NIH Research Festival
The striatum has been implicated in food reinforcement through the mediation of two projection neurons: the direct medium spiny neurons (dMSNs) and the indirect medium spiny neurons (iMSNs). These neurons have been implicated in antagonistic functions during movements but are reported to have complementary roles in feeding. However, the vast majority of MSN recordings during feeding related paradigms have either been measured under non-cell specific parameters or during a food restricted operant task. In the present study, we wanted to determine how each population would encode approach, retrieval and consumption of food using in vivo electrophysiology to record action potential firing and fiber photometry to record the population calcium responses of dMSNs and iMSNs during ad lib consumption of food pellets. Calcium signals reflected a gradual ramping of activity that preceded actions. We observed that both dorsal striatal neuron subtypes are excited during approach to food and inhibited during consumption of food using fiber photometry and in vivo electrophysiology. These findings further demonstrate the role of the dorsal-medial striatum in the preparation and execution of goal directed actions in a feeding context.
Scientific Focus Area: Neuroscience
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