Norepinephrine receptors have been studied in emotion, memory, and attention. However, the role of alpha1-adrenergic receptors in fear conditioning, a major model of emotional learning, is poorly understood. We examined the effect of terazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, on cued fear conditioning. Systemic or intra-lateral amygdala terazosin delivered before conditioning enhanced short- and long-term memory. Terazosin delivered after conditioning did not affect consolidation. In vitro, terazosin impaired lateral amygdala inhibitory postsynaptic currents leading to facilitation of excitatory postsynaptic currents and long-term potentiation. Since alpha1 blockers are prescribed for hypertension and posttraumatic stress disorder, these results may have important clinical implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience