May 18, 2021

Dorsal premammillary projection to periaqueductal gray controls escape vigor from innate and conditioned threats

<p>Escape from threats has paramount importance for survival. However, it is unknown if a single circuit controls escape from innate and conditioned threats. The hypothalamic dorsal premammillary nucleus (PMd) may control escape, as it is activated by escape-inducing threats and projects to the region most implicated in flight, the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG). We show that in mice cholecystokinin (cck)-expressing PMd cells are activated during escape, but not other defensive behaviors. PMd-cck ensemble activity can also predict future escape. Furthermore, PMd inhibition decreases escape speed from both innate and conditioned threats. Inhibition of the PMd-cck projection to the dlPAG also decreased escape speed. Lastly, human fMRI data show that a posterior hypothalamic-to-dlPAG pathway increased activity during exposure to aversive images, indicating that a similar pathway may possibly have a related role in humans. Our data identify the PMd as a central node of the escape network.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
<p> <a href="http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/2021.05.02.442354v1?rss=1">Read More</a></p>

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