One-way avoidance learning in female inbred Roman high- and low-avoidance rats: Effects of bilateral electrolytic central amygdala lesions

Ignacio Morón, Ma José Gómez, Ma Dolores Escarabajal, Lourdes de la Torre, Antonio Cándido, Antonio Maldonado, Adolf Tobeña, Alberto Fernández-Teruel, Carmen Torres

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Female inbred Roman high- (RHA-I) and low- (RLA-I) avoidance rats show differences in one-way avoidance learning only when the task implies a highly aversive situation (1. s in the " non-shock" -associated safe compartment, as opposed to 30. s). These between-strain differences seem to depend on strain differences in emotionality, given that: (i) they are abolished by IP administration of the GABAergic anxiolytic diazepam (Torres et al. [32]) and (ii) avoidance responding appears to correlate with cellular density in the basolateral amygdala (Gómez et al. [9]). In the present study we further analyzed whether the implication of the amygdala in one-way avoidance depends on the experimental situation aversiveness (30. s vs. 1. s in safety). After bilateral electrolytic lesions (1. mA; 20. s) of the central amygdala (CeA), RHA-I and RLA-I rats were exposed to a danger compartment (where they received a warning signal - 88. dB tone - followed by a 1. mA electric foot-shock), and a safe compartment, where these stimuli were not presented. The number of trials needed to reach 5 consecutive avoidance responses was used as dependent variable. Sham lesioned RLA-I rats showed poorer performance than sham lesioned RHA-I rats only under the 1. s condition. The CeA lesion disrupted the avoidance response only in 1. s groups, abolishing the between-strain performance differences observed under this condition. These results indicate the implication of CeA in one-way avoidance performance, and suggest a reciprocal modulation of fear and reinforcement (i.e. fear relief) in this form of aversive learning. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-36
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume474
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance
  • Central amygdala
  • Electrolytic lesion
  • Roman high- and low-avoidance rats
  • Safety

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