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Contact: Jules Asher
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

Optogenetic Control of Reward Circuit

Caption: Fiber optic stimulation mimicking high firing rates (vertical apparatus) of a key reward circuit hub (VTA) instantly converted genetically modified mice resilient to severe social stress into vulnerable animals. High firing rates in the circuit projection from VTA to NAc (and not from VTA to PFC) was found to be the main culprit in triggering depression related behaviors. Blocking the circuit in vulnerable mice instantly made them resilient.

Credit: Ming-Hu Han, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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Related news release: Stress-resilience/susceptibility traced to neurons in reward circuit

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