Area-specific analysis of the distribution of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the rat ventral tegmental area, with special reference to the GABAergic and glutamatergic efferents

I. Kalló, Csilla S. Molnár, Sarolta Szóke, Csaba Fekete, E. Hrabovszky, Z. Liposits

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Abstract

The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a main regulator of reward and integrates a wide scale of hormonal and neuronal information. Feeding-, energy expenditure-, stress, adaptation- and reproduction-related hypothalamic signals are processed in the VTA and influence the reward processes. However, the neuroanatomical origin and chemical phenotype of neurons mediating these signals to the VTA have not been fully characterized. In this study we have systematically mapped hypothalamic neurons that project to the VTA using the retrograde tracer Choleratoxin B subunit (CTB) and analyzed their putative gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glutamate character with in situ hybridization in male rats. 23.93 ± 3.91% of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the VTA was found in preoptic and 76.27 ± 4.88% in anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamic regions. Nearly half of the retrogradely-labeled neurons in the preoptic, and more than one third in the anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamus appeared in medially located regions. The analyses of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) mRNA expression revealed both amino acid markers in different subsets of retrogradely-labeled hypothalamic neurons, typically with the predominance of the glutamatergic marker VGLUT2. About one tenth of CTB-IR neurons were GAD65- positive even in hypothalamic nuclei expressing primarily VGLUT2. Some regions were populated mostly by GAD65 mRNA-containing retrogradely-labeled neurons. These included the perifornical part of the lateral hypothalamus where 58.63 ± 19.04% of CTB-IR neurons were GABAergic. These results indicate that both the medial and lateral nuclear compartments of the hypothalamus provide substantial input to the VTA. Furthermore, colocalization studies revealed that these projections not only use glutamate but also GABA for neurotransmission. These GABAergic afferents may underlie important inhibitory mechanism to fine-tune the reward value of specific signals in the VTA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Volume9
Issue numberseptember
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 3 2015

Fingerprint

Ventral Tegmental Area
Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 2
Neurons
Glutamate Decarboxylase
Reward
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Hypothalamus
Glutamic Acid
Lateral Hypothalamic Area
Posterior Hypothalamus
GABAergic Neurons
Messenger RNA
Synaptic Transmission
Energy Metabolism
In Situ Hybridization
Reproduction
Phenotype
Amino Acids

Keywords

  • GABA
  • Glutamate
  • Hypothalamus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In situ hybridization
  • Preoptic area
  • Retrograde labeling
  • VTA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

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title = "Area-specific analysis of the distribution of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the rat ventral tegmental area, with special reference to the GABAergic and glutamatergic efferents",
abstract = "The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a main regulator of reward and integrates a wide scale of hormonal and neuronal information. Feeding-, energy expenditure-, stress, adaptation- and reproduction-related hypothalamic signals are processed in the VTA and influence the reward processes. However, the neuroanatomical origin and chemical phenotype of neurons mediating these signals to the VTA have not been fully characterized. In this study we have systematically mapped hypothalamic neurons that project to the VTA using the retrograde tracer Choleratoxin B subunit (CTB) and analyzed their putative gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glutamate character with in situ hybridization in male rats. 23.93 ± 3.91{\%} of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the VTA was found in preoptic and 76.27 ± 4.88{\%} in anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamic regions. Nearly half of the retrogradely-labeled neurons in the preoptic, and more than one third in the anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamus appeared in medially located regions. The analyses of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) mRNA expression revealed both amino acid markers in different subsets of retrogradely-labeled hypothalamic neurons, typically with the predominance of the glutamatergic marker VGLUT2. About one tenth of CTB-IR neurons were GAD65- positive even in hypothalamic nuclei expressing primarily VGLUT2. Some regions were populated mostly by GAD65 mRNA-containing retrogradely-labeled neurons. These included the perifornical part of the lateral hypothalamus where 58.63 ± 19.04{\%} of CTB-IR neurons were GABAergic. These results indicate that both the medial and lateral nuclear compartments of the hypothalamus provide substantial input to the VTA. Furthermore, colocalization studies revealed that these projections not only use glutamate but also GABA for neurotransmission. These GABAergic afferents may underlie important inhibitory mechanism to fine-tune the reward value of specific signals in the VTA.",
keywords = "GABA, Glutamate, Hypothalamus, Immunohistochemistry, In situ hybridization, Preoptic area, Retrograde labeling, VTA",
author = "I. Kall{\'o} and Moln{\'a}r, {Csilla S.} and Sarolta Sz{\'o}ke and Csaba Fekete and E. Hrabovszky and Z. Liposits",
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T1 - Area-specific analysis of the distribution of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the rat ventral tegmental area, with special reference to the GABAergic and glutamatergic efferents

AU - Kalló, I.

