Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2019 Jun 7;364(6444):991-995. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw5842.

Social transmission of food safety depends on synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Basic Neurosciences, Medical Faculty, University of Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Department of Basic Neurosciences, Medical Faculty, University of Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland. christian.luscher@unige.ch.
3
Clinic of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Geneva University Hospital, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

When an animal is facing unfamiliar food, its odor, together with semiochemicals emanating from a conspecific, can constitute a safety message and authorize intake. The piriform cortex (PiC) codes olfactory information, and the inactivation of neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) can acutely trigger consumption. However, the neural circuit and cellular substrate of transition of olfactory perception into value-based actions remain elusive. We detected enhanced activity after social transmission between two mice in neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) that target the NAc and receive projections from the PiC. Exposure to a conspecific potentiated the excitatory postsynaptic currents in NAc projectors, whereas blocking transmission from PiC to mPFC prevented social transmission. Thus, synaptic plasticity in the mPFC is a cellular substrate of social transmission of food safety.

PMID:
31171697
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaw5842

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center