A high level of activity in a rather poorly studied environment of certain brain cells is a key factor in the occurrence of aggression – this is indicated by a new study of optogenetics specialists from the Karolinsk Institute in Sweden. This new study deals with a relatively special group of neurons located in the hypothalamus, a poorly studied region of the brain that has fairly well preserved the basic features of our primitive ancestors. Using modern means of optogenetics, specialists were able to inhibit and act on these cells, achieving stable emission of aggression in experimental mice.
An article with this study has already been published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, where project managers point out the main features of the technology they use – they used a certain set of tools for sequential optogenetics and found that in the process of inhibiting these hypothalamic cells, mice experience a much higher level of stress and as a consequence, aggression. In addition, they performed a parallel experiment, alternately launching new males into the cage with the mice – scanning showed that the desire for competition between them also gave rise to a higher level of production of these brain cells.
In addition, thanks to the same notorious optogenetics, specialists found that a high increase in the development of these cells leads to additional stimulation of other parts of the brain, which clearly indicates an exact relationship.
Thus, a card scan of the activity of hypothalamic cells has demonstrated that the level of aggression can be influenced quite easily, however, specialists at this stage of the study are interested in creating a more comprehensive and effective model for studying this relationship. They intend to build a sequential scientific model, on the basis of which it will be possible to continue to study all aspects related to the activation and functioning of hypothalamic cells.