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Behav Neural Biol. 1994 May;61(3):242-50.

Intra-amygdala infusion of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist AP5 impairs acquisition but not performance of discriminated approach to an appetitive CS.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, England.

Abstract

The present experiments investigated the effects of blocking glutamate transmission in the amygdala on the learning and subsequent performance of a discriminated approach response to food, as well as on locomotor activity and a test of neophobia to food. In the appetitive conditioning experiment, three separate groups of rats received intra-amygdala infusions of PBS (phosphate-buffered saline) or 1.0 or 3.0 nmol of AP5, an antagonist at the NMDA glutamate receptor subtype, immediately before each conditioning session. The effects of AP5 on the performance of the discriminated approach response were tested in a fourth group of animals. AP5 dose-dependently impaired the discriminated approach response during the acquisition of the stimulus-reward association but had no effect on the performance of this response after this association was learned. These results suggest that glutamate transmission in the amygdala at the NMDA glutamate receptor subtype is important in the learning process. In separate experiments, intra-amygdala AP5 increased locomotor activity and attenuated the neophobia to food in a novel environment by increasing approaches to the food. Together, these findings parallel the effects of lesions to the basolateral amygdala. In addition, the specific effects on learning are consistent with the hypothesis that NMDA-receptor-mediated LTP underlies specific forms of learning within the amygdala.

PMID:
7915108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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