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Learn Mem. 2009 Nov 19;16(12):756-60. doi: 10.1101/lm.1547909. Print 2009 Dec.

Prelimbic cortex bdnf knock-down reduces instrumental responding in extinction.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06508, USA;


Anatomically selective medial prefrontal cortical projections regulate the extinction of stimulus-reinforcement associations, but the mechanisms underlying extinction of an instrumental response for reward are less well-defined and may involve structures that regulate goal-directed action. We show brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf) knock-down in the prelimbic, but not orbitofrontal, cortex accelerates the initial extinction of instrumental responding for food and reduces striatal BDNF protein. When knock-down mice were provided with alternative response options to readily obtain reinforcement, extinction of the previously reinforced response was unaffected, consistent with the hypothesis that the prelimbic cortex promotes instrumental action, particularly when reinforcement is uncertain or unavailable.

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