2,923 results match your criteria accumbens shell


Cocaine-induced projection-specific and cell type-specific adaptations in the nucleus accumbens.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Cocaine craving, seeking, and relapse are mediated, in part, by cocaine-induced adaptive changes in the brain reward circuits. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) integrates and prioritizes different emotional and motivational inputs to the reward system by processing convergent glutamatergic projections from the medial prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala, ventral hippocampus, and other limbic and paralimbic brain regions. Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are the principal projection neurons in the NAc, which can be divided into two major subpopulations, namely dopamine receptor D1- versus D2-expressing MSNs, with complementing roles in reward-associated behaviors. Read More

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Muscarinic M and M receptor subtypes in the ventral subiculum differentially modulate alcohol seeking vs consumption in male alcohol preferring rats.

Br J Pharmacol 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, Australia, 3052.

Background And Purpose: Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) mediate alcohol consumption and seeking in rats, and while M and M mAChRs have recently been implicated to mediate these behaviours in the striatum, their role in other regions remain unknown. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and ventral subiculum (vSub) both densely express M and M mAChRs and modulate alcohol seeking via their projections to the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh).

Experimental Approach: In Indiana alcohol preferring (iP) male rats we examined Chrm4 (M ) and Chrm5 (M ) expression in the VTA and vSub following long-term alcohol consumption and abstinence using RT-qPCR. Read More

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Extracellular Dopamine Levels in Nucleus Accumbens after Chronic Stress in Rats with Persistently High vs. Low 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalization Response.

Brain Sci 2021 Apr 8;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Chair of Neuropsychopharmacology, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Ravila 14A, 50411 Tartu, Estonia.

Fifty-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) in response to an imitation of rough-and-tumble play ('tickling') have been associated with positive affective states and rewarding experience in the rat. This USV response can be used as a measure of inter-individual differences in positive affect. We have previously shown that rats with persistently low positive affectivity are more vulnerable to the effects of chronic variable stress (CVS). Read More

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Recent Perspectives on Sex Differences in Compulsion-Like and Binge Alcohol Drinking.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 6;22(7). Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Alcohol use disorder remains a substantial social, health, and economic problem and problem drinking levels in women have been increasing in recent years. Understanding whether and how the underlying mechanisms that drive drinking vary by sex is critical and could provide novel, more targeted therapeutic treatments. Here, we examine recent results from our laboratories and others which we believe provide useful insights into similarities and differences in alcohol drinking patterns across the sexes. Read More

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Involvement of the dopamine system in the effect of chronic social isolation during adolescence on social behaviors in male C57 mice.

Brain Res 2021 Apr 21:147497. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Institute of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, 710062, China. Electronic address:

In the early stage of life, experiencing social isolation can generate long-lasting deleterious effects on behaviors and brain development. However, the effects of chronic social isolation during adolescence on social behaviors and its underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain unclear. The present study found that four weeks of social isolation during adolescence impaired social recognition ability in the three-chamber test and five-trial social recognition test, and increased aggressive-like behaviors, but reduced environmental exploration, as showed in the social interaction test. Read More

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Cocaine experience induces functional adaptations in astrocytes: Implications for synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens shell.

Addict Biol 2021 Apr 16:e13042. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

Astrocytes have become established as an important regulator of neuronal activity in the brain. Accumulating literature demonstrates that cocaine self-administration in rodent models induces structural changes within astrocytes that may influence their interaction with the surrounding neurons. Here, we provide evidence that cocaine impacts astrocytes at the functional level and alters neuronal sensitivity to astrocyte-derived glutamate. Read More

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Modulation of stimulated dopamine release in rat nucleus accumbens shell by GABA in vitro: Effect of sub-chronic phencyclidine pretreatment.

J Neurosci Res 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 9HN, UK.

Dopamine signaling in nucleus accumbens (NAc) is modulated by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), acting through GABA-A and GABA-B receptors: dysregulation of GABAergic control of dopamine function may be important in behavioral deficits in schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of GABA-A (muscimol) and GABA-B (baclofen) receptor agonists on electrically stimulated dopamine release. Furthermore, we explored whether drug-induced changes were disrupted by pretreatment with phencyclidine, which provides a well-validated model of schizophrenia. Read More

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Temporally specific roles of ventral tegmental area projections to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex in attention and impulse control.

