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  Encoding of environmental cues in central amygdala neurons during foraging

Ponserre, M., Fermani, F., Gaitanos, L., & Klein, R. (2022). Encoding of environmental cues in central amygdala neurons during foraging. The Journal of Neuroscience, 42(18), 3783-3796. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1791-21.2022.

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Ponserre, Marion1, Author              
Fermani, Federica1, Author              
Gaitanos, Louise1, Author              
Klein, Rüdiger1, Author              
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1Department: Molecules-Signaling-Development / Klein, MPI of Neurobiology, Max Planck Society, ou_1113546              

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 Abstract: In order to successfully forage in an environment filled with rewards and threats, animals need to rely on familiar structures of their environment that signal food availability. The central amygdala (CeA) is known to mediate a panoply of consummatory and defensive behaviors, yet how specific activity patterns within CeA subpopulations guide optimal choices is not completely understood. In a paradigm of appetitive conditioning in which mice freely forage for food across a continuum of cues, we found that two major subpopulations of CeA neurons, Somatostatin-positive (CeASst) and protein kinase Cdelta-positive (CeAPKCdelta) neurons can assign motivational properties to environmental cues. While the proportion of food responsive cells was higher within CeASst than CeAPKCdelta neurons, only the activities of CeAPKCdelta, but not CeASst, neurons were required for learning of contextual food cues. Our findings point to a model in which CeAPKCdelta neurons may incorporate stimulus salience together with sensory features of the environment to encode memory of the goal location.Significance Statement:The CeA has a very important role in the formation of memories that associate sensory information with aversive or rewarding representation. Here, we used a conditioned place preference paradigm, where freely moving mice learn to associate external cues with food availability, to investigate the roles of CeA neuron subpopulations. We found that CeASst and CeAPKCdelta neurons encoded environmental cues during foraging but only the activities of CeAPKCdelta neurons were required for learning of contextual food cues.

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 Dates: 2022-05-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: Other: MEDLINE:35332079
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1791-21.2022
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Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : The Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington, DC : Society of Neuroscience
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 42 (18) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 3783 - 3796 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187_1