A circuit from the locus coeruleus to the anterior cingulate cortex modulates offspring interactions in mice

Corona, Alberto, Choe, Jane, Muñoz-Castañeda, Rodrigo, Osten, Pavel, Shea, Stephen (2022) A circuit from the locus coeruleus to the anterior cingulate cortex modulates offspring interactions in mice. bioRxiv. (Submitted)

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DOI: 10.1101/2022.12.04.519053


Social sensitivity to other individuals in distress is crucial for survival. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is a structure involved in making behavioral choices and is influenced by observed pain or distress. Nevertheless, our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this sensitivity is incomplete. Here, we reveal unexpected sex-dependent activation of ACC when parental mice respond to distressed pups by returning them to the nest (‘pup retrieval’). We observe sex differences in the interactions between excitatory and inhibitory ACC neurons during parental care, and inactivation of ACC excitatory neurons increased pup neglect. Locus coeruleus (LC) releases noradrenaline in ACC during pup retrieval, and inactivation of the LC-ACC pathway disrupts parental care. We conclude that ACC maintains sex-dependent sensitivity to pup distress under LC modulation. We propose that ACC’s involvement in parenting presents an opportunity to identify neural circuits that support sensitivity to the emotional distress of others.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: neurobiology > neuroanatomy > anterior cingulate cortex
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > locus coeruleus
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > mouse
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Mitra lab
CSHL labs > Osten lab
CSHL labs > Shea lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 2022
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2023 18:12
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 19:05
PMCID: PMC10529180
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/41099

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