Dopamine signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala is required for the acquisition of fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in rats

Danielle C. Malkusz, Theodore Banakos, Andrew Mohamed, Tracy Vongwattanakit, Gina Malkusz, Shermeen Saeed, Stewart Martinez, Tara Bohn, Fizza Mahmud, Cami Liss, Abraham Rozvi, Khalid Touzani, Anthony Sclafani, Richard J. Bodnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Systemic administration of dopamine (DA) D1 (SCH23390: SCH) and D2 (raclopride: RAC) antagonists blocked both acquisition and expression of fructose-conditioned flavor preferences (CFP). It is unclear what brain circuits are involved in mediating these effects. The present study investigated DA signaling within the nucleus accumbens shell (NAcS), amygdala (AMY) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the acquisition and expression of fructose-CFP. In Experiment 1, separate groups of rats were injected daily in the NAcS or AMY with saline, SCH (24. nmol) or RAC (24. nmol) prior to training sessions with a flavor (CS+) mixed with 8% fructose and 0.2% saccharin (CS+/F) and a different flavor (CS-) mixed with only 0.2% saccharin. In the two-bottle choice tests with 0.2% saccharin, only rats injected with RAC in the AMY failed to acquire a CS+ preference (45-54%). In Experiment 2, new rats were identically trained, but saline, SCH and RAC were injected in the mPFC. In subsequent two-bottle choice tests, SCH- and RAC-treated rats failed to exhibit a CS+ preference (50-56%). In Experiment 3, new rats were trained with CS+/F and CS- without injections. Subsequent two-bottle choice tests were then conducted following bilateral injections of SCH or RAC in the mPFC at total doses of 0, 12, 24 and 48. nmol. Expression of the CS+ preference failed to be affected by either antagonist, indicating that the mPFC is not involved in the maintenance of this preference. These data indicate that the acquisition of fructose-CFP is dependent on DA signaling in the mPFC and AMY.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-507
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume233
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Flavor-flavor learning
  • Nucleus accumbens shell
  • Raclopride
  • SCH23390
  • Saccharin
  • Sweet taste

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