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Patch compartment lesions reduce habitual sucrose consumption

Horner KA, Logue JB, Jenrette TA (2017) Patch compartment lesions reduce habitual sucrose consumption. Neuroscience 2017 Abstracts 689.16 / II23. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.

Summary: The striatum mediates habit formation and reward association. The striatum can be divided into the patch and matrix compartment, which are two neurochemically and anatomically distinct regions that may sub-serve different aspects of behavior. For example, the patch compartment may mediate reward-related behaviors, while the matrix compartment may mediate adaptive motor functions. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that enhanced relative activation of the patch versus matrix compartment is associated with inflexible behaviors, such as stereotypy. Habitual behaviors are also inflexible in nature, but whether enhanced activation of the patch compartment contributes to habitual behavior is not known. The goal of the current study was to examine the role of patch compartment neurons in the development of habit formation. We used dermorphin-saporin to specifically ablate neurons of the patch compartment prior to training animals to self-administer sucrose on a random interval schedule of reinforcement, which has been shown to foster habit formation. Our data showed that destruction of the neurons of the patch compartment prevented the reinstatement of sucrose self-administration after sucrose devaluation, indicating that absence of the patch compartment interrupted the development of habitual behavior. Our data also indicate that c-Fos levels were decreased in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) and sensorimotor cortex (SMC), but increased in dorsomedial striatum (DMS) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) in patch-lesioned animals that did not develop habitual behavior, indicating that diminished habit formation is associated with decreased activation of regions that participate in habitual behavior, and increased in regions associated with goal-directed behaviors. Together, these data indicate that the patch compartment participates in habit formation by altering the flow of information through basal ganglia circuits.

Related Products: Dermorphin-SAP / MOR-SAP (Cat. #IT-12)