J Neurosci 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Translational Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Deficits in impulse control and attention are prominent in the symptomatology of mental disorders such as ADHD, substance addiction, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, yet the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Frontostriatal structures, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAcb), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and their dopaminergic innervation from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) have been implicated in impulse control and attention. What remains unclear, is how the temporal pattern of activity of these VTA projections contributes to these processes. Read More

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Context-Specific Tolerance and Pharmacological Changes in the Infralimbic Cortex-Nucleus Accumbens Shell Pathway Evoked by Ketamine.

Neurochem Res 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Departamento de Psicologia, Uni-FACEF, Franca, SP, 14401-135, Brasil.

Like other drugs, ketamine is abused due to its ability to act as a positive reinforcer in the control of behavior, just as natural reinforcers do. Besides, through Pavlovian conditioning, tolerance to drug effects can become conditioned to specific contextual cues showing that environmental stimuli can act as powerful mediators of craving and relapse. In the present study, we shall investigate the effects of long-term ketamine administration and withdrawal on behavioral measures and emotionality, the drug-context-specific influence on the tolerance to the sedative effects of an anesthetic dose of ketamine, and the neuropharmacological events underlying this phenomenon, in rats conditioned with 10 mg/kg of ketamine and later challenged with a dose of ketamine of 80 mg/kg in a familiar and non-familiar environment. Read More

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Projection-specific dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area participated in morphine-induced hyperalgesia and anti-nociceptive tolerance in male mice.

J Psychopharmacol 2021 Mar 21:269881120985183. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Anaesthesiology, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, PR China.

Background: Long-term morphine use is associated with serious side effects, such as morphine-induced hyperalgesia and analgesic tolerance. Previous investigations have documented the association between dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and pain. However, whether VTA DA neurons are implicated in morphine-induced hyperalgesia and analgesic tolerance remains elusive. Read More

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Noradrenergic Signaling Disengages Feedforward Transmission in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell.

J Neurosci 2021 Apr 18;41(17):3752-3763. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232

The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) receives extensive monoaminergic input from multiple midbrain structures. However, little is known how norepinephrine (NE) modulates NAc circuit dynamics. Using a dynamic electrophysiological approach with optogenetics, pharmacology, and drugs acutely restricted by tethering (DART), we explored microcircuit-specific neuromodulatory mechanisms recruited by NE signaling in the NAcSh of parvalbumin (PV)-specific reporter mice. Read More

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A ghrelin receptor antagonist reduces the ability of ghrelin, alcohol or amphetamine to induce a dopamine release in the ventral tegmental area and in nucleus accumbens shell in rats.

Eur J Pharmacol 2021 May 15;899:174039. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:

The orexigenic peptide ghrelin increases the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell via central ghrelin receptors, especially those located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The activity of the VTA dopamine neurons projecting to NAc shell, involves somatodendritic dopamine release within the VTA. However, the effects of ghrelin on the concomitant dopamine release in the VTA and NAc shell is unknown. Read More

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The Paraventricular Nucleus of the Thalamus as an Integrating and Relay Node in the Brain Anxiety Network.

Front Behav Neurosci 2021 24;15:627633. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Oral Biology, Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

The brain anxiety network is composed of a number of interconnected cortical regions that detect threats and execute appropriate defensive responses via projections to the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAcSh), dorsolateral region of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTDL) and lateral region of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeL). The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) is anatomically positioned to integrate threat- and arousal-related signals from cortex and hypothalamus and then relay these signals to neural circuits in the NAcSh, BSTDL, and CeL that mediate defensive responses. This review describes the anatomical connections of the PVT that support the view that the PVT may be a critical node in the brain anxiety network. Read More

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February 2021

Anhedonia correlates with functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens subregions in patients with major depressive disorder.

Neuroimage Clin 2021 Feb 23;30:102599. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders & Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100088, China; CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology & Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

Background: The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important region in reward circuit that has been linked with anhedonia, which is a characteristic symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the relationship between the functional connectivity of the NAc subregions and anhedonia in MDD patients remains unclear.

Methods: We acquired resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans from fifty-one subjects (23 MDD patients and 28 healthy controls). Read More

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February 2021

How predictive learning influences choice: Evidence for a GPCR-based memory process necessary for Pavlovian-instrumental transfer.

J Neurochem 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Decision Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Psychology, UNSW SYDNEY, Randwick, NSW, Australia.

