39,865 research outputs found

    Blunted Cystine–Glutamate Antiporter Function in the Nucleus Accumbens Promotes Cocaine-induced Drug Seeking

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    Repeated cocaine alters glutamate neurotransmission, in part, by reducing cystine–glutamate exchange via system xc−, which maintains glutamate levels and receptor stimulation in the extrasynaptic compartment. In the present study, we undertook two approaches to determine the significance of plasticity involving system xc−. First, we examined whether the cysteine prodrug N-acetylcysteine attenuates cocaine-primed reinstatement by targeting system xc−. Rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (1 mg/kg/200 μl, i.v.) under extended access conditions (6 h/day). After extinction training, cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) primed reinstatement was assessed in rats pretreated with N-acetylcysteine (0–60 mg/kg, i.p.) in the presence or absence of the system xc− inhibitor (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine (CPG; 0.5 μM; infused into the nucleus accumbens). N-acetylcysteine attenuated cocaine-primed reinstatement, and this effect was reversed by co-administration of CPG. Secondly, we examined whether reduced system xc− activity is necessary for cocaine-primed reinstatement. To do this, we administered N-acetylcysteine (0 or 90 mg/kg, i.p.) prior to 12 daily self-administration sessions (1 mg/kg/200 μl, i.v.; 6 h/day) since this procedure has previously been shown to prevent reduced activity of system xc−. On the reinstatement test day, we then acutely impaired system xc− in some of the rats by infusing CPG (0.5 μM) into the nucleus accumbens. Rats that had received N-acetylcysteine prior to daily self-administration sessions exhibited diminished cocaine-primed reinstatement; this effect was reversed by infusing the cystine–glutamate exchange inhibitor CPG into the nucleus accumbens. Collectively these data establish system xc− in the nucleus accumbens as a key mechanism contributing to cocaine-primed reinstatement

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

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

    Involvement of the accumbal osteopontin-interacting transmembrane protein 168 in methamphetamine-induced place preference and hyperlocomotion in mice

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    Chronic exposure to methamphetamine causes adaptive changes in brain, which underlie dependence symptoms. We have found that the transmembrane protein 168 (TMEM168) is overexpressed in the nucleus accumbens of mice upon repeated methamphetamine administration. Here, we firstly demonstrate the inhibitory effect of TMEM168 on methamphetamine-induced behavioral changes in mice, and attempt to elucidate the mechanism of this inhibition. We overexpressed TMEM168 in the nucleus accumbens of mice by using an adeno-associated virus vector (NAc-TMEM mice). Methamphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion and conditioned place preference were attenuated in NAc-TMEM mice. Additionally, methamphetamine-induced extracellular dopamine elevation was suppressed in the nucleus accumbens of NAc-TMEM mice. Next, we identified extracellular matrix protein osteopontin as an interacting partner of TMEM168, by conducting immunoprecipitation in cultured COS-7 cells. TMEM168 overexpression in COS-7 cells induced the enhancement of extracellular and intracellular osteopontin. Similarly, osteopontin enhancement was also observed in the nucleus accumbens of NAc-TMEM mice, in in vivo studies. Furthermore, the infusion of osteopontin proteins into the nucleus accumbens of mice was found to inhibit methamphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion and conditioned place preference. Our studies suggest that the TMEM168-regulated osteopontin system is a novel target pathway for the therapy of methamphetamine dependence, via regulating the dopaminergic function in the nucleus accumbens

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

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

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

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

    Chemogenetic Stimulation and Silencing of the Insula, Amygdala, Nucleus Accumbens, and Their Connections Differentially Modulate Alcohol Drinking in Rats

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    The anterior insular cortex is hypothesized to represent interoceptive effects of drug reward in the service of goal-directed behavior. The insula is richly connected, but the insula circuitry in addiction remains poorly characterized. We examined the involvement of the anterior insula, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens, as well as the projections of the anterior insula to the central amygdala, basolateral amygdala (BLA), and nucleus accumbens core in voluntary alcohol drinking. We trained alcohol-preferring Alko Alcohol (AA) rats to drink alcohol during intermittent 2-h sessions. We then expressed excitatory or inhibitory designer receptors [designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs)] in the anterior insula, nucleus accumbens, or amygdala by means of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer and activated the DREADDs with clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) prior to the drinking sessions. Next, to examine the role of specific insula projections, we expressed FLEX-DREADDs in the efferent insula → nucleus accumbens core, insula → central amygdala, and insula → BLA projections by means of a retrograde AAV-Cre vector injected into the insula projection areas. In the anterior insula and amygdala, excitatory Gq-DREADDs significantly attenuated alcohol consumption. In contrast, in the nucleus accumbens, the Gq-DREADD stimulation increased alcohol drinking, and the inhibitory Gi-DREADDs suppressed it. The Gq-DREADDs expressed in the insula → nucleus accumbens core and insula → central amygdala projections increased alcohol intake, whereas inhibition of these projections had no effect. These data demonstrate that the anterior insula, along with the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, has a key role in controlling alcohol drinking by providing excitatory input to the central amygdala and nucleus accumbens to enhance alcohol reward.Peer reviewe

