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Cell Rep. 2017 Mar 14;18(11):2584-2591. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.02.062.

Disrupting Glutamate Co-transmission Does Not Affect Acquisition of Conditioned Behavior Reinforced by Dopamine Neuron Activation.

Author information

1
Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
2
Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.
3
Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
4
Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. Electronic address: satoshi.ikemoto@nih.gov.

Abstract

Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were previously found to express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and to co-transmit glutamate in the ventral striatum (VStr). This capacity may play an important role in reinforcement learning. Although it is known that activation of the VTA-VStr dopamine system readily reinforces behavior, little is known about the role of glutamate co-transmission in such reinforcement. By combining electrode recording and optogenetics, we found that stimulation of VTA dopamine neurons in vivo evoked fast excitatory responses in many VStr neurons of adult mice. Whereas conditional knockout of the gene encoding VGLUT2 in dopamine neurons largely eliminated fast excitatory responses, it had little effect on the acquisition of conditioned responses reinforced by dopamine neuron activation. Therefore, glutamate co-transmission appears dispensable for acquisition of conditioned responding reinforced by DA neuron activation.

KEYWORDS:

glutamate co-transmission; intracranial self-stimulation; mesolimbic dopamine system; nucleus accumbens; reinforcement learning; reward; ventral striatum

PMID:
28297663
PMCID:
PMC5404346
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2017.02.062
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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