Specific corticostriatal structures and circuits are important for flexibly shifting between goal-oriented versus habitual behaviors. For example, the orbitofrontal cortex and dorsomedial striatum are critical for goal-directed action, while the dorsolateral striatum supports habits. To determine the role of neurotrophin signaling, we overexpressed a truncated, inactive form of tropomyosin receptor kinase B [also called tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB)], the high-affinity receptor for Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor, in the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsomedial striatum and dorsolateral striatum. Overexpression of truncated TrkB interfered with phosphorylation of full-length TrkB and ERK42/44, as expected. In the orbitofrontal cortex and dorsomedial striatum, truncated trkB overexpression also occluded the ability of mice to select actions based on the likelihood that they would be reinforced. Meanwhile, in the dorsolateral striatum, truncated trkB blocked the development of habits. Thus, corticostriatal TrkB-mediated plasticity appears necessary for balancing actions and habits.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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