ERIC Number: EJ882543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Synaptic Plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Coordinately Regulate ERK-Driven Gene Expression in the Lateral Amygdala and in the Auditory Thalamus Following Pavlovian Fear Conditioning
Ota, Kristie T.; Monsey, Melissa S.; Wu, Melissa S.; Young, Grace J.; Schafe, Glenn E.
Learning & Memory, v17 n4 p221-235 Apr 2010
We have recently hypothesized that NO-cGMP-PKG signaling in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) during auditory fear conditioning coordinately regulates ERK-driven transcriptional changes in both auditory thalamic (MGm/PIN) and LA neurons that serve to promote pre- and postsynaptic alterations at thalamo-LA synapses, respectively. In the present series of experiments, we show that N-methyl-Daspartate receptor (NMDAR)-driven synaptic plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG signaling in the LA regulate the training-induced expression of ERK and the ERK-driven immediate early genes (IEGs) Arc/Arg3.1, c-Fos, and EGR-1 in the LA and the MGm/PIN. Rats receiving intra-LA infusion of the NR2B selective antagonist Ifenprodil, the NOS inhibitor 7-Ni, or the PKG inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS exhibited significant decreases in ERK activation and in the training-induced expression of all three IEGs in the LA and MGm/PIN while intra-LA infusion of the PKG activator 8-Br-cGMP had the opposite effect. Remarkably, those rats given intra-LA infusion of the membrane impermeable NO scavenger c-PTIO exhibited significant decreases in ERK activation and ERK-driven IEG expression in the MGm/PIN, but not in the LA. Together with our previous experiments, these results suggest that synaptic plasticity and the NO-cGMP-PKG signaling pathway promote fear memory consolidation, in part, by regulating ERK-driven transcription in both the LA and the MGm/PIN. They further suggest that synaptic plasticity in the LA during fear conditioning promotes ERK-driven transcription in MGm/PIN neurons via NO-driven "retrograde signaling."
Descriptors: Conditioning, Brain, Fear, Responses, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Animals, Neurological Organization, Memory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A