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AbstractThe anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been implicated in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More specifically, an appropriate balance of excitatory and inhibitory activity in the ACC may be critical for the control of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and sustained attention which are centrally affected in ADHD. Hence, pharmacological augmentation of parvalbumin- (PV) or somatostatin-positive (Sst) inhibitory ACC interneurons could be a potential treatment strategy. We, therefore, tested whether stimulation of Gq-protein-coupled receptors (GqPCRs) in these interneurons could improve attention or impulsivity assessed with the 5-choice-serial reaction-time task in male mice. When challenging impulse control behaviourally or pharmacologically, activation of the chemogenetic GqPCR hM3Dq in ACC PV-cells caused a selective decrease of active erroneous—i.e. incorrect and premature—responses, indicating improved attentional and impulse control. When challenging attention, in contrast, omissions were increased, albeit without extension of reward latencies or decreases of attentional accuracy. These effects largely resembled those of the ADHD medication atomoxetine. Additionally, they were mostly independent of each other within individual animals. GqPCR activation in ACC PV-cells also reduced hyperactivity. In contrast, if hM3Dq was activated in Sst-interneurons, no improvement of impulse control was observed, and a reduction of incorrect responses was only induced at high agonist levels and accompanied by reduced motivational drive. These results suggest that the activation of GqPCRs expressed specifically in PV-cells of the ACC may be a viable strategy to improve certain aspects of sustained attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity in ADHD.

Original publication




Journal article


Translational Psychiatry


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date