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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

Abstract

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