direct clap via their hand wings, whereas Gouldian Finches undertake a cupping clap with one wing overlaying the other. As a result of their morphological limitation, birds of both greater size and wing span cup their wings to increase the wing speed during a ventral clap because of the larger wing loading. This morphological limitation leads also to a structural discrepancy of the wake flow fields between these two passerine species. At the instant of clapping, the direct clap induces a downward air velocity 1.68 times and generates a weight-normalized lift force 1.14 times that for the cupping clap. The direct clap produces a small upward jet and a pair of counter-rotating vortices, both of which abate the transient lift at the instant of clapping, but they are not engendered by the cupping clap. The aerodynamic mechanisms generated with a ventral clap help the small birds to avoid abrupt body swinging at the instant of clapping so as to maintain their visual stability during hovering.

  1. Dopaminergic projections to the medial preoptic area of postpartum rats

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Stephanie M.; Lonstein, Joseph S.

    2010-01-01

    Dopamine receptor activity in the rodent medial preoptic area (mPOA) is crucial for the display of maternal behaviors, as well as numerous other physiological and behavioral functions. However, the origin of dopaminergic input to the mPOA has not been identified through neuroanatomical tracing. To accomplish this, the retrograde tracer Fluorogold was iontophoretically applied to the mPOA of postpartum laboratory rats, and dual-label immunocytochemistry for Fluorogold and tyrosine hydroxylase later performed to identify dopaminergic cells of the forebrain and midbrain projecting to the mPOA. Results indicate that the number of dopaminergic cells projecting to the mPOA is moderate (~90 cells to one hemisphere), and that these cells have an unexpectedly wide distribution. Even so, more than half of the dual-labeled cells were found in what has been considered extensions of the A10 dopamine group (particularly the ventrocaudal posterior hypothalamus and adjacent medial supramammillary nucleus), or in the A10 cells of the ventral tegmental area. The rostral hypothalamus and surrounding region also contained numerous dual-labeled cells, with the greatest number found within the mPOA itself (including in the AVPV and PVpo). Notably, dual-labeled cells were rare in the zona incerta (A13), a site previously suggested to provide dopaminergic input to the mPOA. This study is the first to use anatomical tracing to detail the dopaminergic projections to the mPOA in the laboratory rat, and indicates that much of this projection originates more caudally than previously suggested. PMID:19409227

  2. Distribution and targets of the relaxin-3 innervation of the septal area in the rat.

    PubMed

    Olucha-Bordonau, Francisco E; Otero-García, Marcos; Sánchez-Pérez, Ana M; Núñez, Angel; Ma, Sherie; Gundlach, Andrew L

    2012-06-15

    Neural tracing studies have revealed that the rat medial and lateral septum are targeted by ascending projections from the nucleus incertus, a population of tegmental GABA neurons. These neurons express the relaxin-family peptide, relaxin-3, and pharmacological modulation of relaxin-3 receptors in medial septum alters hippocampal theta rhythm and spatial memory. In an effort to better understand the basis of these interactions, we have characterized the distribution of relaxin-3 fibers/terminals in relation to different septal neuron populations identified using established protein markers. Dense relaxin-3 fiber plexuses were observed in regions of medial septum containing hippocampal-projecting choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-, and parvalbumin (PV)-positive neurons. In lateral septum (LS), relaxin-3 fibers were concentrated in the ventrolateral nucleus of rostral LS and the ventral nucleus of caudal LS, with sparse labeling in the dorsolateral and medial nuclei of rostral LS, dorsal nucleus of caudal LS, and ventral portion nuclei. Relaxin-3 fibers were also observed in the septofimbrial and triangular septal nuclei. In the medial septum, we observed relaxin-3-immunoreactive contacts with ChAT-, PV-, and glutamate decarboxylase-67-positive neurons that projected to hippocampus, and contacts between relaxin-3 terminals and calbindin- and calretinin-positive neurons. Relaxin-3 colocalized with synaptophysin in nerve terminals in all septal areas, and ultrastructural analysis revealed these terminals were symmetrical and contacted spines, somata, dendritic shafts, and occasionally other axonal terminals. These data predict that this GABA/peptidergic projection modulates septohippocampal activity and hippocampal theta rhythm related to exploratory navigation, defensive and ingestive behaviors, and responses to neurogenic stressors.

  3. Anterior hypothalamic knife cut eliminates a specific component of the predatory behavior elicited by electrical stimulation of the posterior hypothalamus or ventral midbrain in the cat.

    PubMed

    Halliday, R; Bandler, R

    1981-01-20

    Following unilateral transection of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) within the anterior hypothalamic-preoptic region of cats, the biting attack upon a rat elicited by ipsilateral posterior hypothalamic or ventral midbrain stimulation is eliminated, although the cat continues to approach from 2.8 metres away to within several centimetres of the rat. In contrast, both the approach to and biting attack upon a rat elicited by contralateral posterior hypothalamic and ventral midbrain stimulation are unchanged. The results suggest that specific agents (biting, approach) of the elicited behaviour may be mediated by neural effects which proceed along anatomically distinct components of the ascending as well as the descending MFB.

  4. 6-Hydroxydopamine lesions of the anteromedial ventral striatum impair opposite-sex urinary odor preference in female mice.

    PubMed

    DiBenedictis, Brett T; Olugbemi, Adaeze O; Baum, Michael J; Cherry, James A

    2014-11-01

    Rodents rely upon their olfactory modality to perceive opposite-sex pheromonal odors needed to motivate courtship behaviors. Volatile and nonvolatile components of pheromonal odors are processed by the main (MOS) and accessory olfactory system (AOS), respectively, with inputs converging in the medial amygdala (Me). The Me in turn targets the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens core (AcbC) and shell (AcbSh), the ventral pallidum (VP), medial olfactory tubercle (mOT) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). We hypothesized that pheromone-induced dopamine (DA) release in the ventral striatum (particularly in the mAcb and mOT) may mediate the normal preference of female mice to investigate male pheromones. We made bilateral 6-OHDA lesions of DA fibers innervating either the mAcb alone or the mAcb+mOT in female mice and tested estrous females' preference for opposite-sex urinary odors. We found that 6-OHDA lesions of either the mAcb alone or the mAcb+mOT significantly reduced the preference of sexually naïve female mice to investigate breeding male urinary odors (volatiles as well as volatiles+nonvolatiles) vs. estrous female urinary odors. These same neurotoxic lesions had no effect on subjects' ability to discriminate between these two urinary odors, on their locomotor activity, or on their preference for consuming sucrose. The integrity of the dopaminergic innervation of the mAcb and mOT is required for female mice to prefer investigating male pheromones.

