1.Daun02 Inactivation of Behaviorally Activated Fos-Expressing Neuronal Ensembles.
Koya E;Margetts-Smith G;Hope BT Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2016 Jul 1;76:8.36.1-8.36.17. doi: 10.1002/cpns.2.
Learned associations about salient experiences (e.g., drug exposure, stress) and their associated environmental stimuli are mediated by a minority of sparsely distributed, behaviorally activated neurons coined 'neuronal ensembles.' For many years, it was not known whether these neuronal ensembles played causal roles in mediating learned behaviors. However, in the last several years the 'Daun02 inactivation technique' in Fos-lacZ transgenic rats has proved very useful in establishing causal links between neuronal ensembles that express the activity-regulated protein Fos and learned behaviors. Fos-expressing neurons in these rats also express the bacterial protein β-galactosidase (β-gal) in strongly activated neurons. When the prodrug Daun02 is injected into the brains of these rats 90 min after a behavior (e.g., drug-seeking) or cue exposure, then Daun02 is converted into daunorubicin by β-gal, which selectively inactivates Fos- and β-gal-expressing neurons that were activated 90 min before the Daun02 injection. This unit presents protocols for breeding the Fos-lacZ rats and conducting appropriate Daun02 inactivation experiments.;© 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2.Recruitment of a Neuronal Ensemble in the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala Is Required for Alcohol Dependence.
de Guglielmo G;Crawford E;Kim S;Vendruscolo LF;Hope BT;Brennan M;Cole M;Koob GF;George O J Neurosci. 2016 Sep 7;36(36):9446-53. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1395-16.2016.
Abstinence from alcohol is associated with the recruitment of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) in nondependent rats that binge drink alcohol and in alcohol-dependent rats. However, whether the recruitment of this neuronal ensemble in the CeA is causally related to excessive alcohol drinking or if it represents a consequence of excessive drinking remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that the recruitment of a neuronal ensemble in the CeA during abstinence is required for excessive alcohol drinking in nondependent rats that binge drink alcohol and in alcohol-dependent rats. We found that inactivation of the CeA neuronal ensemble during abstinence significantly decreased alcohol drinking in both groups. In nondependent rats, the decrease in alcohol intake was transient and returned to normal the day after the injection. In dependent rats, inactivation of the neuronal ensemble with Daun02 produced a long-term decrease in alcohol drinking. Moreover, we observed a significant reduction of somatic withdrawal signs in dependent animals that were injected with Daun02 in the CeA. These results indicate that the recruitment of a neuronal ensemble in the CeA during abstinence from alcohol is causally related to excessive alcohol drinking in alcohol-dependent rats, whereas a similar neuronal ensemble only partially contributed to alcohol-binge-like drinking in nondependent rats.
3.Role of nucleus accumbens shell neuronal ensembles in context-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking.
Cruz FC;Babin KR;Leao RM;Goldart EM;Bossert JM;Shaham Y;Hope BT J Neurosci. 2014 May 28;34(22):7437-46. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0238-14.2014.
Environmental contexts previously associated with drug use provoke relapse to drug use in humans and reinstatement of drug seeking in animal models of drug relapse. We examined whether context-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking is mediated by activation of context-selected nucleus accumbens neurons. We trained rats to self-administer cocaine in Context A and extinguished their lever-pressing in a distinct Context B. On test day, reexposure to the cocaine-associated Context A reinstated cocaine seeking and increased expression of the neural activity marker Fos in 3.3% of accumbens shell and 1.6% of accumbens core neurons. To assess a causal role for these activated neurons, we used the Daun02 inactivation procedure to selectively inactivate these neurons. We trained c-fos-lacZ transgenic rats to self-administer cocaine in Context A and extinguished their lever-pressing in Context B. On induction day, we exposed rats to either Context A or a novel Context C for 30 min and injected Daun02 or vehicle into accumbens shell or core 60 min later. On test day, 3 d after induction day, the ability of Context A to reinstate cocaine seeking and increase neuronal activity in accumbens shell was attenuated when Daun02 was previously injected after exposure to Context A.