Nat Commun. 2022 Dec 3
Jing-Jing Yan, Xiao-Jing Ding, Ting He, Ai-Xiao Chen, Wen Zhang, Zi-Xian Yu, Xin-Yu Cheng, Chuan-Yao Wei, Qiao-Dan Hu, Xiao-Yao Liu, Yan-Li Zhang, Mengge He, Zhi-Yong Xie, Xi Zha, Chun Xu, Peng Cao, Haohong Li, and Xiao-Hong Xu
Products used in the paper Details Operation
AAV vector packaging AAV- CAG-DIOGtACR1 (Serotype 2/5, titer 5.00 × 10^12 vg/mL) was purchased from PackGene Biotech Co, Guangzhou. Request Quote

Research Field: CNS

Keywords: Limbic system, Neural circuits, Inhibition

AAV Serotype: AAV2/5

Dose: 60 − 200 nl of the virus was injected into the target brain site with a home-made nano-liter injector (Cat# SMO-10, Xinglin LifeTech) at a flow rate of ~ 70 nl/min

Targeted organ: brain

Animal or cell line strain: adult males aged between 8–30 weeks. Wildtype males of C57BL/6 J


Behavioral observations suggest a connection between anxiety and predator defense, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. Here we examine the role of the anterior hypothalamic nucleus (AHN), a node in the predator defense network, in anxiety-like behaviors. By in vivo recordings in male mice, we find that activity of AHN GABAergic (AHNVgat+) neurons shows individually stable increases when animals approach unfamiliar objects in an open field (OF) or when they explore the open-arm of an elevated plus-maze (EPM). Moreover, object-evoked AHN activity overlap with predator cue responses and correlate with the object and open-arm avoidance. Crucially, exploration-triggered optogenetic inhibition of AHNVgat+ neurons reduces object and open-arm avoidance. Furthermore, retrograde viral tracing identifies the ventral subiculum (vSub) of the hippocampal formation as a significant input to AHNVgat+ neurons in driving avoidance behaviors in anxiogenic situations. Thus, convergent activation of AHNVgat+ neurons serves as a shared mechanism between anxiety and predator defense to promote behavioral avoidance.

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