Previous studies from our group showed that GABAergic neurons in the supraoculomotor (Su) region directly innervate the dorsal part of the dorsal periaqueductal gray matter (PAG). This investigation's hypothesis is based on the fact that the withdrawal of GABAergic inhibition from the Su > dorsal PAG pathway leads to an increase in innate fear, organized by the dorsal PAG, with prejudice to hunting behavior. Thus, we will investigate how the GABAergic influences of the Su > dorsal PAG pathway modulate hunting responses. In VGAT-ires-Cre mice that express CRE recombinase in GABAergic neurons, we will bilaterally inject into the Su the AAV5-hSyn-eNpHR3.0-DIO-mCherry virus, which expresses halorodopsin (HR) in the presence of CRE recombinase. Subsequently, we will perform bilateral optical fibers implantation in the dorsal PAG and examine how the optogenetic inhibition of the GABAergic Su > dorsal PAG projection modulates insect hunting behavior.
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