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      Dopaminergic Regulation of Striatal Interneurons in Reward and Addiction: Focus on Alcohol

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      Neural Plasticity

      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Abstract

          Corticobasal ganglia networks coursing through the striatum are key structures for reward-guided behaviors. The ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens (nAc)) and its reciprocal connection with the ventral tegmental area (VTA) represent a primary component of the reward system, but reward-guided learning also involves the dorsal striatum and dopaminergic inputs from the substantia nigra. The majority of neurons in the striatum (>90%) are GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs), but both the input to and the output from these neurons are dynamically controlled by striatal interneurons. Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in reward and reward-guided learning, and the physiological activity of GABAergic and cholinergic interneurons is regulated by dopaminergic transmission in a complex manner. Here we review the role of striatal interneurons in modulating striatal output during drug reward, with special emphasis on alcohol.

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          Most cited references 138

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          Phasic firing in dopaminergic neurons is sufficient for behavioral conditioning.

          Natural rewards and drugs of abuse can alter dopamine signaling, and ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons are known to fire action potentials tonically or phasically under different behavioral conditions. However, without technology to control specific neurons with appropriate temporal precision in freely behaving mammals, the causal role of these action potential patterns in driving behavioral changes has been unclear. We used optogenetic tools to selectively stimulate VTA dopaminergic neuron action potential firing in freely behaving mammals. We found that phasic activation of these neurons was sufficient to drive behavioral conditioning and elicited dopamine transients with magnitudes not achieved by longer, lower-frequency spiking. These results demonstrate that phasic dopaminergic activity is sufficient to mediate mammalian behavioral conditioning.
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            Drugs abused by humans preferentially increase synaptic dopamine concentrations in the mesolimbic system of freely moving rats.

            The effect of various drugs on the extracellular concentration of dopamine in two terminal dopaminergic areas, the nucleus accumbens septi (a limbic area) and the dorsal caudate nucleus (a subcortical motor area), was studied in freely moving rats by using brain dialysis. Drugs abused by humans (e.g., opiates, ethanol, nicotine, amphetamine, and cocaine) increased extracellular dopamine concentrations in both areas, but especially in the accumbens, and elicited hypermotility at low doses. On the other hand, drugs with aversive properties (e.g., agonists of kappa opioid receptors, U-50,488, tifluadom, and bremazocine) reduced dopamine release in the accumbens and in the caudate and elicited hypomotility. Haloperidol, a neuroleptic drug, increased extracellular dopamine concentrations, but this effect was not preferential for the accumbens and was associated with hypomotility and sedation. Drugs not abused by humans [e.g., imipramine (an antidepressant), atropine (an antimuscarinic drug), and diphenhydramine (an antihistamine)] failed to modify synaptic dopamine concentrations. These results provide biochemical evidence for the hypothesis that stimulation of dopamine transmission in the limbic system might be a fundamental property of drugs that are abused.
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              Dopamine reward circuitry: two projection systems from the ventral midbrain to the nucleus accumbens-olfactory tubercle complex.

              Anatomical and functional refinements of the meso-limbic dopamine system of the rat are discussed. Present experiments suggest that dopaminergic neurons localized in the posteromedial ventral tegmental area (VTA) and central linear nucleus raphe selectively project to the ventromedial striatum (medial olfactory tubercle and medial nucleus accumbens shell), whereas the anteromedial VTA has few if any projections to the ventral striatum, and the lateral VTA largely projects to the ventrolateral striatum (accumbens core, lateral shell and lateral tubercle). These findings complement the recent behavioral findings that cocaine and amphetamine are more rewarding when administered into the ventromedial striatum than into the ventrolateral striatum. Drugs such as nicotine and opiates are more rewarding when administered into the posterior VTA or the central linear nucleus than into the anterior VTA. A review of the literature suggests that (1) the midbrain has corresponding zones for the accumbens core and medial shell; (2) the striatal portion of the olfactory tubercle is a ventral extension of the nucleus accumbens shell; and (3) a model of two dopamine projection systems from the ventral midbrain to the ventral striatum is useful for understanding reward function. The medial projection system is important in the regulation of arousal characterized by affect and drive and plays a different role in goal-directed learning than the lateral projection system, as described in the variation-selection hypothesis of striatal functional organization.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Neural Plast
                Neural Plast
                NP
                Neural Plasticity
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                2090-5904
                1687-5443
                2015
                13 July 2015
                : 2015
                Affiliations
                Addiction Biology Unit, Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 410, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Giuseppe Sciamanna

                Article
                10.1155/2015/814567
                4515529
                Copyright © 2015 R. Clarke and L. Adermark.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Review Article

                Neurosciences

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