In the experiment, stimulating BNST
neurons with light-which consequently shut down the activity of neurons in the lateral hypothalamus--led to the overeating behavior, the team found.
The BNST also forms a bridge between the amygdala and the lateral hypothalamus, the brain region that drives primal functions like eating, sexual behaviour, and aggression.
The BNST gaba neurons have a cell body and a long strand with branched synapses that transmit electrical signals into the lateral hypothalamus.
Stuber and his team wanted to stimulate those synapses by using an optogenetic technique, an involved process that would let him stimulate BNST cells simply by shining light on their synapses.
We have hypothesized that an interaction between CRF and NE systems within the BNST and/or CeA mediates stress-induced relapse.
Consistent with the effects of CRF receptor manipulations in the BNST, it was recently shown that blockade of NE receptors in the BNST also interferes in stress-induced relapse (18), a result that indirectly supports the idea that an interaction between NE and CRF systems in the BNST may mediate the effects of stress on relapse.
Pharmacological stimulation or blockade of CRF receptors in the BNST could mimic or block, respectively, the effects of CRF released either from cells intrinsic to this structure, or from CRF cells projecting from the CeA (see Figure 1).
Therefore, this review will focus on basic mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in BNST and striamm subregions as well as the effects of acute and chronic ethanol exposure on such plasticity.
Briefly, dysregulation of activity in the central nucleus of the amygdala is thought to alter output to the BNST.
In this context, the BNST is of particular interest, because it not only influences striatal function but is also related to addiction and responsivity to alcohol as well as to relapse.
The BNST is of particular interest, in that it receives inputs from all of the major limbic stress-integrative structures (CeA, MeA, vSUB, IL, and PL) (Cullinan et al.
The BNST also is positioned to integrate information on chronic stress.