The role of glutamate signaling in incentive salience: second-by-second glutamate recordings in awake Sprague-Dawley rats

Seth R. Batten, Francois Pomerleau, Jorge Quintero, Greg A. Gerhardt, Joshua S. Beckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The attribution of incentive salience to reward-predictive stimuli has been shown to be associated with substance abuse-like behavior such as increased drug taking. Evidence suggests that glutamate neurotransmission and sequential N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) activation are involved in the attribution of incentive salience. Here, we further explore the role of second-by-second glutamate neurotransmission in the attribution of incentive salience to reward-predictive stimuli by measuring sign-tracking behavior during a Pavlovian conditioned approach procedure using ceramic-based microelectrode arrays configured for sensitive measures of extracellular glutamate in awake behaving Sprague-Dawley rats. Specifically, we show that there is an increase in extracellular glutamate levels in the prelimbic cortex (PrL) and the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC) during sign-tracking behavior to a food-predictive conditioned stimulus (CS+) compared to the presentation of a non-predictive conditioned stimulus (CS−). Furthermore, the results indicate greater increases in extracellular glutamate levels in the PrL compared to NAcC in response to the CS+, including differences in glutamate release and signal decay. Taken together, the present research suggests that there is differential glutamate signaling in the NAcC and PrL during sign-tracking behavior to a food-predictive CS+. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-286
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume145
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 International Society for Neurochemistry

Keywords

  • glutamate
  • incentive salience
  • nucleus accumbens
  • pavlovian conditioned approach
  • prelimbic cortex
  • sign-tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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