Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area use glutamate as a cotransmitter. To elucidate the behavioral role of the cotransmission, we targeted the glutamate-recycling enzyme glutaminase (gene Gls1). In mice with a dopamine transporter (Slc6a3)-driven conditional heterozygous (cHET) reduction of Gls1 in their dopamine neurons, dopamine neuron survival and transmission were unaffected, while glutamate cotransmission at phasic firing frequencies was reduced, enabling focusing the cotransmission. The mice showed normal emotional and motor behaviors, and an unaffected response to acute amphetamine. Strikingly, amphetamine sensitization was reduced and latent inhibition potentiated. These behavioral effects, also seen in global GLS1 HETs with a schizophrenia resilience phenotype, were not seen in mice with an Emx1-driven forebrain reduction affecting most brain glutamatergic neurons. Thus, a reduction in dopamine neuron glutamate cotransmission appears to mediate significant components of the GLS1 HET schizophrenia resilience phenotype, and glutamate cotransmission appears to be important in attribution of motivational salience.
- Stephen Rayport
- Stephen Rayport
- Susana Mingote
- Holly Moore
- Stephen Rayport
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health, under protocols approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of Columbia University (# AC-AAAB2862) and New York State Psychiatric Institute (# 1249). All surgery was performed under ketamine + xylazine anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Sacha B Nelson, Brandeis University, United States
© 2017, Mingote et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
How does the human brain combine information across the eyes? It has been known for many years that cortical normalization mechanisms implement ‘ocularity invariance’: equalizing neural responses to spatial patterns presented either monocularly or binocularly. Here, we used a novel combination of electrophysiology, psychophysics, pupillometry, and computational modeling to ask whether this invariance also holds for flickering luminance stimuli with no spatial contrast. We find dramatic violations of ocularity invariance for these stimuli, both in the cortex and also in the subcortical pathways that govern pupil diameter. Specifically, we find substantial binocular facilitation in both pathways with the effect being strongest in the cortex. Near-linear binocular additivity (instead of ocularity invariance) was also found using a perceptual luminance matching task. Ocularity invariance is, therefore, not a ubiquitous feature of visual processing, and the brain appears to repurpose a generic normalization algorithm for different visual functions by adjusting the amount of interocular suppression.
Tastes typically evoke innate behavioral responses that can be broadly categorized as acceptance or rejection. However, research in Drosophila melanogaster indicates that taste responses also exhibit plasticity through experience-dependent changes in mushroom body circuits. In this study, we develop a novel taste learning paradigm using closed-loop optogenetics. We find that appetitive and aversive taste memories can be formed by pairing gustatory stimuli with optogenetic activation of sensory neurons or dopaminergic neurons encoding reward or punishment. As with olfactory memories, distinct dopaminergic subpopulations drive the parallel formation of short- and long-term appetitive memories. Long-term memories are protein synthesis-dependent and have energetic requirements that are satisfied by a variety of caloric food sources or by direct stimulation of MB-MP1 dopaminergic neurons. Our paradigm affords new opportunities to probe plasticity mechanisms within the taste system and understand the extent to which taste responses depend on experience.