  5. Maternal administration of flutamide during late gestation affects the brain and reproductive organs development in the rat male offspring.

    PubMed

    Pallarés, M E; Adrover, E; Imsen, M; González, D; Fabre, B; Mesch, V; Baier, C J; Antonelli, M C

    2014-10-10

    We have previously demonstrated that male rats exposed to stress during the last week of gestation present age-specific impairments of brain development. Since the organization of the fetal developing brain is subject to androgen exposure and prenatal stress was reported to disrupt perinatal testosterone surges, the aim of this research was to explore whether abnormal androgen concentrations during late gestation affects the morphology of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HPC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), three major areas that were shown to be affected by prenatal stress in our previous studies. We administered 10-mg/kg/day of the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide (4'nitro-3'-trifluoromethylsobutyranilide) or vehicle injections to pregnant rats from days 15-21 of gestation. The antiandrogenic effects of flutamide were confirmed by the analysis of androgen-dependent developmental markers: flutamide-exposed rats showed reduced anogenital distance, delay in the completion of testis descent, hypospadias, cryptorchidism and atrophied seminal vesicles. Brain morphological studies revealed that prenatal flutamide decreased the number of MAP2 (a microtubule-associated protein type 2, present almost exclusively in dendrites) immunoreactive neuronal processes in all evaluated brain areas, both in prepubertal and adult offspring, suggesting that prenatal androgen disruption induces long-term reductions of the dendritic arborization of several brain structures, affecting the normal connectivity between areas. Moreover, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunopositive neurons in the VTA of prepubertal offspring was reduced in flutamide rats but reach normal values at adulthood. Our results demonstrate that the effects of prenatal flutamide on the offspring brain morphology resemble several prenatal stress effects suggesting that the mechanism of action of prenatal stress might be related to the impairment of the organizational role of androgens on brain

  6. Long-term effects of a lumbosacral ventral root avulsion injury on axotomized motor neurons and avulsed ventral roots in a non-human primate model of cauda equina injury.

    PubMed

    Ohlsson, M; Nieto, J H; Christe, K L; Havton, L A

    2013-10-10

    Here, we have translated from the rat to the non-human primate a unilateral lumbosacral injury as a model for cauda equina injury. In this morphological study, we have investigated retrograde effects of a unilateral L6-S2 ventral root avulsion (VRA) injury as well as the long-term effects of Wallerian degeneration on avulsed ventral roots at 6-10 months post-operatively in four adult male rhesus monkeys. Immunohistochemistry for choline acetyl transferase and glial fibrillary acidic protein demonstrated a significant loss of the majority of the axotomized motoneurons in the affected L6-S2 segments and signs of an associated astrocytic glial response within the ventral horn of the L6 and S1 spinal cord segments. Quantitative analysis of the avulsed ventral roots showed that they exhibited normal size and were populated by a normal number of myelinated axons. However, the myelinated axons in the avulsed ventral roots were markedly smaller in caliber compared to the fibers of the intact contralateral ventral roots, which served as controls. Ultrastructural studies confirmed the presence of small myelinated axons and a population of unmyelinated axons within the avulsed roots. In addition, collagen fibers were readily identified within the endoneurium of the avulsed roots. In summary, a lumbosacral VRA injury resulted in retrograde motoneuron loss and astrocytic glial activation in the ventral horn. Surprisingly, the Wallerian degeneration of motor axons in the avulsed ventral roots was followed by a repopulation of the avulsed roots by small myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. We speculate that the small axons may represent sprouting or axonal regeneration by primary afferents or autonomic fibers. PMID:23830908

  7. Distinct effect of stress on 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and corticosteroid receptors in dorsal and ventral hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ergang, P; Kuželová, A; Soták, M; Klusoňová, P; Makal, J; Pácha, J

    2014-01-01

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest the participation of the hippocampus in the feedback inhibition of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis during stress response. This inhibition is mediated by glucocorticoid feedback due to the sensitivity of the hippocampus to these hormones. The sensitivity is determined by the expression of glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors and 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11HSD1), an enzyme that regulates the conversion of glucocorticoids from inactive to active form. The goal of our study was to assess the effect of stress on the expression of 11HSD1, GR and MR in the ventral and dorsal region of the CA1 hippocampus in three different rat strains with diverse responses to stress: Fisher 344, Lewis and Wistar. Stress stimulated 11HSD1 in the ventral but not dorsal CA1 hippocampus of Fisher 344 but not Lewis or Wistar rats. In contrast, GR expression following stress was decreased in the dorsal but not ventral CA1 hippocampus of all three strains. MR expression was not changed in either the dorsal or ventral CA1 region. These results indicate that (1) depending on the strain, stress stimulates 11HSD1 in the ventral hippocampus, which is known to be involved in stress and emotion reactions whereas (2) independent of strain, stress inhibits GR in the dorsal hippocampus, which is predominantly involved in cognitive functions.

  8. Autoradiographic localization of /sup 3/H-paroxetine-labeled serotonin uptake sites in rat brain

    SciTech Connect

    De Souza, E.B.; Kuyatt, B.L.

    1987-01-01

    Paroxetine is a potent and selective inhibitor of serotonin uptake into neurons. Serotonin uptake sites have been identified, localized, and quantified in rat brain by autoradiography with 3H-paroxetine; 3H-paroxetine binding in slide-mounted sections of rat forebrain was of high affinity (KD = 10 pM) and the inhibition affinity constant (Ki) values of various drugs in competing 3H-paroxetine binding significantly correlated with their reported potencies in inhibiting synaptosomal serotonin uptake. Serotonin uptake sites labeled by 3H-paroxetine were highly concentrated in the dorsal and median raphe nuclei, central gray, superficial layer of the superior colliculus, lateral septal nucleus, paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, and the islands of Calleja. High concentrations of 3H-paroxetine binding sites were found in brainstem areas containing dopamine (substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area) and norepinephrine (locus coeruleus) cell bodies. Moderate concentrations of 3H-paroxetine binding sites were present in laminae I and IV of the frontal parietal cortex, primary olfactory cortex, olfactory tubercle, regions of the basal ganglia, septum, amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and some brainstem areas including the interpeduncular, trigeminal, and parabrachial nuclei. Lower densities of 3H-paroxetine binding sites were found in other regions of the neocortex and very low to nonsignificant levels of binding were present in white matter tracts and in the cerebellum. Lesioning of serotonin neurons with 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine caused large decreases in 3H-paroxetine binding. The autoradiographic distribution of 3H-paroxetine binding sites in rat brain corresponds extremely well to the distribution of serotonin terminals and cell bodies as well as with the pharmacological sites of action of serotonin.