AU - Molnár, Csilla S.

AU - Szóke, Sarolta

AU - Fekete, Csaba

AU - Hrabovszky, E.

AU - Liposits, Z.

PY - 2015/9/3

Y1 - 2015/9/3

N2 - The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a main regulator of reward and integrates a wide scale of hormonal and neuronal information. Feeding-, energy expenditure-, stress, adaptation- and reproduction-related hypothalamic signals are processed in the VTA and influence the reward processes. However, the neuroanatomical origin and chemical phenotype of neurons mediating these signals to the VTA have not been fully characterized. In this study we have systematically mapped hypothalamic neurons that project to the VTA using the retrograde tracer Choleratoxin B subunit (CTB) and analyzed their putative gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glutamate character with in situ hybridization in male rats. 23.93 ± 3.91% of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the VTA was found in preoptic and 76.27 ± 4.88% in anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamic regions. Nearly half of the retrogradely-labeled neurons in the preoptic, and more than one third in the anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamus appeared in medially located regions. The analyses of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) mRNA expression revealed both amino acid markers in different subsets of retrogradely-labeled hypothalamic neurons, typically with the predominance of the glutamatergic marker VGLUT2. About one tenth of CTB-IR neurons were GAD65- positive even in hypothalamic nuclei expressing primarily VGLUT2. Some regions were populated mostly by GAD65 mRNA-containing retrogradely-labeled neurons. These included the perifornical part of the lateral hypothalamus where 58.63 ± 19.04% of CTB-IR neurons were GABAergic. These results indicate that both the medial and lateral nuclear compartments of the hypothalamus provide substantial input to the VTA. Furthermore, colocalization studies revealed that these projections not only use glutamate but also GABA for neurotransmission. These GABAergic afferents may underlie important inhibitory mechanism to fine-tune the reward value of specific signals in the VTA.

AB - The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a main regulator of reward and integrates a wide scale of hormonal and neuronal information. Feeding-, energy expenditure-, stress, adaptation- and reproduction-related hypothalamic signals are processed in the VTA and influence the reward processes. However, the neuroanatomical origin and chemical phenotype of neurons mediating these signals to the VTA have not been fully characterized. In this study we have systematically mapped hypothalamic neurons that project to the VTA using the retrograde tracer Choleratoxin B subunit (CTB) and analyzed their putative gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glutamate character with in situ hybridization in male rats. 23.93 ± 3.91% of hypothalamic neurons projecting to the VTA was found in preoptic and 76.27 ± 4.88% in anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamic regions. Nearly half of the retrogradely-labeled neurons in the preoptic, and more than one third in the anterior, tuberal and mammillary hypothalamus appeared in medially located regions. The analyses of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) mRNA expression revealed both amino acid markers in different subsets of retrogradely-labeled hypothalamic neurons, typically with the predominance of the glutamatergic marker VGLUT2. About one tenth of CTB-IR neurons were GAD65- positive even in hypothalamic nuclei expressing primarily VGLUT2. Some regions were populated mostly by GAD65 mRNA-containing retrogradely-labeled neurons. These included the perifornical part of the lateral hypothalamus where 58.63 ± 19.04% of CTB-IR neurons were GABAergic. These results indicate that both the medial and lateral nuclear compartments of the hypothalamus provide substantial input to the VTA. Furthermore, colocalization studies revealed that these projections not only use glutamate but also GABA for neurotransmission. These GABAergic afferents may underlie important inhibitory mechanism to fine-tune the reward value of specific signals in the VTA.

KW - GABA

KW - Glutamate

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KW - Immunohistochemistry

KW - In situ hybridization

KW - Preoptic area

KW - Retrograde labeling

KW - VTA

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