Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Drugs, Dopamine, and Disinhibition

Sci. Signal.  01 Oct 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 295, pp. ec239
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004771

Drugs often change the neuronal circuitry in the brain and thereby cause a long-lasting change in behavior. Using a wide range of in vivo and in vitro techniques in mice, Bocklisch et al. observed that cocaine profoundly altered dopamine neuron function and that drug-evoked synaptic plasticity in a specific set of neurons represents a crucial step in circuit remodeling.

C. Bocklisch, V. Pascoli, J. C. Y. Wong, D. R. C. House, C. Yvon, M. de Roo, K. R. Tan, C. Lüscher, Cocaine disinhibits dopamine neurons by potentiation of GABA transmission in the ventral tegmental area. Science 341, 1521–1525 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]