Optogenetics reveals a role for accumbal medium spiny neurons expressing dopamine D2 receptors in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization

Shelly Sooyun Song, Byeong Jun Kang, Hyo Jin Lee, Hye Ri Sim, Tae Hyong Kim, Sehyoun Yoon, Bong June Yoon, Ja Hyun Baik, Lei Wen, George J. Augustine, Lei Wen, Lei Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Long-lasting, drug-induced adaptations within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been proposed to contribute to drug-mediated addictive behaviors. Here we have used an optogenetic approach to examine the role of NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. Adeno-associated viral vectors encoding channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) were delivered into the NAc of D2R-Cre transgenic mice. This allowed us to selectively photostimulate D2R-MSNs in NAc. D2R-MSNs form local inhibitory circuits, because photostimulation of D2R-MSN evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in neighboring MSNs. Photostimulation of NAc D2R-MSN in vivo affected neither the initiation nor the expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. However, photostimulation during the drug withdrawal period attenuated expression of cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. These results show that D2R-MSNs of NAc play a key role in withdrawal-induced plasticity and may contribute to relapse after cessation of drug abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number336
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue numberOCT
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 13

Keywords

  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine D2 receptors
  • Drug addiction
  • Medium spiny neurons
  • Optogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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