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Behav Neurosci. 2007 Aug;121(4):721-31.

The role of dorsal hippocampus and basolateral amygdala NMDA receptors in the acquisition and retrieval of context and contextual fear memories.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.


The authors used 3-phase context preexposure facilitation methodology to study the contribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in dorsal hippocampus (DH) and the basal lateral region of the amygdala (BLA) to (a) acquisition of the context memory, (b) retrieval of the context memory, (c) acquisition of context-shock association, and (d) retrieval of the context-shock association. The NMDA receptor antagonist D-2-amino-5 phosphonopentanoic acid (D-AP5) was injected into either the DH or BLA prior to (a) the context preexposure phase, (b) the immediate shock phase, or (c) the test for contextual fear. Antagonizing NMDA receptors in the DH impaired the acquisition of the context memory but did not affect its retrieval or retrieval of the fear memory. Antagonizing NMDA receptors with D-AP5 in the BLA impaired acquisition of the context-shock association but had no effect on the expression of fear. However, both DL-AP5 and L-AP5 reduced the expression of fear when they were injected into the amygdala prior to testing for contextual fear.

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