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Role of positive CART neurons of the medial amygdala nucleus during social defeat

Grant number: 20/06206-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Anatomy
Principal researcher:Simone Cristina Motta
Grantee:Luan Henrique Patrzyk
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/18667-0 - Manipulating the neural circuit underlying social defense, AP.JP


Interactions between animals of the same species are generally beneficial, however, intraspecific conflict is common to maintain the hierarchy and stability of the group. Due to this, defensive responses are believed to have remained since they are important for the survival of the strain. Although, it is essential that these generated defensive responses are appropriate to the context in which these animals are inserted, requiring that neural circuits have the ability to direct the information obtained from sensory stimuli to the structures responsible for the integration and modulation of defense behaviors. The nucleus of the Medial Amygdala (MeA) is an important modulator of defensive responses during confrontation with conspecific. However, it is not clear how the neuronal subpopulations of MeA regulate different social behaviors. Previous work with Cocaine- and Amphetamine-Regulated Transcript (CART), present in MeA and in important nuclei of social defeat, indicates that this neuropeptide is directly linked to animal survival situations, but little is known about the relationship of this transcript in the organization of social defeat. Our study hypothesis is that, in mice, the positive CART neurons present in MeA would be important for modulating and directing information on defensive behavior. Thus, the aim of this study is to study the role of positive CART projections the MeA during social defeat. (AU)

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