Activation of lateral habenula inputs to the ventral midbrain promotes behavioral avoidance

University of North Carolina Neurobiology Curriculum, UNC Neuroscience Center, UNC at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 06/2012; 15(8):1105-7. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3145
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lateral habenula (LHb) projections to the ventral midbrain, including the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), convey negative reward-related information, but the behavioral ramifications of selective activation of this pathway remain unexplored. We found that exposure to aversive stimuli in mice increased LHb excitatory drive onto RMTg neurons. Furthermore, optogenetic activation of this pathway promoted active, passive and conditioned behavioral avoidance. Thus, activity of LHb efferents to the midbrain is aversive but can also serve to negatively reinforce behavioral responding.

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Available from: Alice Stamatakis, Aug 07, 2014
    • "We next determined the in vivo optofluidic capabilities of these devices. Real-time place preference has become a common tool for neuroscientists to assess the behavioral valence of photostimulated neural circuits or cell bodies in a freely moving animal (Jennings et al., 2013; Kim et al., 2013a; Siuda et al., 2015; Stamatakis and Stuber, 2012; Stamatakis et al., 2013; Tan et al., 2012). In related behavioral models, phasic optogenetic activation of VTA dopaminergic (VTA-DA) neurons is rewarding (Kim et al., 2012, 2013b; Tsai et al., 2009; Witten et al., 2011). "
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    • "The LHb is likely to be essential for survival through the promotion of learning and subsequent activities that lead to avoidance of stimuli associated with negative consequences . For instance , optogenetic activation of the LHb promotes active and passive avoidance behavior in mice ( Stamatakis and Stuber , 2012 ) , while bilateral lesion of the LHb reduces escape and avoidance latencies in rats ( Pobbe and Zangrossi , 2010 ) . In addition , under stressful conditions ( i . "
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    • "However, there are complex interactions between 5HT neurons within the RN that lead to activation of the 5HT projection from the dorsal raphe nucleus to the amygdala, resulting in anxiety (Amat et al., 2001, 2006; Jasinska et al., 2012; Paul and Lowry, 2013). At the same time, the lHb projection to the VTA, through the rostromedial tegmental nucleus, inhibits the mesolimbic DA projection to the NAc, resulting in anhedonia (Hong et al., 2011; Stamatakis and Stuber, 2012; Lamel et al., 2014). These two effects, taken together, provide a neurobiological substrate for the negative information processing bias that characterizes depression (Disner et al., 2011; Willner et al., 2013). "
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