12/04/2024 Seminar by Maya Williams, Lucie Vignal & Mónica Tapia Pacheco

vendredi 12 avril 2024 à 14:30
Publié le 05/04/2024

Friday April 12, 2024, 14h30 – Salle Henri Gastaut

Maya Williams, Lucie Vignal & Mónica Tapia Pacheco – CophyBAG Team (Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone)

Deciphering the role of the subthalamic nucleus in social behavior and drug addiction, from behavioral to molecular approaches

Abstract: As a part of the basal ganglia circuitry, the Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) has been traditionally considered an important therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease, all the more so as one the main anatomical locations of deep brain stimulation. However, besides its well-known role in motor functions, the STN has more
recently been implicated in cognitive functions such as motivation, reward and affective processes. One of the research lines in our team focuses on the role of the STN and its therapeutic prospects in emotional, social and addictive behaviors in the rat. Here we present different examples in the team that try to tackle these questions combining behavioral, deep brain stimulation, optogenetic and electrophysiological techniques.
i) To examine the role of the STN in intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) behavior, we used electrical DBS and optogenetic approaches.
ii) To unveil the role of the STN in social motivation and in the influence of the social context on drug intake we used operant conditioning coupled to optogenetic or deep brain stimulation in adult rats.
iii) To try to understand the molecular signature of STN neurons in cocaine addiction, we performed patch-clamp recordings on STN neurons of adult rats previously subjected to a cocaine addiction paradigm. Our results suggest that STN can support an ICSS behavior, is involved in social motivation and drug addiction, and that STN neurons can display a new cocaine-evoked plasticity mechanism.