Persistent enhancement of basolateral amygdala-dorsomedial striatum synapses causes compulsive-like behaviors in mice

In Bum Lee, Eugene Lee, Na Eun Han, Marko Slavuj, Jeong Wook Hwang, Ahrim Lee, Taeyoung Sun, Yehwan Jeong, Ja Hyun Baik, Jae Yong Park, Se Young Choi, Jeehyun Kwag, Bong June Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Compulsive behaviors are observed in a range of psychiatric disorders, however the neural substrates underlying the behaviors are not clearly defined. Here we show that the basolateral amygdala-dorsomedial striatum (BLA-DMS) circuit activation leads to the manifestation of compulsive-like behaviors. We revealed that the BLA neurons projecting to the DMS, mainly onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons, largely overlap with the neuronal population that responds to aversive predator stress, a widely used anxiogenic stressor. Specific optogenetic activation of the BLA-DMS circuit induced a strong anxiety response followed by compulsive grooming. Furthermore, we developed a mouse model for compulsivity displaying a wide spectrum of compulsive-like behaviors by chronically activating the BLA-DMS circuit. In these mice, persistent molecular changes at the BLA-DMS synapses observed were causally related to the compulsive-like phenotypes. Together, our study demonstrates the involvement of the BLA-DMS circuit in the emergence of enduring compulsive-like behaviors via its persistent synaptic changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number219
JournalNature communications
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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