J Wahis, D Kerspern, F Althammer, A Baudon, S Goyon et al
INCI, CNRS UPR3212 8, Allée du Général Rouvillois, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Oxytocin orchestrates social and emotional behaviors through modulation of neural circuits in brain structures such as the central amygdala (CeA). The long-standing dogma is that oxytocin signaling in the central nervous system occurs exclusively via direct actions on neurons. However, several findings over the last decades showed that astrocytes actively participate in the modulation of neuronal circuits. Here, we investigate the degree of astrocytes’ involvement in oxytocin functions. Using astrocyte’ specific gain and loss of function approaches, we demonstrate that CeA astrocytes not only directly respond to oxytocin, but are actually necessary for its effects on neuronal circuits and ultimately behavior. Our work identifies astrocytes as a crucial cellular substrate underlying the promotion of a positive emotional state by oxytocin. These results further corroborate that astrocytes are key regulators of neuronal circuits activity by responding to specific neuropeptidergic inputs, and opens up new perspectives to understand how neuromodulators gate brain functions.
BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Von Frey Filaments (Bio-VF-M),Rodent pincher - analgesia meter (BIO-RP-M)