Background: Alcohol addiction is characterized by persistent neuroadaptations in brain structures involved in motivation, emotion, and decision making, including the medial prefrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens, and the amygdala. We previously reported that induction of alcohol dependence was associated with long-term changes in the expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter release. Specifically, Syt1, which plays a key role in neurotransmitter release and neuronal functions, was downregulated. Here, we therefore examined the role of Syt1 in alcohol-associated behaviors in rats. Methods: We evaluated the effect of Syt1 downregulation using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) containing a short hairpin RNA against Syt1. Cre-dependent Syt1 was also used in combination with an rAAV2 retro-Cre virus to assess circuit-specific effects of Syt1 knockdown (KD). Results: Alcohol-induced downregulation of Syt1 is specific to the prelimbic cortex (PL), and KD of Syt1 in the PL resulted in escalated alcohol consumption, increased motivation to consume alcohol, and increased alcohol drinking despite negative consequences (“compulsivity”). Syt1 KD in the PL altered the excitation/inhibition balance in the basolateral amygdala, while the nucleus accumbens core was unaffected. Accordingly, a projection-specific Syt1 KD in the PL–basolateral amygdala projection was sufficient to increase compulsive alcohol drinking, while a KD of Syt1 restricted to PL–nucleus accumbens core projecting neurons had no effect on tested alcohol-related behaviors. Conclusions: Together, these data suggest that dysregulation of Syt1 is an important mechanism in long-term neuroadaptations observed after a history of alcohol dependence, and that Syt1 regulates alcohol-related behaviors in part by affecting a PL–basolateral amygdala brain circuit.

Downregulation of Synaptotagmin 1 in the Prelimbic Cortex Drives Alcohol-Associated Behaviors in Rats

Domi A.;Domi E.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Alcohol addiction is characterized by persistent neuroadaptations in brain structures involved in motivation, emotion, and decision making, including the medial prefrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens, and the amygdala. We previously reported that induction of alcohol dependence was associated with long-term changes in the expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter release. Specifically, Syt1, which plays a key role in neurotransmitter release and neuronal functions, was downregulated. Here, we therefore examined the role of Syt1 in alcohol-associated behaviors in rats. Methods: We evaluated the effect of Syt1 downregulation using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) containing a short hairpin RNA against Syt1. Cre-dependent Syt1 was also used in combination with an rAAV2 retro-Cre virus to assess circuit-specific effects of Syt1 knockdown (KD). Results: Alcohol-induced downregulation of Syt1 is specific to the prelimbic cortex (PL), and KD of Syt1 in the PL resulted in escalated alcohol consumption, increased motivation to consume alcohol, and increased alcohol drinking despite negative consequences (“compulsivity”). Syt1 KD in the PL altered the excitation/inhibition balance in the basolateral amygdala, while the nucleus accumbens core was unaffected. Accordingly, a projection-specific Syt1 KD in the PL–basolateral amygdala projection was sufficient to increase compulsive alcohol drinking, while a KD of Syt1 restricted to PL–nucleus accumbens core projecting neurons had no effect on tested alcohol-related behaviors. Conclusions: Together, these data suggest that dysregulation of Syt1 is an important mechanism in long-term neuroadaptations observed after a history of alcohol dependence, and that Syt1 regulates alcohol-related behaviors in part by affecting a PL–basolateral amygdala brain circuit.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/457784
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