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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Dopamine D-2-like receptors modulate freezing response, but not the activation of HPA axis, during the expression of conditioned fear

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de Oliveira, Amanda R. ; Reimer, Adriano E. ; Reis, Fernando M. C. V. ; Brandao, Marcus L.
Total Authors: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: Experimental Brain Research; v. 235, n. 2, p. 429-436, FEB 2017.
Web of Science Citations: 6

Considering the complexity of aversive information processing and defensive response expression, a combined action of stress modulators may be required for an optimal performance during threatening situations. Dopamine is now recognized as one of the most active modulators underlying states of fear and anxiety. On the other hand, activation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, which leads to the release of corticosterone in rodents, has been considered a key part of the stress response. The current study is an extension of prior work investigating modulatory effects of dopamine and corticosterone on conditioned fear expression. We have showed that corticosterone, acting through mineralocorticoid receptors in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), upregulates dopaminergic system in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), enabling the expression of conditioned freezing response. The novel question addressed here is whether VTA-BLA dopaminergic signaling is necessary for increases in corticosterone during conditioned fear expression. Using site-specific treatment with D-2-like agonist quinpirole (VTA) and D-2-like antagonist sulpiride (BLA), we evaluated freezing and plasma corticosterone in rats exposed to a light used as aversive conditioned stimulus (CS). Intra-VTA quinpirole and intra-BLA sulpiride significantly decreased freezing expression in the conditioned fear test, but this anxiolytic-like effect of the dopaminergic drugs was not associated with changes in plasma corticosterone concentrations. Altogether, data suggest that interferences with the ability of the CS to activate the dopaminergic VTA-BLA pathway reduce the expression of freezing, but activation of the HPA axis seems to occur upstream of the recruitment of dopaminergic mechanisms in conditioned fear states. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 16/04620-1 - Dopamine and neurokinins in the mediation of the sensorimotor gating of fear and anxiety
Grantee:Marcus Lira Brandão
Support type: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 15/20487-7 - Fear extinction in an obsessive-compulsive disorder animal model: influence of sex differences and estrous cycle
Grantee:Adriano Edgar Reimer
Support type: Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor