Skip to main content

Inactivation of the thalamic paraventricular nucleus promotes place preference and sucrose seeking in male rats

Abstract

Rationale

The experience of reward entails both positive affect and motivation. While the brain regions responsible for these distinct aspects of reward are dissociable from each other, the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) may play a role in both.

Objectives

To investigate the role of the PVT in both affect and motivation, and to identify neuropeptides that might mediate these effects.

Methods

Male rats were tested for conditioned place preference following temporary inactivation of the anterior or posterior PVT with local injections of the GABAB and GABAA agonists, baclofen + muscimol. They were tested for sucrose seeking under a fixed ratio 3 (FR3) schedule of reinforcement and after extinction, following injection into the posterior PVT of baclofen + muscimol or saline vehicle. Finally, quantitative real-time PCR was used to examine local neuropeptide gene expression following injection into the posterior PVT of baclofen + muscimol or saline vehicle.

Results

Conditioned place preference was induced by temporary inactivation of the posterior but not anterior PVT. While sucrose seeking under an FR3 schedule of reinforcement was unaffected by inactivation of the posterior PVT, reinstatement of sucrose seeking was promoted by posterior PVT inactivation. Local gene expression of pituitary adenylate cyclase–activating polypeptide (PACAP), but not enkephalin or neurotensin, was reduced following inactivation of the posterior PVT.

Conclusions

Temporary inactivation of the posterior PVT affects both affect and motivation as well as local gene expression of PACAP. These results suggest that the posterior PVT is one brain region that may participate in both major aspects of reward.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

Download references

Funding

This research was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism under Award Number R01AA028218 (JRB). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jessica R. Barson.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gargiulo, A., Badve, P., Curtis, G. et al. Inactivation of the thalamic paraventricular nucleus promotes place preference and sucrose seeking in male rats. Psychopharmacology 239, 2659–2671 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-022-06160-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-022-06160-2

Keywords

  • Anterior
  • Baclofen
  • Conditioned place preference
  • Fixed ratio
  • mRNA
  • Muscimol
  • Operant
  • PACAP
  • Posterior
  • Reinstatement