    An experimental study of the ventral striatum of the golden hamster. I. Neuronal connections of the nucleus accumbens

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    As part of an experimental study of the ventral striatum, the horseradish peroxidase (HRP) method was used to examine the afferent and efferent neuronal connections of the nucleus accumbens. Following iontophoretic applications or hydraulic injections of HRP in nucleus accumbens, cells labeled by retrograde transport of HRP were observed in the ipsilateral telencephalon in the posterior agranular insular, perirhinal, entorhinal, and primary olfactory cortices, in the subiculum and hippocampal field CA1, and in the anterior and posterior divisions of the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus. In the diencephalon, labeled neurons were present ipsilaterally in the central medial, paracentral and parafascicular intralaminar nuclei, and in the midline nuclei parataenialis, paraventricularis, and reuniens. Retrograde labeling was observed in the ipsilateral brainstem in cells of the ventral tegmental area and dorsal raphe. Many of these projections to nucleus accumbens were found to be topographically organized. Anterograde transport of HRP from nucleus accumbens demonstrated ipsilateral terminal fields in the ventral pallidum and substantia nigra, pars reticulata. The afferent projections to nucleus accumbens from the posterior insular and perirhinal neocortices, intralaminar thalamus, and the dopamine-containing ventral tegmental area are analogous to the connections of the caudatoputamen, as are the efferents from nucleus accumbens to the substantia nigra and ventral globus pallidus. These connections substantiate the classification of nucleus accumbens as a striatal structure and provide support for the recently proposed concept of the ventral striatum. Furthermore, the demonstration that a number of limbic system structures, including the amygdala, hippocampal formation, entorhinal cortex, and olfactory cortex are important sources of afferents to the nucleus accumbens, suggests that the ventral striatum may serve to integrate limbic information into the striatal system.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/50009/1/901910203_ftp.pd

    Neurons of human nucleus accumbens

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    Background/Aim. Nucleus accumbens is a part of the ventral striatum also known as a drug active brain region, especially related with drug addiction. The aim of the study was to investigate the Golgi morphology of the nucleus accumbens neurons. Methods. The study was performed on the frontal and sagittal sections of 15 human brains by the Golgi Kopsch method. We classified neurons in the human nucleus accumbens according to their morphology and size into four types: type I - fusiform neurons; type II - fusiform neurons with lateral dendrite, arising from a part of the cell body; type III - pyramidal-like neuron; type IV - multipolar neuron. The medium spiny neurons, which are mostly noted regarding to the drug addictive conditions of the brain, correspond to the type IV - multipolar neurons. Results. Two regions of human nucleus accumbens could be clearly recognized on Nissl and Golgi preparations each containing different predominant neuronal types. Central part of nucleus accumbens, core region, has a low density of impregnated neurons with predominant type III, pyramidal-like neurons, with spines on secondary branches and rare type IV, multipolar neurons. Contrary to the core, peripheral region, shell of nucleus, has a high density of impregnated neurons predominantly contained of type I and type IV - multipolar neurons, which all are rich in spines on secondary and tertiary dendritic branches. Conclusion. Our results indicate great morphological variability of human nucleus accumbens neurons. This requires further investigations and clarifying clinical significance of this important brain region

    Dynamic risk control by human nucleus accumbens

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

    Neurons of human nucleus accumbens

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    Background/Aim. Nucleus accumbens is a part of the ventral striatum also known as a drug active brain region, especially related with drug addiction. The aim of the study was to investigate the Golgi morphology of the nucleus accumbens neurons. Methods. The study was performed on the frontal and sagittal sections of 15 human brains by the Golgi Kopsch method. We classified neurons in the human nucleus accumbens according to their morphology and size into four types: type I - fusiform neurons; type II - fusiform neurons with lateral dendrite, arising from a part of the cell body; type III - pyramidal-like neuron; type IV - multipolar neuron. The medium spiny neurons, which are mostly noted regarding to the drug addictive conditions of the brain, correspond to the type IV - multipolar neurons. Results. Two regions of human nucleus accumbens could be clearly recognized on Nissl and Golgi preparations each containing different predominant neuronal types. Central part of nucleus accumbens, core region, has a low density of impregnated neurons with predominant type III, pyramidal-like neurons, with spines on secondary branches and rare type IV, multipolar neurons. Contrary to the core, peripheral region, shell of nucleus, has a high density of impregnated neurons predominantly contained of type I and type IV - multipolar neurons, which all are rich in spines on secondary and tertiary dendritic branches. Conclusion. Our results indicate great morphological variability of human nucleus accumbens neurons. This requires further investigations and clarifying clinical significance of this important brain region
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