Linking Cholinergic Interneurons, Synaptic Plasticity, and Behavior during the Extinction of a Cocaine-Context Association

Junuk Lee, Joel Finkelstein, Jung Yoon Y. Choi, Ilana B B. Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the fact that cholinergic interneurons are a key cell type within the nucleus accumbens, a relationship between synaptic plasticity and the in vivo activity of cholinergic interneurons remains to be established. Here, we identify a three-way link between the activity of cholinergic interneurons, synaptic plasticity, and learning in mice undergoing the extinction of a cocaine-context association. We found that activity of cholinergic interneurons regulates extinction learning for a cocaine-context association and generates a sustained reduction in glutamatergic presynaptic strength onto medium spiny neurons. Interestingly, activation of cholinergic interneurons does not support reinforcement learning or plasticity by itself, suggesting that these neurons have a modulatory rather than a reinforcing function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1085
Number of pages15
JournalNeuron
Volume90
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

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