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Activation of Parabrachial Tachykinin 1 Neurons Counteracts Some Behaviors Mediated by Parabrachial Calcitonin Gene-related Peptide Neurons.

Neuroscience 2023 May 2
Many threats activate parabrachial neurons expressing calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRPPBN ) which transmit alarm signals to forebrain regions. Most CGRPPBN neurons also express tachykinin 1 (Tac1), but there are also Tac1-expressing neurons in the PBN that do not express CGRP (Tac1+;CGRP- neurons). Chemogenetic or optogenetic activation of all Tac1PBN neurons in mice elicited many physiological/behavioral responses resembling the activation of CGRPPBN neurons, e.g., anorexia, jumping on a hot plate, avoidance of photostimulation; however, two key responses opposed activation of CGRPPBN neurons. Activating Tac1PBN neurons did not produce conditioned taste aversion and it elicited dynamic escape behaviors rather than freezing. Activating Tac1+;CGRP- neurons, using an intersectional genetic targeting approach, resembles activating all Tac1PBN neurons. These results reveal that activation of Tac1+;CGRP- neurons can suppress some functions attributed to the CGRPPBN neurons, which provides a mechanism to bias behavioral responses to threats.

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