Dopamine (DA) regulates emotional and motivational behavior through the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Changes in DA mesolimbic neurotransmission have been found to modify behavioral responses to various environmental stimuli associated with reward behaviors. Psychostimulants, drugs of abuse, and natural reward such as food can cause substantial synaptic modifications to the mesolimbic DA system. Recent studies using optogenetics and DREADDs, together with neuron-specific or circuit-specific genetic manipulations have improved our understanding of DA signaling in the reward circuit, and provided a means to identify the neural substrates of complex behaviors such as drug addiction and eating disorders. This review focuses on the role of the DA system in drug addiction and food motivation, with an overview of the role of D1 and D2 receptors in the control of reward-associated behaviors.
Keywords: dopamine, dopamine receptor, drug addiction, food reward, reward circuit
Citation: Baik J-H (2013) Dopamine signaling in reward-related behaviors. Front. Neural Circuits 7:152. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00152
Received: 01 July 2013; Paper pending published: 15 July 2013;
Accepted: 11 September 2013; Published online: 11 October 2013.
Edited by:G. J. Augustine, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
Reviewed by:Joung-Hun Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea
Copyright © 2013 Baik. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
*Correspondence: Ja-Hyun Baik, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Life Sciences, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, South Korea e-mail: email@example.com