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Thirst recruits phasic dopamine signaling through subfornical organ neurons

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-19, 14:44 authored by TM Hsu, P Bazzino, SJ Hurh, VR Konanur, Jamie Donahey RoitmanJamie Donahey Roitman, Mitchell RoitmanMitchell Roitman
Thirst is a highly potent drive that motivates organisms to seek out and consume balance-restoring stimuli. The detection of dehydration is well understood and involves signals of peripheral origin and the sampling of internal milieu by first order homeostatic neurons within the lamina terminalis—particularly glutamatergic neurons of the subfornical organ expressing CaMKIIa (SFO ). However, it remains unknown whether mesolimbic dopamine pathways that are critical for motivation and reinforcement integrate information from these “early” dehydration signals. We used in vivo fiber photometry in the ventral tegmental area and measured phasic dopamine responses to a water-predictive cue. Thirst, but not hunger, potentiated the phasic dopamine response to the water cue. In euvolemic rats, the dipsogenic hormone angiotensin II, but not the orexigenic hormone ghrelin, potentiated the dopamine response similarly to that observed in water-deprived rats. Chemogenetic manipulations of SFO revealed bidirectional control of phasic dopamine signaling during cued water reward. Taking advantage of within-subject designs, we found predictive relationships between changes in cue-evoked dopamine response and changes in behavioral responses—supporting a role for dopamine in motivation induced by homeostatic need. Collectively, we reveal a putative mechanism for the invigoration of goal-directed behavior: internal milieu communicates to first order, need state-selective circuits to potentiate the mesolimbic dopamine system’s response to cues predictive of restorative stimuli. CaMKIIa CaMKIIa


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Hsu, T. M., Bazzino, P., Hurh, S. J., Konanur, V. R., Roitman, J. D.Roitman, M. F. (2020). Thirst recruits phasic dopamine signaling through subfornical organ neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(48), 30744-30754. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009233117


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences