Stereotypic self-injurious behavior (SIB) induced by disruption of activity in the entopeduncular nucleus (EP). (A) Experimental paradigm. Saline or muscimol was injected into EP bilaterally. EP injection was performed 10 days after surgery, following 3 days of habituation. i.ep., EP injection. (B) Schematic diagram and example photos of SIB rats, showing wounds on chest (1), forepaws (2), belly (3), legs (4), hindpaws (5) and tail (6).
Guo et al., JNeurosci (2018)
Researchers control self-inflicted bite wounds in rats by manipulating brain activity, stress hormone
A stress hormone modulates compulsive biting in a rat model of self-injurious behavior (SIB), according to new research published in JNeurosci. Manipulating the activity of the brain circuitry underlying SIB could create new possibilities for treating this symptom of stress and neuropsychiatric disorders.
The globus pallidus, a part of the basal ganglia, has a well-known function in the regulation of movement. It has also been implicated in stress-related emotional disorders frequently accompanied by SIB, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Pak-Ming Lau, Lin Xu and colleagues investigated SIB in rats by disrupting activity in a similar brain structure called the entopeduncular nucleus, which led to self-inflicted bite wounds. The researchers identified many brain regions involved in SIB, including two areas involved in the processing of stress and reward: the lateral habenula and the ventral tegmental area. They demonstrate control over this behavior by manipulating activity of these two regions as well as levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. Self-biting could not be fully blocked, however, suggesting additional pathways to be explored in future studies of SIB.
Article: Corticosterone signaling and a lateral habenula-ventral tegmental area circuit modulate compulsive self-injurious behavior in a rat model
Corresponding authors: Pak-Ming Lau (University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei), email@example.com and Lin Xu (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming), firstname.lastname@example.org
JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.
About The Society for Neuroscience
The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.
Eurekalert, 2018-05-14, https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/169940.php