The laterodorsal tegmentum is essential for burst firing of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons

D. J. Lodge, A. A. Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

225 Scopus citations

Abstract

In response to behaviorally salient stimuli, dopamine (DA) neurons fire in bursts. Burst firing induces a large transient increase in synaptic DA and is regarded as the functionally relevant mode of transmission that signals reward and modulates goal-directed behavior. DA neuron burst firing is dynamically regulated by afferent inputs, and it is not present in vitro because of severing of afferent processes. However, what afferents are requisite for burst firing in vivo is not known. Here, we show that tonic input from the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg) is required for glutamate-elicited burst firing in ventral tegmental area DA neurons of anesthetized rats. Also, after LDTg inactivation, DA neurons fire as they do in vitro (i.e., as pacemakers); even direct glutamate application fails to cause them to burst fire under these conditions. These data show that the LDTg is critical to normal DA function, and thus, pathology within this region may lead to aberrant DA signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5167-5172
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume103
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Electrophysiology
  • Firing pattern
  • Laterodorsal tegmental nucleus
  • Limbic system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The laterodorsal tegmentum is essential for burst firing of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this