Morphine Differentially Alters the Synaptic and Intrinsic Properties of D1R- and D2R-Expressing Medium Spiny Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens

Dillon S. McDevitt, Benjamin Jonik, Nicholas M. Graziane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to opioids reshapes future reward and motivated behaviors partially by altering the functional output of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens shell. Here, we investigated how morphine, a highly addictive opioid, alters synaptic transmission and intrinsic excitability on dopamine D1-receptor (D1R) expressing and dopamine D2-receptor (D2R) expressing MSNs, the two main output neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell. Using whole-cell electrophysiology recordings, we show, that 24 h abstinence following repeated non-contingent administration of morphine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in mice reduces the miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current (mIPSC) frequency on D2R-MSNs, with concomitant increases in D2R-MSN intrinsic membrane excitability. We did not observe any changes in synaptic or intrinsic changes on D1R-MSNs. Last, in an attempt to determine the integrated effect of the synaptic and intrinsic alterations on the overall functional output of D2R-MSNs, we measured the input-output efficacy by measuring synaptically-driven action potential firing. We found that both D1R-MSN and D2R-MSN output was unchanged following morphine treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalFrontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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