alexa Cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript-containing neurons in the nucleus accumbens project to the ventral pallidum in the rat and may inhibit cocaine-induced locomotion.


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): Hubert GW, Manvich DF, Kuhar MJ

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Abstract We have previously demonstrated that cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide colocalizes with GABA, dynorphin, D1 receptors, and substance P in some neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). One of the main nuclei that receive accumbal efferents is the ventral pallidum (VP), and both dynorphin and substance P have been shown to be present in the cell bodies and terminals of this projection. Thus, we investigated whether CART peptide is also present in the VP in terminals that originate in the accumbens. The anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leukoagglutinin (PHA-L) colocalized with CART in neuronal processes in the VP when injected into the NAcc. Also, CART colocalized with the retrograde tracer r-BDA in accumbens cell bodies after the tracer was injected into the VP. Using electron microscopic immunocytochemistry, we examined CART terminals in the VP and found that CART-immunoreactive terminals formed symmetric synapses consistent with inhibitory GABAergic synapses. These synapses closely resemble GABAergic synapses in the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), another nucleus that receives some CART-containing accumbal efferents. Lastly, we found that intra-pallidal injection of CART 55-102 inhibited cocaine-induced locomotion, indicating that CART peptide in the VP can have functional effects.
This article was published in Neuroscience and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

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