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Stress controllability modulates basal activity of dopamine n
AAV-GCaMP6m was used for fiber photometry experiment. (From BrainVTA)
The viruses used in this article from BrainVTA are in the table below
Calcium sensors  PT-0283 AAV2/9-Ef1a-DIO-GCaMP6m-WPRE-hGH pA
Control  PT-0012 AAV2/9-Ef1a-DIO-eYFP-WPRE-hGH pA
Li Yao, Yongfeng Li, Zhijun Diao, Yuanyuan Di, Meilin Wu, Chunling Wei, Zhaoqiang Qian, Zhiqiang Liu, Jing Han, Juan Fan, Yingfang Tian, Qiaohua Zheng, Wei Ren
Pub Date: 2021-06-16, DOI: 10.1523/eneuro.0044-21.2021, Email: [email protected]
Prolonged stress induces neural maladaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system and produces emotional and behavioral disorders. However, the effects of stress on activity of DA neurons are diverse and complex that hinge on the type, duration, intensity, and controllability of stressors. Here, controlling the duration, intensity, and type of the stressors to be identical, we observed the effects of stressor controllability on the activity of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) DA neurons in mice. We found that both lack and loss of control (LOC) over shock enhance the basal activity and intrinsic excitability of SNc DA neurons via modulation of Ih current, but not via corticosterone serum level. Moreover, LOC over shock produces more significant enhancement in the basal activity of SNc DA neurons than that produced by shock per se, and therefore attenuates the response to natural reward. This attenuation can be reversed by control over shock. These results indicate that although chronic stress per se tends to enhance the basal activity of SNc DA neurons, LOC over the stressor is able to induce a larger enhancement in the basal activity of SNc DA neurons and produce more severe behavioral deficits. However, control over stress ameliorates the deleterious effects of stress, highlighting the role of stress controllability.

Figure 1. Loss of control over shock decreases the natural reward-induced calcium signal of SNc DA neurons.
The present work studied the effects of controllability on the activity of SNc DA neurons by controlling the duration, intensity, and pattern of footshocks to be identical. The results show that loss of control over shock produces larger enhancement in basal activity of SNc DA neurons and worse behavioral deficits than what caused by uncontrollable shock perse. The results demonstrate the critical role of stress controllability in modulating activity of SNc DA neurons and inducing behavioral deficits.
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