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Acetylcholine is released in the basolateral amygdala in response to predictors of reward and enhances learning of cue-reward contingency

Citation

Crouse, Richard et al. (2020), Acetylcholine is released in the basolateral amygdala in response to predictors of reward and enhances learning of cue-reward contingency, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3xsj3txcf

Abstract

The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical for associating initially neutral cues with appetitive and aversive stimuli and receives dense neuromodulatory acetylcholine (ACh) projections. We measured BLA ACh signaling and activity of neurons expressing CaMKIIα (a marker for glutamatergic principal cells) in mice during cue-reward learning using a fluorescent ACh sensor and calcium indicators. We found that ACh levels and nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) cholinergic terminal activity in the BLA (NBM-BLA) increased sharply in response to reward-related events and shifted as mice learned the cue-reward contingency. BLA CaMKIIα neuron activity followed reward retrieval and moved to the reward-predictive cue after task acquisition. Optical stimulation of cholinergic NBM-BLA terminal fibers led to quicker acquisition of the cue-reward contingency. These results indicate BLA ACh signaling carries important information about salient events in cue-reward learning and provides a framework for understanding how ACh signaling contributes to shaping BLA responses to emotional stimuli.

Methods

See file: Crouse_et_al_2020_Dryad_Methods.docx

Usage Notes

See file: 10.5061_dryad.3xsj3txcf.docx

To read this document on the web, use the following link (Public README Crouse et al Source Data and Code):
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x8ZXqY4HUcf6kfIUChyLuZpUhHWWlfYLCsG-CYIiK34/edit?usp=sharing

Funding

National Institutes of Health, Award: DA14241

National Institutes of Health, Award: DA037566

National Institutes of Health, Award: MH077681

National Institutes of Health, Award: NS022061

National Institutes of Health, Award: MH109104

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Award: Intramural programs

National Institutes of Health, Award: T32-NS007224

National Institutes of Health, Award: DA046160