Aggression is often comorbid with neuropsychiatric diseases, including drug addiction. One form, appetitive aggression, exhibits symptomatology that mimics that of drug addiction and is hypothesized to be due to dysregulation of addiction-related reward circuits. However, our mechanistic understanding of the circuitry modulating appetitive operant aggression is limited. Here we used a novel mouse model of aggression self-administration and relapse, in combination with immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and chemogenetic manipulations to examine how cell-types in the nucleus accumbens are recruited for, and control, operant aggression self-administration and aggression seeking on abstinence day 1. We found that one population, dopamine receptor 1-expressing neurons, act as a critical modulator of operant aggression reward and aggression seeking.
For a related review, see:
Animal Models of (or for) Aggression Reward, Addiction, and Relapse: Behavior and Circuits.
J Neurosci, 39 (13), pp. 2482–2496, 2019, ISSN: 1529-2401 (Electronic); 0270-6474 (Linking).