  9. Electrical stimulation alleviates depressive-like behaviors of rats: investigation of brain targets and potential mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Lim, L W; Prickaerts, J; Huguet, G; Kadar, E; Hartung, H; Sharp, T; Temel, Y

    2015-03-31

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising therapy for patients with refractory depression. However, key questions remain with regard to which brain target(s) should be used for stimulation, and which mechanisms underlie the therapeutic effects. Here, we investigated the effect of DBS, with low- and high-frequency stimulation (LFS, HFS), in different brain regions (ventromedial prefrontal cortex, vmPFC; cingulate cortex, Cg; nucleus accumbens (NAc) core or shell; lateral habenula, LHb; and ventral tegmental area) on a variety of depressive-like behaviors using rat models. In the naive animal study, we found that HFS of the Cg, vmPFC, NAc core and LHb reduced anxiety levels and increased motivation for food. In the chronic unpredictable stress model, there was a robust depressive-like behavioral phenotype. Moreover, vmPFC HFS, in a comparison of all stimulated targets, produced the most profound antidepressant effects with enhanced hedonia, reduced anxiety and decreased forced-swim immobility. In the following set of electrophysiological and histochemical experiments designed to unravel some of the underlying mechanisms, we found that vmPFC HFS evoked a specific modulation of the serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), which have long been linked to mood. Finally, using a neuronal mapping approach by means of c-Fos expression, we found that vmPFC HFS modulated a brain circuit linked to the DRN and known to be involved in affect. In conclusion, HFS of the vmPFC produced the most potent antidepressant effects in naive rats and rats subjected to stress by mechanisms also including the DRN.

  10. Brain activation by an olfactory stimulus paired with juvenile play in female rats.

    PubMed

    Paredes-Ramos, P; McCarthy, M M; Bowers, J M; Miquel, M; Manzo, J; Coria-Avila, G A

    2014-06-22

    We have previously shown that reward experienced during social play at juvenile age can be paired with artificial odors, and later in adulthood facilitate olfactory conditioned partner preferences (PP) in female rats. Herein, we examined the expression of FOS immunoreactivity (FOS-IR) following exposure to the odor paired with juvenile play (CS+). Starting at day P31 females received daily 30-min periods of social play with lemon-scented (paired group) or unscented females (unpaired group). At day P42, they were tested for play-PP with two juvenile males, one bearing the CS+ (lemon) and one bearing a novel odor (almond). Females were ovariectomized, hormone-primed and at day P55 tested for sexual-PP between two adult stud males scented with lemon or almond. In both tests, females from the paired group displayed conditioned PP (play or sexual) toward males bearing the CS+. In the present experiments females were exposed at day P59 to the CS+ during 60 min and their brains processed for FOS-IR. One group of female rats (Play+Sex) underwent play-PP and sexual-PP, whereas a second group of females (Play-only) underwent exclusively play-PP but not sexual-PP. Results showed that in the Play-only experiment exposure to the CS+ induced more FOS-IR in the medial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, dorsal striatum, and ventral tegmental area as compared to females from the unpaired group. In the Play+Sex experiment, more FOS-IR was observed in the piriform cortex, dorsal striatum, lateral septum, nucleus accumbens shell, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial amygdala as compared to females from the unpaired group. Taken together, these results indicate mesocorticolimbic brain areas direct the expectation and/or choice of conditioned partners in female rats. In addition, transferring the meaning of play to sex preference requires different brain areas.

  11. Estradiol-sensitive projection neurons in the female rat preoptic area

    PubMed Central

    Sakuma, Yasuo

    2015-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the preoptic area (POA) interrupts the lordosis reflex, a combined contraction of back muscles, in response to male mounts and the major receptive component of sexual behavior in female rat in estrus, without interfering with the proceptive component of this behavior or solicitation. Axon-sparing POA lesions with an excitotoxin, on the other hand, enhance lordosis and diminish proceptivity. The POA effect on the reflex is mediated by its estrogen-sensitive projection to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) as shown by the behavioral effect of VTA stimulation as well as by the demonstration of an increased threshold for antidromic activation of POA neurons from the VTA in ovariectomized females treated with estradiol benzoate (EB). EB administration increases the antidromic activation threshold in ovariectomized females and neonatally castrated males, but not in neonatally androgenized females; the EB effect is limited to those that show lordosis in the presence of EB. EB causes behavioral disinhibition of lordosis through an inhibition of POA neurons with axons to the VTA, which eventually innervate medullospinal neurons innervating spinal motoneurons of the back muscle. The EB-induced change in the threshold or the axonal excitability may be a result of EB-dependent induction of BK channels. Recordings from freely moving female rats engaging in sexual interactions revealed separate subpopulations of POA neurons for the receptive and proceptive behaviors. Those POA neurons engaging in the control of proceptivity are EB-sensitive and project to the midbrain locomotor region (MLR). EB thus enhances lordosis by reducing excitatory neural impulses from the POA to the VTA. An augmentation of the POA effect to the MLR may culminate in an increased locomotion that embodies behavioral estrus in the female rat. PMID:25852453

  12. Abused inhalants and central reward pathways: electrophysiological and behavioral studies in the rat.

    PubMed

    Riegel, Arthur C; French, Edward D

    2002-06-01

    Inhalant abuse remains a significant health problem among the younger segment of society. In fact, the use of inhalants in this population trails only that of nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana. Toluene is a common ingredient in many of the substances sought out for inhalation abuse, apparently for its euphorigenic and hallucinogenic effects. Because drugs of abuse share the common property of altering the activity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons, it is reasonable to suspect that toluene-induced changes in this CNS pathway may underlie its abuse potential. Here we will provide in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological data and behavioral evidence linking toluene exposure in rats to activation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. Exposure of rats to 11,000 ppm of inhaled toluene produced time-dependent activation of dopamine neurons within the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the rat brain slice preparation, perfusion with toluene (23-822 microM) also evoked an increase in activity of both dopamine and nondopamine neurons within the VTA. These excitatory effects could not be found in adjacent non-VTA nuclei, nor were they sensitive to the glutamate antagonists CGS19755 or CNQX. In behavioral studies, systemic administration of toluene produced a dose-dependent locomotor hyperactivity that was attenuated by either pretreatment with the D2 dopamine receptor antagonist remoxipride or by 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nucleus accumbens. These findings show that toluene can activate dopamine neurons within the mesolimbic reward pathway, an effect that may underlie the abuse potential of inhaled substances containing toluene.

