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Neuropeptides. 2007 Dec;41(6):453-63. Epub 2007 Sep 27.

Cholecystokinin enhances GABAergic inhibitory transmission in basolateral amygdala.

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Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The neuropeptide cholecystokinin (CCK) is anxiogenic in studies of human and animal behavior. As the amygdala formation has been implicated in generation of emotional states such as anxiety, we tested the effect of CCK on spontaneous synaptic events in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) using whole cell patch recordings in rat brain slice preparation. We found that CCK increased the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (sIPSPs) and currents (sIPSCs). This effect was blocked by the fast sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX), indicating that the CCK effect is likely mediated by direct excitation of GABAergic interneurons. The CCK(B) receptor subtype antagonist, CR2945, blocked the CCK effect, while CCK4, a specific CCK(B) agonist, increased sIPSC frequency. We hypothesize that these actions may underlie the anxiogenic effects of CCK observed in behavioral studies.

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