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Ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles mediate context-induced relapse to heroin

Ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles mediate context-induced relapse to heroin

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles mediate context-induced relapse to heroin

    Jennifer M Bossert, Anna L Stern, Florence R M Theberge,
    Carlo Cifani, Eisuke Koya, Bruce T Hope & Yavin Shaham

    In a rat model of context-induced relapse to heroin, we identified sparsely distributed ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that were activated by the heroin-associated context. Selective pharmacogenetic inactivation of these neurons inhibited context-induced drug relapse. A small subset of ventral mPFC neurons formed neuronal ensembles that encode the learned associations between heroin reward and heroin-associated contexts; re-activation of these neuronal ensembles by drug-associated contexts during abstinence provoked drug relapse.