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Patricio O'Donnell"Interactions between prefrontal and hippocampal inputs in the nucleus accumbens"

Abstract :

The nucleus accumbens (NA) has been proposed as a site in which motivation and emotion are integrated with motor plans to guide behavior.
Medium spiny neurons in the ventral striatum receive convergent glutamatergic inputs from the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala and hippocampus, and how these afferents interact with each other may shape the final outcome of the NA. In the 90's we described a gating mechanism by which hippocampal inputs set NA neurons in a depolarized "up state" that enabled responses to prefrontal activation. That interaction was interpreted as a way in which contextual information could shape neural ensembles in the NA. In this seminar, I will present recent work from our group in which we characterized the impact of brief bursts of activity in the PFC on NA responses to the hippocampus.
Strong PFC activation recruits local inhibitory processes that can attenuate responses to the ventral hippocampus and disengage the NA from its normally strong correlation with hippocampal activity. This could be interpreted as the PFC briefly taking over information processing in the NA during instances in which behavioral decisions are made.

Selected publications

Periadolescent changes of D(2) -AMPA interactions in the rat nucleus accumbens.
Huppé-Gourgues F, O'Donnell P.
Synapse. 2011 Aug 12. doi: 10.1002/syn.20976. [Epub ahead of print]
Cortical disinhibition in the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion model of schizophrenia: New vistas on possible therapeutic approaches.
O'Donnell P.
Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Aug 3.

François Georges de l'IINS