  13. Electrical stimulation alleviates depressive-like behaviors of rats: investigation of brain targets and potential mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Lim, L W; Prickaerts, J; Huguet, G; Kadar, E; Hartung, H; Sharp, T; Temel, Y

    2015-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising therapy for patients with refractory depression. However, key questions remain with regard to which brain target(s) should be used for stimulation, and which mechanisms underlie the therapeutic effects. Here, we investigated the effect of DBS, with low- and high-frequency stimulation (LFS, HFS), in different brain regions (ventromedial prefrontal cortex, vmPFC; cingulate cortex, Cg; nucleus accumbens (NAc) core or shell; lateral habenula, LHb; and ventral tegmental area) on a variety of depressive-like behaviors using rat models. In the naive animal study, we found that HFS of the Cg, vmPFC, NAc core and LHb reduced anxiety levels and increased motivation for food. In the chronic unpredictable stress model, there was a robust depressive-like behavioral phenotype. Moreover, vmPFC HFS, in a comparison of all stimulated targets, produced the most profound antidepressant effects with enhanced hedonia, reduced anxiety and decreased forced-swim immobility. In the following set of electrophysiological and histochemical experiments designed to unravel some of the underlying mechanisms, we found that vmPFC HFS evoked a specific modulation of the serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), which have long been linked to mood. Finally, using a neuronal mapping approach by means of c-Fos expression, we found that vmPFC HFS modulated a brain circuit linked to the DRN and known to be involved in affect. In conclusion, HFS of the vmPFC produced the most potent antidepressant effects in naive rats and rats subjected to stress by mechanisms also including the DRN. PMID:25826110

  14. Ventral and dorsal pathways for language

    PubMed Central

    Saur, Dorothee; Kreher, Björn W.; Schnell, Susanne; Kümmerer, Dorothee; Kellmeyer, Philipp; Vry, Magnus-Sebastian; Umarova, Roza; Musso, Mariacristina; Glauche, Volkmar; Abel, Stefanie; Huber, Walter; Rijntjes, Michel; Hennig, Jürgen; Weiller, Cornelius

    2008-01-01

    Built on an analogy between the visual and auditory systems, the following dual stream model for language processing was suggested recently: a dorsal stream is involved in mapping sound to articulation, and a ventral stream in mapping sound to meaning. The goal of the study presented here was to test the neuroanatomical basis of this model. Combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a novel diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based tractography method we were able to identify the most probable anatomical pathways connecting brain regions activated during two prototypical language tasks. Sublexical repetition of speech is subserved by a dorsal pathway, connecting the superior temporal lobe and premotor cortices in the frontal lobe via the arcuate and superior longitudinal fascicle. In contrast, higher-level language comprehension is mediated by a ventral pathway connecting the middle temporal lobe and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex via the extreme capsule. Thus, according to our findings, the function of the dorsal route, traditionally considered to be the major language pathway, is mainly restricted to sensory-motor mapping of sound to articulation, whereas linguistic processing of sound to meaning requires temporofrontal interaction transmitted via the ventral route. PMID:19004769

  15. Deep brain stimulation of the ventral striatum increases BDNF in the fear extinction circuit.

    PubMed

    Do-Monte, Fabricio H; Rodriguez-Romaguera, Jose; Rosas-Vidal, Luis E; Quirk, Gregory J

    2013-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) reduces the symptoms of treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and improves response to extinction-based therapies. We recently reported that DBS-like stimulation of a rat homologue of VC/VS, the dorsal-VS, reduced conditioned fear and enhanced extinction memory (Rodriguez-Romaguera et al., 2012). In contrast, DBS of the ventral-VS had the opposite effects. To examine possible mechanisms of these effects, we assessed the effects of VS DBS on the expression of the neural activity marker Fos and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key mediator of extinction plasticity in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Consistent with decreased fear expression, DBS of dorsal-VS increased Fos expression in prelimbic and infralimbic prefrontal cortices and in the lateral division of the central nucleus of amygdala, an area that inhibits amygdala output. Consistent with improved extinction memory, we found that DBS of dorsal-VS, but not ventral-VS, increased neuronal BDNF expression in prelimbic and infralimbic prefrontal cortices. These rodent findings are consistent with the idea that clinical DBS of VC/VS may augment fear extinction through an increase in BDNF expression. PMID:23964215

  16. Nicotine mediates expression of genes related to antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress response in HIV-1 transgenic rat brain.

    PubMed

    Song, Guohua; Nesil, Tanseli; Cao, Junran; Yang, Zhongli; Chang, Sulie L; Li, Ming D

    2016-02-01

    Oxidative stress plays an important role in the progression of HIV-1 infection. Nicotine can either protect neurons from neurodegeneration or induce oxidative stress, depending on its dose and degree of oxidative stress impairment. However, the relationship between nicotine and oxidative stress in the HIV-1-infected individuals remains largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of nicotine on expression of genes related to the glutathione (GSH)-centered antioxidant system and oxidative stress in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) of HIV-1 transgenic (HIV-1Tg) and F344 control rats. Adult HIV-1Tg and F344 rats received nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, base, s.c.) or saline injections once per day for 27 days. At the end of treatment, various brain regions including the NAc and VTA were collected from each rat. Following total RNA extraction and complementary DNA (cDNA) synthesis of each sample, quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) analysis was performed for 43 oxidative-stress-related genes. Compared with F344 control rats, HIV-1Tg rats showed a significant downregulation of genes involved in ATPase and cyctochrome oxidase at the messenger RNA (mRNA) level in both regions. Further, we found a significant downregulation of Gstm5 in the NAc and upregulation of Cox1, Cox3, and Gsta6 in the VTA of HIV-1Tg rats. HIV-1Tg rats showed brain-region-specific responses to chronic nicotine treatment. This response resulted in a change in the expression of genes involved in antioxidant mechanisms including the downregulation of genes such as Atp5h, Calml1, Gpx7, Gstm5, Gsr, and Gsta6 and upregulation of Sod1 in the NAc, as well as downregulation of genes like Cox5a, Gpx4, Gpx6, Gpx7, Gstm5, and Sod1 in the VTA of HIV-1Tg rats. Together, we conclude that chronic nicotine treatment has a dual effect on the antioxidant defense system and oxidative-stress-induced apoptosis signaling in HIV-1Tg rats. These findings suggest that

