Cassie Kooiker and Tallie Z. Baram’s paper was highlighted in Science. Kooiker is a CNLM 2021 Jared M Roberts Memorial Graduate Student award recipient. An excerpt from Science is below.
Early life traumas result in increased activation of neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) in mice and increase the risk of developing mood and substance use disorders. To prevent these negative consequences, a clear understanding of the brain areas affected by early traumas is critical. Kooiker et al. used rodent models of early life adversity and genetic tagging to show that neurons expressing the receptor for the stress-related peptide corticotropin-releasing hormone in the PVT are overactivated in mice that experienced adversities compared with normally reared mice. Therefore, the PVT, which is known to be involved in reward circuits, is also critical for encoding adverse experiences occurring in the early postnatal period.
Read Kooiker’s full article titled, Genetic tagging uncovers a robust, selective activation of the thalamic paraventricular nucleus by adverse experiences early in life