The striatum, the inner part of the brain, is considered essential for decision making and the development of various addictions. With the methods used in mouse models and to map cell types and brain tissue.
Focusing on the characterization of patches and matrix compartments; Genetic labeling of neurons that express the opioid receptor mu reveals the identity of neuron subtypes and also establishes spatial markers for the identification of subparts in the striatum.
“Our map forms the basis for a new understanding of possibly the most important brain network for decision-making,” said Dr. Meletis said.
The results provide the first demonstration of molecular codes that divide the striatum into three main levels of classification: a spatial organization, a patch matrix and a specific cell-type organization.
“With this new knowledge, we can now begin to analyze the function of different types of nerve cells in different molecularly defined regions,” said Dr. Meletis said.
“This is the first step to directly define the role of networks in decision making and addiction control with the help of optogenetics.”
The development of the new Salem map is described in an article in the journal Cell Reports.