Drug relapse is a recurring problem among addicts, even following long periods of drug abstinence. This behavior can be modeled in animals using either extinction training or withdrawal paired with drug prime-, cue and/or stress-induced reinstatement tests. Recently, Mahler et al. [17•] used DREADDs to examine the contribution of subregions of the ventral pallidum (VP) in cue and cocaine prime-induced reinstatement following withdrawal.
They found that increasing Gi/o signaling in rostral VP neurons decreased cue-induced but not cocaine prime-induced reinstatement whereas the same manipulation in caudal VP had the opposite effect; that is it attenuated cocaine prime-induced but not cue-induced reinstatement http://www.selleckchem.com/products/azd5363.html [17•]. Additionally, both activation of inhibitory hM4Di DREADDs in rostral VP terminals in the VTA and functional disconnection of the rostral VP from dopamine neurons in the VTA (via unilateral expression and activation of
hM4Di in rostral VP combined with contralateral expression and activation of hM4Di only in tyrosine Dactolisib price hydroxylase (TH+) of the VTA) attenuated cue prime-induced reinstatement, demonstrating that rostral VP connectivity to dopamine neurons in the VTA is crucial for driving this form of reinstatement [17•]. Another recent study using DREADDs to investigate the cell types that modulate ethanol-seeking following self-administration [18••]. They found that increasing Gq signaling selectively in astrocytes in the nucleus accumbens core following a 3-week period of abstinence decreased motivation for ethanol, as assessed by decreases in breakpoints in a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. This manipulation
also facilitated responding for intracranial self-stimulation but had no effect on motor activity [18••]. The studies MycoClean Mycoplasma Removal Kit described in this review demonstrate how new technologies, such as DREADD receptors, are being implemented in order to understand the circuitry and intracellular signaling processes underlying the different phases of addiction. These techniques are allowing us to answer circuit-mapping questions that have previously been unaddressable due to technical limitations. For example, it has been difficult to isolate the contribution of subsets of MSNs or astrocytes in addiction-related behaviors because the neurons are physically intermingled and pharmacological approaches are limited due to multiple cell types expressing the same receptor (e.g. Gi/o-coupled dopamine D2 receptors are expressed in indirect MSNs as well as cholinergic interneurons in the striatum). As described above, we can circumvent these issues by expressing DREADDs under the control of selective promoters in order to achieve cell-type specific manipulations.