Separate circuitries encode the hedonic and nutritional values of sugar

Luis A. Tellez, Wenfei Han, Xiaobing Zhang, Tatiana L. Ferreira, Isaac O. Perez, Sara J. Shammah-Lagnado, Anthony N. Van Den Pol, Ivan E. De Araujo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sugar exerts its potent reinforcing effects via both gustatory and post-ingestive pathways. It is, however, unknown whether sweetness and nutritional signals engage segregated brain networks to motivate ingestion. We found in mice that separate basal ganglia circuitries mediated the hedonic and nutritional actions of sugar. During sugar intake, suppressing hedonic value inhibited dopamine release in ventral, but not dorsal, striatum, whereas suppressing nutritional value inhibited dopamine release in dorsal, but not ventral, striatum. Consistently, cell-specific ablation of dopamine-excitable cells in dorsal, but not ventral, striatum inhibited sugar's ability to drive the ingestion of unpalatable solutions. Conversely, optogenetic stimulation of dopamine-excitable cells in dorsal, but not ventral, striatum substituted for sugar in its ability to drive the ingestion of unpalatable solutions. Our data indicate that sugar recruits a distributed dopamine-excitable striatal circuitry that acts to prioritize energy-seeking over taste quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

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