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Featured paper of the Month!

August's Featured Paper!

Role of Ventral Subiculum in Context-Induced Relapse to Alcohol Seeking after Punishment-Imposed Abstinence

J Neurosci. 6 March 2016, 36(11): 3281-3294

Nathan J. Marchant, Erin J. Campbell, Leslie R. Whitaker, Brandon K. Harvey, Konstantin Kaganovsky, Sweta Adhikary, Bruce T. Hope, Robert C. Heins, Thomas E. Prisinzano, Eyal Vardy, Antonello Bonci, Jennifer M. Bossert, andYavin Shaham

In many human alcoholics, abstinence is self-imposed because of the negative consequences of excessive alcohol use, and relapse is often triggered by exposure to environmental contexts associated with prior alcohol drinking. We recently developed a rat model of this human condition in which we train alcohol-preferring P rats to self-administer alcohol in one context (A), punish the alcohol-reinforced responding in a different context (B), and then test for relapse to alcohol seeking in Contexts A and B without alcohol or shock. Here, we studied the role of projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell from ventral subiculum (vSub), basolateral amygdala, paraventricular thalamus, and ventral medial prefrontal cortex in context-induced relapse after punishment-imposed abstinence. First, we measured double-labeling of the neuronal activity marker Fos with the retrograde tracer cholera toxin subunit B (injected in NAc shell) and demonstrated that context-induced relapse is associated with selective activation of the vSub→NAc shell projection. Next, we reversibly inactivated the vSub with GABA receptor agonists (muscimol+baclofen) before the context-induced relapse tests and provided evidence for a causal role of vSub in this relapse. Finally, we used a dual-virus approach to restrict expression of the inhibitory κ opioid-receptor based DREADD (KORD) in vSub→NAc shell projection neurons. We found that systemic injections of the KORD agonist salvinorin B, which selectively inhibits KORD-expressing neurons, decreased context-induced relapse to alcohol seeking. Our results demonstrate a critical role of vSub in context-induced relapse after punishment-imposed abstinence and further suggest a role of the vSub→NAc projection in this relapse.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In many human alcoholics, abstinence is self-imposed because of the negative consequences of excessive use, and relapse is often triggered by exposure to environmental contexts associated with prior alcohol use. Until recently, an animal model of this human condition did not exist. We developed a rat model of this human condition in which we train alcohol-preferring P rats to self-administer alcohol in one context (A), punish the alcohol-reinforced responding in a different context (B), and test for relapse to alcohol seeking in Contexts A and B. Here, we used neuroanatomical, neuropharmacological, and chemogenetic methods to demonstrate a role of ventral subiculum and potentially its projections to nucleus accumbens in context-induced relapse after punishment-imposed abstinence.

You can read more about this paper at the website for Journal of Neuroscience.

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Hot off the Press Archives
Featured paper of the Month!

Constituents and functional implications of the rat default mode network

Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 2016 Aug 2;113(31):E4541-7. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

Li-Ming Hsu, Xia Liang, Hong Gu, Julia K. Brynildsen, Jennifer A. Stark, Jessica A. Ash, Ching-Po Lin, Hanbing Lu, Peter R. Rapp, Elliot A. Stein, and Yihong Yang

The default mode network (DMN) has been suggested to support a variety of self-referential functions in humans and has been fractionated into subsystems based on distinct responses to cognitive tasks and functional connectivity architecture. Such subsystems are thought to reflect functional hierarchy and segregation within the network. Because preclinical models can inform translational studies of neuropsychiatric disorders, partitioning of the DMN in nonhuman species, which has previously not been reported, may inform both physiology and pathophysiology of the human DMN. In this study, we sought to identify constituents of the rat DMN using resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging. After identifying DMN using a group-level independent-component analysis on the rs-fMRI data, modularity analyses fractionated the DMN into an anterior and a posterior subsystem, which were further segregated into five modules. Diffusion tensor imaging tractography demonstrates a close relationship between fiber density and the functional connectivity between DMN regions, and provides anatomical evidence to support the detected DMN subsystems. Finally, distinct modulation was seen within and between these DMN subcomponents using a neurocognitive aging model. Taken together, these results suggest that, like the human DMN, the rat DMN can be partitioned into several subcomponents that may support distinct functions. These data encourage further investigation into the neurobiological mechanisms of DMN processing in preclinical models of both normal and disease states.

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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