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Neuroscience. 1993 Feb;52(3):605-20.

Effects of medial dorsal thalamic and ventral pallidal lesions on the acquisition of a conditioned place preference: further evidence for the involvement of the ventral striatopallidal system in reward-related processes.

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1
Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Abstract

In our previous work, it has been established that the basolateral amygdala and ventral striatum are part of a neural system that is involved in reward-related processes. However, it is unclear how information processed in this limbic-motor interface may come to affect incentive motivational responses. The present experiments have investigated the involvement of post-striatal elements of the ventral striatopallidal system in the rat. Lesions of the anterior or posterior domains of the ventral pallidum, which receives the major outflow from the ventral striatum, or the nucleus medialis dorsalis of the thalamus, which receives projections from both the ventral pallidum and also the basolateral amygdala, were made by infusing the excitotoxin, ibotenic acid. The effects of the lesions on the acquisition of a place preference conditioned by exposure of hungry rats to sucrose were then measured. Lesions of either the anterior or posterior ventral pallidum significantly attenuated, whereas lesions of the medial dorsal thalamus completely abolished, the acquisition of a conditioned place preference, provided that the latter lesions included the medial-lateral extent of the nucleus. Medial dorsal thalamic lesions did not damage the stria medullaris or medial habenula. Ingestion of sucrose following 23 h deprivation was unaffected by either ventral pallidal or medial dorsal thalamus lesions and thus disruption of place preference acquisition was not secondary to changes in primary motivation. The results indicate that reward-related processes, as measured in the place preference conditioning paradigm, may depend upon ventral striatopallidal outflow that engages medial dorsal thalamus-frontal cortex mechanisms, in addition to the previously highlighted direct outflow to brainstem elements of the motor system.

PMID:
8450962
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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