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Behav Neurosci. 1990 Apr;104(2):264-7.

Picrotoxin enhances latent extinction of conditioned fear.

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Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine 92717.


Male CD1 mice received 20 pairings of tone and footshock (FS) or tone alone in an arm of a Y-maze on Day 1. On Day 2 either extinction (tone alone) or no extinction was followed immediately by saline or picrotoxin (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg ip). Nonextinguished groups received only saline or picrotoxin (1.0 mg/kg ip) on Day 2. Other groups received saline or picrotoxin (1.0 mg/kg) 2 hr after extinction. On Day 3 all mice were placed in the Y-maze (with doors to all 3 alleys open), and total alley entries during a 2-min test session were recorded. Day 1 FS training resulted in reduced alley entries during the test session. Day 2 extinction session significantly attenuated the effects of the FS training. Day 3 performance of mice given picrotoxin (1.0 but not 0.5 mg/kg) immediately postextinction was comparable to that of mice not given FS on Day 1. The findings suggest that picrotoxin enhanced extinction of conditioned fear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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