The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Ventrolateral Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons Positively Regulate Food-Incentive, Goal-Directed Behavior Independently of D1 and D2 Selectivity.

PMID 28167674


The ventral striatum is involved in motivated behavior. Akin to the dorsal striatum, the ventral striatum contains two parallel pathways: the striatomesencephalic pathway consisting of dopamine receptor Type 1-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs) and the striatopallidal pathway consisting of D2-MSNs. These two genetically identified pathways are thought to encode opposing functions in motivated behavior. It has also been reported that D1/D2 genetic selectivity is not attributed to the anatomical discrimination of two pathways. We wanted to determine whether D1- and D2-MSNs in the ventral striatum functioned in an opposing manner as previous observations claimed, and whether D1/D2 selectivity corresponded to a functional segregation in motivated behavior of mice. To address this question, we focused on the lateral portion of ventral striatum as a region implicated in food-incentive, goal-directed behavior, and recorded D1 or D2-MSN activity by using a gene-encoded ratiometric Ca