Projections from the nucleus accumbens shell to the ventral pallidum are involved in the control of sucrose intake in adult female rats.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Brain Struct Funct, Volume 225, Issue 9, p.2815-2839 (2020)


Animals, Basal Forebrain, Drinking Behavior, Female, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Nucleus Accumbens, Optogenetics, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Sucrose


<p>In rodents, stimulation of the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) directly or via its projection to the lateral hypothalamus (LH) attenuates food intake. The ventral pallidum (VP) receives dense projections from the AcbSh and is sensitive to the hedonic aspect of food and motivation for reward. However, the role of accumbal projections to the VP in the regulation of food intake was not well investigated. In the present study conducted on female rats, we examined the effects of stimulation of the AcbSh using optogenetics, or pharmacological inhibition of the rostral VP, or stimulation of projections from the AcbSh to the rostral VP using optogenetics on the consumption of 10% sucrose, lick microstructure and the expression of c-fos mRNA. Stimulation of the AcbSh, inhibition of the rostral VP with muscimol, or stimulation of axonal terminals from the AcbSh to the rostral VP resulted in a decrease in sucrose intake, meal duration, and total number of licks. The licking microstructure analysis showed that optogenetic stimulation of AcbSh or axonal terminals from the AcbSh to the rostral VP decreased the hedonic value of the sucrose. However, inhibition of the rostral VP decreased the motivation, whereas stimulation of the accumbal projections in the rostral VP increased the motivation to drink. This difference could be due to differential involvement of GABAergic and glutamatergic VP neurons. Stimulation of the AcbSh resulted in a decrease of c-fos mRNA expression in the LH and rostral VP, and stimulation of axonal terminals from the AcbSh to the rostral VP decreased c-fos mRNA expression only in the rostral VP. This study demonstrates that in adult female rats, in addition to the already known role of the AcbSh projections to the LH, AcbSh projections to the VP play a major role in the regulation of sucrose intake.</p>

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