The Basolateral Amygdala to Nucleus Accumbens Core Circuit Mediates the Conditioned Reinforcing Effects of Cocaine-Paired Cues on Cocaine Seeking.
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Puaud, M., Higuera-Matas, A., Brunault, P., Everitt, B., & Belin, D. (2021). The Basolateral Amygdala to Nucleus Accumbens Core Circuit Mediates the Conditioned Reinforcing Effects of Cocaine-Paired Cues on Cocaine Seeking.. Biological psychiatry, 89 (4), 356-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.07.022
Background: Individuals addicted to cocaine spend much of their time foraging for the drug. Pavlovian drug-associated conditioned stimuli exert a major influence on the initiation and maintenance of drug seeking often long into abstinence, especially when presented response-contingently, acting as conditioned reinforcers that bridge delays to drug use. The acquisition of cue-controlled cocaine seeking has been shown to depend on functional interactions between the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the core of the nucleus accumbens (NAcC). However, the precise neuronal circuits underlying the acquisition of cue-controlled cocaine seeking behaviour have not been elucidated. Methods: Here we used a projection-specific Cre-dependent DREADD-mediated causal approach to test the hypothesis that the direct projections from the BLA to the NAcC are required for the acquisition of cue-controlled cocaine seeking behaviour. Results: In Sprague Dawley rats with cre-mediated expression of the inhibitory DREADD hM4D(Gi) in the NAcC projecting BLA neurons, treatment with CNO, but not vehicle, selectively prevented the impact of cocaine-associated conditioned reinforcement on cocaine seeking under a second-order schedule of reinforcement. This effect was attributable to the chemogenetic inhibition of the NAcC projecting BLA neurons as it was reversible, and absent in CNO-treated rats expressing an empty control virus. In contrast, chemogenetic inhibition of the anterior insula, which receives collateral projections from NAcC projecting BLA neurons, was without effect. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that the acquisition of cue-controlled cocaine seeking that depends on the conditioned reinforcing effects of cocaine cues require activity in the direct projections from the basolateral amygdala to the NAcC.
Nucleus Accumbens, Animals, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Cocaine, Self Administration, Cues, Drug-Seeking Behavior, Basolateral Nuclear Complex
Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2016-117)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.07.022
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/308743
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/