Enhanced retention in the passive-avoidance task by 5-HT(1A) receptor blockade is not associated with increased activity of the central nucleus of the amygdala.
The effect of blockade of 5-HT1A receptors was investigated on (1). retention in a mildly aversive passive-avoidance task, and (2). spontaneous single-unit activity of central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) neurons, a brain site implicated in modulation of retention. Systemic administration of the selective 5-HT1A antagonist NAN-190 immediately after training markedly-and dose-dependently-facilitated retention in the passive-avoidance task; enhanced retention was time-dependent and was not attributable to variations in wattages of shock received by animals. Systemic administration of NAN-190 had mixed effects on spontaneous single-unit activity of CeA neurons recorded extracellularly in vivo; microiontophoretic application of 5-HT, in contrast, consistently and potently suppressed CeA activity. The present findings-that 5-HT1A receptor blockade by NAN-190 (1). enhances retention in the passive-avoidance task, and (2). does not consistently increase spontaneous neuronal activity of the CeA-provide evidence that a serotonergic system tonically inhibits modulation of retention in the passive-avoidance task through activation of the 5-HT1A receptor subtype at brain sites located outside the CeA.
Schneider, AM; Wilkins, E; Firestone, A; Everbach, EC; Naylor, JC; Simson, PE
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