Fu R, Chen X, Zuo W, Li J, Kang S, Zhou L, Siegel A, Bekker A, Ye J (2016) Ablation of μ opioid receptor-expressing GABA neurons in rostromedial tegmental nucleus increases ethanol consumption and regulates ethanol-related behaviors. Neuropharmacology 107:58-67. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.02.027
Summary: In this work the authors investigated cellular mechanisms underlying the aversive effects of alcohol that limit its intake. Previous work has linked synaptic inhibition of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area to this aversion. Rats conditioned to ingest ethanol received bilateral injections totaling 3 pmol of Dermorphin-SAP (Cat. #IT-12) into the rostromedial tegemental nucleus (RTMg). Blank-SAP (Cat. #IT-21) was used as a control. Lesioned animals displayed significantly increased preference for, and intake of ethanol, while showing no change in the desire for sucrose. The results indicate that mu opioid expressing GABAergic neurons in the RTMg are highly involved in the regulation of ethanol consumption.