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Neuroscience. 2006 Aug 11;141(1):35-45. Epub 2006 May 2.

Memory-dependent c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens and extended amygdala following the expression of a conditioned taste aversive in the rat.

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Department of Behavioral Physiology, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, 1-2 Yamada-oka, Suita 565-0871, Japan.


Retrieving the memory of a conditioned taste aversion involves multiple forebrain areas. Although the amygdala clearly plays a role in the expression of a conditioned taste aversion, critical regions, downstream from the amygdala remain to be defined. To this end, Fos immunoreactivity was used in the rat to explore forebrain structures associated with retrieval that have an anatomical relationship with the amygdala. The results showed that expression of a conditioned taste aversion to 0.5 M sucrose elicited neuronal activation in the nucleus accumbens and in a complex of structures collectively referred to as the extended amygdala. The posterior hypothalamus and parasubthalamic nucleus, which receive inputs from the extended amygdala, were also activated upon re-exposure to the sucrose conditioned stimulus. Fos immunoreactivity did not increase in these regions in response to an innately aversive tastant, quinine hydrochloride (conditioned stimulus control), nor to LiCl-induced visceral stimulation in unconditioned animals (unconditioned stimulus control). In addition, these regions did not respond to the sucrose conditioned stimulus in sham-conditioned animals. These results suggest that conditioned and innately aversive tastes are differentially processed in the forebrain circuitry that includes the nucleus accumbens and extended amygdala.

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