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, Bongjune Yoon, Ja-Hyun Baik, Lei Wen, George J. Augustine, Lei Wen, George J. Augustine, Lei Wen, George J. Augustine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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    Song, S. S., Kang, B. J., Lee, H. J., Sim, H. R., Kim, T. H., Yoon, S., Yoon, B., Baik, J-H., Wen, L., Augustine, G. J., Wen, L., Augustine, G. J., Wen, L., & Augustine, G. J. (2014). Optogenetics reveals a role for accumbal medium spiny neurons expressing dopamine D2 receptors in cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8(OCT), 1-11. [336]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00336