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The relationship between rostrolateral periaqueductal gray, orexin neurons and medial prefrontal cortex in a motivational drive for drug seeking behavior

Grant number: 14/04318-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Sandra Regina Mota Ortiz
Grantee:Brunella Valbão Flora
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Several studies in the literature describe the periaqueductal gray as an important neural site responsible for the expression of a number of motivated behaviors such as defensive, sexual and maternal behaviors. Work from our group showed from neurochemical lesions by NMDA that the rostrolateral portion of the periaqueductal gray plays a critical role in the motivation to chase prey during predatory hunting and that this modulation depends on binding with orexin neurons of the lateral hypothalamic area. Studies show that orexin neurons of the lateral hypothalamic area modulate the mechanisms associated with reward -seeking behavior by drug through projections to the ventral tegmental area and accumbens. Additionally it was seen that the lateral hypothalamic area receives a dense inputs from the rostrolateral portion of the periaqueductal gray. In another study from our laboratory, we evaluated the pattern of activation of the periaqueductal gray in animals that expressed by drug -seeking behavior, and verified the mobilization of rostrolateral portion of the periaqueductal gray, similar to that seen in the search for prey during the behavior predatory. Therefore, we infer that this portion of the periaqueductal gray would also be involved with the reward pathways linked to search for drugs. It is important to emphasize that the rostrolateral portion of the periaqueductal gray receives a dense inputs from regions of the medial prefrontal cortex involved in planning motivated behavioral responses associated with reward elements. Thus, this study aims to assess whether the neurons of the rostrolateral portion of the periaqueductal gray that receive afferents from the medial prefrontal cortex are the same that send projections to the orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area and would therefore be involved in the mechanism search for drugs. (AU)

Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)

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