- The nucleus accumbens receives dopaminergic inputs from the ventral tegmental area, which connect via the mesolimbic pathway. The nucleus accumbens is often described as one part of a cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop. Dopaminergic inputs from the VTA modulate the activity of GABAergic neurons within the nucleus accumbens.
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The nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area are the primary sites where addictive drugs act. The following are commonly considered to be addictive: cocaine, alcohol, opioids, nicotine, cannabinoids, amphetamine, and their analogs. These drugs alter the neuromodulatory influence of dopamine on the processing of reinforcement signals by prolonging the action of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens or by stimulating the activation of neurons there and also in the VTA.
- The Mesolimbic Reward Pathway and Substances of Abuse
- The Ventral Tegmental Area as A Circadian Oscillator
- The Nucleus Accumbens as A Circadian Oscillator
- Implications For Reward and Substance Abuse
- Author Contributions
- Conflict of Interest
- Publisher’S Note
Life on Earth has evolved to adapt to the 24-h periodic cycling of temperature and sunlight as the result of the planent rotating about its axis around the Sun. Over evolutionary time, the predictable daily cycles of light and dark have been internalized in the form of circadian rhythms (Pittendrigh, 1993). These endogenous, self-sustaining rhythms...
Accumulating evidence from both clinical and preclinical studies points to the mesolimbic pathway as being the primary neural structures mediating reward and reward-related behaviors (Wise, 2008; Koob and Volkow, 2010; Baik, 2013; Volkow and Morales, 2015). Notably, there are two primary pathways that connect the midbrain to the striatum: the nigro...
Through preclinical research, we have long appreciated that reward processing is intertwined with the circadian system (Parekh and McClung, 2015; DePoy et al., 2017). For example, food is a naturally potent reward across species, and its intake is highly governed by the circadian system such that food intake aligns with organisms’ active phase (Vol...
As mentioned, extensive preclinical work has illustrated the temporal organization of reward and reward-related behaviors with peak activity often aligning with individuals’ active phase (Logan et al., 2014; Parekh and McClung, 2015; Webb et al., 2015; Tamura et al., 2021). Alongside the role of the VTA in mediating this rhythmicity in reward, ther...
During the past 2 decades, accumulating evidence points to an association between disruptions in circadian rhythms, drug abuse, and the development of SUDs. Nearly all substances of abuse have been shown to disrupt circadian rhythms (Bolelli et al., 1979; Vescovi et al., 1992; Danel et al., 2001). Those with SUDs also tend to have poor sleep parame...
Though the SCN was considered to be the only central pacemaker or clock in the brains of mammals, emerging evidence suggests many extra-SCN circadian oscillators exist in the brain to drive rhythms in physiology and behavior (Begemann et al., 2020). Importantly, for a region to be considered an extra-SCN circadian oscillator, the region must 1) exh...
DDB-K and RJN designed, wrote, and edited the manuscript. WWII wrote and edited the manuscript. DDB-K designed the figures. All authors approved the submitted version.
This work was supported by grants from NINDS (No. R01NS092388; PI: RN), NCCIH (No. R21AT011238; PI: RN), and NIGMS award number 5U54GM104942. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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Jul 08, 2021 · The ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens are the two main areas where any licit or illicit drugs cause the addiction. The licit drugs consist of prescribed medicines containing dependency effects, such as anti anxiety medicines or sleeping pills. Illicit drugs are illegal drugs, i.e. cocaine, hash, alcohol, marijuana, etc.
The ventral tegmental area. The primary role of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the assessment of need. The VTA processes information to ensure satisfaction; it then forwards this information to the nucleus accumbens (NA) using the neurotransmitter dopamine. If there is an increase in dopamine in the VTA there is a concurrent increase in the NA.
Mar 13, 2022 · The nucleus accumbens receives dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra of the midbrain. This connection forms part of a major dopaminergic pathway called the mesolimbic pathway (reward pathway), which connects the VTA with regions of the limbic system including the nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.