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Potent Regulation of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons by the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis
 

Summary: Potent Regulation of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons by the Bed
Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis
Franc¸ ois Georges and Gary Aston-Jones
Laboratory for Neuromodulation and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania 19104
Recent studies have revealed an important role of the ventro-
lateral (subcommissural) aspect of the bed nucleus of the stria
terminalis (vBNST) in motivational aspects of drug abuse (Delfs
et al., 2000). Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmen-
tal area (VTA) have also long been linked to motivation and drug
abuse (Koob and Le Moal, 2001). The present study tested
whether activity in the vBNST influences discharge of midbrain
DA neurons. Responses of DA neurons in the VTA to activation
of the vBNST were characterized in anesthetized rats using
extracellular recording techniques. Electrical or chemical [10­
50 mM glutamate (Glu)] stimulation of the vBNST consistently
activated DA cells (122% increase in activity with 50 mM Glu).
However, stronger chemical stimulation of the vBNST (100 mM
Glu) completely inactivated DA neurons. In addition, apomor-
phine restored the activity of DA neurons that were inactivated

  

Source: Aston-Jones, Gary - Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine