Comparative study of the effects of electrical stimulation in the nucleus accumbens, the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in rats with schedule-induced polydipsia
In the schedule-induced polydipsia model, hungry rats receiving a food pellet every minute will display excessive drinking behaviour (compulsive behaviour). We aimed 1) to evaluate if electrical stimulation in the nucleus accumbens (N ACC), the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD) or the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) can decrease water intake in the schedule-induced polydipsia model; 2) to compare water intake between these groups for different stimulation amplitudes; and 3) to compare the effect of low frequency (2 Hz) with high frequency (100 Hz) stimulation. Rats were randomly divided into four groups: electrode implanted in the 1) N ACC (n=7), 2) MD (n=8), 3) BST (n=8), or 4) a sham-operated control group (n=7). Postoperatively, each rat of group 1, 2 and 3 was randomly tested in the model using pulses with a frequency of 2 Hz and 100 Hz, each at an amplitude of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 mA, or without stimulation. Group 4 was tested 11 times without stimulation. Each day the rats were tested in random order. High-frequency electrical stimulation in all three brain areas decreased water intake significantly at an amplitude of 0.2 mA or higher, however, without differences between the brain areas. Based on these results, we expect a decrease in compulsions in patients suffering from treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder during electrical stimulation in the N ACC, the MD and the BST. However, we foresee no difference in energy consumption to decrease symptoms during electrical stimulation between these brain areas.