  17. Ameliorating effects of tropisetron on dopaminergic disruption of prepulse inhibition via the alpha(7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Kohnomi, Shuntaro; Suemaru, Katsuya; Goda, Mitsunori; Choshi, Tominari; Hibino, Satoshi; Kawasaki, Hiromu; Araki, Hiroaki

    2010-09-24

    Nicotine has ameliorating effects on sensorimotor gating deficits in schizophrenia. We have shown that nicotine ameliorated disruption of prepulse inhibition (PPI) via the alpha(7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in Wistar rats. The 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist tropisetron was recently found to be an alpha(7) nAChR partial agonist. We initially investigated the effects of tropisetron on disruption of PPI induced by phencyclidine (PCP) (2mg/kg) or apomorphine (1mg/kg). Tropisetron had no effect on the disruption of PPI induced by PCP, but ameliorated the disruption by apomorphine. The ameliorating effect of tropisetron was antagonized by methyllycaconitine (2 or 5mg/kg), a partially selective alpha(7) nAChR antagonist. Next, to find the action site of tropisetron, we examined c-Fos protein expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), dorsolateral striatum (DLst) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Tropisetron alone did not change the number of c-Fos-positive cells, whereas apomorphine increased the number of positive cells in the NAc and DLst. Tropisetron administration followed by apomorphine administration decreased the number of positive cells in the VTA compared with the apomorphine-alone group. These results suggest that tropisetron has an ameliorating effect on the sensorimotor gating deficits via the alpha(7) nAChR, and that one possible site of its action is the VTA.

  18. Projections of medullary and pontine noradrenergic neurons to the horizontal limb of the nucleus of diagonal band in the rat.

    PubMed

    Senatorov, V V; Renaud, L P

    1999-01-01

    Recent investigations in the rat have implicated a noradrenergic innervation to the horizontal nucleus of the diagonal band of Broca as a critical link in a neural circuit that conveys baroreceptor information centrally to inhibit the firing of vasopressin-secreting neurons in the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus. In this study we used small intra-diagonal band injections of a retrograde tracer, rhodamine latex microspheres, in combination with tyrosine hydroxylase histochemistry to identify brainstem noradrenergic cells contributing to this innervation. In three cases where tracer injections were limited to the horizontal limb of the diagonal band, we observed 20-50 double-labelled neurons ipsilaterally in the dorsal part of the locus coeruleus (A6) and the caudal nucleus tractus solitarius (A2), and bilaterally in the caudal ventrolateral medulla (A1). Double-labelled neurons were also noted in the ventral tegmental area (dopaminergic A10 cell group). Although all major brainstem noradrenergic cell groups contribute fibers to the horizontal limb of the nucleus of diagonal band, data from physiological studies suggest that the noradrenergic A2 neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius are the most likely pathway through which it receives this baroreceptor information.

  19. Role of projections from ventral medial prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens shell in context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking.

    PubMed

    Bossert, Jennifer M; Stern, Anna L; Theberge, Florence R M; Marchant, Nathan J; Wang, Hui-Ling; Morales, Marisela; Shaham, Yavin

    2012-04-01

    In humans, exposure to contexts previously associated with heroin use can provoke relapse. In rats, exposure to heroin-paired contexts after extinction of drug-reinforced responding in different contexts reinstates heroin seeking. This effect is attenuated by inhibition of glutamate or dopamine transmission in nucleus accumbens shell, or inactivation of ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Here, we used an anatomical asymmetrical disconnection procedure to demonstrate that an interaction between glutamatergic projections from ventral mPFC to accumbens shell and local dopamine D(1) postsynaptic receptors contributes to context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking. We also combined the marker of neuronal activity, Fos, with the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold to assess activation in this pathway during context-induced reinstatement. Rats were trained to self-administer heroin for 12 d; drug infusions were paired with a discrete tone-light cue. Lever pressing was subsequently extinguished in a nondrug-associated context in the presence of the discrete cue. Rats were then tested in the heroin- or extinction-associated contexts under extinction conditions. Injections of muscimol + baclofen into ventral mPFC in one hemisphere and D(1)-family receptor antagonist SCH 23390 into the contralateral or ipsilateral accumbens shell decreased context-induced reinstatement. Unilateral injections of muscimol + baclofen into ventral mPFC or SCH 23390 into the accumbens shell had no effect. Context-induced reinstatement was associated with increased Fos expression in ventral mPFC neurons, including those projecting to accumbens shell, with higher double-labeling in the ipsilateral projection than in the contralateral projection. Our results demonstrate that activation of glutamatergic projections from ventral mPFC to accumbens shell, previously implicated in inhibition of cocaine relapse, promotes heroin relapse. PMID:22492053

  20. 5-HT1A receptor-responsive pedunculopontine tegmental neurons suppress REM sleep and respiratory motor activity.

    PubMed

    Grace, Kevin P; Liu, Hattie; Horner, Richard L

    2012-02-01

    Serotonin type 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor-responsive neurons in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTn) become maximally active immediately before and during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A prevailing model of REM sleep generation indicates that activation of such neurons contributes significantly to the generation of REM sleep, and if correct then inactivation of such neurons ought to suppress REM sleep. We test this hypothesis using bilateral microperfusion of the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT, 10 μm) into the PPTn; this tool has been shown to selectively silence REM sleep-active PPTn neurons while the activity of wake/REM sleep-active PPTn neurons is unaffected. Contrary to the prevailing model, bilateral microperfusion of 8-OH-DPAT into the PPTn (n = 23 rats) significantly increased REM sleep both as a percentage of the total recording time and sleep time, compared with both within-animal vehicle controls and between-animal time-controls. This increased REM sleep resulted from an increased frequency of REM sleep bouts but not their duration, indicating an effect on mechanisms of REM sleep initiation but not maintenance. Furthermore, an increased proportion of the REM sleep bouts stemmed from periods of low REM sleep drive quantified electrographically. Targeted suppression of 5-HT(1A) receptor-responsive PPTn neurons also increased respiratory rate and respiratory-related genioglossus activity, and increased the frequency and amplitude of the sporadic genioglossus activations occurring during REM sleep. These data indicate that 5-HT(1A) receptor-responsive PPTn neurons normally function to restrain REM sleep by elevating the drive threshold for REM sleep induction, and restrain the expression of respiratory rate and motor activities.

