Factors that trigger emotional expression may be divided into two patterns according to the type of motivation, acquiring reward (pleasure) and avoiding aversion (punishment). Repeated exposure to certain external stimuli accompanied by aberrant motivation may produce psychiatric diseases such as bipolar disorder and addiction via dysregulation of the central nervous system. However, neurobiological underpinnings of such diseases have not been clarified, especially at the neuronal level. In the present study, plasma from rats undergoing intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) produced neurite outgrowth in PC12-variant cells (PC12m3). Stimulated PC12m3 cells also exhibited heightened activity of the p38 MAPK pathway. These findings indicate that reward states lead to not only morphological changes but also increases in p38 MAPK activity at the neuronal level in the central nervous system.
- Intracranial self-stimulation reward
- p38 MAPK pathway
- PC12-variant cells
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