Document Detail

A food-associated CS activates c-Fos in VTA DA neurons and elicits conditioned approach.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22963991     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Neutral stimuli associated with unconditioned stimuli (USs) acquire the ability to act as conditioned stimuli (CSs), which can elicit behaviors similar to the US with which they are associated. The neural mechanisms by which this occurs are not fully known. We have previously proposed a model stipulating CSs function as such because they acquire the capacity to activate dopamine (DA) neurons at the level of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present experiments we hypothesized that a food-associated CS (light), which demonstrably functions as such by eliciting conditioned responses (CRs), comes to acquire the capacity to activate VTA DA neurons. In Experiment 1, rats were allowed to eat or not eat food (food being the US). In Experiment 2, rats were trained to retrieve food pellets after light presentations (the CS) and then tested for the expression of the food checking response (the CR) with only CS presentations. In Experiment 1, eating food (exposure to the US) caused a significantly greater number of VTA DA (TH-labeled) cells to express c-Fos than not eating. In Experiment 2, CS (light) presentations caused a significant amount of conditioned approach and a significantly greater number of VTA TH-labeled (DA) cells to express c-Fos. These findings support our model stipulating that conditioned approach learning occurs when CSs acquire the capacity to cause conditioned activation of VTA DA neurons.
Karen Kest; Ivonne Cruz; Dan Hong Chen; Ewa Galaj; Robert Ranaldi
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-08-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural brain research     Volume:  235     ISSN:  1872-7549     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Brain Res.     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-18     Completed Date:  2013-02-25     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8004872     Medline TA:  Behav Brain Res     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  150-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
Dopaminergic Neurons / metabolism*
Electroshock / adverse effects
Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
Motor Activity / physiology
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism*
Rats, Long-Evans
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism
Ventral Tegmental Area / cytology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos; EC 3-Monooxygenase

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