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Abstract #4360

Functional signaling contributions of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors during VTA stimulation in non-human primates

Christin Y. Sander1,2, John Arsenault3, Bruce R. Rosen1,4, Joseph B. Mandeville1,2, and Wim Vanduffel3

1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States, 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3Laboratory of Neuro- and Psychophysiology, Medical School, KU Leuven, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 4Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard-MIT, Cambridge, MA, United States

Deep brain stimulation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has shown promise in modulating reward and learning. However, its underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unexplored. In this study, fMRI and PET together with selective pharmacological blocking was used to distinguish dopamine receptor subtype-specific mechanisms of VTA stimulation in a non-human primate model with a chronically implanted stimulation electrode. Our results show that the main dopaminergic contribution to fMRI signal is likely driven by D1 receptor signaling, with a smaller D2 receptor contribution. Overall, this is a novel finding distinguishing dopaminergic receptor subtypes involved in VTA stimulation.

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