Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Elife. 2017 Sep 5;6. pii: e30697. doi: 10.7554/eLife.30697.

Aversive stimuli drive hypothalamus-to-habenula excitation to promote escape behavior.

Author information

1
Institut du Fer à Moulin, Inserm UMR-S 839, Paris, France.
2
Department of Fundamental Neuroscience, The University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Department Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands.
4
The Francis Crick Institute, London, United Kingdom.
5
Clinic for Epilepsy Life and Brain Center, University Clinic of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
6
Université de Bordeaux, Neurodegeneratives Diseases Institute, Bordeaux, France.
7
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Neurodegeneratives Diseases Institute, Bordeaux, France.

Abstract

A sudden aversive event produces escape behaviors, an innate response essential for survival in virtually all-animal species. Nuclei including the lateral habenula (LHb), the lateral hypothalamus (LH), and the midbrain are not only reciprocally connected, but also respond to negative events contributing to goal-directed behaviors. However, whether aversion encoding requires these neural circuits to ultimately prompt escape behaviors remains unclear. We observe that aversive stimuli, including foot-shocks, excite LHb neurons and promote escape behaviors in mice. The foot-shock-driven excitation within the LHb requires glutamatergic signaling from the LH, but not from the midbrain. This hypothalamic excitatory projection predominates over LHb neurons monosynaptically innervating aversion-encoding midbrain GABA cells. Finally, the selective chemogenetic silencing of the LH-to-LHb pathway impairs aversion-driven escape behaviors. These findings unveil a habenular neurocircuitry devoted to encode external threats and the consequent escape; a process that, if disrupted, may compromise the animal's survival.

KEYWORDS:

aversion; habenula; in vivo physiology; mouse; neuroscience

PMID:
28871962
PMCID:
PMC5606847
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.30697
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center