The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)
The External Globus Pallidus: Bidirectional Control Over Anxiety-Related Behavior Mediated by CRFR1
Author ORCID Identifier
Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Shane Cunha, Ph.D
Ruth Heidelberger, MD, Ph.D
Neal Waxham, Ph.D
Vasanthi Jayaraman, Ph.D
Qingchun Tong, Ph.D.
THE EXTERNAL GLOBUS PALLIDUS: BIDIRECTIONAL CONTROL OVER ANXIETY-RELATED BEHAVIOR MEDIATED BY CRFR1
Albert Lee Joseph Hunt, Jr., B.S.
Advisory Professor: Shane Cunha, Ph.D.
Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 (CRFR1), the principle receptor responsible for the anxiogenic activity of the stress peptide CRF, is abundantly expressed in the external globus pallidus (GPe) raising the question whether activity in the GPe is altered in response to stress. I show that CRFR1 expressing neurons are of the “prototypic” subtype of GPe neurons. I provide evidence of novel circuits from CRF neurons in stress-responsive nuclei, including the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), that provide excitatory input to the GPe. Additionally, I show that activation of CRFR1 neurons using Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) increases anxiety-related behavior and movement. I show that anxiety-related behavior and movement are decreased in response to activation of Npas1+ neurons, a class of neuron in the GPe that are primarily of the “arkypallidal” subtype. My evidence indicates that CRF neurons may project to the GPe to modulate anxiety-related behavior and movement through differential synaptic input to distinct GPe neuronal subtypes. CRF to GPe circuits provide possible therapeutic avenues to treat anxiety disorders comorbid with basal ganglia neurodegenerative diseases that cause aberrant activity in the GPe such as Parkinson’s disease.
GPe, external globus pallidus, CRF, CRFR1, anxiety, behavior, mice, parkinson's disease, psychiatric