  1. Modulation of Fronto-Cortical Activity by Modafinil: A Functional Imaging and Fos Study in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Gozzi, Alessandro; Colavito, Valeria; Seke Etet, Paul F; Montanari, Dino; Fiorini, Silvia; Tambalo, Stefano; Bifone, Angelo; Zucconi, Gigliola Grassi; Bentivoglio, Marina

    2012-01-01

    Modafinil (MOD) is a wake-promoting drug with pro-cognitive properties. Despite its increasing use, the neuronal substrates of MOD action remain elusive. In particular, animal studies have highlighted a putative role of diencephalic areas as primary neuronal substrate of MOD action, with inconsistent evidence of recruitment of fronto-cortical areas despite the established pro-cognitive effects of the drug. Moreover, most animal studies have employed doses of MOD of limited clinical relevance. We used pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) in the anesthetized rat to map the circuitry activated by a MOD dose producing clinically relevant plasma exposure, as here ascertained by pharmacokinetic measurements. We observed prominent and sustained activation of the prefrontal and cingulate cortex, together with weaker but significant activation of the somatosensory cortex, medial thalamic domains, hippocampus, ventral striatum and dorsal raphe. Correlation analysis of phMRI data highlighted enhanced connectivity within a neural network including dopamine projections from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens. The pro-arousing effect of MOD was assessed using electroencephalographic recording under anesthetic conditions comparable to those used for phMRI, together with the corresponding Fos immunoreactivity distribution. MOD produced electroencephalogram desynchronization, resulting in reduced delta and increased theta frequency bands, and a pattern of Fos induction largely consistent with the phMRI study. Altogether, these findings show that clinically relevant MOD doses can robustly activate fronto-cortical areas involved in higher cognitive functions and a network of pro-arousing areas, which provide a plausible substrate for the wake-promoting and pro-cognitive effects of the drug. PMID:22048464

  2. Withdrawal from repeated administration of morphine alters histamine-induced anxiogenic effects produced by intra-ventral hippocampal microinjection.

    PubMed

    Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza; Khodarahmi, Parvin; Rezayof, Ameneh; Oryan, Shahrbano

    2010-06-01

    In the present study, the influence of withdrawal from repeated administration of morphine on intra-ventral hippocampal microinjection of histamine-induced anxiety-like behavior was investigated in male Wistar rats. Three days subcutaneous administration of morphine (5-10 mg/kg) followed by five days free of the drug decreased the percentage open arm time and the percentage open arm entries. Intra-ventral hippocampal administration of histamine (2.5-7.5 microg/rat) decreased percentage open arm time and percentage open arm entries. Intra-ventral hippocampal histamine-induced anxiogenic effect was reversed in animals that had previously received the three days morphine (7.5 mg/kg) followed by five days free of the drug. Intra-ventral hippocampal administration of pyrilamine (5-20 microg/rat) or ranitidine (10-40 microg/rat) decreased percentage open arm time and percentage open arm entries. Pyrilamine- or ranitidine-induced anxiogenic effect was not changed in animals that had previously received the three days morphine (7.5 mg/kg) followed by five days free of the drug. Intra-ventral hippocampal injections of clobenpropit increased percentage open arm time. The percentage open arm time and percentage open arm entries were decreased in the morphine-treated animals compared with non-morphine-treated controls. Percentage open arm entries and locomotor activity was reduced with some doses of clobenpropit. It can be concluded that the histamine system is involved in anxiety-like behavior, and repeated injections of morphine followed by five days free of the drugs interact with histamine receptor mechanism.

  3. Involvement of purinergic P2X4 receptors in alcohol intake of high-alcohol-drinking (HAD) rats

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Kelle M.; Hauser, Sheketha R.; Lasek, Amy W.; Bell, Richard L.; McBride, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Background The P2X4 receptor is thought to be involved in regulating alcohol-consuming behaviors and ethanol (EtOH) has been reported to inhibit P2X4 receptors. Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic agent that acts as a positive allosteric modulator of the P2X4 receptor. The current study examined the effects of systemically- and centrally-administered ivermectin on alcohol drinking of replicate lines of high-alcohol-drinking (HAD-1/HAD-2) rats, and the effects of lentiviral-delivered short-hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting P2rx4 on EtOH intake of female HAD2 rats. Method For the 1st experiment, adult male HAD-1 & HAD-2 rats were given 24-hr free-choice access to 15% EtOH vs. water. Dose-response effects of ivermectin (1.5 to 7.5 mg/kg i.p.) on EtOH intake were determined; the effects of ivermectin were then examined for 2% w/v sucrose intake over 5 consecutive days. In the 2nd experiment, female HAD-2 rats were trained to consume 15% EtOH under 2-hr limited access conditions, and dose-response effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of ivermectin (0.5 to 2.0 μg) were determined over 5 consecutive days. The 3rd experiment determined the effects of microinfusion of a lentivirus expressing P2rx4 shRNAs into the posterior ventral tegmental area (VTA) on 24-hr EtOH free-choice drinking of female HAD-2 rats. Results The highest i.p. dose of ivermectin reduced alcohol drinking (30-45%) in both rat lines, but did not alter sucrose intake. HAD-2 rats appeared to be more sensitive than HAD1 rats to the effects of ivermectin. ICV administration of ivermectin reduced 2-hr limited access intake (∼35%) of female HAD-2 rats; knockdown of P2rx4 expression in the posterior VTA reduced 24-hr free choice EtOH intake (∼20%). Conclusion Overall, the results of the current study support a role for P2X4 receptors within the mesolimbic system in mediating alcohol drinking behavior. PMID:26334550

  4. In vitro electrophysiology of neurons in the lateral dorsal tegmental nucleus.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, K S; Grant, S J; Burkhart, B A; Christoph, G R

    1989-03-01

    The lateral dorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) provides ascending cholinergic projections to forebrain structures such as prefrontal cortex, septum, habenula, and thalamus, but relatively little is known of the physiology of LDT neurons. Intracellular recordings from LDT neurons in guinea pig brain slices found that most neurons fired action potentials either tonically or in bursts. The voltage dependent characteristics of the neurons suggest that a prolonged afterhyperpolarization due to an outward potassium current and a low-threshold calcium conductance contributed to these two modes of firing. Intracellular injections of Lucifer Yellow and subsequent staining for NADPH-diaphorase activity permitted positive identification of cholinergic neurons.

