Renewal of an extinguished instrumental response: neural correlates and the role of D1 dopamine receptors

A.S. Hamlin, K.E. Blatchford, G.P. McNally

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)


    Contexts play an important role in controlling the expression of extinguished behaviors. We used an ABA renewal design to study the neural correlates, and role of D1 dopamine receptors, in contextual control over extinguished instrumental responding. Rats were trained to respond for a sucrose reward in one context (A). Responding was then extinguished in the same (A) or different (B) context. Rats were tested for responding in the original training context (A). Return to the original training context after extinction (group ABA) was associated with a return of responding. Three distinct patterns of Fos induction were detected on test: 1) ABA renewal was associated with selective increases in c-Fos protein induction in basolateral amygdala, ventral accumbens shell, and lateral hypothalamus (but not in orexin- or melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-hypothalamic neurons); 2) being placed in the same context as extinction training (AAA or ABB) was associated with a selective decrease in c-Fos induction in rostral agranular insular cortex; 3) being placed in any context on test was associated with the up-regulation of c-Fos induction in anterior cingulate, dorsomedial accumbens shell, accumbens core, lateral septum, and substantia nigra. The return of responding in ABA renewal was prevented by pre-treatment with the D1 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 (10 microg/kg; s.c.). SCH23390 also suppressed basal and renewal-associated c-Fos protein induction throughout accumbens, and, selectively suppressed renewal-associated c-Fos induction in lateral hypothalamus. These results suggest that renewal of extinguished responding for a sucrose reward depends on a distributed neural circuit involving basolateral amygdala, ventral accumbens shell, and lateral hypothalamus. D1 dopamine receptors within this circuit are essential for renewal. The results also suggest that rostralagranular insular cortex may play an important role in suppressing reward-seeking after extinction training.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-38
    Number of pages14
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


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