A genetically defined insula-brainstem circuit selectively controls motivational vigor

Deng, Hanfei, Xiao, Xiong, Yang, Tao, Ritola, Kimberly, Hantman, Adam, Li, Yulong, Huang, Z Josh, Li, Bo (December 2021) A genetically defined insula-brainstem circuit selectively controls motivational vigor. Cell. ISSN 0092-8674

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34890577
DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.11.019

Abstract

The anterior insular cortex (aIC) plays a critical role in cognitive and motivational control of behavior, but the underlying neural mechanism remains elusive. Here, we show that aIC neurons expressing Fezf2 (aICFezf2), which are the pyramidal tract neurons, signal motivational vigor and invigorate need-seeking behavior through projections to the brainstem nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS). aICFezf2 neurons and their postsynaptic NTS neurons acquire anticipatory activity through learning, which encodes the perceived value and the vigor of actions to pursue homeostatic needs. Correspondingly, aIC → NTS circuit activity controls vigor, effort, and striatal dopamine release but only if the action is learned and the outcome is needed. Notably, aICFezf2 neurons do not represent taste or valence. Moreover, aIC → NTS activity neither drives reinforcement nor influences total consumption. These results pinpoint specific functions of aIC → NTS circuit for selectively controlling motivational vigor and suggest that motivation is subserved, in part, by aIC's top-down regulation of dopamine signaling.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > brainstem
organism description > animal behavior > motivation
Investigative techniques and equipment > Whole Brain Circuit Mapping
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Huang lab
CSHL labs > Li lab
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 7 December 2021
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 16:34
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 13:30
PMCID: PMC9103523
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/40458

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