Fear Conditioning Potentiates Synaptic Transmission onto Long-Range Projection Neurons in the Lateral Subdivision of Central Amygdala

Penzo, M. A., Robert, V., Li, B. (2014) Fear Conditioning Potentiates Synaptic Transmission onto Long-Range Projection Neurons in the Lateral Subdivision of Central Amygdala. Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (7). pp. 2432-7. ISSN 0270-6474

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URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24523533
DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.4166-13.2014

Abstract

Recent studies indicate that the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala (CeL) is essential for fear learning. Specifically, fear conditioning induces cell-type-specific synaptic plasticity in CeL neurons that is required for the storage of fear memories. The CeL also controls fear expression by gating the activity of the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM), the canonical amygdala output to areas that mediate defensive responses. In addition to the connection with CeM, the CeL sends long-range projections to innervate extra-amygdala areas. However, the long-range projection CeL neurons have not been well characterized, and their role in fear regulation is unknown. Here we show in mice that a subset of CeL neurons directly project to the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) and the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, two brain areas implicated in defensive behavior. These long-range projection CeL neurons are predominantly somatostatin-positive (SOM(+)) neurons, which can directly inhibit PAG neurons, and some of which innervate both the PAG and paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus. Notably, fear conditioning potentiates excitatory synaptic transmission onto these long-range projection CeL neurons. Thus, our study identifies a subpopulation of SOM(+) CeL neurons that may contribute to fear learning and regulate fear expression independent of CeM.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organism description > animal behavior > fear
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > neurons
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > neurons
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > neurons

organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell functions > synaptic transmission
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Li lab
Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 21:17
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2015 20:49
PMCID: PMC3921418
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/29545

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