Extinction of cue-evoked food seeking recruits a GABAergic interneuron ensemble in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex of mice

Brebner, Leonie S, Ziminski, Joseph J, Margetts-Smith, Gabriella, Sieburg, Meike C, Hall, Catherine N, Heintz, Tristan G, Lagnado, Leon, Hirrlinger, Johannes, Crombag, Hans S and Koya, Eisuke (2020) Extinction of cue-evoked food seeking recruits a GABAergic interneuron ensemble in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex of mice. European Journal of Neuroscience. ISSN 1460-9568

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Abstract

Animals must quickly adapt food-seeking strategies to locate nutrient sources in dynamically changing environments. Learned associations between food and environmental cues that predict its availability promote food-seeking behaviors. However, when such cues cease to predict food availability, animals undergo 'extinction' learning, resulting in the inhibition of food-seeking responses. Repeatedly activated sets of neurons, or 'neuronal ensembles', in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) are recruited following appetitive conditioning and undergo physiological adaptations thought to encode cue-reward associations. However, little is known about how the recruitment and intrinsic excitability of such dmPFC ensembles are modulated by extinction learning. Here, we used in vivo 2-Photon imaging in male Fos-GFP mice that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in recently behaviorally-activated neurons to determine the recruitment of activated pyramidal and GABAergic interneuron mPFC ensembles during extinction. During extinction, we revealed a persistent activation of a subset of interneurons which emerged from a wider population of interneurons activated during the initial extinction session. This activation pattern was not observed in pyramidal cells, and extinction learning did not modulate the excitability properties of activated neurons. Moreover, extinction learning reduced the likelihood of reactivation of pyramidal cells activated during the initial extinction session. Our findings illuminate novel neuronal activation patterns in the dmPFC underlying extinction of food-seeking, and in particular, highlight an important role for interneuron ensembles in this inhibitory form of learning.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: appetitive conditioning, in vivo 2-Photon imaging, neuronal ensemble, neuronal excitability, prefrontal cortex
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 04 May 2020 08:41
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 10:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/91137

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