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Nicotinic receptors promote susceptibility to social stress in female mice linked with neuroadaptations within VTA dopamine neurons

Abstract : Abstract There are about twice as many women as men who experience depression during their lifetime. Although life circumstances and especially exposure to stressful situations constitute a major risk factor to develop depression, the underlying mechanisms have yet to be unraveled. We employed the chronic social defeat procedure to elicit depressive-like symptoms in females and ketamine to validate the model. We performed ex-vivo patch clamp recordings to assess cellular adaptations and used pharmacological agents to dissect these deregulations. Chronic social defeat exposure triggers a hyperactivity of VTA putative dopamine (DA) neurons in females susceptible to stress but not resilient ones. This hyperactivity was fully reversed by a single administration of ketamine. In virally-identified brain circuits of both susceptible and resilient females, we found a hypercholinergic tone to the VTA arising from the laterodorsal tegmentum. Application of puffs of nicotine revealed a decreased sensitivity of DA neurons in resilient mice when compared to naive or susceptible ones. The in vivo acute administration of the positive allosteric modulator for α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) not only increased susceptibility to stress by enhancing activity of VTA DA neurons, but also triggered a switch in phenotype from resilient to susceptible. Our data unravel dysregulations of VTA DA neurons activity exclusively in females exhibiting depressive-like symptoms and identify VTA nAChRs as key molecular substrates that exacerbate susceptibility to stress.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03846708
Contributor : SEBASTIAN PABLO FERNANDEZ Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 11:50:55 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, November 13, 2022 - 3:47:41 AM

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Vanesa Ortiz, Renan Costa Campos, Hugo Fofo, Sebastian P Fernandez, Jacques Barik. Nicotinic receptors promote susceptibility to social stress in female mice linked with neuroadaptations within VTA dopamine neurons. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2022, 47 (9), pp.1587-1596. ⟨10.1038/s41386-022-01314-4⟩. ⟨hal-03846708⟩

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