Genetic identification of a population of noradrenergic neurons implicated in attenuation of stress-related responses.

TitleGenetic identification of a population of noradrenergic neurons implicated in attenuation of stress-related responses.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Date Published2018
ISSN1359-4184
Abstract

Noradrenergic signaling plays a well-established role in promoting the stress response. Here we identify a subpopulation of noradrenergic neurons, defined by developmental expression of Hoxb1, that has a unique role in modulating stress-related behavior. Using an intersectional chemogenetic strategy, in combination with behavioral and physiological analyses, we show that activation of Hoxb1-noradrenergic (Hoxb1-NE) neurons decreases anxiety-like behavior and promotes an active coping strategy in response to acute stressors. In addition, we use cerebral blood volume-weighted functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that chemoactivation of Hoxb1-NE neurons results in reduced activity in stress-related brain regions, including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, amygdala, and locus coeruleus. Thus, the actions of Hoxb1-NE neurons are distinct from the well-documented functions of the locus coeruleus in promoting the stress response, demonstrating that the noradrenergic system contains multiple functionally distinct subpopulations.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0245-8
DOI10.1038/s41380-018-0245-8
Short TitleMol Psychiatry
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