Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (Jun 2023)

Rhythmic oscillations in the midbrain dopaminergic nuclei in mice

  • Virginie J. Oberto,
  • Virginie J. Oberto,
  • Jumpei Matsumoto,
  • Marco N. Pompili,
  • Ralitsa Todorova,
  • Francesco Papaleo,
  • Hisao Nishijo,
  • Laurent Venance,
  • Marie Vandecasteele,
  • Sidney I. Wiener

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17


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IntroductionDopamine release in the forebrain by midbrain ventral tegmental nucleus (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) neurons is implicated in reward processing, goal-directed learning, and decision-making. Rhythmic oscillations of neural excitability underlie coordination of network processing, and have been reported in these dopaminergic nuclei at several frequency bands. This paper provides a comparative characterization of several frequencies of oscillations of local field potential and single unit activity, highlighting some behavioral correlates.MethodsWe recorded from optogenetically identified dopaminergic sites in four mice training in operant olfactory and visual discrimination tasks.ResultsRayleigh and Pairwise Phase Consistency (PPC) analyses revealed some VTA/SNc neurons phase-locked to each frequency range, with fast spiking interneurons (FSIs) prevalent at 1–2.5 Hz (slow) and 4 Hz bands, and dopaminergic neurons predominant in the theta band. More FSIs than dopaminergic neurons were phase-locked in the slow and 4 Hz bands during many task events. The highest incidence of phase-locking in neurons was in the slow and 4 Hz bands, and occurred during the delay between the operant choice and trial outcome (reward or punishment) signals.DiscussionThese data provide a basis for further examination of rhythmic coordination of activity of dopaminergic nuclei with other brain structures, and its impact for adaptive behavior.