Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dopamine gates LTP in lateral amygdala

Bissiere, S., Humeau, Y., & Luthi, A. (June 2003). Dopamine gates LTP induction in lateral amygdala by suppressing feedforward inhibition. Nature Neuroscience, 6, 6, 587-591.

It has been known that both long-term potentiation (LTP) and concomitant activation of dopaminergic nerves to the amygdala underlie the acquisition of fear conditioning. In fact, dopamine is known to be released in the amygdala during stress and intra-amygdala injection of dopamine receptor antagonists prevents fear conditioning. This study investigated the mechanisms supporting this and showed how dopamine could modulate fear conditioning by modulating inhibitory synaptic transmission within the amygdala. Specifically, D2 dopamine receptors could enable the induction of LTP by suppressing feedforward inhibition from local inhibitory interneurons.

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