Author: Léa Décarie-Spain1, Anna M R Hayes1, Logan Tierno Lauer1, Scott E Kanoski2
1 Human and Evolutionary Biology Section, Department of Biological Sciences, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, 3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.
2 Human and Evolutionary Biology Section, Department of Biological Sciences, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, 3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA; Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Southern California, 3641Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference/Journal: Semin Cell Dev Biol
Date published: 2023 Feb 16
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2023.02.004. , Word Count: 202
Survival requires the integration of external information and interoceptive cues to effectively guide advantageous behaviors, particularly foraging and other behaviors that promote energy acquisition and consumption. The vagus nerve acts as a critical relay between the abdominal viscera and the brain to convey metabolic signals. This review synthesizes recent findings from rodent models and humans revealing the impact of vagus nerve signaling from the gut on the control of higher-order neurocognitive domains, including anxiety, depression, reward motivation, and learning and memory. We propose a framework where meal consumption engages gastrointestinal tract-originating vagal afferent signaling that functions to alleviate anxiety and depressive-like states, while also promoting motivational and memory functions. These concurrent processes serve to favor the encoding of meal-relevant information into memory storage, thus facilitating future foraging behaviors. Modulation of these neurocognitive domains by vagal tone is also discussed in the context of pathological conditions, including the use of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, and dementia-associated memory impairments. Collectively, these findings highlight the contributions of gastrointestinal vagus nerve signaling to the regulation of neurocognitive processes that shape various adaptive behavioral responses.
Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Memory; Motivation; Reward; Vagus nerve stimulation.
PMID: 36803834 DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2023.02.004