Predictive learning endows stimuli with the capacity to signal both the sensory-specific and general motivational properties of their associated rewards or outcomes. These two signals can be distinguished behaviorally by their influence on the selection and performance of instrumental actions, respectively. This review focuses on how sensory-specific predictive learning guides choice between actions that earn otherwise equally desirable outcomes. Read More

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Simultaneous antagonism of dopamine D1/D2/D3 receptor in the NAc reduces 50-kHz ultrasonic calls in response to rhythmic tactile stroking.

Behav Brain Res 2021 May 27;405:113211. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy, Institute of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan.

Tactile stimulation such as rhythmic stroking elicits 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) in rats that are thought to reflect positive affective states. Dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is required for tactile reward-induced 50-kHz USVs; however, it is still unknown whether the accumbal dopaminergic system differentially modulates 50-kHz USV call subtypes induced by rhythmic stroking. We therefore examined both total and categorized 50-kHz USV rate, peak frequency, and duration under dopamine (DA) receptor antagonism in the NAc shell. Read More

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microRNA regulation related to the protective effects of environmental enrichment against cocaine-seeking behavior.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2021 04 16;221:108585. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. Electronic address:

Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are "master post-transcriptional regulators" of gene expression. Here we investigate miRNAs involved in the incentive motivation for cocaine elicited by exposure to cocaine-associated cues.

Methods: We conducted NanoString nCounter analyses of microRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens shell of male rats that had been tested for cue reactivity in a previous study. Read More

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Samidorphan, an opioid receptor antagonist, attenuates drug-induced increases in extracellular dopamine concentrations and drug self-administration in male Wistar rats.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2021 May 26;204:173157. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Alkermes, Inc., Waltham, MA 02451, USA.

Opioid receptors modulate neurochemical and behavioral responses to drugs of abuse in nonclinical models. Samidorphan (SAM) is a new molecular entity that binds with high affinity to human mu- (μ), kappa- (κ), and delta- (δ) opioid receptors and functions as a μ-opioid receptor antagonist with partial agonist activity at κ- and δ-opioid receptors. Based on its in vitro profile, we hypothesized that SAM would block key neurobiological effects of drugs of abuse. Read More

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Extended Amygdala Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal: Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed Nuclei of Stria Terminalis.

Front Behav Neurosci 2021 9;15:613025. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States.

Sleep is fundamental to life, and poor sleep quality is linked to the suboptimal function of the neural circuits that process and respond to emotional stimuli. Wakefulness ("arousal") is chiefly regulated by circadian and homeostatic forces, but affective mood states also strongly impact the balance between sleep and wake. Considering the bidirectional relationships between sleep/wake changes and emotional dynamics, we use the term "emotional arousal" as a representative characteristic of the profound overlap between brain pathways that: (1) modulate wakefulness; (2) interpret emotional information; and (3) calibrate motivated behaviors. Read More

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February 2021

Ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization: Neuronal activation in the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex.

Neurosci Lett 2021 04 18;749:135745. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Bioregulation Sciences, Health Sciences Institute, Federal University of Bahia, UFBA, Brazil; Graduate Program in Pharmacy, Federal University of Bahia, UFBA, Brazil; Pharmacology Department, Biomedical Sciences Institute, Federal University of Uberlândia, UFU, Brazil. Electronic address:

Ethanol consumption may promote neuroplasticity and alterations in synapses, resulting in modifications in neuronal activity. Here, we treated male Swiss mice with ethanol (2.2 g/kg) or saline once per day for 21 consecutive days. Read More

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Antisense-Induced Downregulation of Clock Genes in the Shell Region of the Nucleus Accumbens Reduces Binge Drinking in Mice.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2021 03 19;45(3):530-542. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital and Department of Neurology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.

Introductions: Binge drinking is a deadly pattern of alcohol consumption. Evidence suggests that genetic variation in clock genes is strongly associated with alcohol misuse; however, the neuroanatomical basis for such a relationship is unknown. The shell region of the nucleus accumbens (NAcSh) is well known to play a role in binge drinking. Read More

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Cobalt protoporphyrin decreases food intake, body weight, and the number of neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens in female rats.

Brain Res 2021 May 4;1758:147337. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Laboratorio de Neurobiología Molecular y Celular, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Manuel Velasco Suárez, Av. Insurgentes Sur # 3877, La Fama, Alcaldía Tlalpan, CP 14269, Ciudad de México, Mexico. Electronic address:

Cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP) is a potent heme oxygenase-1 inductor that produces temporary hypophagia and chronic weight loss. A complete description of this effect and the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this work, we challenged the ability of CoPP to produce changes in rat behavior and cellular alterations in the Nucleus Accumbens that would explain those effects. Read More

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Projections from D2 Neurons in Different Subregions of Nucleus Accumbens Shell to Ventral Pallidum Play Distinct Roles in Reward and Aversion.

