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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment retunes emotional valence in primate ventral striatum
Organization Unit
  • Benjamin Pasquereau
  • Guillaume Drui
  • Yosuke Saga
  • Augustin Richard
  • Mathilde Millot
  • Elise Météreau
  • Véronique Sgambato
  • Philippe Tobler
  • Léon Tremblay
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Neuropsychopharmacology
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0893-133X
Volume 46
Number 12
Page Range 2073 - 2082
Date 2021
Abstract Text Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used to treat psychiatric disorders with affective biases such as depression and anxiety. How SSRIs exert a beneficial action on emotions associated with life events is still unknown. Here we ask whether and how the effectiveness of the SSRI fluoxetine is underpinned by neural mechanisms in the ventral striatum. To address these issues, we studied the spiking activity of neurons in the ventral striatum of monkeys during an approach-avoidance task in which the valence assigned to sensory stimuli was manipulated. Neural responses to positive and negative events were measured before and during a 4-week treatment with fluoxetine. We conducted PET scans to confirm that fluoxetine binds within the ventral striatum at a therapeutic dose. In our monkeys, fluoxetine facilitated approach of rewards and avoidance of punishments. These beneficial effects were associated with changes in tonic and phasic activities of striatal neurons. Fluoxetine increased the spontaneous firing rate of striatal neurons and amplified the number of cells responding to rewards versus punishments, reflecting a drug-induced positive shift in the processing of emotionally valenced information. These findings reveal how SSRI treatment affects ventral striatum neurons encoding positive and negative valence and striatal signaling of emotional information. In addition to a key role in appetitive processing, our results shed light on the involvement of the ventral striatum in aversive processing. Together, the ventral striatum appears to play a central role in the action of SSRIs on emotion processing biases commonly observed in psychiatric disorders.
Free access at DOI
Digital Object Identifier 10.1038/s41386-021-00991-x
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Keywords Striatum, target validation