  5. Stimulation of in vivo dopamine transmission and intravenous self-administration in rats and mice by JWH-018, a Spice cannabinoid.

    PubMed

    De Luca, M A; Bimpisidis, Z; Melis, M; Marti, M; Caboni, P; Valentini, V; Margiani, G; Pintori, N; Polis, I; Marsicano, G; Parsons, L H; Di Chiara, G

    2015-12-01

    The synthetic cannabinoid 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)-indole (JWH-018) has been detected in about 140 samples of a smokable herbal mixture termed "Spice". JWH-018 is a CB1 and CB2 agonist with a higher affinity than Δ9-THC. In order to investigate the neurobiological substrates of JWH-018 actions, we studied by microdialysis in freely moving rats the effect of JWH-018 on extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core and in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). JWH-018, at the dose of 0.25 mg/kg i.p., increased DA release in the NAc shell but not in the NAc core and mPFC. Lower (0.125 mg/kg) and higher doses (0.50 mg/kg) were ineffective. These effects were blocked by CB1 receptor antagonists (SR-141716A and AM 251) and were absent in mice lacking the CB1 receptor. Ex vivo whole cell patch clamp recordings from rat ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons showed that JWH-018 decreases GABAA-mediated post-synaptic currents in a dose-dependent fashion suggesting that the stimulation of DA release observed in vivo might result from disinhibition of DA neurons. In addition, on the "tetrad" paradigm for screening cannabinoid-like effects (i.e., hypothermia, analgesia, catalepsy, hypomotility), JWH-018, at doses of 1 and 3 mg/kg i.p., produced CB1 receptor-dependent behavioural effects in rats. Finally, under appropriate experimental conditions, rats (20 μg/kg/inf i.v., FR3; nose-poking) and mice (30 μg/kg/inf i.v., FR1; lever-pressing) self-administer intravenously JWH-018. In conclusion, JWH-018 shares with the active ingredient of Marijuana, Δ9-THC, CB1-dependent reinforcing and DA stimulant actions.

  6. Estradiol and isotype-selective estrogen receptor agonists modulate the mesocortical dopaminergic system in gonadectomized female rats.

    PubMed

    Sárvári, Miklós; Deli, Levente; Kocsis, Pál; Márk, László; Maász, Gábor; Hrabovszky, Erik; Kalló, Imre; Gajári, Dávid; Vastagh, Csaba; Sümegi, Balázs; Tihanyi, Károly; Liposits, Zsolt

    2014-10-01

    The mesocortical dopaminergic pathway projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) contributes to the processing of reward signals. This pathway is regulated by gonadal steroids including estradiol. To address the putative role of estradiol and isotype-selective estrogen receptor (ER) agonists in the regulation of the rodent mesocortical system, we combined fMRI, HPLC-MS and qRT-PCR techniques. In fMRI experiments adult, chronically ovariectomized rats, treated with either vehicle, estradiol, ERα agonist 16α-lactone-estradiol (LE2) or ERβ agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN), received a single dose of d-amphetamine-sulphate (10mg/kg, i.p.) and BOLD responses were monitored in the VTA and the PFC. Ovariectomized rats showed no significant response to amphetamine. In contrast, the VTA of ER agonist-substituted ovariectomized rats showed robust amphetamine-evoked BOLD increases. The PFC of estradiol-replaced animals was also responsive to amphetamine. Mass spectroscopic analysis of dopamine and its metabolites revealed a two-fold increase in both dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid content of the PFC in estradiol-replaced animals compared to ovariectomized controls. qRT-PCR studies revealed upregulation of dopamine transporter and dopamine receptor in the VTA and PFC, respectively, of ER agonist-treated ovariectomized animals. Collectively, the results indicate that E2 and isotype-selective ER agonists can powerfully modulate the responsiveness of the mesocortical dopaminergic system, increase the expression of key genes related to dopaminergic neurotransmission and augment the dopamine content of the PFC. In a broader sense, the findings support the concept that the manifestation of reward signals in the PFC is dependent on the actual estrogen milieu of the brain. PMID:24976584

  7. Ethanol reduces evoked dopamine release and slows clearance in the rat medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Shnitko, Tatiana A.; Kennerly, Laura C.; Spear, Linda P.; Robinson, Donita L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Ethanol intoxication affects cognitive performance, contributing to attentional deficits and poor decision making, which may occur via actions in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). mPFC function is modulated by the catecholamines dopamine and norepinephrine. In this study, we examine the acute effects of ethanol on electrically-evoked dopamine release and clearance in the mPFC of anaesthetized rats naïve to alcohol or chronically exposed to alcohol during adolescence. Methods Dopamine release and clearance was evoked by electrical stimulation of the VTA and measured in the mPFC of anaesthetized rats with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. In Experiments 1 and 2, effects of a high dose of ethanol (4g/kg, i.p.) on dopamine neurotransmission in the mPFC of ethanol-naïve rats and rats given ethanol exposure during adolescence were investigated. Effects of cumulative dosing of ethanol (0.5–4g/kg) on the dopamine release and clearance were investigated in Experiment 3. Experiment 4 studied effects of ethanol locally applied to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on the dopamine neurotransmission in the mPFC of ethanol-naïve rats. Results A high dose of ethanol decreased evoked dopamine release within 10 min of administration in ethanol-naïve rats. When tested via cumulative dosing from 0.5–4g/kg, both 2 and 4g/kg ethanol inhibited evoked dopamine release in the mPFC of ethanol-naïve rats, while 4g/kg ethanol also slowed dopamine clearance. A similar effect on electrically-evoked dopamine release in the mPFC was observed after infusion of ethanol into the VTA. Interestingly, intermittent ethanol exposure during adolescence had no effect on observed changes in mPFC dopamine release and clearance induced by acute ethanol administration. Conclusions Taken together, these data describe ethanol-induced reductions in the dynamics of VTA-evoked mPFC dopamine release and clearance, with the VTA contributing to the attenuation of evoked mPFC dopamine release induced

  8. Spatial memory extinction differentially affects dorsal and ventral hippocampal metabolic activity and associated functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Couz, Marta; González-Pardo, Héctor; Vallejo, Guillermo; Arias, Jorge L; Conejo, Nélida M

