Chuen-Yu Chuang, S. Tsai, Shuo-Fu Chen
Nov 27, 2020
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Impulsive action can be measured using rat's responses on a differential reinforcement of low-rate-response (DRL) task in which performance may be varied between rats. Nevertheless, neurobiological profiles underlying the trait impulsivity of DRL behavior remain largely unknown. Here, in vivo non-invasive proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and Western blot assay were performed to assess neurobiological changes in the dorsal striatum (DS) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) in relation to individual differences in DRL behavior. A cohort of rats was subjected to acquire a DRL task over 14 daily sessions. High impulsive (HI) and low impulsive (LI) rats were screened by behavioral measures displaying a lower response efficiency and performing more nonreinforced responses in HI rats and vice versa. MRS measurements indicated that the HI group had a lower NAc glutamate (Glu) level than did the LI group, whereas no such difference was found in the other five metabolites in this area. Moreover, no intergroup difference was observed in any metabolite in the DS. The results of Western blot assay revealed that protein expressions of GluN1 (but not GluN2B) subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the DS and NAc were higher in the HI group than in the LI group. This inherent timing impulsivity was not attributed to risky behavioral propensity because both Hl and LI rats could acquire a risk-dependent choice. The findings of this study, supported by certain correlations among behavioral, brain imaging, and neuroreceptor indices, provide evidence of the neurobiological changes of striatal Glu underlying trait impulsive action of DRL behavior.