Activation of parvalbumin interneurons in anterior cingulate cortex impairs observational fear

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Chunran Zhou
  • Zheng Zhou
  • Yushui Han
  • Lei Li
  • Quentin Montardy
  • Xuemei Liu
  • Fuqiang Xu
  • Liping Wang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-778
Journal / PublicationScience Bulletin
Volume63
Issue number12
Online published31 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

The ability to detect conspecific’s distress is crucial for animal survival. In rodent models, observational fear (OF) occurs when one animal perceives another fear related negative emotions, which may model certain behaviors caused by witnessing traumatic experiences in humans. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been showed to play a crucial role in OF. However, cellular and neural circuit basis relating to ACC governing OF is poorly understood. Here, we used Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by a Designer Drug (DREADD) system to investigate the cell type specific circuit mechanism of ACC in OF. Firstly, inhibitory hM4D (Gi) designer receptor together with clozapine N-oxide (CNO) injection was applied to inactivate ACC neurons in the observer mice. We found that, chemogenetic inhibition of ACC resulted in a decreased freezing response in the observer mice. Next, combining PV-ires-Cre mice and Cre-dependent DREADD system, we selectively targeted the ACC parvalbumin (PV) interneurons with the excitatory hM3D (Gq) designer receptor. Activation of ACC PV interneurons following CNO injection reduced freezing response in the observer mice, while had no effect on freezing response in the demonstrator mice. Finally, monosynaptic rabies retrograde tracing revealed that ACC PV interneurons receive inputs from the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD) and the ventromedial thalamic nucleus (VM), both known for their roles in OF. Taken together, these findings reveal that ACC activation is important for OF, during which PV interneurons in ACC play an important regulatory role. Abnormal function of ACC PV interneurons might contribute to the pathology of empathy- deficits related diseases, such as autism and schizophrenia.

Research Area(s)

  • Observational fear learning, Anterior cingulate cortex, PV interneurons, Empathy

Citation Format(s)

Activation of parvalbumin interneurons in anterior cingulate cortex impairs observational fear. / Zhou, Chunran; Zhou, Zheng; Han, Yushui; Lei, Zhuogui; Li, Lei; Montardy, Quentin; Liu, Xuemei; Xu, Fuqiang; Wang, Liping .

In: Science Bulletin, Vol. 63, No. 12, 30.06.2018, p. 771-778.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review