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Neuronal circuits

A risky connection

Orexin signalling is linked to the regulation of risk-avoidance behaviour; however, the brain circuits involved are poorly understood. Blomeley et al. showed that orexin released by neurons in the lateral hypothalamus excites dopamine D2-receptor-expressing cells (D2 cells) in the nucleus accumbens of mice and that suppression of D2 cell activity abolishes orexin-driven risk avoidance in behavioural assays. This may help us to understand more about neuropsychiatric disorders associated with abnormal orexin signalling.

References

  1. Blomeley, C. et al. Accumbal D2 cells orchestrate innate risk-avoidance according to orexin signals. Nat. Neurosci. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41593-017-0023-y (2017)

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Whalley, K. A risky connection. Nat Rev Neurosci 19, 7 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn.2017.160

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