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Data from: No evidence for sex differences in the electrophysiological properties and excitatory synaptic input onto nucleus accumbens shell medium spiny neurons

Cite this dataset

Willett, Jaime A. et al. (2023). Data from: No evidence for sex differences in the electrophysiological properties and excitatory synaptic input onto nucleus accumbens shell medium spiny neurons [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m905qfv5j

Abstract

Sex differences exist in how the brain regulates motivated behavior and reward, both in normal and pathological contexts. Investigations into the underlying neural mechanisms have targeted the striatal brain regions, including the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens core and shell. These investigations yield accumulating evidence of sexually different electrophysiological properties, excitatory synaptic input, and sensitivity to neuromodulator/hormone action in select striatal regions both before and after puberty. It is unknown whether the electrical properties of neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell differ by sex and whether sex differences in excitatory synaptic input are present before puberty. To test the hypothesis that these properties differ by sex, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on male and female medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in acute brain slices obtained from prepubertal rat nucleus accumbens shell. We analyzed passive and active electrophysiological properties, and miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs). No sex differences were detected; this includes those properties, such as intrinsic excitability, action potential after hyperpolarization, threshold, and mEPSC frequency, that have been found to differ by sex in other striatal regions and/or developmental periods. These findings indicate that, unlike other striatal brain regions, the electrophysiological properties of nucleus accumbens shell MSNs do not differ by sex. Overall, it appears that sex differences in striatal function, including motivated behavior and reward, are likely mediated by other factors and striatal regions.

Methods

This dataset was collected using whole-cell patch clamp recordings of medium spiny neurons in prepubertal male and female rat nucleus accumbens shell. The recordings were analyzed to generate standard attributes describing the biophysical properties of these neurons. Please see Willett et al., 2016, eNeuro, for further details: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27022621/

Usage notes

Microsoft Excel and Word. There are many alternatives for accessing these files other than using these specific programs. For example, the spreadsheet and README can be opened with Google Docs and Apache OpenOffice.

Funding

North Carolina State University, Award: Start-up Funds

North Carolina State University, Award: Faculty Research and Professional Development Grant

North Carolina State University, Award: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Education grant

North Carolina State University, Award: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

North Carolina State University, Award: Physiology First Year Fellowship