Transitions between sleep and feeding states in rat ventral striatum neurons.
Neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been shown to participate in several behavioral states, including feeding and sleep. However, it is not known if the same neuron participates in both states and, if so, how similar are the responses. In addition, since the NAc contains several cell types, it is not known if each type participates in the transitions associated with feeding and sleep. Such knowledge is important for understanding the interaction between two different neural networks. For these reasons we recorded ensembles of NAc neurons while individual rats volitionally transitioned between the following states: awake and goal directed, feeding, quiet-awake, and sleeping. We found that during both feeding and sleep states, the same neurons could increase their activity (be activated) or decrease their activity (be inactivated) by feeding and/or during sleep, thus indicating that the vast majority of NAc neurons integrate sleep and feeding signals arising from spatially distinct neural networks. In contrast, a smaller population was modulated by only one of the states. For the majority of neurons in either state, we found that when one population was excited, the other was inhibited, suggesting that they act as a local circuit. Classification of neurons into putative interneurons [fast-spiking interneurons (pFSI) and choline acetyltransferase interneurons (pChAT)] and projection medium spiny neurons (pMSN) showed that all three types are modulated by transitions to and from feeding and sleep states. These results show, for the first time, that in the NAc, those putative inhibitory interneurons respond similarly to pMSN projection neurons and demonstrate interactions between NAc networks involved in sleep and feeding.
Tellez, LA; Perez, IO; Simon, SA; Gutierrez, R
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