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The role of the patch compartment of striatum in reward-driven behaviors

Ahn J, Christy DJ, Horner K (2021) The role of the patch compartment of striatum in reward-driven behaviors. Neuroscience 2021 Abstracts P747/06. Society for Neuroscience, Virtual.

Summary: The striatum is a neural structure that plays a critical role in cognitive functions, behavioral decision-making, and reward generation. The striatum exhibits a heterogeneous composition, containing neurons belonging to the patch compartment—which is thought to be involved in habitual reward-related behaviors—surrounded by neurons belonging to the matrix compartment—which is thought to be involved in adaptive motor control. Additionally, the striatum is further subdivided into the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) and the dorsomedial striatum (DMS), each with their own patch and matrix compartments. The DMS has been associated with goal-oriented behavior seen during the initial stages of addiction. Conversely, the DLS has been associated with habitual behaviors seen during late-stage addictive behaviors that are inflexible. It is thought that drug addiction is initially mediated by the DMS before DLS activity becomes predominant. Previously, it has been shown that the patch compartment of the DLS is necessary for development of habitual behavior, but the role of the patch compartment of the DMS is less clear. Our study intends to demonstrate that selective ablation of DMS patch compartment neurons will result in a negative impact on the initial development of reward-driven behaviors during the early stages of drug addiction. Since patch compartment neurons express a high level of mu opioid receptors compared to the surrounding matrix, we used dermorphin-saporin, a toxin that selectively destroys mu opioid receptor-containing neurons to target patch compartment neurons in the DMS and DLS for ablation. Following infusion in the DMS or DLS with dermorphin-saporin (17 ng/μl) or vehicle, rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (0.4 mg/kg/infusion) on progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement, starting with fixed ratio of 1 and ending with a fixed ratio of 5. Ablation of the patch compartment altered the level of responding for cocaine as the schedule of reinforcement became progressively labor-intensive. These data suggest that the patch compartment contributes to reward-driven behaviors.

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

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