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In a study on rodents, investigators from the National Institute on Drug Abuse used tracers to confirm that the reward pathways started with glutamate cells in the dorsal raphe nucleus, which connect to dopamine cells in the ventral tegmental area, which eventually lead to the nucleus accumbens, a brain structure important to reward, pleasure, and motivation.
23] Adaptations in adenylyl cyclase activities have been noted in several brain regions, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) areas (which are critical for opioid drug reinforcement), and in the locus coeruleus and dorsal raphe nucleus which are critical for opioid withdrawal.
31-33] CFS also induced c-Fos expression in the basolateral complex, locus coeruleus, and dorsal raphe nucleus, [31,34] and treatment with citalopram attenuated contextual CFS-induced c-Fos expression in the basolateral complex.