Springer Nature

Adolescent chemogenetic activation of dopaminergic neurons leads to reversible decreases in amphetamine-induced stereotypic behavior

Posted on 2024-06-11 - 04:02
Abstract Chronic perturbations of neuronal activity can evoke homeostatic and new setpoints for neurotransmission. Using chemogenetics to probe the relationship between neuronal cell types and behavior, we recently found reversible decreases in dopamine (DA) transmission, basal behavior, and amphetamine (AMPH) response following repeated stimulation of DA neurons in adult mice. It is unclear, however, whether altering DA neuronal activity via chemogenetics early in development leads to behavioral phenotypes that are reversible, as alterations of neuronal activity during developmentally sensitive periods might be expected to induce persistent effects on behavior. To examine the impact of developmental perturbation of DA neuron activity on basal and AMPH behavior, we expressed excitatory hM3D(Gq) in postnatal DA neurons in TH-Cre and WT mice. Basal and CNO- or AMPH-induced locomotion and stereotypy was evaluated in a longitudinal design, with clozapine N-oxide (CNO, 1.0 mg/kg) administered across adolescence (postnatal days 15–47). Repeated CNO administration did not impact basal behavior and only minimally reduced AMPH-induced hyperlocomotor response in adolescent TH-CrehM3Dq mice relative to WThM3Dq littermate controls. Following repeated CNO administration, however, AMPH-induced stereotypic behavior robustly decreased in adolescent TH-CrehM3Dq mice relative to controls. A two-month CNO washout period rescued the diminished AMPH-induced stereotypic behavior. Our findings indicate that the homeostatic compensations that take place in response to chronic hM3D(Gq) stimulation during adolescence are temporary and are dependent on ongoing chemogenetic stimulation.


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