Inhibition of VTA neurons activates the centrally projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus: Evidence of a stress-reward link?

Andrey Ryabinin, Davelle L. Cocking, Simranjit Kaur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The primary site of urocortin 1 (Ucn1) expression in the brain is the centrally projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus. The EWcp is innervated by dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). To investigate whether activity of EWcp is regulated by the VTA, we investigated the effects of local pharmacological inhibition of VTA activity on the induction of Fos immunoreactivity in the EWcp of male C57BL/6J mice. A unilateral intracranial administration of the GABA agonist muscimol aimed at the VTA resulted in increased number of Fos-positive cells in the EWcp. This induction was lower than that produced by an intraperitoneal injection of 2.5. g/kg of ethanol. To investigate whether inhibition of dopaminergic neurons was responsible for induction of Fos, a second experiment was performed where the dopamine agonist quinpirole was unilaterally injected targeting the VTA. Injections of quinpirole also significantly induced Fos in the EWcp neurons. The induction occurred only on the side of the EWcp ipsilateral to the VTA injection. These results indicate that activity of EWcp is inhibited by tonic activity of dopaminergic VTA neurons, and that unilateral projections of VTA onto Ucn1-containing EWcp neurons provide a link between systems regulating approach and avoidance behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Volume54
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Ventral Tegmental Area
Reward
Neurons
Urocortins
Quinpirole
Dopaminergic Neurons
Choice Behavior
GABA Agonists
Avoidance Learning
Muscimol
Injections
Edinger-Westphal Nucleus
Inhibition (Psychology)
Dopamine Agonists
Intraperitoneal Injections
Inbred C57BL Mouse
Ethanol
Pharmacology
Brain

Keywords

  • Dopamine
  • Edinger-Westphal nucleus
  • Stress
  • Tonic inhibition
  • Urocortin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Inhibition of VTA neurons activates the centrally projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus : Evidence of a stress-reward link? / Ryabinin, Andrey; Cocking, Davelle L.; Kaur, Simranjit.

In: Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, Vol. 54, 2013, p. 57-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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