Hierarchical recruitment of phasic dopamine signaling in the striatum during the progression of cocaine use.

Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213460109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Drug addiction is a neuropsychiatric disorder that marks the end stage of a progression beginning with recreational drug taking but culminating in habitual and compulsive drug use. This progression is considered to reflect transitions among multiple neural loci. Dopamine neurotransmission in the ventromedial striatum (VMS) is pivotal in the control of initial drug use, but emerging evidence indicates that once drug use is well established, its control is dominated by the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). In the current work, we conducted longitudinal neurochemical recordings to ascertain the spatiotemporal profile of striatal dopamine release and to investigate how it changes during the period from initial to established drug use. Dopamine release was detected using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry simultaneously in the VMS and DLS of rats bearing indwelling i.v. catheters over the course of 3 wk of cocaine self-administration. We found that phasic dopamine release in DLS emerged progressively during drug taking over the course of weeks, a period during which VMS dopamine signaling declined. This emergent dopamine signaling in the DLS mediated discriminated behavior to obtain drug but did not promote escalated or compulsive drug use. We also demonstrate that this recruitment of dopamine signaling in the DLS is dependent on antecedent activity in VMS circuitry. Thus, the current findings identify a striatal hierarchy that is instantiated during the expression of established responses to obtain cocaine.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rats emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) that are thought to serve as situation-dependent affective signals and accomplish important communicative functions. In appetitive situations, rats produce 50 kHz USVs, whereas 22 kHz USVs occur in aversive situations. Reception of 50 kHz USVs induces social approach behavior, while 22 kHz USVs lead to freezing behavior. These opposite behavioral responses are paralleled by distinct brain activation patterns, with 50 kHz USVs, but not 22 kHz USVs, activating neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). The NAcc mediates appetitive behavior and is critically modulated by dopaminergic afferents that are known to encode the value of reward. Therefore, we hypothesized that 50 kHz USVs, but not 22 kHz USVs, elicit NAcc dopamine release. While recording dopamine signaling with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, freely moving rats were exposed to playback of four acoustic stimuli via an ultrasonic speaker in random order: (1) 50 kHz USVs, (2) 22 kHz USVs, (3) time- and amplitude-matched white noise, and (4) background noise. Only presentation of 50 kHz USVs induced phasic dopamine release and elicited approach behavior toward the speaker. Both of these effects, neurochemical and behavioral, were most pronounced during initial playback, but then declined rapidly with subsequent presentations, indicating a close temporal relationship between the two measures. Moreover, the magnitudes of these effects during initial playback were significantly correlated. Collectively, our findings show that NAcc dopamine release encodes pro-social 50 kHz USVs, but not alarming 22 kHz USVs. Thus, our results support the hypothesis that these call types are processed in distinct neuroanatomical regions and establish a functional link between pro-social communicative signals and reward-related neurotransmission.
    Journal of Neuroscience 08/2014; 34(32):10616-23. · 6.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Brief fluctuations in dopamine concentration (dopamine transients) play a key role in behavior towards rewards, including drugs of abuse. Drug-evoked dopamine transients may result from actions at both dopamine cell bodies and dopamine terminals. Inhibitory opsins can be targeted to dopamine neurons permitting their firing activity to be suppressed. However, as dopamine transients can become uncoupled from firing, it is unknown whether optogenetic hyperpolarization at the level of the soma is able to suppress dopamine transients. Here, we used in vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to record transients evoked by cocaine and raclopride in nucleus accumbens (NAc) of urethane-anesthetized rats. We targeted halorhodopsin (NpHR) specifically to dopamine cells by injecting Cre-inducible virus into ventral tegmental area (VTA) of transgenic rats that expressed Cre recombinase under control of the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter (TH-Cre(+) rats). Consistent with previous work, co-administration of cocaine and raclopride led to the generation of dopamine transients in NAc shell. Illumination of VTA with laser strongly suppressed the frequency of transients in NpHR-expressing rats, but not in control rats. Laser did not have any effect on amplitude of transients. Thus, optogenetics can effectively reduce the occurrence of drug-evoked transients and is therefore a suitable approach for studying the functional role of such transients in drug-associated behavior.
    Frontiers in Neural Circuits 09/2014; 8:114. · 2.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While most drugs of abuse increase dopamine neurotransmission, rapid neurochemical measurements show that different drugs evoke distinct dopamine release patterns within the nucleus accumbens. Rapid changes in dopamine concentration following psy-chostimulant administration have been well studied; however, such changes have never been examined following opioid delivery. Here, we provide novel measures of rapid dopamine release following intravenous infusion of two opioids, morphine and oxyco-done, in drug-na€ ıve rats using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and rapid (1 min) microdialysis coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography -tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). In addition to measuring rapid dopamine transmission, microdialysis HPLC-MS measures changes in GABA, glutamate, monoamines, monoamine metabolites and several other neurotransmitters. Although both opioids increased dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, their patterns of drug-evoked dopamine transmis-sion differed dramatically. Oxycodone evoked a robust and stable increase in dopamine concentration and a robust increase in the frequency and amplitude of phasic dopamine release events. Conversely, morphine evoked a brief (~ 1 min) increase in dopamine that was coincident with a surge in GABA concentration and then both transmitters returned to baseline levels. Thus, by providing rapid measures of neurotransmission, this study reveals previously unknown differences in opioid-induced neuro-transmitter signaling. Investigating these differences may be essential for understanding how these two drugs of abuse could differentially usurp motivational circuitry and powerfully influence behavior.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 11/2014; · 3.67 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 19, 2014