Title: The emergence of a circuit model for addiction: synaptic mechanisms & individual vulnerability

Speaker: Christian LÜSCHER(University of Geneva, Switzerland)


Addiction is defined as compulsive drug consumption despite all negative consequences. I will argue that the development of addiction is triggered by the increase of dopamine levels in the mesolimbic system, evoking specific forms of synaptic plasticity, alter circuit function and eventually cause drug-adaptive behavior. I will also review induction and expression mechanisms of drug-evoked synaptic plasticity of glutamate and GABA transmission. Specific reversal protocols are then used to establish a link of causality with adaptive behavior. Finally, I will propose a novel addiction model based on optogenetic dopamine neuron self-stimulation to ask the question of the neural substrate for individual vulnerability.

Host: Prof. Lin Lu