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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Responses of the nucleus accumbens following fornix/fimbria stimulation in the rat. Identification and long-term potentiation of mono- and polysynaptic pathways.

The nucleus accumbens occupies a strategic position as an interface between limbic cortex and midbrain structures involved in motor performance. The fornix-fimbria carries limbic inputs to the ventral striatum, namely by way of fibers originating in the CA1/subiculum and projecting to the nucleus accumbens. It also carries fibers arising in the septal area that project to the hippocampal formation, and projection fibers to other areas of the rostral forebrain from Ammon's horn. Electrical stimulation of this bundle causes characteristic field potentials both in the nucleus accumbens and in the subiculum. In rats, under halothane anesthesia, the responses evoked by fornix/fimbria stimulation in the nucleus accumbens consist of two main positive peaks (at 10 and 25 ms, referred to as P10 and P25, respectively). P10 represents monosynaptic activation. We hypothesized that P25 reflects the activation of a polysynaptic loop, i.e. a fornix-fimbria hippocampal loop in series with the fibers that arise in the subiculum and project to the nucleus accumbens. To test this hypothesis, we reversibly blocked the fibers projecting caudally to the hippocampus by a local anesthetic (lidocaine) and the glutamatergic transmission through the CA1/subiculum by a local injection of kynurenic acid. Both manipulations yielded a reversible depression of about 90% of the P25 component while P10 remained unaffected as expected. In concert a strong reduction (to 24-31%) of control values of the responses evoked in the subiculum was seen. The dynamics of the mono- and polysynaptic pathways differ markedly. The synaptic responses through both pathways are enhanced by paired-pulse stimulation, but the polysynaptic pathway is facilitated in a much stronger way. Following a tetanus (50 Hz, 2 s duration) applied to the fornix/fimbria, the P10 component of the nucleus accumbens responses showed an immediate increase by a factor of about 2 followed by a phase of gradual decrement with half-decay time of about 10 min, after which a persistent long-term potentiation of about 25% above control level was maintained for the rest of the experiment (max 90 min). The P25 component showed a transient 10-fold potentiation with return to control values after about 10 min. In contrast to the P25 elicited by a conditioning stimulus, the P25 component elicited by a second stimulus delivered at an interval of 100 ms (test stimulus) showed a persistent long-term potentiation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


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