The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype mGluR5 has been shown to play a key role in the modulation of synaptic plasticity. The present experiments examined the function of mGluR5 in the circuitry underlying Pavlovian fear conditioning using neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioral techniques. First, we show using immunocytochemical and tract-tracing methods that mGluR5 is localized to dendritic shafts and spines in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) and is postsynaptic to auditory thalamic inputs. In electrophysiological experiments, we show that long-term potentiation at thalamic input synapses to the LA is impaired by bath application of a specific mGluR5 antagonist, 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl) -pyridine (MPEP), in vitro. Finally, we show that intraamygdala administration of MPEP dose-dependently impairs the acquisition, but not expression or consolidation, of auditory and contextual fear conditioning. Collectively, the results of this study indicate that mGluR5 in the LA plays a crucial role in fear conditioning and in plasticity at synapses involved in fear conditioning.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Jun 15 2002|
- Fear conditioning
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