Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2019 Jun 17;29(12):1938-1953.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.070. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Oxytocin Signaling in the Central Amygdala Modulates Emotion Discrimination in Mice.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Genetics of Cognition laboratory, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 16163 Genova, Italy.
2
CNR, Institute of Neuroscience, 20129 Milan, Italy.
3
Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Local Micro-environment and Brain Development Laboratory, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 16163 Genova, Italy.
4
Department of Neuropeptide Research, Central Institute of Mental Health, University Heidelberg, 68159 Mannheim, Germany.
5
Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Genetics of Cognition laboratory, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 16163 Genova, Italy. Electronic address: francesco.papaleo@iit.it.

Abstract

Recognition of other's emotions influences the way social animals interact and adapt to the environment. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) has been implicated in different aspects of emotion processing. However, the role of endogenous OXT brain pathways in the social response to different emotional states in conspecifics remains elusive. Here, using a combination of anatomical, genetic, and chemogenetic approaches, we investigated the contribution of endogenous OXT signaling in the ability of mice to discriminate unfamiliar conspecifics based on their emotional states. We found that OXTergic projections from the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) to the central amygdala (CeA) are crucial for the discrimination of both positively and negatively valenced emotional states. In contrast, blocking PVN OXT release into the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampal CA2 did not alter this emotion discrimination. Furthermore, silencing each of these PVN OXT pathways did not influence basic social interaction. These findings were further supported by the demonstration that virally mediated enhancement of OXT signaling within the CeA was sufficient to rescue emotion discrimination deficits in a genetic mouse model of cognitive liability. Our results indicate that CeA OXT signaling plays a key role in emotion discrimination both in physiological and pathological conditions.

KEYWORDS:

DREADDs; amygdala; brain circuits; dysbindin-1; fear; relief; social cognition

PMID:
31178317
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.070

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center