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Cell. 2016 Feb 11;164(4):617-31. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.12.040.

Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation.

Author information

1
The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, W12 0NN London, UK.
2
The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, W12 0NN London, UK. Electronic address: mark.ungless@imperial.ac.uk.
4
The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: kaytye@mit.edu.

Abstract

The motivation to seek social contact may arise from either positive or negative emotional states, as social interaction can be rewarding and social isolation can be aversive. While ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons may mediate social reward, a cellular substrate for the negative affective state of loneliness has remained elusive. Here, we identify a functional role for DA neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), in which we observe synaptic changes following acute social isolation. DRN DA neurons show increased activity upon social contact following isolation, revealed by in vivo calcium imaging. Optogenetic activation of DRN DA neurons increases social preference but causes place avoidance. Furthermore, these neurons are necessary for promoting rebound sociability following an acute period of isolation. Finally, the degree to which these neurons modulate behavior is predicted by social rank, together supporting a role for DRN dopamine neurons in mediating a loneliness-like state. PAPERCLIP.

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PMID:
26871628
PMCID:
PMC4752823
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2015.12.040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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