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Gil-Lievana, Elvi; Ramirez-Mejia, Gerardo; Urrego-Morales, Oscar; Luis-Islas, Jorge; Gutierrez, Ranier; Bermudez-Rattoni, Federico (2022)

PHOTOSTIMULATION OF VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA-INSULAR CORTEX DOPAMINERGIC INPUTS ENHANCES THE SALIENCE TO CONSOLIDATE AVERSIVE TASTE RECOGNITION MEMORY VIA D1-LIKE RECEPTORS

Front Cell Neurosci 16():
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Taste memory involves storing information through plasticity changes in the neural network of taste, including the insular cortex (IC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), a critical provider of dopamine. Although a VTA-IC dopaminergic pathway has been demonstrated, its role to consolidate taste recognition memory remains poorly understood. We found that photostimulation of dopaminergic neurons in the VTA or VTA-IC dopaminergic terminals of TH-Cre mice improves the salience to consolidate a subthreshold novel taste stimulus regardless of its hedonic value, without altering their taste palatability. Importantly, the inhibition of the D1-like receptor into the IC impairs the salience to facilitate consolidation of an aversive taste recognition memory. Finally, our results showed that VTA photostimulation improves the salience to consolidate a conditioned taste aversion memory through the D1-like receptor into the IC. It is concluded that the dopamine activity from the VTA into IC is required to increase the salience enabling the consolidation of a taste recognition memory. Notably, the D1-like receptor activity into the IC is required to consolidate both innate and learned aversive taste memories but not appetitive taste memory.