Astrocyte-neuron interaction in the dorsal striatum-pallidal circuits and alcohol-seeking behaviors

Sa Ik Hong, Seungwoo Kang, Matthew Baker, Doo Sup Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In the striatum, two main types of GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs), denoted striatonigral (or direct-pathway MSNs, dMSNs) and striatopallidal neurons (indirect-pathway MSNs, iMSNs), form circuits with distinct pallidal nuclei, which sends “GO” or “NO-GO” signals through the thalamus. These striatopallidal circuits evaluate and execute reward-seeking and taking behaviors. Especially, the dorsal striatum can be further divided into the dorsomedial striatum (DMS, equivalent to caudate in primates and humans) and dorsolateral striatum (DLS, equivalent to putamen), which orchestrates goal-directed and habitual reward-seeking and taking behaviors, respectively. Using optogenetics, chemogenetics and in vivo calcium imaging technologies combined with electrophysiology and digitalized behavior phenotyping, recent studies have revealed cell-, circuit- and context-specific functions of these microcircuits in addictive behaviors. Also, region-specific astrocytes regulate the homeostatic activities of the dMSNs and iMSNs as well as the downstream circuits, which determine the net balance of cortico-striato-pallidal activities to the thalamic neurons. This review will summarize the recent progress of striatopallidal circuits focusing on astrocyte-neuron interaction and, reward- and alcohol-seeking behaviors. Our review will also discuss the translational and clinical implications of these microcircuit studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108759
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • Addiction
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Globus pallidus
  • Goal-directed
  • Habits
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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