BAZ1B in nucleus accumbens regulates reward-related behaviors in response to distinct emotional stimuli

Hao Sheng Sun, Jennifer A. Martin, Craig T. Werner, Zi Jun Wang, Diane M. Damez-Werno, Kimberly N. Scobie, Ning Yi Shao, Caroline Dias, Jacqui Rabkin, Ja Wook Koo, Amy M. Gancarz, Ezekiell A. Mouzon, Rachael L. Neve, Li Shen, David M. Dietz, Eric J. Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling proteins are being implicated increasingly in the regulation of complex behaviors, including models of several psychiatric disorders. Here, we demonstrate that Baz1b, an accessory subunit of the ISWI family of chromatin remodeling complexes, is upregulated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, in both chronic cocaine-treated mice and mice that are resilient to chronic social defeat stress. In contrast, no regulation is seen in mice that are susceptible to this chronic stress. Viral-mediated overexpression of Baz1b, along with its associated subunit Smarca5, in mouse NAc is sufficient to potentiate both rewarding responses to cocaine, including cocaine self-administration, and resilience to chronic social defeat stress. However, despite these similar, proreward behavioral effects, genome-wide mapping of BAZ1B in NAc revealed mostly distinct subsets of genes regulated by these chromatin remodeling proteins after chronic exposure to either cocaine or social stress. Together, these findings suggest important roles for BAZ1B and its associated chromatin remodeling complexes in NAc in the regulation of reward behaviors to distinct emotional stimuli and highlight the stimulus-specific nature of the actions of these regulatory proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3954-3961
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number14
StatePublished - 6 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Baz1b
  • Chromatin
  • Depression
  • Epigenetics
  • Remodeler


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