Exposure to opioids reshapes future reward and motivated behaviors partially by altering the functional output of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens shell. Here, we investigated how morphine, a highly addictive opioid, alters synaptic transmission and intrinsic excitability on dopamine D1-receptor (D1R) expressing and dopamine D2-receptor (D2R) expressing MSNs, the two main output neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell. Using whole-cell electrophysiology recordings, we show, that 24 h abstinence following repeated non-contingent administration of morphine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in mice reduces the miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current (mIPSC) frequency on D2R-MSNs, with concomitant increases in D2R-MSN intrinsic membrane excitability. We did not observe any changes in synaptic or intrinsic changes on D1R-MSNs. Last, in an attempt to determine the integrated effect of the synaptic and intrinsic alterations on the overall functional output of D2R-MSNs, we measured the input-output efficacy by measuring synaptically-driven action potential firing. We found that both D1R-MSN and D2R-MSN output was unchanged following morphine treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology