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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Nov;125:202-10. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.09.010. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

d-Cycloserine reduces context specificity of sexual extinction learning.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK, The Netherlands; Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Psychosomatic Gynaecology & Sexology, VRSP, Rijnsburgerweg 10, Zone PG4-Z, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.brom@lumc.nl.
2
Department of Sexology and Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: e.t.laan@amc.uva.nl.
3
Department Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Weesperplein 4, 1018 XA Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: W.T.A.M.Everaerd@uva.nl.
4
Institute of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: spinhoven@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
5
Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Gynaecology, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.b.m.z.trimbos@lumc.nl.
6
Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Psychosomatic Gynaecology & Sexology, VRSP, Rijnsburgerweg 10, Zone PG4-Z, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: s.both@lumc.nl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

d-Cycloserine (DCS) enhances extinction processes in animals. Although classical conditioning is hypothesized to play a pivotal role in the aetiology of appetitive motivation problems, no research has been conducted on the effect of DCS on the reduction of context specificity of extinction in human appetitive learning, while facilitation hereof is relevant in the context of treatment of problematic reward-seeking behaviors.

METHODS:

Female participants were presented with two conditioned stimuli (CSs) that either predicted (CS+) or did not predict (CS-) a potential sexual reward (unconditioned stimulus (US); genital vibrostimulation). Conditioning took place in context A and extinction in context B. Subjects received DCS (125mg) or placebo directly after the experiment on day 1 in a randomized, double-blind, between-subject fashion (Placebo n=31; DCS n=31). Subsequent testing for CS-evoked conditioned responses (CRs) in both the conditioning (A) and the extinction context (B) took place 24h later on day 2. Drug effects on consolidation were then assessed by comparing the recall of sexual extinction memories between the DCS and the placebo groups.

RESULTS:

Post learning administration of DCS facilitates sexual extinction memory consolidation and affects extinction's fundamental context specificity, evidenced by reduced conditioned genital and subjective sexual responses, relative to placebo, for presentations of the reward predicting cue 24h later outside the extinction context.

CONCLUSIONS:

DCS makes appetitive extinction memories context-independent and prevents the return of conditioned response. NMDA receptor glycine site agonists may be potential pharmacotherapies for the prevention of relapse of appetitive motivation disorders with a learned component.

KEYWORDS:

Consolidation; DCS; Extinction memory; Human sexual conditioning; NMDA-agonism

PMID:
26456134
DOI:
10.1016/j.nlm.2015.09.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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