Optogenetics reveals a role for accumbal medium spiny neurons expressing dopamine D2 receptors in cocaine-induced behavioural sensitization


Ana Maria Morón Usero

It is known from previous studies that dopamine neurons (DA) of the ventral tegmental area (ATV) stimulate the middle spiny GABAergic neurons (MSN) of the nucleus Accumbens (NAc), which can express dopamine D1 receptors (D1R) or dopamine D2 receptors ( D2R), and whose activation also inhibits its subsequent targets, which will also be GABAergic. The MSN-D1R and MSN-D2R subpopulations act differently on addictive behavior. The objective of this study is to analyse through optogenetics, the role of the D2R-MSN of the NAc in the sensitization of behavior induced by cocaine. To do this, photostimulation of D2R-MSN is performed in brain slices. The role of D2R-MSN in cocaine sensitization and withdrawal is also known from in vivo studies.

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