Concomitant Release of Ventral Tegmental Acetylcholine and Accumbal Dopamine by Ghrelin in RatsReportar como inadecuado

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Ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide, regulates energy balance specifically via hypothalamic circuits. Growing evidence suggest that ghrelin increases the incentive value of motivated behaviours via activation of the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link. It encompasses the cholinergic afferent projection from the laterodorsal tegmental area LDTg to the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area VTA and the mesolimbic dopamine system projecting from the VTA to nucleus accumbens N.Acc

Ghrelin receptors GHS-R1A are expressed in these reward nodes and ghrelin administration into the LDTg increases accumbal dopamine, an effect involving nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the VTA. The present series of experiments were undertaken directly to test this hypothesis. Here we show that ghrelin, administered peripherally or locally into the LDTg concomitantly increases ventral tegmental acetylcholine as well as accumbal dopamine release. A GHS-R1A antagonist blocks this synchronous neurotransmitter release induced by peripheral ghrelin. In addition, local perfusion of the unselective nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine into the VTA blocks the ability of ghrelin administered into the LDTg to increase N.Acc.-dopamine, but not VTA-acetylcholine. Collectively our data indicate that ghrelin activates the LDTg causing a release of acetylcholine in the VTA, which in turn activates local nicotinic acetylcholine receptors causing a release of accumbal dopamine. Given that a dysfunction in the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward system is involved in addictive behaviours, including compulsive overeating and alcohol use disorder, and that hyperghrelinemia is associated with such addictive behaviours, ghrelin-responsive circuits may serve as a novel pharmacological target for treatment of alcohol use disorder as well as binge eating.

Autor: Elisabet Jerlhag , Anna Carin Janson, Susanna Waters, Jörgen A. Engel



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