Neurosci Bull 2021 May 6;37(5):623-640. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Laboratory of Brain and Intelligence, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China.

The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) plays an important role in reward and aversion. Traditionally, NAc dopamine receptor 2-expressing (D2) neurons are assumed to function in aversion. However, this has been challenged by recent reports which attribute positive motivational roles to D2 neurons. Read More

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Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase in Nucleus Accumbens Specifically Mediates Susceptibility to Social Defeat Stress through Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5.

J Neurosci 2021 Mar 26;41(11):2523-2539. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 211166, China

Stress-induced depression is common worldwide. NAc, a "reward" center, is recently reported to be critical to confer the susceptibility to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) and the depression-related outcome. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been well characterized. Read More

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Ventral arkypallidal neurons inhibit accumbal firing to promote reward consumption.

Nat Neurosci 2021 03 25;24(3):379-390. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University Pain Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.

The nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) and the ventral pallidum (VP) are critical for reward processing, although the question of how coordinated activity within these nuclei orchestrates reward valuation and consumption remains unclear. Inhibition of NAcSh firing is necessary for reward consumption, but the source of this inhibition remains unknown. Here, we report that a subpopulation of VP neurons, the ventral arkypallidal (vArky) neurons, project back to the NAcSh, where they inhibit NAcSh neurons in vivo in mice. Read More

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Impact of Caffeine on Ethanol-Induced Stimulation and Sensitization: Changes in ERK and DARPP-32 Phosphorylation in Nucleus Accumbens.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2021 03 7;45(3):608-619. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Àrea de Psicobiologia, Campus de Riu Sec, Universitat Jaume I, Castelló, Spain.

Background: Caffeine is frequently consumed with ethanol to reduce the impairing effects induced by ethanol, including psychomotor slowing or incoordination. Both drugs modulate dopamine (DA)-related markers in accumbens (Acb), and Acb DA is involved in voluntary locomotion and locomotor sensitization. The present study determined whether caffeine can affect locomotion induced by acute and repeated ethanol administration in adult male CD-1 mice. Read More

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Effects of ceftriaxone on ethanol drinking and GLT-1 expression in ethanol dependence and relapse drinking.

Alcohol 2021 May 16;92:1-9. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Charleston Alcohol Research Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States; Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States; Ralph A. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center, Charleston, SC, United States.

Repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure increase voluntary consumption of alcohol (ethanol) in mice. Previous reports from our laboratory show that CIE increases extracellular glutamate in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and that manipulating accumbal glutamate concentrations will alter ethanol drinking, indicating that glutamate homeostasis plays a crucial role in ethanol drinking in this model. A number of studies have shown that ceftriaxone increases GLT-1 expression, the major glutamate transporter, and that treatment with this antibiotic reduces ethanol drinking. Read More

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Addiction-like response in brain and behavior in a rat experimental model of night-eating syndrome.

Appetite 2021 Jun 13;161:105112. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Anatomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510, México City, Mexico. Electronic address:

Study Objectives: Individuals ailing from night eating syndrome (NES) consume more than 25% of their daily food intake during the normal sleep time, delaying their sleep or waking up in the middle of the night to eat. This study explored two experimental conditions resembling NES in Wistar rats by offering palatable food during the sleep phase, alone or combined with sleep delay. Also we explored their impact on addiction-like changes in the brain and behavior. Read More

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Dopamine release and its control over early Pavlovian learning differs between the NAc core and medial NAc shell.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2021 Jan 15. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Neurosciences Institute and Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Dopamine neurons respond to cues to reflect the value of associated outcomes. These cue-evoked dopamine responses can encode the relative rate of reward in rats with extensive Pavlovian training. Specifically, a cue that always follows the previous reward by a short delay (high reward rate) evokes a larger dopamine response in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core relative to a distinct cue that always follows the prior reward by a long delay (low reward rate). Read More

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January 2021

Female rats display higher methamphetamine-primed reinstatement and c-Fos immunoreactivity than male rats.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2021 Feb 8;201:173089. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Psychology, United States of America. Electronic address:

Methamphetamine (meth) dependence is often characterized by persistent and chronic relapse (i.e., return to drug use). Read More

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February 2021