Dissociable control of μ-opioid-driven hyperphagia vs. food impulsivity across subregions of medial prefrontal, orbitofrontal, and insular cortex

Juliana L. Giacomini, Emma Geiduschek, Ryan A. Selleck, Ken Sadeghian, Brian A. Baldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explored potentially dissociable functions of mu-opioid receptor (µ-OR) signaling across different cortical territories in the control of anticipatory activity directed toward palatable food, consumption, and impulsive food-seeking behavior in male rats. The µ-OR agonist, DAMGO ([D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly5-ol]-enkephalin), was infused into infralimbic cortex (ILC), prelimbic cortex (PrL), medial and lateral ventral orbitofrontal cortices (VMO, VLO), and agranular/dysgranular insular (AI/DI) cortex of rats. Intra-ILC DAMGO markedly enhanced contact with a see-through screen behind which sucrose pellets were sequestered; in addition, rats having received intra-ILC and intra-VMO DAMGO exhibited locomotor hyperactivity while the screen was in place. Upon screen removal, intra-ILC and -VMO-treated rats emitted numerous, brief sucrose-intake bouts (yielding increased overall intake) interspersed with significant hyperactivity. In contrast, intra-AI/DI-treated rats consumed large amounts of sucrose in long, uninterrupted bouts with no anticipatory hyperactivity pre-screen removal. Intra-PrL and intra-VLO DAMGO altered neither pre-screen behavior nor sucrose intake. Finally, all rats were tested in a sucrose-reinforced differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) task, which assesses the ability to advantageously withhold premature responses. DAMGO affected (impaired) DRL performance when infused into ILC only. These site-based dissociations reveal differential control of µ-OR-modulated appetitive/approach vs. consummatory behaviors by ventromedial/orbitofrontal and insular networks, respectively, and suggest a unique role of ILC µ-ORs in modulating inhibitory control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1981-1989
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume46
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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