Cortical endogenous opioids and their role in facilitating repetitive behaviors in deer mice

Farhan Augustine, Shreenath Rajendran, Harvey S. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Deer mice provide a non-pharmacologically induced model for the study of repetitive behaviors. In captivity, these animals develop frequent jumping and rearing that resemble clinical symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCB), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), complex motor stereotypies (CMS), and Tourette's syndrome (TS). In this study, we pursue the mechanism of repetitive behaviors by performing stereological analyses and liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) measurements of glutamate (Glut), GABA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), dopamine (DA), leu-enkephalin (leu-enk), and dynorphin-A (dyn-A) in frontal cortex (FC), prefrontal cortex (PFC), and basal ganglia. The only significant stereological alteration was a negative correlation between repetitive behaviors and the cell count in the ventromedial striatum (VMS). Neurochemical analyses demonstrated a significant negative correlation between repetitive behaviors and endogenous opioids (leu-enk and dyn-A) in the FC – the site of origin of habitual behaviors and cortical projections to striatal MSNs participating in direct and indirect pathways. The precise neurochemical process by which endogenous opioids influence synaptic neurotransmission is unknown. One postulated cortical mechanism, supported by our findings, is an opioid effect on cortical interneuron GABA release and a consequent effect on glutamatergic cortical pyramidal cells. Anatomical changes in the VMS could have a role in repetitive behaviors, recognizing that this region influences goal-directed and habitual behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112317
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume379
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 3 2020

Fingerprint

Peromyscus
Opioid Analgesics
Dynorphins
Frontal Lobe
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Compulsive Behavior
Leucine Enkephalin
Obsessive Behavior
Corpus Striatum
3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
Tourette Syndrome
Pyramidal Cells
Interneurons
Basal Ganglia
Prefrontal Cortex
Synaptic Transmission
Liquid Chromatography
Glutamic Acid
Dopamine
Mass Spectrometry

Keywords

  • Deer mice
  • Direct and indirect pathways
  • Endogenous opioids
  • Goal-directed pathway
  • Habitual pathway
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Repetitive behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Cortical endogenous opioids and their role in facilitating repetitive behaviors in deer mice. / Augustine, Farhan; Rajendran, Shreenath; Singer, Harvey S.

In: Behavioural Brain Research, Vol. 379, 112317, 03.02.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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