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Braking dopamine systems: a new GABA master structure for mesolimbic and nigrostriatal functions.

Abstract : A new mesopontine structure exerting a strong influence on dopamine systems has recently been defined: the tail of the ventral tegmental area/rostromedial tegmental nucleus (tVTA/RMTg). This review presents a neuroanatomical, physiological, and behavioral overview of some of the recent and ongoing research on this brain region and its relationship with dopamine systems. The tVTA/RMTg sends dense GABA projections to VTA and substantia nigra neurons. The inhibitory influence of tVTA/RMTg on dopamine neurons is supported by both neuroanatomical and electrophysiology data. The latter studies also reveal the tVTA/RMTg as a substrate for morphine and cannabinoid action on dopamine cells. In primates, the tVTA/RMTg has been implicated in reward prediction error signals, through a basal ganglia-lateral habenula-tVTA/RMTg-dopamine-basal ganglia circuit. In rodents, the tVTA/RMTg has been shown to play a critical role in aversive behaviors, particularly those involving behavioral inhibition, such as freezing and avoidance. These findings highlight the functional importance of the tVTA/RMTg as a major GABA brake for dopamine systems.
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Contributor : Francois Georges <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 12:44:37 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 17, 2020 - 1:45:42 AM

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Michel Barrot, Susan R Sesack, François Georges, Marco Pistis, Simon Hong, et al.. Braking dopamine systems: a new GABA master structure for mesolimbic and nigrostriatal functions.. Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, 2012, 32 (41), pp.14094-101. ⟨10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3370-12.2012⟩. ⟨hal-01160043⟩



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