Glucocorticoid receptor signaling in ventral tegmental area neurons increases the rewarding value of a high-fat diet in mice

Akira Mizoguchi, Ryoichi Banno, Runan Sun, Hiroshi Yaginuma, Keigo Taki, Tomoko Kobayashi, Mariko Sugiyama, Taku Tsunekawa, Takeshi Onoue, Hiroshi Takagi, Daisuke Hagiwara, Yoshihiro Ito, Shintaro Iwama, Hidetaka Suga, Taku Nagai, Kiyofumi Yamada, Hiroshi Arima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The reward system, which consists of dopaminergic neurons projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen in the striatum, has an important role in the pathogenesis of not only drug addiction but also diet-induced obesity. In the present study, we examined whether signaling through glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in the reward system affects the rewarding value of a high-fat diet (HFD). To do so, we generated mice that lack functional GRs specifically in dopaminergic neurons (D-KO mice) or corticostriatal neurons (CS-KO mice), subjected the mice to caloric restriction stress conditions, and evaluated the rewarding value of a HFD by conditioned place preference (CPP) test. Caloric restriction induced increases in serum corticosterone to similar levels in all genotypes. While CS-KO as well as WT mice exhibited a significant preference for HFD in the CPP test, D-KO mice exhibited no such preference. There were no differences between WT and D-KO mice in consumption of HFD after fasting or cognitive function evaluated by a novel object recognition test. These data suggest that glucocorticoid signaling in the VTA increases the rewarding value of a HFD under restricted caloric stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12873
JournalScientific reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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