Document Type


Publication Date



Dopamine receptor stimulation is critical for heroin-conditioned immunomodulation; however, it is unclear whether the ventral tegmental area (VTA) contributes to this phenomenon. Hence, rats received repeated pairings of heroin with placement into a distinct environmental context. At test, they were re-exposed to the previously heroin-paired environment followed by systemic lipopolysaccharide treatment to induce an immune response. Bilateral GABA agonist-induced neural inactivation of the anterior, but not the posterior VTA, prior to context re-exposure inhibited the ability of the heroin-paired environment to suppress peripheral nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-α expression, suggesting a role for the anterior VTA in heroin-conditioned immunomodulation.


Originally published as:

Hutson, L. W., Szczytkowski-Thomson, J. L., Saurer, T. B., Lebonville, C., Fuchs, R. A., & Lysle, D. T. (2014). Region-specific contribution of the ventral tegmental area to heroin-induced conditioned immunomodulation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 38, 118–124.

Included in

Psychology Commons