Restoration of prosocial behavior in rats after heroin self-administration via chemogenetic activation of the anterior insular cortex

Seven E. Tomek, Gabriela M. Stegmann, Jonna M. Leyrer-Jackson, Jose Piña, M. Foster Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The anterior insular cortex (AIC) mediates various social, emotional, and interoceptive components of addiction. We recently demonstrated a disruption of prosocial behavior following heroin self-administration in rats, as assessed by examining the animals’ propensity to rescue its cagemate from a plastic restrainer while having simultaneous access to heroin. To examine the possibility that heroin-induced deficits in prosocial function are mediated by the AIC, the present study examined the effects of chemogenetic activation or inhibition of excitatory AIC pyramidal neurons on heroin-induced prosocial deficits. After establishment of baseline rescuing behavior, rats received bilateral infusions of viral vectors encoding either a control virus (AAV-CaMKIIα-GFP), stimulatory DREADD (AAV-CaMKIIα-hM3Dq-mCherry) (Experiment 1), or inhibitory DREADD (AAV-CaMKIIα-hM4Di-mCherry) (Experiment 2), into the AIC. Rats were then allowed to self-administer heroin (0.06 mg/kg/infusion) 6 hr/day for 2 weeks. Prior to re-assessment of prosocial behavior, animals were administered clozapine-N-oxide (1.5 mg/kg, i.p.) to assess the effects of chemogenetic activation or inhibition of the AIC. Relative to control animals, chemogenetic activation of the AIC reversed deficits in rescuing behavior induced by heroin, whereas chemogenetic inhibition of the AIC had no effect. We hypothesize that stimulatory neuromodulation of the AIC may be a novel approach for restoring prosociality in opiate abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Neuroscience
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • chemogenetics
  • Heroin
  • insula
  • rescue behavior
  • rodent
  • self-administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Restoration of prosocial behavior in rats after heroin self-administration via chemogenetic activation of the anterior insular cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this