Flooding the hypothalamus with neurochemicals affects reward-seeking, motivated, and depressive behavior

This 2014 rodent study showed the opposing effects of neurochemicals orexin (excitator) and dynorphin (inhibitor) in the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus plays a role in behaviors such as addiction and impulsiveness. Food and cocaine self-administration were the main techniques used.

Flooding the hypothalamus with orexin produced reward-seeking and motivated behavior. That was greatly reduced when dynorphin levels were increased, and depressive behavior set in.

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/E1648.full “Hypocretin (orexin) facilitates reward by attenuating the antireward effects of its cotransmitter dynorphin in ventral tegmental area”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.