The paraventricular thalamus: a key node of drug addiction circuitry


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Time: 14:00-15:30 on Tues.,Oct. 12, 2021

Venue: E109, Biomedicine Hall

Speaker: Dr. Yingjie Zhu

Host: Dr. Wei Zhang

Title: : The paraventricular thalamus: a key node of drug addiction circuitry


Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive, out-of-control drug use and the appearance of negative somatic and emotional consequences when access to the drug is prevented. Limited efficacy of treatment urges us towards deeper understanding on the neural mechanism of drug addiction. Brain circuits regulating reward and motivation have been considered as the neural substrate of drug addiction. Increasing body of literatures indicate that the paraventricular thalamic nucleus (PVT) serves as a key node in the neurocircuits controlling goal-directed behaviors. In this report, we summarize the anatomical and functional evidences that the PVT regulates drug-related behaviors. The PVT receives extensive input from the brainstem and hypothalamus, and is reciprocally connected with the limbic system. Neurons in the PVT are recruited by drug exposure, as well as cues and context associated with drug taking. Circuit-specific perturbation studies have started to decipher the precise role of PVT circuits in drug-related behaviors. We also highlight recent findings about the plasticity changes in the PVT pathways in drug addiction and provide perspectives on future studies.