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Learn Mem. 2009 Jun 24;16(7):421-5. doi: 10.1101/lm.1444909. Print 2009 Jul.

DHPG activation of group 1 mGluRs in BLA enhances fear conditioning.

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Department of Psychology, Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA. JRudy@Clipr.Colorado.


Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors are known to play an important role in both synaptic plasticity and memory. We show that activating these receptors prior to fear conditioning by infusing the group 1 mGluR agonist, (R.S.)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), into the basolateral region of the amygdala (BLA) of adult Sprague-Dawley rats enhances freezing normally supported by a weak footshock. This effect of DHPG was blocked when it was co-infused with either the general group 1 mGluR1 antagonist, (R,S)-1-aminoindan-1,5 dicarboxylic acid (AIDA), or with the selective mGluR5 antagonist, 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP). These results support previous findings by Rodrigues and colleagues that mGluR5s in the lateral region of the amygdala make an import contribution to fear conditioning. More importantly, they support the general ideas embedded in the concept of metaplasticity, as per Abraham, and the synaptic-tagging hypothesis per Frey and Morris-that the processes that specify the content of experience can be experimentally separated from those needed to acquire the memory.

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