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Drd3 Signaling in the Lateral Septum Mediates Early Life Stress-Induced Social Dysfunction.


ABSTRACT: Early life stress (ELS) in the form of child abuse/neglect is associated with an increased risk of developing social dysfunction in adulthood. Little is known, however, about the neural substrates or the neuromodulatory signaling that govern ELS-induced social dysfunction. Here, we show that ELS-induced downregulation of dopamine receptor 3 (Drd3) signaling and its corresponding effects on neural activity in the lateral septum (LS) are both necessary and sufficient to cause social abnormalities in adulthood. Using in vivo Ca2+ imaging, we found that Drd3-expressing-LS (Drd3LS) neurons in animals exposed to ELS show blunted activity in response to social stimuli. In addition, optogenetic activation of Drd3LS neurons rescues ELS-induced social impairments. Furthermore, pharmacological treatment with a Drd3 agonist, which increases Drd3LS neuronal activity, normalizes the social dysfunctions of ELS mice. Thus, we identify Drd3 in the LS as a critical mediator and potential therapeutic target for the social abnormalities caused by ELS.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5766830 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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