    2016-10-01

    Previous studies showed the involvement of brain regions associated with both spatial learning and associative learning in spatial memory extinction, although the specific role of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and the extended hippocampal system including the mammillary body in the process is still controversial. The present study aimed to identify the involvement of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus, together with cortical regions, the amygdaloid nuclei, and the mammillary bodies in the extinction of a spatial memory task. To address these issues, quantitative cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry was applied as a metabolic brain mapping method. Rats were trained in a reference memory task using the Morris water maze, followed by an extinction procedure of the previously acquired memory task. Results show that rats learned successfully the spatial memory task as shown by the progressive decrease in measured latencies to reach the escape platform and the results obtained in the probe test. Spatial memory was subsequently extinguished as shown by the descending preference for the previously reinforced location. A control naïve group was added to ensure that brain metabolic changes were specifically related with performance in the spatial memory extinction task. Extinction of the original spatial learning task significantly modified the metabolic activity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus, the amygdala and the mammillary bodies. Moreover, the ventral hippocampus, the lateral mammillary body and the retrosplenial cortex were differentially recruited in the spatial memory extinction task, as shown by group differences in brain metabolic networks. These findings provide new insights on the brain regions and functional brain networks underlying spatial memory, and specifically spatial memory extinction. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Spatial memory extinction differentially affects dorsal and ventral hippocampal metabolic activity and associated functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Couz, Marta; González-Pardo, Héctor; Vallejo, Guillermo; Arias, Jorge L; Conejo, Nélida M

    2016-10-01

    Previous studies showed the involvement of brain regions associated with both spatial learning and associative learning in spatial memory extinction, although the specific role of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and the extended hippocampal system including the mammillary body in the process is still controversial. The present study aimed to identify the involvement of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus, together with cortical regions, the amygdaloid nuclei, and the mammillary bodies in the extinction of a spatial memory task. To address these issues, quantitative cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry was applied as a metabolic brain mapping method. Rats were trained in a reference memory task using the Morris water maze, followed by an extinction procedure of the previously acquired memory task. Results show that rats learned successfully the spatial memory task as shown by the progressive decrease in measured latencies to reach the escape platform and the results obtained in the probe test. Spatial memory was subsequently extinguished as shown by the descending preference for the previously reinforced location. A control naïve group was added to ensure that brain metabolic changes were specifically related with performance in the spatial memory extinction task. Extinction of the original spatial learning task significantly modified the metabolic activity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus, the amygdala and the mammillary bodies. Moreover, the ventral hippocampus, the lateral mammillary body and the retrosplenial cortex were differentially recruited in the spatial memory extinction task, as shown by group differences in brain metabolic networks. These findings provide new insights on the brain regions and functional brain networks underlying spatial memory, and specifically spatial memory extinction. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27102086

  10. Dopamine and Glutamate Interaction Mediates Reinstatement of Drug-Seeking Behavior by Stimulation of the Ventral Subiculum

    PubMed Central

    Taepavarapruk, Pornnarin; Butts, Kelly A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease characterized by recurrent episodes of relapse to drug-seeking/-taking behaviors. The ventral subiculum, the primary output of the hippocampus, plays a critical role in mediating drug-seeking behavior. Methods: A d-amphetamine intravenous self-administration rat model was employed along with focal electrical stimulation of the ventral subiculum (20 Hz/200 pulses) to examine its role in reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior. Dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens was measured by in vivo microdialysis and subsequent HPLC-ED analyses. Pharmacological antagonism of dopamine and ionotropic glutamate receptors locally within the nucleus accumbens was employed to assess the role of glutamate and dopamine in reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior induced by stimulation of the ventral subiculum. Results: Here, we demonstrate that reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior following extinction of d-amphetamine self-administration by rats was induced by electrical stimulation in the ventral subiculum but not the cortex. This reinstatement was accompanied by a significant increase in dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens and was disrupted by microinfusion of a dopamine D1 or D2 antagonist into the nucleus accumbens. Inhibition of N-methyl-D-aspartate or non- N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors had no effect on the reinstatement induced by ventral subiculum stimulation, whereas co-infusion of D1 and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists at formerly ineffective doses prevented drug-seeking behavior. Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that dopamine/glutamate interactions within the ventral striatum related to memory processes are involved in relapse to addictive behavior. PMID:25539503

  11. Effect of MDMA-Induced Axotomy on the Dorsal Raphe Forebrain Tract in Rats: An In Vivo Manganese-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Chuang-Hsin; Siow, Tiing-Yee; Weng, Shao-Ju; Hsu, Yi-Hua; Huang, Yuahn-Sieh; Chang, Kang-Wei; Cheng, Cheng-Yi; Ma, Kuo-Hsing

    2015-01-01

    3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as "Ecstasy", is a common recreational drug of abuse. Several previous studies have attributed the central serotonergic neurotoxicity of MDMA to distal axotomy, since only fine serotonergic axons ascending from the raphe nucleus are lost without apparent damage to their cell bodies. However, this axotomy has never been visualized directly in vivo. The present study examined the axonal integrity of the efferent projections from the midbrain raphe nucleus after MDMA exposure using in vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI). Rats were injected subcutaneously six times with MDMA (5 mg/kg) or saline once daily. Eight days after the last injection, manganese ions (Mn2+) were injected stereotactically into the raphe nucleus, and a series of MEMRI images was acquired over a period of 38 h to monitor the evolution of Mn2+-induced signal enhancement across the ventral tegmental area, the medial forebrain bundle (MFB), and the striatum. The MDMA-induced loss of serotonin transporters was clearly evidenced by immunohistological staining consistent with the Mn2+-induced signal enhancement observed across the MFB and striatum. MEMRI successfully revealed the disruption of the serotonergic raphe-striatal projections and the variable effect of MDMA on the kinetics of Mn2+ accumulation in the MFB and striatum. PMID:26378923

  12. Activation of matrix metalloproteinase in dorsal hippocampus drives improvement in spatial working memory after intra-VTA nicotine infusion in rats.

    PubMed

    Shu, Hui; Zheng, Guo-qing; Wang, Xiaona; Sun, Yanyun; Liu, Yushan; Weaver, John Michael; Shen, Xianzhi; Liu, Wenlan; Jin, Xinchun

    2015-10-01

    The hippocampus receives dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra. These inputs appear to provide a modulatory signal that influences hippocampus-dependent behaviors. Enhancements in working memory performance have been previously reported following acute smoking/nicotine exposure. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated the effects of nicotine on spatial working memory (SWM) and the mechanisms involved. Delayed alternation T-maze task was used to assess SWM. In situ and gel gelatin zymography were used to detect matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in SWM. Systemic or local (intra-VTA) administration of nicotine significantly improves SWM, which was acco