University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Non-canonical ventral pallidal circuits and their relevance for treating addiction

Non-canonical ventral pallidal circuits and their relevance for treating addiction

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Abstract The ventral pallidum is a brain area which is critically important for assessing hedonic value of reward and encoding motivational drive. Classically, the VP is considered an inhibitory ‘relay’ between the nucleus accumbens and midbrain structures. Our recent work challenges this model of information flow in the basal ganglia. We characterize two non-canonical populations of ventral pallidal neurons: 1) ventral pallidal glutamatergic neurons which follow canonical output pathways, but exert opposing excitatory drive on downstream structures, and 2) arkypallidal neurons, which robustly innervate and inhibit the nucleus accumbens in a value-dependent manner. We show that these populations are critical for constraining reward seeking in the face of aversive consequences, and encoding reward palatability to promote consumption, respectively. We discuss how adaptations in these pathways undergo adaptations that contribute to symptoms of impaired reward processing in the context of substance use disorders, and how harnessing this cellular heterogeneity may lead to cell-type specific neuromodulation therapies for these disorders.

Biography Dr Meaghan Creed obtained her HBSc and PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto in Canada, then moved to Geneva Switzerland for post-doctoral training. Throughout her career, she has focused on understanding and optimizing deep brain stimulation (DBS) applied to the basal ganglia for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Now an assistant professor at the WashU Pain center, she and her team are working to develop new neuromodulation therapies to treat symptoms at the interface of chronic pain, addiction and mood disorders. For detailed biography of Dr Creed, please visit: https://www.creedlab.org/meaghan-creed.html

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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