Psychiatric disease often produces symptoms that have divergent effects on neural activity. For example, in drug dependence, dysfunctional value-based decision-making and compulsive-like actions have been linked to hypo- and hyper-activity of orbital frontal cortex (OFC)-basal ganglia circuits, respectively, however, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here we show that alcohol dependence enhanced activity in OFC terminals in dorsal striatum (OFC-DS) associated with actions, but reduced activity of the same terminals during periods of outcome retrieval, corresponding with a loss of outcome control over decision-making. Disrupted OFC-DS terminal activity was due to a dysfunction of dopamine-type 1 receptors on spiny projection neurons (D1R SPNs) that resulted in increased retrograde endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling at OFC-D1R SPN synapses reducing OFC-DS transmission. Blocking CB1 receptors restored OFC-DS activity in vivo and rescued outcome-based control over decision-making. These findings demonstrate a circuit-, synapse-, and computation specific mechanism gating OFC activity following the induction of alcohol dependence.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience