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Sample records for amygdala

  1. Optogenetic dissection of amygdala functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eLalumiere

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies of amygdala functioning have occupied a significant place in the history of understanding how the brain controls behavior and cognition. Early work on the amygdala placed this small structure as a key component in the regulation of emotion and affective behavior. Over time, our understanding of its role in brain processes has expanded, as we have uncovered amygdala influences on memory, reward behavior, and overall functioning in many other brain regions. Studies have indicated that the amygdala has widespread connections with a variety of brain structures, from the prefrontal cortex to regions of the brainstem, that explain its powerful influence on other parts of the brain and behaviors mediated by those regions. Thus, many optogenetic studies have focused on harnessing the powers of this technique to elucidate the functioning of the amygdala in relation to motivation, fear, and memory as well as to determine how the amygdala regulates activity in other structures. For example, studies using optogenetics have examined how specific circuits within amygdala nuclei regulate anxiety. Other work has provided insight into how the basolateral and central amygdala nuclei regulate memory processing underlying aversive learning. Many experiments have taken advantage of optogenetics’ ability to target either genetically distinct subpopulations of neurons or the specific projections from the amygdala to other brain regions. Findings from such studies have provided evidence that particular patterns of activity in basolateral amygdala glutamatergic neurons are related to memory consolidation processes, while other work has indicated the critical nature of amygdala inputs to the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in regulating behavior dependent on those downstream structures. This review will examine the recent discoveries on amygdala functioning made through experiments using optogenetics, placing these findings in the context of the major

  2. Electrical amygdala kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürmüller, N; Porsolt, R D

    2003-11-01

    This unit describes a method of electrical amygdala kindling in the rat. This procedure requires mastery of stereotaxic electrode implantation which is not covered in the current unit. Also, the investigator must have a sound knowledge of electronics and computing. The text gives instructions on how to render rats epileptic, how to determine the effects of compounds in kindled rats, and how to analyze the data. Results with three reference substances are illustrated. These substances are used in the clinic and give robust results in kindling.

  3. Deep prepiriform cortex kindling and amygdala interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D Y; Moshé, S L

    1987-03-01

    The deep prepiriform cortex (DPC) has been recently suggested to be a crucial epileptogenic site in the rat brain. We investigated the susceptibility of the DPC to the development of electrical kindling as compared to that of the superficial prepiriform cortex (SPC) and amygdala as well as the transfer interactions between the two prepiriform sites and amygdala. Adult rats with electrodes implanted in the right prepiriform cortex (DPC or SPC) and left amygdala were divided into a DPC-amygdala and SPC-amygdala group while a third group consisted of rats with electrodes implanted in the ipsilateral DPC and amygdala. Within each group the rats were initially kindled from one site selected randomly and then rekindled from the other site. Both DPC and SPC were as sensitive to the development of kindling as the amygdala. The behavioral seizures elicited with DPC or SPC primary kindling were identical to those induced by amygdala kindling. Initial DPC kindling facilitated the development of kindling from either ipsilateral or contralateral amygdala with the ipsilateral transfer being significantly more potent than the contralateral. SPC kindling also facilitated the development of contralateral amygdala kindling but was less effective than DPC kindling. On the other hand, amygdala kindling did not facilitate contralateral SPC or DPC kindling although it transferred to the ipsilateral DPC. These results indicate that the prepiriform cortex can be readily kindled but not faster than the amygdala and that there are unequal kindling transfer interactions between prepiriform cortex and amygdala.

  4. Amygdala kindling elevates plasma vasopressin.

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    Greenwood, R S; Meeker, R B; Hayward, J N

    1991-01-01

    Acute and chronic effects of epilepsy on endocrine function are known to occur in humans with partial seizures of limbic origin and in animals with limbic kindled seizures. The amygdala, a component of the limbic system, has dense hypothalamic connections and amygdala stimulation in monkeys and cats result in vasopressin release. In the present study we sought to determine if amygdala stimulation in the rats results in an immediate acute release of vasopressin and to determine if acute or chronic changes occur in vasopressin release in the fully kindled animal. Plasma vasopressin, osmolality and hematocrit were measured in blood samples drawn from rats with implanted venous catheters before and after stimulation and at different stages of kindling. Low-frequency (15 Hz) electrical stimulation of the amygdala was followed by an immediate, 3-fold increase in plasma vasopressin concentration. Moreover, although the 60 Hz kindling stimulus did not result in a significant immediate rise in plasma vasopressin prior to kindling, after kindling to stage 5 seizures the 60 Hz kindling stimulus resulted in seizures and a significant immediate rise in plasma vasopressin. In addition, we found that kindling was followed by a significant, though modest, rise in the resting plasma vasopressin without an accompanying change in osmolality or hematocrit. We conclude that kindling results in a persistent alteration in the vasopressinergic neuroendocrine system.

  5. Cortico-amygdala-striatal circuits are organized as hierarchical subsystems through the primate amygdala.

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    Cho, Youngsun T; Ernst, Monique; Fudge, Julie L

    2013-08-28

    The prefrontal and insula cortex, amygdala, and striatum are key regions for emotional processing, yet the amygdala's role as an interface between the cortex and striatum is not well understood. In the nonhuman primate (Macaque fascicularis), we analyzed a collection of bidirectional tracer injections in the amygdala to understand how cortical inputs and striatal outputs are organized to form integrated cortico-amygdala-striatal circuits. Overall, diverse prefrontal and insular cortical regions projected to the basal and accessory basal nuclei of the amygdala. In turn, these amygdala regions projected to widespread striatal domains extending well beyond the classic ventral striatum. Analysis of the cases in aggregate revealed a topographic colocalization of cortical inputs and striatal outputs in the amygdala that was additionally distinguished by cortical cytoarchitecture. Specifically, the degree of cortical laminar differentiation of the cortical inputs predicted amygdalostriatal targets, and distinguished three main cortico-amygdala-striatal circuits. These three circuits were categorized as "primitive," "intermediate," and "developed," respectively, to emphasize the relative phylogenetic and ontogenetic features of the cortical inputs. Within the amygdala, these circuits appeared arranged in a pyramidal-like fashion, with the primitive circuit found in all examined subregions, and subsequent circuits hierarchically layered in discrete amygdala subregions. This arrangement suggests a stepwise integration of the functions of these circuits across amygdala subregions, providing a potential mechanism through which internal emotional states are managed with external social and sensory information toward emotionally informed complex behaviors.

  6. Framing effect following bilateral amygdala lesion.

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    Talmi, Deborah; Hurlemann, René; Patin, Alexandra; Dolan, Raymond J

    2010-05-01

    A paradigmatic example of an emotional bias in decision making is the framing effect, where the manner in which a choice is posed--as a potential loss or a potential gain--systematically biases an ensuing decision. Two fMRI studies have shown that the activation in the amygdala is modulated by the framing effect. Here, contrary to an expectation based on these studies, we show that two patients with Urbach-Wiethe (UW) disease, a rare condition associated with congenital, complete bilateral amygdala degeneration, exhibit an intact framing effect. However, choice preference in these patients did show a qualitatively distinct pattern compared to controls evident in an increased propensity to gamble, indicating that loss of amygdala function does exert an overall influence on risk-taking. These findings suggest either that amygdala does contribute to decision making but does not play a causal role in framing, or that UW is not a pure lesion model of amygdala function.

  7. The amygdala: securing pleasure and avoiding pain

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    Fernando, Anushka B. P.; Murray, Jennifer E.; Milton, Amy L.

    2013-01-01

    The amygdala has traditionally been associated with fear, mediating the impact of negative emotions on memory. However, this view does not fully encapsulate the function of the amygdala, nor the impact that processing in this structure has on the motivational limbic corticostriatal circuitry of which it is an important structure. Here we discuss the interactions between different amygdala nuclei with cortical and striatal regions involved in motivation; interconnections and parallel circuitries that have become increasingly understood in recent years. We review the evidence that the amygdala stores memories that allow initially motivationally neutral stimuli to become associated through pavlovian conditioning with motivationally relevant outcomes which, importantly, can be either appetitive (e.g. food) or aversive (e.g. electric shock). We also consider how different psychological processes supported by the amygdala such as conditioned reinforcement and punishment, conditioned motivation and suppression, and conditioned approach and avoidance behavior, are not only psychologically but also neurobiologically dissociable, being mediated by distinct yet overlapping neural circuits within the limbic corticostriatal circuitry. Clearly the role of the amygdala goes beyond encoding aversive stimuli to also encode the appetitive, requiring an appreciation of the amygdala's mediation of both appetitive and fearful behavior through diverse psychological processes. PMID:24367307

  8. Relation between Amygdala Structure and Function in Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalmar, Jessica H.; Wang, Fei; Chepenik, Lara G.; Womer, Fay Y.; Jones, Monique M.; Pittman, Brian; Shah, Maulik P.; Martin, Andres; Constable, R. Todd; Blumberg, Hilary P.

    2009-01-01

    Adolescents with bipolar disorder showed decreased amygdala volume and increased amygdala response to emotional faces. Amygdala volume is inversely related to activation during emotional face processing.

  9. Fragile X syndrome and the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suvrathan, Aparna; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2011-06-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most commonly inherited form of mental impairment and autism. Current understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying FXS symptoms is derived mainly from studies on the hippocampus and cortex. However, FXS is also associated with strong emotional symptoms, which are likely to involve changes in the amygdala. Unfortunately, the synaptic basis of amygdalar dysfunction in FXS remains largely unexplored. Here we describe recent findings from mouse models of FXS that have identified synaptic defects in the basolateral amygdala that are in many respects distinct from those reported earlier in the hippocampus. Long-term potentiation and surface expression of AMPA-receptors are impaired. Further, presynaptic defects are seen at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Remarkably, some of these synaptic defects in the amygdala are also amenable to pharmacological rescue. These results also underscore the need to modify the current hippocampus-centric framework to better explain FXS-related synaptic dysfunction in the amygdala.

  10. Serotonin, Amygdala and Fear: Assembling the Puzzle

    OpenAIRE

    Bocchio, Marco; McHugh, Stephen B.; Bannerman, David M; Sharp, Trevor; Capogna, Marco

    2016-01-01

    The fear circuitry orchestrates defense mechanisms in response to environmental threats. This circuitry is evolutionarily crucial for survival, but its dysregulation is thought to play a major role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric conditions in humans. The amygdala is a key player in the processing of fear. This brain area is prominently modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). The 5-HT input to the amygdala has drawn particular interest because genetic an...

  11. Structural Connectivity of the Developing Human Amygdala

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    Saygin, Zeynep M.; Osher, David E.; Koldewyn, Kami; Martin, Rebecca E.; Finn, Amy; Saxe, Rebecca; Gabrieli, John D.E.; Sheridan, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    A large corpus of research suggests that there are changes in the manner and degree to which the amygdala supports cognitive and emotional function across development. One possible basis for these developmental differences could be the maturation of amygdalar connections with the rest of the brain. Recent functional connectivity studies support this conclusion, but the structural connectivity of the developing amygdala and its different nuclei remains largely unstudied. We examined age related changes in the DWI connectivity fingerprints of the amygdala to the rest of the brain in 166 individuals of ages 5-30. We also developed a model to predict age based on individual-subject amygdala connectivity, and identified the connections that were most predictive of age. Finally, we segmented the amygdala into its four main nucleus groups, and examined the developmental changes in connectivity for each nucleus. We observed that with age, amygdalar connectivity becomes increasingly sparse and localized. Age related changes were largely localized to the subregions of the amygdala that are implicated in social inference and contextual memory (the basal and lateral nuclei). The central nucleus’ connectivity also showed differences with age but these differences affected fewer target regions than the basal and lateral nuclei. The medial nucleus did not exhibit any age related changes. These findings demonstrate increasing specificity in the connectivity patterns of amygdalar nuclei across age. PMID:25875758

  12. Structural connectivity of the developing human amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeynep M Saygin

    Full Text Available A large corpus of research suggests that there are changes in the manner and degree to which the amygdala supports cognitive and emotional function across development. One possible basis for these developmental differences could be the maturation of amygdalar connections with the rest of the brain. Recent functional connectivity studies support this conclusion, but the structural connectivity of the developing amygdala and its different nuclei remains largely unstudied. We examined age related changes in the DWI connectivity fingerprints of the amygdala to the rest of the brain in 166 individuals of ages 5-30. We also developed a model to predict age based on individual-subject amygdala connectivity, and identified the connections that were most predictive of age. Finally, we segmented the amygdala into its four main nucleus groups, and examined the developmental changes in connectivity for each nucleus. We observed that with age, amygdalar connectivity becomes increasingly sparse and localized. Age related changes were largely localized to the subregions of the amygdala that are implicated in social inference and contextual memory (the basal and lateral nuclei. The central nucleus' connectivity also showed differences with age but these differences affected fewer target regions than the basal and lateral nuclei. The medial nucleus did not exhibit any age related changes. These findings demonstrate increasing specificity in the connectivity patterns of amygdalar nuclei across age.

  13. The amygdala: securing pleasure and avoiding pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anushka B P Fernando

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala has traditionally been associated with fear, mediating the impact of negative emotions on memory. However, this view does not fully encapsulate the function of the amygdala, nor the impact that processing in this structure has on the motivational limbic corticostriatal circuitry of which it is an important structure. Here we discuss the interactions between different amygdala nuclei with cortical and striatal regions involved in motivation; interconnections and parallel circuitries that have become increasingly understood in recent years. We review the evidence that the amygdala stores memories that allow initially motivationally neutral stimuli to become associated through pavlovian conditioning with motivationally relevant outcomes which, importantly, can be either appetitive (e.g. food or aversive (e.g. electric shock. We also consider how different psychological processes supported by the amygdala such as conditioned reinforcement and punishment, conditioned motivation and suppression, and conditioned approach and avoidance behavior, are not only psychologically but also neurobiologically dissociable, being mediated by distinct yet overlapping neural circuits within the limbic corticostriatal circuitry. Clearly the role of the amygdala goes beyond encoding aversive stimuli to also encode the appetitive, requiring an appreciation of the amygdala’s mediation of both appetitive and fearful behavior through diverse psychological processes.

  14. A Developmental Examination of Amygdala Response to Facial Expressions

    OpenAIRE

    Guyer, Amanda E.; Monk, Christopher S.; McClure-Tone, Erin B.; Nelson, Eric E.; Roberson-Nay, Roxann; Adler, Abby D.; Fromm, Stephen J.; Leibenluft, Ellen; Daniel S Pine; Ernst, Monique

    2008-01-01

    Several lines of evidence implicate the amygdala in face– emotion processing, particularly for fearful facial expressions. Related findings suggest that face–emotion processing engages the amygdala within an interconnected circuitry that can be studied using a functional-connectivity approach. Past work also underscores important functional changes in the amygdala during development. Taken together, prior research on amygdala function and development reveals a need for more work examining dev...

  15. Serotonin, amygdala and fear: assembling the puzzle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco eBocchio

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The fear circuitry orchestrates defense mechanisms in response to environmental threats. This circuitry is evolutionarily crucial for survival, but its dysregulation is thought to play a major role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric conditions in humans. The amygdala is a key player in the processing of fear. This brain area is prominently modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT. The 5-HT input to the amygdala has drawn particular interest because genetic and pharmacological alterations of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT affect amygdala activation in response to emotional stimuli. Nonetheless, the impact of 5-HT on fear processing remains poorly understood.The aim of this review is to elucidate the physiological role of 5-HT in fear learning via its action on the neuronal circuits of the amygdala. Since 5-HT release increases in the BLA during both fear memory acquisition and expression, we examine whether and how 5-HT neurons encode aversive stimuli and aversive cues. Next, we describe pharmacological and genetic alterations of 5-HT neurotransmission that, in both rodents and humans, lead to altered fear learning.To explore the mechanisms through which 5-HT could modulate conditioned fear, we focus on the rodent basolateral amygdala (BLA. We propose that a circuit-based approach taking into account the localization of specific 5-HT receptors on neurochemically-defined neurons in the BLA may be essential to decipher the role of 5-HT in emotional behavior. In keeping with a 5-HT control of fear learning, we review electrophysiological data suggesting that 5-HT regulates synaptic plasticity, spike synchrony and theta oscillations in the BLA via actions on different subcellular compartments of principal neurons and distinct GABAergic interneuron populations. Finally, we discuss how recently developed optogenetic tools combined with electrophysiological recordings and behavior could progress the knowledge of the

  16. A Developmental Examination of Amygdala Response to Facial Expressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guyer, Amanda E.; Monk, Christopher S.; McClure-Tone, Erin B.; Nelson, Eric E.; Roberson-Nay, Roxann; Adler, Abby D.; Fromm, Stephen J.; Leibenluft, Ellen; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique

    2010-01-01

    Several lines of evidence implicate the amygdala in face– emotion processing, particularly for fearful facial expressions. Related findings suggest that face–emotion processing engages the amygdala within an interconnected circuitry that can be studied using a functional-connectivity approach. Past work also underscores important functional changes in the amygdala during development. Taken together, prior research on amygdala function and development reveals a need for more work examining developmental changes in the amygdala’s response to fearful faces and in amygdala functional connectivity during face processing. The present study used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare 31 adolescents (9–17 years old) and 30 adults (21–40 years old) on activation to fearful faces in the amygdala and other regions implicated in face processing. Moreover, these data were used to compare patterns of amygdala functional connectivity in adolescents and adults. During passive viewing, adolescents demonstrated greater amygdala and fusiform activation to fearful faces than did adults. Functional connectivity analysis revealed stronger connectivity between the amygdala and the hippocampus in adults than in adolescents. Within each group, variability in age did not correlate with amygdala response, and sex-related developmental differences in amygdala response were not found. Eye movement data collected outside of the magnetic resonance imaging scanner using the same task suggested that developmental differences in amygdala activation were not attributable to differences in eye-gaze patterns. Amygdala hyperactivation in response to fearful faces may explain increased vulnerability to affective disorders in adolescence; stronger amygdala–hippocampus connectivity in adults than adolescents may reflect maturation in learning or habituation to facial expressions. PMID:18345988

  17. [Emotion, amygdala, and autonomic nervous system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueyama, Takashi

    2012-10-01

    Emotion refers to the dynamic changes of feeling accompanied by the alteration of physical and visceral activities. Autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic) regulates the visceral activities. Therefore, monitoring and analyzing autonomic nervous activity help understand the emotional changes. To this end, the survey of the expression of immediate early genes (IEGs), such as c-Fos in the brain and target organs, and the viral transneuronal labeling method using the pseudorabies virus (PRV) have enabled the visualization of the neurocircuitry of emotion. By comparing c-Fos expression and data from PRV or other neuroanatomical labeling techniques, the central sites that regulate emotional stress-induced autonomic activation can be deduced. Such regions have been identified in the limbic system (e. g., the extended amygdaloid complex; lateral septum; and infralimbic, insular, and ventromedial temporal cortical regions), as well as in several hypothalamic and brainstem nuclei. The amygdala is structurally diverse and comprises several subnuclei, which play a role in emotional process via projections from the cortex and a variety of subcortical structures. All amygdaloid subnuclei receive psychological information from other limbic systems, while the lateral and central subnuclei receive peripheral and sensory information. Output to the hypothalamus and peripheral sympathetic system mainly originates from the medial amygdala. As estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β, and androgen receptor are expressed in the medial amygdala, sex steroids may modulate the autonomic nervous activities.

  18. Dysfunctional amygdala activation and connectivity with the prefrontal cortex in current cocaine users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crunelle, C.L.; Kaag, A.M.; Munkhof, H.E. van den; Reneman, L.; Homberg, J.R.; Sabbe, B.; Brink, W. van den; Wingen, G. van

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Stimulant use is associated with increased anxiety and a single administration of dexamphetamine increases amygdala activation to biologically salient stimuli in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate how current cocaine use affects amygdala activity and amygdala connectivity with the

  19. FAST and SLOW amygdala kindling rat strains: comparison of amygdala, hippocampal, piriform and perirhinal cortex kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, D C; Kelly, M E; Dufresne, C

    1999-07-01

    In our companion paper, we selectively bred offspring of a Long Evans Hooded and Wistar rat cross for either fast or slow rates of amygdala kindling (Racine et al., 1999. Development of kindling-prone and kindling resistant rats: Selective breeding and electrophysiological studies, Epilepsy Res. 35, 183-195). Within 10 generations, there was no overlap in the distribution of kindling rates between these newly developed FAST and SLOW kindling strains. In the present report, we compared the local excitability, kindling rates, and convulsion profiles of kindling sites in either the amygdala, dorsal hippocampus, piriform cortex or perirhinal cortex in the two strains. Local excitability, measured as the local afterdischarge (AD) threshold and its duration, showed varied effects between structures and strains. Before kindling, the AD threshold was lower in the FAST than the SLOW rats in the hippocampus, piriform and perirhinal cortices, but not the amygdala (the selection structure). Also, the duration of the AD threshold duration was significantly longer in the FAST than in the SLOW rats in all structures, except the CA1 hippocampus. Most of these differences were maintained after kindling. Kindling itself was significantly faster in the FAST compared with the SLOW rats in all structures; however, the different structural kindling rates showed proportional differences between strains that were about five times different in the amygdala compared with only about two times different in the hippocampus. This suggested a selection bias for the amygdala and its networks. As in other rat strains, the fastest kindling rates were seen in the perirhinal cortex followed by the piriform cortex, amygdala and hippocampus in both FAST and SLOW rats. Other important differences between strains and structures occurred in the stage-5 convulsion profiles, including latency to forelimb clonus, clonus duration and duration of associated local afterdischarges. The differences in kindling

  20. Surface morphology of amygdala is associated with trait anxiety.

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    Shuyu Li

    Full Text Available Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested a role of amygdala in trait anxiety level, in which amygdala was typically treated as a whole. To date, it remains unknown whether the morphology of specific subregions of amygdala are associated with trait anxiety. Here, we employed a shape analysis approach to locate the association between its morphology and trait anxiety on the surface of amygdala. 24 healthy young participants were included. The boundary of amygdala for each subject was first manually outlined using high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR image, followed by 3D surface reconstruction and parameterization using spherical harmonic description. Two point-wise metrics, direct displacement between the individual surface and atlas surface and its normal projection, were used to quantify the surface morphology of amygdala. Statistical analysis revealed significant correlations between the two surface metrics and trait anxiety levels, which were located around the lateral and central nucleus of right amygdala. Our results provided localized information for the association between amygdala and trait anxiety, and suggested a central role of the lateral and central nucleus of right amygdala on trait anxiety.

  1. Impact of family history and depression on amygdala volume.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Saleh, Karim

    2012-07-30

    Family history of depression significantly impacts life-long depression risk. Family history could impact the stress and emotion regulation system that involves the amygdala. This study\\'s purpose was to investigate family history\\'s effect on amygdala volumes, and differences in first degree relatives with and without major depressive disorder (MDD). Participants, aged 18-65, were healthy volunteers (N=52) with (n=26) and without (n=26) first degree family history, and patients with MDD (N=48) with (n=27) and without (n=21)first-degree family history recruited for structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Participants underwent clinical assessment followed by manual amygdala tracing. Patients with MDD without family history showed significantly larger right amygdala without a family history of MDD. These effects had larger right amygdala than healthy controls without MDD family history. These effects were pronounced in females. Family history and gender impacted amygdala volumes in all participants, providing a rationale for the inconsistent results in MDD amygdala studies. Higher familial risk in depression seems to be associated with smaller amygdala volumes, whereas depression alone is associated with larger amygdala volumes. Ultimately, these findings highlight consideration of family history and gender in research and treatment strategies.

  2. Childhood Cumulative Risk Exposure and Adult Amygdala Volume and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Gary W; Swain, James E; King, Anthony P; Wang, Xin; Javanbakht, Arash; Ho, S Shaun; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K Luan; Xie, Hong; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-06-01

    Considerable work indicates that early cumulative risk exposure is aversive to human development, but very little research has examined the neurological underpinnings of these robust findings. This study investigates amygdala volume and reactivity to facial stimuli among adults (mean 23.7 years of age, n = 54) as a function of cumulative risk exposure during childhood (9 and 13 years of age). In addition, we test to determine whether expected cumulative risk elevations in amygdala volume would mediate functional reactivity of the amygdala during socioemotional processing. Risks included substandard housing quality, noise, crowding, family turmoil, child separation from family, and violence. Total and left hemisphere adult amygdala volumes were positively related to cumulative risk exposure during childhood. The links between childhood cumulative risk exposure and elevated amygdala responses to emotionally neutral facial stimuli in adulthood were mediated by the corresponding amygdala volumes. Cumulative risk exposure in later adolescence (17 years of age), however, was unrelated to subsequent adult amygdala volume or function. Physical and socioemotional risk exposures early in life appear to alter amygdala development, rendering adults more reactive to ambiguous stimuli such as neutral faces. These stress-related differences in childhood amygdala development might contribute to the well-documented psychological distress as a function of early risk exposure.

  3. Impact of family history and depression on amygdala volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, Karim; Carballedo, Angela; Lisiecka, Danutia; Fagan, Andrew J; Connolly, Gerald; Boyle, Gerard; Frodl, Thomas

    2012-07-30

    Family history of depression significantly impacts life-long depression risk. Family history could impact the stress and emotion regulation system that involves the amygdala. This study's purpose was to investigate family history's effect on amygdala volumes, and differences in first degree relatives with and without major depressive disorder (MDD). Participants, aged 18-65, were healthy volunteers (N=52) with (n=26) and without (n=26) first degree family history, and patients with MDD (N=48) with (n=27) and without (n=21)first-degree family history recruited for structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Participants underwent clinical assessment followed by manual amygdala tracing. Patients with MDD without family history showed significantly larger right amygdala compared to patients with a MDD family history.MDD without family history also had larger right amygdala than healthy controls without MDD family history.These effects were pronounced in females. Family history and gender impacted amygdala volumes in all participants providing rationale for the inconsistent results in MDD amygdala studies [corrected]. Higher familial risk in depression seems to be associated with smaller amygdala volumes, whereas depression alone is associated with larger amygdala volumes. Ultimately, these findings highlight consideration of family history and gender in research and treatment strategies.

  4. Lifespan anxiety is reflected in human amygdala cortical connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ye; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The amygdala plays a pivotal role in processing anxiety and connects to large‐scale brain networks. However, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) between amygdala and these networks has rarely been examined in relation to anxiety, especially across the lifespan. We employed resting‐state functional MRI data from 280 healthy adults (18–83.5 yrs) to elucidate the relationship between anxiety and amygdala iFC with common cortical networks including the visual network, somatomotor network, dorsal attention network, ventral attention network, limbic network, frontoparietal network, and default network. Global and network‐specific iFC were separately computed as mean iFC of amygdala with the entire cerebral cortex and each cortical network. We detected negative correlation between global positive amygdala iFC and trait anxiety. Network‐specific associations between amygdala iFC and anxiety were also detectable. Specifically, the higher iFC strength between the left amygdala and the limbic network predicted lower state anxiety. For the trait anxiety, left amygdala anxiety–connectivity correlation was observed in both somatomotor and dorsal attention networks, whereas the right amygdala anxiety–connectivity correlation was primarily distributed in the frontoparietal and ventral attention networks. Ventral attention network exhibited significant anxiety–gender interactions on its iFC with amygdala. Together with findings from additional vertex‐wise analysis, these data clearly indicated that both low‐level sensory networks and high‐level associative networks could contribute to detectable predictions of anxiety behaviors by their iFC profiles with the amygdala. This set of systems neuroscience findings could lead to novel functional network models on neural correlates of human anxiety and provide targets for novel treatment strategies on anxiety disorders. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1178–1193, 2016. © 2015 The Authors Human Brain Mapping

  5. Lifespan anxiety is reflected in human amygdala cortical connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ye; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Wei; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2016-03-01

    The amygdala plays a pivotal role in processing anxiety and connects to large-scale brain networks. However, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) between amygdala and these networks has rarely been examined in relation to anxiety, especially across the lifespan. We employed resting-state functional MRI data from 280 healthy adults (18-83.5 yrs) to elucidate the relationship between anxiety and amygdala iFC with common cortical networks including the visual network, somatomotor network, dorsal attention network, ventral attention network, limbic network, frontoparietal network, and default network. Global and network-specific iFC were separately computed as mean iFC of amygdala with the entire cerebral cortex and each cortical network. We detected negative correlation between global positive amygdala iFC and trait anxiety. Network-specific associations between amygdala iFC and anxiety were also detectable. Specifically, the higher iFC strength between the left amygdala and the limbic network predicted lower state anxiety. For the trait anxiety, left amygdala anxiety-connectivity correlation was observed in both somatomotor and dorsal attention networks, whereas the right amygdala anxiety-connectivity correlation was primarily distributed in the frontoparietal and ventral attention networks. Ventral attention network exhibited significant anxiety-gender interactions on its iFC with amygdala. Together with findings from additional vertex-wise analysis, these data clearly indicated that both low-level sensory networks and high-level associative networks could contribute to detectable predictions of anxiety behaviors by their iFC profiles with the amygdala. This set of systems neuroscience findings could lead to novel functional network models on neural correlates of human anxiety and provide targets for novel treatment strategies on anxiety disorders.

  6. Amygdala temporal dynamics: temperamental differences in the timing of amygdala response to familiar and novel faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelton Richard C

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inhibited temperament - the predisposition to respond to new people, places or things with wariness or avoidance behaviors - is associated with increased risk for social anxiety disorder and major depression. Although the magnitude of the amygdala's response to novelty has been identified as a neural substrate of inhibited temperament, there may also be differences in temporal dynamics (latency, duration, and peak. We hypothesized that persons with inhibited temperament would have faster responses to novel relative to familiar neutral faces compared to persons with uninhibited temperament. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the temporal dynamics of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD response to both novel and familiar neutral faces in participants with inhibited or uninhibited temperament. Results Inhibited participants had faster amygdala responses to novel compared with familiar faces, and both longer and greater amygdala response to all faces. There were no differences in peak response. Conclusion Faster amygdala response to novelty may reflect a computational bias that leads to greater neophobic responses and represents a mechanism for the development of social anxiety.

  7. Robust automated amygdala segmentation via multi-atlas diffeomorphic registration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie eHanson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Here, we describe a novel method for volumetric segmentation of the amygdala from MRI images collected from 35 human subjects. This approach is adapted from open-source techniques employed previously with the hippocampus (Suh et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2011a; Wang et al., 2011b. Using multi-atlas segmentation and machine learning-based correction, we were able to produce automated amygdala segments with high dice (Mean= 0.918 for the left amygdala; 0.916 for the right amygdala and Jaccard coefficients (Mean= 0.850 for the left; 0.846 for the right compared to rigorously hand-traced volumes. This automated routine also produced amygdala segments with high intra-class (consistency=.830, absolute agreement =.819 for the left; consistency=. 786, absolute agreement =. 783 for the right and bivariate (r =.831 for the left; r =0.797 for the right correlations compared to hand-drawn amygdala. Our results are discussed in relation to results from other cutting-edge segmentation techniques, as well as commonly- available approaches to amygdala segmentation (e.g., Freesurfer. We believe this new technique has broad application to research with large sample sizes for which amygdala quantification might be needed.

  8. Amygdala and hippocampus enlargement during adolescence in autism.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, W.B.; Teluij, M.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Tendolkar, I.

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The amygdala and hippocampus are key components of the neural system mediating emotion perception and regulation and are thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of autism. Although some studies in children with autism suggest that there is an enlargement of amygdala and hippocampal

  9. The Role of Actin Cytoskeleton in Memory Formation in Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael eLamprecht

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The central, lateral and basolateral amygdala nuclei are essential for the formation of long-term memories including emotional and drug-related memories. The study of cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning memory in amygdala may shed light on the formation of memory and on fear and addiction-related disorders. A challenge is to identify molecules activated by learning that subserve cellular changes needed for memory formation and maintenance in amygdala. Recent studies show that activation of synaptic receptors during fear and drug-related learning leads to alteration in actin cytoskeleton dynamics and structure in amygdala. Such changes in actin cytoskeleton in amygdala are essential for fear and drug-related memories formation. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton subserves, after learning, changes in neuronal morphogenesis and glutamate receptors trafficking in amygdala. These cellular events are involved in fear and drug-related memories formation. Actin polymerization is also needed for the maintenance of drug-associated memories in amygdala. Thus, the actin cytoskeleton is a key mediator between receptor activation during learning and cellular changes subserving long-term memory in amygdala. The actin cytoskeleton may serve as a target for pharmacological treatment of fear memory associated with fear and anxiety disorders and drug addiction to prevent the debilitating consequences of these diseases.

  10. Prediction of economic choice by primate amygdala neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Hernádi, István; Schultz, Wolfram

    2012-11-13

    The amygdala is a key structure of the brain's reward system. Existing theories view its role in decision-making as restricted to an early valuation stage that provides input to decision mechanisms in downstream brain structures. However, the extent to which the amygdala itself codes information about economic choices is unclear. Here, we report that individual neurons in the primate amygdala predict behavioral choices in an economic decision task. We recorded the activity of amygdala neurons while monkeys chose between saving liquid reward with interest and spending the accumulated reward. In addition to known value-related responses, we found that activity in a group of amygdala neurons predicted the monkeys' upcoming save-spend choices with an average accuracy of 78%. This choice-predictive activity occurred early in trials, even before information about specific actions associated with save-spend choices was available. For a substantial number of neurons, choice-differential activity was specific for free, internally generated economic choices and not observed in a control task involving forced imperative choices. A subgroup of choice-predictive neurons did not show relationships to value, movement direction, or visual stimulus features. Choice-predictive activity in some amygdala neurons was preceded by transient periods of value coding, suggesting value-to-choice transitions and resembling decision processes in other brain systems. These findings suggest that the amygdala might play an active role in economic decisions. Current views of amygdala function should be extended to incorporate a role in decision-making beyond valuation.

  11. The role of the amygdala in face perception and evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorov, Alexander

    2012-03-01

    Faces are one of the most significant social stimuli and the processes underlying face perception are at the intersection of cognition, affect, and motivation. Vision scientists have had a tremendous success of mapping the regions for perceptual analysis of faces in posterior cortex. Based on evidence from (a) single unit recording studies in monkeys and humans; (b) human functional localizer studies; and (c) meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies, I argue that faces automatically evoke responses not only in these regions but also in the amygdala. I also argue that (a) a key property of faces represented in the amygdala is their typicality; and (b) one of the functions of the amygdala is to bias attention to atypical faces, which are associated with higher uncertainty. This framework is consistent with a number of other amygdala findings not involving faces, suggesting a general account for the role of the amygdala in perception.

  12. Amygdala and Ventral Striatum Make Distinct Contributions to Reinforcement Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Vincent D; Dal Monte, Olga; Lucas, Daniel R; Murray, Elisabeth A; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2016-10-19

    Reinforcement learning (RL) theories posit that dopaminergic signals are integrated within the striatum to associate choices with outcomes. Often overlooked is that the amygdala also receives dopaminergic input and is involved in Pavlovian processes that influence choice behavior. To determine the relative contributions of the ventral striatum (VS) and amygdala to appetitive RL, we tested rhesus macaques with VS or amygdala lesions on deterministic and stochastic versions of a two-arm bandit reversal learning task. When learning was characterized with an RL model relative to controls, amygdala lesions caused general decreases in learning from positive feedback and choice consistency. By comparison, VS lesions only affected learning in the stochastic task. Moreover, the VS lesions hastened the monkeys' choice reaction times, which emphasized a speed-accuracy trade-off that accounted for errors in deterministic learning. These results update standard accounts of RL by emphasizing distinct contributions of the amygdala and VS to RL.

  13. A unique role for the human amygdala in novelty detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackford, Jennifer Urbano; Buckholtz, Joshua W; Avery, Suzanne N; Zald, David H

    2010-04-15

    Previous research indicates that the amygdala and hippocampus are sensitive to novelty; however, two types of novelty can be distinguished - stimuli that are ordinary, but novel in the current context, and stimuli that are unusual. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined blood oxygen dependent level (BOLD) response of the human amygdala and hippocampus to novel, commonly seen objects versus novel unusual objects. When presented with the novel common stimuli, the BOLD signal increased significantly in both the amygdala and hippocampus. However, for the novel unusual stimuli, only the amygdala showed an increased response compared to the novel common stimuli. These findings suggest that the amygdala is distinctly responsive to novel unusual stimuli, making a unique contribution to the novelty detection circuit.

  14. Amygdala neurons differentially encode motivation and reinforcement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tye, Kay M; Janak, Patricia H

    2007-04-11

    Lesion studies demonstrate that the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) is important for assigning motivational significance to sensory stimuli, but little is known about how this information is encoded. We used in vivo electrophysiology procedures to investigate how the amygdala encodes motivating and reinforcing properties of cues that induce reinstatement of reward-seeking behavior. Two groups of rats were trained to respond to a sucrose reward. The "paired" group was trained with a reward-predictive cue, whereas the "unpaired" group was trained with a randomly presented cue. Both groups underwent identical extinction and reinstatement procedures during which the reward was withheld. The proportion of neurons that were phasically cue responsive during reinstatement was significantly higher in the paired group (46 of 100) than in the unpaired group (8 of 112). Cues that induce reward-seeking behavior can do so by acting as incentives or reinforcers. Distinct populations of neurons responded to the cue in trials in which the cue acted as an incentive, triggering a motivated reward-seeking state, or as a reinforcer, supporting continued instrumental responding. The incentive motivation-encoding population of neurons (34 of 46 cue-responsive neurons; 74%) extinguished in temporal agreement with a decrease in the rate of instrumental responding. The conditioned reinforcement-encoding population of neurons (12 of 46 cue-responsive neurons; 26%) maintained their response for the duration of cue-reinforced instrumental responding. These data demonstrate that separate populations of cue-responsive neurons in the BLA encode the motivating or reinforcing properties of a cue previously associated with a reward.

  15. Prenatal stress alters amygdala functional connectivity in preterm neonates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin Scheinost

    2016-01-01

    Functional connectivity from the amygdala to other subcortical regions is decreased in preterm neonates compared to term controls. In addition, these data, for the first time, suggest that prenatal stress exposure amplifies these decreases.

  16. Dynamic modulation of amygdala-hippocampal connectivity by emotional arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fastenrath, Matthias; Coynel, David; Spalek, Klara; Milnik, Annette; Gschwind, Leo; Roozendaal, Benno; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique J F

    2014-10-15

    Positive and negative emotional events are better remembered than neutral events. Studies in animals suggest that this phenomenon depends on the influence of the amygdala upon the hippocampus. In humans, however, it is largely unknown how these two brain structures functionally interact and whether these interactions are similar between positive and negative information. Using dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data in 586 healthy subjects, we show that the strength of the connection from the amygdala to the hippocampus was rapidly and robustly increased during the encoding of both positive and negative pictures in relation to neutral pictures. We also observed an increase in connection strength from the hippocampus to the amygdala, albeit at a smaller scale. These findings indicate that, during encoding, emotionally arousing information leads to a robust increase in effective connectivity from the amygdala to the hippocampus, regardless of its valence.

  17. A unique role for the human amygdala in novelty detection

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Previous research indicates that the amygdala and hippocampus are sensitive to novelty; however, two types of novelty can be distinguished – stimuli that are ordinary, but novel in the current context, and stimuli that are unusual. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined blood oxygen dependent level (BOLD) response of the human amygdala and hippocampus to novel, commonly seen objects versus novel unusual objects. When presented with the novel common stimuli, the BOLD signal i...

  18. Association between neuroticism and amygdala responsivity emerges under stressful conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everaerd, Daphne; Klumpers, Floris; van Wingen, Guido; Tendolkar, Indira; Fernández, Guillén

    2015-05-15

    Increased amygdala reactivity in response to salient stimuli is seen in patients with affective disorders, in healthy subjects at risk for these disorders, and in stressed individuals, making it a prime target for mechanistic studies into the pathophysiology of affective disorders. However, whereas individual differences in neuroticism are thought to modulate the effect of stress on mental health, the mechanistic link between stress, neuroticism and amygdala responsivity is unknown. Thus, we studied the relationship between experimentally induced stress, individual differences in neuroticism, and amygdala responsivity. To this end, fearful and happy faces were presented to a large cohort of young, healthy males (n=120) in two separate functional MRI sessions (stress versus control) in a randomized, controlled cross-over design. We revealed that amygdala reactivity was modulated by an interaction between the factors of stress, neuroticism, and the emotional valence of the facial stimuli. Follow-up analysis showed that neuroticism selectively enhanced amygdala responses to fearful faces in the stress condition. Thus, we show that stress unmasks an association between neuroticism and amygdala responsivity to potentially threatening stimuli. This effect constitutes a possible mechanistic link within the complex pathophysiology of affective disorders, and our novel approach appears suitable for further studies targeting the underlying mechanisms.

  19. Amygdala signals subjective appetitiveness and aversiveness of mixed gambles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gelskov, Sofie V.; Henningsson, Susanne; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard

    2015-01-01

    People are more sensitive to losses than to equivalent gains when making financial decisions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to illuminate how the amygdala contributes to loss aversion. The blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response of the amygdala was mapped while healthy...... with individual differences in loss aversion. Together, the results show that the amygdala signals subjective appetitiveness or aversiveness of gain-loss ratios at the time of choice. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....... individuals were responding to 50/50 gambles with varying potential gain and loss amounts. Overall, subjects demanded twice as high potential gain as loss to accept a gamble. The individual level of loss aversion was expressed by the decision boundary, i.e., the gain-loss ratio at which subjects accepted...... and rejected gambles with equal probability. Amygdala activity increased the more the gain-loss ratio deviated from the individual decision boundary showing that the amygdala codes action value. This response pattern was more strongly expressed in loss aversive individuals, linking amygdala activity...

  20. Amygdala's involvement in facilitating associative learning-induced plasticity: a promiscuous role for the amygdala in memory acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Lily S; Galvez, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of fear-related memories. Some of the more widely employed behavioral paradigms that have assisted in solidifying the amygdala's role in fear-related memories are associative learning paradigms. With most associative learning tasks, a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) is paired with a salient unconditioned stimulus (US) that elicits an unconditioned response (UR). After multiple CS-US pairings, the subject learns that the CS predicts the onset or delivery of the US, and thus elicits a learned conditioned response (CR). Most fear-related associative paradigms have suggested that an aspect of the fear association is stored in the amygdala; however, some fear-motivated associative paradigms suggest that the amygdala is not a site of storage, but rather facilitates consolidation in other brain regions. Based upon various learning theories, one of the most likely sites for storage of long-term memories is the neocortex. In support of these theories, findings from our laboratory, and others, have demonstrated that trace-conditioning, an associative paradigm where there is a separation in time between the CS and US, induces learning-specific neocortical plasticity. The following review will discuss the amygdala's involvement, either as a site of storage or facilitating storage in other brain regions such as the neocortex, in fear- and non-fear-motivated associative paradigms. In this review, we will discuss recent findings suggesting a broader role for the amygdala in increasing the saliency of behaviorally relevant information, thus facilitating acquisition for all forms of memory, both fear- and non-fear-related. This proposed promiscuous role of the amygdala in facilitating acquisition for all memories further suggests a potential role of the amygdala in general learning disabilities.

  1. Fluoxetine Facilitates Fear Extinction Through Amygdala Endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunduz-Cinar, Ozge; Flynn, Shaun; Brockway, Emma; Kaugars, Katherine; Baldi, Rita; Ramikie, Teniel S; Cinar, Resat; Kunos, George; Patel, Sachin; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-05-01

    Pharmacologically elevating brain endocannabinoids (eCBs) share anxiolytic and fear extinction-facilitating properties with classical therapeutics, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. There are also known functional interactions between the eCB and serotonin systems and preliminary evidence that antidepressants cause alterations in brain eCBs. However, the potential role of eCBs in mediating the facilitatory effects of fluoxetine on fear extinction has not been established. Here, to test for a possible mechanistic contribution of eCBs to fluoxetine's proextinction effects, we integrated biochemical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral techniques, using the extinction-impaired 129S1/Sv1mJ mouse strain. Chronic fluoxetine treatment produced a significant and selective increase in levels of anandamide in the BLA, and an associated decrease in activity of the anandamide-catabolizing enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that fluoxetine-induced increases in anandamide were associated with the amplification of eCB-mediated tonic constraint of inhibitory, but not excitatory, transmission in the BLA. Behaviorally, chronic fluoxetine facilitated extinction retrieval in a manner that was prevented by systemic or BLA-specific blockade of CB1 receptors. In contrast to fluoxetine, citalopram treatment did not increase BLA eCBs or facilitate extinction. Taken together, these findings reveal a novel, obligatory role for amygdala eCBs in the proextinction effects of a major pharmacotherapy for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and anxiety disorders.

  2. Paradoxical facilitation of working memory after basolateral amygdala damage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barak Morgan

    Full Text Available Working memory is a vital cognitive capacity without which meaningful thinking and logical reasoning would be impossible. Working memory is integrally dependent upon prefrontal cortex and it has been suggested that voluntary control of working memory, enabling sustained emotion inhibition, was the crucial step in the evolution of modern humans. Consistent with this, recent fMRI studies suggest that working memory performance depends upon the capacity of prefrontal cortex to suppress bottom-up amygdala signals during emotional arousal. However fMRI is not well-suited to definitively resolve questions of causality. Moreover, the amygdala is neither structurally or functionally homogenous and fMRI studies do not resolve which amygdala sub-regions interfere with working memory. Lesion studies on the other hand can contribute unique causal evidence on aspects of brain-behaviour phenomena fMRI cannot "see". To address these questions we investigated working memory performance in three adult female subjects with bilateral basolateral amygdala calcification consequent to Urbach-Wiethe Disease and ten healthy controls. Amygdala lesion extent and functionality was determined by structural and functional MRI methods. Working memory performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III digit span forward task. State and trait anxiety measures to control for possible emotional differences between patient and control groups were administered. Structural MRI showed bilateral selective basolateral amygdala damage in the three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects and fMRI confirmed intact functionality in the remaining amygdala sub-regions. The three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects showed significant working memory facilitation relative to controls. Control measures showed no group anxiety differences. Results are provisionally interpreted in terms of a 'cooperation through competition' networks model that may account for the observed paradoxical

  3. Diverting attention suppresses human amygdala responses to faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eMorawetz

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies disagree as to whether the processing of emotion-laden visual stimuli is dependent upon the availability of attentional resources or entirely capacity-free. Two main factors have been proposed to be responsible for the discrepancies: the differences in the perceptual attentional demands of the tasks used to divert attentional resources from emotional stimuli and the spatial location of the affective stimuli in the visual field. To date, no neuroimaging report addressed these two issues in the same set of subjects. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the effects of high and low attentional load as well as different stimulus locations on face processing in the amygdala using fMRI to provide further evidence for one of the two opposing theories. We were able for the first time to directly test the interaction of attentional load and spatial location. The results revealed a strong attenuation of amygdala activity when the attentional load was high. The eccentricity of the emotional stimuli did not affect responses in the amygdala and no interaction effect between attentional load and spatial location was found. We conclude that the processing of emotional stimuli in the amygdala is strongly dependent on the availability of attentional resources without a preferred processing of stimuli presented in the periphery and provide firm evidence for the concept of the attentional load theory of emotional processing in the amygdala.

  4. Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölzel, Britta K; Carmody, James; Evans, Karleyton C; Hoge, Elizabeth A; Dusek, Jeffery A; Morgan, Lucas; Pitman, Roger K; Lazar, Sara W

    2010-03-01

    Stress has significant adverse effects on health and is a risk factor for many illnesses. Neurobiological studies have implicated the amygdala as a brain structure crucial in stress responses. Whereas hyperactive amygdala function is often observed during stress conditions, cross-sectional reports of differences in gray matter structure have been less consistent. We conducted a longitudinal MRI study to investigate the relationship between changes in perceived stress with changes in amygdala gray matter density following a stress-reduction intervention. Stressed but otherwise healthy individuals (N = 26) participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention. Perceived stress was rated on the perceived stress scale (PSS) and anatomical MR images were acquired pre- and post-intervention. PSS change was used as the predictive regressor for changes in gray matter density within the bilateral amygdalae. Following the intervention, participants reported significantly reduced perceived stress. Reductions in perceived stress correlated positively with decreases in right basolateral amygdala gray matter density. Whereas prior studies found gray matter modifications resulting from acquisition of abstract information, motor and language skills, this study demonstrates that neuroplastic changes are associated with improvements in a psychological state variable.

  5. Depressive Symptoms and Amygdala Volume in Elderly with Cerebral Small Vessel Disease: The RUN DMC Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. W. M. van Uden

    2011-01-01

    Conclusion. Lower left amygdala volume is associated with LODS, independent of SVD. This may suggest differential mechanisms, in which individuals with a small amygdala might be vulnerable to develop LODS.

  6. Neural substrates for expectation-modulated fear learning in the amygdala and periaqueductal gray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P; Tarpley, Jason W; LeDoux, Joseph E; Blair, Hugh T

    2010-08-01

    A form of aversively motivated learning called fear conditioning occurs when a neutral conditioned stimulus is paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (UCS). UCS-evoked depolarization of amygdala neurons may instruct Hebbian plasticity that stores memories of the conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus association, but the origin of UCS inputs to the amygdala is unknown. Theory and evidence suggest that instructive UCS inputs to the amygdala will be inhibited when the UCS is expected, but this has not been found during fear conditioning. We investigated neural pathways that relay information about the UCS to the amygdala by recording neurons in the amygdala and periaqueductal gray (PAG) of rats during fear conditioning. UCS-evoked responses in both amygdala and PAG were inhibited by expectation. Pharmacological inactivation of the PAG attenuated UCS-evoked responses in the amygdala and impaired acquisition of fear conditioning, indicating that PAG may be an important part of the pathway that relays instructive signals to the amygdala.

  7. Hippocampus and amygdala morphology in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Bansal, Ravi; Zhu, Hongtu;

    2006-01-01

    of the hippocampus and amygdala in children with ADHD. DESIGN: A cross-sectional case-control study of the hippocampus and amygdala using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging. SETTINGS: University research institute. PATIENTS: One hundred fourteen individuals aged 6 to 18 years, 51 with combined-type ADHD and 63...... healthy controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Volumes and measures of surface morphology for the hippocampus and amygdala. RESULTS: The hippocampus was larger bilaterally in the ADHD group than in the control group (t = 3.35; P hippocampus further localized...... these differences to an enlarged head of the hippocampus in the ADHD group. Although conventional measures did not detect significant differences in amygdalar volumes, surface analyses indicated the presence of reduced size bilaterally over the area of the basolateral complex. Correlations with prefrontal measures...

  8. Inhibitory networks of the amygdala for emotional memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seungho eLee

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala is important for emotional memory, including learned fear. A number of studies for amygdala neural circuits that underlie fear conditioning have elucidated specific cellular and molecular mechanisms of emotional memory. Recent technical advances such as optogenetic approaches have not only confirmed the importance of excitatory circuits in fear conditioning, but have also shed new light for a direct role of inhibitory circuits in both the acquisition and extinction of fear memory in addition to their role in fine tuning of excitatory neural circuitry. As a result, the circuits in amygdala could be drawn more elaborately, and it led us to understand how fear or extinction memories are formed in the detailed circuit level, and various neuromodulators affect these circuit activities, inducing subtle behavioral changes.

  9. Intradentate colchicine retards the development of amygdala kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasheiff, R M; McNamara, J O

    1982-04-01

    The mechanisms underlying the kindling model of epilepsy are unknown. Presumably, an altered network of neural circuits underlie amygdala kindling. Biochemical and radiohistochemical studies have pointed to the dentate granule cells (DGC) of the hippocampal formation as a member of this altered circuit. To test the role of these cells, colchicine, a neurotoxin of DGC, was directly injected into the dentate gyrus. Prior destruction of DGC retarded the development of amygdala kindling. Destruction of DGC after kindling was completed did not reverse the kindling effect. We conclude that DGC play a key role in the development, but not the permanence, of amygdala kindling. We propose a model whereby the greater the input to the hippocampal formation, the faster limbic kindling will proceed.

  10. Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burra, Nicolas; Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Kerzel, Dirk; Tamietto, Marco; de Gelder, Beatrice; Pegna, Alan J

    2013-06-19

    Cortical blindness refers to the loss of vision that occurs after destruction of the primary visual cortex. Although there is no sensory cortex and hence no conscious vision, some cortically blind patients show amygdala activation in response to facial or bodily expressions of emotion. Here we investigated whether direction of gaze could also be processed in the absence of any functional visual cortex. A well-known patient with bilateral destruction of his visual cortex and subsequent cortical blindness was investigated in an fMRI paradigm during which blocks of faces were presented either with their gaze directed toward or away from the viewer. Increased right amygdala activation was found in response to directed compared with averted gaze. Activity in this region was further found to be functionally connected to a larger network associated with face and gaze processing. The present study demonstrates that, in human subjects, the amygdala response to eye contact does not require an intact primary visual cortex.

  11. Amygdala-gustatory insular cortex connections and taste neophobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jian-You; Reilly, Steve

    2012-12-01

    To examine whether communication between the amygdala and gustatory insular cortex (GC) is required for normal performance of taste neophobia, three experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, rats with asymmetric unilateral lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the GC displayed elevated intake of a novel saccharin solution relative to control subjects. However, an attenuation of neophobia was not found following asymmetric unilateral lesions of the GC and medial amygdala (MeA; Experiment 2) or of the MeA and BLA (Experiment 3). This pattern of results indicates that the BLA and GC functionally interact during expression of taste neophobia and that the MeA functionally interacts with neither the BLA nor the GC. Research is needed to further characterize the nature of the involvement of the MeA in taste neophobia and to determine the function of the BLA-GC interaction during exposure to a new taste.

  12. Intra-Amygdala Injections of CREB Antisense Impair Inhibitory Avoidance Memory: Role of Norepinephrine and Acetylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canal, Clinton E.; Chang, Qing; Gold, Paul E.

    2008-01-01

    Infusions of CREB antisense into the amygdala prior to training impair memory for aversive tasks, suggesting that the antisense may interfere with CRE-mediated gene transcription and protein synthesis important for the formation of new memories within the amygdala. However, the amygdala also appears to modulate memory formation in distributed…

  13. Meta-Analysis of Amygdala Volumes in Children and Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Jonathan C.; Welge, Jeffrey; Strakowski. Stephen M.; Adler, Caleb M.; Delbello, Melissa P.

    2008-01-01

    The size of amygdala of bipolar youths and adults is investigated using neuroimaging studies. Findings showed that smaller volumes of amygdala were observed in youths with bipolar youths compared with children and adolescents without bipolar disorder. The structural amygdala abnormalities in bipolar youths are examined further.

  14. Shared Genetic Factors Influence Amygdala Volumes and Risk for Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dager, Alecia D; McKay, D Reese; Kent, Jack W; Curran, Joanne E; Knowles, Emma; Sprooten, Emma; Göring, Harald HH; Dyer, Thomas D; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Olvera, Rene L; Fox, Peter T; Lovallo, William R; Duggirala, Ravi; Almasy, Laura; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol abuse and dependence (alcohol use disorders, AUDs) are associated with brain shrinkage. Subcortical structures including the amygdala, hippocampus, ventral striatum, dorsal striatum, and thalamus subserve reward functioning and may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. These structures may also show pre-existing deficits impacting the development and maintenance of AUD. It remains unclear whether there are common genetic features underlying both subcortical volumes and AUD. In this study, structural brain images were acquired from 872 Mexican-American individuals from extended pedigrees. Subcortical volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer, and quantitative genetic analyses were performed in SOLAR. We hypothesized the following: (1) reduced subcortical volumes in individuals with lifetime AUD relative to unrelated controls; (2) reduced subcortical volumes in individuals with current relative to past AUD; (3) in non-AUD individuals, reduced subcortical volumes in those with a family history of AUD compared to those without; and (4) evidence for common genetic underpinnings (pleiotropy) between AUD risk and subcortical volumes. Results showed that individuals with lifetime AUD showed larger ventricular and smaller amygdala volumes compared to non-AUD individuals. For the amygdala, there were no differences in volume between current vs past AUD, and non-AUD individuals with a family history of AUD demonstrated reductions compared to those with no such family history. Finally, amygdala volume was genetically correlated with the risk for AUD. Together, these results suggest that reduced amygdala volume reflects a pre-existing difference rather than alcohol-induced neurotoxic damage. Our genetic correlation analysis provides evidence for a common genetic factor underlying both reduced amygdala volumes and AUD risk. PMID:25079289

  15. Shared genetic factors influence amygdala volumes and risk for alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dager, Alecia D; McKay, D Reese; Kent, Jack W; Curran, Joanne E; Knowles, Emma; Sprooten, Emma; Göring, Harald H H; Dyer, Thomas D; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Olvera, Rene L; Fox, Peter T; Lovallo, William R; Duggirala, Ravi; Almasy, Laura; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol abuse and dependence (alcohol use disorders, AUDs) are associated with brain shrinkage. Subcortical structures including the amygdala, hippocampus, ventral striatum, dorsal striatum, and thalamus subserve reward functioning and may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. These structures may also show pre-existing deficits impacting the development and maintenance of AUD. It remains unclear whether there are common genetic features underlying both subcortical volumes and AUD. In this study, structural brain images were acquired from 872 Mexican-American individuals from extended pedigrees. Subcortical volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer, and quantitative genetic analyses were performed in SOLAR. We hypothesized the following: (1) reduced subcortical volumes in individuals with lifetime AUD relative to unrelated controls; (2) reduced subcortical volumes in individuals with current relative to past AUD; (3) in non-AUD individuals, reduced subcortical volumes in those with a family history of AUD compared to those without; and (4) evidence for common genetic underpinnings (pleiotropy) between AUD risk and subcortical volumes. Results showed that individuals with lifetime AUD showed larger ventricular and smaller amygdala volumes compared to non-AUD individuals. For the amygdala, there were no differences in volume between current vs past AUD, and non-AUD individuals with a family history of AUD demonstrated reductions compared to those with no such family history. Finally, amygdala volume was genetically correlated with the risk for AUD. Together, these results suggest that reduced amygdala volume reflects a pre-existing difference rather than alcohol-induced neurotoxic damage. Our genetic correlation analysis provides evidence for a common genetic factor underlying both reduced amygdala volumes and AUD risk.

  16. Prenatal stress alters amygdala functional connectivity in preterm neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheinost, Dustin; Kwon, Soo Hyun; Lacadie, Cheryl; Sze, Gordon; Sinha, Rajita; Constable, R Todd; Ment, Laura R

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to prenatal and early-life stress results in alterations in neural connectivity and an increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. In particular, alterations in amygdala connectivity have emerged as a common effect across several recent studies. However, the impact of prenatal stress exposure on the functional organization of the amygdala has yet to be explored in the prematurely-born, a population at high risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. We test the hypothesis that preterm birth and prenatal exposure to maternal stress alter functional connectivity of the amygdala using two independent cohorts. The first cohort is used to establish the effects of preterm birth and consists of 12 very preterm neonates and 25 term controls, all without prenatal stress exposure. The second is analyzed to establish the effects of prenatal stress exposure and consists of 16 extremely preterm neonates with prenatal stress exposure and 10 extremely preterm neonates with no known prenatal stress exposure. Standard resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and seed connectivity methods are used. When compared to term controls, very preterm neonates show significantly reduced connectivity between the amygdala and the thalamus, the hypothalamus, the brainstem, and the insula (p cortex (p subcortical regions is decreased in preterm neonates compared to term controls. In addition, these data, for the first time, suggest that prenatal stress exposure amplifies these decreases.

  17. The Role of the Basolateral Amygdala in Punishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dit-Bressel, Philip Jean-Richard; McNally, Gavan P.

    2015-01-01

    Aversive stimuli not only support fear conditioning to their environmental antecedents, they also punish behaviors that cause their occurrence. The amygdala, especially the basolateral nucleus (BLA), has been critically implicated in Pavlovian fear learning but its role in punishment remains poorly understood. Here, we used a within-subjects…

  18. Dynamic modulation of amygdala-hippocampal connectivity by emotional arousal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fastenrath, M.; Coynel, D.; Spalek, K.; Milnik, A.; Gschwind, L.; Roozendaal, B.; Papassotiropoulos, A.; Quervain, D.J. de

    2014-01-01

    Positive and negative emotional events are better remembered than neutral events. Studies in animals suggest that this phenomenon depends on the influence of the amygdala upon the hippocampus. In humans, however, it is largely unknown how these two brain structures functionally interact and whether

  19. Evolution of the amygdala: new insights from studies in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laberge, Frédéric; Mühlenbrock-Lenter, Sabine; Grunwald, Wolfgang; Roth, Gerhard

    2006-01-01

    The histology of amphibian brains gives an impression of relative simplicity when compared with that of reptiles or mammals. The amphibian telencephalon is small and contains comparatively few and large neurons, which in most parts constitute a dense periventricular cellular layer. However, the view emerging from the last decade is that the brains of all tetrapods, including amphibians, share a general bauplan resulting from common ancestry and the need to perform similar vital functions. To what extent this common organization also applies to higher brain functions is unknown due to a limited knowledge of the neurobiology of early vertebrates. The amygdala is widely recognized as a brain center critical for basic forms of emotional learning (e.g., fear conditioning) and its structure in amphibians could suggest how this capacity evolved. A functional systems approach is used here to synthesize the results of our anatomical investigations of the amphibian amygdala. It is proposed that the connectivity of the amphibian telencephalon portends a capacity for multi-modal association in a limbic system largely similar to that of amniote vertebrates. One remarkable exception is the presence of new sensory-associative regions of the amygdala in amniotes: the posterior dorsal ventricular ridge plus lateral nuclei in reptiles and the basolateral complex in mammals. These presumably homologous regions apparently are capable of modulating the phylogenetically older central amygdala and allow more complex forms of emotional learning.

  20. Amygdala response to emotional stimuli without awareness : Facts and Interpretations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diano, M.; Celeghin, A.; Bagnis, Arianna; Tamietto, M.

    2017-01-01

    Over the past two decades, evidence has accumulated that the human amygdala exerts some of its functions also when the observer is not aware of the content, or even presence, of the triggering emotional stimulus. Nevertheless, there is as of yet no consensus on the limits and conditions that affect

  1. Interactions between chemical and electrical kindling of the rat amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasterlain, C G; Morin, A M; Jonec, V

    1982-09-16

    Holtzman rats were implanted with a chemitrode into the left basolateral amygdala, which could then be stimulated electrically (400 microA, 1 s, AC) or chemically by injection of carbachol (1 microliter, 2.7 nmoles, sterile, isotonic). Group A received a daily injection of carbachol and developed kindled seizures. Group B received carbachol mixed with equimolar atropine, which blocked seizures and kindling. After 20 injections, both groups were stimulated electrically once a day and kindled at similar rates. Two additional groups received electrical or sham stimulation, followed by carbachol kindling. No transfer effects were observed. Four additional groups received 27 nmoles of atropine through the chemitrode, followed 15 min later by electrical stimulation, sham stimulation, carbachol injection or saline injection, respectively. Atropine completely blocked carbachol kindling but did not alter the rate of electrical kindling. No different in the number of QNB binding sites was observed in the amygdala of rats sacrificed two weeks after full electrical kindling. The lack of interaction between electrical and carbachol kindling and the failure of atropine to block electrical kindling of the amygdala suggest that the activation of local muscarinic synapses, while essential for carbachol kindling, is not required for electrical kindling of the rat amygdala.

  2. A Model of Differential Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moul, Caroline; Killcross, Simon; Dadds, Mark R.

    2012-01-01

    This article introduces a novel hypothesis regarding amygdala function in psychopathy. The first part of this article introduces the concept of psychopathy and describes the main cognitive and affective impairments demonstrated by this population; that is, a deficit in fear-recognition, lower conditioned fear responses and poor performance in…

  3. The role of the amygdala in the extinction of conditioned fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barad, Mark; Gean, Po-Wu; Lutz, Beat

    2006-08-15

    The amygdala has long been known to play a central role in the acquisition and expression of fear. More recently, convergent evidence has implicated the amygdala in the extinction of fear as well. In rodents, some of this evidence comes from the infusion of drugs directly into the amygdala and, in particular, into the basolateral complex of the amygdala, during or after extinction learning. In vivo electrophysiology has identified cellular correlates of extinction learning and memory in the lateral nucleus of that structure. Human imaging experiments also indicate that amygdaloid activity correlates with extinction training. In addition, some studies have directly identified changes in molecular constituents of the basolateral amygdala. Together these experiments strongly indicate that the basolateral amygdala plays a crucial role in extinction learning. Interpreted in the light of these findings, several recent in vitro electrophysiology studies in amygdala-containing brain slices are suggestive of potential synaptic and circuit bases of extinction learning.

  4. Intact electrodermal skin conductance responses after bilateral amygdala damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranel, D; Damasio, H

    1989-01-01

    Several lines of evidence have suggested that the amygdala is a crucial component of the anatomical network that mediates the skin conductance orienting response (SCOR). In this study, the electrodermal activity of a patient whose entire amygdaloid complex had been destroyed bilaterally, and of 7 age- and gender-matched controls, was recorded under the same experimental conditions. The results indicate unequivocally that the subject could generate normal skin conductance and SCORs, in response to stimuli of different sensory modalities and configurations. This suggests that the amygdala is not a necessary component of the neural network underlying SCORs and that there are alternate neural units and pathways that link sensory cortices to autonomic effectors.

  5. The Possible Contribution of the Amygdala to Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Babinsky

    1993-01-01

    Full Text Available The processing of episodic memories is believed to depend on the proper functioning of so-called bottleneck structures through which information apparently must pass in order to be stored long term. These regions are seen in the basal forebrain, the medial diencephalon, and the medial temporal lobe. We here report a case with circumscribed bilateral temporal lobe damage, principally involving the amygdaloid area. Neuropsychological investigation demonstrated preserved intelligence, intact general memory and several other undisturbed cognitive functions, but a specific, affect-related, memory disorder. We conclude from these findings that the role of the amygdala is to process mnemonic events in a way that a specific emotional significance can be found and reactivated. Therefore it is suggested that the amygdala is likely to be a bottleneck structure for affect-related long-term memory functions.

  6. Amygdala lesions selectively impair familiarity in recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farovik, Anja; Place, Ryan James; Miller, Danielle Renée; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2011-09-25

    A major controversy in the study of memory concerns whether there are distinct medial temporal lobe (MTL) substrates of recollection and familiarity. Studies using receiver operating characteristics analyses of recognition memory indicate that the hippocampus is essential for recollection, but not for familiarity. We found the converse pattern in the amygdala, wherein damage impaired familiarity while sparing recollection. Combined with previous findings, these results dissociate recollection and familiarity by selective MTL damage.

  7. Mothers’ Unresolved Trauma Blunts Amygdala Response to Infant Distress

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, S.; Fonagy, P; Allen, J.; Strathearn, L.

    2014-01-01

    While the neurobiology of post-traumatic stress disorder has been extensively researched, much less attention has been paid to the neural mechanisms underlying more covert but pervasive types of trauma (e.g., those involving disrupted relationships and insecure attachment). Here, we report on a neurobiological study documenting that mothers' attachment-related trauma, when unresolved, undermines her optimal brain response to her infant's distress. We examined the amygdala blood oxygenation le...

  8. NMDA receptors in the basolateral amygdala and gustatory neophobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa-Guzmán, Yazmín; Reilly, Steve

    2008-05-19

    The attenuation of gustatory neophobia occurs during repeated exposures to an initially novel taste solution that is increasingly perceived as safe and familiar. The present study examined whether NMDA receptors in the basolateral region of the amygdala (BLA) are involved in this important behavioral phenomenon. The results, which show that the attenuation, but not initial occurrence, of gustatory neophobia is dependent upon NMDA receptors in the BLA, are discussed with reference to a similar finding involving NMDA receptors in the insular cortex.

  9. Absence of gender effect on amygdala volume in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Ivaldo; Lin, Katia; Jackowski, Andrea P; Centeno, Ricardo da Silva; Pinto, Magali L; Carrete, Henrique; Yacubian, Elza M; Amado, Débora

    2010-11-01

    Sexual dimorphism has already been described in temporal lobe epilepsy with mesial temporal sclerosis (TLE-MTS). This study evaluated the effect of gender on amygdala volume in patients with TLE-MTS. One hundred twenty-four patients with refractory unilateral or bilateral TLE-MTS who were being considered for epilepsy surgery underwent a comprehensive presurgical evaluation and MRI. Amygdalas of 67 women (27 with right; 32 with left, and 8 with bilateral TLE) and 57 men (22 with right, 30 with left, and 5 with bilateral TLE) were manually segmented. Significant ipsilateral amygdala volume reduction was observed for patients with right and left TLE. No gender effect on amygdala volume was observed. Contralateral amygdalar asymmetry was observed for patients with right and left TLE. Although no gender effect was observed on amygdala volume, ipsilateral amygdala volume reductions in patients with TLE might be related to differential rates of cerebral maturation between hemispheres.

  10. Threat-related amygdala functional connectivity is associated with 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Martin Korsbak; Mc Mahon, Brenda; Andersen, Sofie Bech

    2016-01-01

    is not fully understood. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we evaluated independent and interactive effects of the 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism on amygdala functional connectivity during an emotional faces paradigm in 76 healthy individuals. Functional connectivity between left amygdala...... and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and between both amygdalae and a cluster including posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus and visual cortex was significantly increased in 5-HTTLPR S' allele carriers relative to L(A)L(A) individuals. Neuroticism was negatively correlated with functional connectivity...... between right amygdala and mPFC and visual cortex, and between both amygdalae and left lateral orbitofrontal (lOFC) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC). Notably, 5-HTTLPR moderated the association between neuroticism and functional connectivity between both amygdalae and left l...

  11. Psychopaths Show Enhanced Amygdala Activation during Fear Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Larson, Christine L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into "primary" and "secondary" psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional "fearlessness," while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.

  12. The amygdala: an agent of change in adolescent neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherf, K Suzanne; Smyth, Joshua M; Delgado, Mauricio R

    2013-07-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Puberty and Adolescence". A unique component of adolescent development is the need to master new developmental tasks in which peer interactions become primary (for the purposes of becoming autonomous from parents, forming intimate friendships, and romantic/sexual partnerships). Previously, it has been suggested that the ability to master these tasks requires an important re-organization in the relation between perceptual, motivational, affective, and cognitive systems in a very general and broad way that is fundamentally influenced by the infusion of sex hormones during pubertal development (Scherf et al., 2012). Herein, we extend this argument to suggest that the amygdala, which is vastly connected with cortical and subcortical regions and contains sex hormone receptors, may lie at the heart of this re-organization. We propose that during adolescent development there is a shift in the attribution of relevance to existing stimuli and contexts that is mediated by the amygdala (e.g., heightened relevance of peer faces, reduced relevance of physical distance from parents). As a result, amygdala inputs to existing stable neural networks are re-weighted (increased or decreased), which destabilizes the functional interactions among regions within these networks and allows for a critical restructuring of the network functional organization. This process of network re-organization enables processing of qualitatively new kinds of social information and the emergence of novel behaviors that support mastery of adolescent-specific developmental tasks.

  13. Dopamine in the medial amygdala network mediates human bonding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touroutoglou, Alexandra; Rudy, Tali; Salcedo, Stephanie; Feldman, Ruth; Hooker, Jacob M.; Dickerson, Bradford C.; Catana, Ciprian; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2017-01-01

    Research in humans and nonhuman animals indicates that social affiliation, and particularly maternal bonding, depends on reward circuitry. Although numerous mechanistic studies in rodents demonstrated that maternal bonding depends on striatal dopamine transmission, the neurochemistry supporting maternal behavior in humans has not been described so far. In this study, we tested the role of central dopamine in human bonding. We applied a combined functional MRI-PET scanner to simultaneously probe mothers’ dopamine responses to their infants and the connectivity between the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), the amygdala, and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which form an intrinsic network (referred to as the “medial amygdala network”) that supports social functioning. We also measured the mothers’ behavioral synchrony with their infants and plasma oxytocin. The results of this study suggest that synchronous maternal behavior is associated with increased dopamine responses to the mother’s infant and stronger intrinsic connectivity within the medial amygdala network. Moreover, stronger network connectivity is associated with increased dopamine responses within the network and decreased plasma oxytocin. Together, these data indicate that dopamine is involved in human bonding. Compared with other mammals, humans have an unusually complex social life. The complexity of human bonding cannot be fully captured in nonhuman animal models, particularly in pathological bonding, such as that in autistic spectrum disorder or postpartum depression. Thus, investigations of the neurochemistry of social bonding in humans, for which this study provides initial evidence, are warranted. PMID:28193868

  14. Rapid amygdala responses during trace fear conditioning without awareness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas L Balderston

    Full Text Available The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In contrast to these findings, we show that individuals can learn to associate a face with the later occurrence of a shock, even if they are unable to perceive the face. We used a novel application of magnetoencephalography (MEG to non-invasively record neural activity from the amygdala, which is known to be important for fear learning. We demonstrate rapid (∼ 170-200 ms amygdala responses during the stimulus free period between the face and the shock. These results suggest that unperceived faces can serve as signals for impending threat, and that rapid, automatic activation of the amygdala contributes to this process. In addition, we describe a methodology that can be applied in the future to study neural activity with MEG in other subcortical structures.

  15. Rapid amygdala responses during trace fear conditioning without awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L; Schultz, Douglas H; Baillet, Sylvain; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2014-01-01

    The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In contrast to these findings, we show that individuals can learn to associate a face with the later occurrence of a shock, even if they are unable to perceive the face. We used a novel application of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to non-invasively record neural activity from the amygdala, which is known to be important for fear learning. We demonstrate rapid (∼ 170-200 ms) amygdala responses during the stimulus free period between the face and the shock. These results suggest that unperceived faces can serve as signals for impending threat, and that rapid, automatic activation of the amygdala contributes to this process. In addition, we describe a methodology that can be applied in the future to study neural activity with MEG in other subcortical structures.

  16. Electrical amygdala kindling in alcohol-withdrawal kindled rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrichsen, J; Woldbye, D P; Madsen, T M; Clemmesen, L; Haugbøl, S; Olsen, C H; Laursen, H; Bolwig, T G; Hemmingsen, R

    1998-01-01

    Repeated alcohol withdrawal has been shown to kindle seizure activity. The purpose of the present investigation was to study electrical amygdala kindling in rats previously exposed to alcohol-withdrawal kindling. In three independent experiments, male Wistar rats were subjected to multiple episodes each consisting of 2 days of severe alcohol intoxication and 5 days of alcohol withdrawal. In the first experiment, the alcohol-withdrawal kindled animals were divided into two groups depending on whether spontaneous alcohol-withdrawal seizures were observed in episodes 10-13. In the second and third experiments, the alcohol-withdrawal kindled animals were compared to a group in which alcohol-withdrawal kindling was prevented by diazepam treatment during the withdrawal reactions in order to discriminate between the effect of withdrawal and intoxication. Electrical kindling was initiated 28-35 days after the last alcohol dose by exposing the animals to daily electrical stimulations of the right amygdala. The results showed that amygdala kindling was facilitated in alcohol-withdrawal kindled animals which showed spontaneous withdrawal seizure activity, compared with animals exposed to multiple episodes of alcohol withdrawal which did not develop withdrawal seizures or with animals exposed to a single episode of alcohol intoxication. When compared to the control group, the alcohol-withdrawal kindled group with seizures also kindled at a faster rate, but the difference did not reach statistical significance and therefore the results must be regarded as preliminary at present.

  17. Psychopaths show enhanced amygdala activation during fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas eSchultz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into primary and secondary psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional fearlessness, while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.

  18. Prefrontal-amygdala fear networks come into focus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maithe eArruda-Carvalho

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The ability to form associations between aversive threats and their predictors is fundamental to survival. However, fear and anxiety in excess are detrimental and are a hallmark of psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. PTSD symptomatology includes persistent and intrusive thoughts of an experienced trauma, suggesting an inability to downregulate fear when a corresponding threat has subsided. Convergent evidence from human and rodent studies supports a role for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC-amygdala network in both PTSD and the regulation of fear memory expression. In particular, current models stipulate that the prelimbic and infralimbic subdivisions of the rodent mPFC bidirectionally regulate fear expression via differential recruitment of amygdala neuronal subpopulations. However, an array of recent studies that employ new technical approaches has fundamentally challenged this interpretation. Here we explore how a new emphasis on the contribution of inhibitory neuronal populations, subcortical structures and the passage of time is reshaping our understanding of mPFC-amygdala circuits and their control over fear.

  19. Bi-Directional Tuning of Amygdala Sensitivity in Combat Veterans Investigated with fMRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Brashers-Krug

    Full Text Available Combat stress can be followed by persistent emotional consequences. It is thought that these emotional consequences are caused in part by increased amygdala reactivity. It is also thought that amygdala hyper-reactivity results from decreased inhibition from portions of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC in which activity is negatively correlated with activity in the amygdala. However, experimental support for these proposals has been inconsistent.We showed movies of combat and civilian scenes during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI session to 50 veterans of recent combat. We collected skin conductance responses (SCRs as measures of emotional arousal. We examined the relation of blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD signal in the amygdala and ACC to symptom measures and to SCRs.Emotional arousal, as measured with SCR, was greater during the combat movie than during the civilian movie and did not depend on symptom severity. As expected, amygdala signal during the less-arousing movie increased with increasing symptom severity. Surprisingly, during the more-arousing movie amygdala signal decreased with increasing symptom severity. These differences led to the unexpected result that amygdala signal in highly symptomatic subjects was lower during the more-arousing movie than during the less-arousing movie. Also unexpectedly, we found no significant inverse correlation between any portions of the amygdala and ACC. Rather, signal throughout more than 80% of the ACC showed a strong positive correlation with signal throughout more than 90% of the amygdala.Amygdala reactivity can be tuned bi-directionally, either up or down, in the same person depending on the stimulus and the degree of post-traumatic symptoms. The exclusively positive correlations in BOLD activity between the amygdala and ACC contrast with findings that have been cited as evidence for inhibitory control of the amygdala by the ACC. The conceptualization of post

  20. The Neurosteroids Allopregnanolone and DHEA Modulate Resting-State Amygdala Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripada, Rebecca K.; Welsh, Robert C.; Marx, Christine E.; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-01-01

    The neurosteroids allopregnanolone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are integral components of the stress response and exert positive modulatory effects on emotion in both human and animal studies. Though these antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been well established, little research to date has examined their neural correlates, and no research has been conducted into the effects of neurosteroids on large-scale networks at rest. To investigate the neurosteroid impact on intrinsic connectivity networks, participants were administered 400 mg of pregnenolone (N = 16), 400 mg of DHEA (N = 14), or placebo (N = 15) and underwent 3T fMRI. Resting-state brain connectivity was measured using amygdala as a seed region. Compared to placebo, pregnenolone administration reduced connectivity between amygdala and dmPFC, between amygdala and precuneus, and between amygdala and hippocampus. DHEA reduced connectivity between amygdala and peri-amygdala and between amygdala and insula. Reductions in amygdala to precuneus connectivity were associated with less self-reported negative affect. These results demonstrate that neurosteroids modulate amygdala functional connectivity during resting-state, and may be a target for pharmacological intervention. Additionally, allopregnanolone and DHEA may shift the balance between salience network and default network, a finding that could provide insight into the neurocircuitry of anxiety psychopathology. PMID:24302681

  1. Amygdala responses to salient social cues vary with oxytocin receptor genotype in youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusak, Hilary A.; Furman, Daniella J.; Kuruvadi, Nisha; Shattuck, David W.; Joshi, Shantanu H.; Joshi, Anand A.; Etkin, Amit; Thomason, Moriah E.

    2015-01-01

    Depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder are linked to altered limbic morphology, dysregulated neuroendocrine function, and heightened amygdala responses to salient social cues. Oxytocin appears to be a potent modulator of amygdala reactivity and neuroendocrine responses to psychosocial stress. Given these stress regulatory effects, there is increasing interest in understanding the role of oxytocin in vulnerability to stress-related clinical disorders. The present study examines the impact of a common functional variant within the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene (rs2254298) on structure and function of the amygdala in a high-risk sample of urban, low-income, minority youth with a high incidence of early life stress (ELS). Compared to G/G homozygotes, youth carrying the OXTR A-allele showed increased amygdala volume, reduced behavioral performance, and heightened amygdala response during two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks that involved viewing socially-relevant face stimuli. Higher amygdala response was related to ELS in A-alleles carriers but not G/G homozygotes. These findings underscore a series of relationships among a common oxytocin system gene variant, ELS exposure, and structure and function of the amygdala in early life. Heightened amygdala response to salient social cues in OXTR A-allele carriers may elevate risk for emotional psychopathology by increasing amygdala involvement in disambiguating environmental cues, particularly for individuals with ELS. PMID:26477647

  2. Effects of gaze direction, head orientation and valence of facial expression on amygdala activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, Andreas; Mothes-Lasch, Martin; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Straube, Thomas

    2014-08-01

    There is increasing evidence for a role of the amygdala in processing gaze direction and emotional relevance of faces. In this event-related functional magnetic resonance study we investigated amygdala responses while we orthogonally manipulated head direction, gaze direction and facial expression (angry, happy and neutral). This allowed us to investigate effects of stimulus ambiguity, low-level factors and non-emotional factors on amygdala activation. Averted vs direct gaze induced increased activation in the right dorsal amygdala regardless of facial expression and head orientation. Furthermore, valence effects were found in the ventral amygdala and strongly dependent on head orientation. We observed enhanced activation to angry and neutral vs happy faces for observer-directed faces in the left ventral amygdala while the averted head condition reversed this pattern resulting in increased activation to happy as compared to angry and neutral faces. These results suggest that gaze direction drives specifically dorsal amygdala activation regardless of facial expression, low-level perceptual factors or stimulus ambiguity. The role of the amygdala is thus not restricted to the detection of potential threat, but has a more general role in attention processes. Furthermore, valence effects are associated with activation of the ventral amygdala and strongly influenced by non-emotional factors.

  3. Association between amygdala volume and anxiety level: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study in autistic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juranek, Jenifer; Filipek, Pauline A; Berenji, Gholam R; Modahl, Charlotte; Osann, Kathryn; Spence, M Anne

    2006-12-01

    Our objective was to evaluate brain-behavior relationships between amygdala volume and anxious/depressed scores on the Child Behavior Checklist in a well-characterized population of autistic children. Volumes for the amygdala, hippocampus, and whole brain were obtained from three-dimensional magnetic resonance images (MRIs) captured from 42 children who met the criteria for autistic disorder. Anxious/depressed symptoms were assessed in these children by the Anxious/Depressed subscale of the Child Behavior Checklist. To investigate the association between anxious/depressed scores on the Child Behavior Checklist and amygdala volume, data were analyzed using linear regression methods with Pearson correlation coefficients. A multivariate model was used to adjust for potential covariates associated with amygdala volume, including age at MRI and total brain size. We found that anxious/depressed symptoms were significantly correlated with increased total amygdala volume (r = .386, P = .012) and right amygdala volume (r = .469, P = .002). The correlation between anxious/depressed symptoms and left amygdala volume did not reach statistical significance (r = .249, P = .112). Child Behavior Checklist anxious/depressed scores were found to be a significant predictor of amygdala total (P = .014) and right amygdala (P = .002) volumes. In conclusion, we have identified a significant brain-behavior relationship between amygdala volume and anxious/depressed scores on the Child Behavior Checklist in our autistic cohort. This specific relationship has not been reported in autism. However, the existing literature on human psychiatry and behavior supports our reported evidence for a neurobiologic relationship between symptoms of anxiety and depression with amygdala structure and function. Our results highlight the importance of characterizing comorbid psychiatric symptomatology in autism. The abundance of inconsistent findings in the published literature on autism might reflect

  4. Progressively Disrupted Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of Basolateral Amygdala in Very Early Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion Ortner

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Very early Alzheimer’s disease (AD - i.e., AD at stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI and mild dementia - is characterized by progressive structural and neuropathologic changes such as atrophy or tangle deposition in medial temporal lobes, including hippocampus and entorhinal cortex but also adjacent amygdala. While progressively disrupted intrinsic connectivity of hippocampus with other brain areas has been demonstrated by many studies, amygdala connectivity was rarely investigated in AD, notwithstanding its known relevance for emotion processing and mood disturbances, which are both important in early AD. Intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC patterns of hippocampus and amygdala overlap in healthy persons. Thus, we hypothesized that increased alteration of iFC patterns along AD is not limited to the hippocampus but also concerns the amygdala, independent from atrophy. To address this hypothesis, we applied structural and functional resting-state MRI in healthy controls (CON, n=33 and patients with AD in the stages of MCI (AD-MCI, n=38 and mild dementia (AD-D, n=36. Outcome measures were voxel-based morphometry (VBM values and region of interest-based intrinsic functional connectivity maps (iFC of basolateral amygdala, which has extended cortical connectivity. Amygdala VBM values were progressively reduced in patients (CON > AD-MCI and AD-D. Amygdala iFC was progressively reduced along impairment severity (CON > AD-MCI > AD-D, particularly for hippocampus, temporal lobes, and fronto-parietal areas. Notably, decreased iFC was independent of amygdala atrophy. Results demonstrate progressively impaired amygdala intrinsic connectivity in temporal and fronto-parietal lobes independent from increasing amygdala atrophy in very early AD. Data suggest that early AD disrupts intrinsic connectivity of medial temporal lobe key regions including that of amygdala.

  5. Increased amygdala response to shame in remitted major depressive disorder.

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    Erdem Pulcu

    Full Text Available Proneness to self-blaming moral emotions such as shame and guilt is increased in major depressive disorder (MDD, and may play an important role in vulnerability even after symptoms have subsided. Social psychologists have argued that shame-proneness is relevant for depression vulnerability and is distinct from guilt. Shame depends on the imagined critical perception of others, whereas guilt results from one's own judgement. The neuroanatomy of shame in MDD is unknown. Using fMRI, we compared 21 participants with MDD remitted from symptoms with no current co-morbid axis-I disorders, and 18 control participants with no personal or family history of MDD. The MDD group exhibited higher activation of the right amygdala and posterior insula for shame relative to guilt (SPM8. This neural difference was observed despite equal levels of rated negative emotional valence and frequencies of induced shame and guilt experience across groups. These same results were found in the medication-free MDD subgroup (N = 15. Increased amygdala and posterior insula activations, known to be related to sensory perception of emotional stimuli, distinguish shame from guilt responses in remitted MDD. People with MDD thus exhibit changes in the neural response to shame after symptoms have subsided. This supports the hypothesis that shame and guilt play at least partly distinct roles in vulnerability to MDD. Shame-induction may be a more sensitive probe of residual amygdala hypersensitivity in MDD compared with facial emotion-evoked responses previously found to normalize on remission.

  6. The left amygdala: A shared substrate of alexithymia and empathy.

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    Goerlich-Dobre, Katharina Sophia; Lamm, Claus; Pripfl, Juergen; Habel, Ute; Votinov, Mikhail

    2015-11-15

    Alexithymia, a deficit in emotional self-awareness, and deficits in empathy, which encompasses the awareness of other's emotions, are related constructs that are both associated with a range of psychopathological disorders. Neuroimaging studies suggest that there is overlap between the neural bases of alexithymia and empathy, but no systematic comparison has been conducted so far. The aim of this structural magnetic resonance imaging study was to disentangle the overlap and differences between the morphological profiles of the cognitive and affective dimensions of alexithymia and empathy, and to find out to what extent these differ between women and men. High-resolution T1 anatomical images were obtained from 125 healthy right-handers (18-42 years), 70 women and 55 men. By means of voxel-based morphometry, region of interest (ROI) analyses were performed on gray matter volumes of several anatomically defined a-priori regions previously linked to alexithymia and empathy. Partial correlations were conducted within the female and male group using ROI parameter estimates as dependent variables and the cognitive and affective dimensions of alexithymia and empathy, respectively, as predictors, controlling for age. Results were considered significant if they survived Holm-Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The left amygdala was identified as a key substrate of both alexithymia and empathy. This association was characterized by an opposite pattern: The cognitive alexithymia dimension was linked to smaller, the two empathy dimensions to larger left amygdala volume. While sex-specific effects were not observed for empathy, they were evident for the affective alexithymia dimension: Men-but not women-with difficulty fantasizing had smaller gray matter volume in the middle cingulate cortex. Moreover, structural covariance patterns between the left amygdala and other emotion-related brain regions differed markedly between alexithymia and empathy. These differences

  7. Repeatedly stressed rats have enhanced vulnerability to amygdala kindling epileptogenesis.

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    Jones, Nigel C; Lee, Han Ee; Yang, Meng; Rees, Sandra M; Morris, Margaret J; O'Brien, Terence J; Salzberg, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    Psychiatric disorders associated with elevated stress levels, such as depression, are present in many epilepsy patients, including those with mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (mTLE). Evidence suggests that these psychiatric disorders can predate the onset of epilepsy, suggesting a causal/contributory role. Prolonged exposure to elevated corticosterone, used as a model of chronic stress/depression, accelerates limbic epileptogenesis in the amygdala kindling model. The current study examined whether exposure to repeated stress could similarly accelerate experimental epileptogenesis. Female adult non-epileptic Wistar rats were implanted with a bipolar electrode into the left amygdala, and were randomly assigned into stressed (n=18) or non-stressed (n=19) groups. Rats underwent conventional amygdala kindling (two electrical stimulations per day) until 5 Class V seizures had been experienced ('the fully kindled state'). Stressed rats were exposed to 30min restraint immediately prior to each kindling stimulation, whereas non-stressed rats received control handling. Restraint stress increased circulating corticosterone levels (pre-stress: 122±17ng/ml; post-stress: 632±33ng/ml), with no habituation observed over the experiment. Stressed rats reached the 'fully kindled state' in significantly fewer stimulations than non-stressed rats (21±1 vs 33±3 stimulations; p=0.022; ANOVA), indicative of a vulnerability to epileptogenesis. Further, seizure durations were significantly longer in stressed rats (p<0.001; ANOVA). These data demonstrate that exposure to repeated experimental stress accelerates the development of limbic epileptogenesis, an effect which may be related to elevated corticosterone levels. This may have implications for understanding the effects of chronic stress and depression in disease onset and progression of mTLE in humans.

  8. The amygdala and basal forebrain as a pathway for motivationally guided attention.

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    Peck, Christopher J; Salzman, C Daniel

    2014-10-08

    Visual stimuli associated with rewards attract spatial attention. Neurophysiological mechanisms that mediate this process must register both the motivational significance and location of visual stimuli. Recent neurophysiological evidence indicates that the amygdala encodes information about both of these parameters. Furthermore, the firing rate of amygdala neurons predicts the allocation of spatial attention. One neural pathway through which the amygdala might influence attention involves the intimate and bidirectional connections between the amygdala and basal forebrain (BF), a brain area long implicated in attention. Neurons in the rhesus monkey amygdala and BF were therefore recorded simultaneously while subjects performed a detection task in which the stimulus-reward associations of visual stimuli modulated spatial attention. Neurons in BF were spatially selective for reward-predictive stimuli, much like the amygdala. The onset of reward-predictive signals in each brain area suggested different routes of processing for reward-predictive stimuli appearing in the ipsilateral and contralateral fields. Moreover, neurons in the amygdala, but not BF, tracked trial-to-trial fluctuations in spatial attention. These results suggest that the amygdala and BF could play distinct yet inter-related roles in influencing attention elicited by reward-predictive stimuli.

  9. Subchronic duloxetine administration alters the extended amygdala circuitry in healthy individuals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marle, H.J.F. van; Tendolkar, I.; Urner, M.; Verkes, R.J.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Wingen, G.A. van

    2011-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have consistently linked depression to hyperactivation of a (para)limbic affective processing network centered around the amygdala. Recent studies have started to investigate how antidepressant drugs affect amygdala reactivity in healthy individuals, but the influence of their s

  10. Threat-related amygdala functional connectivity is associated with 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism.

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    Madsen, Martin Korsbak; Mc Mahon, Brenda; Andersen, Sofie Bech; Siebner, Hartwig Roman; Knudsen, Gitte Moos; Fisher, Patrick MacDonald

    2016-01-01

    Communication between the amygdala and other brain regions critically regulates sensitivity to threat, which has been associated with risk for mood and affective disorders. The extent to which these neural pathways are genetically determined or correlate with risk-related personality measures is not fully understood. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we evaluated independent and interactive effects of the 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism on amygdala functional connectivity during an emotional faces paradigm in 76 healthy individuals. Functional connectivity between left amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and between both amygdalae and a cluster including posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus and visual cortex was significantly increased in 5-HTTLPR S' allele carriers relative to L(A)L(A) individuals. Neuroticism was negatively correlated with functional connectivity between right amygdala and mPFC and visual cortex, and between both amygdalae and left lateral orbitofrontal (lOFC) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC). Notably, 5-HTTLPR moderated the association between neuroticism and functional connectivity between both amygdalae and left lOFC/vlPFC, such that S' carriers exhibited a more negative association relative to L(A)L(A) individuals. These findings provide novel evidence for both independent and interactive effects of 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism on amygdala communication, which may mediate effects on risk for mood and affective disorders.

  11. Learning Enhances Intrinsic Excitability in a Subset of Lateral Amygdala Neurons

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    Sehgal, Megha; Ehlers, Vanessa L.; Moyer, James R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Learning-induced modulation of neuronal intrinsic excitability is a metaplasticity mechanism that can impact the acquisition of new memories. Although the amygdala is important for emotional learning and other behaviors, including fear and anxiety, whether learning alters intrinsic excitability within the amygdala has received very little…

  12. Differential Effects of Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist on Social Discrimination and Contextual Fear in Amygdala and Hippocampus

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    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2011-01-01

    We examined whether the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 5 [mu]g/side) microinjected into the hippocampus or the amygdala would differentially affect memory processes in a neutral vs. an aversive task. In the aversive contextual fear task, WIN into the basolateral amygdala impaired fear acquisition/consolidation, but not retrieval.…

  13. Mechanisms Contributing to the Induction and Storage of Pavlovian Fear Memories in the Lateral Amygdala

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    Kim, Dongbeom; Pare, Denis; Nair, Satish S.

    2013-01-01

    The relative contributions of plasticity in the amygdala vs. its afferent pathways to conditioned fear remain controversial. Some believe that thalamic and cortical neurons transmitting information about the conditioned stimulus (CS) to the lateral amygdala (LA) serve a relay function. Others maintain that thalamic and/or cortical plasticity is…

  14. The Amygdala Is Not Necessary for Unconditioned Stimulus Inflation after Pavlovian Fear Conditioning in Rats

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    Rabinak, Christine A.; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M.; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The basolateral complex (BLA) and central nucleus (CEA) of the amygdala play critical roles in associative learning, including Pavlovian conditioning. However, the precise role for these structures in Pavlovian conditioning is not clear. Recent work in appetitive conditioning paradigms suggests that the amygdala, particularly the BLA, has an…

  15. Ethanol and corticotropin releasing factor receptor modulation of central amygdala neurocircuitry: An update and future directions.

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    Silberman, Yuval; Winder, Danny G

    2015-05-01

    The central amygdala is a critical brain region for many aspects of alcohol dependence. Much of the work examining the mechanisms by which the central amygdala mediates the development of alcohol dependence has focused on the interaction of acute and chronic ethanol with central amygdala corticotropin releasing factor signaling. This work has led to a great deal of success in furthering the general understanding of central amygdala neurocircuitry and its role in alcohol dependence. Much of this work has primarily focused on the hypothesis that ethanol utilizes endogenous corticotropin releasing factor signaling to upregulate inhibitory GABAergic transmission in the central amygdala. Work that is more recent suggests that corticotropin releasing factor also plays an important role in mediating anxiety-like behaviors via the enhancement of central amygdala glutamatergic transmission, implying that ethanol/corticotropin releasing factor interactions may modulate excitatory neurotransmission in this brain region. In addition, a number of studies utilizing optogenetic strategies or transgenic mouse lines have begun to examine specific central amygdala neurocircuit dynamics and neuronal subpopulations to better understand overall central amygdala neurocircuitry and the role of neuronal subtypes in mediating anxiety-like behaviors. This review will provide a brief update on this literature and describe some potential future directions that may be important for the development of better treatments for alcohol addiction.

  16. The neurosteroids allopregnanolone and dehydroepiandrosterone modulate resting-state amygdala connectivity.

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    Sripada, Rebecca K; Welsh, Robert C; Marx, Christine E; Liberzon, Israel

    2014-07-01

    The neurosteroids allopregnanolone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are integral components of the stress response and exert positive modulatory effects on emotion in both human and animal studies. Although these antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been well established, to date, little research has examined their neural correlates, and no research has been conducted into the effects of neurosteroids on large-scale networks at rest. To investigate the neurosteroid impact on intrinsic connectivity networks, participants were administered 400 mg of pregnenolone (N = 16), 400 mg of DHEA (N = 14), or placebo (N = 15) and underwent 3T fMRI. Resting-state brain connectivity was measured using amygdala as a seed region. When compared with placebo, pregnenolone administration reduced connectivity between amygdala and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, between amygdala and precuneus, and between amygdala and hippocampus. DHEA reduced connectivity between amygdala and periamygdala and between amygdala and insula. Reductions in amygdala to precuneus connectivity were associated with less self-reported negative affect. These results demonstrate that neurosteroids modulate amygdala functional connectivity during resting state and may be a target for pharmacological intervention. Additionally, allopregnanolone and DHEA may shift the balance between salience network and default network, a finding that could provide insight into the neurocircuitry of anxiety psychopathology.

  17. Williams Syndrome Hypersociability: A Neuropsychological Study of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Hypotheses

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    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Fernandez, Montse; Sousa, Nuno; Pinheiro, Ana; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome display indiscriminate approach towards strangers. Neuroimaging studies conducted so far have linked this social profile to structural and/or functional abnormalities in WS amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, the neuropsychological hypotheses of amygdala and prefrontal cortex involvement in WS…

  18. Post-Training Unilateral Amygdala Lesions Selectively Impair Contextual Fear Memories

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    Flavell, Charlotte R.; Lee, Jonathan L. C.

    2012-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) are both structures with key roles in contextual fear conditioning. During fear conditioning, it is postulated that contextual representations of the environment are formed in the hippocampus, which are then associated with foot shock in the amygdala. However, it is not known to what…

  19. Reduced amygdala volume in newly admitted psychiatric in-patients with unipolar major depression.

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    Kronenberg, Golo; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger; Regen, Francesca; Deuschle, Michael; Heuser, Isabella; Colla, Michael

    2009-09-01

    Structural neuroimaging studies investigating amygdala volumes in patients suffering from major depression have yielded variable results. Discrepant findings across studies may be attributable in part to heterogeneity with respect to antidepressant medication and to lack of adequate control for the effects of total brain volume and age. Here, 24 unipolar depressed in-patients newly admitted to a psychiatric unit and 14 healthy control participants matched for age, gender, and years of education underwent quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) toward the end of a one-week washout period. Saliva cortisol was measured at 08.00 and at 16.00h in patients during washout. Absolute amygdala volumes were significantly reduced in the patient group (by 13% in left amygdala and 12% in right amygdala). The effect of reduced amygdala volumes in patients remained significant after correction for brain volume (BV) and age. Furthermore, amygdala volume measurements in the patient sample showed a significant inverse relationship to the number of preceding depressive episodes. In patients, severity of disease (baseline HAMD scores) and baseline cortisol levels were not related to amygdala volume. This study of a sample of unmedicated depressed in-patients adds to the small, yet growing, body of evidence linking untreated major depression to reduced amygdala volume.

  20. Functional and structural amygdala - anterior cingulate connectivity correlates with attentional bias to masked fearful faces.

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    Carlson, Joshua M; Cha, Jiook; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R

    2013-10-01

    An attentional bias to threat has been causally related to anxiety. Recent research has linked nonconscious attentional bias to threat with variability in the integrity of the amygdala - anterior cingulate pathway, which sheds light on the neuroanatomical basis for a behavioral precursor to anxiety. However, the extent to which structural variability in amygdala - anterior cingulate integrity relates to the functional connectivity within this pathway and how such functional connectivity may relate to attention bias behavior, remain critical missing pieces of the puzzle. In 15 individuals we measured the structural integrity of the amygdala - prefrontal pathway with diffusion tensor-weighted MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), amygdala-seeded intrinsic functional connectivity to the anterior cingulate, and attentional bias toward backward masked fearful faces with a dot-probe task. We found that greater biases in attention to threat predicted greater levels of uncinate fasciculus integrity, greater positive amygdala - anterior cingulate functional connectivity, and greater amygdala coupling with a broader social perception network including the superior temporal sulcus, tempoparietal junction (TPJ), and somatosensory cortex. Additionally, greater levels of uncinate fasciculus integrity correlated with greater levels of amygdala - anterior cingulate intrinsic functional connectivity. Thus, high bias individuals displayed a heightened degree of amygdala - anterior cingulate connectivity during basal conditions, which we believe predisposes these individuals to focus their attention on signals of threat within their environment.

  1. Modulation of instrumental responding by a conditioned threat stimulus requires lateral and central amygdala

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    Vincent eCampese

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Two studies explored the role of the amygdala in response modulation by an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS in rats. Experiment 1 investigated the role of amygdala circuitry in conditioned suppression using a paradigm in which licking for sucrose was inhibited by a tone CS that had been previously paired with footshock. Electrolytic lesions of the lateral amygdala impaired suppression relative to sham-operated animals, and produced the same pattern of results when applied to central amygdala. In addition, disconnection of the lateral and central amygdala, by unilateral lesion of each on opposite sides of the brain, also impaired suppression relative to control subjects that received lesions of both areas on the same side. In each case, lesions were placed following Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental training, but before testing. This procedure produced within-subjects measures of the effects of lesion on freezing and between-group comparisons for the effects on suppression. Experiment 2 extended this analysis to a task where an aversive CS suppressed shuttling responses that had been previously food reinforced and also found effects of bilateral lesions of the central amygdala in a pre-post design. Together, these studies demonstrate that connections between the lateral and central amygdala constitute a serial circuit involved in processing aversive Pavlovian stimuli, and add to a growing body of findings implicating central amygdala in the modulation of instrumental behavior.

  2. Severe stress hormone conditions cause an extended window of excitability in the mouse basolateral amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karst, Henk; Joëls, Marian

    2016-01-01

    Shortly after stress, basolateral amygdala neurons are exposed to sequential yet partly overlapping waves of hormones. We examined how these hormonal waves can change activity of basolateral amygdala neurons such that emotional aspects of stress become so deeply ingrained. To this end, spontaneous g

  3. Comparison between substantia innominata and amygdala kindling in rats.

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    Mori, N; Hoshino, S; Kumashiro, H

    1990-11-26

    Kindling was induced in rats by electrical stimulation of the lateral portion of the substantia innominata (SI). The pattern of seizure development was similar to that of amygdala (AM) kindling. However, lateral SI kindling was associated with ipsilateral head turning as an initial manifestation. In addition, lateral SI kindling had a higher afterdischarge threshold than AM kindling, and the generalized seizure triggering threshold was more unstable in SI kindling than in AM kindling. These findings suggest that lateral SI participates in, but is not essential for, AM seizure development in rats.

  4. Differential effects of unilateral lesions in the medial amygdala on spontaneous and induced ovulation.

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    Sanchez, M A; Dominguez, R

    1995-01-01

    The possible existence of asymmetry in the control of ovulation by the medial amygdala was explored. Unilateral lesions of the medial amygdala were performed on each day of the estrous cycle. The estral index diminished in almost all animals with a lesion in the right side of medial amygdala. Lesions of the right medial amygdala, when performed on diestrus-1, resulted in a significant decrease in the number of rats ovulating compared to controls (4/8 vs. 8/8, p rats with lesions of the right medial amygdala. However, sequential injections of PMSG-hCG did result in ovulation by all members of a group of lesioned animals. In this last condition a significant decrease in the number of ova shed by the right ovary was found compared to animals in the lesion-only condition (1.5 +/- 0.5 vs. 6.0 +/- 1.5, p cycle.

  5. The role of TNF-alpha in amygdala kindled rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shandra, A A; Godlevsky, L S; Vastyanov, R S; Oleinik, A A; Konovalenko, V L; Rapoport, E N; Korobka, N N

    2002-02-01

    In the present study, the interaction between epileptogenesis and the immune system were studied in a kindling model. First, the effects of a single administration of TNF-alpha (5.0 microg/kg, i.p.) on seizure and EEG activity were investigated in amygdala-kindled rats. TNF-alpha treated rats showed more prolonged epileptiformic discharges than control rats. TNF-alpha also induced a decrease in the power of delta band and an increase in theta and alpha activity. In addition, a marked increase in the power of beta and gamma band was observed. The EEG changes were most numerous in the frontal cortex and amygdala. All effects were registered 24 h after TNF-alpha administration. Finally, electrical stimulation enhanced the level of TNF-alpha in blood serum from 1.9 +/- 1.5 to 12.7 +/- 3.8 pg/ml and in brain tissue 56.8 +/- 6.0 to 109.2 +/- 6.0 pg/mg, as was determined via the ELISA method. It can be concluded that there is a mutual facilitative interaction of both epileptogenic and cytokine-derived mechanisms on this type of seizure. The changes in the power spectrum of the EEG after TNF-alpha might contribute to intensify thalamic-derived facilitation of epileptic discharge in cortical structures.

  6. Consolidation of altered associability information by amygdala central nucleus.

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    Schiffino, Felipe L; Holland, Peter C

    2016-09-01

    The surprising omission of a reinforcer can enhance the associability of the stimuli that were present when the reward prediction error was induced, so that they more readily enter into new associations in the future. Previous research from this laboratory identified brain circuit elements critical to the enhancement of stimulus associability by the omission of an expected event and to the subsequent expression of that altered associability in more rapid learning. These elements include the amygdala, the midbrain substantia nigra, the basal forebrain substantia innominata, the dorsolateral striatum, the secondary visual cortex, and the posterior parietal cortex. Here, we found that consolidation of a surprise-enhanced associability memory in a serial prediction task depends on processing in the amygdala central nucleus (CeA) after completion of sessions that included the surprising omission of an expected event. Post-surprise infusions of anisomycin, lidocaine, or muscimol prevented subsequent display of surprise-enhanced associability. Because previous studies indicated that CeA function is unnecessary for the expression of associability enhancements that were induced previously when CeA function was intact (Holland & Gallagher, 2006), we interpreted these results as indicating that post-surprise activity of CeA ("surprise replay") is necessary for the consolidation of altered associability memories elsewhere in the brain, such as the posterior parietal cortex (Schiffino et al., 2014a).

  7. Amygdala volume linked to individual differences in mental state inference in early childhood and adulthood

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    Katherine Rice

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the role of the amygdala in mental state inference in a sample of adults and in a sample of children aged 4 and 6 years. This period in early childhood represents a time when mentalizing abilities undergo dramatic changes. Both children and adults inferred mental states from pictures of others’ eyes, and children also inferred the mental states of others from stories (e.g., a false belief task. We also collected structural MRI data from these participants, to determine whether larger amygdala volumes (controlling for age and total gray matter volume were related to better face-based and story-based mentalizing. For children, larger amygdala volumes were related to better face-based, but not story-based, mentalizing. In contrast, in adults, amygdala volume was not related to face-based mentalizing. We next divided the face-based items into two subscales: cognitive (e.g., thinking, not believing versus affective (e.g., friendly, kind items. For children, performance on cognitive items was positively correlated with amygdala volume, but for adults, only performance on affective items was positively correlated with amygdala volume. These results indicate that the amygdala's role in mentalizing may be specific to face-based tasks and that the nature of its involvement may change over development.

  8. Role of amygdala MAPK activation on immobility behavior of forced swim rats.

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    Huang, Tung-Yi; Lin, Chih-Hung

    2006-10-01

    The role of amygdala mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in rats during a forced swim test was investigated. The variation of amygdala MAPK level was studied in control rats and early-life maternally deprived rats. A forced swim test was carried out to estimate the immobility level. The data showed that the immobility time of rats that received maternal deprivation in early life was longer than that of control rats and Western blot analysis also showed that the amygdala phospho-MAPK level in maternally deprived rats was almost two times higher than in control rats. Intra-amygdala infusion of PD098059 or U0126, MEK inhibitors, suppressed immobility behavior during the forced swim test in both rats. Western blot analysis also showed that the amygdala MAPK activities in both rats infused with MEK inhibitors were also suppressed in parallel with expression of immobility behavior. The suppressed MAPK activities as well as the restoration of immobility time returned to the original level 48 h later. These results suggest that amygdala MAPK activation might play a role in the regulation of immobility behavior in rats during the forced swim test. Moreover, it could provide a hint that amygdala MAPK activation might be involved in the formation of depression-like behavior.

  9. Genetic variations in the serotoninergic system contribute to amygdala volume in humans

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    Jin eLi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala plays a critical role in emotion processing and psychiatric disorders associated with emotion dysfunction. Accumulating evidence suggests that amygdala structure is modulated by serotonin-related genes. However, there is a gap between the small contributions of single loci (less than 1% and the reported 63-65% heritability of amygdala structure. To understand the missing heritability, we systematically explored the contribution of serotonin genes on amygdala structure at the gene set level. The present study of 417 healthy Chinese volunteers examined 129 representative polymorphisms in genes from multiple biological mechanisms in the regulation of serotonin neurotransmission. A system-level approach using multiple regression analyses identified that nine SNPs collectively accounted for approximately 8% of the variance in amygdala volume. Permutation analyses showed that the probability of obtaining these findings by chance was low (p=0.043, permuted for 1000 times. Findings showed that serotonin genes contribute moderately to individual differences in amygdala volume in a healthy Chinese sample. These results indicate that the system-level approach can help us to understand the genetic basis of a complex trait such as amygdala structure.

  10. Amygdala hyperactivation during symptom provocation in obsessive–compulsive disorder and its modulation by distraction

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    Daniela Simon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety disorders have been linked to a hyperactivated cortico-amygdalar circuitry. Recent findings highlight the amygdala's role in mediating elevated anxiety in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD. However, modulation of amygdala hyperactivation by attentional distraction – an effective emotion regulation strategy in healthy individuals – has not yet been examined. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging twenty-one unmedicated OCD patients and 21 controls performed an evaluation and a distraction task during symptom provocation with individually tailored OCD-relevant pictures. To test the specificity of responses, additional aversive and neutral stimuli were included. Significant group-by-picture type interactions were observed within fronto–striato–limbic circuits including the amygdala. In these regions patients showed increased BOLD responses during processing of OCD triggers relative to healthy controls. Amygdala hyperactivation was present across OCD symptom dimensions indicating that it represents a common neural correlate. During distraction, we observed dampening of patients' amygdala hyperactivity to OCD-relevant stimuli. Augmented amygdala involvement in patients during symptom provocation, present across OCD symptom dimensions, might constitute a correlate of fear expression in OCD linking it to other anxiety disorders. Attentional distraction seemed to dampen emotional processing of disorder-relevant stimuli via amygdala downregulation. The clinical impact of this strategy to manage anxiety in OCD should be further elucidated.

  11. Neuroticism and extraversion are associated with amygdala resting-state functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghajani, Moji; Veer, Ilya M; van Tol, Marie-José; Aleman, André; van Buchem, Mark A; Veltman, Dick J; Rombouts, Serge A R B; van der Wee, Nic J

    2014-06-01

    The personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are differentially related to socioemotional functioning and susceptibility to affective disorders. However, the neurobiology underlying this differential relationship is still poorly understood. This discrepancy could perhaps best be studied by adopting a brain connectivity approach. Whereas the amygdala has repeatedly been linked to neuroticism and extraversion, no study has yet focused on the intrinsic functional architecture of amygdala-centered networks in relation to both traits. To this end, seed-based correlation analysis was employed to reveal amygdala resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and its associations with neuroticism and extraversion in 50 healthy participants. Higher neuroticism scores were associated with increased amygdala RSFC with the precuneus, and decreased amygdala RSFC with the temporal poles, insula, and superior temporal gyrus (p neuroticism may relate to the less-adaptive perception and processing of self-relevant and socioemotional information that is frequently seen in neurotic individuals, whereas the amygdala RSFC pattern associated with extraversion may relate to the heightened reward sensitivity and enhanced socioemotional functioning in extraverts. We hypothesize that the variability in amygdala RSFC observed in the present study could potentially link neuroticism and extraversion to the neurobiology underlying increased susceptibility or resilience to affective disorders.

  12. Double dissociation of amygdala and hippocampal contributions to trace and delay fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybuck, Jonathan D; Lattal, K Matthew

    2011-01-19

    A key finding in studies of the neurobiology of learning memory is that the amygdala is critically involved in Pavlovian fear conditioning. This is well established in delay-cued and contextual fear conditioning; however, surprisingly little is known of the role of the amygdala in trace conditioning. Trace fear conditioning, in which the CS and US are separated in time by a trace interval, requires the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. It is possible that recruitment of cortical structures by trace conditioning alters the role of the amygdala compared to delay fear conditioning, where the CS and US overlap. To investigate this, we inactivated the amygdala of male C57BL/6 mice with GABA (A) agonist muscimol prior to 2-pairing trace or delay fear conditioning. Amygdala inactivation produced deficits in contextual and delay conditioning, but had no effect on trace conditioning. As controls, we demonstrate that dorsal hippocampal inactivation produced deficits in trace and contextual, but not delay fear conditioning. Further, pre- and post-training amygdala inactivation disrupted the contextual but the not cued component of trace conditioning, as did muscimol infusion prior to 1- or 4-pairing trace conditioning. These findings demonstrate that insertion of a temporal gap between the CS and US can generate amygdala-independent fear conditioning. We discuss the implications of this surprising finding for current models of the neural circuitry involved in fear conditioning.

  13. Differential Activation of Amygdala Arc Expression By Positive and Negatively Valenced Emotional Learning Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica eYoung

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Norepinephrine is released in the amygdala following negatively arousing learning conditions. This event initiates a cascade of changes including the transcription of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc expression, an early-immediate gene associated with memory encoding. Recent evidence suggests that the valence of emotionally laden encounters may generate lateralized, as opposed to symmetric release of this transmitter in the right or left amygdala. It is currently not clear if valence-induced patterns of selective norepinephrine output across hemispheres are also reproduced in downstream pathways of cellular signaling necessary for memory formation. This question was addressed by determining if Arc expression is differentially distributed across the right and left amygdala following exposure to positively or negatively valenced learning conditions respectively. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to groups exposed to the Homecage only, 5 auditory tones only, or 5 auditory tones paired with footshock (0.35mA during Pavlovian fear conditioning. Western blot analysis revealed that Arc expression in the right amygdala was elevated significantly above that observed in the left amygdala 60 and 90 minutes following fear conditioning. Similarly, subjects exposed to a a negatively valenced outcome consisting of an unexpected reduction in food rewards showed a greater level of Arc expression in only the right, but not left basolateral amygdala. Presenting a positively valenced event involving an unexpected increase in food reward magnitude following bar pressing, resulted in significantly greater Arc expression in the left, but not right basolateral amygdala (p

  14. Cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the amygdala of a monotreme, Tachyglossus aculeatus (the short-beaked echidna).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwell, Ken W S; Hardman, Craig D; Paxinos, George

    2005-10-01

    We have examined the cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the temporal and extended amygdala in the brain of a monotreme (the short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus) using Nissl and myelin staining, enzyme histochemistry for acetylcholine esterase and NADPH diaphorase, immunohistochemistry for calcium binding proteins (parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin) and tyrosine hydroxylase. While the broad subdivisions of the eutherian temporal amygdala were present in the echidna brain, there were some noticeable differences. No immunoreactivity for parvalbumin or calretinin for somata was found in the temporal amygdala of the echidna. The nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract could not be definitively identified and the medial nucleus of amygdala appeared to be very small in the echidna. Calbindin immunoreactive neurons were most frequently found in the ventrolateral part of the lateral nucleus, intraamygdaloid parts of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the lateral part of the central nucleus. Neurons strongly reactive for NADPH diaphorase with filling of the dendritic tree were found mainly scattered through the cortical, central and lateral subnuclei, while neurons showing only somata reactivity for NADPH diaphorase were concentrated in the basomedial and basolateral subnuclei. Most of the components of the extended amygdala of eutherians could also be identified in the echidna. Volumetric analysis indicated that the temporal amygdala in both the platypus and echidna is small compared to the same structure in both insectivores and primates, with the central and medial components of the temporal amygdala being particularly small.

  15. Relationship between amygdala volume and emotion recognition in adolescents at ultra-high risk for psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomeusz, Cali F; Whittle, Sarah L; Pilioussis, Eleanor; Allott, Kelly; Rice, Simon; Schäfer, Miriam R; Pantelis, Christos; Amminger, G Paul

    2014-12-30

    Amygdala volume has been proposed as a neural risk biomarker for psychotic illness, but findings in the ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) population have been somewhat inconsistent, which may be related to underlying social cognitive abilities. The current study investigated whether amygdala volumes were related to emotion-recognition impairments in UHR individuals, and whether volumes differed by sex. Secondary aims were to assess whether (a) emotion-recognition performance was associated with interhemispheric amygdala volume asymmetry and (b) amgydala volume and volume asymmetry acted as a mediator between emotion-recognition and outcome measures. The amygdala was manually delineated from magnetic resonance images for 39 UHR individuals who had also completed facial and prosody emotion-recognition tasks. Partial correlations were conducted to examine associations between amydgala volume/asymmetry and recognition of negative emotions. Mediation analyses were conducted using regression and bootstrapping techniques. Amygdala volume was positively correlated with sadness emotion recognition, in particular prosody, for females only. Left amygdala volume mediated the effect of sadness recognition on depressive symptoms, negative symptoms, overall psychopathology, and global functioning in females. Findings suggest a complex relationship between emotion recognition, the structure of the amygdala and illness outcome, where recognition of sadness appears to be the precipitator of this relationship in UHR females. Further research is needed to determine illness specificity and to confirm our sex- and emotion-specific results.

  16. Neuroimaging Study of the Human Amygdala - Toward an Understanding of Emotional and Stress Responses -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    The amygdala plays a critical role in the neural system involved in emotional responses and conditioned fear. The dysfunction of this system is thought to be a cause of several neuropsychiatric disorders. A neuroimaging study provides a unique opportunity for noninvasive investigation of the human amygdala. We studied the activity of this structure in normal subjects and patients with schizophrenia by using the face recognition task. Our results showed that the amygdala was activated by presentation of face stimuli, and negative face activated the amygdala to a greater extent than a neutral face. Under the happy face condition, the activation of the amygdala was higher in the schizophrenic patients than in control subjects. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the regulatory region of the serotonin type 3 receptor gene had modulatory effects on the amygdaloid activity. The emotion regulation had a significant impact on neural interaction between the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. Thus, studies on the human amygdala would greatly contribute to the elucidation of the neural system that determines emotional and stress responses. To clarify the relevance of the neural dysfunction and neuropsychiatric disorders, further studies using physiological, genetic, and hormonal approaches are essential.

  17. Predictive value of Pre-treatment Amygdala volume for Electroconvulsive Therapy Response in Severely Depressed Patients

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    Freek eTen Doesschate

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT is an effective treatment for patients with severe depression. Knowledge on factors predicting therapeutic response may help to identify patients who will benefit most from the intervention. Based on the neuroplasticity hypothesis, volumes of the amygdala and hippocampus are possible candidates for predicting treatment outcome. Therefore, this prospective cohort study examines the predictive value of amygdala and hippocampal volumes for the effectiveness of ECT.Methods Prior to ECT, 53 severely unipolar depressed patients (mean age 57±14 years; 40% [n=21] male received structural magnetic resonance imaging at 1.5 Tesla. Normalized amygdala and hippocampal volumes were calculated based on automatic segmentation by FreeSurfer. Regression analyses were used to test if the normalized volumes could predict the response to a course of ECT, based on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS scores. ResultsA larger amygdala volume independently and significantly predicted a lower post-ECT MADRS score (β = -0.347, P=0.013. The left amygdala volume had greater predictive value for treatment outcome relative to the right amygdala volume. Hippocampal volume had no independent predictive value.Conclusion A larger pretreatment amygdala volume predicted more effective ECT, independent of other known predictors. Almost all patients continued their medication during the study, which might have influenced the course of treatment in ways that were not taken into account.

  18. Amygdala activation by corticosterone alters visceral and somatic pain in cycling female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafsson, Jenny K; Greenwood-Van Meerveld, Beverley

    2011-06-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often seen in women, and symptom severity is known to vary over the menstrual cycle. In addition, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis enhances symptomology and patients with IBS have increased activation of the amygdala, a brain region known to facilitate HPA output. However, little is known about the effects of amygdala activation during different stages of the menstrual cycle. We therefore investigated the effects of amygdala activation on somatic and visceral pain perception over the rat estrous cycle. Female Wistar rats were implanted with either corticosterone (Cort) or cholesterol as a control onto the dorsal margin of the central amygdala. Visceral sensitivity was quantified by recording the visceromotor response (VMR) to colorectal distension (CRD) and somatic sensitivity was assessed via the Von Frey test. In cholesterol controls, both visceral and somatic sensitivity varied over the estrous cycle. Rats in proestrus/estrus responded to CRD with an increased VMR compared with rats in metestrus/diestrus. Somatic sensitivity followed a similar pattern with enhanced sensitivity during proestrus/estrus compared with metestrus/diestrus. Elevated amygdala Cort induced visceral hypersensitivity during metestrus/diestrus but had no effect during proestrus/estrus. In contrast, elevated amygdala Cort increased somatic sensitivity during both metestrus/diestrus and proestrus/estrous. These results suggests that amygdala activation by Cort eliminates spontaneously occurring differences in visceral and somatic pain perception, which could explain the lowered pain thresholds and higher incidence of somatic pain observed in women with IBS.

  19. Inhibitory effect of ketamine on lighting amygdala of rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiguo Zhang; Bin Yang; Jing Zhang; Feng Zhang; Wang Yue

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Ketamine is a noncompetitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor. Some researchers suggest that N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor is closely related to epileptic attack.OBJECTIVE: To observe inhibitory effect of ketamine on lighting amygdala of rats and analyze pathway of anti-lighting.DESIGN: Randomized controlled animal study.SETTING: Department of Pharmacology and Department of Management, Pharmacological College of Taishan Medical College; Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Qingdao University.MATERIALS: Sixty adult female Wistar rats, of clean grade, weighing 180-200 g, were provided by Animal Center of Qingdao Institute of Drug Control. Ketamine hydrochloride was provided by the First Pharmacological Factory of the First Biochemical Pharmacology Company of Shanghai, and nicardipine, an antagonist of calcium ions, was provided by Sigma Company.METHODS: The experiment was completed in the Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Qingdao University from March to November 2004. ① Model establishing: After anesthesia, left and right amygdalas were inserted with double electrodes. The top was separated about 0.25 mm, and the other end was welded with a micro-plug, respectively. Electrode and micro-plug were fixed with dental base acrylic resin powder at the surface of cranium. Two weeks after recovery, right amygdala was stimulated with constant current once a day. According to Racine technique, attacking intensity was divided into 5 grades: grade I:closing eyes, a little tingling of beards and twitching face; grade Ⅱ: nodding, chewing accompanying with twitching face; grade Ⅲ: raising one of a forelimb and clonus; grade Ⅳ: standing accompanying with bilateral forelimbs; grade Ⅴ: standing accompanying with falling down. Rats with grades Ⅳ and Ⅴ were used to establish secondarily generalized epilepsy. If 3 successive attacks of grade Ⅴ were observed, the lighting was to be successful. ② Effect of

  20. Amygdala Connectivity Differs Among Chronic, Early Course, and Individuals at Risk for Developing Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticevic, Alan; Tang, Yanqing; Cho, Youngsun T.; Repovs, Grega; Cole, Michael W.; Savic, Aleksandar; Wang, Fei; Krystal, John H.; Xu, Ke

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in circuits involving the amygdala have been repeatedly implicated in schizophrenia neuropathology, given their role in stress, affective salience processing, and psychosis onset. Disturbances in amygdala whole-brain functional connectivity associated with schizophrenia have yet to be fully characterized despite their importance in psychosis. Moreover, it remains unknown if there are functional alterations in amygdala circuits across illness phases. To evaluate this possibility, we compared whole-brain amygdala connectivity in healthy comparison subjects (HCS), individuals at high risk (HR) for schizophrenia, individuals in the early course of schizophrenia (EC-SCZ), and patients with chronic schizophrenia (C-SCZ). We computed whole-brain resting-state connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T via anatomically defined individual-specific amygdala seeds. We identified significant alterations in amygdala connectivity with orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), driven by reductions in EC-SCZ and C-SCZ (effect sizes of 1.0 and 0.97, respectively), but not in HR for schizophrenia, relative to HCS. Reduced amygdala-OFC coupling was associated with schizophrenia symptom severity (r = .32, P < .015). Conversely, we identified a robust increase in amygdala connectivity with a brainstem region around noradrenergic arousal nuclei, particularly for HR individuals relative to HCS (effect size = 1.54), but not as prominently for other clinical groups. These results suggest that deficits in amygdala-OFC coupling could emerge during the initial episode of schizophrenia (EC-SCZ) and may present as an enduring feature of the illness (C-SCZ) in association with symptom severity but are not present in individuals with elevated risk for developing schizophrenia. Instead, in HR individuals, there appears to be increased connectivity in a circuit implicated in stress response. PMID:24366718

  1. General and specific responsiveness of the amygdala during explicit emotion recognition in females and males

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Windischberger Christian

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability to recognize emotions in facial expressions relies on an extensive neural network with the amygdala as the key node as has typically been demonstrated for the processing of fearful stimuli. A sufficient characterization of the factors influencing and modulating amygdala function, however, has not been reached now. Due to lacking or diverging results on its involvement in recognizing all or only certain negative emotions, the influence of gender or ethnicity is still under debate. This high-resolution fMRI study addresses some of the relevant parameters, such as emotional valence, gender and poser ethnicity on amygdala activation during facial emotion recognition in 50 Caucasian subjects. Stimuli were color photographs of emotional Caucasian and African American faces. Results Bilateral amygdala activation was obtained to all emotional expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happy, and sad and neutral faces across all subjects. However, only in males a significant correlation of amygdala activation and behavioral response to fearful stimuli was observed, indicating higher amygdala responses with better fear recognition, thus pointing to subtle gender differences. No significant influence of poser ethnicity on amygdala activation occurred, but analysis of recognition accuracy revealed a significant impact of poser ethnicity that was emotion-dependent. Conclusion Applying high-resolution fMRI while subjects were performing an explicit emotion recognition task revealed bilateral amygdala activation to all emotions presented and neutral expressions. This mechanism seems to operate similarly in healthy females and males and for both in-group and out-group ethnicities. Our results support the assumption that an intact amygdala response is fundamental in the processing of these salient stimuli due to its relevance detecting function.

  2. Auditory responses in the amygdala to social vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadziola, Marie A.

    The underlying goal of this dissertation is to understand how the amygdala, a brain region involved in establishing the emotional significance of sensory input, contributes to the processing of complex sounds. The general hypothesis is that communication calls of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) transmit relevant information about social context that is reflected in the activity of amygdalar neurons. The first specific aim analyzed social vocalizations emitted under a variety of behavioral contexts, and related vocalizations to an objective measure of internal physiological state by monitoring the heart rate of vocalizing bats. These experiments revealed a complex acoustic communication system among big brown bats in which acoustic cues and call structure signal the emotional state of a sender. The second specific aim characterized the responsiveness of single neurons in the basolateral amygdala to a range of social syllables. Neurons typically respond to the majority of tested syllables, but effectively discriminate among vocalizations by varying the response duration. This novel coding strategy underscores the importance of persistent firing in the general functioning of the amygdala. The third specific aim examined the influence of acoustic context by characterizing both the behavioral and neurophysiological responses to natural vocal sequences. Vocal sequences differentially modify the internal affective state of a listening bat, with lower aggression vocalizations evoking the greatest change in heart rate. Amygdalar neurons employ two different coding strategies: low background neurons respond selectively to very few stimuli, whereas high background neurons respond broadly to stimuli but demonstrate variation in response magnitude and timing. Neurons appear to discriminate the valence of stimuli, with aggression sequences evoking robust population-level responses across all sound levels. Further, vocal sequences show improved discrimination among stimuli

  3. Mesolimbic dopaminergic supersensitivity following electrical kindling of the amygdala

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    Csernansky, J.G.; Mellentin, J.; Beauclair, L.; Lombrozo, L.

    1988-02-01

    Limbic seizures developed in rats following daily electrical stimulation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. Animals were designated as kindled after five complete (stage 5) behavioral seizures were observed. A subgroup, designated as superkindled, received three additional weeks of electrical stimulations. Kindled rats were significantly subsensitive to the stereotypy-inducing effects of apomorphine, a direct dopamine agonist, compared to controls. Superkindled rats were supersensitive to the effects of apomorphine. However, both kindled and superkindled rats demonstrated an increase in /sup 3/H-spiperone Bmax values, reflecting dopamine D2-receptor densities, in the nucleus accumbens ipsilateral to the stimulating electrode. The number of interictal spikes recorded from the stimulating amygdaloid electrode during the last week of kindling was correlated with changes in apomorphine sensitivity in individual animals.

  4. Ifenprodil and arcaine alter amygdala-kindling development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yourick, D L; Repasi, R T; Rittase, W B; Staten, L D; Meyerhoff, J L

    1999-04-29

    The NMDA receptor complex is thought to be altered in kindling, an animal model for complex partial epilepsy. This receptor complex has several modulatory sites including those for glutamate, glycine and polyamines with activation resulting in altered cation channel opening. Two NMDA receptor effectors, ifenprodil and arcaine, were evaluated for effects on the acquisition of electrical kindling of the amygdala. Rats were administered 0, 3.2, 10, 32 and 100 microg of ifenprodil or 0, 32 or 100 microg of arcaine, intracerebroventricularly, 10 min before a daily kindling stimulus. Ifenprodil, at low doses, enhanced kindling acquisition, while the highest dose, 100 microg, inhibited kindling. Arcaine increased the number of trials required to reach fully generalized (stage 5) seizures at the 100 microg dose. Since these agents had mixed actions on kindling development, it is unclear whether these or similar NMDA effectors would be useful in the modulation of complex partial seizures.

  5. Somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in the amygdala of the pig.

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    Agnieszka Bossowska

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and morphology of neurons containing somatostatin (SOM was investigated in the amygdala (CA of the pig. The SOM-immunoreactive (SOM-IR cell bodies and fibres were present in all subdivisions of the porcine CA, however, their number and density varied depending on the nucleus studied. The highest density of SOM-positive somata was observed in the layer III of the cortical nuclei, in the anterior (magnocellular part of the basomedial nucleus and in the caudal (large-celled part of the lateral nucleus. Moderate to high numbers of SOM-IR cells were also observed in the medial and basolateral nuclei. Many labeled neurons were also consistently observed in the lateral part of the central nucleus. In the remaining CA regions, the density of SOM-positive cell bodies varied from moderate to low. In any CA region studied SOM-IR neurons formed heterogeneous population consisting of small, rounded or slightly elongated cell bodies, with a few poorly branched smooth dendrites. In general, morphological features of these cells clearly resembled the non-pyramidal Golgi type II interneurons. The routine double-labeling studies with antisera directed against SOM and neuropeptide Y (NPY demonstrated that a large number of SOM-IR cell bodies and fibers in all studied CA areas contained simultaneously NPY. In contrast, co-localization of SOM and cholecystokinin (CCK or SOM and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP was never seen in cell bodies and fibres in any of nuclei studied. In conclusion, SOM-IR neurons of the porcine amygdala form large and heterogeneous subpopulation of, most probably, interneurons that often contain additionally NPY. On the other hand, CCK- and/or VIP-IR neurons belonged to another, discrete subpopulations of porcine CA neurons.

  6. Abnormal amygdala functional connectivity associated with emotional lability in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulvershorn, L.A.; Mennes, M.; Castellanos, F.X.; Martino, A. Di; Milham, M.P.; Hummer, T.A.; Roy, A.K.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: A substantial proportion of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also display emotion regulation deficits manifesting as chronic irritability, severe temper outbursts, and aggression. The amygdala is implicated in emotion regulation, but its connectivity and relat

  7. A review of neuroimaging studies of race-related prejudice: does amygdala response reflect threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chekroud, Adam M.; Everett, Jim A. C.; Bridge, Holly; Hewstone, Miles

    2014-01-01

    Prejudice is an enduring and pervasive aspect of human cognition. An emergent trend in modern psychology has focused on understanding how cognition is linked to neural function, leading researchers to investigate the neural correlates of prejudice. Research in this area using racial group memberships has quickly highlighted the amygdala as a neural structure of importance. In this article, we offer a critical review of social neuroscientific studies of the amygdala in race-related prejudice. Rather than the dominant interpretation that amygdala activity reflects a racial or outgroup bias per se, we argue that the observed pattern of sensitivity in this literature is best considered in terms of potential threat. More specifically, we argue that negative culturally-learned associations between black males and potential threat better explain the observed pattern of amygdala activity. Finally, we consider future directions for the field and offer specific experiments and predictions to directly address unanswered questions. PMID:24734016

  8. Topographic Organization of Projections from the Amygdala to the Hypothalamus of the Rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ono, Taketoshi; Luiten, Paul G.M.; Nishijo, Hisao; Fukuda, Masaji; Nishino, Hitoo

    1985-01-01

    Afferent fibers from the amygdala to subdivisions of lateral, ventromedial and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei were investigated in rat by retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase. Small (intranuclear size) peroxidase deposits were placed in hypothalamic nuclei by iontophoresis of a tracer sol

  9. Effect of the observed pupil size on the amygdala of the beholders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amemiya, Shiori; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2012-03-01

    Among a range of cognitive functions of the amygdala, recent studies suggest its involvement in identification of the pupil size. To further address its role, we investigated the response of the amygdala to human and cat faces with varied pupil size, taking into account the effect of the gender and subjective attractiveness ratings. Twenty-seven subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while viewing faces with large and small pupils. Large pupil faces induced increased activation in the amygdala, without interactions with either subject or stimuli gender, although no equivalent activation differences were seen for cat face stimuli. The activation differences were irrespective of the perceived attractiveness, and without explicit knowledge about the manipulation of the pupil size. These data support the idea that the amygdala is responsive not only to explicit or implicit fear, abhorrence or preference, but also to other elements that might suggest heightened vigilance of biologically relevant stimuli, which does not necessarily require subjective awareness.

  10. Pavlovian fear conditioning as a behavioral assay for hippocampus and amygdala function: cautions and caveats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen

    2008-10-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning has become an important model for investigating the neural substrates of learning and memory in rats, mice and humans. The hippocampus and amygdala are widely believed to be essential for fear conditioning to contexts and discrete cues, respectively. Indeed, this parsing of function within the fear circuit has been used to leverage fear conditioning as a behavioral assay of hippocampal and amygdala function, particularly in transgenic mouse models. Recent work, however, blurs the anatomical segregation of cue and context conditioning and challenges the necessity for the hippocampus and amygdala in fear learning. Moreover, nonassociative factors may influence the performance of fear responses under a variety of conditions. Caution must therefore be exercised when using fear conditioning as a behavioral assay for hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent learning.

  11. Amygdala activation to threat under attentional load in individuals with anxiety disorder

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    Straube Thomas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous studies in healthy subjects have shown that strong attentional distraction prevents the amygdala from responding to threat stimuli. Here, we investigated the effects of attentional load on amygdala activation to threat-related stimuli in individuals suffering from an anxiety disorder. Methods During functional magnetic resonance imaging, spider-phobicand healthy control subjects were presented with phobia-related and neutral stimuli while performing a distraction task with varying perceptual load (high vs low. Results Our data revealed a pattern of simultaneously increased amygdala and visual cortical activation to threat vs neutral pictures in phobic individuals, compared with controls, occurring regardless of attentional load. Conclusions These results suggest that, in contrast to studies in healthy subjects, amygdala activation to clinically relevant threat stimuli is more resistant to attentional load.

  12. Amygdala reactivity to sad faces in preschool children: An early neural marker of persistent negative affect

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    Michael S. Gaffrey

    2016-02-01

    Conclusions: The current findings provide preliminary evidence for amygdala activity as a potential biomarker of persistent negative affect during early childhood and suggest future work examining the origins and long-term implications of this relationship is necessary.

  13. Updating temporal expectancy of an aversive event engages striatal plasticity under amygdala control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallérac, Glenn; Graupner, Michael; Knippenberg, Jeroen; Martinez, Raquel Chacon Ruiz; Tavares, Tatiane Ferreira; Tallot, Lucille; El Massioui, Nicole; Verschueren, Anna; Höhn, Sophie; Bertolus, Julie Boulanger; Reyes, Alex; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Schafe, Glenn E.; Diaz-Mataix, Lorenzo; Doyère, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Pavlovian aversive conditioning requires learning of the association between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned, aversive stimulus (US) but also involves encoding the time interval between the two stimuli. The neurobiological bases of this time interval learning are unknown. Here, we show that in rats, the dorsal striatum and basal amygdala belong to a common functional network underlying temporal expectancy and learning of a CS–US interval. Importantly, changes in coherence between striatum and amygdala local field potentials (LFPs) were found to couple these structures during interval estimation within the lower range of the theta rhythm (3–6 Hz). Strikingly, we also show that a change to the CS–US time interval results in long-term changes in cortico-striatal synaptic efficacy under the control of the amygdala. Collectively, this study reveals physiological correlates of plasticity mechanisms of interval timing that take place in the striatum and are regulated by the amygdala. PMID:28067224

  14. A review of neuroimaging studies of race-related prejudice: Does amygdala response reflect threat?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Mourad Chekroud

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Prejudice is an enduring and pervasive aspect of human cognition. An emergent trend in modern psychology has focused on understanding how cognition is linked to neural function, leading researchers to investigate the neural correlates of prejudice. Research in this area, using racial group memberships, quickly highlighted the amygdala as a neural structure of importance. In this article, we offer a critical review of social neuroscientific studies of the amygdala in race-related prejudice. Rather than the dominant interpretation that amygdala activity reflects a racial or outgroup bias per se, we argue that the observed pattern of sensitivity in this literature is best considered in terms of potential threat. More specifically, we argue that negative culturally-learned associations between black males and potential threat better explain the observed pattern of amygdala activity. Finally, we consider future directions for the field, and offer specific experiments and predictions to directly address unanswered questions.

  15. Trait aggressiveness is not related to structural connectivity between orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederike Beyer

    Full Text Available Studies in both pathological and healthy samples have suggested altered functional connectivity between orbitofrontal cortex (OFC and amygdala as a possible cause of anger and aggression. In patient populations presenting with pathological aggression, there is also evidence for changes in structural connectivity between OFC and amygdala. In healthy samples, however, the relationship between white matter integrity and aggression has not been studied to date. Here, we investigated the relationship between trait aggressiveness and structural OFC-amygdala connectivity in a large sample (n = 93 of healthy young men. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we measured the distribution of fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity along the uncinate fascicle bilaterally. We found no differences in either measure between participants high and low in physical aggressiveness, or between those high and low in trait anger. Our results therefore argue against a direct relationship between structural OFC-amygdala connectivity and normal-range trait aggressiveness.

  16. Transient elevation of amygdala alpha 2 adrenergic receptor binding sites during the early stages of amygdala kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, M J; Vigil, A; Savage, D D; Weiss, G K

    1990-03-01

    Enhanced noradrenergic neurotransmission retards but does not prevent the development of kindling. We previously reported that locus coeruleus (LC) alpha 2 adrenergic receptor binding sites are transiently elevated during the early stages of kindling development. Since the firing activity of LC noradrenergic neurons is partially regulated via an alpha 2 receptor-mediated recurrent inhibition, the transient elevation in LC alpha 2 receptors could decrease LC activity and consequently facilitate the development of kindling. Transient elevation of alpha 2 receptor binding sites during early stages of kindling may also occur on noradrenergic axon terminals projecting to forebrain sites. Using in vitro neurotransmitter autoradiography techniques, we investigated this hypothesis by measuring specific [3H]idazoxan binding in 5 different areas of rat forebrain at 2 different stages of kindling development. After 2 class 1 kindled seizures, specific [3H]idazoxan binding was elevated significantly in the amygdala, but not in other forebrain regions. No differences in specific [3H]idazoxan binding were observed in any of the 5 brain regions in rats kindled to a single class 5 kindled motor seizure. Saturation of binding experiments indicated that the increase in amygdala [3H]idazoxan binding, following 2 class 1 kindled motor seizures, was due to an increase in the total number of alpha 2 receptor binding sites without a change in the affinity of the binding sites for [3H]idazoxan. Thus, the transient increase in alpha 2 receptors that occurs in the LC in the early stages of kindling also occurs in the forebrain region in which the kindled seizure originates.

  17. Effects of neonatal amygdala lesions on fear learning, conditioned inhibition, and extinction in adult macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazama, Andy M; Heuer, Eric; Davis, Michael; Bachevalier, Jocelyne

    2012-06-01

    Fear conditioning studies have demonstrated the critical role played by the amygdala in emotion processing. Although all lesion studies until now investigated the effect of adult-onset damage on fear conditioning, the current study assessed fear-learning abilities, as measured by fear-potentiated startle, in adult monkeys that had received neonatal neurotoxic amygdala damage or sham-operations. After fear acquisition, their abilities to learn and use a safety cue to modulate their fear to the conditioned cue, and, finally, to extinguish their response to the fear conditioned cue were measured with the AX+/BX- Paradigm. Neonatal amygdala damage retarded, but did not completely abolish, the acquisition of a learned fear. After acquisition of the fear signal, four of the six animals with neonatal amygdala lesions discriminated between the fear and safety cues and were also able to use the safety signal to reduce the potentiated-startle response and to extinguish the fear response when the air-blast was absent. In conclusion, the present results support the critical contribution of the amygdala during the early phases of fear conditioning that leads to quick, robust responses to potentially threatening stimuli, a highly adaptive process across all species and likely to be present in early infancy. The neonatal amygdala lesions also indicated the presence of amygdala-independent alternate pathways that are capable to support fear learning in the absence of a functional amygdala. This parallel processing of fear responses within these alternate pathways was also sufficient to support the ability to flexibly modulate the magnitude of the fear responses.

  18. Effect of the observed pupil size on the amygdala of the beholders

    OpenAIRE

    Amemiya, Shiori; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2011-01-01

    Among a range of cognitive functions of the amygdala, recent studies suggest its involvement in identification of the pupil size. To further address its role, we investigated the response of the amygdala to human and cat faces with varied pupil size, taking into account the effect of the gender and subjective attractiveness ratings. Twenty-seven subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while viewing faces with large and small pupils. Large pupil faces induced increased activat...

  19. Variation in mouse basolateral amygdala volume is associated with differences in stress reactivity and fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Rebecca J; Mozhui, Khyobeni; Karlsson, Rose-Marie; Cameron, Heather A; Williams, Robert W; Holmes, Andrew

    2008-10-01

    A wealth of research identifies the amygdala as a key brain region mediating negative affect, and implicates amygdala dysfunction in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Although there is a strong genetic component to anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) there remains debate about whether abnormalities in amygdala function predispose to these disorders. In the present study, groups of C57BL/6 x DBA/2 (B x D) recombinant inbred strains of mice were selected for differences in volume of the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA). Strains with relatively small, medium, or large BLA volumes were compared for Pavlovian fear learning and memory, anxiety-related behaviors, depression-related behavior, and glucocorticoid responses to stress. Strains with relatively small BLA exhibited stronger conditioned fear responses to both auditory tone and contextual stimuli, as compared to groups with larger BLA. The small BLA group also showed significantly greater corticosterone responses to stress than the larger BLA groups. BLA volume did not predict clear differences in measures of anxiety-like behavior or depression-related behavior, other than greater locomotor inhibition to novelty in strains with smaller BLA. Neither striatal, hippocampal nor cerebellar volumes correlated significantly with any behavioral measure. The present data demonstrate a phenotype of enhanced fear conditioning and exaggerated glucocorticoid responses to stress associated with small BLA volume. This profile is reminiscent of the increased fear processing and stress reactivity that is associated with amygdala excitability and reduced amygdala volume in humans carrying loss of function polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter and monoamine oxidase A genes. Our study provides a unique example of how natural variation in amygdala volume associates with specific fear- and stress-related phenotypes in rodents, and further supports the role of amygdala dysfunction in anxiety

  20. The amygdala modulates neuronal activation in the hippocampus in response to spatial novelty.

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    Sheth, Archana; Berretta, Sabina; Lange, Nicholas; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2008-01-01

    Emerging evidence indicates that the amygdala and the hippocampus play an important role in the pathophysiology of major psychotic disorders. Consistent with this evidence, and with data indicating amygdala modulation of hippocampal activity, animal model investigations have shown that a disruption of amygdala activity induces neurochemical changes in the hippocampus that are similar to those detected in subjects with schizophrenia. With the present study, we used induction of the immediate early gene Fos, to test the hypothesis that the amygdala may affect neuronal activation of the hippocampus in response to different spatial environments (familiar, modified, and novel). Exploratory and anxiety related behaviors were also assessed. In vehicle-treated rats, exposure to a modified version of the familiar environment was associated with an increase of numerical densities of Fos-immunoreactive nuclei in sectors CA1 and CA2, while exposure to a completely novel environment was associated with an increase in sectors CA1, CA4, and DG, compared with the familiar environment. Pharmacological disruption of amygdala activity resulted in a failure to increase Fos induction in the hippocampus in response to these environments. Exploratory behavior in response to the different environments was not altered by manipulation of amygdala activity. These findings support the idea that the amygdala modulates spatial information processing in the hippocampus and may affect encoding of specific environmental features, while complex behavioral responses to environment may be the result of broader neural circuits. These findings also raise the possibility that amygdala abnormalities may contribute to impairments in cognitive information processing in subjects with major psychoses.

  1. Amygdala perfusion is predicted by its functional connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and negative affect.

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    Garth Coombs

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that the activity of the amygdala is elevated in people experiencing clinical and subclinical levels of anxiety and depression (negative affect. It has been proposed that a reduction in inhibitory input to the amygdala from the prefrontal cortex and resultant over-activity of the amygdala underlies this association. Prior studies have found relationships between negative affect and 1 amygdala over-activity and 2 reduced amygdala-prefrontal connectivity. However, it is not known whether elevated amygdala activity is associated with decreased amygdala-prefrontal connectivity during negative affect states. METHODS: Here we used resting-state arterial spin labeling (ASL and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in combination to test this model, measuring the activity (regional cerebral blood flow, rCBF and functional connectivity (correlated fluctuations in the BOLD signal of one subregion of the amygdala with strong connections with the prefrontal cortex, the basolateral nucleus (BLA, and subsyndromal anxiety levels in 38 healthy subjects. RESULTS: BLA rCBF was strongly correlated with anxiety levels. Moreover, both BLA rCBF and anxiety were inversely correlated with the strength of the functional coupling of the BLA with the caudal ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Lastly, BLA perfusion was found to be a mediator of the relationship between BLA-prefrontal connectivity and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that both perfusion of the BLA and a measure of its functional coupling with the prefrontal cortex directly index anxiety levels in healthy subjects, and that low BLA-prefrontal connectivity may lead to increased BLA activity and resulting anxiety. Thus, these data provide key evidence for an often-cited circuitry model of negative affect, using a novel, multi-modal imaging approach.

  2. Role of Anxiety in the Pathophysiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Importance of the Amygdala

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    Brent Myers; Beverley Greenwood-VanMeerveld

    2009-01-01

    A common characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is that symptoms, including abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits, are often triggered or exacerbated during periods of stress and anxiety. However, the impact of anxiety and affective disorders on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is poorly understood and may in part explain the lack of effective therapeutic approaches to treat IBS. The amygdala is an important structure for regulating anxiety with the central nucleus of the amygdala...

  3. Changes in extracellular levels of amygdala amino acids in genetically fast and slow kindling rat strains.

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    Shin, Rick S; Anisman, Hymie; Merali, Zul; McIntyre, Dan C

    2002-08-01

    A neurochemical basis for many of the epilepsies has long been suspected to result from an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter mechanisms. Data supporting changes in extrasynaptic amino acid levels during epileptogenesis, however, remain controversial. In the present study, we used in vivo microdialysis to measure the levels of extracellular GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glutamate during seizure development in rats with a genetic predisposition for (Fast), or against (Slow), amygdala kindling. Dialysates were collected from both amygdalae before, during, and up to 12 min after a threshold-triggered amygdala afterdischarge (AD). One hour later, samples were again collected from both amygdalae in response to a hippocampal threshold AD. Daily amygdala kindling commenced the next day but without dialysis. After the rats were fully kindled, the same protocol was again employed. Amino acid levels were not consistently increased above baseline with triggered seizures in either strain. Instead, before kindling, a focal seizure in the Slow rats was associated with a large decrease in GABA in the non-stimulated amygdala, while amino acid levels in the Fast rats remained near baseline in both amygdalae. Similar results were seen after kindling. By contrast, before and after kindling, hippocampal stimulation caused large decreases in all amino acid levels in both amygdalae in both strains. These data suggest that, in response to direct stimulation, extracellular amino acid concentrations remain stable in tissues associated with either greater natural (Fast) or induced (kindled Fast/Slow) excitability, but are lowered with indirect stimulation (hippocampus) and/or low excitability.

  4. 5-HT1A-receptor agonist modified amygdala activity and amygdala-associated social behavior in a valproate-induced rat autism model.

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    Wang, Chao-Chuan; Lin, Hui-Ching; Chan, Yun-Han; Gean, Po-Wu; Yang, Yen Kung; Chen, Po See

    2013-10-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dysfunction of the amygdala is related to abnormal fear processing, anxiety, and social behaviors noted in autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). In addition, studies have shown that disrupted brain serotonin homeostasis is linked to ASD. With a valproate (VPA)-induced rat ASD model, we investigated the possible role of amygdala serotonin homeostasis in autistic phenotypes and further explored the underlying mechanism. We first discovered that the distribution of tryptophan hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the caudal raphe system was modulated on postnatal day (PD) 28 of the VPA-exposed offspring. Then, we found a significantly higher serotonin transporter availability in the amygdala of the VPA-exposed offspring on PD 56 by using single photon emission computed tomography and computed tomography co-registration following injection of (123)I-labeled 2-((2-(dimethylamino)methyl)phenyl)thio)-5-iodophenylamine((123)I[ADAM]). Furthermore, treatment with 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, increased social interaction and improved fear memory extinction in the VPA-exposed offspring. 8-OH-DPAT treatment also reversed the characteristics of miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents as well as paired pulse facilitation observed in lateral amygdala slices. These results provided further evidence to support the role of the amygdala in characteristic behavioral changes in the rat ASD model. The serotonergic projections that modulate the amygdala function might play a certain role in the development and treatment of behavioral symptoms exhibited in individuals with ASD.

  5. Serotonin transporter genotype modulates the association between depressive symptoms and amygdala activity among psychiatrically healthy adults.

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    Gillihan, Seth J; Rao, Hengyi; Brennan, Lauretta; Wang, Danny J J; Detre, John A; Sankoorikal, Geena Mary V; Brodkin, Edward S; Farah, Martha J

    2011-09-30

    Recent attempts to understand the biological bases of depression vulnerability have revealed that both the short allele of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and activity in the amygdala are associated with depression. Other studies have reported amygdala hyperactivity associated with the 5-HTTLPR short allele, linking the genetic and neuroimaging lines of research and suggesting a mechanism whereby the short allele confers depression risk. However, fewer investigations have examined the associations among depression, 5-HTTLPR variability, and amygdala activation in a single study. The current study thus investigated whether 5-HTTLPR genotype modulates the association between depressive symptoms and amygdala activity among psychiatrically healthy adults. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured with perfusion fMRI during a task-free scan. We hypothesized differential associations between depressive symptoms and amygdala activity among individuals homozygous for the short allele and individuals homozygous for the long allele. Both whole brain analyses and region-of-interest analyses confirmed this prediction, revealing a significant negative association among the long allele group and a trend of positive association among the short allele group. These results complement existing reports of short allele related amygdala hyperactivity and suggest an additional neurobiological mechanism whereby the 5-HTTLPR is associated with psychiatric outcomes.

  6. Basolateral amygdala lesion inhibits the development of pain chronicity in neuropathic pain rats.

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    Zheng Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chronicity of pain is one of the most interesting questions in chronic pain study. Clinical and experimental data suggest that supraspinal areas responsible for negative emotions such as depression and anxiety contribute to the chronicity of pain. The amygdala is suspected to be a potential structure for the pain chronicity due to its critical role in processing negative emotions and pain information. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate whether amygdala or its subregions, the basolateral amygdala (BLA and the central medial amygdala (CeA, contributes to the pain chronicity in the spared nerve injury (SNI-induced neuropathic pain model of rats. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: (1 Before the establishment of the SNI-induced neuropathic pain model of rats, lesion of the amygdaloid complex with stereotaxic injection of ibotenic acid (IBO alleviated mechanical allodynia significantly at days 7 and 14, even no mechanical allodynia at day 28 after SNI; Lesion of the BLA, but not the CeA had similar effects; (2 however, 7 days after SNI when the neuropathic pain model was established, lesion of the amygdala complex or the BLA or the CeA, mechanical allodynia was not affected. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that BLA activities in the early stage after nerve injury might be crucial to the development of pain chronicity, and amygdala-related negative emotions and pain-related memories could promote pain chronicity.

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation Within the Amygdala

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    Antonio Aubry

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of AMPA receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.

  8. Amygdala-based intrinsic functional connectivity and anxiety disorders in adolescents and young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toazza, Rudineia; Franco, Alexandre Rosa; Buchweitz, Augusto; Molle, Roberta Dalle; Rodrigues, Danitsa Marcos; Reis, Roberta Sena; Mucellini, Amanda Brondani; Esper, Nathalia Bianchini; Aguzzoli, Cristiano; Silveira, Patrícia Pelufo; Salum, Giovanni Abrahão; Manfro, Gisele Gus

    2016-11-30

    Anxiety disorders (AD) are the most prevalent group of psychiatric disorders in adolescents and young adults. Nevertheless, the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders is still poorly understood. This study investigated differences in the functional connectivity of intrinsic amygdala-based networks of participants with and without AD. Resting state fMRI data were obtained from 18 participants with an AD and 19 healthy comparison individuals. Psychiatric diagnosis was assessed using standardized structured interviews. The comparison between groups was carried out using functional connectivity maps from six seed regions defined using probabilistic maps bilaterally within the amygdala (basolateral, superficial and centromedial amygdala). We found significant between-group differences in five clusters, which showed aberrant functional connectivity with the left basolateral amygdala: right precentral gyrus, right cingulate gyrus, bilateral precuneus, and right superior frontal gyrus in subjects with AD as compared with the comparison subjects. For the comparison subjects, the correlations between the amygdala and the five clusters were either non-significant, or negative. The present study suggests there is an intrinsic disruption in the communication between left basolateral amygdala and a network of brain regions involved with emotion regulation, and with the default mode network in adolescents and young adults with anxiety disorders.

  9. Resting-state connectivity of the amygdala is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2012-01-01

    Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear conditioning, an emotional learning task. Behavioral results from the conditioning session revealed that participants learned normally and fMRI data recorded during learning identified a number of stimulus-evoked changes that were consistent with previous work. A direct comparison between the pre- and post-conditioning amygdala connectivity revealed a region of dorsal prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the superior frontal gyrus that showed a significant increase in connectivity following the conditioning session. A behavioral measure of explicit memory performance was positively correlated with the change in amygdala connectivity within a neighboring region in the superior frontal gyrus. Additionally, an implicit autonomic measure of conditioning was positively correlated with the change in connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The resting-state data show that amygdala connectivity is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning and that these changes are also related to behavioral outcomes. These alterations may reflect the operation of a consolidation process that strengthens neural connections to support memory after the learning event.

  10. Resting-state connectivity of the amygdala is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning

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    Douglas H Schultz

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear conditioning, an emotional learning task. Behavioral results from the conditioning session revealed that participants learned normally and FMRI data recorded during learning identified a number of stimulus-evoked changes that were consistent with previous work. A direct comparison between the pre and post-conditioning amygdala connectivity revealed a region of dorsal prefrontal cortex (PFC in the superior frontal gyrus that showed a significant increase in connectivity following the conditioning session. A behavioral measure of explicit memory performance was positively correlated with the change in amygdala connectivity within a neighboring region in the superior frontal gyrus. Additionally, an implicit autonomic measure of conditioning was positively correlated with the change in connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex. The resting-state data show that amygdala connectivity is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning and that these changes are also related to behavioral outcomes. These alterations may reflect the operation of a consolidation process that strengthens neural connections to support memory after the learning event.

  11. Evidence for altered amygdala activation in schizophrenia in an adaptive emotion recognition task.

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    Mier, Daniela; Lis, Stefanie; Zygrodnik, Karina; Sauer, Carina; Ulferts, Jens; Gallhofer, Bernd; Kirsch, Peter

    2014-03-30

    Deficits in social cognition seem to present an intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia, and are known to be associated with an altered amygdala response to faces. However, current results are heterogeneous with respect to whether this altered amygdala response in schizophrenia is hypoactive or hyperactive in nature. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate emotion-specific amygdala activation in schizophrenia using a novel adaptive emotion recognition paradigm. Participants comprised 11 schizophrenia outpatients and 16 healthy controls who viewed face stimuli expressing emotions of anger, fear, happiness, and disgust, as well as neutral expressions. The adaptive emotion recognition approach allows the assessment of group differences in both emotion recognition performance and associated neuronal activity while also ensuring a comparable number of correctly recognized emotions between groups. Schizophrenia participants were slower and had a negative bias in emotion recognition. In addition, they showed reduced differential activation during recognition of emotional compared with neutral expressions. Correlation analyses revealed an association of a negative bias with amygdala activation for neutral facial expressions that was specific to the patient group. We replicated previous findings of affected emotion recognition in schizophrenia. Furthermore, we demonstrated that altered amygdala activation in the patient group was associated with the occurrence of a negative bias. These results provide further evidence for impaired social cognition in schizophrenia and point to a central role of the amygdala in negative misperceptions of facial stimuli in schizophrenia.

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala.

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    Aubry, Antonio V; Serrano, Peter A; Burghardt, Nesha S

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.

  13. State-dependent amygdala stimulation-induced cardiovascular effects in rats.

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    Chiou, Ruei-Jen; Kuo, Chung-Chih; Liang, Keng-Chen; Yen, Chen-Tung

    2009-12-31

    Stimulation of the amygdala is known to produce pressor, depressor, or has no effects. The present study was performed to test whether amygdala cardiovascular effects are influenced by consciousness states and by different types of anesthetics. Adult rats were set up for stimulation amygdala and measurement of blood pressure in a chronic preparation. After recovery, same sites of the amygdala were stimulated electrically for several trials with the rat under conscious or anesthetic states induced by pentobarbital, urethane, ketamine, alpha-chloralose and urethane plus alpha-chloralose, respectively. The interval between any two stimulation trials was at least 2 days. The stimulation was an 80-Hz, 0.5-ms, 100-micro A square wave pulse train lasting for 15 s. Cardiovascular responsive sites were found in the central, medial, and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala. In stimulating these responsive sites, significantly different cardiovascular effects were induced under a conscious state and an anesthetized state of the animal, yet no significant differences were found among the various anesthetic agents. We conclude, that the cardiovascular influence of the amygdala is state-dependent in the rat.

  14. Oxidant/antioxidant effects of chronic exposure to predator odor in prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus.

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    Mejia-Carmona, G E; Gosselink, K L; Pérez-Ishiwara, G; Martínez-Martínez, A

    2015-08-01

    The incidence of anxiety-related diseases is increasing these days, hence there is a need to understand the mechanisms that underlie its nature and consequences. It is known that limbic structures, mainly the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, are involved in the processing of anxiety, and that projections from prefrontal cortex and amygdala can induce activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis with consequent cardiovascular changes, increase in oxygen consumption, and ROS production. The compensatory reaction can include increased antioxidant enzymes activities, overexpression of antioxidant enzymes, and genetic shifts that could include the activation of antioxidant genes. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the oxidant/antioxidant effect that chronic anxiogenic stress exposure can have in prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus by exposition to predator odor. Results showed (a) sensitization of the HPA axis response, (b) an enzymatic phase 1 and 2 antioxidant response to oxidative stress in amygdala, (c) an antioxidant stability without elevation of oxidative markers in prefrontal cortex, (d) an elevation in phase 1 antioxidant response in hypothalamus. Chronic exposure to predator odor has an impact in the metabolic REDOX state in amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus, with oxidative stress being prevalent in amygdala as this is the principal structure responsible for the management of anxiety.

  15. The importance of accurate anatomic assessment for the volumetric analysis of the amygdala

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    L. Bonilha

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available There is a wide range of values reported in volumetric studies of the amygdala. The use of single plane thick magnetic resonance imaging (MRI may prevent the correct visualization of anatomic landmarks and yield imprecise results. To assess whether there is a difference between volumetric analysis of the amygdala performed with single plane MRI 3-mm slices and with multiplanar analysis of MRI 1-mm slices, we studied healthy subjects and patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. We performed manual delineation of the amygdala on T1-weighted inversion recovery, 3-mm coronal slices and manual delineation of the amygdala on three-dimensional volumetric T1-weighted images with 1-mm slice thickness. The data were compared using a dependent t-test. There was a significant difference between the volumes obtained by the coronal plane-based measurements and the volumes obtained by three-dimensional analysis (P < 0.001. An incorrect estimate of the amygdala volume may preclude a correct analysis of the biological effects of alterations in amygdala volume. Three-dimensional analysis is preferred because it is based on more extensive anatomical assessment and the results are similar to those obtained in post-mortem studies.

  16. Post-traumatic stress and age variation in amygdala volumes among youth exposed to trauma.

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    Weems, Carl F; Klabunde, Megan; Russell, Justin D; Reiss, Allan L; Carrión, Victor G

    2015-12-01

    Theoretically, normal developmental variation in amygdala volumes may be altered under conditions of severe stress. The purpose of this article was to examine whether posttraumatic stress moderates the association between age and amygdala volumes in youth exposed to traumatic events who are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Volumetric imaging was conducted on two groups of youth aged 9-17 years: 28 with exposure to trauma and PTSD symptoms (boys = 15, girls = 13) and 26 matched (age, IQ) comparison youth (Controls; boys = 12, girls = 14). There was a significant group by age interaction in predicting right amygdala volumes. A positive association between age and right amygdala volumes was observed, but only in PTSD youth. These associations with age remained when controlling for IQ, total brain volumes and sex. Moreover, older youth with PTSD symptoms had relatively larger right amygdala volumes than controls. Findings provide evidence that severe stress may influence age-related variation in amygdala volumes. Results further highlight the importance of utilizing age as an interactive variable in pediatric neuroimaging research, in so far as age may act as an important moderator of group differences.

  17. The link between testosterone and amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex connectivity in adolescent alcohol use.

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    Peters, Sabine; Jolles, Dietsje J; Van Duijvenvoorde, Anna C K; Crone, Eveline A; Peper, Jiska S

    2015-03-01

    Alcohol consumption is one of the most problematic and widespread forms of risk taking in adolescence. It has been hypothesized that sex hormones such as testosterone play an important role in risk taking by influencing the development of brain networks involved in emotion and motivation, particularly the amygdala and its functional connections. Connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) may be specifically related to alcohol use, given the association of this tract with top-down control over behavioral approach tendencies. In line with this, prior studies in adults indicate a link between alcohol use and functional connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), as well as between testosterone and amygdala-OFC connectivity. We consolidated these research lines by investigating the association between alcohol use, testosterone and resting state functional brain connectivity within one large-scale adolescent sample (n=173, aged 12-25 years). Mediation analyses demonstrated an indirect effect of testosterone levels on alcohol use through amygdala-OFC intrinsic functional connectivity, but only in boys. That is, increased testosterone in boys was associated with reduced amygdala-OFC connectivity, which in turn was associated with increased alcohol intake. This study is the first to demonstrate the interplay between adolescent alcohol use, sex hormones and brain mechanisms, thus taking an important step to increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind this form of adolescent risk-taking.

  18. Primate amygdala neurons evaluate the progress of self-defined economic choice sequences

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    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Hernadi, Istvan; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    The amygdala is a prime valuation structure yet its functions in advanced behaviors are poorly understood. We tested whether individual amygdala neurons encode a critical requirement for goal-directed behavior: the evaluation of progress during sequential choices. As monkeys progressed through choice sequences toward rewards, amygdala neurons showed phasic, gradually increasing responses over successive choice steps. These responses occurred in the absence of external progress cues or motor preplanning. They were often specific to self-defined sequences, typically disappearing during instructed control sequences with similar reward expectation. Their build-up rate reflected prospectively the forthcoming choice sequence, suggesting adaptation to an internal plan. Population decoding demonstrated a high-accuracy progress code. These findings indicate that amygdala neurons evaluate the progress of planned, self-defined behavioral sequences. Such progress signals seem essential for aligning stepwise choices with internal plans. Their presence in amygdala neurons may inform understanding of human conditions with amygdala dysfunction and deregulated reward pursuit. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18731.001 PMID:27731795

  19. Amygdala functional connectivity as a longitudinal biomarker of symptom changes in generalized anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makovac, Elena; Watson, David R.; Meeten, Frances; Garfinkel, Sarah N.; Cercignani, Mara; Critchley, Hugo D.

    2016-01-01

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worry, autonomic dysregulation and functional amygdala dysconnectivity, yet these illness markers have rarely been considered together, nor their interrelationship tested longitudinally. We hypothesized that an individual’s capacity for emotion regulation predicts longer-term changes in amygdala functional connectivity, supporting the modification of GAD core symptoms. Sixteen patients with GAD (14 women) and individually matched controls were studied at two time points separated by 1 year. Resting-state fMRI data and concurrent measurement of vagally mediated heart rate variability were obtained before and after the induction of perseverative cognition. A greater rise in levels of worry following the induction predicted a stronger reduction in connectivity between right amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and enhanced coupling between left amygdala and ventral tegmental area at follow-up. Similarly, amplified physiological responses to the induction predicted increased connectivity between right amygdala and thalamus. Longitudinal shifts in a distinct set of functional connectivity scores were associated with concomitant changes in GAD symptomatology over the course of the year. Results highlight the prognostic value of indices of emotional dysregulation and emphasize the integral role of the amygdala as a critical hub in functional neural circuitry underlying the progression of GAD symptomatology. PMID:27369066

  20. Basal forebrain neurons suppress amygdala kindling via cortical but not hippocampal cholinergic projections in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferencz, I; Leanza, G; Nanobashvili, A; Kokaia, M; Lindvall, O

    2000-06-01

    Intraventricular administration of the immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin in rats has been shown to cause a selective loss of cholinergic afferents to the hippocampus and cortical areas, and to facilitate seizure development in hippocampal kindling. Here we demonstrate that this lesion also accelerates seizure progression when kindling is induced by electrical stimulations in the amygdala. However, whereas intraventricular 192 IgG-saporin facilitated the development of the initial stages of hippocampal kindling, the same lesion promoted the late stages of amygdala kindling. To explore the role of various parts of the basal forebrain cholinergic system in amygdala kindling, selective lesions of the cholinergic projections to either hippocampus or cortex were produced by intraparenchymal injections of 192 IgG-saporin into medial septum/vertical limb of the diagonal band or nucleus basalis, respectively. Cholinergic denervation of the cortical regions caused acceleration of amygdala kindling closely resembling that observed after the more widespread lesion induced by intraventricular 192 IgG-saporin. In contrast, removal of the cholinergic input to the hippocampus had no effect on the development of amygdala kindling. These data indicate that basal forebrain cholinergic neurons suppress kindling elicited from amygdala, and that this dampening effect is mediated via cortical but not hippocampal projections.

  1. Amygdala kindling in immature rats: proconvulsant effect of the organophosphate insecticide-chlorpyrifos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurpel, J N; Hirt, P C; Bidanset, J H

    1993-01-01

    Administration of the organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos to immature rats exerted a proconvulsant effect on seizures induced by kindling. Chlorpyrifos was administered to 16 or 17 day old rats in a dose range of 0.3 to 10 mg/kg, subcutaneously. Amygdala kindling was performed by stimulating the rats every 15 minutes to a total of 20 stimulations. Kindling occurred more rapidly in the chlorpyrifos treated rats than vehicle treated rats, the proconvulsant effect was dose-dependent. The proconvulsant effect of chlorpyrifos was more pronounced in the early stages of kindling, indicating a possible increase in local excitability of the amygdala in the presence of chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos also reduced the after discharge threshold in the amygdala in a dose-dependent manner and increased the duration of after discharges elicited by electrical stimulus, indicating an increase in excitability of the amygdala. The effects of chlorpyrifos on kindling were additive with xylene: the proconvulsant effect in the early stages of kindling was greatly enhanced by xylene. Xylene, administered alone as a 0.2% solution, reduced the after discharge threshold of the amygdala, increased the after discharge duration and increased the rate of kindling. These experiments demonstrate a proconvulsant effect of chlorpyrifos in amygdala kindling and this proconvulsant action is additive with xylene.

  2. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice.

  3. Role of anxiety in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome: importance of the amygdala.

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    Myers, Brent; Greenwood-Van Meerveld, Beverley

    2009-01-01

    A common characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is that symptoms, including abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits, are often triggered or exacerbated during periods of stress and anxiety. However, the impact of anxiety and affective disorders on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is poorly understood and may in part explain the lack of effective therapeutic approaches to treat IBS. The amygdala is an important structure for regulating anxiety with the central nucleus of the amygdala facilitating the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the autonomic nervous system in response to stress. Moreover, chronic stress enhances function of the amygdala and promotes neural plasticity throughout the amygdaloid complex. This review outlines the latest findings obtained from human studies and animal models related to the role of the emotional brain in the regulation of enteric function, specifically how increasing the gain of the amygdala to induce anxiety-like behavior using corticosterone or chronic stress increases responsiveness to both visceral and somatic stimuli in rodents. A focus of the review is the relative importance of mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor-mediated mechanisms within the amygdala in the regulation of anxiety and nociceptive behaviors that are characteristic features of IBS. This review also discusses several outstanding questions important for future research on the role of the amygdala in the generation of abnormal GI function that may lead to potential targets for new therapies to treat functional bowel disorders such as IBS.

  4. Role of anxiety in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome: importance of the amygdala

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    Brent Myers

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A common characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS is that symptoms, including abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits, are often triggered or exacerbated during periods of stress and anxiety. However, the impact of anxiety and affective disorders on the gastrointestinal (GI tract is poorly understood and may in part explain the lack of effective therapeutic approaches to treat IBS. The amygdala is an important structure for regulating anxiety with the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA facilitating the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis and the autonomic nervous system in response to stress. Moreover, chronic stress enhances function of the amygdala and promotes neural plasticity throughout the amygdaloid complex. This review outlines the latest findings obtained from human studies and animal models related to the role of the emotional brain in the regulation of enteric function, specifically how increasing the gain of the amygdala to induce anxiety-like behavior using corticosterone (CORT or chronic stress increases responsiveness to both visceral and somatic stimuli in rodents. A focus of the review is the relative importance of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR and glucocorticoid receptor (GR-mediated mechanisms within the amygdala in the regulation of anxiety and nociceptive behaviors that are characteristic features of IBS. This review also discusses several outstanding questions important for future research on the role of the amygdala in the generation of abnormal GI function that may lead to potential targets for new therapies to treat functional bowel disorders such as IBS.

  5. Attachment-security priming attenuates amygdala activation to social and linguistic threat.

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    Norman, Luke; Lawrence, Natalia; Iles, Andrew; Benattayallah, Abdelmalek; Karl, Anke

    2015-06-01

    A predominant expectation that social relationships with others are safe (a secure attachment style), has been linked with reduced threat-related amygdala activation. Experimental priming of mental representations of attachment security can modulate neural responding, but the effects of attachment-security priming on threat-related amygdala activation remains untested. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study examined the effects of trait and primed attachment security on amygdala reactivity to threatening stimuli in an emotional faces and a linguistic dot-probe task in 42 healthy participants. Trait attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were positively correlated with amygdala activation to threatening faces in the control group, but not in the attachment primed group. Furthermore, participants who received attachment-security priming showed attenuated amygdala activation in both the emotional faces and dot-probe tasks. The current findings demonstrate that variation in state and trait attachment security modulates amygdala reactivity to threat. These findings support the potential use of attachment security-boosting methods as interventions and suggest a neural mechanism for the protective effect of social bonds in anxiety disorders.

  6. Arousal modulation of memory and amygdala-parahippocampal connectivity: a PET-psychophysiology study in specific phobia.

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    Ahs, Fredrik; Palmquist, Asa Michelgård; Pissiota, Anna; Appel, Lieuwe; Frans, Orjan; Liberzon, Israel; Furmark, Tomas; Fredrikson, Mats

    2011-11-01

    Phobic fear is accompanied by intense bodily responses modulated by the amygdala. An amygdala moderated psychophysiological measure related to arousal is electrodermal activity. We evaluated the contributions of electrodermal activity to amygdala-parahippocampal regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during phobic memory encoding in subjects with spider or snake phobia. Recognition memory was increased for phobia-related slides and covaried with rCBF in the amygdala and the parahippocampal gyrus. The covariation between parahippocampal rCBF and recognition was related to electrodermal activity suggesting that parahippocampal memory processes were associated with sympathetic activity. Electrodermal activity further mediated the amygdala effect on parahippocampal activity. Memory encoding during phobic fear therefore seems contingent on amygdala's influence on arousal and parahippocampal activity.

  7. Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder presenting with repeated hypersomnia due to involvement of the hypothalamus and hypothalamus-amygdala linkage.

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    Kume, Kodai; Deguchi, Kazushi; Ikeda, Kazuyo; Takata, Tadayuki; Kokudo, Yohei; Kamada, Masaki; Touge, Tetsuo; Takahashi, Toshiyuki; Kanbayashi, Takashi; Masaki, Tsutomu

    2015-06-01

    We report the case of a 46-year-old Japanese woman with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder presenting with repeated hypersomnia accompanied by decreased CSF orexin level. First episode associated with hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction showed bilateral hypothalamic lesions that can cause secondary damage to the orexin neurons. The second episode associated with impaired memory showed a left temporal lesion involving the amygdala. The mechanism remains unknown, but the reduced blood flow in the hypothalamus ipsilateral to the amygdala lesion suggested trans-synaptic hypothalamic dysfunction secondary to the impaired amygdala. A temporal lesion involving the amygdala and hypothalamus could be responsible for hypersomnia due to neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

  8. Amygdala reactivity and negative emotionality: divergent correlates of antisocial personality and psychopathy traits in a community sample.

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    Hyde, Luke W; Byrd, Amy L; Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth; Hariri, Ahmad R; Manuck, Stephen B

    2014-02-01

    Previous studies have emphasized that antisocial personality disorder (APD) and psychopathy overlap highly but differ critically in several features, notably negative emotionality (NEM) and possibly amygdala reactivity to social signals of threat and distress. Here we examined whether dimensions of psychopathy and APD correlate differentially with NEM and amygdala reactivity to emotional faces. Testing these relationships among healthy individuals, dimensions of psychopathy and APD were generated by the profile matching technique of Lynam and Widiger (2001), using facet scales of the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised, and amygdala reactivity was measured using a well-established emotional faces task, in a community sample of 103 men and women. Higher psychopathy scores were associated with lower NEM and lower amygdala reactivity, whereas higher APD scores were related to greater NEM and greater amygdala reactivity, but only after overlapping variance in APD and psychopathy was adjusted for in the statistical model. Amygdala reactivity did not mediate the relationship of APD and psychopathy scores to NEM. Supplemental analyses also compared other measures of factors within psychopathy in predicting NEM and amygdala reactivity and found that Factor 2 psychopathy was positively related to NEM and amygdala reactivity across measures of psychopathy. The overall findings replicate seminal observations on NEM in psychopathy by Hicks and Patrick (2006) and extend this work to neuroimaging in a normative population. They also suggest that one critical way in which APD and psychopathy dimensions may differ in their etiology is through their opposing levels of NEM and amygdala reactivity to threat.

  9. Connections of the corticomedial amygdala in the golden hamster. II. Efferents of the ''olfactory amygdala''

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    Kevetter, G.A.; Winans, S.S.

    1981-03-20

    The anterior cortical (C1) and posterolateral cortical (C2) nuclei of the amygdala are designated the ''olfactory amygdala'' because they each receive direct projections from the main olfactory bulb. The efferents of these nuclei were traced after stereotaxic placement of 1-5 muCi tritiated proline in the corticomedial amygdala of the male golden hamsters. Following survival times of 12, 24, or 48 hours, 20 micron frozen sections of the brains were processed for light microscopic autoradiography. Efferents from C2 terminate in layers II and III of the olfactory tubercle and in layer Ib of pars ventralis and pars medialis of the anterior olfactory nucleus. Fibers from this nucleus also project to layers I and II of the infralimbic cortex and to the molecular layer of the agranular insular cortex. More posteriorly, fibers from C2 terminate in layer I of the dorsolateral entorhinal cortex, and in the endopiriform nucleus. From C1, efferent fibers travel in the stria terminalis and terminate in the precommissural bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and in the mediobasal hypothalamus. Efferents from C1 also innervate the molecular layer of C2, the amygdalo-hippocampal area, and the adjacent piriform cortex. Neurons in both C1 and C2 project to the molecular layer of the medial amygdaloid nucleus and the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala, the plexiform layer of the ventral subiculum, and the molecular layer of the lateral entorhinal cortex.

  10. The basolateral amygdala in reward learning and addiction.

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    Wassum, Kate M; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-10-01

    Sophisticated behavioral paradigms partnered with the emergence of increasingly selective techniques to target the basolateral amygdala (BLA) have resulted in an enhanced understanding of the role of this nucleus in learning and using reward information. Due to the wide variety of behavioral approaches many questions remain on the circumscribed role of BLA in appetitive behavior. In this review, we integrate conclusions of BLA function in reward-related behavior using traditional interference techniques (lesion, pharmacological inactivation) with those using newer methodological approaches in experimental animals that allow in vivo manipulation of cell type-specific populations and neural recordings. Secondly, from a review of appetitive behavioral tasks in rodents and monkeys and recent computational models of reward procurement, we derive evidence for BLA as a neural integrator of reward value, history, and cost parameters. Taken together, BLA codes specific and temporally dynamic outcome representations in a distributed network to orchestrate adaptive responses. We provide evidence that experiences with opiates and psychostimulants alter these outcome representations in BLA, resulting in long-term modified action.

  11. Amygdala mechanisms of Pavlovian psychostimulant conditioning and relapse.

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    Buffalari, Deanne M; See, Ronald E

    2010-01-01

    Psychostimulant addiction often consists of periods of sustained drug abstinence disrupted by periods of relapse and renewed heavy drug use. Prevention of relapse remains the greatest challenge to the successful treatment of drug addiction. Drug-associated cues are a primary trigger for relapse, as they can elicit intense craving for the drug. These cues become associated with the drug reward through Pavlovian learning processes that develop over multiple drug-cue pairings. The amygdala (AMY) is critical for such drug-related learning. Intrinsic and extrinsic circuitry position the AMY to integrate cue and drug-related information and influence drug-seeking and drug-taking behaviors. Animal models of conditioned drug reward, drug use, and relapse have confirmed the necessary role of the AMY for drug conditioned cues to control motivated behavior. Neurons within the AMY are responsive to the primary effects of psychostimulants, and more critically, they also respond to the presentation of drug-associated cues. The mechanisms by which conditioned cues come to influence drug-seeking behavior likely involve long-term plasticity and neuroadaptations within the AMY. A greater understanding of the associative learning mechanisms that depend upon the AMY and related limbic and cortical structures, and the process by which drug cues come to gain control over behavior that maintains the addictive state, will facilitate the development of more effective addiction treatments.

  12. Prefrontal Cortical Kappa Opioid Receptors Attenuate Responses to Amygdala Inputs.

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    Tejeda, Hugo A; Hanks, Ashley N; Scott, Liam; Mejias-Aponte, Carlos; Hughes, Zoë A; O'Donnell, Patricio

    2015-12-01

    Kappa opioid receptors (KORs) have been implicated in anxiety and stress, conditions that involve activation of projections from the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Although KORs have been studied in several brain regions, their role on mPFC physiology and on BLA projections to the mPFC remains unclear. Here, we explored whether KORs modify synaptic inputs from the BLA to the mPFC using in vivo electrophysiological recordings with electrical and optogenetic stimulation. Systemic administration of the KOR agonist U69,593 inhibited BLA-evoked synaptic responses in the mPFC without altering hippocampus-evoked responses. Intra-mPFC U69,593 inhibited electrical and optogenetic BLA-evoked synaptic responses, an effect blocked by the KOR antagonist nor-BNI. Bilateral intra-mPFC injection of the KOR antagonist nor-BNI increased center time in the open field test, suggesting an anxiolytic effect. The data demonstrate that mPFC KORs negatively regulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the BLA-mPFC pathway and anxiety-like behavior. These findings provide a framework whereby KOR signaling during stress and anxiety can regulate the flow of emotional state information from the BLA to the mPFC.

  13. The basolateral amygdala in reward learning and addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassum, Kate M.; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Sophisticated behavioral paradigms partnered with the emergence of increasingly selective techniques to target the basolateral amygdala (BLA) have resulted in an enhanced understanding of the role of this nucleus in learning and using reward information. Due to the wide variety of behavioral approaches many questions remain on the circumscribed role of BLA in appetitive behavior. In this review, we integrate conclusions of BLA function in reward-related behavior using traditional interference techniques (lesion, pharmacological inactivation) with those using newer methodological approaches in experimental animals that allow in vivo manipulation of cell type-specific populations and neural recordings. Secondly, from a review of appetitive behavioral tasks in rodents and monkeys and recent computational models of reward procurement, we derive evidence for BLA as a neural integrator of reward value, history, and cost parameters. Taken together, BLA codes specific and temporally dynamic outcome representations in a distributed network to orchestrate adaptive responses. We provide evidence that experiences with opiates and psychostimulants alter these outcome representations in BLA, resulting in long-term modified action. PMID:26341938

  14. Amygdala kindling alters protein kinase C activity in dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S J; Desai, M A; Klann, E; Winder, D G; Sweatt, J D; Conn, P J

    1992-11-01

    Kindling is a use-dependent form of synaptic plasticity and a widely used model of epilepsy. Although kindling has been widely studied, the molecular mechanisms underlying induction of this phenomenon are not well understood. We determined the effect of amygdala kindling on protein kinase C (PKC) activity in various regions of rat brain. Kindling stimulation markedly elevated basal (Ca(2+)-independent) and Ca(2+)-stimulated phosphorylation of an endogenous PKC substrate (which we have termed P17) in homogenates of dentate gyrus, assayed 2 h after kindling stimulation. The increase in P17 phosphorylation appeared to be due at least in part to persistent PKC activation, as basal PKC activity assayed in vitro using an exogenous peptide substrate was increased in kindled dentate gyrus 2 h after the last kindling stimulation. A similar increase in basal PKC activity was observed in dentate gyrus 2 h after the first kindling stimulation. These results document a kindling-associated persistent PKC activation and suggest that the increased activity of PKC could play a role in the induction of the kindling effect.

  15. Reduced intrinsic connectivity of amygdala in adults with major depressive disorder

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    Rajamannar eRamasubbu

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Imaging studies of major depressive disorder (MDD have demonstrated enhanced resting-state activity of the amygdala as well as exaggerated reactivity to negative emotional stimuli relative to healthy controls. However, the abnormalities in the intrinsic connectivity of the amygdala in MDD still remain unclear. As the resting-state activity and functional connectivity (RSFC reflect fundamental brain processes, we compared the RSFC of the amygdala between unmedicated MDD patients and healthy controls. Seventy-four subjects, 55 adults meeting the DSM IV criteria for MDD and 19 healthy controls, underwent a resting state 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI scan. An amygdala seed-based low frequency RSFC map for the whole brain was generated for each group. Compared with healthy controls, MDD patients showed a wide-spread reduction in the intrinsic connectivity of the amygdala with a variety of brain regions involved in emotional processing and regulation, including the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, insula, caudate, middle and superior temporal regions, occipital cortex, and cerebellum, as well as increased connectivity with the bilateral temporal poles (p< 0.05 corrected. The increase in the intrinsic connectivity of amygdala with the temporal poles was inversely correlated with symptom severity and anxiety scores. Although the directionality of connections between regions cannot be inferred from temporal correlations, the reduced intrinsic connectivity of the amygdala predominantly with regions involved in emotional processing may reflect impaired bottom-up signaling for top-down cortical modulation of limbic regions leading to abnormal affect regulation in MDD.

  16. Fear of the unknown: uncertain anticipation reveals amygdala alterations in childhood anxiety disorders.

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    Williams, Lisa E; Oler, Jonathan A; Fox, Andrew S; McFarlin, Daniel R; Rogers, Gregory M; Jesson, Maria A L; Davidson, Richard J; Pine, Daniel S; Kalin, Ned H

    2015-05-01

    Children with anxiety disorders (ADs) experience persistent fear and worries that are highly debilitating, conferring risk for lifelong psychopathology. Anticipatory anxiety is a core clinical feature of childhood ADs, often leading to avoidance of uncertain and novel situations. Extensive studies in non-human animals implicate amygdala dysfunction as a critical substrate for early life anxiety. To test specific amygdala-focused hypotheses in preadolescent children with ADs, we used fMRI to characterize amygdala activation during uncertain anticipation and in response to unexpected stimuli. Forty preadolescent (age 8-12 years) children, 20 unmedicated AD patients and 20 matched controls completed an anticipation task during an fMRI scan. In the task, symbolic cues preceded fear or neutral faces, such that 'certain' cues always predicted the presentation of fear or neutral faces, whereas 'uncertain' cues were equally likely to be followed by fear or neutral faces. Both AD children and controls showed robust amygdala response to faces. In response to the uncertain cues, AD children had increased amygdala activation relative to controls. Moreover, in the AD children, faces preceded by an 'uncertain' cue elicited increased amygdala activation, as compared with the same faces following a 'certain' cue. Children with ADs experience distress both in anticipation of and during novel and surprising events. Our findings suggest that increased amygdala activation may have an important role in the generation of uncertainty-related anxiety. These findings may guide the development of neuroscientifically informed treatments aimed at relieving the suffering and preventing the lifelong disability associated with pediatric ADs.

  17. Amygdala enlargement in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy without hippocampal sclerosis

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    Ana Carolina Coan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE without MRI abnormalities (MTLE-NL represent a challenge for definition of underlying pathology and for presurgical evaluation. In a recent study we observed significant amygdala enlargement in 14% of MTLE patients with MRI signs of HS. Areas of gray matter volume (GMV increase could represent structural abnormalities related to the epileptogenic zone or part of a developmental abnormality. Our objective was to look for undetected areas of increased GMV in MTLE-NL using post processing MRI techniques to better understand the pathophysiology of this condition.Methods: We evaluated 66 patients with MTLE-NL on visual analysis and 82 controls. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM group analysis was performed with VBM8/SPM8 looking for areas of increased GMV. We then performed automatic amygdala volumetry using Freesurfer software and T2 relaxometry to confirm VBM findings.Results: VBM group-analysis demonstrated increased amygdala volume in the MTLE-NL group compared to controls. Individual volumetric analysis confirmed amygdala enlargement (AE in eight (12% patients. Overall, from all patients with AE and defined epileptic focus, four (57% had the predominant increased volume ipsilateral to the epileptic focus. These results were cross-validated by a secondary VBM analysis including subgroups of patients according to the volumetric data. T2 relaxometry demonstrated no amygdala hyperintense signal in any individual with significant amygdala enlargement. There were no clinical differences between patients with and without AE.Discussion: This exploratory study demonstrates the occurrence of AE in 12% of patients with MTLE-NL. This finding supports the hypothesis that there might be a subgroup of patients with MTLE-NL in which the enlarged amygdala could be related to the epileptogenic process. Further studies are necessary but this finding could be of great importance in the understanding of MTLE-NL.

  18. The amygdala as a neurobiological target for ghrelin in rats: neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral evidence.

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    Mayte Alvarez-Crespo

    Full Text Available Here, we sought to demonstrate that the orexigenic circulating hormone, ghrelin, is able to exert neurobiological effects (including those linked to feeding control at the level of the amygdala, involving neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioural studies. We found that ghrelin receptors (GHS-R are densely expressed in several subnuclei of the amygdala, notably in ventrolateral (LaVL and ventromedial (LaVM parts of the lateral amygdaloid nucleus. Using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology to record from cells in the lateral amygdaloid nucleus, we found that ghrelin reduced the frequency of mEPSCs recorded from large pyramidal-like neurons, an effect that could be blocked by co-application of a ghrelin receptor antagonist. In ad libitum fed rats, intra-amygdala administration of ghrelin produced a large orexigenic response that lasted throughout the 4 hr of testing. Conversely, in hungry, fasted rats ghrelin receptor blockade in the amygdala significantly reduced food intake. Finally, we investigated a possible interaction between ghrelin's effects on feeding control and emotional reactivity exerted at the level of the amygdala. In rats allowed to feed during a 1-hour period between ghrelin injection and anxiety testing (elevated plus maze and open field, intra-amygdala ghrelin had no effect on anxiety-like behavior. By contrast, if the rats were not given access to food during this 1-hour period, a decrease in anxiety-like behavior was observed in both tests. Collectively, these data indicate that the amygdala is a valid target brain area for ghrelin where its neurobiological effects are important for food intake and for the suppression of emotional (anxiety-like behaviors if food is not available.

  19. Amygdala Function and 5-HTT Gene Variants in Adolescent Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder

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    Lau, Jennifer Y. F.; Goldman, David; Buzas, Beata; Fromm, Stephen J.; Guyer, Amanda E.; Hodgkinson, Colin; Monk, Christopher S.; Nelson, Eric E.; Shen, Pei-Hong; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique

    2009-01-01

    Background Associations between a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene and amygdala activation have been found in healthy, depressed, and anxious adults. This study explored these gene–brain associations in adolescents by examining predictive effects of serotonin transporter gene variants (S and LG allele carriers vs. LA allele homozygotes) and their interaction with diagnosis (healthy vs. patients) on amygdala responses to emotional faces. Methods Functional magnetic resonance data were collected from 33 healthy adolescents (mean age: 13.71, 55% female) and 31 medication-free adolescents with current anxiety or depressive disorders (or both; mean age: 13.58, 56% female) while viewing fearful, angry, happy, and neutral facial expressions under varying attention states. Results A significant three-way genotype-by-diagnosis-by-face-emotion interaction characterized right amygdala activity while subjects monitored internal fear levels. This interaction was decomposed to map differential gene–brain associations in healthy and affected adolescents. First, consistent with healthy adult data, healthy adolescents with at least one copy of the S or LG allele showed stronger amygdala responses to fearful faces than healthy adolescents without these alleles. Second, patients with two copies of the LA allele exhibited greater amygdala responses to fearful faces relative to patients with S or LG alleles. Third, although weaker, genotype differences on amygdala responses in patients extended to happy faces. All effects were restricted to the fear-monitoring attention state. Conclusions S/LG alleles in healthy adolescents, as in healthy adults, predict enhanced amygdala activation to fearful faces. Contrary findings of increased activation in patients with LALA relative to the S or LG alleles require further exploration. PMID:18950748

  20. Common and Distinct Amygdala-Function Perturbations in Depressed vs Anxious Adolescents

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    Beesdo, Katja; Lau, Jennifer Y. F.; Guyer, Amanda E.; McClure-Tone, Erin B.; Monk, Christopher S.; Nelson, Eric E.; Fromm, Stephen J.; Goldwin, Michelle A.; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Leibenluft, Ellen; Ernst, Monique; Pine, Daniel S.

    2010-01-01

    Context Few studies directly compare amygdala function in depressive and anxiety disorders. Data from longitudinal research emphasize the need for such studies in adolescents. Objective To compare amygdala response to varying attention and emotion conditions among adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) or anxiety disorders, relative to adolescents with no psychopathology. Design Case-control study. Setting Government clinical research institute. Participants Eighty-seven adolescents matched on age, sex, intelligence, and social class: 26 with MDD (14 with and 12 without anxiety disorders), 16 with anxiety disorders but no depression, and 45 without psychopathology. Main Outcome Measures Blood oxygen level–dependent signal in the amygdala, measured by means of event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. During imaging, participants viewed facial expressions (neutral, fearful, angry, and happy) while attention was constrained (afraid, hostility, and nose-width ratings) or unconstrained (passive viewing). Results Left and right amygdala activation differed as a function of diagnosis, facial expression, and attention condition both when patients with comorbid MDD and anxiety were included and when they were excluded (group × emotion × attention interactions, P≤.03). Focusing on fearful face–viewing events, patients with anxiety and those with MDD both differed in amygdala responses from healthy participants and from each other during passive viewing. However, both MDD and anxiety groups, relative to healthy participants, exhibited similar signs of amygdala hyperactivation to fearful faces when subjectively experienced fear was rated. Conclusions Adolescent MDD and anxiety disorders exhibit common and distinct functional neural correlates during face processing. Attention modulates the degree to which common or distinct amygdala perturbations manifest in these patient groups, relative to healthy peers. PMID:19255377

  1. Pain-related anxiety-like behavior requires CRF1 receptors in the amygdala

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    Ruppert Katherine A

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor CRF1 has been implicated in the neurobiological mechanisms of anxiety and depression. The amygdala plays an important role in affective states and disorders such as anxiety and depression. The amygdala is also emerging as a neural substrate of pain affect. However, the involvement of the amygdala in the interaction of pain and anxiety remains to be determined. This study tested the hypothesis that CRF1 receptors in the amygdala are critically involved in pain-related anxiety. Anxiety-like behavior was determined in adult male rats using the elevated plus maze (EPM test. The open-arm preference (ratio of open arm entries to the total number of entries was measured. Nocifensive behavior was assessed by measuring hindlimb withdrawal thresholds for noxious mechanical stimulation of the knee. Measurements were made in normal rats and in rats with arthritis induced in one knee by intraarticular injections of kaolin/carrageenan. A selective CRF1 receptor antagonist (NBI27914 or vehicle was administered systemically (i.p. or into the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA, by microdialysis. The arthritis group showed a decreased preference for the open arms in the EPM and decreased hindlimb withdrawal thresholds. Systemic or intraamygdalar (into the CeA administration of NBI27914, but not vehicle, inhibited anxiety-like behavior and nocifensive pain responses, nearly reversing the arthritis pain-related changes. This study shows for the first time that CRF1 receptors in the amygdala contribute critically to pain-related anxiety-like behavior and nocifensive responses in a model of arthritic pain. The results are a direct demonstration that the clinically well-documented relationship between pain and anxiety involves the amygdala.

  2. Intra-amygdala inhibition of ERK(1/2) potentiates the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol.

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    Besheer, Joyce; Fisher, Kristen R; Cannady, Reginald; Grondin, Julie J M; Hodge, Clyde W

    2012-03-17

    Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK(1/2)) has been implicated in modulating drug seeking behavior and is a target of alcohol and other drugs of abuse. Given that the discriminative stimulus (subjective/interoceptive) effects of drugs are determinants of abuse liability and can influence drug seeking behavior, we examined the role of ERK(1/2) in modulating the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol. Using drug discrimination procedures, rats were trained to discriminate a moderate intragastric (IG) alcohol dose (1g/kg) versus water (IG). Following an alcohol (1g/kg) discrimination session phosphorylated ERK(1/2) (pERK(1/2)) immunoreactivity (IR) was significantly elevated in the amygdala, but not the nucleus accumbens. Therefore, we hypothesized that intra-amygdala inhibition of ERK(1/2) would disrupt expression of the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol. However, intra-amygdala or accumbens administration of the MEK/ERK(1/2) inhibitor U0126 (1 and 3μg) had no effect on the discriminative stimulus effects of the training dose of alcohol (1g/kg). Contrary to our hypothesis, intra-amygdala infusion of U0126 (3μg) potentiated the discriminative stimulus effects of a low alcohol dose (0.5g/kg) and had no effect following nucleus accumbens infusion. Importantly, site-specific inhibition of pERK(1/2) in each brain region was confirmed. Therefore, the increase in pERK(1/2) IR in the amygdala following systemic alcohol administration may be reflective of the widespread effects of alcohol on the brain (activation/inhibition of brain circuits), whereas the site specific microinjection studies confirmed functional involvement of intra-amygdala ERK(1/2). These findings show that activity of the ERK signaling pathway in the amygdala can influence the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol.

  3. Gastrin-releasing peptide signaling plays a limited and subtle role in amygdala physiology and aversive memory.

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    Frederique Chaperon

    Full Text Available Links between synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA and Pavlovian fear learning are well established. Neuropeptides including gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP can modulate LA function. GRP increases inhibition in the LA and mice lacking the GRP receptor (GRPR KO show more pronounced and persistent fear after single-trial associative learning. Here, we confirmed these initial findings and examined whether they extrapolate to more aspects of amygdala physiology and to other forms of aversive associative learning. GRP application in brain slices from wildtype but not GRPR KO mice increased spontaneous inhibitory activity in LA pyramidal neurons. In amygdala slices from GRPR KO mice, GRP did not increase inhibitory activity. In comparison to wildtype, short- but not long-term plasticity was increased in the cortico-lateral amygdala (LA pathway of GRPR KO amygdala slices, whereas no changes were detected in the thalamo-LA pathway. In addition, GRPR KO mice showed enhanced fear evoked by single-trial conditioning and reduced spontaneous firing of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA. Altogether, these results are consistent with a potentially important modulatory role of GRP/GRPR signaling in the amygdala. However, administration of GRP or the GRPR antagonist (D-Phe(6, Leu-NHEt(13, des-Met(14-Bombesin (6-14 did not affect amygdala LTP in brain slices, nor did they affect the expression of conditioned fear following intra-amygdala administration. GRPR KO mice also failed to show differences in fear expression and extinction after multiple-trial fear conditioning, and there were no differences in conditioned taste aversion or gustatory neophobia. Collectively, our data indicate that GRP/GRPR signaling modulates amygdala physiology in a paradigm-specific fashion that likely is insufficient to generate therapeutic effects across amygdala-dependent disorders.

  4. Gastrin-releasing peptide signaling plays a limited and subtle role in amygdala physiology and aversive memory.

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    Chaperon, Frederique; Fendt, Markus; Kelly, Peter H; Lingenhoehl, Kurt; Mosbacher, Johannes; Olpe, Hans-Rudolf; Schmid, Peter; Sturchler, Christine; McAllister, Kevin H; van der Putten, P Herman; Gee, Christine E

    2012-01-01

    Links between synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA) and Pavlovian fear learning are well established. Neuropeptides including gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) can modulate LA function. GRP increases inhibition in the LA and mice lacking the GRP receptor (GRPR KO) show more pronounced and persistent fear after single-trial associative learning. Here, we confirmed these initial findings and examined whether they extrapolate to more aspects of amygdala physiology and to other forms of aversive associative learning. GRP application in brain slices from wildtype but not GRPR KO mice increased spontaneous inhibitory activity in LA pyramidal neurons. In amygdala slices from GRPR KO mice, GRP did not increase inhibitory activity. In comparison to wildtype, short- but not long-term plasticity was increased in the cortico-lateral amygdala (LA) pathway of GRPR KO amygdala slices, whereas no changes were detected in the thalamo-LA pathway. In addition, GRPR KO mice showed enhanced fear evoked by single-trial conditioning and reduced spontaneous firing of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). Altogether, these results are consistent with a potentially important modulatory role of GRP/GRPR signaling in the amygdala. However, administration of GRP or the GRPR antagonist (D-Phe(6), Leu-NHEt(13), des-Met(14))-Bombesin (6-14) did not affect amygdala LTP in brain slices, nor did they affect the expression of conditioned fear following intra-amygdala administration. GRPR KO mice also failed to show differences in fear expression and extinction after multiple-trial fear conditioning, and there were no differences in conditioned taste aversion or gustatory neophobia. Collectively, our data indicate that GRP/GRPR signaling modulates amygdala physiology in a paradigm-specific fashion that likely is insufficient to generate therapeutic effects across amygdala-dependent disorders.

  5. Amygdala Dopamine Receptors Are Required for the Destabilization of a Reconsolidating Appetitive Memory(1,2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merlo, Emiliano; Ratano, Patrizia; Ilioi, Elena C; Robbins, Miranda A L S; Everitt, Barry J; Milton, Amy L

    2015-01-01

    Disrupting maladaptive memories may provide a novel form of treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders, but little is known about the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the induction of lability, or destabilization, of a retrieved consolidated memory. Destabilization has been theoretically linked to the violation of expectations during memory retrieval, which, in turn, has been suggested to correlate with prediction error (PE). It is well-established that PE correlates with dopaminergic signaling in limbic forebrain structures that are critical for emotional learning. The basolateral amygdala is a key neural substrate for the reconsolidation of pavlovian reward-related memories, but the involvement of dopaminergic mechanisms in inducing lability of amygdala-dependent memories has not been investigated. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that dopaminergic signaling within the basolateral amygdala is required for the destabilization of appetitive pavlovian memories by investigating the effects dopaminergic and protein synthesis manipulations on appetitive memory reconsolidation in rats. Intra-amygdala administration of either the D1-selective dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 or the D2-selective dopamine receptor antagonist raclopride prevented memory destabilization at retrieval, thereby protecting the memory from the effects of an amnestic agent, the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin. These data show that dopaminergic transmission within the basolateral amygdala is required for memory labilization during appetitive memory reconsolidation.

  6. Dynamic Changes in Amygdala Psychophysiological Connectivity Reveal Distinct Neural Networks for Facial Expressions of Basic Emotions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diano, Matteo; Tamietto, Marco; Celeghin, Alessia; Weiskrantz, Lawrence; Tatu, Mona-Karina; Bagnis, Arianna; Duca, Sergio; Geminiani, Giuliano; Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso

    2017-01-01

    The quest to characterize the neural signature distinctive of different basic emotions has recently come under renewed scrutiny. Here we investigated whether facial expressions of different basic emotions modulate the functional connectivity of the amygdala with the rest of the brain. To this end, we presented seventeen healthy participants (8 females) with facial expressions of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and emotional neutrality and analyzed amygdala’s psychophysiological interaction (PPI). In fact, PPI can reveal how inter-regional amygdala communications change dynamically depending on perception of various emotional expressions to recruit different brain networks, compared to the functional interactions it entertains during perception of neutral expressions. We found that for each emotion the amygdala recruited a distinctive and spatially distributed set of structures to interact with. These changes in amygdala connectional patters characterize the dynamic signature prototypical of individual emotion processing, and seemingly represent a neural mechanism that serves to implement the distinctive influence that each emotion exerts on perceptual, cognitive, and motor responses. Besides these differences, all emotions enhanced amygdala functional integration with premotor cortices compared to neutral faces. The present findings thus concur to reconceptualise the structure-function relation between brain-emotion from the traditional one-to-one mapping toward a network-based and dynamic perspective. PMID:28345642

  7. The joyful, yet balanced, amygdala: moderated responses to positive but not negative stimuli in trait happiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, William A; Kirkland, Tabitha

    2014-06-01

    Although much is known about the neural dynamics of maladaptive affective styles, the mechanisms of happiness and well-being are less clear. One possibility is that the neural processes of trait happiness are the opposite of those involved in depression/anxiety: 'rose-colored glasses' cause happy people to focus on positive cues while remaining oblivious to threats. Specifically, because negative affective styles have been associated with increased amygdala activation to negative stimuli, it may be happy people will not show this enhanced response, and may even show reduced amygdala activation to negative stimuli. Alternatively, if well-being entails appropriate sensitivity to information, happy people may process any relevant cues-positive or negative-to facilitate appropriate responding. This would mean that happiness is associated with increased amygdala activation to both positive and negative stimuli. Forty-two participants viewed affective stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Happier participants showed greater amygdala responses to positive stimuli. Moreover, no significant relationships were found between happiness and responses to negative stimuli. In other words, for happy people, a tuning toward positive did not come at the cost of losing sensitivity to negativity. This work suggests that trait happiness is associated with a balanced amygdala response to positivity and negativity.

  8. Robust selectivity for faces in the human amygdala in the absence of expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mende-Siedlecki, Peter; Verosky, Sara C; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B; Todorov, Alexander

    2013-12-01

    There is a well-established posterior network of cortical regions that plays a central role in face processing and that has been investigated extensively. In contrast, although responsive to faces, the amygdala is not considered a core face-selective region, and its face selectivity has never been a topic of systematic research in human neuroimaging studies. Here, we conducted a large-scale group analysis of fMRI data from 215 participants. We replicated the posterior network observed in prior studies but found equally robust and reliable responses to faces in the amygdala. These responses were detectable in most individual participants, but they were also highly sensitive to the initial statistical threshold and habituated more rapidly than the responses in posterior face-selective regions. A multivariate analysis showed that the pattern of responses to faces across voxels in the amygdala had high reliability over time. Finally, functional connectivity analyses showed stronger coupling between the amygdala and posterior face-selective regions during the perception of faces than during the perception of control visual categories. These findings suggest that the amygdala should be considered a core face-selective region.

  9. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Bursley, James K; Ramsburg, Jared; Creswell, J David

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects.

  10. Altered resting-state amygdala functional connectivity in men with posttraumatic stress disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripada, Rebecca K.; King, Anthony P.; Garfinkel, Sarah N.; Wang, Xin; Sripada, Chandra S.; Welsh, Robert C.; Liberzon, Israel

    2012-01-01

    Background Converging neuroimaging research suggests altered emotion neurocircuitry in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotion activation studies in these individuals have shown hyperactivation in emotion-related regions, including the amygdala and insula, and hypoactivation in emotion-regulation regions, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). However, few studies have examined patterns of connectivity at rest in individuals with PTSD, a potentially powerful method for illuminating brain network structure. Methods Using the amygdala as a seed region, we measured resting-state brain connectivity using 3 T functional magnetic resonance imaging in returning male veterans with PTSD and combat controls without PTSD. Results Fifteen veterans with PTSD and 14 combat controls enrolled in our study. Compared with controls, veterans with PTSD showed greater positive connectivity between the amygdala and insula, reduced positive connectivity between the amygdala and hippocampus, and reduced anticorrelation between the amygdala and dorsal ACC and rostral ACC. Limitations Only male veterans with combat exposure were tested, thus our findings cannot be generalized to women or to individuals with non–combat related PTSD. Conclusion These results demonstrate that studies of functional connectivity during resting state can discern aberrant patterns of coupling within emotion circuits and suggest a possible brain basis for emotion-processing and emotion-regulation deficits in individuals with PTSD. PMID:22313617

  11. Complementary Patterns of Direct Amygdala and Hippocampal Projections to the Macaque Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggleton, John P; Wright, Nicholas F; Rosene, Douglas L; Saunders, Richard C

    2015-11-01

    The projections from the amygdala and hippocampus (including subiculum and presubiculum) to prefrontal cortex were compared using anterograde tracers injected into macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis, Macaca mulatta). Almost all prefrontal areas were found to receive some amygdala inputs. These connections, which predominantly arose from the intermediate and magnocellular basal nucleus, were particularly dense in parts of the medial and orbital prefrontal cortex. Contralateral inputs were not, however, observed. The hippocampal projections to prefrontal areas were far more restricted, being confined to the ipsilateral medial and orbital prefrontal cortex (within areas 11, 13, 14, 24a, 32, and 25). These hippocampal projections principally arose from the subiculum, with the fornix providing the sole route. Thus, while the lateral prefrontal cortex essentially receives only amygdala inputs, the orbital prefrontal cortex receives both amygdala and hippocampal inputs, though these typically target different areas. Only in medial prefrontal cortex do direct inputs from both structures terminate in common sites. But, even when convergence occurs within an area, the projections predominantly terminate in different lamina (hippocampal inputs to layer III and amygdala inputs to layers I, II, and VI). The resulting segregation of prefrontal inputs could enable the parallel processing of different information types in prefrontal cortex.

  12. Synergistic and regulatory effects of orbitofrontal cortex on amygdala-dependent appetitive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, A C; Reekie, Y; Braesicke, K

    2007-12-01

    This paper will review two avenues of our research in marmosets that have focused on the role of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in amygdala-dependent appetitive behavior. The first demonstrates the important contribution of both the OFC and the amygdala to conditioned reinforcement (CRF). The second reveals the regulatory effects of the OFC on amygdala-dependent autonomic and behavioral arousal in appetitive conditioning. The process of CRF is one way in which an environmental cue can guide emotional behavior. As a consequence of its previous relationship with reward, a cue can take on affective value and reinforce behavior. Lesion studies in marmosets are described that show that CRF is dependent upon both the amygdala and OFC. The synergistic interactions between these structures that have been shown to underlie other aspects of reward processing are then considered with respect to CRF. The results are contrasted with those that show the importance of the OFC in suppressing positive affective responses elicited by the amygdala in response to a conditioned stimulus (CS). Specifically, it will be shown that the OFC is involved in the rapid suppression of conditioned autonomic arousal upon CS withdrawal and in the co-ordination of conditioned autonomic and behavioral responses when adapting to changing reward contingencies. It will be argued that, overall, the OFC plays a critical role in the context-dependent regulation of positive affective responding governed by external cues, in keeping with a role in executive control.

  13. Recurrent hypoglycemia increases anxiety and amygdala norepinephrine release during subsequent hypoglycemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewan eMcNay

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Recurrent hypoglycemia (RH is a common and debilitating side effect of therapy in patients with both type 1 and, increasingly, type 2 diabetes. Previous studies in rats have shown marked effects of RH on subsequent hippocampal behavioral, metabolic, and synaptic processes. In addition to impaired memory, patients experiencing RH report alterations in cognitive processes that include mood and anxiety, suggesting that RH may also affect amygdala function. We tested the impact of RH on amygdala function using an elevated plus-maze test of anxiety together with in vivo amygdala microdialysis for norepinephrine (NEp, a widely used marker of basolateral amygdala cognitive processes. In contrast to findings in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex, neither RH nor acute hypoglycemia alone significantly affected plus-maze performance or NEp release. However, animals tested when hypoglycemic who had previously experienced RH had elevated amygdala NEp during plus-maze testing, accompanied by increased anxiety (i.e. less time spent in the open arms of the plus-maze. The results show that RH has widespread effects on subsequent brain function, which vary by neural system.

  14. Linkage of functional and structural anomalies in the left amygdala of reactive-aggressive men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobes, María A; Ostrosky, Feggy; Diaz, Karla; Romero, Cesar; Borja, Karina; Santos, Yusniel; Valdés-Sosa, Mitchell

    2013-12-01

    Amygdala structural and functional abnormalities have been associated to reactive aggression in previous studies. However, the possible linkage of these two types of anomalies has not been examined. We hypothesized that they would coincide in the same localizations, would be correlated in intensity and would be mediated by reactive aggression personality traits. Here violent (n = 25) and non-violent (n = 29) men were recruited on the basis of their reactive aggression. Callous-unemotional (CU) traits were also assessed. Gray matter concentration (gmC) and reactivity to fearful and neutral facial expressions were measured in dorsal and ventral amygdala partitions. The difference between responses to fearful and neutral facial expressions was calculated (F/N-difference). Violent individuals exhibited a smaller F/N-difference and gmC in the left dorsal amygdala, where a significant coincidence was found in a conjunction analysis. Moreover, the left amygdala F/N-difference and gmC were correlated to each other, an effect mediated by reactive aggression but not by CU. The F/N-difference was caused by increased reactivity to neutral faces. This suggests that anatomical anomalies within local circuitry (and not only altered input) may underlie the amygdala hyper-reactivity to social signals which is characteristic of reactive aggression.

  15. Infusions of alpha-2 noradrenergic agonists and antagonists into the amygdala: effects on kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelletier, M R; Corcoran, M E

    1993-12-31

    We reported previously that activation of alpha-2 adrenoceptors with infusions of clonidine into the amygdala/pyriform region is sufficient to retard kindling. To characterize further the involvement in kindling of alpha-2 receptors in the amygdala/pyriform, we exposed rats to unilateral intraamygdaloid infusions of a variety of noradrenergic drugs followed by either low-frequency stimulation of the amygdala, to induce rapid kindling, or conventional high-frequency stimulation. Infusions and electrical stimulation were administered once every 48 h. The prophylactic effects of clonidine were blocked by simultaneous infusion of idazoxan, an alpha-2 adrenergic antagonist, which suggests strongly that these effects were produced at an alpha-2 receptor. Intraamygdaloid infusions of xylazine, another alpha-2 agonist, also significantly retarded low-frequency kindling. Unexpectedly, intraamygdaloid infusions of the alpha-2 antagonists idazoxan, yohimbine, and SK&F 104856 failed to accelerate kindling. Infusion of the alpha-1 antagonist corynanthine also failed to affect kindling. We propose that the alpha-2 adrenoceptors in the amygdala/pyriform region contribute to the prophylactic effects of systemically administered clonidine and that the facilitation of kindling observed after systemic administration of alpha-2 antagonists may be due to blockade of alpha-2 adrenoceptors outside of the amygdala/pyriform region.

  16. Identification of QTLs involved in the development of amygdala kindling in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Ryoko; Voigt, Birger; Ishimaru, Yuji; Hokao, Ryoji; Chiba, Shigeru; Serikawa, Tadao; Sasa, Masashi; Kuramoto, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Amygdala kindling is useful for modeling human epilepsy development. It has been known that genetic factors are involved in the development of amygdala kindling. The purpose of this study was to identify the loci that are responsible for the development of amygdala kindling. To achieve this, rat strains from a LEXF/FXLE recombinant inbred (RI) strain panel were used. The phenotypes of amygdala kindling-related parameters for seven RI strains and parental LE/Stm and F344/Stm strains were determined. They included the afterdischarge threshold (ADT), the afterdischarge duration (ADD), and the kindling rate, an incidence of development of kindling. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was performed to identify linkage relationships between these phenotypes and 1,033 SNP markers. Although no significant differences in pre-kindling ADT and ADD were observed, a significant difference in the kindling rate was found for the LEXF/FXLE RI strain. Two QTLs for the amygdala kindling rate (Agkr1 and Agkr2) were identified on rat chromosome 2. These findings clearly prove the existence of genetic influences that are involved in kindling development and suggest that substantial genetic components contribute to the progression of partial seizures into generalized seizures.

  17. The amygdala excitatory/inhibitory balance in a valproate-induced rat autism model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-Ching Lin

    Full Text Available The amygdala is an important structure contributing to socio-emotional behavior. However, the role of the amygdala in autism remains inconclusive. In this study, we used the 28-35 days valproate (VPA-induced rat model of autism to observe the autistic phenotypes and evaluate their synaptic characteristics in the lateral nucleus (LA of the amygdala. The VPA-treated offspring demonstrated less social interaction, increased anxiety, enhanced fear learning and impaired fear memory extinction. Slice preparation and electrophysiological recordings of the amygdala showed significantly enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP while stimulating the thalamic-amygdala pathway of the LA. In addition, the pair pulse facilitation (PPF at 30- and 60-ms intervals decreased significantly. Whole-cell recordings of the LA pyramidal neurons showed an increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC frequency and amplitude. The relative contributions of the AMPA receptor and NMDA receptor to the EPSCs did not differ significantly between groups. These results suggested that the enhancement of the presynaptic efficiency of excitatory synaptic transmission might be associated with hyperexcitibility and enhanced LTP in LA pyramidal neurons. Disruption of the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory (E/I balance in the LA of VPA-treated rats might play certain roles in the development of behaviors in the rat that may be relevant to autism. Further experiments to demonstrate the direct link are warranted.

  18. Implications of newborn amygdala connectivity for fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Alice M; Buss, Claudia; Rasmussen, Jerod M; Rudolph, Marc D; Demeter, Damion V; Gilmore, John H; Styner, Martin; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D; Fair, Damien A

    2016-04-01

    The first year of life is an important period for emergence of fear in humans. While animal models have revealed developmental changes in amygdala circuitry accompanying emerging fear, human neural systems involved in early fear development remain poorly understood. To increase understanding of the neural foundations of human fear, it is important to consider parallel cognitive development, which may modulate associations between typical development of early fear and subsequent risk for fear-related psychopathology. We, therefore, examined amygdala functional connectivity with rs-fcMRI in 48 neonates (M=3.65 weeks, SD=1.72), and measured fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age. Stronger, positive neonatal amygdala connectivity to several regions, including bilateral anterior insula and ventral striatum, was prospectively associated with higher fear at 6-months. Stronger amygdala connectivity to ventral anterior cingulate/anterior medial prefrontal cortex predicted a specific phenotype of higher fear combined with more advanced cognitive development. Overall, findings demonstrate unique profiles of neonatal amygdala functional connectivity related to emerging fear and cognitive development, which may have implications for normative and pathological fear in later years. Consideration of infant fear in the context of cognitive development will likely contribute to a more nuanced understanding of fear, its neural bases, and its implications for future mental health.

  19. [Evoked activity of the cat hypothalamus and amygdala under food motivation and in emotional stress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlova, I V; Vanetsian, G L

    2004-12-01

    Amplitude-latency characteristics of auditory evoked potentials (EPs) recorded in bilateral points of the lateral hypothalamus and amygdala were studied under food motivation, in emotional stress (presentation of dogs) and tentative reactions. In the state of hunger, as compared with safety, the latencies of P1, N2 components of EP in hypothalamus, and P1, N2, N3 in amygdala were decreased and their amplitudes were changed. Changes in the left side of both structures were more pronounced. During presentation of dogs, decreases of latencies of all EP components including N1 occurred in hypothalamus and amygdala, changes in hypothalamic potentials were more pronounced on the right side, whereas in the amygdala--on the left side. During tentative responses to emotional-neutral stimuli, the latency of EP increased. It was concluded that sensory reactivity of hypothalamus and amygdala increased in motivational-emotional states. It was supposed that the side of dominance of structure may be related both to the factors of active or passive behavior during fear and the genesis of emotion (motivational or informational).

  20. A network of amygdala connections predict individual differences in trait anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greening, Steven G; Mitchell, Derek G V

    2015-12-01

    In this study we demonstrate that the pattern of an amygdala-centric network contributes to individual differences in trait anxiety. Individual differences in trait anxiety were predicted using maximum likelihood estimates of amygdala structural connectivity to multiple brain targets derived from diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) and probabilistic tractography on 72 participants. The prediction was performed using a stratified sixfold cross validation procedure using a regularized least square regression model. The analysis revealed a reliable network of regions predicting individual differences in trait anxiety. Higher trait anxiety was associated with stronger connections between the amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, an area implicated in the generation of emotional reactions, and inferior temporal gyrus and paracentral lobule, areas associated with perceptual and sensory processing. In contrast, higher trait anxiety was associated with weaker connections between amygdala and regions implicated in extinction learning such as medial orbitofrontal cortex, and memory encoding and environmental context recognition, including posterior cingulate cortex and parahippocampal gyrus. Thus, trait anxiety is not only associated with reduced amygdala connectivity with prefrontal areas associated with emotion modulation, but also enhanced connectivity with sensory areas. This work provides novel anatomical insight into potential mechanisms behind information processing biases observed in disorders of emotion.

  1. Stimulus Intensity-dependent Modulations of Hippocampal Long-term Potentiation by Basolateral Amygdala Priming

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    Zexuan eLi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available There is growing realization that the relationship between memory and stress/emotionality is complicated, and may include both memory enhancing and memory impairing aspects. It has been suggested that the underlying mechanisms involve amygdalar modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP. We recently reported that while in CA1 basolateral amygdala (BLA priming impaired theta stimulation induced LTP, it enhanced LTP in the dentate gyrus (DG. However, emotional and stressfull experiences were found to activate synaptic plasticity within the BLA, rasing the possibility that BLA modulation of other brain regions may be altered as well, as it may depend on the way the BLA is activated or is responding. In previous studies BLA priming stimulation was relatively weak (1V, 50 µs pulse duration. In the present study we assessed the effects of two stronger levels of BLA priming stimulation (1V or 2V, 100 µs pulse duration on LTP induction in hippocampal DG and CA1, in anesthetized rats. Results show that 1V-BLA priming stimulation enhanced but 2V-BLA priming stimulation impaired DG LTP; however, both levels of BLA priming stimulation impaired CA1 LTP, suggesting that modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by amygdala is dependent on the degree of amygdala activation. These findings suggest that plasticity induced within the amygdala, by stressful experiences induces a form of metaplasticity that would alter the way the amygdala may modulate memory-related processes in other brain areas, such as the hippocampus.

  2. Impact of basal forebrain cholinergic inputs on basolateral amygdala neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unal, Cagri T; Pare, Denis; Zaborszky, Laszlo

    2015-01-14

    In addition to innervating the cerebral cortex, basal forebrain cholinergic (BFc) neurons send a dense projection to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). In this study, we investigated the effect of near physiological acetylcholine release on BLA neurons using optogenetic tools and in vitro patch-clamp recordings. Adult transgenic mice expressing cre-recombinase under the choline acetyltransferase promoter were used to selectively transduce BFc neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 and a reporter through the injection of an adeno-associated virus. Light-induced stimulation of BFc axons produced different effects depending on the BLA cell type. In late-firing interneurons, BFc inputs elicited fast nicotinic EPSPs. In contrast, no response could be detected in fast-spiking interneurons. In principal BLA neurons, two different effects were elicited depending on their activity level. When principal BLA neurons were quiescent or made to fire at low rates by depolarizing current injection, light-induced activation of BFc axons elicited muscarinic IPSPs. In contrast, with stronger depolarizing currents, eliciting firing above ∼ 6-8 Hz, these muscarinic IPSPs lost their efficacy because stimulation of BFc inputs prolonged current-evoked afterdepolarizations. All the effects observed in principal neurons were dependent on muscarinic receptors type 1, engaging different intracellular mechanisms in a state-dependent manner. Overall, our results suggest that acetylcholine enhances the signal-to-noise ratio in principal BLA neurons. Moreover, the cholinergic engagement of afterdepolarizations may contribute to the formation of stimulus associations during fear-conditioning tasks where the timing of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli is not optimal for the induction of synaptic plasticity.

  3. Rapid Amygdala Kindling Causes Motor Seizure and Comorbidity of Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shang-Der; Wang, Yu-Lin; Liang, Sheng-Fu; Shaw, Fu-Zen

    2016-01-01

    Amygdala kindling is a model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with convulsion. The rapid amygdala kindling has an advantage on quick development of motor seizures and for antiepileptic drugs screening. The rapid amygdala kindling causes epileptogenesis accompanied by an anxiolytic response in early isolation of rat pups or depressive behavior in immature rats. However, the effect of rapid amygdala kindling on comorbidity of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors is unexplored in adult rats with normal breeding. In the present study, 40 amygdala stimulations given within 2 days were applied in adult Wistar rats. Afterdischarge (AD) and seizure stage were recorded throughout the amygdala kindling. Anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by the elevated plus maze (EPM) test and open field (OF) test, whereas depression-like behaviors were assessed by the forced swim (FS) and sucrose consumption (SC) tests. A tonic-clonic convulsion was provoked in the kindle group. Rapid amygdala kindling resulted in a significantly lower frequency entering an open area of either open arms of the EPM or the central zone of an OF, lower sucrose intake, and longer immobility of the FS test in the kindle group. Our results suggest that rapid amygdala kindling elicited severe motor seizures comorbid with anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. PMID:27445726

  4. NMDA Receptor- and ERK-Dependent Histone Methylation Changes in the Lateral Amygdala Bidirectionally Regulate Fear Memory Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta-Agarwal, Swati; Jarome, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Jordan; Lubin, Farah D.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that fear memory formation requires de novo gene transcription in the amygdala. We provide evidence that epigenetic mechanisms in the form of histone lysine methylation in the lateral amygdala (LA) are regulated by NMDA receptor (NMDAR) signaling and involved in gene transcription changes necessary for fear memory…

  5. The effects of various lesions and knife-cuts on septal and amygdala kindling in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racine, R J; Paxinos, G; Mosher, J M; Kairiss, E W

    1988-06-28

    Large bilateral aspiration lesions of the hippocampus had no significant effect on septal kindling, whereas large bilateral DC lesions of the pyriform lobe resulted in a small but significant increase in the number of septal stimulations required to complete kindling. Bilateral aspiration lesions of the dorsal hippocampus or large bilateral DC lesions of the ventral hippocampus had no effect on amygdala kindling. Small DC lesions of the stria terminalis significantly facilitated amygdala kindling. Unilateral or bilateral ventral knife-cuts delivered in a coronal plane anterior to the amygdala, disrupting communication with anterior pyriform structures, produced a small but nearly significant increase in the number of stimulations required for amygdala kindling. Similar cuts placed posterior to the amygdala, disrupting communication with the hippocampus, significantly facilitated kindling. Cuts that were medially placed, to disrupt the ventral amygdala-fugal pathway, had no effect on amygdala kindling. These results show that the hippocampus is not critical for either septal or amygdala kindling. The pyriform lobe structures appear to play a facilitatory role in kindling, but none of the lesions or knife-cuts were capable of blocking or even severely retarding kindling.

  6. Rapid Amygdala Kindling Causes Motor Seizure and Comorbidity of Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shang-Der; Wang, Yu-Lin; Liang, Sheng-Fu; Shaw, Fu-Zen

    2016-01-01

    Amygdala kindling is a model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with convulsion. The rapid amygdala kindling has an advantage on quick development of motor seizures and for antiepileptic drugs screening. The rapid amygdala kindling causes epileptogenesis accompanied by an anxiolytic response in early isolation of rat pups or depressive behavior in immature rats. However, the effect of rapid amygdala kindling on comorbidity of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors is unexplored in adult rats with normal breeding. In the present study, 40 amygdala stimulations given within 2 days were applied in adult Wistar rats. Afterdischarge (AD) and seizure stage were recorded throughout the amygdala kindling. Anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by the elevated plus maze (EPM) test and open field (OF) test, whereas depression-like behaviors were assessed by the forced swim (FS) and sucrose consumption (SC) tests. A tonic-clonic convulsion was provoked in the kindle group. Rapid amygdala kindling resulted in a significantly lower frequency entering an open area of either open arms of the EPM or the central zone of an OF, lower sucrose intake, and longer immobility of the FS test in the kindle group. Our results suggest that rapid amygdala kindling elicited severe motor seizures comorbid with anxiety- and depression-like behaviors.

  7. Abnormal fear conditioning and amygdala processing in an animal model of autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah

    2008-01-01

    A core feature of autism spectrum disorders is the impairment in social interactions. Among other brain regions, a deficit in amygdala processing has been suggested to underlie this impairment, but whether the amygdala is processing fear abnormally in autism, is yet not clear. We used the valproic......-treated animals displayed several symptoms common to autism, among them impaired social interactions and increased repetitive behaviors. Furthermore, VPA-treated rats were more anxious and exhibited abnormally high and longer lasting fear memories, which were overgeneralized and harder to extinguish....... On the cellular level, the amygdala was hyperreactive to electrical stimulation and displayed boosted synaptic plasticity as well as a deficit in inhibition. We show for the first time enhanced, overgeneralized and resistant conditioned fear memories in an animal model of autism. Such hyperfear could be caused...

  8. Limbic encephalitis: Potential impact of adaptive autoimmune inflammation on neuronal circuits of the amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico eMelzer

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Limbic encephalitis is characterized by adaptive autoimmune inflammation of the gray matter structures of the limbic system. It has recently been identified as major cause of temporal lobe epilepsy accompanied by progressive declarative – mainly episodic – memory disturbance as well as a variety of rather poorly defined emotional and behavioral changes. While autoimmune inflammation of the hippocampus is likely to be responsible for declarative memory disturbance, consequences of autoimmune inflammation of the amygdala are largely unknown. The amygdala is central for the generation of adequate homoeostatic behavioral responses to emotionally significant external stimuli following processing in a variety of parallel neuronal circuits. Here, we hypothesize, that adaptive cellular and humoral autoimmunity may target and modulate distinct inhibitory or excitatory neuronal networks within the amygdala and thereby strongly impact processing of emotional stimuli and corresponding behavioral responses. This may explain some of the rather poorly understood neuropsychiatric symptoms in limbic encephalitis.

  9. Amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex responses to appearance-based and behavior-based person impressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Sean G; Gobbini, M I; Engell, Andrew D; Todorov, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    We explored the neural correlates of learning about people when the affective value of both facial appearance and behavioral information is manipulated. Participants were presented with faces that were either rated as high or low on trustworthiness. Subsequently, we paired these faces with positive, negative, or no behavioral information. Prior to forming face-behavior associations, a cluster in the right amygdala responded more strongly to untrustworthy than to trustworthy faces. During learning, a cluster in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) responded more strongly to faces paired with behaviors than faces not paired with behaviors. We also observed that the activity in the dmPFC was correlated with behavioral learning performance assessed after scanning. Interestingly, individual differences in the initial amygdala response to face trustworthiness prior to learning modulated the relationship between dmPFC activity and learning. This finding suggests that the activity of the amygdala can affect the interaction between dmPFC activity and learning.

  10. Volumetric MRI Analysis of the Amygdala and Hippocampus in Subjects with Major Depression

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    夏军; 陈军; 周义成; 张景峰; 杨波; 夏黎明; 王承缘

    2004-01-01

    In order to explore the MRI volume of the amygdala and hippocampus in patients with major depression, quantitative MRI of the amygdala and hippocampus were studied in 22 patients with major depression and compared with 13 age-matched controls. The results showed that both groups exhibited similar significant hippocampal asymmetry (left smaller than right). The volume of the bilateral hippocampus was significantly smaller in the major depression group than that in control group. The patients had significant asymmetry of the amygdalar volumes (right smaller than left). No correlation was found between hippocampal volume abnormalities and ill duration. It was concluded that the hippocampus and amygdala within limbic-cortical networks may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of major depression.

  11. Concurrent and lasting effects of emotion regulation on amygdala response in adolescence and young adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvers, Jennifer A; Shu, Jocelyn; Hubbard, Alexa D; Weber, Jochen; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2015-09-01

    This study used functional MRI (fMRI) to examine a novel aspect of emotion regulation in adolescent development: whether age predicts differences in both the concurrent and lasting effects of emotion regulation on amygdala response. In the first, active regulation, phase of the testing session, fMRI data were collected while 56 healthy individuals (age range: 10.50-22.92 years) reappraised aversive stimuli so as to diminish negative responses to them. After a short delay, the second, re-presentation, phase involved passively viewing the aversive images from the reappraisal task. During active regulation, older individuals showed greater drops in negative affect and inverse rostrolateral prefrontal-amygdala connectivity. During re-presentation, older individuals continued to show lasting reductions in the amygdala response to aversive stimuli they had previously reappraised, an effect mediated by rostrolateral PFC. These data suggest that one source of heightened emotionality in adolescence is a diminished ability to cognitively down-regulate aversive reactions.

  12. Pavlovian fear conditioning activates a common pattern of neurons in the lateral amygdala of individual brains.

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    Hadley C Bergstrom

    Full Text Available Understanding the physical encoding of a memory (the engram is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Although it has been established that the lateral amygdala is a key site for encoding associative fear memory, it is currently unclear whether the spatial distribution of neurons encoding a given memory is random or stable. Here we used spatial principal components analysis to quantify the topography of activated neurons, in a select region of the lateral amygdala, from rat brains encoding a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. Our results demonstrate a stable, spatially patterned organization of amygdala neurons are activated during the formation of a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. We suggest that this stable neuronal assembly constitutes a spatial dimension of the engram.

  13. Pavlovian fear conditioning activates a common pattern of neurons in the lateral amygdala of individual brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Hadley C; McDonald, Craig G; Johnson, Luke R

    2011-01-12

    Understanding the physical encoding of a memory (the engram) is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Although it has been established that the lateral amygdala is a key site for encoding associative fear memory, it is currently unclear whether the spatial distribution of neurons encoding a given memory is random or stable. Here we used spatial principal components analysis to quantify the topography of activated neurons, in a select region of the lateral amygdala, from rat brains encoding a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. Our results demonstrate a stable, spatially patterned organization of amygdala neurons are activated during the formation of a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. We suggest that this stable neuronal assembly constitutes a spatial dimension of the engram.

  14. Glutamate Receptor Antagonist Infusions into the Basolateral and Medial Amygdala Reveal Differential Contributions to Olfactory vs. Context Fear Conditioning and Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, David L.; Paschall, Gayla Y.; Davis, Michael

    2005-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala's involvement in fear acquisition and expression to visual and auditory stimuli is well known. The involvement of the basolateral and other amygdala areas in fear acquisition and expression to stimuli of other modalities is less certain. We evaluated the contribution of the basolateral and medial amygdala to olfactory and…

  15. Afferent and Efferent Connections of the Cortex-Amygdala Transition Zone in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cádiz-Moretti, Bernardita; Abellán-Álvaro, María; Pardo-Bellver, Cecília; Martínez-García, Fernando; Lanuza, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    The transitional zone between the ventral part of the piriform cortex and the anterior cortical nucleus of the amygdala, named the cortex-amygdala transition zone (CxA), shows two differential features that allow its identification as a particular structure. First, it receives dense cholinergic and dopaminergic innervations as compared to the adjacent piriform cortex and amygdala, and second, it receives projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs. In this work we have studied the pattern of afferent and efferent projections of the CxA, which are mainly unknown, by using the retrograde tracer Fluorogold and the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextranamine. The results show that the CxA receives a relatively restricted set of intratelencephalic connections, originated mainly by the olfactory system and basal forebrain, with minor afferents from the amygdala. The only relevant extratelencephalic afference originates in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The efferent projections of the CxA reciprocate the inputs from the piriform cortex and olfactory amygdala. In addition, the CxA projects densely to the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus and the olfactory tubercle. The extratelencephalic projections of the CxA are very scarce, and target mainly hypothalamic structures. The pattern of connections of the CxA suggests that it is indeed a transitional area between the piriform cortex and the cortical amygdala. Double labeling with choline acetyltransferase indicates that the afferent projection from the basal forebrain is the origin of its distinctive cholinergic innervation, and double labeling with dopamine transporter shows that the projection from the VTA is the source of dopaminergic innervation. These connectivity and neurochemical features, together with the fact that it receives vomeronasal in addition to olfactory information, suggest that the CxA may be involved in processing olfactory information endowed with relevant biological meaning, such as odors

  16. Altered amygdala resting-state functional connectivity in post-traumatic stress disorder

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    Christine Anne Rabinak

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD is often characterized by aberrant amygdala activation and functional abnormalities in corticolimbic circuitry, as elucidated by functional neuroimaging. These ‘activation’ studies have primarily relied on tasks designed to induce region-specific, and task-dependent brain responses in limbic (e.g., amygdala and paralimbic brain areas through the use of evocative probes such as personalized traumatic script-driven imagery and other negatively valenced emotional stimuli (e.g., threatening faces, aversive scenes, traumatic cues. It remains unknown if these corticolimbic circuit abnormalities exist at baseline or ‘at rest’, in the absence of fear/anxiety-related provocation and outside the context of task demands. Recently, a new approach to studying functional interconnectivity of brain regions derived from ‘resting state’ scans has elucidated systems-level neural network function that may be obscured by activation tasks and may help inform functional interpretations of brain activation patterns. Little is known about whether altered amygdala connectivity patterns exist at rest in PTSD. Therefore the primary aim of the present experiment was to investigate aberrant amygdala functional connectivity patterns in combat-related PTSD patients during resting state. Seventeen Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF veterans with combat-related PTSD (PTSD group and seventeen combat-exposed OEF/OIF veterans without PTSD (Combat-Exposed Control [CEC] group underwent an 8-minute resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Using conventional methods to generate connectivity maps, we extracted the time series from an anatomically-derived amygdala ‘seed’ region and conducted voxel-wise correlation analyses across the entire brain to search for group differences (between PTSD and CEC groups in amygdala functional connectivity, which we hypothesized would localize to the medial

  17. False memory for face in short-term memory and neural activity in human amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2014-12-03

    Human memory is often inaccurate. Similar to words and figures, new faces are often recognized as seen or studied items in long- and short-term memory tests; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this false memory remain elusive. In a previous fMRI study using morphed faces and a standard false memory paradigm, we found that there was a U-shaped response curve of the amygdala to old, new, and lure items. This indicates that the amygdala is more active in response to items that are salient (hit and correct rejection) compared to items that are less salient (false alarm), in terms of memory retrieval. In the present fMRI study, we determined whether the false memory for faces occurs within the short-term memory range (a few seconds), and assessed which neural correlates are involved in veridical and illusory memories. Nineteen healthy participants were scanned by 3T MRI during a short-term memory task using morphed faces. The behavioral results indicated that the occurrence of false memories was within the short-term range. We found that the amygdala displayed a U-shaped response curve to memory items, similar to those observed in our previous study. These results suggest that the amygdala plays a common role in both long- and short-term false memory for faces. We made the following conclusions: First, the amygdala is involved in detecting the saliency of items, in addition to fear, and supports goal-oriented behavior by modulating memory. Second, amygdala activity and response time might be related with a subject's response criterion for similar faces.

  18. Altered resting-state amygdala functional connectivity after 36 hours of total sleep deprivation.

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    Yongcong Shao

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have identified a potentially critical role of the amygdala in disrupted emotion neurocircuitry in individuals after total sleep deprivation (TSD. However, connectivity between the amygdala and cerebral cortex due to TSD remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI (fMRI to investigate the functional connectivity changes of the basolateral amygdala (BLA and centromedial amygdala (CMA in the brain after 36 h of TSD.Fourteen healthy adult men aged 25.9 ± 2.3 years (range, 18-28 years were enrolled in a within-subject crossover study. Using the BLA and CMA as separate seed regions, we examined resting-state functional connectivity with fMRI during rested wakefulness (RW and after 36 h of TSD.TSD resulted in a significant decrease in the functional connectivity between the BLA and several executive control regions (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC], right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex [ACC], right inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]. Increased functional connectivity was found between the BLA and areas including the left posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PrCu and right parahippocampal gyrus. With regard to CMA, increased functional connectivity was observed with the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC and right precentral gyrus.These findings demonstrate that disturbance in amygdala related circuits may contribute to TSD psychophysiology and suggest that functional connectivity studies of the amygdala during the resting state may be used to discern aberrant patterns of coupling within these circuits after TSD.

  19. Preschool anxiety disorders predict different patterns of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity at school-age.

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    Kimberly L H Carpenter

    Full Text Available In this prospective, longitudinal study of young children, we examined whether a history of preschool generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and/or social phobia is associated with amygdala-prefrontal dysregulation at school-age. As an exploratory analysis, we investigated whether distinct anxiety disorders differ in the patterns of this amygdala-prefrontal dysregulation.Participants were children taking part in a 5-year study of early childhood brain development and anxiety disorders. Preschool symptoms of generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and social phobia were assessed with the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA in the first wave of the study when the children were between 2 and 5 years old. The PAPA was repeated at age 6. We conducted functional MRIs when the children were 5.5 to 9.5 year old to assess neural responses to viewing of angry and fearful faces.A history of preschool social phobia predicted less school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortices to angry faces. Preschool generalized anxiety predicted less functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal prefrontal cortices in response to fearful faces. Finally, a history of preschool separation anxiety predicted less school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortices to angry faces and greater school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal prefrontal cortices to angry faces.Our results suggest that there are enduring neurobiological effects associated with a history of preschool anxiety, which occur over-and-above the effect of subsequent emotional symptoms. Our results also provide preliminary evidence for the neurobiological differentiation of specific preschool anxiety disorders.

  20. Blockade of glutamatergic transmission in the primate basolateral amygdala suppresses active behavior without altering social interaction.

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    Forcelli, Patrick A; Wellman, Laurie L; Malkova, Ludise

    2017-04-01

    The amygdala is an integrator of affective processing, and a key component of a network regulating social behavior. While decades of lesion studies in nonhuman primates have shown alterations in social interactions after amygdala damage, acute manipulations of the amygdala in primates have been underexplored. We recently reported (Wellman, Forcelli, Aguilar, & Malkova, 2016) that acute pharmacological inhibition of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) or the central nucleus of the amygdala increased affiliative social interactions in experimental dyads of macaques; this was achieved through microinjection of a GABA-A receptor agonist. Prior studies in rodents have shown similar effects achieved by blocking NMDA receptors or AMPA receptors within the BLA. Here, we sought to determine the role of these receptor systems in the primate BLA in the context of social behavior. In familiar dyads, we microinjected the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid (AP7) or the AMPA receptor antagonist 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide (NBQX) and observed behaviors and social interactions in the immediate postinjection period. In striking contrast with our prior report using GABA agonists, and in contrast with prior reports in rodents using glutamate antagonists, we found that neither NMDA nor AMPA blockade increase social interaction. Both treatments, however, were associated with decreases in locomotion and manipulation and increases in passive behavior. These data suggest that local blockade of glutamatergic neurotransmission in BLA is not the functional equivalent of local activation of GABAergic signaling, and raise interesting questions regarding the functional microcircuitry of the nonhuman primate amygdala in the context of social behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record

  1. Histogenetic compartments of the mouse centromedial and extended amygdala based on gene expression patterns during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-López, Margarita; Abellán, Antonio; Legaz, Isabel; Rubenstein, John L R; Puelles, Luis; Medina, Loreta

    2008-01-01

    The amygdala controls emotional and social behavior and regulates instinctive reflexes such as defense and reproduction by way of descending projections to the hypothalamus and brainstem. The descending amygdalar projections are suggested to show a cortico-striato-pallidal organization similar to that of the basal ganglia (Swanson [2000] Brain Res 886:113-164). To test this model we investigated the embryological origin and molecular properties of the mouse centromedial and extended amygdalar subdivisions, which constitute major sources of descending projections. We analyzed the distribution of key regulatory genes that show restricted expression patterns within the subpallium (Dlx5, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx7/8, Lhx9, Shh, and Gbx1), as well as genes considered markers for specific subpallial neuronal subpopulations. Our results indicate that most of the centromedial and extended amygdala is formed by cells derived from multiple subpallial subdivisions. Contrary to a previous suggestion, only the central--but not the medial--amygdala derives from the lateral ganglionic eminence and has striatal-like features. The medial amygdala and a large part of the extended amygdala (including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis) consist of subdivisions or cell groups that derive from subpallial, pallial (ventral pallium), or extratelencephalic progenitor domains. The subpallial part includes derivatives from the medial ganglionic eminence, the anterior peduncular area, and possibly a novel subdivision, called here commissural preoptic area, located at the base of the septum and related to the anterior commissure. Our study provides a molecular and morphological foundation for understanding the complex embryonic origins and adult organization of the centromedial and extended amygdala.

  2. An Explanation for the Role of the Amygdala in Aesthetic Judgments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Richard H. A. H.; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2017-01-01

    It has been proposed that the top-down guidance of feature-based attention is the basis for the involvement of the amygdala in various tasks requiring emotional decision-making (Jacobs et al., 2012a). Aesthetic judgments are correlated with particular visual features and can be considered emotional in nature (Jacobs et al., 2016). Moreover, we have previously shown that various aesthetic judgments result in observers preferentially attending to different visual features (Jacobs et al., 2010). Here, we argue that—together—this explains why the amygdalae become active during aesthetic judgments of visual materials. We discuss potential implications and predictions of this theory that can be tested experimentally. PMID:28303095

  3. Comparative distribution of relaxin-3 inputs and calcium-binding protein-positive neurons in rat amygdala

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    Fabio N Santos

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The neural circuits involved in mediating complex behaviors are being rapidly elucidated using various newly developed and powerful anatomical and molecular techniques, providing insights into the neural basis for anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and dysfunctional social behaviors. Many of these behaviors and associated physiological processes involve the activation of the amygdala in conjunction with cortical and hippocampal circuits. Ascending subcortical projections provide modulatory inputs to the extended amygdala and its related nodes (or ‘hubs’ within these key circuits. One such input arises from the nucleus incertus (NI in the tegmentum, which sends amino acid- and peptide-containing projections throughout the forebrain. Notably, a distinct population of GABAergic NI neurons expresses the highly-conserved neuropeptide, relaxin-3, and relaxin-3 signaling has been implicated in the modulation of reward/motivation and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in rodents via actions within the extended amygdala. Thus, a detailed description of the relaxin-3 innervation of the extended amygdala would provide an anatomical framework for an improved understanding of NI and relaxin-3 modulation of these and other specific amygdala-related functions. Therefore, in this study, we examined the distribution of NI projections and relaxin-3-positive elements (axons/fibers/terminals within the amygdala, relative to the distribution of neurons expressing the calcium-binding proteins, parvalbumin, calretinin and/or calbindin. Anterograde tracer injections into the NI revealed a topographic distribution of NI efferents within the amygdala that was near identical to the distribution of relaxin-3-immunoreactive fibers. Highest densities of anterogradely-labeled elements and relaxin-3-immunoreactive fibers were observed in the medial nucleus of the amygdala, medial divisions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST and in the endopiriform

  4. Function of the centromedial amygdala in reward devaluation and open-field activity.

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    Kawasaki, K; Glueck, A C; Annicchiarico, I; Papini, M R

    2015-09-10

    The present research aimed at determining the role played by the amygdala in reward devaluation using transient inactivation induced by lidocaine microinfusions into the centromedial region. Two situations involving reward devaluation were tested in rats: consummatory successive negative contrast (cSNC) and anticipatory negative contrast (ANC). In cSNC, rats exposed to a downshift from 32% to 4% sucrose consume less 4% sucrose than rats always exposed to 4% sucrose. Extensive evidence suggests that reward devaluation in the cSNC situation is accompanied by negative emotion. In ANC, rats consume less 4% sucrose when each session is closely followed by access to 32% sucrose rather than by 4% sucrose. Evidence suggests that reward devaluation in the ANC situation does not involve negative emotions; rather, ANC appears to involve Pavlovian anticipation of the higher value solution. To test the effects of lidocaine microinfusions in a situation known to induce negative emotion, but unrelated to reward devaluation, animals were also exposed to a lighted open field. Centromedial amygdala inactivation reduced the cSNC effect and increased exploratory behavior in the open field, both effects consistent with a reduction in negative emotional state. However, no detectable effects of amygdala inactivation were observed in the ANC situation. These results suggest that, first, the function of the amygdala is not unique to reward devaluation and, second, it is concerned with tagging the devaluation experience with aversive valence.

  5. GABAA-mediated inhibition of basolateral amygdala blocks reward devaluation in macaques.

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    Wellman, Laurie L; Gale, Karen; Malkova, Ludise

    2005-05-04

    Amygdala ablation disrupts reinforcer "devaluation" in monkeys (Malkova et al., 1997). Here, we tested the hypothesis that transient inactivation of amygdala by the GABA(A) agonist muscimol (MUS), specifically during the period of reward satiation, would have a similar effect. Six pigtail macaques were trained on a visual object discrimination task in which 60 objects were associated with one of two specific food rewards. Subsequently, we evaluated the selective satiation-induced change (devaluation) in object preference in probe sessions. We also examined the effect of the amygdala inactivation during the probe sessions to determine whether the inactivation limited to the testing period (and not during the satiation period) is sufficient to impair the expression of reinforcer devaluation. MUS infusions were aimed at basolateral amygdala (BLA) in a pseudorandomized design; each monkey received MUS or saline either before or after selective satiation with each of the two food rewards (six infusions total). Under the control (saline) condition, the monkeys significantly shifted their preference from objects representing the sated food rewards to those representing the nonsated rewards (30% change). When BLA was inactivated during selective satiation (i.e., MUS infused before satiation), this devaluation effect was blocked. In contrast, MUS infusion after satiation, so that it was present just during the testing period, did not impair the shift in object preference (27% change). Thus, BLA is necessary for the appropriate registration of the change in the reinforcer value but not for the subsequent expression of the devaluation involving its transfer to secondary reinforcers.

  6. Food labels promote healthy choices by a decision bias in the amygdala.

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    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Schulte, Frank P; Maderwald, Stefan; Brand, Matthias

    2013-07-01

    Food labeling is the major health policy strategy to counter rising obesity rates. Based on traditional economic theory, such strategies assume that detailed nutritional information will necessarily help individuals make better, healthier choices. However, in contrast to the well-known utility of labels in food marketing, evidence for the efficacy of nutritional labeling is mixed. Psychological and behavioral economic theories suggest that successful marketing strategies activate automatic decision biases and emotions, which involve implicit emotional brain systems. Accordingly, simple, intuitive food labels that engage these neural systems could represent a promising approach for promoting healthier choices. Here we used functional MRI to investigate this possibility. Healthy, mildly hungry subjects performed a food evaluation task and a food choice task. The main experimental manipulation was to pair identical foods with simple labels that emphasized either taste benefits or health-related food properties. We found that such labels biased food evaluations in the amygdala, a core emotional brain system. When labels biased the amygdala's evaluations towards health-related food properties, the strength of this bias predicted behavioral shifts towards healthier choices. At the time of decision-making, amygdala activity encoded key decision variables, potentially reflecting active amygdala participation in food choice. Our findings underscore the potential utility of food labeling in health policy and indicate a principal role for emotional brain systems when labels guide food choices.

  7. Menstrual cycle-related changes in amygdala morphology are associated with changes in stress sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ossewaarde, L.; Wingen, G.A. van; Rijpkema, M.J.P.; Backstrom, T.; Hermans, E.J.; Fernandez, G.S.E.

    2013-01-01

    Premenstrual increases in negative mood are thought to arise from changes in gonadal hormone levels, presumably by influencing mood regulation and stress sensitivity. The amygdala plays a major role in this context, and animal studies suggest that gonadal hormones influence its morphology. Here, we

  8. Decreased BDNF levels in amygdala and hippocampus after intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain

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    Luciano K. Jornada

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The present study aims to investigate the effects of ouabain intracerebroventricular injection on BDNF levels in the amygdala and hippocampus of Wistar rats. METHODS: Animals received a single intracerebroventricular injection of ouabain (10-3 and 10-2 M or artificial cerebrospinal fluid and immediately, 1h, 24h, or seven days after injection, BDNF levels were measured in the rat's amygdala and hippocampus by sandwich-ELISA (n = 8 animals per group. RESULTS: When evaluated immediately, 3h, or 24h after injection, ouabain in doses of 10-2 and 10-3 M does not alter BDNF levels in the amygdala and hippocampus. However, when evaluated seven days after injection, ouabain in 10-2 and 10-3 M, showed a significant reduction in BDNF levels in both brain regions evaluated. DISCUSSION: In conclusion, we propose that the ouabain decreased BDNF levels in the hippocampus and amygdala when assessed seven days after administration, supporting the Na/K ATPase hypothesis for bipolar illness.

  9. Amygdala responses to unpleasant pictures are influenced by task demands and positive affect trait

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    Tiago Arruda Sanchez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of attention in emotional processing is still the subject of debate. Recent studies have found that high positive affect in approach motivation narrows attention. Furthermore, the positive affect trait has been suggested as an important component for determining human variability in threat reactivity. We employed fMRI to investigate whether different states of attention control would modulate amygdala responses to highly unpleasant pictures relative to neutral and whether this modulation would be influenced by the positive affect trait. Participants (n=22, 12 male were scanned while viewing neutral (people or unpleasant pictures (mutilated bodies flanked by two peripheral bars. They were instructed to (a judge the picture content as unpleasant or neutral or (b to judge the difference in orientation between the bars in an easy condition (0º or 90º orientation difference or (c in a hard condition (0º or 6º orientation difference. Whole brain analysis revealed a task main effect of brain areas related to the experimental manipulation of attentional control, including the amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. ROI analysis showed an inverse correlation (r = -0.51, p < 0.01 between left amygdala activation and positive affect level when participants viewed unpleasant stimuli and judged bar orientation in the easy condition. This result suggests that subjects with high positive affect exhibit lower amygdala reactivity to distracting unpleasant pictures. In conclusion, the current study suggests that positive affect modulates attention effect on unpleasant pictures, therefore attenuating emotional responses.

  10. Tolerance to anticonvulsant effects of diazepam, clonazepam, and clobazam in amygdala-kindled rats.

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    Rosenberg, H C; Tietz, E I; Chiu, T H

    1989-01-01

    Benzodiazepines are effective anticonvulsants, but long-term clinical usefulness is limited by development of tolerance. Tolerance to the actions of three prototype anticonvulsant benzodiazepines (BZDs)--diazepam (DZP), clonazepam (CZP), and clobazam (CLB)--was studied in amygdala-kindled rats. Fully kindled rats were dosed three times daily for 2 or 4 weeks. Amygdala stimulation was given 30 min after drug administration on days 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 of chronic treatment and then three times weekly. During treatment, tolerance was observed as a loss of drug effect to suppress behavioral and EEG manifestations of seizure activity. Seizure activity remained stable in rats treated with vehicle. Tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects developed most rapidly during CLB treatment and most slowly during CZP treatment. Tolerance to the motor impairment caused by the drugs developed more rapidly. Assay of the amount of drug in brain extracts, using a BZD receptor assay, showed that tolerance was functional, not metabolic. Doubling the dose did not readily restore full anticonvulsant activity. The response to amygdala stimulation 24 h after treatment was stopped showed no residual BZD effect, but there was a rebound in duration of some seizure measures in rats that had been treated with CLB or DZP. Retesting 48 h after treatment was stopped showed that rats were still tolerant. The amygdala-kindled rat is a reliable and sensitive model for studying long-term actions of anticonvulsant BZDs.

  11. The amygdala and FFA track both social and non-social face dimensions.

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    Said, Christopher P; Dotsch, Ron; Todorov, Alexander

    2010-10-01

    The amygdala is thought to perform a number of social functions, and has received much attention for its role in processing social properties of faces. In particular, it has been shown to respond more to facial expressions than to neutral faces, and more to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces than faces in the middle of the continuum. However, when these findings are viewed in the context of a multidimensional face space, an important question emerges. Face space is a vector space where every face can be represented as a point in the space. The origin of the space represents the average face. In this context, positively valenced and negatively valenced faces are further away from the average face than faces in the middle of the continuum. It is therefore unclear if the amygdala response to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces is due to their social properties or to their general distance from the average face. Here, we compared the amygdala response to a set of faces that varied along two dimensions centered around the average face but differing in social content. In both the amygdala and much of the posterior face network, we observed a similar response to both dimensions, with stronger responses to the extremes of the dimensions than to faces near the average face. These findings suggest that the responses in these regions to socially relevant faces may be partially due to general distance from the average face.

  12. Reprint of: The amygdala and FFA track both social and non-social face dimensions.

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    Said, Christopher P; Dotsch, Ron; Todorov, Alexander

    2011-03-01

    The amygdala is thought to perform a number of social functions, and has received much attention for its role in processing social properties of faces. In particular, it has been shown to respond more to facial expressions than to neutral faces, and more to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces than faces in the middle of the continuum. However, when these findings are viewed in the context of a multidimensional face space, an important question emerges. Face space is a vector space where every face can be represented as a point in the space. The origin of the space represents the average face. In this context, positively valenced and negatively valenced faces are further away from the average face than faces in the middle of the continuum. It is therefore unclear if the amygdala response to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces is due to their social properties or to their general distance from the average face. Here, we compared the amygdala response to a set of faces that varied along two dimensions centered around the average face but differing in social content. In both the amygdala and much of the posterior face network, we observed a similar response to both dimensions, with stronger responses to the extremes of the dimensions than to faces near the average face. These findings suggest that the responses in these regions to socially relevant faces may be partially due to general distance from the average face.

  13. Facilitation of Memory for Extinction of Drug-Induced Conditioned Reward: Role of Amygdala and Acetylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Jason P.; Packard, Mark G.

    2004-01-01

    eThese experiments examined the effects of posttrial peripheral and intra-amygdala injections of the cholinergic muscarinic receptor agonist oxotremorine on memory consolidation underlying extinction of amphetamine conditioned place preference (CPP) behavior. Male Long-Evans rats were initially trained and tested for an amphetamine (2 mg/kg) CPP.…

  14. Differential Involvement of Amygdala and Cortical NMDA Receptors Activation upon Encoding in Odor Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegoburu, Chloé; Parrot, Sandrine; Ferreira, Guilaume; Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2014-01-01

    Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) plays a crucial role for the acquisition of fear memories, sensory cortices are involved in their long-term storage in rats. However, the time course of their respective involvement has received little investigation. Here we assessed the role of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the…

  15. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

  16. Neonatal Amygdala Lesions and Stress Responsivity in Rats : Relevance to schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terpstra, Jeroen

    2004-01-01

    "Stress responsiveness in an animal model with relevance to schizophrenia” Rats bearing lesions of the amygdala made on postnatal day 7 (D7 AMX) model aspects of neurodevelopmental psychopathologies, such as schizophrenia. Adult D7 AMX rats display impaired pre-pulse inhibition, impaired behaviora

  17. Endocannabinoids in the rat basolateral amygdala enhance memory consolidation and enable glucocorticoid modulation of memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Campolongo, Patrizia; Roozendaal, Benno; Trezza, Viviana; Hauer, Daniela; Schelling, Gustav; McGaugh, James L.; Cuomo, Vincenzo

    2009-01-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) modulates the consolidation of memories for emotionally arousing experiences, an effect that involves the activation of the glucocorticoid system. Because the BLA expresses high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, th

  18. Oxytocin enhances the inhibitory effects of diazepam in the rat central medial amygdala.

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    Viviani, D; Terrettaz, T; Magara, F; Stoop, R

    2010-01-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that can reduce neophobia and improve social affiliation. In vitro, oxytocin induces a massive release of GABA from neurons in the lateral division of the central amygdala which results in inhibition of a subpopulation of peripherally projecting neurons in the medial division of the central amygdala (CeM). Common anxiolytics, such as diazepam, act as allosteric modulators of GABA(A) receptors. Because oxytocin and diazepam act on GABAergic transmission, it is possible that oxytocin can potentiate the inhibitory effects of diazepam if both exert their pre, - respectively postsynaptic effects on the same inhibitory circuit in the central amygdala. We found that in CeM neurons in which diazepam increased the inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) decay time, TGOT (a specific oxytocin receptor agonist) increased IPSC frequency. Combined application of diazepam and TGOT resulted in generation of IPSCs with increased frequency, decay times as well as amplitudes. While individual saturating concentrations of TGOT and diazepam each decreased spontaneous spiking frequency of CeM neurons to similar extent, co-application of the two was still able to cause a significantly larger decrease. These findings show that oxytocin and diazepam act on different components of the same GABAergic circuit in the central amygdala and that oxytocin can facilitate diazepam effects when used in combination. This raises the possibility that neuropeptides could be clinically used in combination with currently used anxiolytic treatments to improve their therapeutic efficacy.

  19. Emotional conflict and neuroticism: personality-dependent activation in the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Brian W; Omura, Kazufumi; Constable, R Todd; Canli, Turhan

    2007-04-01

    The amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate (AC) have been associated with anxiety and mood disorders, for which trait neuroticism is a risk factor. Prior work has not related individual differences in amygdala or subgenual AC activation with neuroticism. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate changes in blood oxygen level-dependent signal within the amygdala and subgenual AC associated with trait neuroticism in a nonclinical sample of 36 volunteers during an emotional conflict task. Neuroticism correlated positively with amygdala and subgenual AC activation during trials of high emotional conflict, compared with trials of low emotional conflict. The subscale of neuroticism that reflected the anxious form of neuroticism (N1) explained a greater proportion of variance within the observed clusters than the subscale of neuroticism that reflected the depressive form of neuroticism (N3). Using a task that is sensitive to individual differences in the detection of emotional conflict, the authors have provided a neural correlate of the link between neuroticism and anxiety and mood disorders. This effect was driven to a greater extent by the anxious relative to the depressive characteristics of neuroticism and may constitute vulnerability markers for anxiety-related disorders.

  20. A Discrete Population of Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala Is Specifically Activated by Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark

    2009-01-01

    There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…

  1. Human amygdala reactivity is diminished by the beta-noradrenergic antagonist propranolol

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurlemann, R.; Walter, H.; Rehme, A. K.; Kukolja, J.; Santoro, S. C.; Schmidt, C.; Schnell, K.; Musshoff, F.; Keysers, C.; Maier, W.; Kendrick, K. M.; Onur, O. A.

    2010-01-01

    Background. Animal models of anxiety disorders emphasize the crucial role of locus ceruleus-noradrenergic (norepinephrine, NE) signaling, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and their interactions in the expression of anxiety-like behavioral responses to stress. Despite clinical evidence for the efficacy

  2. Kindling-Induced Changes in Plasticity of the Rat Amygdala and Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Manja; Siegmund, Herbert; Pape, Hans-Christian; Albrecht, Doris

    2005-01-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is often accompanied by interictal behavioral abnormalities, such as fear and memory impairment. To identify possible underlying substrates, we analyzed long-term synaptic plasticity in two relevant brain regions, the lateral amygdala (LA) and the CA1 region of the hippocampus, in the kindling model of epilepsy. Wistar…

  3. Optogenetic Activation of Presynaptic Inputs in Lateral Amygdala Forms Associative Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Nakajima, Ryuichi; Hyung-Su, Kim; Jeong, Yire; Augustine, George J.; Han, Jin-Hee

    2014-01-01

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning, the lateral amygdala (LA) has been highlighted as a key brain site for association between sensory cues and aversive stimuli. However, learning-related changes are also found in upstream sensory regions such as thalamus and cortex. To isolate the essential neural circuit components for fear memory association, we…

  4. The effect of the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) on amygdala function: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, S E; Norbury, R; Godlewska, B R; Cowen, P J; Mannie, Z M; Harmer, C J; Munafò, M R

    2013-04-01

    The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism has been widely regarded as a potential genetic risk factor for affective disorders. Consistent with this, this polymorphism has been associated with altered amygdala responses at rest and in response to aversive stimuli. However, the strength of this association remains uncertain. We sought to synthesize existing data on the association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and amygdala activation and ascertain the strength of evidence for this association. Meta-analytic techniques were applied to data from relevant published studies and unpublished data sets to obtain an estimate of the likely magnitude of effect of any association. The large number of studies allowed us to apply a formal test of publication bias, as well as explore the impact of various study-level characteristics on the magnitude of the observed effect size. Our meta-analysis indicated that there is a statistically significant but small effect of 5-HTTLPR on left and right amygdala activity. However, there was considerable between-study heterogeneity, which could not be fully accounted for by the study design and sample characteristics that we investigated. In addition, there was evidence of excess statistical significance among published studies. These findings indicate that the association between the 5-HTTLPR and amygdala activation is smaller than originally thought, and that the majority of previous studies have been considerably under powered to reliably demonstrate an effect of this size.

  5. Amygdala regulates risk of predation in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, June-Seek; Kim, Jeansok J

    2010-12-14

    In a natural environment, foragers constantly face the risk of encountering predators. Fear is a defensive mechanism evolved to protect animals from danger by balancing the animals' needs for primary resources with the risk of predation, and the amygdala is implicated in mediating fear responses. However, the functions of fear and amygdala in foraging behavior are not well characterized because of the technical difficulty in quantifying prey-predator interaction with real (unpredictable) predators. Thus, the present study investigated the rat's foraging behavior in a seminaturalistic environment when confronted with a predator-like robot programmed to surge toward the animal seeking food. Rats initially fled into the nest and froze (demonstrating fear) and then cautiously approached and seized the food as a function of decreasing nest-food and increasing food-robot distances. The likelihood of procuring food increased and decreased via lesioning/inactivating and disinhibiting the amygdala, respectively. These results indicate that the amygdala bidirectionally regulates risk behavior in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

  6. Effective amygdala-prefrontal connectivity predicts individual differences in successful emotion regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morawetz, Carmen; Bode, Stefan; Baudewig, Juergen; Heekeren, Hauke R

    2016-12-20

    The ability to voluntarily regulate our emotional response to threatening and highly arousing stimuli by using cognitive reappraisal strategies is essential for our mental and physical well-being. This might be achieved by prefrontal brain regions (e.g., inferior frontal gyrus, IFG) down-regulating activity in the amygdala. It is unknown, to which degree effective connectivity within the emotion-regulation network is linked to individual differences in reappraisal skills. Using psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we examined changes in inter-regional connectivity between the amygdala and IFG with other brain regions during reappraisal of emotional responses and used emotion regulation success as an explicit regressor. During down-regulation of emotion, reappraisal success correlated with effective connectivity between IFG with dorsolateral, dorsomedial and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC). During up-regulation of emotion, effective coupling between IFG with anterior cingulate cortex, dorsomedial and ventromedial PFC as well as the amygdala correlated with reappraisal success. Activity in the amygdala covaried with activity in lateral and medial prefrontal regions during the up-regulation of emotion and correlated with reappraisal success. These results suggest that successful reappraisal is linked to changes in effective connectivity between two systems, prefrontal cognitive control regions and regions crucially involved in emotional evaluation.

  7. Inhibiton of neurons in the amygdala by dorsal raphe stimulation: mediation through a direct serotonergic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R Y; Aghajanian, G K

    1977-01-14

    This study presents data showing that the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) has a marked inhibitory influence upon neurons in the amygdala and that this inhibitory effect is mediated by a direct DRN-amygdala serotonergic pathway. The evidence may be briefly summarized as follows:(1) on the same amygdaloid cells, both iontophoresis of serotonin (5-HT) and electrical stimulation of the DRN markedly inhibited spontaneous single unit activities; (2) the latency of DRN-induced inhibition was relatively short and is compatible with the conduction velocities (which were determined by antidromic activation of the 5-HT pathway) of unmyelinated 5-HT fibers; (3) destruction of 5-HT projections by 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) or pharmacological depletion of 5-HT by parachlorophenylalanine (PCPA) prevented the inhibitory responsed to DRN stimulation in the great majority of cells studied; (4) in PCPA-pretreated animals, injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) reversed the PCPA effect, restoring the responses of amygdaloid cells to DRN stimulation. In the amygdala, the presumptive 5-HT antagonists which we tested did not block the inhibitory effects of 5-HT except that intravenously administered LSD blocked the inhibitory responses produced by submaximal DRN stimulation. The implications of these results for the possible functions of 5-HT in the amygdala is discussed.

  8. Are you gonna leave me? Separation anxiety is associated with increased amygdala responsiveness and volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redlich, Ronny; Grotegerd, Dominik; Opel, Nils; Kaufmann, Carolin; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Kugel, Harald; Heindel, Walter; Donges, Uta-Susan; Suslow, Thomas; Arolt, Volker; Dannlowski, Udo

    2015-02-01

    The core feature of separation anxiety is excessive distress when faced with actual or perceived separation from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. So far little is known about the neurobiological underpinnings of separation anxiety. Therefore, we investigated functional (amygdala responsiveness and functional connectivity during threat-related emotion processing) and structural (grey matter volume) imaging markers associated with separation anxiety as measured with the Relationship Scale Questionnaire in a large sample of healthy adults from the Münster Neuroimaging Cohort (N = 320). We used a robust emotional face-matching task and acquired high-resolution structural images for morphometric analyses using voxel-based morphometry. The main results were positive associations of separation anxiety scores with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces as well as increased amygdala grey matter volumes. A functional connectivity analysis revealed positive associations between separation anxiety and functional coupling of the amygdala with areas involved in visual processes and attention, including several occipital and somatosensory areas. Taken together, the results suggest a higher emotional involvement in subjects with separation anxiety while watching negative facial expressions, and potentially secondary neuro-structural adaptive processes. These results could help to understand and treat (adult) separation anxiety.

  9. Short environmental enrichment in adulthood reverses anxiety and basolateral amygdala hypertrophy induced by maternal separation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koe, A S; Ashokan, A; Mitra, R

    2016-02-02

    Maternal separation during early childhood results in greater sensitivity to stressors later in adult life. This is reflected as greater propensity to develop stress-related disorders in humans and animal models, including anxiety and depression. Environmental enrichment (EE) reverses some of the damaging effects of maternal separation in rodent models when provided during peripubescent life, temporally proximal to the separation. It is presently unknown if EE provided outside this critical window can still rescue separation-induced anxiety and neural plasticity. In this report we use a rat model to demonstrate that a single short episode of EE in adulthood reduced anxiety-like behaviour in maternally separated rats. We further show that maternal separation resulted in hypertrophy of dendrites and increase in spine density of basolateral amygdala neurons in adulthood, long after initial stress treatment. This is congruent with prior observations showing centrality of basolateral amygdala hypertrophy in anxiety induced by stress during adulthood. In line with the ability of the adult enrichment to rescue stress-induced anxiety, we show that enrichment renormalized stress-induced structural expansion of the amygdala neurons. These observations argue that behavioural plasticity induced by early adversity can be rescued by environmental interventions much later in life, likely mediated by ameliorating effects of enrichment on basolateral amygdala plasticity.

  10. Modeling a Negative Response Bias in the Human Amygdala by Noradrenergic-Glucocorticoid Interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kukolja, Juraj; Schlaepfer, Thomas E.; Keysers, Christian; Klingmueller, Dietrich; Maier, Wolfgang; Fink, Gereon R.; Hurlemann, Rene

    2008-01-01

    An emerging theme in the neuroscience of emotion is the question of how acute stress shapes, and distorts, social-emotional behavior. The prevailing neurocircuitry models of social-emotional behavior emphasize the central role of the amygdala. Acute stress leads to increased central levels of norepi

  11. The changing face of emotion: age-related patterns of amygdala activation to salient faces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Todd, R.M.; Evans, J.W.; Morris, D.; Lewis, M.D.; Taylor, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    The present study investigated age-related differences in the amygdala and other nodes of face-processing networks in response to facial expression and familiarity. fMRI data were analyzed from 31 children (3.5–8.5 years) and 14 young adults (18–33 years) who viewed pictures of familiar (mothers) an

  12. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of Amygdala-Based Networks in Adolescent Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Amy K.; Fudge, Julie L.; Kelly, Clare; Perry, Justin S. A.; Daniele, Teresa; Carlisi, Christina; Benson, Brenda; Castellanos, F. Xavier; Milham, Michael P.; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) typically begins during adolescence and can persist into adulthood. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disorder remain unclear. Recent evidence from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) studies in adults suggests disruptions in amygdala-based circuitry; the…

  13. Developmental Exposure to an Environmental PCB Mixture Delays the Propagation of Kindling in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Developmental PCB exposure impairs hearing and induces brainstem audiogenic seizures in adult offspring. The degree to which this enhanced susceptibility to seizure is manifest in other brain regions has not been examined. Thus, electrical kindling of the amygdala was used to eva...

  14. Structural Variation within the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Predict Memory for Impressions in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany Shane Cassidy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Research has shown that lesions to regions involved in social and emotional cognition disrupt socioemotional processing and memory. We investigated how structural variation of regions involved in socioemotional memory (ventromedial prefrontal cortex [vmPFC], amygdala, as opposed to a region implicated in explicit memory (hippocampus, affected memory for impressions in young and older adults. Anatomical MRI scans for fifteen young and fifteen older adults were obtained and reconstructed to gather information about cortical thickness and subcortical volume. Young adults had greater amygdala and hippocampus volumes than old, and thicker left vmPFC than old, although right vmPFC thickness did not differ across the age groups. Participants formed behavior-based impressions and responded to interpersonally meaningful, social but interpersonally irrelevant, or non-social prompts, and completed a memory test. Results showed that greater left amygdala volume predicted enhanced overall memory for impressions in older but not younger adults. Increased right vmPFC thickness in older, but not younger, adults correlated with enhanced memory for impressions formed in the interpersonally meaningful context. Hippocampal volume was not predictive of social memory in young or older adults. These findings demonstrate the importance of structural variation in regions linked to socioemotional processing in the retention of impressions with age, and suggest that the amygdala and vmPFC play an integral role when encoding and retrieving social information.

  15. Back to basics: Making predictions in the orbitofrontal-amygdala circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Melissa J; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2016-05-01

    Underlying many complex behaviors are simple learned associations that allow humans and animals to anticipate the consequences of their actions. The orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala are two regions which are crucial to this process. In this review, we go back to basics and discuss the literature implicating both these regions in simple paradigms requiring the development of associations between stimuli and the motivationally-significant outcomes they predict. Much of the functional research surrounding this ability has suggested that the orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala play very similar roles in making these predictions. However, electrophysiological data demonstrates critical differences in the way neurons in these regions respond to predictive cues, revealing a difference in their functional role. On the basis of these data and theories that have come before, we propose that the basolateral amygdala is integral to updating information about cue-outcome contingencies whereas the orbitofrontal cortex is critical to forming a wider network of past and present associations that are called upon by the basolateral amygdala to benefit future learning episodes. The tendency for orbitofrontal neurons to encode past and present contingencies in distinct neuronal populations may facilitate its role in the formation of complex, high-dimensional state-specific associations.

  16. Abnormal Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Activation to Facial Expressions in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Amy S.; Reiss, Allan L.; Howe, Meghan E.; Kelley, Ryan G.; Singh, Manpreet K.; Adleman, Nancy E.; Karchemskiy, Asya; Chang, Kiki D.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) have reported greater amygdala and less dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation to facial expressions compared to healthy controls. The current study investigates whether these differences are associated with the early or late…

  17. Neuropeptide S-mediated facilitation of synaptic transmission enforces subthreshold theta oscillations within the lateral amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Meis

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide S (NPS receptor system modulates neuronal circuit activity in the amygdala in conjunction with fear, anxiety and the expression and extinction of previously acquired fear memories. Using in vitro brain slice preparations of transgenic GAD67-GFP (Δneo mice, we investigated the effects of NPS on neural activity in the lateral amygdala as a key region for the formation and extinction of fear memories. We are able to demonstrate that NPS augments excitatory glutamatergic synaptic input onto both projection neurons and interneurons of the lateral amygdala, resulting in enhanced spike activity of both types of cells. These effects were at least in part mediated by presynaptic mechanisms. In turn, inhibition of projection neurons by local interneurons was augmented by NPS, and subthreshold oscillations were strengthened, leading to their shift into the theta frequency range. These data suggest that the multifaceted effects of NPS on amygdaloid circuitry may shape behavior-related network activity patterns in the amygdala and reflect the peptide's potent activity in various forms of affective behavior and emotional memory.

  18. A Genome-Wide Association Study of Amygdala Activation in Youths with and without Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinmin; Akula, Nirmala; Skup, Martha; Brotman, Melissa A.; Leibenluft, Ellen; McMahon, Francis J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Functional magnetic resonance imaging is commonly used to characterize brain activity underlying a variety of psychiatric disorders. A previous functional magnetic resonance imaging study found that amygdala activation during a face-processing task differed between pediatric patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy controls. We…

  19. Amygdala Kindling in the WAG-Rij Rat Model of Absence Epilepsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aker, R.G.; Yananli, H.R.; Gurbanova, A.A.; Özkaynakçi, A.E.; Ates, N.; Luijtelaar, E.L.J.M. van; Onat, F.Y.

    2006-01-01

    Summary: Purpose: The kindling model in rats with genetic absence epilepsy is suitable for studying mechanisms involved in the propagation and generalization of seizure activity in the convulsive and nonconvulsive components of epilepsy. In the present study, we compared the amygdala kindling rate a

  20. EFFECT OF DIFFERENT AGONISTIC EXPERIENCES ON BEHAVIORAL SEIZURES IN FULLY AMYGDALA KINDLED RATS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BELDHUIS, HJA; KOOLHAAS, JM; BOHUS, B

    1992-01-01

    Fully amygdala kindled rats were exposed to two different inter-male agonistic experiences in order to study the interaction between epilepsy and acute social stress. Victory experience did not influence the severity of seizure behaviour, whereas a single acute defeat modified both ictal and postict

  1. Effect of different agonistic experiences on behavioural seizures in fully amygdala kindled rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beldhuis, Hans J.A.; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Bohus, Bela

    1992-01-01

    Fully amygdala kindled rats were exposed to two different inter-male agonistic experiences in order to study the interaction between epilepsy and acute social stress. Victory experience did not influence the severity of seizure behaviour, whereas a single acute defeat modified both ictal and postict

  2. The amygdala, top-down effects, and selective attention to features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, Richard H. A. H.; Renken, Remco; Aleman, Andre; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2012-01-01

    While the amygdalar role in fear conditioning is well established, it also appears to be involved in a wide spectrum of other functions concerning emotional information. For example, the amygdala is thought to be involved in guiding spatial attention to emotionally relevant information such as the e

  3. Reduced size of the amygdala in individuals with 47,XXY and 47,XXX karyotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patwardhan, Anil J; Brown, Wendy E; Bender, Bruce G; Linden, Mary G; Eliez, Stephan; Reiss, Allan L

    2002-01-01

    The excess of 47,XXX and 47,XXY karyotypes found in cytogenetic screening studies of individuals with schizophrenia has given support for an increased risk of psychiatric illness among men and women with sex chromosomal aneuploidy (SCA). Mesial temporal lobe structures, including the amygdala and hippocampus, are thought to be associated with abnormalities of mood and behavior in humans and in the neurobiology of schizophrenia. This study focuses on variations in volumes of mesial temporal lobe structures in men and women with SCA. Utilizing an unselected birth cohort of subjects with SCA and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we investigated the neuroanatomical consequences of a supernumerary X chromosome on the morphology of the amygdala and hippocampus. Regional and total brain volumes were measured in 10 subjects with 47,XXY, 10 subjects with 47,XXX, and 20 euploid controls. Amygdala volumes were significantly reduced in men with 47,XXY, compared to control men, while the decrease in women with 47,XXX was not as pronounced. Hippocampus volumes were preserved in both groups, compared to same-gender controls. Longitudinal studies of SCA individuals have shown an increased incidence of mild psychopathology and behavioral dysfunction in men with 47,XXY and more overt psychiatric illness in women with 47,XXX, compared to control populations. The alteration in amygdala volumes in individuals with a supernumerary X chromosome may provide a neuroanatomic basis for these findings.

  4. A Model of Amygdala-Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interaction in Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…

  5. Role of Amygdala and Hippocampus in the Neural Circuit Subserving Conditioned Defeat in Syrian Hamsters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Chris M.; Taylor, Stacie L.; Huhman, Kim L.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the roles of the amygdala and hippocampus in the formation of emotionally relevant memories using an ethological model of conditioned fear termed conditioned defeat (CD). Temporary inactivation of the ventral, but not dorsal hippocampus (VH, DH, respectively) using muscimol disrupted the acquisition of CD, whereas pretraining VH…

  6. Is the Medial Amygdala Part of the Neural Circuit Modulating Conditioned Defeat in Syrian Hamsters?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Chris M.; Huhman, Kim L.

    2008-01-01

    Conditioned defeat is a model wherein hamsters that have previously experienced a single social defeat subsequently exhibit heightened levels of avoidance and submission in response to a smaller, non-aggressive intruder. While we have previously demonstrated the critical involvement of the basolateral and central nuclei of the amygdala in the…

  7. Estrogen receptor-a in medial amygdala neurons regulates body weight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrogen receptor–a (ERa) activity in the brain prevents obesity in both males and females. However, the ERa-expressing neural populations that regulate body weight remain to be fully elucidated. Here we showed that single-minded–1 (SIM1) neurons in the medial amygdala (MeA) express abundant levels ...

  8. Increased amygdala and visual cortex activity and functional connectivity towards stimulus novelty is associated with state anxiety.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga T Ousdal

    Full Text Available Novel stimuli often require a rapid reallocation of sensory processing resources to determine the significance of the event, and the appropriate behavioral response. Both the amygdala and the visual cortex are central elements of the neural circuitry responding to novelty, demonstrating increased activity to new as compared to highly familiarized stimuli. Further, these brain areas are intimately connected, and thus the amygdala may be a key region for directing sensory processing resources to novel events. Although knowledge regarding the neurocircuit of novelty detection is gradually increasing, we still lack a basic understanding of the conditions that are necessary and sufficient for novelty-specific responses in human amygdala and the visual cortices, and if these brain areas interact during detection of novelty. In the present study, we investigated the response of amygdala and the visual cortex to novelty, by comparing functional MRI activity between 1st and 2nd time presentation of a series of emotional faces in an event-related task. We observed a significant decrease in amygdala and visual cortex activity already after a single stimulus exposure. Interestingly, this decrease in responsiveness was less for subjects with a high score on state anxiety. Further, novel faces stimuli were associated with a relative increase in the functional coupling between the amygdala and the inferior occipital gyrus (BA 18. Thus, we suggest that amygdala is involved in fast sensory boosting that may be important for attention reallocation to novel events, and that the strength of this response depends on individual state anxiety.

  9. Altered effective connectivity network of the amygdala in social anxiety disorder: a resting-state FMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liao

    Full Text Available The amygdala is often found to be abnormally recruited in social anxiety disorder (SAD patients. The question whether amygdala activation is primarily abnormal and affects other brain systems or whether it responds "normally" to an abnormal pattern of information conveyed by other brain structures remained unanswered. To address this question, we investigated a network of effective connectivity associated with the amygdala using Granger causality analysis on resting-state functional MRI data of 22 SAD patients and 21 healthy controls (HC. Implications of abnormal effective connectivity and clinical severity were investigated using the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS. Decreased influence from inferior temporal gyrus (ITG to amygdala was found in SAD, while bidirectional influences between amygdala and visual cortices were increased compared to HCs. Clinical relevance of decreased effective connectivity from ITG to amygdala was suggested by a negative correlation of LSAS avoidance scores and the value of Granger causality. Our study is the first to reveal a network of abnormal effective connectivity of core structures in SAD. This is in support of a disregulation in predescribed modules involved in affect control. The amygdala is placed in a central position of dysfunction characterized both by decreased regulatory influence of orbitofrontal cortex and increased crosstalk with visual cortex. The model which is proposed based on our results lends neurobiological support towards cognitive models considering disinhibition and an attentional bias towards negative stimuli as a core feature of the disorder.

  10. The relationship between amygdala activation and passive exposure time to an aversive cue during a continuous performance task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina A Strigo

    Full Text Available The allocation of attention modulates negative emotional processing in the amygdala. However, the role of passive exposure time to emotional signals in the modulation of amygdala activity during active task performance has not been examined. In two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI experiments conducted in two different groups of healthy human subjects, we examined activation in the amygdala due to cued anticipation of painful stimuli while subjects performed a simple continuous performance task (CPT with either a fixed or a parametrically varied trial duration. In the first experiment (N = 16, engagement in the CPT during a task with fixed trial duration produced the expected attenuation of amygdala activation, but close analysis suggested that the attenuation occurred during the period of active engagement in CPT, and that amygdala activity increased proportionately during the remainder of each trial, when subjects were passively exposed to the pain cue. In the second experiment (N = 12, the duration of each trial was parametrically varied, and we found that amygdala activation was linearly related to the time of passive exposure to the anticipatory cue. We suggest that amygdala activation during negative anticipatory processing depends directly on the passive exposure time to the negative cue.

  11. The densities of calbindin and parvalbumin, but not calretinin neurons, are sexually dimorphic in the amygdala of the guinea pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Równiak, Maciej; Bogus-Nowakowska, Krystyna; Robak, Anna

    2015-04-16

    In the amygdala, the calcium-binding proteins (calbindin, parvalbumin or calretinin) are useful markers of specific subpopulations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) containing neurons. In the rat and monkey they together mark the vast majority of GABA-containing neurons in this brain region. As GABA involvement in the control of various behaviors in a sex-specific manner and sexual dimorphism of the GABAergic system itself were recently proven, the question is how much dimorphic may be various subpopulations of this system. Thus, the present study investigates for the first time the presence/absence of sexual dimorphism among neurons expressing calbindin (CB), parvalbumin (PV) and calretinin (CR) which form in the amygdala main subsets of GABAergic system. The results show that in the amygdala of the guinea pig the densities of CB and/or PV expressing neurons are sexually dimorphic with the female>male pattern of sex differences in the basolateral amygdala. In the medial and cortical amygdala respectively CB and PV values are also sexually dimorphic, favoring males. The densities of CR expressing neurons are in the amygdala of the guinea pig sexually isomorphic. In conclusion, the results of the present study provide an evidence that in the amygdala of the guinea pig the densities of neurons expressing CB and/or PV are sexually dimorphic what supports the idea that GABA participates in the mediation of sexually dimorphic functions, controlled by this brain area.

  12. Convergent evidence from multimodal imaging reveals amygdala abnormalities in schizophrenic patients and their first-degree relatives.

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    Lin Tian

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Shared neuropathological features between schizophrenic patients and their first-degree relatives have potential as indicators of genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia. We sought to explore genetic influences on brain morphology and function in schizophrenic patients and their relatives. METHODS: Using a multimodal imaging strategy, we studied 33 schizophrenic patients, 55 of their unaffected parents, 30 healthy controls for patients, and 29 healthy controls for parents with voxel-based morphometry of structural MRI scans and functional connectivity analysis of resting-state functional MRI data. RESULTS: Schizophrenic patients showed widespread gray matter reductions in the bilateral frontal cortices, bilateral insulae, bilateral occipital cortices, left amygdala and right thalamus, whereas their parents showed more localized reductions in the left amygdala, left thalamus and right orbitofrontal cortex. Patients and their parents shared gray matter loss in the left amygdala. Further investigation of the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala in the patients showed abnormal functional connectivity with the bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, bilateral precunei, bilateral dorsolateral frontal cortices and right insula. Their parents showed slightly less, but similar changes in the pattern in the amygdala connectivity. Co-occurrences of abnormal connectivity of the left amygdala with the left orbitofrontal cortex, right dorsolateral frontal cortex and right precuneus were observed in schizophrenic patients and their parents. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a potential genetic influence on structural and functional abnormalities of the amygdala in schizophrenia. Such information could help future efforts to identify the endophenotypes that characterize the complex disorder of schizophrenia.

  13. Amygdala-Hippocampal Connectivity Changes During Acute Psychosocial Stress: Joint Effect of Early Life Stress and Oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yan; Pestke, Karin; Feeser, Melanie; Aust, Sabine; Pruessner, Jens C; Böker, Heinz; Bajbouj, Malek; Grimm, Simone

    2015-11-01

    Previous evidence shows that acute stress changes both amygdala activity and its connectivity with a distributed brain network. Early life stress (ELS), especially emotional abuse (EA), is associated with altered reactivity to psychosocial stress in adulthood and moderates or even reverses the stress-attenuating effect of oxytocin (OXT). The neural underpinnings of the interaction between ELS and OXT remain unclear, though. Therefore, we here investigate the joint effect of ELS and OXT on transient changes in amygdala-centered functional connectivity induced by acute psychosocial stress, using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, within-subject crossover design. Psychophysiological interaction analysis in the placebo session revealed stress-induced increases in functional connectivity between amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, putamen, caudate and thalamus. Regression analysis showed that EA was positively associated with stress-induced changes in connectivity between amygdala and hippocampus. Moreover, hierarchical linear regression showed that this positive association between EA and stress-induced amygdala-hippocampal connectivity was moderated after the administration of intranasal OXT. Amygdala-hippocampal connectivity in the OXT session correlated negatively with cortisol stress responses. Our findings suggest that altered amygdala-hippocampal functional connectivity during psychosocial stress may have a crucial role in the altered sensitivity to OXT effects in individuals who have experienced EA in their childhood.

  14. Entorhinal cortex stimulation modulates amygdala and piriform cortex responses to olfactory bulb inputs in the rat.

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    Mouly, A-M; Di Scala, G

    2006-01-01

    The rodent olfactory bulb sends direct projections to the piriform cortex and to two structures intimately implicated in memory processes, the entorhinal cortex and the amygdala. The piriform cortex has monosynaptic projections with the amygdala and the piriform cortex and is therefore in a position to modulate olfactory input either directly in the piriform cortex, or via the amygdala. In order to investigate this hypothesis, field potential signals induced in anesthetized rats by electrical stimulation of the olfactory bulb or the entorhinal cortex were recorded simultaneously in the piriform cortex (anterior part and posterior part) and the amygdala (basolateral nucleus and cortical nucleus). Single-site paired-pulse stimulation was used to assess the time courses of short-term inhibition and facilitation in each recording site in response to electrical stimulation of the olfactory bulb and entorhinal cortex. Paired-pulse stimulation of the olfactory bulb induced homosynaptic inhibition for short interpulse interpulse intervals (20-30 ms) in all the recording sites, with a significantly lower degree of inhibition in the anterior piriform cortex than in the other structures. At longer intervals (40-80 ms), paired-pulse facilitation was observed in all the structures. Paired-pulse stimulation of the entorhinal cortex mainly resulted in inhibition for the shortest interval duration (20 ms) in anterior piriform cortex, posterior piriform cortex and amygdala basolateral but not cortical nucleus. Double-site paired-pulse stimulation was then applied to determine if stimulation of the entorhinal cortex can modulate responses to olfactory bulb stimulation. For short interpulse intervals (20 ms) heterosynaptic inhibition was observed in anterior piriform cortex, posterior piriform cortex and amygdala basolateral but not cortical nucleus. The level of inhibition was greater in the basolateral nucleus than in the other structures. Taken together these data suggest that the

  15. Amygdala fMRI Signal as a Predictor of Reaction Time

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    Philipp Riedel

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Reaction times (RT are a valuable measure for assessing cognitive processes. However, RTs are susceptible to confounds and therefore variable. Exposure to threat, for example, speeds up or slows down responses. Distinct task types to some extent account for differential effects of threat on RTs. But also do inter-individual differences like trait anxiety. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated whether activation within the amygdala, a brain region closely linked to the processing of threat, may also function as a predictor of RTs, similar to trait anxiety scores. After threat conditioning by means of aversive electric shocks, 45 participants performed a choice RT task during alternating 30s blocks in the presence of the threat conditioned stimulus CS+ or of the safe control stimulus CS-. Trait anxiety was assessed with the State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory and participants were median split into a high- and a low-anxiety subgroup. We tested three hypotheses: 1 RTs will be faster during the exposure to threat compared to the safe condition in individuals with high trait anxiety. 2 The amygdala fMRI signal will be higher in the threat condition compared to the safe condition. 3 Amygdala fMRI signal prior to a RT trial will be correlated with the corresponding RT. We found that, the high-anxious subgroup showed faster responses in the threat condition compared to the safe condition, while the low-anxious subgroup showed no significant difference in RTs in the threat condition compared to the safe condition. Though the fMRI analysis did not reveal an effect of condition on amygdala activity, we found a trial-by-trial correlation between blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal within the right amygdala prior to the CRT task and the subsequent RT. Taken together, the results of this study showed that: Exposure to threat modulates task performance. This modulation is influenced by personality trait. Additionally and most

  16. Multiple anxiogenic drugs recruit a parvalbumin-containing subpopulation of GABAergic interneurons in the basolateral amygdala.

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    Hale, Matthew W; Johnson, Philip L; Westerman, Alex M; Abrams, Jolane K; Shekhar, Anantha; Lowry, Christopher A

    2010-10-01

    The basolateral amygdala is a nodal structure within a distributed and interconnected network that regulates anxiety states and anxiety-related behavior. Administration of multiple anxiogenic drugs increases cellular responses (i.e., increases c-Fos expression) in a subregion of the basolateral amygdala, but the neurochemical phenotypes of these cells are not known. The basolateral amygdala contains glutamatergic projection neurons and several populations of γ-aminobutyric acid-synthesizing (GABAergic) interneurons, including a population of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing GABAergic interneurons that co-express the excitatory 5-HT(2A) receptor. The role for these PV-expressing GABAergic interneurons in anxiety-states is unclear. In this experiment we examined the effects of multiple anxiogenic drugs including the 5-HT(2C/2A) receptor agonist m-chlorophenyl piperazine (mCPP), the adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine, the α(2)-adrenoreceptor antagonist yohimbine and the partial inverse agonist at the benzodiazepine allosteric site on the GABA(A) receptor, N-methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxamide (FG-7142), on c-Fos expression in PV-immunoreactive (PV-ir) interneurons in subdivisions of the basolateral amygdala. All drugs with the exception of mCPP increased c-Fos expression in PV-ir neurons in the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, anterior part (BLA). The numbers of c-Fos-immunoreactive (c-Fos-ir)/PV-ir GABAergic interneurons in the BLA were positively correlated with the numbers of c-Fos-ir serotonergic neurons in the mid-rostrocaudal dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and with a measure of anxiety-related behavior. All four drugs increased c-Fos expression in non-PV-ir cells in most of the subdivisions of the basolateral amygdala that were sampled, compared with vehicle-injected controls. Together, these data suggest that the PV/5-HT(2A) receptor expressing GABAergic interneurons in the basolateral amygdala are part of a DR-basolateral amygdala neuronal circuit modulating

  17. Pleiotropic locus for emotion recognition and amygdala volume identified using univariate and bivariate linkage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E. M.; McKay, D. Reese; Kent, Jack W.; Sprooten, Emma; Carless, Melanie A.; Curran, Joanne E.; de Almeida, Marcio A. A.; Dyer, Thomas D.; Göring, Harald H. H.; Olvera, Rene; Duggirala, Ravi; Fox, Peter; Almasy, Laura; Blangero, John; Glahn, David. C.

    2014-01-01

    The role of the amygdala in emotion recognition is well established and separately each trait has been shown to be highly heritable, but the potential role of common genetic influences on both traits has not been explored. Here we present an investigation of the pleiotropic influences of amygdala and emotion recognition in a sample of randomly selected, extended pedigrees (N = 858). Using a combination of univariate and bivariate linkage we found a pleiotropic region for amygdala and emotion recognition on 4q26 (LOD = 4.34). Association analysis conducted in the region underlying the bivariate linkage peak revealed a variant meeting the corrected significance level (pBonferroni = 5.01×10−05) within an intron of PDE5A (rs2622497, Χ2 =16.67, p = 4.4×10−05) as being jointly influential on both traits. PDE5A has been implicated previously in recognition-memory deficits and is expressed in subcortical structures that are thought to underlie memory ability including the amygdala. The present paper extends our understanding of the shared etiology between amygdala and emotion recognition by showing that the overlap between the two traits is due, at least in part, to common genetic influences. Moreover, the present paper identifies a pleiotropic locus for the two traits and an associated variant, which localizes the genetic signal even more precisely. These results, when taken in the context of previous research, highlight the potential utility of PDE5-inhibitors for ameliorating emotion-recognition deficits in populations including, but not exclusively, those individuals suffering from mental or neurodegenerative illness. PMID:25322361

  18. Trauma exposure relates to heightened stress, altered amygdala morphology and deficient extinction learning: Implications for psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacciaglia, Raffaele; Nees, Frauke; Grimm, Oliver; Ridder, Stephanie; Pohlack, Sebastian T; Diener, Slawomira J; Liebscher, Claudia; Flor, Herta

    2017-02-01

    Stress exposure causes a structural reorganization in neurons of the amygdala. In particular, animal models have repeatedly shown that both acute and chronic stress induce neuronal hypertrophy and volumetric increase in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of amygdala. These effects are visible on the behavioral level, where stress enhances anxiety behaviors and provokes greater fear learning. We assessed stress and anxiety levels in a group of 18 healthy human trauma-exposed individuals (TR group) compared to 18 non-exposed matched controls (HC group), and related these measurements to amygdala volume. Traumas included unexpected adverse experiences such as vehicle accidents or sudden loss of a loved one. As a measure of aversive learning, we implemented a cued fear conditioning paradigm. Additionally, to provide a biological marker of chronic stress, we measured the sensitivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis using a dexamethasone suppression test. Compared to the HC, the TR group showed significantly higher levels of chronic stress, current stress and trait anxiety, as well as increased volume of the left amygdala. Specifically, we observed a focal enlargement in its lateral portion, in line with previous animal data. Compared to HC, the TR group also showed enhanced late acquisition of conditioned fear and deficient extinction learning, as well as salivary cortisol hypo-suppression to dexamethasone. Left amygdala volumes positively correlated with suppressed morning salivary cortisol. Our results indicate differences in trauma-exposed individuals which resemble those previously reported in animals exposed to stress and in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms through which traumatic stress might prompt vulnerability for psychopathology.

  19. Sleep debt elicits negative emotional reaction through diminished amygdala-anterior cingulate functional connectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Motomura

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Sleep debt reportedly increases emotional instability, such as anxiety and confusion, in addition to sleepiness and psychomotor impairment. However, the neural basis of emotional instability due to sleep debt has yet to be elucidated. This study investigated changes in emotional responses that are elicited by the simulation of short-term sleep loss and the brain regions responsible for these changes. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Fourteen healthy adult men aged 24.1±3.3 years (range, 20-32 years participated in a within-subject crossover study consisting of 5-day sessions of both sleep debt (4 h for time in bed and sleep control (8 h for time in bed. On the last day of each session, participants underwent polysomnography and completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Profile of Mood States questionnaires. In addition, functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while performing an emotional face viewing task. RESULTS: Restricted sleep over the 5-day period increased the activity of the left amygdala in response to the facial expression of fear, whereas a happy facial expression did not change the activity. Restricted sleep also resulted in a significant decrease in the functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC in proportion to the degree of sleep debt (as indicated by the percentage of slow wave sleep and δ wave power. This decrease was significantly correlated with activation of the left amygdala and deterioration of subjective mood state. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that continuous and accumulating sleep debt that can be experienced in everyday life can downregulate the functional suppression of the amygdala by the vACC and consequently enhance the response of the amygdala to negative emotional stimuli. Such functional alteration in emotional control may, in part, be attributed to the neural basis of emotional instability during sleep debt.

  20. Hippocampal and Amygdala Gray Matter Loss in Elderly Controls with Subtle Cognitive Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanchi, Davide; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon; Borgwardt, Stefan; Rodriguez, Cristelle; Haller, Sven

    2017-01-01

    In contrast to the idea that hippocampal and amygdala volume loss occur in late phases of neurodegeneration, recent contributions point to the relevance of preexisting structural deficits that are associated with aging and are independent of amyloid deposition in preclinical Alzheimer disease cases. The present work explores GM hippocampal and amygdala volumes in elderly controls displaying the first signs of cognitive decline. 455 subjects (263 females), including 374 controls (228 females) and 81 middle cognitive impairment subjects (35 females), underwent two neuropsychological evaluations (baseline and 18 months follow-up) and a MRI-T1 examination (only baseline). Clinical assessment included Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating scale, Hospitalized Anxiety and Depression scale, the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease neuropsychological battery and RI-48 Cued Recall Test (RI-48) for episodic memory. Based on their cognitive performance, we defined the controls as stable controls (sCON) and deteriorating controls (dCONs). Analyses included volumetric assessment, shape analyses and linear regressions between GM volume loss and differences in clinical scores between baseline and follow-up. Significant GM volume decrease in hippocampus bilaterally and right amygdala was found in dCON compared to sCON (p right amygdala volumes were measured in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to sCON (p right amygdala volumes precede the first signs of cognitive decline in healthy elderly controls at the pre-MCI state. Left hippocampus volume may also predict short-term changes of overall cognition in these vulnerable cases.

  1. Stimulus-dependent amygdala involvement in affective theory of mind generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitgen, Mike M; Walter, Henrik; Drost, Sarah; Rückl, Sarah; Schnell, Knut

    2016-04-01

    Successful social interaction requires knowledge about another person's emotional states, represented in an affective theory of mind (ToM). This information can be acquired either directly or indirectly, i.e., by observing emotional facial expressions (EFE) or indirectly by inferring emotions through cognitive perspective taking. Therefore, it is of great interest how the function of the cortical ToM network and the limbic system in affective ToM depends on the presence of facial expressions. We addressed this question in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. The experimental paradigm applied a well-established ToM cartoon task to test functional effects of EFE on the activation of the amygdala and the anterior ToM network during affective ToM judgments. During the task, 22 healthy participants had to judge the changes of the emotional state of the stories protagonist in the presence or absence of EFE. After quality control, 21 data sets entered the final analyses. The presence of EFE during affective ToM judgments was associated with shorter reaction times as well as increased activation of the right amygdala, most probably located in the basolateral nucleus (BLA), coincident with reduced activation of ToM-related regions of the prefrontal cortex. Psychophysiological interactions (PPI) revealed EFE-dependent modulation of connectivity between the right BLA and the contralateral ToM network regions. In combination with the functional interaction of EFE and affective ToM in the right amygdala, our data suggest a complementary but parallel organization of EFE processing and affective ToM. In this framework, the amygdala seems to act as an EFE detector when affective ToM judgments are demanded. Additionally, the facts that EFE induced exclusively right-sided amygdala activation and modulated the connectivity with the contralateral ToM network support the idea of a functional lateralization of stimulus driven components of affective ToM.

  2. Endocannabinoids in amygdala and nucleus accumbens mediate social play reward in adolescent rats.

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    Trezza, Viviana; Damsteegt, Ruth; Manduca, Antonia; Petrosino, Stefania; Van Kerkhof, Linda W M; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Zhou, Yeping; Campolongo, Patrizia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2012-10-24

    The brain endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in emotional processes. We have previously identified an important role for endocannabinoids in social play behavior, a highly rewarding form of social interaction in adolescent rats. Here, we tested the hypothesis that endocannabinoid modulation of social play behavior occurs in brain regions implicated in emotion and motivation. Social play increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not in prefrontal cortex or hippocampus of 4- to 5-week-old male Wistar rats. Furthermore, social play increased phosphorylation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala. Systemic administration of the anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 increased social play behavior, and augmented the associated elevation in anandamide levels in the amygdala, but not the NAc. Infusion of URB597 into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) increased social play behavior, and blockade of BLA CB1 cannabinoid receptors with the antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716A prevented the play-enhancing effects of systemic administration of URB597. Infusion of URB597 into the NAc also increased social play, but blockade of NAc CB1 cannabinoid receptors did not antagonize the play-enhancing effects of systemic URB597 treatment. Last, SR141716A did not affect social play after infusion into the core and shell subregions of the NAc, while it reduced social play when infused into the BLA. These data show that increased anandamide signaling in the amygdala and NAc augments social play, and identify the BLA as a prominent site of action for endocannabinoids to modulate the rewarding properties of social interactions in adolescent rats.

  3. Divergent effects of amygdala glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the regulation of visceral and somatic pain.

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    Myers, Brent; Greenwood-Van Meerveld, Beverley

    2010-02-01

    Elevated amygdala activity and increased responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis have been observed in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Recently, we demonstrated that corticosterone (Cort) placed on the amygdala induced anxiety-like behavior coupled with decreased thresholds for visceral and somatic pain in rats. Moreover, these studies suggested that the effects of Cort were dependent on both the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR); however, the specific contributions of these receptors to the interaction between corticosteroids and the amygdala are still unclear. In the present study, we sought to define the distinct roles of amygdaloid GR and MR in anxiety-like behavior, visceral sensitivity, and somatic sensitivity through selective pharmacological activation. Male Fischer 344 rats received bilateral implants on the dorsal margin of the central amygdala containing the GR agonist dexamethasone (Dex), the MR agonist aldosterone (Aldo), or cholesterol as a control. Our results showed that GR or MR activation significantly reduced open arm exploration on the elevated plus maze, a measure of anxiety-like behavior. Aldo increased the number of abdominal muscle contractions in response to all levels of colorectal distension (CRD). In contrast, Dex only increased visceral sensitivity at noxious levels of CRD. Furthermore, GR but not MR activation reduced somatic pain thresholds measured by the mechanical force required to elicit hindlimb withdrawal. In summary, GR and MR mediated-mechanisms induce anxiety and visceral hypersensitivity, whereas somatic sensitivity involves only GR, suggesting that corticosteroids may enhance visceral and somatic sensation via divergent processes originating in the amygdala and involving specific steroid receptor mechanisms.

  4. Multiple telencephalic and extratelencephalic embryonic domains contribute neurons to the medial extended amygdala.

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    Bupesh, Munisamy; Legaz, Isabel; Abellán, Antonio; Medina, Loreta

    2011-06-01

    Dysfunctions in emotional control and social behavior are behind human neuropsychiatric disorders, some of which are associated with an alteration of amygdalar development. The medial extended amygdala is a key telencephalic center for control of social behavior, but very little is known about its development. We used in vitro migration assays for analyzing the origin of the neurons of the medial extended amygdala in mouse embryos (E13.5-E16.5). We compared the migration assays with immunofluorescence/immunohistochemistry for calbindin and radial glial fibers and with mRNA expression of several genetic markers of distinct forebrain subdivisions. We provide experimental evidence for multiple embryonic origins of the principal neurons of the medial extended amygdala. In particular, we provide novel evidence indicating that a major part of the neurons derives from a caudoventral pallidal subdivision (previously called or included as part of the anterior peduncular area), forming a cell corridor with similar molecular features (expression of Lhx6 and calbindin), connectivity, and function, which relates to reproductive behavior. We also provide novel experimental evidence indicating that the ventral pallium produces some neurons for the medial amygdala, which correlates with data from Lhx9 expression. Our results also confirm that some neurons of the medial extended amygdala originate in the preoptic area (our results indicate that these cells specifically originate in its commissural subdivision) and the supraoptoparaventricular domain of the hypothalamus. Our study helps to set up the foundations for a better understanding of medial amygdalar control of behavior in normal and abnormal conditions.

  5. A risk variant for alcoholism in the NMDA receptor affects amygdala activity during fear conditioning in humans.

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    Cacciaglia, Raffaele; Nees, Frauke; Pohlack, Sebastian T; Ruttorf, Michaela; Winkelmann, Tobias; Witt, Stephanie H; Nieratschker, Vanessa; Rietschel, Marcella; Flor, Herta

    2013-09-01

    People at high risk for alcoholism show deficits in aversive learning, as indicated by impaired electrodermal responses during fear conditioning, a basic form of associative learning that depends on the amygdala. A positive family history of alcohol dependence has also been related to decreased amygdala responses during emotional processing. In the present study we report reduced amygdala activity during the acquisition of conditioned fear in healthy carriers of a risk variant for alcoholism (rs2072450) in the NR2A subunit-containing N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor. These results indicate that rs2072450 might confer risk for alcohol dependence through deficient fear acquisition indexed by a diminished amygdala response during aversive learning, and provide a neural basis for a weak behavioral inhibition previously documented in individuals at high risk for alcohol dependence. Carriers of the risk variant additionally exhibit dampened insula activation, a finding that further strengthens our data, given the importance of this brain region in fear conditioning.

  6. Long-term pharmacological kindling increases in vitro release of IR-Met and IR-Leu-enkephalin from amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asai, M; Matamoros-Trejo, G; Linares, G

    1998-06-01

    Met-enkephalin release is increased from amygdala and striatum 1 and 15 days after pharmacological kindling with pentylenetetrazol, following potassium-induced depolarization in vitro via a Ca2+ dependent mechanism. Leu-enkephalin release was only enhanced in amygdala and striatum 1 day after the last seizure. IR-Met-enkephalin amygdala tissue content enhanced 1 and 15 days after seizure. In striatum, we found an IR-Met-enkephalin decrease 35 days after the last stimulus. IR-Leu-enkephalin amygdala tissue content enhanced 1 day after the last seizure, and no significant increases were found in striatum 1, 15 and 35 days after the last seizure. In this paper, we show that opioid peptides release is differentially enhanced in rat brain for several days after the last seizure, thus suggesting that opioid peptides may have a protective action against seizure activity.

  7. Running exercise delays neurodegeneration in amygdala and hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease (APP/PS1) transgenic mice.

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    Lin, Tzu-Wei; Shih, Yao-Hsiang; Chen, Shean-Jen; Lien, Chi-Hsiang; Chang, Chia-Yuan; Huang, Tung-Yi; Chen, Shun-Hua; Jen, Chauying J; Kuo, Yu-Min

    2015-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease. Post-mortem examination and brain imaging studies indicate that neurodegeneration is evident in the hippocampus and amygdala of very early stage AD patients. Exercise training is known to enhance hippocampus- and amygdala-associated neuronal function. Here, we investigated the effects of exercise (running) on the neuronal structure and function of the hippocampus and amygdala in APP/PS1 transgenic (Tg) mice. At 4-months-old, an age before amyloid deposition, the amygdala-associated, but not the hippocampus-associated, long-term memory was impaired in the Tg mice. The dendritic complexities of the amygdalar basolateral neurons, but not those in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 neurons, were reduced. Furthermore, the levels of BDNF/TrkB signaling molecules (i.e. p-TrkB, p-Akt and p-PKC) were reduced in the amygdala, but not in the hippocampus of the 4-month-old Tg mice. The concentrations of Aβ40 and Aβ42 in the amygdala were higher than those in the hippocampus. Ten weeks of treadmill training (from 1.5- to 4-month-old) increased the hippocampus-associated memory and dendritic arbor of the CA1 and CA3 neurons, and also restored the amygdala-associated memory and the dendritic arbor of amygdalar basolateral neurons in the Tg mice. Similarly, exercise training also increased the levels of p-TrkB, p-AKT and p-PKC in the hippocampus and amygdala. Furthermore, exercise training reduced the levels of soluble Aβ in the amygdala and hippocampus. Exercise training did not change the levels of APP or RAGE, but significantly increased the levels of LRP-1 in both brain regions of the Tg mice. In conclusion, our results suggest that tests of amygdala function should be incorporated into subject selection for early prevention trials. Long-term exercise protects neurons in the amygdala and hippocampus against AD-related degeneration, probably via enhancements of BDNF signaling pathways and Aβ clearance. Physical

  8. Stress Leads to Contrasting Effects on the Levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the Hippocampus and Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Harini Lakshminarasimhan; Sumantra Chattarji

    2012-01-01

    Recent findings on stress induced structural plasticity in rodents have identified important differences between the hippocampus and amygdala. The same chronic immobilization stress (CIS, 2 h/day) causes growth of dendrites and spines in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but dendritic atrophy in hippocampal area CA3. CIS induced morphological changes also differ in their temporal longevity--BLA hypertrophy, unlike CA3 atrophy, persists even after 21 days of stress-free recovery. Furthermore, a ...

  9. Zielstrukturen des serotonergen Systems in der laterobasalen Amygdala : Untersuchungen an Ratten und einem Mausmodell für emotionale Dysregulation

    OpenAIRE

    Bonn, Maria Roswitha

    2012-01-01

    Die Amygdala ist ein Kernkomplex, der dicht von serotonergen Afferenzen innerviert wird. Sowohl bei Tieren als auch beim Menschen spielen Interaktionen zwischen dem serotonergen System und der Amygdala bei der Verarbeitung von Reizen, die mit Angst oder Stress assoziiert sind, eine zentrale Rolle. Genetische Variationen im serotonergen System und/oder dauerhafter Stress können dazu führen, dass diese Verarbeitungsprozesse fehlerhaft ablaufen, wodurch Verhaltensanormalitäten bzw. die Entstehun...

  10. Anterior olfactory organ removal produces anxiety-like behavior and increases spontaneous neuronal firing rate in basal amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Carlos M; Gutiérrez-García, Ana G; Molina-Jiménez, Tania

    2013-09-01

    Some chemical cues may produce signs of anxiety and fear mediated by amygdala nuclei, but unknown is the role of two anterior olfactory epithelial organs, the septal and vomeronasal organs (SO-VNOs). The effects of SO-VNO removal were explored in different groups of Wistar rats using two complementary approaches: (i) the assessment of neuronal firing rate in basal and medial amygdala nuclei and (ii) behavioral testing. Fourteen days after SO-VNO removal, spontaneous activity in basal and medial amygdala nuclei in one group was determined using single-unit extracellular recordings. A separate group of rats was tested in the elevated plus maze, social interaction test, and open field test. Compared with sham-operated and intact control rats, SO-VNO removal produced a higher neuronal firing rate in the basal amygdala but not medial amygdala. In the behavioral tests, SO-VNO removal increased signs of anxiety in the elevated plus maze, did not alter locomotion, and increased self-directed behavior, reflecting anxiety-like behavior. Histological analysis showed neuronal destruction in the accessory olfactory bulb but not anterior olfactory nucleus in the SO-VNO group. The present results suggest the participation of SO-VNO/accessory olfactory bulb/basal amygdala relationships in the regulation of anxiety through a process of disinhibition.

  11. Sex-Related Hemispheric Lateralization of Amygdala Function in Emotionally Influenced Memory: An fMRI Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, Larry; Uncapher, Melina; Kilpatrick, Lisa; Alkire, Mike T.; Turner, Jessica

    2004-01-01

    The amygdala appears necessary for enhanced long-term memory associated with emotionally arousing events. Recent brain imaging investigations support this view and indicate a sex-related hemispheric lateralization exists in the amygdala relationship to memory for emotional material. This study confirms and further explores this finding. Healthy men and women underwent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while viewing a series of standardized slides that were rated by the subjects as ranging from emotionally neutral to highly arousing. Two weeks later, memory for the slides was assessed in an incidental recognition test. The results demonstrate a significantly stronger relationship in men than in women between activity of the right hemisphere amygdala and memory for those slides judged as arousing, and a significantly stronger relationship in women than in men between activity of the left hemisphere amygdala and memory for arousing slides. An ANOVA confirmed a significant interaction between sex and hemisphere regarding amygdala function in memory. These results provide the strongest evidence to date of a sex-related hemispheric lateralization of amygdala function in memory for emotional material. Furthermore, they underscore the view that investigations of neural mechanisms underlying emotionally influenced memory must anticipate, and begin to account for, the apparently substantial influence of sex. PMID:15169855

  12. Decreased functional connectivity of the amygdala in Alzheimer's disease revealed by resting-state fMRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Hongxiang [Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Liu, Yong, E-mail: yliu@nlpr.ia.ac.cn [Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); Zhou, Bo; Zhang, Zengqiang [Department of Neurology, Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); An, Ningyu [Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Wang, Pan; Wang, Luning [Department of Neurology, Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Zhang, Xi, E-mail: zhangxi@301hospital.com.cn [Department of Neurology, Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Jiang, Tianzi [Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054 (China); The Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072 (Australia)

    2013-09-15

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is thought to be a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterised by a decline of memory and other cognitive functions. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered to be the prodromal stage of AD. However, the relationship between AD and MCI and the development process remains unclear. The amygdala is one of the most vulnerable structures in the early stages of AD. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the alteration of the functional connectivity of the amygdala in AD and MCI subjects. We hypothesised that the amygdala-cortical loop is impaired in AD and that these alterations relate to the disease severity. In our study, we used resting-state functional MRIs to investigate the altered amygdala connectivity patterns in 35 AD patients, 27 MCI patients and 27 age- and gender-matched normal controls (NC). Compared with the NC, the decreased functional connectivity found in the AD patients was mainly located between the amygdala and the regions that are included in the default mode, context conditioning and extinction networks. Importantly, the decreased functional connectivity between the amygdala and some of the identified regions was positively correlated with MMSE, which indicated that the cognitive function impairment is related to an altered functional connectivity pattern.

  13. Perturbed connectivity of the amygdala and its subregions with the central executive and default mode networks in chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ying; Oathes, Desmond; Hush, Julia; Darnall, Beth; Charvat, Mylea; Mackey, Sean; Etkin, Amit

    2016-09-01

    Maladaptive responses to pain-related distress, such as pain catastrophizing, amplify the impairments associated with chronic pain. Many of these aspects of chronic pain are similar to affective distress in clinical anxiety disorders. In light of the role of the amygdala in pain and affective distress, disruption of amygdalar functional connectivity in anxiety states, and its implication in the response to noxious stimuli, we investigated amygdala functional connectivity in 17 patients with chronic low back pain and 17 healthy comparison subjects, with respect to normal targets of amygdala subregions (basolateral vs centromedial nuclei), and connectivity to large-scale cognitive-emotional networks, including the default mode network, central executive network, and salience network. We found that patients with chronic pain had exaggerated and abnormal amygdala connectivity with central executive network, which was most exaggerated in patients with the greatest pain catastrophizing. We also found that the normally basolateral-predominant amygdala connectivity to the default mode network was blunted in patients with chronic pain. Our results therefore highlight the importance of the amygdala and its network-level interaction with large-scale cognitive/affective cortical networks in chronic pain, and help link the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive theories for pain with other clinical states of affective distress.

  14. Comparing the anticonvulsant effects of low frequency stimulation of different brain sites on the amygdala kindling acquisition in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaeilpour, Khadijeh; Masoumi-Ardakani, Yaser; Sheibani, Vahid; Shojaei, Amir; Harandi, Shaahin; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad

    2013-01-01

    Low frequency stimulation (LFS) is a potential alternative therapy for epilepsy. However, it seems that the anticonvulsant effects of LFS depend on its target sites in the brain. Thus, the present study was designed to compare the anticonvulsant effects of LFS administered to amygdala, piriform cortex and substantia nigra on amygdala kindling acquisition. In control group, rats were kindled in a chronic manner (one stimulation per 24 h). In other experimental groups, animals received low-frequency stimulation (8 packages at 100 s intervals, each package contained 200 monophasic square-wave pulses, 0.1 ms pulse duration at 1 Hz andAD threshold intensity) in amygdala, piriform cortex or substantia nigra 60 seconds after the kindling stimulation, the AD duration and daily seizure stages were recorded. The obtained results showed that administration of LFS in all three regions reduced electrical and behavioral parameters of the kindling procedure. However LFS has a stronger inhibitory effect on kindling development when applied in substantia nigra compared to the amygdala and piriform cortex which reinforce the view that the substantia nigra mediates a crucial role in amygdala-kindled seizures. LFS had also greater inhibitory effects when applied to the amygdala compared to piriform cortex. Thus, it may be suggested that antiepileptogenic effect of LFS depends on its target site and different brain areas exert different inhibitory effects on kindling acquisition according to the seizure focus.

  15. Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Increased Ghrelin Receptor Signaling in the Amygdala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten; Ratner, Cecilia; Rudenko, Olga;

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Besides the well-known effects of ghrelin on adiposity and food intake regulation, the ghrelin system has been shown to regulate aspects of behavior including anxiety and stress. However, the effect of virus-mediated overexpression of the ghrelin receptor in the amygdala has not previ......BACKGROUND: Besides the well-known effects of ghrelin on adiposity and food intake regulation, the ghrelin system has been shown to regulate aspects of behavior including anxiety and stress. However, the effect of virus-mediated overexpression of the ghrelin receptor in the amygdala has...... overexpression on anxiety-related behavior before and after acute stress and measured the modulation of serotonin receptor expression. RESULTS: We found that ghrelin caused an anxiolytic-like effect in both the open field and elevated plus maze tests. Additionally, it attenuated air-puff induced stress...... axis potentially engaging the central serotonin system....

  16. Influence of DGKH variants on amygdala volume in patients with bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittel-Schneider, S; Wobrock, T; Scherk, H; Schneider-Axmann, T; Trost, S; Zilles, D; Wolf, C; Schmitt, A; Malchow, B; Hasan, A; Backens, M; Reith, W; Falkai, P; Gruber, O; Reif, A

    2015-03-01

    The diacylglycerol kinase eta (DGKH) gene, first identified in a genome-wide association study, is one of the few replicated risk genes of bipolar affective disorder (BD). Following initial positive studies, it not only was found to be associated with BD but also implicated in the etiology of other psychiatric disorders featuring affective symptoms, rendering DGKH a cross-disorder risk gene. However, the (patho-)physiological role of the encoded enzyme is still elusive. In the present study, we investigated primarily the influence of a risk haplotype on amygdala volume in patients suffering from schizophrenia or BD as well as healthy controls and four single nucleotide polymorphisms conveying risk. There was a significant association of the DGKH risk haplotype with increased amygdala volume in BD, but not in schizophrenia or healthy controls. These findings add to the notion of a role of DGKH in the pathogenesis of BD.

  17. Spatial Frequency Components of Images Modulate Neuronal Activity in Monkey Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes-Lourido, Pilar; Bermudez, M A; Romero, M C; Vicente, A F; Gonzalez, F

    2016-04-01

    Processing the spatial frequency components of an image is a crucial feature for visual perception, especially in recognition of faces. Here, we study the correlation between spatial frequency components of images of faces and neuronal activity in monkey amygdala while performing a visual recognition task. The frequency components of the images were analyzed using a fast Fourier transform for 40 spatial frequency ranges. We recorded 65 neurons showing statistically significant responses to at least one of the images used as a stimulus. A total of 37 of these neurons (n = 37) showed significant responses to at least three images, and in eight of them (8/37, 22%), we found a statistically significant correlation between neuron response and the modulus amplitude of at least one frequency range present in the images. Our results indicate that high spatial frequency and low spatial frequency components of images influence the activity of amygdala neurons.

  18. Planning activity for internally generated reward goals in monkey amygdala neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernádi, István; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Schultz, Wolfram

    2015-03-01

    The best rewards are often distant and can only be achieved by planning and decision-making over several steps. We designed a multi-step choice task in which monkeys followed internal plans to save rewards toward self-defined goals. During this self-controlled behavior, amygdala neurons showed future-oriented activity that reflected the animal's plan to obtain specific rewards several trials ahead. This prospective activity encoded crucial components of the animal's plan, including value and length of the planned choice sequence. It began on initial trials when a plan would be formed, reappeared step by step until reward receipt, and readily updated with a new sequence. It predicted performance, including errors, and typically disappeared during instructed behavior. Such prospective activity could underlie the formation and pursuit of internal plans characteristic of goal-directed behavior. The existence of neuronal planning activity in the amygdala suggests that this structure is important in guiding behavior toward internally generated, distant goals.

  19. Ganaxolone Suppression of Behavioral and Electrographic Seizures in the Mouse Amygdala Kindling Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Doodipala S.; Rogawski, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Ganaxolone (3α-hydroxy-3β-methyl-5α-pregnan-20-one), a synthetic analog of the endogenous neurosteroid allopregnanolone and a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors, may represent a new treatment approach for epilepsy. Here we demonstrate that pretreatment with ganaxolone (1.25–20 mg/kg, s.c.) causes a dose-dependent suppression of behavioral and electrographic seizures in fully amygdala kindled female mice, with nearly complete seizure protection at the highest dose tested. The ED50 for suppression of behavioral seizures was 6.6 mg/kg. The seizure suppression produced by ganaxolone was comparable to that of clonazepam (ED50, 0.1 mg/kg, s.c.). To the extent that amygdala kindling represents a model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, this study supports the utility of ganaxolone in the treatment of patients with temporal lobe seizures. PMID:20172694

  20. Increased expression of aquaporin-4 in brain tissue of amygdala-kindled rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yinghui Chen; Yongbo Zhao

    2011-01-01

    Recurrent epileptic seizures can lead to brain edema, indicating that water regulation may be perturbed by seizures.We hypothesized that the expression of the brain water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) may be upregulated in the epileptic brain.In the present study, we established the amygdala kindling model of epilepsy, and quantified AQP-4 protein and mRNA levels, using reverse transcription-PCR, immunohistochemistry and western blotting, in epileptic and control rats.We found that AQP-4 was overexpressed in the cerebral cortex of rats with epilepsy compared with controls.These findings show that AQP-4 is highly expressed in the brain of amygdala-kindled rats, suggesting that repeated seizures affect water homeostasis in the brain.

  1. Protein synthesis inhibition in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala facilitates extinction of auditory fear memory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIN XinChun; QI XueLian; YANG XiaoFei; LI BaoMing

    2007-01-01

    It is known that consolidation of fear conditioning requires de novo protein synthesis in the amygdala. However, there is controversy about the role of protein synthesis in post-retrieval extinction of fear memory. The present study investigated the effect of protein synthesis inhibition (PSI) in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) on post-retrieval extinction of auditory fear memory. Intra-BLA infusion of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin '0' h post-retrieval facilitated the extinction, but was ineffective if the memory was not retrieved. Anisomycin had no effect on the extinction when it was infused 6 h post-retrieval. The present results suggest that there exists a protein-synthesis-dependent mechanism in the BLA that retards extinction of auditory fear memory.

  2. Doublecortin-expressing cells persist in the associative cerebral cortex and amygdala in aged nonhuman primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue-mei Zhang

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available A novel population of cells that express typical immature neuronal markers including doublecortin (DCX+ has been recently identified throughout the adult cerebral cortex of relatively large mammals (guinea pig, rabbit, cat, monkey and human. These cells are more common in the associative relative to primary cortical areas and appear to develop into interneurons including type II nitrinergic neurons. Here we further describe these cells in the cerebral cortex and amygdala, in comparison with DCX+ cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, in 3 age groups of rhesus monkeys: young adult (12.3±0.2 yrs, n=3, mid-age (21.2±1.9 yrs, n=3 and aged (31.3±1.8 yrs, n=4. DCX+ cells with a heterogeneous morphology persisted in layers II/III primarily over the associative cortex and amygdala in all groups (including in two old animals with cerebral amyloid pathology, showing a parallel decline in cell density with age across regions. In contrast to the cortex and amygdala, DCX+ cells in the subgranular zone diminished in the mid-age and aged groups. DCX+ cortical cells might arrange as long tangential migratory chains in the mid-age and aged animals, with apparently distorted cell clusters seen in the aged group. Cortical DCX+ cells colocalized commonly with polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM and partially with neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA, suggesting a potential differentiation of these cells into interneuron phenotype. These data suggest a life-long role for immature interneuron-like cells in the associative cerebral cortex and amygdala in nonhuman primates.

  3. Global Prefrontal and Fronto-amygdala Dysconnectivity in Bipolar I Disorder with Psychosis History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticevic, Alan; Brumbaugh, Margaret S.; Winkler, Anderson M.; Lombardo, Lauren E.; Barrett, Jennifer; Corlett, Phillip R.; Kober, Hedy; Gruber, June; Repovs, Grega; Cole, Michael W.; Krystal, John H.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Glahn, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Background Pathophysiological models of bipolar disorder postulate that mood dysregulation arises from fronto-limbic dysfunction, marked by reduced prefrontal cortex (PFC) inhibitory control. This may occur both due to disruptions within PFC networks and abnormal inhibition over subcortical structures involved in emotional processing. However, no study has examined global PFC dysconnectivity in bipolar disorder and tested if regions with within-PFC dysconnectivity also exhibit fronto-limbic connectivity deficits. Further, no study has investigated whether such connectivity disruptions differ for bipolar patients with psychosis history, who may exhibit a more severe clinical course. Methods We collected resting-state fMRI at 3T in 68 remitted bipolar I patients (34 with psychosis history) and 51 demographically-matched healthy participants. We employed a recently developed Global Brain Connectivity method, restricted to PFC (rGBC). We also independently tested connectivity between anatomically-defined amygdala and PFC. Results Bipolar patients exhibited reduced medial PFC (mPFC) rGBC, increased amygdala-MPFC connectivity, and reduced connectivity between amygdala and dorso-lateral PFC. All effects were driven by psychosis history. Moreover, the magnitude of observed effects was significantly associated with lifetime psychotic symptom severity. Conclusions This convergence between rGBC, seed-based amygdala findings and symptom severity analyses highlights that mPFC, a core emotion regulation region, exhibits both within-PFC dysconnectivity and connectivity abnormalities with limbic structures in bipolar illness. Furthermore, lateral PFC dysconnectivity in patients with psychosis history converges with published work in schizophrenia, indicating possible shared risk factors. Observed dysconnectivity in remitted patients suggests a bipolar trait characteristic and may constitute a risk factor for phasic features of the disorder. PMID:22980587

  4. Post-training depletions of basolateral amygdala serotonin fail to disrupt discrimination, retention, or reversal learning

    OpenAIRE

    G. Jesus eOchoa; Alexandra eStolyarova; Amandeep eKaur; Evan eHart; Amador eBugarin; Alicia eIzquierdo

    2015-01-01

    In goal-directed pursuits, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical in learning about changes in the value of rewards. BLA-lesioned rats show enhanced reversal learning, a task employed to measure the flexibility of response to changes in reward. Similarly, there is a trend for enhanced discrimination learning, suggesting that BLA may modulate formation of stimulus-reward associations. There is a parallel literature on the importance of serotonin (5HT) in new stimulus-reward and reversal le...

  5. Excitatory amino acid receptors in the basolateral amygdala regulate anxiety responses in the social interaction test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajdyk, T J; Shekhar, A

    1997-08-01

    Blocking GABA(A) receptors in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) elicits increases in heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and anxiety responses by enhancing a glutamate mediated excitation. The present study was conducted to determine the role of the ionotropic glutamate receptors within the BLA in regulating HR, BP and experimental anxiety. Blocking basal glutamate excitation had no significant effect on HR or BP, but did elicit a significant anxiolytic-like effect.

  6. Integrative moral judgment: dissociating the roles of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenhav, Amitai; Greene, Joshua D

    2014-03-26

    A decade's research highlights a critical dissociation between automatic and controlled influences on moral judgment, which is subserved by distinct neural structures. Specifically, negative automatic emotional responses to prototypically harmful actions (e.g., pushing someone off of a footbridge) compete with controlled responses favoring the best consequences (e.g., saving five lives instead of one). It is unknown how such competitions are resolved to yield "all things considered" judgments. Here, we examine such integrative moral judgments. Drawing on insights from research on self-interested, value-based decision-making in humans and animals, we test a theory concerning the respective contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to moral judgment. Participants undergoing fMRI responded to moral dilemmas, separately evaluating options for their utility (Which does the most good?), emotional aversiveness (Which feels worse?), and overall moral acceptability. Behavioral data indicate that emotional aversiveness and utility jointly predict "all things considered" integrative judgments. Amygdala response tracks the emotional aversiveness of harmful utilitarian actions and overall disapproval of such actions. During such integrative moral judgments, the vmPFC is preferentially engaged relative to utilitarian and emotional assessments. Amygdala-vmPFC connectivity varies with the role played by emotional input in the task, being the lowest for pure utilitarian assessments and the highest for pure emotional assessments. These findings, which parallel those of research on self-interested economic decision-making, support the hypothesis that the amygdala provides an affective assessment of the action in question, whereas the vmPFC integrates that signal with a utilitarian assessment of expected outcomes to yield "all things considered" moral judgments.

  7. Hypothalamic vasopressinergic projections innervate central amygdala GABAergic neurons: implications for anxiety and stress coping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vito Salvador Hernandez

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The arginine-vasopressin (AVP-containing hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory neurons (VPMNNs are known for their role in hydro-electrolytic balance control via their projections to neurohypophysis. Recently, projections from these same neurons to hippocampus, habenula, and other brain regions, in which vasopressin infusion modulates contingent social and emotionally-affected behaviors, have been reported. Here, we present evidence that VPMNN collaterals also project to the amygdaloid complex, and establish synaptic connections with neurons in central amygdala (CeA. The density of AVP innervation in amygdala was substantially increased in adult rats that had experienced neonatal maternal separation (MS, consistent with our previous observations that MS enhances VPMNN number in the paraventricular (PVN and supraoptic (SON nuclei of the hypothalamus. In the CeA, V1a AVP receptor mRNA was only observed in GABAergic neurons, demonstrated by complete co-localization of V1a transcripts in neurons expressing Gad1 and Gad2 transcripts in CeA using the RNAscope method. V1b and V2 receptors mRNA were not detected, using the same method. Water-deprivation for 24 hrs, which increased the metabolic activity of VPMNNs, also increased anxiety-like behavior measured using the elevated plus maze test, and this effect was mimicked by bilateral microinfusion of VP into the CeA. Anxious behavior induced by either water deprivation or VP infusion was reversed by CeA infusion of V1a antagonist. VPMNNs are thus a newly discovered source of central amygdala inhibitory circuit modulation, through which both early-life and adult stress coping signals are conveyed from the hypothalamus to the amygdala.

  8. Pavlovian Fear Conditioning Activates a Common Pattern of Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala of Individual Brains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-12

    specific memories in the hippocampus . Our current data show the principle of a stable topography at the neuron level in the amygdala. Both the finding of...an attended novelty oddball task. Psychophysiology. 16. Veening JG, Bocker KB, Verdouw PM, Olivier B, De Jongh R, et al. (2009) Activation of the...neuronal ensembles in the human hippocampus . Curr Biol 19: 546–554. 24. Chadwick MJ, Hassabis D, Weiskopf N, Maguire EA (2010) Decoding individual episodic

  9. Epigenetic modulation of Homer1a transcription regulation in amygdala and hippocampus with pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahan, Amy L; Mou, Liping; Shah, Nirali; Hu, Jia-Hua; Worley, Paul F; Ressler, Kerry J

    2012-03-28

    The consolidation of conditioned fear involves upregulation of genes necessary for long-term memory formation. An important question remains as to whether this results in part from epigenetic regulation and chromatin modulation. We examined whether Homer1a, which is required for memory formation, is necessary for Pavlovian cued fear conditioning, whether it is downstream of BDNF-TrkB activation, and whether this pathway utilizes histone modifications for activity-dependent transcriptional regulation. We initially found that Homer1a knock-out mice exhibited deficits in cued fear conditioning (5 tone-shock presentations with 70 dB, 6 kHz tones and 0.5 s, 0.6 mA footshocks). We then demonstrated that: (1) Homer1a mRNA increases after fear conditioning in vivo within both amygdala and hippocampus of wild-type mice; (2) it increases after BDNF application to primary hippocampal and amygdala cultures in vitro; and (3) these increases are dependent on transcription and MAPK signaling. Furthermore, using chromatin immunoprecipitation we found that both in vitro and in vivo manipulations result in decreases in Homer1 promoter H3K9 methylation in amygdala cells but increases in Homer1 promoter H3 acetylation in hippocampal cells. However, no changes were observed in H4 acetylation or H3K27 dimethylation. Inhibition of histone deacetylation by sodium butyrate enhanced contextual but not cued fear conditioning and enhanced Homer1 H3 acetylation in the hippocampus. These data provide evidence for dynamic epigenetic regulation of Homer1a following BDNF-induced plasticity and during a BDNF-dependent learning process. Furthermore, upregulation of this gene may be regulated through distinct epigenetic modifications in the hippocampus and amygdala.

  10. Divergent responses of inflammatory mediators within the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex to acute psychological stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchiarelli, Haley A; Gandhi, Chaitanya P; Gray, J Megan; Morena, Maria; Hassan, Kowther I; Hill, Matthew N

    2016-01-01

    There is now a growing body of literature that indicates that stress can initiate inflammatory processes, both in the periphery and brain; however, the spatiotemporal nature of this response is not well characterized. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an acute psychological stress on changes in mRNA and protein levels of a wide range of inflammatory mediators across a broad temporal range, in key corticolimbic brain regions involved in the regulation of the stress response (amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, medial prefrontal cortex). mRNA levels of inflammatory mediators were analyzed immediately following 30min or 120min of acute restraint stress and protein levels were examined 0h through 24h post-termination of 120min of acute restraint stress using both multiplex and ELISA methods. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that exposure to acute psychological stress results in an increase in the protein level of several inflammatory mediators in the amygdala while concomitantly producing a decrease in the protein level of multiple inflammatory mediators within the medial prefrontal cortex. This pattern of changes seemed largely restricted to the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex, with stress producing few changes in the mRNA or protein levels of inflammatory mediators within the hippocampus or hypothalamus. Consistent with previous research, stress resulted in a general elevation in multiple inflammatory mediators within the circulation. These data indicate that neuroinflammatory responses to stress do not appear to be generalized across brain structures and exhibit a high degree of spatiotemporal specificity. Given the impact of inflammatory signaling on neural excitability and emotional behavior, these data may provide a platform with which to explore the importance of inflammatory signaling within the prefrontocortical-amygdala circuit in the regulation of the neurobehavioral responses to stress.

  11. Hyperglycemia decreased medial amygdala projections to medial preoptic area in experimental model of Diabetes Mellitus.

    OpenAIRE

    Yousef Mohamadi; Seyed Behnam-edin Jameie; Mohammad Akbari; Masumeh Staji; Fatemeh Moradi; Tahmineh Mokhtari; Maryam Khanehzad; Gholamreza Hassanzadeh

    2015-01-01

    In Wistar rats, reproductive behavior is controlled in a neural circuit of ventral forebrain including the medial amygdala (Me), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial preoptic area (MPOA) via perception of social odors. Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a widespread metabolic disease that affects many organs in a variety of levels. DM can cause central neuropathies such as neuronal apoptosis, dendritic atrophy, neurochemical alterations and also causes reproductive dysfunctions. So we...

  12. Self-regulation of amygdala activation using real-time FMRI neurofeedback.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vadim Zotev

    Full Text Available Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI with neurofeedback allows investigation of human brain neuroplastic changes that arise as subjects learn to modulate neurophysiological function using real-time feedback regarding their own hemodynamic responses to stimuli. We investigated the feasibility of training healthy humans to self-regulate the hemodynamic activity of the amygdala, which plays major roles in emotional processing. Participants in the experimental group were provided with ongoing information about the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD activity in the left amygdala (LA and were instructed to raise the BOLD rtfMRI signal by contemplating positive autobiographical memories. A control group was assigned the same task but was instead provided with sham feedback from the left horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (HIPS region. In the LA, we found a significant BOLD signal increase due to rtfMRI neurofeedback training in the experimental group versus the control group. This effect persisted during the Transfer run without neurofeedback. For the individual subjects in the experimental group the training effect on the LA BOLD activity correlated inversely with scores on the Difficulty Identifying Feelings subscale of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. The whole brain data analysis revealed significant differences for Happy Memories versus Rest condition between the experimental and control groups. Functional connectivity analysis of the amygdala network revealed significant widespread correlations in a fronto-temporo-limbic network. Additionally, we identified six regions--right medial frontal polar cortex, bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, left anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral superior frontal gyrus--where the functional connectivity with the LA increased significantly across the rtfMRI neurofeedback runs and the Transfer run. The findings demonstrate that healthy subjects can learn to regulate their

  13. Capsaicin-induced changes in LTP in the lateral amygdala are mediated by TRPV1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Zschenderlein

    Full Text Available The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1 channel is a well recognized polymodal signal detector that is activated by painful stimuli such as capsaicin. Here, we show that TRPV1 is expressed in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. Despite the fact that the central amygdala displays the highest neuronal density, the highest density of TRPV1 labeled neurons was found within the nuclei of the basolateral complex of the amygdala. Capsaicin specifically changed the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP in the LA in brain slices of mice depending on the anesthetic (ether, isoflurane used before euthanasia. After ether anesthesia, capsaicin had a suppressive effect on LA-LTP both in patch clamp and in extracellular recordings. The capsaicin-induced reduction of LTP was completely blocked by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS inhibitor L-NAME and was absent in neuronal NOS as well as in TRPV1 deficient mice. The specific antagonist of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1, AM 251, was also able to reduce the inhibitory effect of capsaicin on LA-LTP, suggesting that stimulation of TRPV1 provokes the generation of anandamide in the brain which seems to inhibit NO synthesis. After isoflurane anesthesia before euthanasia capsaicin caused a TRPV1-mediated increase in the magnitude of LA-LTP. Therefore, our results also indicate that the appropriate choice of the anesthetics used is an important consideration when brain plasticity and the action of endovanilloids will be evaluated. In summary, our results demonstrate that TRPV1 may be involved in the amygdala control of learning mechanisms.

  14. The amygdala to periaqueductal gray pathway: plastic changes induced by audiogenic kindling and reversal by gabapentin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tupal, S; Faingold, C L

    2012-09-26

    Repeated, periodic induction of AGS (AGS kindling) in GEPR-9s increases seizure duration and induces an additional generalized clonus phase [post-tonic clonus (PTC)], which involves expansion of the localized brainstem AGS network to the amygdala. The pathway between central amygdala (CeA) and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) is implicated in several disorders, including pain and anxiety. This pathway is also implicated in the network of audiogenic seizures (AGS) in genetically epilepsy-prone rats (GEPR-9s). We examined AGS kindling-induced changes in vlPAG extracellular action potentials evoked by electrical stimuli in CeA in awake, behaving GEPR-9s, using chronically-implanted stimulation electrodes in CeA and microwire recording electrodes in vlPAG. The effect of gabapentin, an anticonvulsant drug that is also effective in pain and anxiety disorders, on the CeA to vlPAG pathway in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s was also evaluated. Electrical stimulation in CeA evoked consistent, short latency and intensity-dependent vlPAG neuronal firing increases. However, in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s these responses showed a precipitous firing increase with increasing stimulus intensity, as compared to non-kindled GEPR-9s. Gabapentin (50mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reduced vlPAG neuronal responses to CeA stimulation to pre-AGS-kindled levels and reversibly blocked PTC in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s. These data suggest that the amygdala to vlPAG pathway may be critical in mediating the emergence of PTC during AGS kindling. The ability of gabapentin to suppress this pathway may be important for its anticonvulsant effects in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s, and this effect may contribute to gabapentin's effectiveness in anxiety and pain in which the amygdala to PAG pathway is also implicated.

  15. Transfer of epileptogenesis between perirhinal cortex and amygdala induced by electrical kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, J A; Bilkey, D K

    1997-10-10

    An interesting feature of the kindling phenomenon relates to the finding that kindling established in one region of the brain may reduce the number of stimulations required to establish the phenomenon in a second region. It has been proposed that this 'transfer' phenomenon reflects the extent to which seizures arising in two distinct regions share common underlying mechanisms. The perirhinal cortex (PRC) is currently receiving considerable attention with regard to its possible role in epileptogenesis. Although the role of this region in limbic seizures is unclear, the existence of reciprocal connections between the PRC and amygdala provides a possible neural substrate through which these two regions may influence one another. On the basis of this connectivity, one might expect a transfer between PRC kindling and amygdaloid kindling. Using kindling transfer, the present study was formulated to determine the nature of the relationship between electrical kindling of the PRC and amygdala. Animals previously kindled from the PRC to a cortico-generalised level displayed significantly more advanced behavioural seizures during the early stages of amygdaloid kindling than either controls or those partially kindled. This suggests that primary PRC kindling may facilitate amygdaloid access to systems responsible for the generation of motor seizures. Thus, in terms of kindling, the PRC and amygdala appear to be functionally related, with generalised seizures elicited from the PRC and amygdala sharing, at some level, common underlying mechanisms. Finally, the finding that seizures kindled from the dorsal component of the PRC tended to exhibit characteristics which were quite distinct from those elicited by ventral PRC kindling suggests that these two subregions may have different kindling characteristics and/or different patterns of connectivity with the amygdaloid complex.

  16. Oxytocin, Dopamine, and the Amygdala: A Neurofunctional Model of Social Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Rosenfeld, Andrew J.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Jarskog, L Fredrik

    2010-01-01

    Until recently, the social cognitive impairment in schizophrenia has been underappreciated and remains essentially untreated. Deficits in emotional processing, social perception and knowledge, theory of mind, and attributional bias may contribute to functional social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. The amygdala has been implicated as a key component of social cognitive circuitry in both animal and human studies. In addition, structural and functional studies of schizophrenia reproduci...

  17. Eyes wide shut: amygdala mediates eyes-closed effect on emotional experience with music.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yulia Lerner

    Full Text Available The perceived emotional value of stimuli and, as a consequence the subjective emotional experience with them, can be affected by context-dependent styles of processing. Therefore, the investigation of the neural correlates of emotional experience requires accounting for such a variable, a matter of an experimental challenge. Closing the eyes affects the style of attending to auditory stimuli by modifying the perceptual relationship with the environment without changing the stimulus itself. In the current study, we used fMRI to characterize the neural mediators of such modification on the experience of emotionality in music. We assumed that closed eyes position will reveal interplay between different levels of neural processing of emotions. More specifically, we focused on the amygdala as a central node of the limbic system and on its co-activation with the Locus Ceruleus (LC and Ventral Prefrontal Cortex (VPFC; regions involved in processing of, respectively, 'low', visceral-, and 'high', cognitive-related, values of emotional stimuli. Fifteen healthy subjects listened to negative and neutral music excerpts with eyes closed or open. As expected, behavioral results showed that closing the eyes while listening to emotional music resulted in enhanced rating of emotionality, specifically of negative music. In correspondence, fMRI results showed greater activation in the amygdala when subjects listened to the emotional music with eyes closed relative to eyes open. More so, by using voxel-based correlation and a dynamic causal model analyses we demonstrated that increased amygdala activation to negative music with eyes closed led to increased activations in the LC and VPFC. This finding supports a system-based model of perceived emotionality in which the amygdala has a central role in mediating the effect of context-based processing style by recruiting neural operations involved in both visceral (i.e. 'low' and cognitive (i.e. 'high' related processes

  18. The endogenous opioids related with antinociceptive effects induced by electrical stimulation into the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Takami; Tomida, Mihoko; Yamamoto, Toshiharu; Ando, Hiroshi; Takamata, Tetsuya; Kondo, Eiji; Kurasawa, Ikufumi; Asanuma, Naokazu

    2013-01-01

    Pain relief is necessary and essential for dental treatments. Recently, the relationships of pain and emotion were studied, and electrical stimulation applied to the amygdala depressed the nociceptive response in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Thus, the antinociceptive effects of the amygdala are elucidated, but its mechanism is not yet clarified. The present study was performed to investigate whether endogenous opioid system is related to the depression, and the quantitative changes of endogenous opioids induced by electrical stimulation to the amygdala. We investigated immunohistologically c-Fos expression to confirm the activated neurons, as well as the distribution and the amount of endogenous opioids (β-endorphin, enkephalin and dynorphin A) in the brain using male Wistar rats, when electrical stimulation was applied to the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) or noxious stimulation was delivered to the peripheral tissue. c-Fos expression in the ipsilateral ACC was increased by electrical stimulation to the CeA. However, only a small amount of endogenous opioids was observed in the ACC when noxious stimulation or electrical stimulation was applied. In contrast, the amount of dynorphin A in the periaqueductal gray (PAG) was increased by electrical stimulation to the CeA, and the amount of β-endorphin in the PAG was increased by noxious stimulation to the peripheral tissue. The results suggest that dynorphin A in the PAG induced by electrical stimulation to the CeA activate the descending antinociceptive system, and suggest that the nociceptive response in the ACC is depressed indirectly.

  19. Distinct frontal and amygdala correlates of change detection for facial identity and expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achaibou, Amal; Loth, Eva; Bishop, Sonia J

    2016-02-01

    Recruitment of 'top-down' frontal attentional mechanisms is held to support detection of changes in task-relevant stimuli. Fluctuations in intrinsic frontal activity have been shown to impact task performance more generally. Meanwhile, the amygdala has been implicated in 'bottom-up' attentional capture by threat. Here, 22 adult human participants took part in a functional magnetic resonance change detection study aimed at investigating the correlates of successful (vs failed) detection of changes in facial identity vs expression. For identity changes, we expected prefrontal recruitment to differentiate 'hit' from 'miss' trials, in line with previous reports. Meanwhile, we postulated that a different mechanism would support detection of emotionally salient changes. Specifically, elevated amygdala activation was predicted to be associated with successful detection of threat-related changes in expression, over-riding the influence of fluctuations in top-down attention. Our findings revealed that fusiform activity tracked change detection across conditions. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortical activity was uniquely linked to detection of changes in identity not expression, and amygdala activity to detection of changes from neutral to fearful expressions. These results are consistent with distinct mechanisms supporting detection of changes in face identity vs expression, the former potentially reflecting top-down attention, the latter bottom-up attentional capture by stimulus emotional salience.

  20. Threat of punishment motivates memory encoding via amygdala, not midbrain, interactions with the medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murty, Vishnu P; Labar, Kevin S; Adcock, R Alison

    2012-06-27

    Neural circuits associated with motivated declarative encoding and active threat avoidance have both been described, but the relative contribution of these systems to punishment-motivated encoding remains unknown. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans to examine mechanisms of declarative memory enhancement when subjects were motivated to avoid punishments that were contingent on forgetting. A motivational cue on each trial informed participants whether they would be punished or not for forgetting an upcoming scene image. Items associated with the threat of shock were better recognized 24 h later. Punishment-motivated enhancements in subsequent memory were associated with anticipatory activation of right amygdala and increases in its functional connectivity with parahippocampal and orbitofrontal cortices. On a trial-by-trial basis, right amygdala activation during the motivational cue predicted hippocampal activation during encoding of the subsequent scene; across participants, the strength of this interaction predicted memory advantages due to motivation. Of note, punishment-motivated learning was not associated with activation of dopaminergic midbrain, as would be predicted by valence-independent models of motivation to learn. These data are consistent with the view that motivation by punishment activates the amygdala, which in turn prepares the medial temporal lobe for memory formation. The findings further suggest a brain system for declarative learning motivated by punishment that is distinct from that for learning motivated by reward.

  1. Self-esteem modulates amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity in response to mortality threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagisawa, Kuniaki; Abe, Nobuhito; Kashima, Emiko S; Nomura, Michio

    2016-03-01

    Reminders of death often elicit defensive responses in individuals, especially among those with low self-esteem. Although empirical evidence indicates that self-esteem serves as a buffer against mortality threats, the precise neural mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test the hypothesis that self-esteem modulates neural responses to death-related stimuli, especially functional connectivity within the limbic-frontal circuitry, thereby affecting subsequent defensive reactions. As predicted, individuals with high self-esteem subjected to a mortality threat exhibited increased amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity during the processing of death-related stimuli compared with individuals who have low self-esteem. Further analysis revealed that stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and the VLPFC predicted a subsequent decline in responding defensively to those who threaten one's beliefs. These results suggest that the amygdala-VLPFC interaction, which is modulated by self-esteem, can reduce the defensiveness caused by death-related stimuli, thereby providing a neural explanation for why individuals with high self-esteem exhibit less defensive reactions to mortality threats.

  2. Evidence for model-based computations in the human amygdala during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prévost, Charlotte; McNamee, Daniel; Jessup, Ryan K; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.

  3. Evidence for model-based computations in the human amygdala during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Prévost

    Full Text Available Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.

  4. Neurons in the monkey amygdala detect eye contact during naturalistic social interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Clayton P; Zimmerman, Prisca E; Gothard, Katalin M

    2014-10-20

    Primates explore the visual world through eye-movement sequences. Saccades bring details of interest into the fovea, while fixations stabilize the image. During natural vision, social primates direct their gaze at the eyes of others to communicate their own emotions and intentions and to gather information about the mental states of others. Direct gaze is an integral part of facial expressions that signals cooperation or conflict over resources and social status. Despite the great importance of making and breaking eye contact in the behavioral repertoire of primates, little is known about the neural substrates that support these behaviors. Here we show that the monkey amygdala contains neurons that respond selectively to fixations on the eyes of others and to eye contact. These "eye cells" share several features with the canonical, visually responsive neurons in the monkey amygdala; however, they respond to the eyes only when they fall within the fovea of the viewer, either as a result of a deliberate saccade or as eyes move into the fovea of the viewer during a fixation intended to explore a different feature. The presence of eyes in peripheral vision fails to activate the eye cells. These findings link the primate amygdala to eye movements involved in the exploration and selection of details in visual scenes that contain socially and emotionally salient features.

  5. Role of amygdala in mediating sexual and emotional behavior via coupled nitric oxide release

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Elliott SALAMON; Tobias ESCH; George B STEFANO

    2005-01-01

    Although the anatomical configuration of the amygdala has been studied a great deal, very little research has been conducted on understanding the precise mechanism by which this emotional regulatory center exerts its control on emotional and sexual behavior. By applying research methodology from the Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, we intended to demonstrate that much of the mediated effects of the amygdala, specifically the regulation of the male and female sexual response cycles, as well as related emotional considerations, exert their effects coupled to nitric oxide (NO) release. Furthermore, by using current anatomical and histological data, we demonstrated that amygdalar tissue rich in endocannabinoid and opiate, as well as catecholamine, receptors could exert its neurochemical effects within an NOmediated paradigm. This paradigm, together with the existence of estrogen and androgen signaling within the amygdala, further lends credence to our theoretical framework. We begin with a brief anatomical and functional review of amygdalar function, and then proceed to demonstrate its relationship with NO.

  6. Oxytocin enhances amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlemann, René; Patin, Alexandra; Onur, Oezguer A; Cohen, Michael X; Baumgartner, Tobias; Metzler, Sarah; Dziobek, Isabel; Gallinat, Juergen; Wagner, Michael; Maier, Wolfgang; Kendrick, Keith M

    2010-04-07

    Oxytocin (OT) is becoming increasingly established as a prosocial neuropeptide in humans with therapeutic potential in treatment of social, cognitive, and mood disorders. However, the potential of OT as a general facilitator of human learning and empathy is unclear. The current double-blind experiments on healthy adult male volunteers investigated first whether treatment with intranasal OT enhanced learning performance on a feedback-guided item-category association task where either social (smiling and angry faces) or nonsocial (green and red lights) reinforcers were used, and second whether it increased either cognitive or emotional empathy measured by the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Further experiments investigated whether OT-sensitive behavioral components required a normal functional amygdala. Results in control groups showed that learning performance was improved when social rather than nonsocial reinforcement was used. Intranasal OT potentiated this social reinforcement advantage and greatly increased emotional, but not cognitive, empathy in response to both positive and negative valence stimuli. Interestingly, after OT treatment, emotional empathy responses in men were raised to levels similar to those found in untreated women. Two patients with selective bilateral damage to the amygdala (monozygotic twins with congenital Urbach-Wiethe disease) were impaired on both OT-sensitive aspects of these learning and empathy tasks, but performed normally on nonsocially reinforced learning and cognitive empathy. Overall these findings provide the first demonstration that OT can facilitate amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in men.

  7. Distinct frontal and amygdala correlates of change detection for facial identity and expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achaibou, Amal; Loth, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Recruitment of ‘top-down’ frontal attentional mechanisms is held to support detection of changes in task-relevant stimuli. Fluctuations in intrinsic frontal activity have been shown to impact task performance more generally. Meanwhile, the amygdala has been implicated in ‘bottom-up’ attentional capture by threat. Here, 22 adult human participants took part in a functional magnetic resonance change detection study aimed at investigating the correlates of successful (vs failed) detection of changes in facial identity vs expression. For identity changes, we expected prefrontal recruitment to differentiate ‘hit’ from ‘miss’ trials, in line with previous reports. Meanwhile, we postulated that a different mechanism would support detection of emotionally salient changes. Specifically, elevated amygdala activation was predicted to be associated with successful detection of threat-related changes in expression, over-riding the influence of fluctuations in top-down attention. Our findings revealed that fusiform activity tracked change detection across conditions. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortical activity was uniquely linked to detection of changes in identity not expression, and amygdala activity to detection of changes from neutral to fearful expressions. These results are consistent with distinct mechanisms supporting detection of changes in face identity vs expression, the former potentially reflecting top-down attention, the latter bottom-up attentional capture by stimulus emotional salience. PMID:26245835

  8. Gene Network Analysis in Amygdala following Taste Aversion Learning in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siva K. Panguluri

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Conditioned taste aversion (CTA is an adaptive behavior that benefits survival of animals including humans and also serves as a powerful model to study the neural mechanisms of learning. Memory formation is a necessary component of CTA learning and involves neural processing and regulation of gene expression in the amygdala. Many studies have been focused on the identification of intracellular signaling cascades involved in CTA, but not late responsive genes underlying the long-lasting behavioral plasticity. In this study, we explored in silico experiments to identify persistent changes in gene expression associated with CTA in rats. We used oligonucleotide microarrays to identify 248 genes in the amygdala regulated by CTA. Pathway Studio and IPA software analyses showed that the differentially expressed genes in the amygdala fall in diverse functional categories such as behavior, psychological disorders, nervous system development and function, and cell-to-cell signaling. Conditioned taste aversion is a complex behavioral trait which involves association of visceral and taste inputs, consolidation of taste and visceral information, memory formation, retrieval of stored information, and extinction phase. In silico analysis of differentially expressed genes is therefore necessary to manipulate specific phase/stage of CTA to understand the molecular insight.

  9. Increased Serotonin Transporter Expression Reduces Fear and Recruitment of Parvalbumin Interneurons of the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocchio, Marco; Fucsina, Giulia; Oikonomidis, Lydia; McHugh, Stephen B; Bannerman, David M; Sharp, Trevor; Capogna, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Genetic association studies suggest that variations in the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) transporter (5-HTT) gene are associated with susceptibility to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder. Individuals carrying high 5-HTT-expressing gene variants display low amygdala reactivity to fearful stimuli. Mice overexpressing the 5-HTT (5-HTTOE), an animal model of this human variation, show impaired fear, together with reduced fear-evoked theta oscillations in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). However, it is unclear how variation in 5-HTT gene expression impacts on the microcircuitry of the BLA to change behavior. We addressed this issue by investigating the activity of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons (PVINs), the biggest IN population in the basal amygdala (BA). We found that increased 5-HTT expression impairs the recruitment of PVINs (measured by their c-Fos immunoreactivity) during fear. Ex vivo patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that the depolarizing effect of 5-HT on PVINs was mediated by 5-HT2A receptor. In 5-HTTOE mice, 5-HT-evoked depolarization of PVINs and synaptic inhibition of principal cells, which provide the major output of the BA, were impaired. This deficit was because of reduced 5-HT2A function and not because of increased 5-HT uptake. Collectively, these findings provide novel cellular mechanisms that are likely to contribute to differences in emotional behaviors linked with genetic variations of the 5-HTT.

  10. The effects of lesions of the posterior piriform cortex on amygdala kindling in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahnschaffe, U; Ebert, U; Löscher, W

    1993-07-01

    The piriform cortex (PC) is thought to be critically involved in the genesis of forebrain (limbic type) seizures, including limbic kindled seizures. More recent studies have shown that the posterior PC is particularly sensitive to kindling stimulation, suggesting that the posterior PC contains specific generating sites which may be important for the stepwise progression of kindling. In the present experiments, we used microinjections of ibotenate to study the effect of selective lesions of the posterior PC on amygdala kindling in rats. Large unilateral lesions of the posterior PC and adjacent endopiriform nucleus markedly decreased the susceptibility of the ipsilateral basolateral amygdala to electrical stimulation, thus indicating that the posterior PC may normally contribute to regulation of physiologic excitability in amygdala. During kindling, rats with large lesions of the PC stayed longer in the initial phase of kindling (stage 1) than sham-lesioned controls, consistent with involvement of the posterior PC in the early stages of seizure propagation during kindling acquisition. However, the PC lesions were not capable of blocking or even severely retarding kindling. Following kindling development, rats with large lesions of the posterior PC had significantly higher focal seizure thresholds than kindled rats without lesion or rats with only small PC lesions, which suggests that the posterior PC is involved in the mechanisms which are responsible for the marked increase in seizure susceptibility induced by kindling. Taken together, the data substantiate that PC structures play a facilitatory role in kindling.

  11. Amygdala Kindling Alters Estrus Cycle and Ovarian Morphology in the Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Juan; Zhang, Lingwu; Wang, Feng; Liu, Dan; Li, P Andy; Sun, Tao

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study is to explore the effects of amygdala kindling on estrus cycle and ovarian morphology. Thirty-five female rats at the age of 8 weeks were randomly designated to electrode kindled, sham-kindled, and normal controls. Kindled rats were implanted with kindling electrodes in the left basolateral amygdala and kindled by brief suprathreshold stimulations with a bipolar electrode. Estrous cycles were daily monitored through vaginal smears. Electrographic and behavioral seizures were recorded and ovarian morphology was evaluated by light and electron microscopies. Our results showed that the kindled rats lost their ovarian periodicity displayed significant ovarian enlargement. H&E staining revealed increased number of growing follicles and total follicles, as well as polycysts in the ovaries of the kindled animals compared to sham and control animals. Ultrastructural study detected numerous apoptotic granulosa cells in growing follicles and thecal cell hyperplasia with secretary granules in the thecal cells in the kindled rats. The results suggest that amygdala kindling is a risk factor for the development of polycystic ovary syndrome.

  12. Involvement of central TRPV1 receptors in pentylenetetrazole and amygdala-induced kindling in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirazi, Mohsen; Izadi, Mahin; Amin, Masoud; Rezvani, Mohammad Ebrahim; Roohbakhsh, Ali; Shamsizadeh, Ali

    2014-08-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a non-selective cation channel that is involved in modulation of diverse physiological processes. The role of this receptor in epilepsy has not been studied well. Therefore, we investigated the role of central TRPV1 receptors on the development of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and amygdala-induced kindling in rats. Male Wistar rats received subconvulsive dose of PTZ intraperitoneally, every other day. TRPV1 receptor agonist, OLDA and its antagonist, AMG-9810 were injected intracerebroventricularly 30 min prior to PTZ administration. In electrical kindling, stimulating and recording electrodes were implanted in the right amygdala of male rats. After kindling, the effect of TRPV1 receptor agonist or antagonist on afterdischarge duration (ADD), latency to the onset of bilateral forelimb clonuses (S4L) and duration of loss of equilibrium (stage 5 seizures, S5D) were measured. The results demonstrated that, OLDA at the doses of 0.01, 0.1 and 1 μg/rat, significantly accelerated the incidence of all seizure stages, increased S5D and decreased S4L in the PTZ model of kindling. Also, in amygdala kindling, S5D and ADD were significantly reduced following the administration of AMG-9810. In contrast, OLDA significantly aggravated the indices of seizure in both models of epileptic seizure. This study demonstrated that central TRPV1 receptors may be involved in the development of electrical and PTZ-induced kindling.

  13. Role of the amygdala in the hippocampal kindling effect of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, H; Aihara, H; Watanabe, S; Yamamoto, T; Ueki, S

    1985-02-01

    In the present experiment, the role of the amygdala in the formation of the hippocampal kindling effect was investigated in rats with chronic electrode implants. The number of trials required for the establishment of hippocampal kindling was significantly shortened by either ipsilateral or bilateral amygdaloid lesions. The high amplitude spike waves in the frontal cortex and reticular formation appeared earlier in the amygdaloid lesioned rats than in the sham lesioned rats. It is suggested that the amygdala has an inhibitory effect on the development of the hippocampal kindling effect. On the other hand, either the ipsilateral or bilateral amygdaloid lesions after the establishment of hippocampal kindling inhibited the induction of generalized convulsion by hippocampal stimulation. Three and 8 repeated daily stimulations were needed to reestablish the hippocampal kindling effect after the ipsilateral and bilateral amygdaloid lesions, respectively. These results do not coincide with the above-mentioned results indicating that the amygdala has an inhibitory role in the formation of hippocampal kindling. It is suggested that the neuronal circuits involved in the formation of hippocampal kindling in the amygdaloid lesioned rats are different from those in the intact rats.

  14. The mixed serotonin receptor agonist psilocybin reduces threat-induced modulation of amygdala connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraehenmann, Rainer; Schmidt, André; Friston, Karl; Preller, Katrin H; Seifritz, Erich; Vollenweider, Franz X

    2016-01-01

    Stimulation of serotonergic neurotransmission by psilocybin has been shown to shift emotional biases away from negative towards positive stimuli. We have recently shown that reduced amygdala activity during threat processing might underlie psilocybin's effect on emotional processing. However, it is still not known whether psilocybin modulates bottom-up or top-down connectivity within the visual-limbic-prefrontal network underlying threat processing. We therefore analyzed our previous fMRI data using dynamic causal modeling and used Bayesian model selection to infer how psilocybin modulated effective connectivity within the visual-limbic-prefrontal network during threat processing. First, both placebo and psilocybin data were best explained by a model in which threat affect modulated bidirectional connections between the primary visual cortex, amygdala, and lateral prefrontal cortex. Second, psilocybin decreased the threat-induced modulation of top-down connectivity from the amygdala to primary visual cortex, speaking to a neural mechanism that might underlie putative shifts towards positive affect states after psilocybin administration. These findings may have important implications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

  15. The mixed serotonin receptor agonist psilocybin reduces threat-induced modulation of amygdala connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer Kraehenmann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stimulation of serotonergic neurotransmission by psilocybin has been shown to shift emotional biases away from negative towards positive stimuli. We have recently shown that reduced amygdala activity during threat processing might underlie psilocybin's effect on emotional processing. However, it is still not known whether psilocybin modulates bottom-up or top-down connectivity within the visual-limbic-prefrontal network underlying threat processing. We therefore analyzed our previous fMRI data using dynamic causal modeling and used Bayesian model selection to infer how psilocybin modulated effective connectivity within the visual–limbic–prefrontal network during threat processing. First, both placebo and psilocybin data were best explained by a model in which threat affect modulated bidirectional connections between the primary visual cortex, amygdala, and lateral prefrontal cortex. Second, psilocybin decreased the threat-induced modulation of top-down connectivity from the amygdala to primary visual cortex, speaking to a neural mechanism that might underlie putative shifts towards positive affect states after psilocybin administration. These findings may have important implications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

  16. Consequences of amygdala kindling and repeated withdrawal from ethanol on amphetamine-induced behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripley, Tamzin L; Dunworth, Sarah J; Stephens, David N

    2002-09-01

    It has been shown previously that chronic ethanol treatment in mice leads to accelerated behavioural sensitization to psychomotor stimulants [Manley & Little (1997) J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 281, 1330-1339], whilst repeated experience of ethanol withdrawal sensitizes pathways underlying seizure activity (Becker & Hale (1993) Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res., 17, 94-98]. The aim of the current experiment was to investigate the consequences of repeated withdrawal from ethanol on amphetamine-induced behaviours in the rat and compare this with animals with electrical kindling of the amygdala, a procedure that has been shown to enhance alcohol withdrawal seizures [Pinel et al. (1975) Can. J. Neurol. Sci., 2, 467-475]. For the kindling experiments, electrodes were surgically implanted in the left basolateral amygdala and were stimulated daily at the afterdischarge threshold until a criterion of three consecutive stage 5 seizures was reached. Fully kindled rats showed a marginally significant reduction in sensitivity to the locomotor stimulant effects of acute amphetamine compared with sham and partially kindled rats which had experienced subthreshold stimulation of the amygdala. Sham and partially kindled rats sensitized readily to the locomotor activating effects of amphetamine (0.125 mg/kg) following repeated treatments, but the fully kindled rats did not. Fully kindled rats also failed to show place preference conditioning to amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg). Rats, withdrawn three times from chronic ethanol (liquid-diet), kindled more quickly to PTZ (30 mg/kg, i.p.) than rats with the same overall exposure to ethanol (24 days) followed by a single withdrawal or control animals. However, there was no difference in the locomotor stimulating effects of acute amphetamine (0.25-1 mg/kg, i.p.), the rate of sensitization to amphetamine (0.125 mg/kg, i.p.) or amphetamine induced conditioned place preference (1 mg/kg, i.p.). These observations suggest that, in rats, repeated withdrawal from a

  17. Are plasma oxytocin and vasopressin levels reflective of amygdala activation during the processing of negative emotions? A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kosuke eMotoki

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Plasma oxytocin (OT and arginine vasopressin (AVP are associated with individual differences in emotional responses and behaviors. The amygdala is considered to be an important brain region for regulating emotion-based behavior, with OT and AVP modulating activity in the amygdala during the processing of negative emotions. In particular, increased OT levels may diminish amygdala activation (anxiolytic effects and enhanced AVP levels may augment amygdala activation (anxiogenic effects when negative emotions are processed. A growing body of research has shown that the effects of OT and AVP are modulated by sex: the aforementioned anxiolytic effects of OT and the anxiogenic effects of AVP occur in men, but not in women. However, we have little knowledge regarding the biological mechanisms underlying OT and AVP plasma levels or their respective anxiogenic and anxiolytic effects; similarly, little is known about the causes and nature of sex differences related to these neuropeptides and their effects on emotional processing. In the current study, we focused on the neural functions associated with the biological mechanisms underlying such effects. We hypothesized that amygdala activation would correlate with plasma OT (anxiolytic effects and AVP (anxiogenic effects levels because the amygdala is thought to affect the coordinated release of these neuropeptides following affective experiences. We further hypothesized that the effects would be modulated by sex. We assessed 51 participants (male and female using a paradigm involving negative emotion in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging and measurements of plasma OT and AVP levels. We determined that increased plasma AVP levels were positively associated with amygdala activation (anxiogenic effects in men, but not in women. These findings highlight the potential underlying neural mechanisms of plasma AVP levels in men.

  18. Amygdala habituation to emotional faces in adolescents with internalizing disorders, adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related PTSD and healthy adolescents

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    Bianca G. van den Bulk

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related post-traumatic stress disorder (CSA-related PTSD show a large overlap in symptomatology. In addition, brain research indicated hyper-responsiveness and sustained activation instead of habituation of amygdala activation to emotional faces in both groups. Little is known, however, about whether the same patterns of amygdala habituation are present in these two groups. The current study examined habituation patterns of amygdala activity to emotional faces (fearful, happy and neutral in adolescents with a DSM-IV depressive and/or anxiety disorder (N = 25, adolescents with CSA-related PTSD (N = 19 and healthy controls (N = 26. Behaviourally, the adolescents from the internalizing and CSA-related PTSD group reported more anxiety to fearful and neutral faces than adolescents from the control group and adolescents from the CSA-related PTSD group reacted slower compared to the internalizing group. At the whole brain level, there was a significant interaction between time and group within the left amygdala. Follow-up ROI analysis showed elevated initial activity in the amygdala and rapid habituation in the CSA-related PTSD group compared to the internalizing group. These findings suggest that habituation patterns of amygdala activation provide additional information on problems with emotional face processing. Furthermore, the results suggest there are differences in the underlying neurobiological mechanisms related to emotional face processing for adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with CSA-related PTSD. Possibly CSA-related PTSD is characterized by a stronger primary emotional response driven by the amygdala.

  19. Basolateral amygdala response to food cues in the absence of hunger is associated with weight gain susceptibility.

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    Sun, Xue; Kroemer, Nils B; Veldhuizen, Maria G; Babbs, Amanda E; de Araujo, Ivan E; Gitelman, Darren R; Sherwin, Robert S; Sinha, Rajita; Small, Dana M

    2015-05-20

    In rodents, food-predictive cues elicit eating in the absence of hunger (Weingarten, 1983). This behavior is disrupted by the disconnection of amygdala pathways to the lateral hypothalamus (Petrovich et al., 2002). Whether this circuit contributes to long-term weight gain is unknown. Using fMRI in 32 healthy individuals, we demonstrate here that the amygdala response to the taste of a milkshake when sated but not hungry positively predicts weight change. This effect is independent of sex, initial BMI, and total circulating ghrelin levels, but it is only present in individuals who do not carry a copy of the A1 allele of the Taq1A polymorphism. In contrast, A1 allele carriers, who have decreased D2 receptor density (Blum et al., 1996), show a positive association between caudate response and weight change. Regardless of genotype, however, dynamic causal modeling supports unidirectional gustatory input from basolateral amygdala (BLA) to hypothalamus in sated subjects. This finding suggests that, as in rodents, external cues gain access to the homeostatic control circuits of the human hypothalamus via the amygdala. In contrast, during hunger, gustatory inputs enter the hypothalamus and drive bidirectional connectivity with the amygdala. These findings implicate the BLA-hypothalamic circuit in long-term weight change related to nonhomeostatic eating and provide compelling evidence that distinct brain mechanisms confer susceptibility to weight gain depending upon individual differences in dopamine signaling.

  20. Enduring good memories of infant trauma: rescue of adult neurobehavioral deficits via amygdala serotonin and corticosterone interaction.

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    Rincón-Cortés, Millie; Barr, Gordon A; Mouly, Anne Marie; Shionoya, Kiseko; Nuñez, Bestina S; Sullivan, Regina M

    2015-01-20

    Children form a strong attachment to their caregiver--even when that caretaker is abusive. Paradoxically, despite the trauma experienced within this relationship, the child develops a preference for trauma-linked cues--a phenomenon known as trauma bonding. Although infant trauma compromises neurobehavioral development, the mechanisms underlying the interaction between infant trauma bonding (i.e., learned preference for trauma cues) and the long-term effects of trauma (i.e., depressive-like behavior, amygdala dysfunction) are unknown. We modeled infant trauma bonding by using odor-shock conditioning in rat pups, which engages the attachment system and produces a life-long preference for the odor that was paired with shock. In adulthood, this trauma-linked odor rescues depressive-like behavior and amygdala dysfunction, reduces corticosterone (CORT) levels, and exerts repair-related changes at the molecular level. Amygdala microarray after rescue implicates serotonin (5-HT) and glucocorticoids (GCs), and a causal role was verified through microinfusions. Blocking amygdala 5-HT eliminates the rescue effect; increasing amygdala 5-HT and blocking systemic CORT mimics it. Our findings suggest that infant trauma cues share properties with antidepressants and safety signals and provide insight into mechanisms by which infant trauma memories remain powerful throughout life.

  1. Amygdala kindling disrupts trace and delay fear conditioning with parallel changes in Fos protein expression throughout the limbic brain.

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    Botterill, J J; Fournier, N M; Guskjolen, A J; Lussier, A L; Marks, W N; Kalynchuk, L E

    2014-04-18

    Amygdala kindling is well known to increase unconditioned fear and anxiety. However, relatively little is known about whether this form of kindling causes functional changes within the neural circuitry that mediates fear learning and the retrieval of fear memories. To address this issue, we examined the effect of short- (i.e., 30 stimulations) and long-term (i.e., 99 stimulations) amygdala kindling in rats on trace and delay fear conditioning, which are aversive learning tasks that rely predominantly on the hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. After memory retrieval, we analyzed the pattern of neural activity with Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos. We found that kindling had no effect on acquisition of the trace fear conditioning task but it did selectively impair retrieval of this fear memory. In contrast, kindling disrupted both acquisition and retrieval of fear memory in the delay fear conditioning task. We also found that kindling-induced impairments in memory retrieval were accompanied by decreased Fos expression in several subregions of the hippocampus, parahippocampus, and amygdala. Interestingly, decreased freezing in the trace conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal and parahippocampal regions whereas decreased freezing in the delay conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal, parahippocampal, and amygdaloid circuits. Overall, these results suggest that amygdala kindling promotes functional changes in brain regions involved in specific types of fear learning and memory.

  2. Long-lasting attenuation of amygdala-kindled seizures after convection-enhanced delivery of botulinum neurotoxins a and B into the amygdala in rats.

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    Gasior, Maciej; Tang, Rebecca; Rogawski, Michael A

    2013-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are well recognized to cause potent, selective, and long-lasting neuroparalytic actions by blocking cholinergic neurotransmission to muscles and glands. There is evidence that BoNT isoforms can also inhibit neurotransmission in the brain. In this study, we examined whether locally delivered BoNT/A and BoNT/B can attenuate kindling measures in amygdala-kindled rats. Male rats were implanted with a combination infusion cannula-stimulating electrode assembly into the right basolateral amygdala. Fully kindled animals received a single infusion of vehicle or BoNT/A or BoNT/B at doses of 1, 3.2, or 10 ng over a 20-minute period by convection-enhanced delivery. Electrographic (EEG) and behavioral kindling measures were determined at selected times during the 3- to 64-day period after the infusion. BoNT/B produced a dose-dependent elevation in after-discharge threshold and duration and a reduction in the seizure stage and duration of behavioral seizures that lasted for up to 50 days after infusion. BoNT/A had similar effects on EEG measures; behavioral seizure measures were also reduced, but the effect did not reach statistical significance. The effects of both toxins on EEG and behavioral measures progressively resolved during the latter half of the observation period. Animals gained weight normally, maintained normal body temperature, and did not show altered behavior. This study demonstrates for the first time that locally delivered BoNTs can produce prolonged inhibition of brain excitability, indicating that they could be useful for the treatment of brain disorders, including epilepsy, that would benefit from long-lasting suppression of neurotransmission within a circumscribed brain region.

  3. Individual attachment style modulates human amygdala and striatum activation during social appraisal.

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    Pascal Vrticka

    Full Text Available Adult attachment style refers to individual personality traits that strongly influence emotional bonds and reactions to social partners. Behavioral research has shown that adult attachment style reflects profound differences in sensitivity to social signals of support or conflict, but the neural substrates underlying such differences remain unsettled. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, we examined how the three classic prototypes of attachment style (secure, avoidant, anxious modulate brain responses to facial expressions conveying either positive or negative feedback about task performance (either supportive or hostile in a social game context. Activation of striatum and ventral tegmental area was enhanced to positive feedback signaled by a smiling face, but this was reduced in participants with avoidant attachment, indicating relative impassiveness to social reward. Conversely, a left amygdala response was evoked by angry faces associated with negative feedback, and correlated positively with anxious attachment, suggesting an increased sensitivity to social punishment. Secure attachment showed mirror effects in striatum and amygdala, but no other specific correlate. These results reveal a critical role for brain systems implicated in reward and threat processing in the biological underpinnings of adult attachment style, and provide new support to psychological models that have postulated two separate affective dimensions to explain these individual differences, centered on the ventral striatum and amygdala circuits, respectively. These findings also demonstrate that brain responses to face expressions are not driven by facial features alone but determined by the personal significance of expressions in current social context. By linking fundamental psychosocial dimensions of adult attachment with brain function, our results do not only corroborate their biological bases but also help understand their impact on behavior.

  4. Ensemble coding of context-dependent fear memory in the amygdala

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    Caitlin A Orsini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescent in situ hybridization (catFISH. This method exploits the intracellular expression profile of the immediate early gene, Arc, to visualize neuronal activation patterns to two different behavioral experiences. Rats were fear conditioned in one context and extinguished in another; twenty-four hours later, they were sequentially exposed to the CS in the extinction context and another context. Control rats were also tested in each context, but were never extinguished. We assessed Arc mRNA expression within the basal amygdala (BA, lateral amygdala (LA, ventral hippocampus (VH, prelimbic cortex (PL and infralimbic cortex (IL. We observed that the sequential retention tests induced context-dependent patterns of Arc expression in the BA, LA, and IL of extinguished rats; this was not observed in non-extinguished controls. In general, non-extinguished animals had proportionately greater numbers of non-selective (double-labeled neurons than extinguished animals. Collectively, these findings suggest that extinction learning results in pattern separation, particularly within the BA, in which unique neuronal ensembles represent fear memories after extinction.

  5. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

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    Melissa S Monsey

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  6. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

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    Monsey, Melissa S; Ota, Kristie T; Akingbade, Irene F; Hong, Ellie S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM) is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM) is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP) at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  7. Synaptic maturation at cortical projections to the lateral amygdala in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

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    Frédéric Gambino

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome (RTT is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2--methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life.

  8. The Role of the Subgenual Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Amygdala in Environmental Sensitivity to Infant Crying

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    Mutschler, Isabella; Ball, Tonio; Kirmse, Ursula; Wieckhorst, Birgit; Pluess, Michael; Klarhöfer, Markus; Meyer, Andrea H.; Wilhelm, Frank H.; Seifritz, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Newborns and infants communicate their needs and physiological states through crying and emotional facial expressions. Little is known about individual differences in responding to infant crying. Several theories suggest that people vary in their environmental sensitivity with some responding generally more and some generally less to environmental stimuli. Such differences in environmental sensitivity have been associated with personality traits, including neuroticism. This study investigated whether neuroticism impacts neuronal, physiological, and emotional responses to infant crying by investigating blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a large sample of healthy women (N = 102) with simultaneous skin conductance recordings. Participants were repeatedly exposed to a video clip that showed crying infants and emotional responses (valence, arousal, and irritation) were assessed after every video clip presentation. Increased BOLD signal during the perception of crying infants was found in brain regions that are associated with emotional responding, the amygdala and anterior insula. Significant BOLD signal decrements (i.e., habituation) were found in the fusiform gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, Broca’s homologue on the right hemisphere, (laterobasal) amygdala, and hippocampus. Individuals with high neuroticism showed stronger activation in the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) when exposed to infant crying compared to individuals with low neuroticism. In contrast to our prediction we found no evidence that neuroticism impacts fMRI-based measures of habituation. Individuals with high neuroticism showed elevated skin conductance responses, experienced more irritation, and perceived infant crying as more unpleasant. The results support the hypothesis that individuals high in neuroticism are more emotionally responsive, experience more negative emotions, and

  9. Abnormal anatomical connectivity between the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in conduct disorder.

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    Luca Passamonti

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Previous research suggested that structural and functional abnormalities within the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex contribute to the pathophysiology of Conduct Disorder (CD. Here, we investigated whether the integrity of the white-matter pathways connecting these regions is abnormal and thus may represent a putative neurobiological marker for CD. METHODS: Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI was used to investigate white-matter microstructural integrity in male adolescents with childhood-onset CD, compared with healthy controls matched in age, sex, intelligence, and socioeconomic status. Two approaches were employed to analyze DTI data: voxel-based morphometry of fractional anisotropy (FA, an index of white-matter integrity, and virtual dissection of white-matter pathways using tractography. RESULTS: Adolescents with CD displayed higher FA within the right external capsule relative to controls (T = 6.08, P<0.05, Family-Wise Error, whole-brain correction. Tractography analyses showed that FA values within the uncinate fascicle (connecting the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex were abnormally increased in individuals with CD relative to controls. This was in contrast with the inferior frontal-occipital fascicle, which showed no significant group differences in FA. The finding of increased FA in the uncinate fascicle remained significant when factoring out the contribution of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. There were no group differences in the number of streamlines in either of these anatomical tracts. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence that CD is associated with white-matter microstructural abnormalities in the anatomical tract that connects the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex, the uncinate fascicle. These results implicate abnormal maturation of white-matter pathways which are fundamental in the regulation of emotional behavior in CD.

  10. Amygdala nuclei critical for emotional learning exhibit unique gene expression patterns.

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    Partin, Alexander C; Hosek, Matthew P; Luong, Jonathan A; Lella, Srihari K; Sharma, Sachein A R; Ploski, Jonathan E

    2013-09-01

    The amygdala is a heterogeneous, medial temporal lobe structure that has been implicated in the formation, expression and extinction of emotional memories. This structure is composed of numerous nuclei that vary in cytoarchitectonics and neural connections. In particular the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA), central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), and the basal (B) nucleus contribute an essential role to emotional learning. However, to date it is still unclear to what extent these nuclei differ at the molecular level. Therefore we have performed whole genome gene expression analysis on these nuclei to gain a better understanding of the molecular differences and similarities among these nuclei. Specifically the LA, CeA and B nuclei were laser microdissected from the rat brain, and total RNA was isolated from these nuclei and subjected to RNA amplification. Amplified RNA was analyzed by whole genome microarray analysis which revealed that 129 genes are differentially expressed among these nuclei. Notably gene expression patterns differed between the CeA nucleus and the LA and B nuclei. However gene expression differences were not considerably different between the LA and B nuclei. Secondary confirmation of numerous genes was performed by in situ hybridization to validate the microarray findings, which also revealed that for many genes, expression differences among these nuclei were consistent with the embryological origins of these nuclei. Knowing the stable gene expression differences among these nuclei will provide novel avenues of investigation into how these nuclei contribute to emotional arousal and emotional learning, and potentially offer new genetic targets to manipulate emotional learning and memory.

  11. The Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Phase Synchronization during Epileptogenesis in Amygdala-Kindling Mice

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    Gong, Hai-Qing; Liang, Pei-Ji; Zhang, Pu-Ming; Lu, Qin-Chi

    2016-01-01

    The synchronization among the activities of neural populations in functional regions is one of the most important electrophysiological phenomena in epileptic brains. The spatiotemporal dynamics of phase synchronization was investigated to reveal the reciprocal interaction between different functional regions during epileptogenesis. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded simultaneously from the basolateral amygdala (BLA), the cornu ammonis 1 of hippocampus (CA1) and the mediodorsal nucleus of thalamus (MDT) in the mouse amygdala-kindling models during the development of epileptic seizures. The synchronization of LFPs was quantified between BLA, CA1 and MDT using phase-locking value (PLV). During amygdala kindling, behavioral changes (from stage 0 to stage 5) of mice were accompanied by after-discharges (ADs) of similar waveforms appearing almost simultaneously in CA1, MDT, as well as BLA. AD durations were positively related to the intensity of seizures. During seizures at stages 1~2, PLVs remained relatively low and increased dramatically shortly after the termination of the seizures; by contrast, for stages 3~5, PLVs remained a relatively low level during the initial period but increased dramatically before the seizure termination. And in the theta band, the degree of PLV enhancement was positively associated with seizure intensity. The results suggested that during epileptogenesis, the functional regions were kept desynchronized rather than hyper-synchronized during either the initial or the entire period of the seizures; so different dynamic patterns of phase synchronization may be involved in different periods of the epileptogenesis, and this might also reflect that during seizures at different stages, the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of phase synchronization were different. PMID:27100891

  12. Medial amygdala lesions selectively block aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer in rats.

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    Margaret Grace McCue

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Pavlovian conditioned stimuli (CSs play an important role in the reinforcement and motivation of instrumental active avoidance (AA. Conditioned threats can also invigorate ongoing AA responding (aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer or PIT. The neural circuits mediating AA are poorly understood, although lesion studies suggest that lateral, basal and central amygdala nuclei, as well as infralimbic prefrontal cortex, make key, and sometimes opposing, contributions. We recently completed an extensive analysis of brain c-Fos expression in good vs. poor avoiders following an AA test (Martinez et al 2013, Learning and Memory. This analysis identified medial amygdala (MeA as a potentially important region for Pavlovian motivation of instrumental actions. MeA is known to mediate defensive responding to innate threats as well as social behaviors, but its role in mediating aversive Pavlovian-instrumental interactions is unknown. We evaluated the effect of MeA lesions on Pavlovian conditioning, Sidman two-way AA conditioning (shuttling and aversive PIT in rats. Mild footshocks served as the unconditioned stimulus in all conditioning phases. MeA lesions had no effect on AA but blocked the expression of aversive PIT and 22 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in the AA context. Interestingly, MeA lesions failed to affect Pavlovian freezing to discrete threats but reduced freezing to contextual threats when assessed outside of the AA chamber. These findings differentiate MeA from lateral and central amygdala, as lesions of these nuclei disrupt Pavlovian freezing and aversive PIT, but have opposite effects on AA performance. Taken together, these results suggest that MeA plays a selective role in the motivation of instrumental avoidance by general or uncertain Pavlovian threats.

  13. Hypothalamic Vasopressinergic Projections Innervate Central Amygdala GABAergic Neurons: Implications for Anxiety and Stress Coping

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    Hernández, Vito S.; Hernández, Oscar R.; Perez de la Mora, Miguel; Gómora, María J.; Fuxe, Kjell; Eiden, Lee E.; Zhang, Limei

    2016-01-01

    The arginine-vasopressin (AVP)-containing hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory neurons (VPMNNs) are known for their role in hydro-electrolytic balance control via their projections to the neurohypophysis. Recently, projections from these same neurons to hippocampus, habenula and other brain regions in which vasopressin infusion modulates contingent social and emotionally-affected behaviors, have been reported. Here, we present evidence that VPMNN collaterals also project to the amygdaloid complex, and establish synaptic connections with neurons in central amygdala (CeA). The density of AVP innervation in amygdala was substantially increased in adult rats that had experienced neonatal maternal separation (MS), consistent with our previous observations that MS enhances VPMNN number in the paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei of the hypothalamus. In the CeA, V1a AVP receptor mRNA was only observed in GABAergic neurons, demonstrated by complete co-localization of V1a transcripts in neurons expressing Gad1 and Gad2 transcripts in CeA using the RNAscope method. V1b and V2 receptor mRNAs were not detected, using the same method. Water-deprivation (WD) for 24 h, which increased the metabolic activity of VPMNNs, also increased anxiety-like behavior measured using the elevated plus maze (EPM) test, and this effect was mimicked by bilateral microinfusion of AVP into the CeA. Anxious behavior induced by either WD or AVP infusion was reversed by CeA infusion of V1a antagonist. VPMNNs are thus a newly discovered source of CeA inhibitory circuit modulation, through which both early-life and adult stress coping signals are conveyed from the hypothalamus to the amygdala. PMID:27932956

  14. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in intercalated amygdala neurons and the extinction of conditioned fear responses.

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    Royer, S; Paré, D

    2002-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning is believed to result from potentiation of conditioned synaptic inputs in the basolateral amygdala. That is, the conditioned stimulus would excite more neurons in the central nucleus and, via their projections to the brainstem and hypothalamus, evoke fear responses. However, much data suggests that extinction of fear responses does not depend on the reversal of these changes but on a parallel NMDA-dependent learning that competes with the first one. Because they control impulse traffic from the basolateral amygdala to the central nucleus, GABAergic neurons of the intercalated cell masses are ideally located to implement this second learning. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study shows that low- and high-frequency stimulation of basolateral afferents respectively induce long-term depression (LTD) and potentiation (LTP) of responses in intercalated cells. Moreover, induction of LTP and LTD is prevented by application of an NMDA antagonist. To determine how these activity-dependent changes are expressed, we tested whether LTD and LTP induction are associated with modifications in paired-pulse facilitation, an index of transmitter release probability. Only LTP induction was associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation. Depotentiation of previously potentiated synapses did not revert the modification in paired pulse facilitation, suggesting that LTP is associated with presynaptic alterations, but that LTD and depotentiation depend on postsynaptic changes. Taken together, our results suggest that basolateral synapses onto intercalated neurons can express NMDA-dependent LTP and LTD, consistent with the possibility that intercalated neurons are a critical locus of plasticity for the extinction of conditioned fear responses. Ultimately, these plastic events may prevent conditioned amygdala responses from exciting neurons of the central nucleus, and thus from evoking conditioned fear responses.

  15. Activation of adenosine receptor potentiates the anticonvulsant effect of phenytoin against amygdala kindled seizures.

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    Sun, Zhen; Zhong, Xiao-Ling; Zong, Yu; Wu, Zhong-Chen; Zhang, Qun; Yu, Jin-Tai; Tan, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Drug resistance in epilepsy is considered as a complicated and multifactorial problem. Poor penetration of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) across blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the brain, which results in insufficient level of the drugs at the targeted brain region, has been discussed as one mechanism contributing to pharmacoresistance of epilepsies. Therefore, modulating permeability of BBB is the effective treatment strategy since it facilitates the entry of AEDs into the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, signaling through receptors for the adenosine has been identified as a potent modulator of BBB permeability. This paper aimed to investigate the effects of auxiliary application of adenosine receptor (AR) agonist on amygdala-kindled seizures in adult male Wistar rats. When fully kindled seizures were achieved by daily electrical stimulation of the amygdala, rats were randomly divided into three groups: control, phenytoin, and phenytoin (PHT)+5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA) groups. NECA (0.08 mg/kg, i.v.) was applied to the PHT+NECA group after the administration of PHT (75 mg/kg, i.p. on the first day; 50mg/kg, i.p. on the following 9 days). Intravenous infusion of NECA resulted in a significant increase in brain PHT levels as compared with the PHT treatment alone. On the other hand, the auxiliary application of NECA dramatically decreased the frequency of generalized seizures and seizure stage, shortened duration of afterdischarge and generalized seizures, as well as the elevated the afterdischarge threshold and generalized seizures threshold. Our study demonstrated that auxiliary application of AR agonist enhanced brain antiepileptic drug levels and strengthened the anticonvulsant properties of PHT against amygdala kindled seizures.

  16. Carbamazepine, but not valproate, displays pharmacoresistance in lamotrigine-resistant amygdala kindled rats.

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    Srivastava, Ajay K; White, H Steve

    2013-03-01

    The voltage gated sodium channel (VGSC) blocker lamotrigine (LTG), when administered during kindling acquisition, leads to the development of resistance to LTG. The present study aimed to assess whether LTG-resistant amygdala-kindled rats display subsequent resistance to the VGSC blocker carbamazepine (CBZ) and the broad-spectrum antiepileptic drug (AED) sodium valproate (VPA). Two groups of male Sprague Dawley rats received either 0.5% methylcellulose (MC) or LTG (5mg/kg, i.p.) 1h before each amygdala kindling stimulation. Treatments were stopped once both the groups were fully kindled. Two days later, both groups were challenged with a higher dose of LTG (15mg/kg, i.p.) to verify LTG-resistance in the experimental group (i.e., LTG-pretreated rats). The efficacy of CBZ and VPA was then evaluated in both groups. A higher dose of LTG blocked fully kindled seizures in the vehicle-treated rats but not seizures in the LTG-treated group. The mean seizure score, of the control group (1.2±0.3) was significantly lower (Pkindling acquisition) (28.5% vs. 62%, respectively). Interestingly, CBZ (10, 20, and 40mg/kg) displayed a dose-dependent anticonvulsant effect in the vehicle-kindled group, but was less effective in LTG-treated animals. In contrast, VPA (300mg/kg) effectively blocked the behavioral seizure and decreased the afterdischarge duration (ADD) in both vehicle and LTG groups. These findings suggest that the LTG-resistant, amygdala-kindled rat may represent a novel model of pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

  17. The Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Phase Synchronization during Epileptogenesis in Amygdala-Kindling Mice.

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    Li, Jia-Jia; Li, Yong-Hua; Gong, Hai-Qing; Liang, Pei-Ji; Zhang, Pu-Ming; Lu, Qin-Chi

    2016-01-01

    The synchronization among the activities of neural populations in functional regions is one of the most important electrophysiological phenomena in epileptic brains. The spatiotemporal dynamics of phase synchronization was investigated to reveal the reciprocal interaction between different functional regions during epileptogenesis. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded simultaneously from the basolateral amygdala (BLA), the cornu ammonis 1 of hippocampus (CA1) and the mediodorsal nucleus of thalamus (MDT) in the mouse amygdala-kindling models during the development of epileptic seizures. The synchronization of LFPs was quantified between BLA, CA1 and MDT using phase-locking value (PLV). During amygdala kindling, behavioral changes (from stage 0 to stage 5) of mice were accompanied by after-discharges (ADs) of similar waveforms appearing almost simultaneously in CA1, MDT, as well as BLA. AD durations were positively related to the intensity of seizures. During seizures at stages 1~2, PLVs remained relatively low and increased dramatically shortly after the termination of the seizures; by contrast, for stages 3~5, PLVs remained a relatively low level during the initial period but increased dramatically before the seizure termination. And in the theta band, the degree of PLV enhancement was positively associated with seizure intensity. The results suggested that during epileptogenesis, the functional regions were kept desynchronized rather than hyper-synchronized during either the initial or the entire period of the seizures; so different dynamic patterns of phase synchronization may be involved in different periods of the epileptogenesis, and this might also reflect that during seizures at different stages, the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of phase synchronization were different.

  18. Amphetamine Sensitization Alters Reward Processing in the Human Striatum and Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Daly, Owen G.; Joyce, Daniel; Tracy, Derek K.; Azim, Adnan; Stephan, Klaas E.; Murray, Robin M.; Shergill, Sukhwinder S.

    2014-01-01

    Dysregulation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission is implicated in a number of psychiatric illnesses characterised by disruption of reward processing and goal-directed behaviour, including schizophrenia, drug addiction and impulse control disorders associated with chronic use of dopamine agonists. Amphetamine sensitization (AS) has been proposed to model the development of this aberrant dopamine signalling and the subsequent dysregulation of incentive motivational processes. However, in humans the effects of AS on the dopamine-sensitive neural circuitry associated with reward processing remains unclear. Here we describe the effects of acute amphetamine administration, following a sensitising dosage regime, on blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in dopaminoceptive brain regions during a rewarded gambling task performed by healthy volunteers. Using a randomised, double-blind, parallel-groups design, we found clear evidence for sensitization to the subjective effects of the drug, while rewarded reaction times were unchanged. Repeated amphetamine exposure was associated with reduced dorsal striatal BOLD signal during decision making, but enhanced ventromedial caudate activity during reward anticipation. The amygdala BOLD response to reward outcomes was blunted following repeated amphetamine exposure. Positive correlations between subjective sensitization and changes in anticipation- and outcome-related BOLD signal were seen for the caudate nucleus and amygdala, respectively. These data show for the first time in humans that AS changes the functional impact of acute stimulant exposure on the processing of reward-related information within dopaminoceptive regions. Our findings accord with pathophysiological models which implicate aberrant dopaminergic modulation of striatal and amygdala activity in psychosis and drug-related compulsive disorders. PMID:24717936

  19. Amphetamine sensitization alters reward processing in the human striatum and amygdala.

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    Owen G O'Daly

    Full Text Available Dysregulation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission is implicated in a number of psychiatric illnesses characterised by disruption of reward processing and goal-directed behaviour, including schizophrenia, drug addiction and impulse control disorders associated with chronic use of dopamine agonists. Amphetamine sensitization (AS has been proposed to model the development of this aberrant dopamine signalling and the subsequent dysregulation of incentive motivational processes. However, in humans the effects of AS on the dopamine-sensitive neural circuitry associated with reward processing remains unclear. Here we describe the effects of acute amphetamine administration, following a sensitising dosage regime, on blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signal in dopaminoceptive brain regions during a rewarded gambling task performed by healthy volunteers. Using a randomised, double-blind, parallel-groups design, we found clear evidence for sensitization to the subjective effects of the drug, while rewarded reaction times were unchanged. Repeated amphetamine exposure was associated with reduced dorsal striatal BOLD signal during decision making, but enhanced ventromedial caudate activity during reward anticipation. The amygdala BOLD response to reward outcomes was blunted following repeated amphetamine exposure. Positive correlations between subjective sensitization and changes in anticipation- and outcome-related BOLD signal were seen for the caudate nucleus and amygdala, respectively. These data show for the first time in humans that AS changes the functional impact of acute stimulant exposure on the processing of reward-related information within dopaminoceptive regions. Our findings accord with pathophysiological models which implicate aberrant dopaminergic modulation of striatal and amygdala activity in psychosis and drug-related compulsive disorders.

  20. Uncertainty-Dependent Extinction of Fear Memory in an Amygdala-mPFC Neural Circuit Model

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    Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda

    2016-01-01

    Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction. PMID:27617747

  1. Differential Dynamics of Amino Acid Release in the Amygdala and Olfactory Cortex during Odor Fear Acquisition as Revealed with Simultaneous High Temporal Resolution Microdialysis

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    Hegoburu, Chloe; Sevelinges, Yannick; Thevenet, Marc; Gervais, Remi; Parrot, Sandrine; Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2009-01-01

    Although the amygdala seems to be essential to the formation and storage of fear memories, it might store only some aspects of the aversive event and facilitate the storage of more specific sensory aspects in cortical areas. We addressed the time course of amygdala and cortical activation in the context of odor fear conditioning in rats. Using…

  2. Anxiolytic-like effects after vector-mediated overexpression of neuropeptide Y in the amygdala and hippocampus of mice

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    Christiansen, Søren Hofman Oliveira; Olesen, Mikkel Vestergaard; Gøtzsche, Casper René;

    2014-01-01

    . Using a recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector, we addressed this idea by testing effects on anxiolytic- and depression-like behaviours in adult mice after overexpression of NPY transgene in the amygdala and/or hippocampus, two brain regions implicated in emotional behaviours. In the amygdala......, injections of rAAV-NPY caused significant anxiolytic-like effect in the open field, elevated plus maze, and light-dark transition tests. In the hippocampus, rAAV-NPY treatment was associated with anxiolytic-like effect only in the elevated plus maze. No additive effect was observed after combined r......AAV-NPY injection into both the amygdala and hippocampus where anxiolytic-like effect was found in the elevated plus maze and light-dark transition tests. Antidepressant-like effects were not detected in any of the rAAV-NPY injected groups. Immobility was even increased in the tail suspension and forced swim tests...

  3. Disruption of Memory Reconsolidation Erases a Fear Memory Trace in the Human Amygdala: An 18-Month Follow-Up.

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    Johannes Björkstrand

    Full Text Available Fear memories can be attenuated by reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we recently showed that reactivation and reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory trace in the basolateral amygdala predicts subsequent fear expression over two days, while reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation abolishes the memory trace and suppresses fear. In this follow-up study we demonstrate that the behavioral effect persists over 18 months reflected in superior reacquisition after undisrupted, as compared to disrupted reconsolidation, and that neural activity in the basolateral amygdala representing the initial fear memory predicts return of fear. We conclude that disrupting reconsolidation have long lasting behavioral effects and may permanently erase the fear component of an amygdala-dependent memory.

  4. Removal of the amygdala plus subjacent cortex disrupts the retention of both intramodal and crossmodal associative memories in monkeys.

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    Murray, E A; Gaffan, D

    1994-06-01

    Naive rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained preoperatively in an automated test apparatus on an auditory-visual (crossmodal) conditional task or on a visual-visual (intramodal) conditional task that involved learning a fixed set of stimulus-stimulus associations or paired associates. After having learned their respective tasks, each monkey received bilateral removal of the amygdala plus subjacent cortex. The 2 experimental groups showed equally poor retention of the stimulus-stimulus associations and subsequently relearned their respective crossmodal and intramodal associations at the same rate. These data argue against the idea that the amygdala is specialized for crossmodal associations. Instead, the data indicate that the amygdala or its underlying cortex, or both, play a more generalized role in stimulus-stimulus associative memory.

  5. Development and physiology of GABAergic feedback excitation in parvalbumin expressing interneurons of the mouse basolateral amygdala

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    Spampanato, Jay; Sullivan, Robert K. P.; Perumal, Madhusoothanan B.; Sah, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We have previously shown that in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), action potentials in one type of parvalbumin (PV)‐expressing GABAergic interneuron can evoke a disynaptic feedback excitatory postsynaptic potential (fbEPSP) onto the same presynaptic interneuron. Here, using whole‐cell recordings from PV‐expressing interneurons in acute brain slices we expand on this finding to show that this response is first detectable at 2‐week postnatal, and is most prevalent in animals beyond 3 we...

  6. Different patterns of amygdala priming differentially affect dentate gyrus plasticity and corticosterone, but not CA1 plasticity.

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    Rose-Marie eVouimba

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Stress-induced activation of the amygdala is involved in the modulation of memory processes in the hippocampus. However, stress effects on amygdala and memory remain complex. The activation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA was found to modulate plasticity in other brain areas, including the hippocampus. We previously demonstrated a differential effect of BLA priming on LTP in the CA1 and the dentate gyrus (DG. While BLA priming suppressed long term potentiation (LTP in CA1, it was found to enhance it in the DG. However, since the amygdala itself is amenable to experience-induced plasticity it is thus conceivable that when activity within the amygdala is modified this will have impact on the way the amygdala modulates activity and plasticity in other brain areas. In the current study we examined the effects of different patterns of BLA activation on the modulation of LTP in the DG and CA1, as well as on serum corticosterone (CORT. In CA1, BLA priming impaired LTP induction as was reported before. In contrast, in the DG, varying BLA stimulation intensity and frequency resulted in differential effects on LTP, ranging from no effect to strong impairment or enhancement. Varying BLA stimulation patterns resulted in also differential alterations in Serum CORT, leading to higher CORT levels being positively correlated with LTP magnitude in DG but not in CA1.The results support the notion of a differential role for the DG in aspects of memory, and add to this view the possibility that DG-associated aspects of memory will be enhanced under more emotional or stressful conditions. It is interesting to think of BLA patterns of activation and the differential levels of circulating CORT as two arms of the emotional and stress response that attempt to synchronize brain activity to best meet the challenge. It is foreseeable to think of abnormal such synchronization under extreme conditions, which would lead to the development of maladaptive behavior.

  7. Tactile Stimulation of the Face and the Production of Facial Expressions Activate Neurons in the Primate Amygdala

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    Mosher, Clayton P.; Zimmerman, Prisca E.; Fuglevand, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The majority of neurophysiological studies that have explored the role of the primate amygdala in the evaluation of social signals have relied on visual stimuli such as images of facial expressions. Vision, however, is not the only sensory modality that carries social signals. Both humans and nonhuman primates exchange emotionally meaningful social signals through touch. Indeed, social grooming in nonhuman primates and caressing touch in humans is critical for building lasting and reassuring social bonds. To determine the role of the amygdala in processing touch, we recorded the responses of single neurons in the macaque amygdala while we applied tactile stimuli to the face. We found that one-third of the recorded neurons responded to tactile stimulation. Although we recorded exclusively from the right amygdala, the receptive fields of 98% of the neurons were bilateral. A fraction of these tactile neurons were monitored during the production of facial expressions and during facial movements elicited occasionally by touch stimuli. Firing rates arising during the production of facial expressions were similar to those elicited by tactile stimulation. In a subset of cells, combining tactile stimulation with facial movement further augmented the firing rates. This suggests that tactile neurons in the amygdala receive input from skin mechanoceptors that are activated by touch and by compressions and stretches of the facial skin during the contraction of the underlying muscles. Tactile neurons in the amygdala may play a role in extracting the valence of touch stimuli and/or monitoring the facial expressions of self during social interactions. PMID:27752543

  8. Dynamic modulation of inflammatory pain-related affective and sensory symptoms by optical control of amygdala metabotropic glutamate receptor 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zussy, C; Gómez-Santacana, X; Rovira, X; De Bundel, D; Ferrazzo, S; Bosch, D; Asede, D; Malhaire, F; Acher, F; Giraldo, J; Valjent, E; Ehrlich, I; Ferraguti, F; Pin, J-P; Llebaria, A; Goudet, C

    2016-12-20

    Contrary to acute pain, chronic pain does not serve as a warning signal and must be considered as a disease per se. This pathology presents a sensory and psychological dimension at the origin of affective and cognitive disorders. Being largely refractory to current pharmacotherapies, identification of endogenous systems involved in persistent and chronic pain is crucial. The amygdala is a key brain region linking pain sensation with negative emotions. Here, we show that activation of a specific intrinsic neuromodulatory system within the amygdala associated with type 4 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu4) abolishes sensory and affective symptoms of persistent pain such as hypersensitivity to pain, anxiety- and depression-related behaviors, and fear extinction impairment. Interestingly, neuroanatomical and synaptic analysis of the amygdala circuitry suggests that the effects of mGlu4 activation occur outside the central nucleus via modulation of multisensory thalamic inputs to lateral amygdala principal neurons and dorso-medial intercalated cells. Furthermore, we developed optogluram, a small diffusible photoswitchable positive allosteric modulator of mGlu4. This ligand allows the control of endogenous mGlu4 activity with light. Using this photopharmacological approach, we rapidly and reversibly inhibited behavioral symptoms associated with persistent pain through optical control of optogluram in the amygdala of freely behaving animals. Altogether, our data identify amygdala mGlu4 signaling as a mechanism that bypasses central sensitization processes to dynamically modulate persistent pain symptoms. Our findings help to define novel and more precise therapeutic interventions for chronic pain, and exemplify the potential of optopharmacology to study the dynamic activity of endogenous neuromodulatory mechanisms in vivo.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 20 December 2016; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.223.

  9. Amygdala’s involvement in facilitating associative learning-induced plasticity: a promiscuous role for the amygdala in memory acquisition

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    Lily S Chau

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of fear-related memories. Some of the more widely employed behavioral paradigms that have assisted in solidifying the amygdala’s role in fear-related memories are associative learning paradigms. With most associative learning tasks, a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS is paired with a salient unconditioned stimulus (US that elicits an unconditioned response (UR. After multiple CS-US pairings, the subject learns that the CS predicts the onset or delivery of the US, and thus elicits a learned conditioned response (CR. Most fear-related associative paradigms have suggested that an aspect of the fear association is stored in the amygdala; however, some fear-motivated associative paradigms suggest that the amygdala is not a site of storage, but rather facilitates consolidation in other brain regions. Based upon various learning theories, one of the most likely sites for storage of long-term memories is the neocortex. In support of these theories, findings from our laboratory, and others, have demonstrated that trace-conditioning, an associative paradigm where there is a separation in time between the CS and US, induces learning-specific neocortical plasticity. The following review will discuss the amygdala’s involvement, either as a site of storage or facilitating storage in other brain regions such as the neocortex, in fear- and non-fear-motivated associative paradigms. In this review, we will discuss recent findings suggesting a broader role for the amygdala in increasing the saliency of behaviorally relevant information, thus facilitating acquisition for all forms of memory, both fear- and non-fear-related. This proposed promiscuous role of the amygdala in facilitating acquisition for all memories further suggests a potential role of the amygdala in general learning disabilities.

  10. Postmortem proteomic analysis in human amygdala of drug addicts: possible impact of tubulin on drug-abusing behavior.

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    Zill, P; Vielsmeier, V; Büttner, A; Eisenmenger, W; Siedler, F; Scheffer, B; Möller, H-J; Bondy, B

    2011-03-01

    Besides the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens as the most investigated brain reward structures, several reports about the relation between volume and activity of the amygdala and drug-seeking behavior have emphasized the central role of the amygdala in the etiology of addiction. Considering its proposed important role and the limited number of human protein expression studies with amygdala in drug addiction, we performed a human postmortem proteomic analysis of amygdala tissue obtained from 8 opiate addicts and 7 control individuals. Results were validated by Western blot in an independent postmortem replication sample from 12 opiate addicts compared to 12 controls and 12 suicide victims, as a second "control sample". Applying 2D-electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF-MS analysis, we detected alterations of beta-tubulin expression and decreased levels of the heat-shock protein HSP60 in drug addicts. Western blot analysis in the additional sample demonstrated significantly increased alpha- and beta-tubulin concentrations in the amygdala of drug abusers versus controls (P = 0.021, 0.029) and to suicide victims (P = 0.006, 0.002). Our results suggest that cytoskeletal alterations in the amygdala determined by tubulin seem to be involved in the pathophysiology of drug addiction, probably via a relation to neurotransmission and cellular signaling. Moreover, the loss of neuroprotection against stressors by chaperons as HSP60 might also contribute to structural alteration in the brain of drug addicts. Although further studies have to confirm our results, this might be a possible pathway that may increase our understanding of drug addiction.

  11. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the extended amygdala is recruited during the transition to alcohol dependence.

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    Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2012-12-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundant in the extended amygdala, a conceptual macrostructure in the basal forebrain important for regulation of negative affective states. NPY has been attributed a central role in anxiety-like behavior, fear, nociception, and reward in rodents. Deletion of the NPY gene in mice produces a high-anxiety high-alcohol-drinking phenotype. NPY infused into the brains of rats selectively bred to consume high quantities of alcohol suppresses alcohol drinking by those animals, an effect that is mediated by central amygdala (CeA). Likewise, alcohol-preferring rats exhibit basal NPY deficits in CeA. NPY infused into the brains of alcohol-dependent rats blocks excessive alcohol drinking by those animals, an effect that also has been localized to the CeA. NPY in CeA may rescue dependence-induced increases in anxiety and alcohol drinking via inhibition of downstream effector regions that receive GABAergic inputs from CeA. It is hypothesized here that NPY modulates anxiety-like behavior via Y2R regulation of NPY release, whereas NPY modulation of alcohol-drinking behavior in alcohol-dependent animals occurs via Y2R regulation of GABA release.

  12. Effect of Protein Malnutrition on Efferent Projections of Amygdala to the Hippocampus

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    Gholamreza Hassanzadeh

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTIntroduction: Previous investigations have shown that protein malnutrition can alters the structure and function of some areas of hippocampal formation. We investigated the effect of protein malnutrition on amygdaloid projections to the CA1 hippocampal area. In this study we investigated level and pattern of distribution of efferent projections from amygdala to hippocampus in the rat by Horseradish Peroxidas (HRP neural tract tracing in 2 groups; Control group fed with regular diet (% 18 proteinsand case group fed with low protein diet (%8. We used SPSS 11.0 (T test & mann-withney Software for data analysis.Methods: Following injection of HRP to CA1 region of hippocampus in the control group Rats, Labelled neurons showed more density in the Basolateral, Cortical and Medial nuclear Groups. Having done the analysis and examining the relations between the case data and those of the control groups, we found that number of labelled neurons in the Basolateral, Cortical & medial nuclei were decreased in the case group(p<0.05. Our findings showed that different nuclei of amygdala (Basolateral, Cortical and Medial send projections to CA1 region of hippocampus; Among, them basolateral nuclei group send the most projections . Discussion: This results may be caused by decrease of activity of neural cells after protein malnutrition, that can results in impairment in growth and development of nervous system. Also it is possible that axoplasmic transfer rate maybe decreased in this condition.

  13. Yohimbine-induced amygdala activation in pathological gamblers: a pilot study.

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    Igor Elman

    Full Text Available RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: There is evidence that drug addiction is associated with increased physiological and psychological responses to stress. In this pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study we assessed whether a prototype behavioral addiction, pathological gambling (PG, is likewise associated with an enhanced response to stress. METHODS: We induced stress by injecting yohimbine (0.2-0.3 mg/kg, IV, an alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist that elicits stress-like physiological and psychological effects in humans and in laboratory animals, to four subjects with PG and to five non-gamblers mentally healthy control subjects. Their fMRI brain responses were assessed along with subjective stress and gambling urges ratings. RESULTS: Voxelwise analyses of data sets from individual subjects, utilizing generalized linear model approach, revealed significant left amygdala activation in response to yohimbine across all PG subjects. This amygdala effect was not observed in the five control individuals. Yohimbine elicited subjective stress ratings in both groups with greater (albeit not statically significantly average response in the PG subjects. On the other hand, yohimbine did not induce urges to gamble. CONCLUSIONS: The present data support the hypothesis of brain sensitization to pharmacologically-induced stress in PG.

  14. Basomedial amygdala mediates top-down control of anxiety and fear.

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    Adhikari, Avishek; Lerner, Talia N; Finkelstein, Joel; Pak, Sally; Jennings, Joshua H; Davidson, Thomas J; Ferenczi, Emily; Gunaydin, Lisa A; Mirzabekov, Julie J; Ye, Li; Kim, Sung-Yon; Lei, Anna; Deisseroth, Karl

    2015-11-12

    Anxiety-related conditions are among the most difficult neuropsychiatric diseases to treat pharmacologically, but respond to cognitive therapies. There has therefore been interest in identifying relevant top-down pathways from cognitive control regions in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Identification of such pathways could contribute to our understanding of the cognitive regulation of affect, and provide pathways for intervention. Previous studies have suggested that dorsal and ventral mPFC subregions exert opposing effects on fear, as do subregions of other structures. However, precise causal targets for top-down connections among these diverse possibilities have not been established. Here we show that the basomedial amygdala (BMA) represents the major target of ventral mPFC in amygdala in mice. Moreover, BMA neurons differentiate safe and aversive environments, and BMA activation decreases fear-related freezing and high-anxiety states. Lastly, we show that the ventral mPFC-BMA projection implements top-down control of anxiety state and learned freezing, both at baseline and in stress-induced anxiety, defining a broadly relevant new top-down behavioural regulation pathway.

  15. High-resolution functional MRI of the human amygdala at 7 T

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    Sladky, Ronald, E-mail: ronald.sladky@meduniwien.ac.at [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Baldinger, Pia; Kranz, Georg S. [Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Tröstl, Jasmin [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Höflich, Anna; Lanzenberger, Rupert [Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Moser, Ewald [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Windischberger, Christian, E-mail: christian.windischberger@meduniwien.ac.at [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria)

    2013-05-15

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become the primary non-invasive method for investigating the human brain function. With an increasing number of ultra-high field MR systems worldwide possibilities of higher spatial and temporal resolution in combination with increased sensitivity and specificity are expected to advance detailed imaging of distinct cortical brain areas and subcortical structures. One target region of particular importance to applications in psychiatry and psychology is the amygdala. However, ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging of these ventral brain regions is a challenging endeavor that requires particular methodological considerations. Ventral brain areas are particularly prone to signal losses arising from strong magnetic field inhomogeneities along susceptibility borders. In addition, physiological artifacts from respiration and cardiac action cause considerable fluctuations in the MR signal. Here we show that, despite these challenges, fMRI data from the amygdala may be obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution combined with increased signal-to-noise ratio. Maps of neural activation during a facial emotion discrimination paradigm at 7 T are presented and clearly show the gain in percental signal change compared to 3 T results, demonstrating the potential benefits of ultra-high field functional MR imaging also in ventral brain areas.

  16. Hippocampal oscillations in the rodent model of schizophrenia induced by amygdala GABA receptor blockade

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    Tope eLanre-Amos

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Brain oscillations are critical for cognitive processes, and their alterations in schizophrenia have been proposed to contribute to cognitive impairments. Network oscillations rely upon GABAergic interneurons, which also show characteristic changes in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to examine the capability of hippocampal networks to generate oscillations in a rat model previously shown to reproduce the stereotypic structural alterations of the hippocampal interneuron circuit seen in schizophrenic patients. This model uses injection of GABA-A receptor antagonist picrotoxin into the basolateral amygdala which causes cell-type specific disruption of interneuron signaling in the hippocampus. We found that after such treatment, hippocampal theta rhythm was still present during REM sleep, locomotion, and exploration of novel environment and could be elicited under urethane anesthesia. Subtle changes in theta and gamma parameters were observed in both preparations; specifically in the stimulus intensity—theta frequency relationship under urethane and in divergent reactions of oscillations at the two major theta dipoles in freely moving rats. Thus, theta power in the CA1 region was generally enhanced as compared with deep theta dipole which decreased or did not change. The results indicate that pathologic reorganization of interneurons that follows the over-activation of the amygdala-hippocampal pathway, as shown for this model of schizophrenia, does not lead to destruction of the oscillatory circuit but changes the normal balance of rhythmic activity in its various compartments.

  17. Dispositional mindfulness co-varies with smaller amygdala and caudate volumes in community adults.

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    Adrienne A Taren

    Full Text Available Mindfulness, a psychological process reflecting attention and awareness to what is happening in the present moment, has been associated with increased well-being and decreased depression and anxiety in both healthy and patient populations. However, little research has explored underlying neural pathways. Recent work suggests that mindfulness (and mindfulness training interventions may foster neuroplastic changes in cortico-limbic circuits responsible for stress and emotion regulation. Building on this work, we hypothesized that higher levels of dispositional mindfulness would be associated with decreased grey matter volume in the amgydala. In the present study, a self-report measure of dispositional mindfulness and structural MRI images were obtained from 155 healthy community adults. Volumetric analyses showed that higher dispositional mindfulness is associated with decreased grey matter volume in the right amygdala, and exploratory analyses revealed that higher dispositional mindfulness is also associated with decreased grey matter volume in the left caudate. Moreover, secondary analyses indicate that these amygdala and caudate volume associations persist after controlling for relevant demographic and individual difference factors (i.e., age, total grey matter volume, neuroticism, depression. Such volumetric differences may help explain why mindful individuals have reduced stress reactivity, and suggest new candidate structural neurobiological pathways linking mindfulness with mental and physical health outcomes.

  18. Extraversion is linked to volume of the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.

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    Henk Cremers

    Full Text Available Neuroticism and extraversion are personality factors associated with the vulnerability for developing depression and anxiety disorders, and are possibly differentially related to brain structures implicated in the processing of emotional information and the generation of mood states. To date, studies on brain morphology mainly focused on neuroticism, a dimension primarily related to negative affect, yielding conflicting findings concerning the association with personality, partially due to methodological issues and variable population samples under study. Recently, extraversion, a dimension primarily related to positive affect, has been repeatedly inversely related to with symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. In the present study, high resolution structural T1-weighted MR images of 65 healthy adults were processed using an optimized Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM approach. Multiple regression analyses were performed to test for associations of neuroticism and extraversion with prefrontal and subcortical volumes. Orbitofrontal and right amygdala volume were both positively related to extraversion. Extraversion was differentially related to volume of the anterior cingulate cortex in males (positive and females (negative. Neuroticism scores did not significantly correlate with these brain regions. As extraversion is regarded a protective factor for developing anxiety disorders and depression and has been related to the generation of positive affect, the present results indicate that the reduced likelihood of developing affective disorders in individuals high on extraversion is related to modulation of emotion processing through the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala.

  19. Plasticity of inhibitory synaptic network interactions in the lateral amygdala upon fear conditioning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szinyei, Csaba; Narayanan, Rajeevan T; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2007-02-01

    After fear conditioning, plastic changes of excitatory synaptic transmission occur in the amygdala. Fear-related memory also involves the GABAergic system, although no influence on inhibitory synaptic transmission is known. In the present study we assessed the influence of Pavlovian fear conditioning on the plasticity of GABAergic synaptic interactions in the lateral amygdala (LA) in brain slices prepared from fear-conditioned, pseudo-trained and naïve adult mice. Theta-burst tetanization of thalamic afferent inputs to the LA evoked an input-specific potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons; the cortical input was unaffected. Philanthotoxin (10 microM), an antagonist of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors, disabled this plastic phenomenon. Surgical isolation of the LA, extracellular application of a GABA(B) receptor antagonist (CGP 55845A, 10 microM) or an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV, 50 microM), or intracellular application of BAPTA (10 mM), did not influence the plasticity. The plasticity also showed as a potentiation of monosynaptic excitatory responses in putative GABAergic interneurons. Pavlovian fear conditioning, but not pseudo-conditioning, resulted in a significant reduction in this potentiation that was evident 24 h after training. Two weeks after training, the potentiation returned to control levels. In conclusion, a reduction in potentiation of inhibitory synaptic interactions occurs in the LA and may contribute to a shift in synaptic balance towards excitatory signal flow during the processes of fear-memory acquisition or consolidation.

  20. Connectivity of the amygdala, piriform, and orbitofrontal cortex during olfactory stimulation: a functional MRI study.

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    Nigri, Anna; Ferraro, Stefania; D'Incerti, Ludovico; Critchley, Hugo D; Bruzzone, Maria Grazia; Minati, Ludovico

    2013-03-06

    The majority of existing functional MRI studies on olfactory perception have addressed the relationship between stimulus features and the intensity of activity in separate regions considered in isolation. However, anatomical studies as well as neurophysiological recordings in rats and insects suggest that odor features may also be represented in a sparse manner through the simultaneous activity of multiple cortical areas interacting as a network. Here, we aimed to map the interdependence of neural activity among regions of the human brain, representing functional connectivity, during passive smelling. Seventeen healthy participants were scanned while performing a blocked-design task alternating exposure to two unpleasant odorants and breathing fresh air. High efferent connectivity was detected for the piriform cortex and the amygdala bilaterally. By contrast, the medial orbitofrontal cortex was characterized by high afferent connectivity, notably in the absence of an overall change in the intensity of hemodynamic activity during olfactory stimulation. Our results suggest that, even in the context of an elementary task, information on olfactory stimuli is scattered by the amygdala and piriform cortex onto an anatomically sparse representation and then gathered and integrated in the medial orbitofrontal cortex.

  1. Perisomatic GABAergic synapses of basket cells effectively control principal neuron activity in amygdala networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veres, Judit M; Nagy, Gergő A; Hájos, Norbert

    2017-01-01

    Efficient control of principal neuron firing by basket cells is critical for information processing in cortical microcircuits, however, the relative contribution of their perisomatic and dendritic synapses to spike inhibition is still unknown. Using in vitro electrophysiological paired recordings we reveal that in the mouse basal amygdala cholecystokinin- and parvalbumin-containing basket cells provide equally potent control of principal neuron spiking. We performed pharmacological manipulations, light and electron microscopic investigations to show that, although basket cells innervate the entire somato-denditic membrane surface of principal neurons, the spike controlling effect is achieved primarily via the minority of synapses targeting the perisomatic region. As the innervation patterns of individual basket cells on their different postsynaptic partners show high variability, the impact of inhibitory control accomplished by single basket cells is also variable. Our results show that both basket cell types can powerfully regulate the activity in amygdala networks predominantly via their perisomatic synapses. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20721.001 PMID:28060701

  2. Corticotropin releasing factor and catecholamines enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberman, Yuval; Winder, Danny G

    2013-07-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays an important role in many behaviors including anxiety, memory consolidation and cardiovascular responses. While these behaviors can be modulated by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and catecholamine signaling, the mechanism(s) by which these signals modify CeA glutamatergic neurotransmission remains unclear. Utilizing whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology recordings from neurons in the lateral subdivision of the CeA (CeAL), we show that CRF, dopamine (DA) and the β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) all enhance the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC) without altering sEPSC kinetics, suggesting they increase presynaptic glutamate release. The effect of CRF on sEPSCs was mediated by a combination of CRFR1 and CRFR2 receptors. While previous work from our lab suggests that CRFRs mediate the effect of catecholamines on excitatory transmission in other subregions of the extended amygdala, blockade of CRFRs in the CeAL failed to significantly alter effects of DA and ISO on glutamatergic transmission. These findings suggest that catecholamine and CRF enhancement of glutamatergic transmission onto CeAL neurons occurs via distinct mechanisms. While CRF increased spontaneous glutamate release in the CeAL, CRF caused no significant changes to optogenetically evoked glutamate release in this region. The dissociable effects of CRF on different types of glutamatergic neurotransmission suggest that CRF may specifically regulate spontaneous excitatory transmission.

  3. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arash eJavanbakht

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Childhood poverty negatively impacts physical and mental health in adulthood. Altered brain development in response to social and environmental factors associated with poverty likely contributes to this effect, engendering maladaptive patterns of social attribution and/or elevated physiological stress. In this fMRI study, we examined the association between childhood poverty and neural processing of social signals (i.e., emotional faces in adulthood. 52 subjects from a longitudinal prospective study recruited as children, participated in a brain imaging study at 23-25 years of age using the Emotional Faces Assessment Task (EFAT. Childhood poverty, independent of concurrent adult income, was associated with higher amygdala and mPFC responses to threat vs. happy faces. Also, childhood poverty was associated with decreased functional connectivity between left amygdala and mPFC. This study is unique because it prospectively links childhood poverty to emotional processing during adulthood, suggesting a candidate neural mechanism for negative social-emotional bias. Adults who grew up poor appear to be more sensitive to social threat cues and less sensitive to positive social cues.

  4. The effect of Rosa damascena essential oil on the amygdala electrical kindling seizures in rat.

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    Ramezani, Roohollah; Moghimi, Ali; Rakhshandeh, Hassan; Ejtehadi, Hamid; Kheirabadi, Masoumeh

    2008-03-01

    We investigated the effect of Rosa damascena Mill, essential oil on the development of induced amygdala kindling seizures. Male Wistar rats were implanted with one tripolar and two monopolar electrodes in right basolateral amygdala and dura surface, respectively. The control group was injected solvent of essential oil and two experimental groups were injected 750 and 1000 mg kg(-1) of essential oil (ip), 30 min before a daily kindling stimulation. The number of stimulations required for the first appearance of seizure stages was significantly larger in two experimental groups than in control group. Mean after discharge duration was significantly different and essential oil reduced the increase of after discharge duration. Mean after discharge amplitude was also shorter in the groups treated with essential oil than in control group. Duration time for 5th stage of seizure at fully-kindled rats was significantly shorter in two experimental groups than control group. These results suggest that Rosa damascena essential oil significantly retarded the development of seizure stages and possesses the ability to counteract kindling acquisition. The flavonoids of Rosa damascena may act via GABAA receptors as previous studies have proposed for flavonoids of other medicinal plants. More detailed studies are recommended to define the effective component(s) of Rosa on different types of epilepsy.

  5. Amphetamine sensitization and amygdala kindling: pharmacological evaluation of catecholaminergic and cholinergic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkby, R D; Kokkinidis, L

    1991-03-01

    Chronic pharmacological experiments were conducted to evaluate the relationship between sensitization induced by repeated administration of amphetamine (AMPH) and electrical stimulation of the amygdala. While AMPH withdrawal did not influence the kindling process, AMPH administered during the kindling procedure increased the rate at which seizures evolved, and under these conditions withdrawal from chronic AMPH further facilitated the propensity to kindle. Haloperidol (HAL) treatment failed to block the stimulant-induced increase in kindling acquisition indicating that changes in dopamine (DA) are not necessary for the AMPH/kindling synergism to develop. Scopolamine dose-dependently retarded kindling evolution irrespective of prior AMPH pretreatment also ruling out a cholinergic mechanism in the kindling sensitization. Subsequent experiments assessed the interactive effects of AMPH and desipramine (DMI) on the kindling process. Animals chronically exposed to AMPH and switched to DMI treatment during the kindling procedure kindled faster than control subjects. In addition, withdrawal from DMI preexposure advanced the AMPH-induced increase in kindling rate. These results were discussed in terms of the role of norepinephrine-mediated inhibition of the kindling process, and were related to drug-elicited alterations in beta-adrenergic receptor functioning. Taken together, these findings implicate the amygdala as an important structure in the development of non-DA forms of AMPH sensitization.

  6. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Arash; King, Anthony P; Evans, Gary W; Swain, James E; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K Luan; Liberzon, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Childhood poverty negatively impacts physical and mental health in adulthood. Altered brain development in response to social and environmental factors associated with poverty likely contributes to this effect, engendering maladaptive patterns of social attribution and/or elevated physiological stress. In this fMRI study, we examined the association between childhood poverty and neural processing of social signals (i.e., emotional faces) in adulthood. Fifty-two subjects from a longitudinal prospective study recruited as children, participated in a brain imaging study at 23-25 years of age using the Emotional Faces Assessment Task. Childhood poverty, independent of concurrent adult income, was associated with higher amygdala and medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) responses to threat vs. happy faces. Also, childhood poverty was associated with decreased functional connectivity between left amygdala and mPFC. This study is unique, because it prospectively links childhood poverty to emotional processing during adulthood, suggesting a candidate neural mechanism for negative social-emotional bias. Adults who grew up poor appear to be more sensitive to social threat cues and less sensitive to positive social cues.

  7. Oxytocin promotes facial emotion recognition and amygdala reactivity in adults with asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domes, Gregor; Kumbier, Ekkehardt; Heinrichs, Markus; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2014-02-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has recently been shown to enhance eye gaze and emotion recognition in healthy men. Here, we report a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that examined the neural and behavioral effects of a single dose of intranasal oxytocin on emotion recognition in individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS), a clinical condition characterized by impaired eye gaze and facial emotion recognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether oxytocin would enhance emotion recognition from facial sections of the eye vs the mouth region and modulate regional activity in brain areas associated with face perception in both adults with AS, and a neurotypical control group. Intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin improved performance in a facial emotion recognition task in individuals with AS. This was linked to increased left amygdala reactivity in response to facial stimuli and increased activity in the neural network involved in social cognition. Our data suggest that the amygdala, together with functionally associated cortical areas mediate the positive effect of oxytocin on social cognitive functioning in AS.

  8. Prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and basolateral amygdala plasticity in a rat model of autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Díaz, Nuvia; Bringas, Maria Elena; Atzori, Marco; Flores, Gonzalo

    2014-10-01

    We aimed to investigate the effect of prenatal administration of valproic acid (VPA) (500 mg/kg) at embryonic day 12.5 on the anatomical properties of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and basolateral amygdala, at three different ages: immediately after weaning (postnatal day 21 [PD21]), prepubertal (PD35), and postpubertal (PD70) ages in a rat model of autistic spectrum disorder. Quantitative analysis of the thickness of the prefrontal cortex revealed a reduced size at all study ages in the cingulate 1 area of the prefrontal cortex and CA1 of the dorsal hippocampus in prenatally exposed animals compared to controls. At the level of the basolateral amygdala, a reduction in the size was observed at PD35 and PD70 in the VPA group. In addition, a reduced thickness was observed in the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex in VPA animals at PD35. Interestingly, no differences in cortical thickness were observed between control and VPA animals in the infralimbic region of the prefrontal at any age. Our results suggest that prenatal exposure to VPA differentially alters cortical limbic regions anatomical parameters, with implication in the autistic spectrum disorder.

  9. Early experience shapes amygdala sensitivity to race: an international adoption design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telzer, Eva H; Flannery, Jessica; Shapiro, Mor; Humphreys, Kathryn L; Goff, Bonnie; Gabard-Durman, Laurel; Gee, Dylan D; Tottenham, Nim

    2013-08-14

    In the current study, we investigated how complete infant deprivation to out-group race impacts behavioral and neural sensitivity to race. Although monkey models have successfully achieved complete face deprivation in early life, this is typically impossible in human studies. We overcame this barrier by examining youths with exclusively homogenous racial experience in early postnatal development. These were youths raised in orphanage care in either East Asia or Eastern Europe as infants and later adopted by American families. The use of international adoption bolsters confidence of infant exposure to race (e.g., to solely Asian faces or European faces). Participants completed an emotional matching task during functional MRI. Our findings show that deprivation to other-race faces in infancy disrupts recognition of emotion and results in heightened amygdala response to out-group faces. Greater early deprivation (i.e., later age of adoption) is associated with greater biases to race. These data demonstrate how early social deprivation to race shapes amygdala function later in life and provides support that early postnatal development may represent a sensitive period for race perception.

  10. CREB regulates spine density of lateral amygdala neurons: implications for memory allocation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derya eSargin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons may compete against one another for integration into a memory trace. Specifically, neurons in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala with relatively higher levels of CREB seem to be preferentially allocated to a fear memory trace, while neurons with relatively decreased CREB function seem to be excluded from a fear memory trace. CREB is a ubiquitous transcription factor that modulates many diverse cellular processes, raising the question as to which of these CREB-mediated processes underlie memory allocation. CREB is implicated in modulating dendritic spine number and morphology. As dendritic spines are intimately involved in memory formation, we investigated whether manipulations of CREB function alter spine number or morphology of neurons at the time of fear conditioning. We used viral vectors to manipulate CREB function in the lateral amygdala principal neurons in mice maintained in their homecages. At the time that fear conditioning normally occurs, we observed that neurons with high levels of CREB had more dendritic spines, while neurons with low CREB function had relatively fewer spines compared to control neurons. These results suggest that the modulation of spine density provides a potential mechanism for preferential allocation of a subset of neurons to the memory trace.

  11. Divergent Routing of Positive and Negative Information from the Amygdala during Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyeler, Anna; Namburi, Praneeth; Glober, Gordon F; Simonnet, Clémence; Calhoon, Gwendolyn G; Conyers, Garrett F; Luck, Robert; Wildes, Craig P; Tye, Kay M

    2016-04-20

    Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is known to play a critical role in the formation of memories of both positive and negative valence, the coding and routing of valence-related information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded BLA neurons during the retrieval of associative memories and used optogenetic-mediated phototagging to identify populations of neurons that synapse in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the central amygdala (CeA), or ventral hippocampus (vHPC). We found that despite heterogeneous neural responses within each population, the proportions of BLA-NAc neurons excited by reward predictive cues and of BLA-CeA neurons excited by aversion predictive cues were higher than within the entire BLA. Although the BLA-vHPC projection is known to drive behaviors of innate negative valence, these neurons did not preferentially code for learned negative valence. Together, these findings suggest that valence encoding in the BLA is at least partially mediated via divergent activity of anatomically defined neural populations.

  12. Heritable influences on amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex contribute to genetic variation in core dimensions of personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G J; Panizzon, M S; Eyler, L; Fennema-Notestine, C; Chen, C-H; Neale, M C; Jernigan, T L; Lyons, M J; Dale, A M; Kremen, W S; Franz, C E

    2014-12-01

    While many studies have reported that individual differences in personality traits are genetically influenced, the neurobiological bases mediating these influences have not yet been well characterized. To advance understanding concerning the pathway from genetic variation to personality, here we examined whether measures of heritable variation in neuroanatomical size in candidate regions (amygdala and medial orbitofrontal cortex) were associated with heritable effects on personality. A sample of 486 middle-aged (mean=55 years) male twins (complete MZ pairs=120; complete DZ pairs=84) underwent structural brain scans and also completed measures of two core domains of personality: positive and negative emotionality. After adjusting for estimated intracranial volume, significant phenotypic (r(p)) and genetic (r(g)) correlations were observed between left amygdala volume and positive emotionality (r(p)=.16, porbitofrontal cortex thickness and negative emotionality were also observed (r(g)=.34, p<.01; r(e)=-.19, p<.05, respectively). These findings support a model positing that heritable bases of personality are, at least in part, mediated through individual differences in the size of brain structures, although further work is still required to confirm this causal interpretation.

  13. Antagonistic control of social versus repetitive self-grooming behaviors by separable amygdala neuronal subsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Weizhe; Kim, Dong-Wook; Anderson, David J

    2014-09-11

    Animals display a range of innate social behaviors that play essential roles in survival and reproduction. While the medial amygdala (MeA) has been implicated in prototypic social behaviors such as aggression, the circuit-level mechanisms controlling such behaviors are not well understood. Using cell-type-specific functional manipulations, we find that distinct neuronal populations in the MeA control different social and asocial behaviors. A GABAergic subpopulation promotes aggression and two other social behaviors, while neighboring glutamatergic neurons promote repetitive self-grooming, an asocial behavior. Moreover, this glutamatergic subpopulation inhibits social interactions independently of its effect to promote self-grooming, while the GABAergic subpopulation inhibits self-grooming, even in a nonsocial context. These data suggest that social versus repetitive asocial behaviors are controlled in an antagonistic manner by inhibitory versus excitatory amygdala subpopulations, respectively. These findings provide a framework for understanding circuit-level mechanisms underlying opponency between innate behaviors, with implications for their perturbation in psychiatric disorders.

  14. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Arash; King, Anthony P.; Evans, Gary W.; Swain, James E.; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K. Luan; Liberzon, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Childhood poverty negatively impacts physical and mental health in adulthood. Altered brain development in response to social and environmental factors associated with poverty likely contributes to this effect, engendering maladaptive patterns of social attribution and/or elevated physiological stress. In this fMRI study, we examined the association between childhood poverty and neural processing of social signals (i.e., emotional faces) in adulthood. Fifty-two subjects from a longitudinal prospective study recruited as children, participated in a brain imaging study at 23–25 years of age using the Emotional Faces Assessment Task. Childhood poverty, independent of concurrent adult income, was associated with higher amygdala and medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) responses to threat vs. happy faces. Also, childhood poverty was associated with decreased functional connectivity between left amygdala and mPFC. This study is unique, because it prospectively links childhood poverty to emotional processing during adulthood, suggesting a candidate neural mechanism for negative social-emotional bias. Adults who grew up poor appear to be more sensitive to social threat cues and less sensitive to positive social cues. PMID:26124712

  15. Rodent anxiety and kindling of the central amygdala and nucleus basalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamec, R; Shallow, T

    We studied lasting behavioral effects of kindling of three parts of the central nucleus of the amygdala and the anterior nucleus basalis in the right hemisphere of male Wistar rats. Kindling lastingly changed two measures of anxiety in the elevated plus-maze. The nature of the change depended on the location of the kindled focus. Kindling of the posterior central nucleus decreased both open-arm exploration and frequency of risk assessment in the elevated plus-maze 1 week after the fourth stage 5 seizure. Kindling of the middle parts of the central nucleus was without behavioral effects. Kindling of the anterior central nucleus and the anterior nucleus basalis increased risk assessment, which was interpreted as an anxiolytic effect. Changes in risk assessment produced by kindling of the central nucleus were dependent on open-arm avoidance, whereas the effects of nucleus basalis kindling were independent of open-arm avoidance. Analysis of covariance and factor analysis support the view that control of risk assessment is by circuitry, which is independent of that which controls open-arm avoidance. Moreover, part of this circuitry appears to involve the anterior nucleus basalis. Changes in plus-maze behavior were independent of changes in exploration or activity in either the plus-maze or hole board. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests that subtle differences in location of a kindled focus within the rat amygdala lead to different behavioral outcomes.

  16. Dissociation between mossy fiber sprouting and rapid kindling with low-frequency stimulation of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, L L; Mohapel, P; Jenkins, E M; Hannesson, D K; Corcoran, M E

    1998-01-19

    In an attempt to determine whether sprouting of mossy fibers is invariably correlated with kindling of seizures, we subjected rats to rapid kindling with long trains of low-frequency stimulation of the amygdala that resulted in development of generalized seizures within a mean of five stimulations. For comparison, we subjected other rats to conventional kindling with short trains of high-frequency stimulation of the amygdala that resulted in development of generalized seizures within a mean of 13 stimulations. We found no evidence of mossy fiber sprouting in the dentate gyrus of rats killed one day after completion of rapid kindling, as compared to yoked controls, although significant sprouting was seen in rats killed one day after completion of conventional kindling. When we examined tissue from rats killed 20 days after rapid kindling, however, we did find significant sprouting, suggesting that mossy fiber sprouting can be triggered by rapid kindling if sufficient survival time is allowed. The observed disparity between completion of rapid low-frequency kindling and detection of mossy fiber sprouting suggests that mossy fiber sprouting may be associated more with sustained survival time after neuronal activation than with kindling per se. Furthermore, the similar time course of conventional kindling and of mossy fiber sprouting obscures the determination of a causal role of mossy fiber sprouting in conventional kindling.

  17. Enhancement of synaptic facilitation during the progression of kindling epilepsy by amygdala stimulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, S; Hirayama, K; Murata, R

    1993-08-01

    1. A quantitative analysis of facilitation during the kindling stimulation to the amygdala was conducted by measuring the area between the excitatory potential and the baseline in the averaged tetanic response recorded at the entorhinal cortex. The changes in facilitation were then compared with the development of electrographic afterdischarges (AD) and behavioral seizures in response to successive kindling stimulations. 2. Kindling train pulses (n = 99 or 100; duration: 0.5 ms; frequency: 10 Hz; intensity: AD threshold) were applied to conscious rats until at least one generalized seizure occurred or until 13 stimuli were delivered. 3. Facilitation of the entorhinal responses by kindling stimulation first occurred in the monosynaptic excitatory component and was then followed by a progressive increase in the polysynaptic component that was manifested as the later negative peaks. A clear progressive enhancement was observed in the facilitation by successive kindling stimulations, which also induced prolongation of the AD duration and progression of the seizure stages, indicating that activity-dependent enhancement of facilitation (EF) occurred during the progression of kindling epilepsy. 4. Quantitative analysis revealed that the EF that occurred with the progression of seizure stages was statistically significant (P < 0.001, Friedman test). The AD duration (r = 0.89) and the long-term potentiation (r = 0.85) of the entorhinal responses by single test amygdala stimuli showed a very good linear relation to the EF.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. Amygdala kindling increases fear responses and decreases glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in hippocampal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalynchuk, Lisa E; Meaney, Michael J

    2003-12-01

    Amygdala kindling dramatically increases fearful behavior in rats. Because kindling-induced fear increases in magnitude as rats receive more stimulations, kindling provides an excellent model for studying the nature and neural mechanisms of fear sensitization. In the present experiment, we studied whether the development of kindling-induced fear is related to changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in various brain regions. Rats received 20, 60 or 100 amygdala kindling stimulations or 100 sham stimulations. One day after the final stimulation, their fearful behavior was assessed in an unfamiliar open field. Then, the rats were sacrificed and their brains were processed for in situ hybridization of GR mRNA expression. We found that compared with the sham-stimulated rats, the rats that received 60 or 100 kindling stimulations were significantly more fearful in the open field and also had significantly less GR mRNA expression in the dentate gyrus and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus. Importantly, the changes in fearful behavior were significantly correlated with the changes in GR mRNA expression. These results suggest that alterations in GR mRNA expression in hippocampal regions may play a role in the development of kindling-induced fear.

  19. Kindling of the lateral septum and the amygdala: effects on anxiety in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Earl; Gunton, Deborah J

    2011-10-24

    Long-term kindling of limbic system structures may produce substantial changes in emotional behavior in rats. This study examined long-term changes in two kindled structures that have opposite effects on anxiety, the lateral septum and the central nucleus of the amygdala. The purpose of the experiment was to examine the specificity of the emotional effects of kindling by employing a double dissociation design. Animals were tested in two common animal models of anxiety, the water-lick conflict test and the elevated plus-maze. In the conflict test amygdala-kindled animals demonstrated a significant anxiolytic effect when compared with sham-kindled animals. This effect was potentiated by chlordiazepoxide. Septally-kindled animals exhibited a significant anticonflict effect when compared to sham-kindled animals in the first session. Septally-kindled animals spent significantly more time on the open arms of the elevated plus-maze than did sham-kindled animals. Observed changes persisted 6weeks after the termination of 150 kindling sessions. The effects of long-term kindling were highly consistent with those of disruption rather than facilitation.

  20. Increased susceptibility to hippocampal and amygdala kindling following intrahippocampal kainic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldblum, S; Ackermann, R F

    1987-08-01

    The effects of unilateral intrahippocampal injection of kainic acid, a potent neuroexcitant and neurotoxin, on subsequent susceptibility to kindling of the contralateral hippocampus or contralateral amygdala were investigated in albino rats. At the chosen doses (0.20 to 1.25 micrograms dissolved in physiologic saline), the kainic acid-induced lesion was confined to the injected hippocampus and in two cases the ipsilateral entorhinal cortex; never were there contralateral lesions. Approximately 2 to 6 weeks post-injection, each animal received daily afterdischarge-producing electrical stimulations until stage 5 kindled limbic seizures occurred. Kindling in pretreated animals was significantly accelerated compared with controls; the hippocampal kindling rate decreased from 13.2 stimulations to 3.7, the amygdala kindling rate from 7.8 stimulations to 3.0. Many treated animals had first-stimulation stage 5 seizures, compared with none for controls. Importantly, this facilitation of kindling was not reversed by suppression of the acute, induced seizures with the anticonvulsants, diazepam and phenobarbital, which have repeatedly been demonstrated to effectively suppress limbic kindling. Such results, considered together with findings from the literature, suggest that partial kindling does not occur during kainic acid-induced seizures, and that the observed susceptibility to kindling and other epileptogenic agents subsequent to kainic acid treatment may in fact be related to neurophysiologic and neurochemical consequences of kainic acid-induced lesions.

  1. Spinacia oleracea retards the development of Amygdala kindled epilepsy in rats

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    Sutapa Das and Debjani Guha*

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The protective role of Spinacia oleracea (SO has been evaluated against the development of Amygdala kindled (AMK experimental epileptogenesis. Thirty six Holtzman strain adult male albino rats (200-250 g were equally divided into 1 control, 2 SO, 3 AMK, 4 SO+AMK, 5 DZ+AMK group. After discharge duration (ADD were used as indices of kindled seizures. In AMK group, seizure stages reached upto stage 4–5 within the second week. EEG tracings showed that pretreatment with SO in AMK group decreased the ADD and seizure stages of SO pretreated rats were limited within stage 1–2 from 1st to 4th week of kindling. Brain monoamine content of Serotonin (5-HT was decreased in cerebral cortex (CC, cerebellum (CB, caudate nucleus (CN, midbrain (MB and pons-medulla (PM of AMK group which was increased by SO pre-treatment. Alteration of Dopamine (DA and Norepinephrine (NE in different brain regions of AMK group was also modulated by SO pre-treatment. Thus SO pre-treatment retards the development of amygdala kindled epilepsy in experimental animals by modulating behavioural and neurochemical aspects

  2. Astaxanthin rescues neuron loss and attenuates oxidative stress induced by amygdala kindling in adult rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yan; Xie, Tao; He, Xue-Xin; Mao, Zhuo-Feng; Jia, Li-Jing; Wang, Wei-Ping; Zhen, Jun-Li; Liu, Liang-Min

    2015-06-15

    Oxidative stress plays an important role in the neuronal damage induced by epilepsy. The present study assessed the possible neuroprotective effects of astaxanthin (ATX) on neuronal damage, in hippocampal CA3 neurons following amygdala kindling. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were chronically kindled in the amygdala and ATX or equal volume of vehicle was given by intraperitoneally. Twenty-four hours after the last stimulation, the rats were sacrificed by decapitation. Histopathological changes and the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were measured, cytosolic cytochrome c (CytC) and caspase-3 activities in the hippocampus were also recorded. We found extensive neuronal damage in the CA3 region in the kindling group, which was preceded by increases of ROS level and MDA concentration and was followed by caspase-3 activation and an increase in cytosolic CytC. Treatment with ATX markedly attenuated the neuronal damage. In addition, ATX significantly decreased ROS and MDA concentrations and increased GSH levels. Moreover, ATX suppressed the translation of CytC release and caspase-3 activation in hippocampus. Together, these results suggest that ATX protects against neuronal loss due to epilepsy in the rat hippocampus by attenuating oxidative damage, lipid peroxidation and inhibiting the mitochondrion-related apoptotic pathway.

  3. Amygdala kindling induces nestin expression in the leptomeninges of the neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninomiya, Shogo; Esumi, Shigeyuki; Ohta, Kunimasa; Fukuda, Takaichi; Ito, Tetsufumi; Imayoshi, Itaru; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Ikeda, Toshio; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Tamamaki, Nobuaki

    2013-02-01

    Nestin is an intermediate filament found in neurogenic progenitors and non-neuronal cells. Nestin-immunoreactivity (IR) in the brain often increases after brain damage. Here we show that amygdala kindling, which mimics the epileptic seizures, also induces nestin expression in the brain. Nestin-IR was greatly enhanced in the leptomeninges (pia and arachnoid maters) and neocortical parenchyma, but not much in the SVZ around the lateral ventricle, SGZ in the dentate gyrus, or the endothelial progenitor cells of blood vessels, fimbria, or choroid plexus after kindling. Electron microscopy revealed that nestin-IR in the leptomeninges was localized to granule cells, where it co-localized with GAD67-IR after electrical stimulation. The nestin-positive granule cells in the leptomeninges, especially around the emissary vein, were proliferative. However, nestin-IR in the neocortical parenchyma was expressed in NG2 glia and did not co-localize with GAD67-IR. Deletion of nestin-positive cells resulted in a high susceptibility to electrical stimulation. Consequently, almost all of the mice died or dropped out during kindling progression in 20 days, from naturally generated epileptic seizure or exhaustion. We speculate that the nestin-positive cells activated by amygdala kindling may involve in the protection of the brain from epilepsy.

  4. Inhibitory Effect of High Dose of the Flavonoid Quercetin on Amygdala Electrical Kindling in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tourandokht Baluchnejadmojarad

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A B S T R A C T Introduction: Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which patients experience spontaneous recurrent seizures. Although the most commonly recommended therapy is drug treatment, some patients do not achieve adequate control of their seizures on existing drugs. New medications with novel mechanisms of action are needed to help those patients whose seizures are resistant to currently-available drugs. Therefore, the anti-convulsant effect of a high dose of quercetin was evaluated in amygdala kindling model in male rats. Methods: Rats were divided into sham-operated group, quercetintreated SH, kindled, and quercetin-treated kindled rats. Quercetin was administered i.p. one day before amygdale kindling for 3 weeks (40 mg/kg/day. The parameters seizure stage, AD duration, the latency to the onset of stage 4, and the duration of stage 5 were analyzed. Results: The results showed that quercetin pretreatment causes a lower seizure intensity in treated kindled rats (p<0.05-0.01, a lower after-discharge duration (p<0.05-0.01, and a higher latency to stage IV (p<0.05 as compared to untreated kindled ones. Discussion: To conclude, chronic administration of quercetin inhibits amygdala electrical kindling and more studies are warranted to clarify its underlying mechanisms.

  5. Forming a negative impression of another person correlates with activation in medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2011-09-01

    Neural correlates involved in the formation of negative impression from face were investigated using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and a partial conditioning paradigm. Eighteen normal volunteers underwent imaging while they viewed the faces of two unfamiliar individuals: one individual's face was partially accompanied by negative emotion but the other's was not. After the volunteers learned the relationship between the faces and the emotion, they formed a more negative impression of the person's face when the emotion was presented. Subtraction analysis of the individuals' neutral faces revealed activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal sulcus, but this activity did not correlate with the change of impression from face. On the other hand, the response in the left amygdala negatively correlated with the change of impression from face in the first run. Time modulation analysis revealed that activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex associated with negative emotion was the largest in the initial part of the acquisition. These results suggest that a negative impression from face may be formed by orchestrated activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala, and that the activity has a prominent role in the initial acquisition of negative emotion.

  6. 5-HTTLPR, anxiety and gender interaction moderates right amygdala volume in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerasa, Antonio; Quattrone, Aldo; Piras, Fabrizio; Mangone, Graziella; Magariello, Angela; Fagioli, Sabrina; Girardi, Paolo; Muglia, Maria; Caltagirone, Carlo; Spalletta, Gianfranco

    2014-10-01

    Genetic variants within the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) impact the neurobiology and risk for anxiety-related behaviours. There are also gender differences in the prevalence of anxiety-related behaviours. Although numerous studies have investigated the influence of 5-HTTLPR genotype on the neural systems involved in emotional regulation, none have investigated how these effects are modulated by gender and anxiety. We investigated this issue using two complementary region of interest-based structural neuroimaging approaches (voxel-based morphometry and Freesurfer) in 138 healthy individuals categorized into 'no anxiety' and 'subclinical anxiety' groups based on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A). Preliminarily, using anxiety as a continuous variable, we found a significant interaction effect of genotype by gender on anxiety. Females homozygous for the Short allele showed the highest HAM-A scores and males the lowest. In addition, a three-way significant interaction among genotype, gender and anxiety category was found for the right amygdala volume. Post hoc tests revealed that homozygous females carrying the Short variant with a subclinical anxiety condition had larger volume. The reported interaction effects demonstrate that gender strongly modulates the relationship between 5-HTTLPR genotype and subclinical expression of anxiety acting on amygdala, one region of the emotional neural network specifically involved in the anxiety-like behaviours.

  7. Heritable influences on amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex contribute to genetic variation in core dimensions of personality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G.J.; Panizzon, M.S.; Eyler, L.; Fennema-Notestine, C.; Chen, C.-H.; Neale, M.C.; Jernigan, T.L.; Lyons, M.J.; Dale, A.M.; Kremen, W.S.; Franz, C.E.

    2015-01-01

    While many studies have reported that individual differences in personality traits are genetically influenced, the neurobiological bases mediating these influences have not yet been well characterized. To advance understanding concerning the pathway from genetic variation to personality, here we examined whether measures of heritable variation in neuroanatomical size in candidate regions (amygdala and medial orbitofrontal cortex) were associated with heritable effects on personality. A sample of 486 middle-aged (mean = 55 years) male twins (complete MZ pairs = 120; complete DZ pairs = 84) underwent structural brain scans and also completed measures of two core domains of personality: positive and negative emotionality. After adjusting for estimated intracranial volume, significant phenotypic (rp) and genetic (rg) correlations were observed between left amygdala volume and positive emotionality (rp = .16, p < .01; rg = .23, p < .05, respectively). In addition, after adjusting for mean cortical thickness, genetic and nonshared-environmental correlations (re) between left medial orbitofrontal cortex thickness and negative emotionality were also observed (rg = .34, p < .01; re = −.19, p < .05, respectively). These findings support a model positing that heritable bases of personality are, at least in part, mediated through individual differences in the size of brain structures, although further work is still required to confirm this causal interpretation. PMID:25263286

  8. Persistent affective biases in human amygdala response following implicit priming with negative emotion concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichon, Swann; Rieger, Sebastian W; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2012-09-01

    To what extent do past experiences shape our behaviors, perceptions, and thoughts even without explicit knowledge of these influences? Behavioral research has demonstrated that various cognitive processes can be influenced by conceptual representations implicitly primed during a preceding and unrelated task. Here we investigated whether emotion processing might also be influenced by prior incidental exposure to negative semantic material and which neural substrates would mediate these effects. During a first (priming) task, participants performed a variant of the hangman game with either negative or neutral emotion-laden words. Subsequently, they performed a second, unrelated visual task with fearful and neutral faces presented at attended or unattended locations. Participants were generally not aware of any relationships between the two tasks. We found that priming with emotional words enhanced amygdala sensitivity to faces in the subsequent visual task, while decreasing discriminative responses to threat. Furthermore, the magnitude of the induced bias in behavior and amygdala activation was predicted by the effectiveness of semantic access observed in the priming task. This demonstrates that emotional processing can be modulated by implicit influence of environmental information processed at an earlier time, independently of volitional control.

  9. CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE MICROINFUSION IN THE CENTRAL AMYGDALA DIMINISHES A CARDIAC PARASYMPATHETIC OUTFLOW UNDER STRESS-FREE CONDITIONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    WIERSMA, A; BOHUS, B; KOOLHAAS, JM

    1993-01-01

    The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is known to be involved in the regulation of autonomic, neuroendocrine and behavioural responses in stress situations. The CeA contains large numbers of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) cell bodies. Neuroanatomical studies revealed that the majority of

  10. Aberrant functional connectivity between the amygdala and the temporal pole in drug-free generalized anxiety disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC play important roles in emotion dysregulation, which has a profound impact on etiologic research of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD. The present study analyzed both eyes-open and eyes-closed resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI of 43 subjects (21 GAD patients with medicine free and 22 matched healthy controls. The amygdala and the DLPFC were defined as regions of interest (ROI to analyze functional connectivity (FC in GAD patients compared with healthy controls. The main findings revealed GAD patients had increased FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole compared to healthy controls, which was found in both eyes-open and eyes-closed rs-fMRI. And altered FC between the ROIs and brain regions that mainly belonged to the default mode network (DMN were found. These findings suggest that the abnormal FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole may contribute to the pathophysiology of GAD, and provide insights into the current understanding of the emotion dysregulation of anxiety disorders.

  11. Amygdala functional connectivity with medial prefrontal cortex at rest predicts the positivity effect in older adults' memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaki, Michiko; Nga, Lin; Mather, Mara

    2013-08-01

    As people get older, they tend to remember more positive than negative information. This age-by-valence interaction has been called "positivity effect." The current study addressed the hypotheses that baseline functional connectivity at rest is predictive of older adults' brain activity when learning emotional information and their positivity effect in memory. Using fMRI, we examined the relationship among resting-state functional connectivity, subsequent brain activity when learning emotional faces, and individual differences in the positivity effect (the relative tendency to remember faces expressing positive vs. negative emotions). Consistent with our hypothesis, older adults with a stronger positivity effect had increased functional coupling between amygdala and medial PFC (MPFC) during rest. In contrast, younger adults did not show the association between resting connectivity and memory positivity. A similar age-by-memory positivity interaction was also found when learning emotional faces. That is, memory positivity in older adults was associated with (a) enhanced MPFC activity when learning emotional faces and (b) increased negative functional coupling between amygdala and MPFC when learning negative faces. In contrast, memory positivity in younger adults was related to neither enhanced MPFC activity to emotional faces, nor MPFC-amygdala connectivity to negative faces. Furthermore, stronger MPFC-amygdala connectivity during rest was predictive of subsequent greater MPFC activity when learning emotional faces. Thus, emotion-memory interaction in older adults depends not only on the task-related brain activity but also on the baseline functional connectivity.

  12. Basolateral Amygdala Projections to Ventral Hippocampus Modulate the Consolidation of Footshock, but Not Contextual, Learning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Mary L.; Emmons, Eric B.; Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; LaLumiere, Ryan T.

    2016-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulates memory consolidation for a variety of types of learning, whereas other brain regions play more selective roles in specific kinds of learning suggesting a role for differential consolidation via distinct BLA pathways. The ventral hippocampus (VH), an efferent target of the BLA, has been suggested to…

  13. Differential patterns of amygdala and ventral striatum activation predict gender-specific changes in sexual risk behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victor, Elizabeth C; Sansosti, Alexandra A; Bowman, Hilary C; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-06-10

    Although the initiation of sexual behavior is common among adolescents and young adults, some individuals express this behavior in a manner that significantly increases their risk for negative outcomes including sexually transmitted infections. Based on accumulating evidence, we have hypothesized that increased sexual risk behavior reflects, in part, an imbalance between neural circuits mediating approach and avoidance in particular as manifest by relatively increased ventral striatum (VS) activity and relatively decreased amygdala activity. Here, we test our hypothesis using data from seventy 18- to 22-year-old university students participating in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. We found a significant three-way interaction between amygdala activation, VS activation, and gender predicting changes in the number of sexual partners over time. Although relatively increased VS activation predicted greater increases in sexual partners for both men and women, the effect in men was contingent on the presence of relatively decreased amygdala activation and the effect in women was contingent on the presence of relatively increased amygdala activation. These findings suggest unique gender differences in how complex interactions between neural circuit function contributing to approach and avoidance may be expressed as sexual risk behavior in young adults. As such, our findings have the potential to inform the development of novel, gender-specific strategies that may be more effective at curtailing sexual risk behavior.

  14. The interplay between the hippocampus and the amygdala in regulating aberrant hippocampal neurogenesis during protracted abstinence from alcohol dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chitra D Mandyam

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The development of alcohol dependence involves elevated anxiety, low mood, and increased sensitivity to stress, collectively labeled negative affect. Particularly interesting is the recent accumulating evidence that sensitized extrahypothalamic stress systems (e.g., hyperglutamatergic activity, blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal [HPA] hormonal levels, altered corticotropin-releasing factor signaling, and altered glucocorticoid receptor signaling in the extended amygdala are evident in withdrawn dependent rats, supporting the hypothesis that pathological neuroadaptations in the extended amygdala contribute to the negative affective state. Notably, hippocampal neurotoxicity observed as aberrant dentate gyrus (DG neurogenesis (neurogenesis is a process where neural stem cells in the adult hippocampal subgranular zone generate DG granule cell neurons and DG neurodegeneration are observed in withdrawn dependent rats. These correlations between withdrawal and aberrant neurogenesis in dependent rats suggest that alterations in the DG could be hypothesized to be due to compromised HPA axis activity and associated hyperglutamatergic activity originating from the basolateral amygdala in withdrawn dependent rats. This review discusses a possible link between the neuroadaptations in the extended amygdala stress systems and the resulting pathological plasticity that could facilitate recruitment of new emotional memory circuits in the hippocampus as a function of aberrant DG neurogenesis.

  15. Chronic Nicotine Exposure Induces a Long-Lasting and Pathway-Specific Facilitation of LTP in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan-You; Kandel, Eric R.; Levine, Amir

    2008-01-01

    Nicotine, in the form of tobacco, is the most commonly used drug of abuse. In addition to its rewarding properties, nicotine also affects many cognitive and emotional processes that involve several brain regions, including hippocampus and amygdala. Long-term changes in synaptic strength in these brain regions after drug exposure may be importantly…

  16. Blocking the mineralocorticoid receptor in humans prevents the stress-induced enhancement of centromedial amygdala connectivity with the dorsal striatum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vogel, S.; Klumpers, F.; Krugers, H.J.; Fang, Z.; Oplaat, K.T.; Oitzl, M.S.; Joels, M.; Fernandez, G.S.E.

    2015-01-01

    Two research lines argue for rapid stress-induced reallocations of neural network activity involving the amygdala. One focuses on the role of norepinephrine (NE) in mediating a shift towards the salience network and improving vigilance processing, whereas the other focuses on the role of cortisol in

  17. Activity dependent protein degradation is critical for the formation and stability of fear memory in the amygdala.

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    Timothy J Jarome

    Full Text Available Protein degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome system [UPS] plays a critical role in some forms of synaptic plasticity. However, its role in memory formation in the amygdala, a site critical for the formation of fear memories, currently remains unknown. Here we provide the first evidence that protein degradation through the UPS is critically engaged at amygdala synapses during memory formation and retrieval. Fear conditioning results in NMDA-dependent increases in degradation-specific polyubiquitination in the amygdala, targeting proteins involved in translational control and synaptic structure and blocking the degradation of these proteins significantly impairs long-term memory. Furthermore, retrieval of fear memory results in a second wave of NMDA-dependent polyubiquitination that targets proteins involved in translational silencing and synaptic structure and is critical for memory updating following recall. These results indicate that UPS-mediated protein degradation is a major regulator of synaptic plasticity necessary for the formation and stability of long-term memories at amygdala synapses.

  18. Aberrant Functional Connectivity between the Amygdala and the Temporal Pole in Drug-Free Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Cui, Huiru; Zhu, Zhipei; Kong, Li; Guo, Qian; Zhu, Yikang; Hu, Qiang; Zhang, Lanlan; Li, Hui; Li, Qingwei; Jiang, Jiangling; Meyers, Jordan; Li, Jianqi; Wang, Jijun; Yang, Zhi; Li, Chunbo

    2016-01-01

    The amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) play important roles in "emotion dysregulation," which has a profound impact on etiologic research of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The present study analyzed both eyes-open and eyes-closed resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) of 43 subjects (21 GAD patients with medicine free and 22 matched healthy controls). The amygdala and the DLPFC were defined as regions of interest (ROI) to analyze functional connectivity (FC) in GAD patients compared with healthy controls. The main findings revealed GAD patients had increased FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole compared to healthy controls, which was found in both eyes-open and eyes-closed rs-fMRI. And altered FC between the ROIs and brain regions that mainly belonged to the default mode network (DMN) were found. These findings suggest that the abnormal FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole may contribute to the pathophysiology of GAD, and provide insights into the current understanding of the emotion dysregulation of anxiety disorders.

  19. Acute serotonin 2A receptor blocking alters the processing of fearful faces in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hornboll, Bettina; Macoveanu, Julian; Rowe, James;

    2013-01-01

    blockade reduced the neural response to fearful faces in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), independently of 5-HT2A receptor occupancy or neocortical 5-HT2A receptor BPp . The medial OFC also showed increased functional coupling with the left amygdala during processing of fearful faces depending...

  20. p300/CBP Histone Acetyltransferase Activity Is Required for Newly Acquired and Reactivated Fear Memories in the Lateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddox, Stephanie A.; Watts, Casey S.; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2013-01-01

    Modifications in chromatin structure have been widely implicated in memory and cognition, most notably using hippocampal-dependent memory paradigms including object recognition, spatial memory, and contextual fear memory. Relatively little is known, however, about the role of chromatin-modifying enzymes in amygdala-dependent memory formation.…

  1. AMYGDALA KINDLING-INDUCED SEIZURES SELECTIVELY IMPAIR SPATIAL MEMORY .2. EFFECTS ON HIPPOCAMPAL NEURONAL AND GLIAL MUSCARINIC ACETYLCHOLINE-RECEPTOR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BELDHUIS, HJA; EVERTS, HGJ; VANDERZEE, EA; LUITEN, PGM; BOHUS, B

    1992-01-01

    The muscarinic acetylcholine receptor is linked via hydrolysis of phosphoinositides to the protein kinase C pathway. In a preceding paper (Beldhuis, H. J. A., H. G. J. Everts, E. A. Vander Zee, P. G. M. Luiten, and B. Bohus (1992) Amygdala kindling-induced seizures selectively impair spatial memory.

  2. PROPAGATION OF EPILEPTIFORM ACTIVITY DURING DEVELOPMENT OF AMYGDALA KINDLING IN RATS - LINEAR AND NONLINEAR ASSOCIATION BETWEEN IPSILATERAL AND CONTRALATERAL SITES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BELDHUIS, HJA; SUZUKI, T; PIJN, JPM; TEISMAN, A; DASILVA, FHL; BOHUS, B

    1993-01-01

    The relationship between ipsi- and contralateral epileptiform electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was investigated in rats that were kindled daily in the amygdala. Two types of relationship-linear and non-linear associations-were studied and used to estimate time delays of EEG activity between ho

  3. Differential Transcriptional Response to Nonassociative and Associative Components of Classical Fear Conditioning in the Amygdala and Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isiegas, Carolina; Stein, Joel; Hellman, Kevin; Hannenhalli, Sridhar; Abel, Ted; Keeley, Michael B.; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2006-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning requires the recognition of conditioned stimuli (CS) and the association of the CS with an aversive stimulus. We used Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays to characterize changes in gene expression compared to naive mice in both the amygdala and the hippocampus 30 min after classical fear conditioning and 30 min after…

  4. Long-Term Synaptic Changes in Two Input Pathways into the Lateral Nucleus of the Amygdala Underlie Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Junchol; Choi, June-Seek

    2010-01-01

    Plasticity in two input pathways into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the sensory thalamus, have been suggested to underlie extinction, suppression of a previously acquired conditioned response (CR) following repeated presentations of the conditioned stimulus (CS). However, little is known about…

  5. Distinct Contributions of the Basolateral Amygdala and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Learning and Relearning Extinction of Context Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2008-01-01

    We studied the roles of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in learning and relearning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, pre-extinction BLA infusion of the NMDA receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ifenprodil, impaired the development and retention of inhibition but…

  6. Central amygdala lesions inhibit pontine nuclei acoustic reactivity and retard delay eyeblink conditioning acquisition in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pochiro, Joseph M; Lindquist, Derick H

    2016-06-01

    In delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS; tone) is repeatedly paired with a mildly aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; periorbital electrical shock). Over training, subjects learn to produce an anticipatory eyeblink conditioned response (CR) during the CS, prior to US onset. While cerebellar synaptic plasticity is necessary for successful EBC, the amygdala is proposed to enhance eyeblink CR acquisition. In the current study, adult Long-Evans rats received bilateral sham or neurotoxic lesions of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) followed by 1 or 4 EBC sessions. Fear-evoked freezing behavior, CS-mediated enhancement of the unconditioned response (UR), and eyeblink CR acquisition were all impaired in the CEA lesion rats relative to sham controls. There were also significantly fewer c-Fos immunoreactive cells in the pontine nuclei (PN)-major relays of acoustic information to the cerebellum-following the first and fourth EBC session in lesion rats. In sham rats, freezing behavior decreased from session 1 to 4, commensurate with nucleus-specific reductions in amygdala Fos+ cell counts. Results suggest delay EBC proceeds through three stages: in stage one the amygdala rapidly excites diffuse fear responses and PN acoustic reactivity, facilitating cerebellar synaptic plasticity and the development of eyeblink CRs in stage two, leading, in stage three, to a diminution or stabilization of conditioned fear responding.

  7. Post-Acquisition Release of Glutamate and Norepinephrine in the Amygdala Is Involved in Taste-Aversion Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman-Ramos, Kioko; Osorio-Gomez, Daniel; Moreno-Castilla, Perla; Bermudez-Rattoni, Federico

    2012-01-01

    Amygdala activity mediates the acquisition and consolidation of emotional experiences; we have recently shown that post-acquisition reactivation of this structure is necessary for the long-term storage of conditioned taste aversion (CTA). However, the specific neurotransmitters involved in such reactivation are not known. The aim of the present…

  8. Differential involvement of glutamatergic and catecholaminergic activity within the amygdala during taste aversion retrieval on memory expression and updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Osorio-Gómez; Kioko, Guzmán-Ramos; Federico, Bermúdez-Rattoni

    2016-07-01

    During memory retrieval, consolidated memories are expressed and destabilized in order to maintain or update information through a memory reconsolidation process. Despite the key role of the amygdala during memory acquistion and consolidation, the participation of neurotransmitter signals in memory retrieval is poorly understood. Hence, we used conditioned taste aversion and in vivo microdialysis to evaluate changes in glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine concentrations within the amygdala during memory retrieval. We observed that exposure to an aversive-conditioned stimulus induced an augmentation in glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine levels within the amygdala, while exposure to a familiar and safe stimulus did not induce changes in these neurotransmitters levels. Also, we evaluated the amygdalar blockade of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), β-adrenergic and dopamine D1 receptors in memory retrieval and updating. Results showed that during retrieval, behavioural expression was impaired by intra-amygdalar blockade of AMPA and β-adrenergic receptors, whereas NMDA, D1 and β-adrenergic receptors blockade hindered memory updating. In summary, during conditioned taste aversion retrieval there was an increase in the extracellular levels of glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine within the amygdala, and their receptors activity were differentially involved in the behavioural expression and memory updating during retrieval.

  9. Real-time neurofeedback using functional MRI could improve down-regulation of amygdala activity during emotional stimulation: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Annette Beatrix; Scherpiet, Sigrid; Sulzer, James; Stämpfli, Philipp; Seifritz, Erich; Herwig, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    The amygdala is a central target of emotion regulation. It is overactive and dysregulated in affective and anxiety disorders and amygdala activity normalizes with successful therapy of the symptoms. However, a considerable percentage of patients do not reach remission within acceptable duration of treatment. The amygdala could therefore represent a promising target for real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) neurofeedback. rtfMRI neurofeedback directly improves the voluntary regulation of localized brain activity. At present, most rtfMRI neurofeedback studies have trained participants to increase activity of a target, i.e. up-regulation. However, in the case of the amygdala, down-regulation is supposedly more clinically relevant. Therefore, we developed a task that trained participants to down-regulate activity of the right amygdala while being confronted with amygdala stimulation, i.e. negative emotional faces. The activity in the functionally-defined region was used as online visual feedback in six healthy subjects instructed to minimize this signal using reality checking as emotion regulation strategy. Over a period of four training sessions, participants significantly increased down-regulation of the right amygdala compared to a passive viewing condition to control for habilitation effects. This result supports the concept of using rtfMRI neurofeedback training to control brain activity during relevant stimulation, specifically in the case of emotion, and has implications towards clinical treatment of emotional disorders.

  10. Does Chronic Tinnitus Alter the Emotional Response Function of the Amygdala?: A Sound-Evoked fMRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Jeff E.; Gander, Phillip E.; Hall, Deborah A.

    2017-01-01

    Tinnitus is often associated with strong negative thoughts and emotions which can contribute to a distressing and chronic long-term condition. The amygdala, the “feeling and reacting” part of the brain, may play a key role in this process. Although implicated in several theoretical models of tinnitus, quantification of activity in the human amygdala has only been made possible more recently through neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) but benefits from modified scanning parameters using a double-echo acquisition for improved BOLD sensitivity. This study thus examined the role of the amygdala in emotional sound processing in people with tinnitus using a novel double-echo imaging sequence for optimal detectability of subcortical activity. Our hypotheses were: (1) emotionally evocative sound clips rated as pleasant or unpleasant would elicit stronger amygdalar activation than sound clips rated as neutral, (2) people with tinnitus have greater amygdalar activation in response to emotionally evocative sounds (relative to neutral sounds) compared to controls. Methods: Twelve participants all with chronic, constant tinnitus took part. We also recruited 11 age and hearing-matched controls. Participants listened to a range of emotionally evocative sound clips; rated as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. A region-of-interest analysis was chosen to test our a priori hypotheses. Results: Both groups displayed a robust and similar overall response to sounds vs. silence in the following ascending auditory pathways; inferior colliculus, medial geniculate body and the primary auditory cortex. In support of our first hypothesis, the amygdala's response to pleasant and unpleasant sound clips was significantly greater than neutral sounds. Opposing our second hypothesis, we found that the amygdala's overall response to pleasant and unpleasant sounds (compared to neutral sounds) was actually lower in the tinnitus group as compared to the controls

  11. Dosage-sensitive X-linked locus influences the development of amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex, and fear recognition in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Catriona D; Lawrence, Kate; Thomas, N Simon; Price, Cathy J; Ashburner, John; Friston, Karl J; Frackowiak, Richard S J; Oreland, Lars; Skuse, David H

    2003-11-01

    The amygdala, which plays a critical role in emotional learning and social cognition, is structurally and functionally sexually dimorphic in humans. We used magnetic neuroimaging and molecular genetic analyses with healthy subjects and patients possessing X-chromosome anomalies to find dosage-sensitive genes that might influence amygdala development. If such X-linked genes lacked a homologue on the Y-chromosome they would be expressed in one copy in normal 46,XY males and two copies in normal 46,XX females. We showed by means of magnetic neuroimaging that 46,XY males possess significantly increased amygdala volumes relative to normal 46,XX females. However, females with Turner syndrome (45,X) have even larger amygdalae than 46,XY males. This finding implies that haploinsufficiency for one or more X-linked genes influences amygdala development irrespective of a direct or indirect (endocrinological) mechanism involving the Y-chromosome. 45,X females also have increased grey matter volume in the orbitofrontal cortex bilaterally, close to a region implicated in emotional learning. They are as poor as patients with bilateral amygdalectomies in the recognition of fear from facial expressions. We attempted to localize the gene(s) responsible for these deficits in X-monosomy by means of a deletion mapping strategy. We studied female patients possessing structural X-anomalies of the short arm. A genetic locus (no greater than 4.96 Mb in size) at Xp11.3 appears to play a key role in amygdala and orbitofrontal structural and (by implication) functional development. Females with partial X-chromosome deletions, in whom this critical locus is deleted, have normal intelligence. Their fear recognition is as poor as that of 45,X females and their amygdalae are correspondingly enlarged. This 4.96 Mb region contains, among others, the genes for monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and B (MAOB), which are involved in the oxidative deamination of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine and

  12. Ashley's Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimes, Tiffany

    2012-01-01

    Many fingers are pointed at today's youth who are maligned for problems of bullying, school dropout, teen violence, suicide, and sexual encounters at ever younger ages. But these are symptoms of the culture of discord adults have created for youth. Too many youth lack positive adult and peer relationships, a loving and caring community, and a…

  13. Long-term effects of amygdala GABA receptor blockade on specific subpopulations of hippocampal interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berretta, Sabina; Lange, Nicholas; Bhattacharyya, Sujoy; Sebro, Ronnie; Garces, Jessica; Benes, Francine M

    2004-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates that the amygdala modulates hippocampal functions. To test the hypothesis that this modulation may involve long-lasting effects on interneuronal networks in the hippocampus, changes in the expression of neurochemical markers specific for different interneuronal subpopulations were assessed in adult rats 96 h following acute infusion of low doses of the GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin into the amygdala. The numerical density (Nd) of somata showing immunoreactivity (IR) for parvalbumin (PVB) was decreased in dentate gyrus (DG) and the CA4-2 region, while that of calretinin (CR)-IR was decreased in DG and CA2. The Nd of calbindin D28k (CB)-IR somata was decreased in CA3-2. The densities of axon terminals arising from PVB-IR and cholecystokinin (CCK)-IR basket neurons were also altered, with those of CCK-IR terminals increased across all sectors, while PVB-IR terminals were decreased only in the CA region. Increases in CCK-IR terminals were paralleled by increases of terminals with IR for the 65-kD isoform of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65). Mixed-effects statistical models, adapted specifically for these analyses, indicated that perturbations of amygdalar inputs to the hippocampus significantly alter the drive that hippocampal PVB-, CR-, and CB-IR neurons within the dentate gyrus/CA4 region exercise on CCK-IR terminals within the same region as well as in CA3-1. These results suggest that amygdalar modulation of specific neuronal subpopulations may induce lasting and far-reaching changes in the hippocampus during normal functioning, as well as in diseases involving a disruption of amygdalar activity. In particular, changes in specific interneuronal markers within selective hippocampal sectors detected in the present results are strikingly similar to those reported in this region in schizophrenia. These similarities suggest that, in this disease, a disruption of GABAergic transmission within the amygdala may play a significant role in

  14. Effects of baseline anxiety on response to kindling of the right medial amygdala.

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    Adamec, R; Shallow, T

    The effects of kindling of the right anterior medial amygdala of Wistar rats was studied. Kindling lastingly increased anxiety (decreased open-arm exploration) in the elevated plus-maze 1 week after the last kindled seizure, replicating previous findings. Changes in anxiety were independent of changes in exploration or activity in either the plus-maze or hole board. A new finding is the dependence on baseline behavior of kindling induced behavioral changes. Using a novel-retest paradigm, it was possible to retest rats in the plus-maze without changes in their open arm explorations. This permitted pretesting rats to determine their baseline levels of plus-maze anxiety. Controls proved to be stable in their plus-maze behavior over a retest interval of 3 weeks. Rats below the median level of Test 1 open-arm exploration were unaffected by kindling. Those above the Test 1 median level of open-arm exploration showed reduced exploration following kindling. Kindling did not affect closed-arm entries in the plus-maze in this analysis. However, it was discovered that rats with arm entries below a critical level on Test 1 showed an increase in closed-arm entries following kindling. These findings point out how baseline behaviors can interact with kindling to influence behavioral outcome. Risk assessment was unchanged by kindling in this study, unlike previous reports. Subtle changes in focus location within the medial amygdala may have altered the effects of kindling on risk assessment. The electrodes in this study were in a slightly but significantly different location in the medial amygdala than in previous studies. As in previous studies, risk assessment was measured as frequency and duration of stretch attend postures toward the open arm of the plus maze when the hind quarters were in the closed arms. Risk assessment was taken as a ratio of time spent in the closed arms of the maze. This study, along with others reviewed elsewhere, suggest that a complex set of factors

  15. Intranasal Oxytocin Affects Amygdala Functional Connectivity after Trauma Script-Driven Imagery in Distressed Recently Trauma-Exposed Individuals.

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    Frijling, Jessie L; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Koch, Saskia B J; Nawijn, Laura; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-04-01

    Approximately 10% of trauma-exposed individuals go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Neural emotion regulation may be etiologically involved in PTSD development. Oxytocin administration early post-trauma may be a promising avenue for PTSD prevention, as intranasal oxytocin has previously been found to affect emotion regulation networks in healthy individuals and psychiatric patients. In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled between-subjects functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) study, we assessed the effects of a single intranasal oxytocin administration (40 IU) on seed-based amygdala resting-state FC with emotion regulation areas (ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC)), and salience processing areas (insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC)) in 37 individuals within 11 days post trauma. Two resting-state scans were acquired; one after neutral- and one after trauma-script-driven imagery. We found that oxytocin administration reduced amygdala-left vlPFC FC after trauma script-driven imagery, compared with neutral script-driven imagery, whereas in PL-treated participants enhanced amygdala-left vlPFC FC was observed following trauma script-driven imagery. Irrespective of script condition, oxytocin increased amygdala-insula FC and decreased amygdala-vmPFC FC. These neural effects were accompanied by lower levels of sleepiness and higher flashback intensity in the oxytocin group after the trauma script. Together, our findings show that oxytocin administration may impede emotion regulation network functioning in response to trauma reminders in recently trauma-exposed individuals. Therefore, caution may be warranted in administering oxytocin to prevent PTSD in distressed, recently trauma-exposed individuals.

  16. Amygdala activation during emotional face processing in adolescents with affective disorders: the role of underlying depression and anxiety symptoms.

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    Bianca G Van Den Bulk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available AbstractDepressive and anxiety disorders are often first diagnosed during adolescence and it is known that they persist into adulthood. Previous studies often tried to dissociate depressive and anxiety disorders, but high comorbidity makes this difficult and maybe even impossible. The goal of this study was to use neuroimaging to test what the unique contribution is of depression and anxiety symptomatology on emotional processing and amygdala activation, and to compare the results with a healthy control group. We included 25 adolescents with depressive and/or anxiety disorders and 26 healthy adolescents. Participants performed an emotional face processing task while in the MRI scanner. We were particularly interested in the relation between depression/anxiety symptomatology and patterns of amygdala activation. There were no significant differences in activation patterns between the control group and the clinical group on whole brain level and ROI level. However, we found that dimensional scores on an anxiety but not a depression subscale significantly predicted brain activation in the right amygdala when processing fearful, happy and neutral faces. These results suggest that anxiety symptoms are a better predictor for differentiating activation patterns in the amygdala than depression symptoms. Although the current study includes a relatively large sample of treatment naïve adolescents with depression/anxiety disorders, results might be influenced by differences between studies in recruitment strategies or methodology. Future research should include larger samples with a more equal distribution of adolescents with a clinical diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety. To conclude, this study shows that abnormal amygdala responses to emotional faces in depression and anxiety seems to be more dependent on anxiety symptoms than on depression symptoms, and thereby highlights the need for more research to better characterize clinical groups in future

  17. Amygdala response predicts trajectory of symptom reduction during Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy among adolescent girls with PTSD.

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    Cisler, Josh M; Sigel, Benjamin A; Kramer, Teresa L; Smitherman, Sonet; Vanderzee, Karin; Pemberton, Joy; Kilts, Clinton D

    2015-12-01

    Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is the gold standard treatment for pediatric PTSD. Nonetheless, clinical outcomes in TF-CBT are highly variable, indicating a need to identify reliable predictors that allow forecasting treatment response. Here, we test the hypothesis that functional neuroimaging correlates of emotion processing predict PTSD symptom reduction during Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) among adolescent girls with PTSD. Thirty-four adolescent girls with PTSD related to physical or sexual assault were enrolled in TF-CBT, delivered in an approximately 12 session format, in an open trial. Prior to treatment, they were engaged in an implicit threat processing task during 3T fMRI, during which they viewed faces depicting fearful or neutral expressions. Among adolescent girls completing TF-CBT (n = 23), slopes of PTSD symptom trajectories during TF-CBT were significantly related to pre-treatment degree of bilateral amygdala activation while viewing fearful vs neutral images. Adolescents with less symptom reduction were characterized by greater amygdala activation to both threat and neutral images (i.e., less threat-safety discrimination), whereas adolescents with greater symptom reduction were characterized by amygdala activation only to threat images. These clinical outcome relationships with pre-treatment bilateral amygdala activation remained when controlling for possible confounding demographic or clinical variables (e.g., concurrent psychotropic medication, comorbid diagnoses). While limited by a lack of a control group, these preliminary results suggest that pre-treatment amygdala reactivity to fear stimuli, a component of neurocircuitry models of PTSD, positively predicts symptom reduction during TF-CBT among assaulted adolescent girls, providing support for an objective measure for forecasting treatment response in this vulnerable population.

  18. Brain activation in response to visceral stimulation in rats with amygdala implants of corticosterone: an FMRI study.

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    Anthony C Johnson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although visceral pain of gastrointestinal (GI origin is the major complaint in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS it remains poorly understood. Brain imaging studies suggest a defect in brain-gut communication in IBS with a greater activation of central arousal circuits including the amygdala. Previously, we found that stereotaxic implantation of corticosterone (CORT onto the amygdala in rats induced anxiety and colonic hypersensitivity. In the present study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to identify specific brain sites activated in a rat model characterized by anxiety and colonic hypersensitivity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Anesthetized male rats received micropellets (30 microg each of either CORT or cholesterol (CHOL, to serve as a control, implanted stereotaxically on the dorsal margin of each amygdala. Seven days later, rats were anesthetized and placed in the fMRI magnet (7T. A series of isobaric colorectal balloon distensions (CRD - 90s 'off', 30s 'on', 8 replicates at two pressures (40 and 60 mmHg were performed in a standard block-design. Cross correlation statistical analysis was used to determine significant differences between distended and non-distended states in CORT and CHOL-treated animals. Analysis of the imaging data demonstrated greater overall brain activation in response to CRD in rats with CORT implants compared to CHOL controls. Additionally, CORT implants produced significant positive bilateral increases in MRI signal in response to CRD in specific nuclei known as integration sites important in anxiety and pain perception. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: These data indicate that chronic exposure of the amygdala to elevated levels of CORT enhances overall brain activation in response to CRD, and identified other specific brain regions activated in response to mechanical distension of the colon. These results demonstrate the feasibility of performing fMRI imaging in a rodent

  19. Stress-induced structural plasticity of medial amygdala stellate neurons and rapid prevention by a candidate antidepressant

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    Lau, T.; Bigio, B.; Zelli, D.; McEwen, BS.; Nasca, C.

    2016-01-01

    The adult brain is capable of adapting to internal and external stressors by undergoing structural plasticity, and failure to be resilient and preserve normal structure and function is likely to contribute to depression and anxiety disorders. While the hippocampus has provided the gateway for understanding stress effects on the brain, less is known about the amygdala, a key brain area involved in the neural circuitry of fear and anxiety. Here, in mice more vulnerable to stressors, we demonstrate structural plasticity within the medial and basolateral regions of the amygdala in response to prolonged 21day chronic restraint stress (CRS). Three days before the end of CRS, treatment with the putative, rapidly acting antidepressant, acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) in the drinking water opposed the direction of these changes. Behaviorally, the LAC treatment during the last part of CRS enhanced resilience, opposing the effects of CRS, as shown by an increased social interaction and reduced passive behavior in a forced swim test. Furthermore, CRS mice treated with LAC show resilience of the CRS-induced structural remodeling of medial amygdala (MeA) stellate neurons. Within the basolateral (BLA) amygdala, LAC did not reduce, but slightly enhanced, the CRS-increased length and number of intersections of pyramidal neurons. No structural changes were observed in MeA bipolar neurons, BLA stellate neurons, or in lateral amygdala (LA) stellate neurons. Our findings identify MeA stellate neurons as an important component in the responses to stress and LAC action and show that LAC can promote structural plasticity of the MeA. This may be useful as a model for increasing resilience to stressors in at risk populations. PMID:27240534

  20. The acceleration of amygdala kindling epileptogenesis by chronic low-dose corticosterone involves both mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors.

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    Kumar, Gaurav; Couper, Abbie; O'Brien, Terence J; Salzberg, Michael R; Jones, Nigel C; Rees, Sandra M; Morris, Margaret J

    2007-08-01

    We have previously demonstrated that low-dose corticosterone (CS) administration, used as a model of the effect of chronic stress, accelerates epileptogenesis in the electrical amygdala kindling rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). This current study examined the relative contributions to this effect of mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) subtypes of glucocorticoid receptors. Female non-epileptic wistar rats 10-13 weeks of age were implanted with a bipolar electrode into the left amygdala. Five treatment groups were subjected to rapid amygdala kindling: water-control (n=9), CS treated (6 mg/100 ml added to drinking water; n=9), CS+spironolactone (MR antagonist, 50 mg/kg sc; n=9), CS+mifepristone (GR antagonist, 25 mg/kg sc; n=9), and CS+both antagonists (n=7). Rats were injected with vehicle or the relevant antagonist twice daily for the entire kindling period. Experimental groups differed significantly in the number of stimulations required to reach the 'fully kindled state' (Racine, 1972) ANOVA, F(4,38)=2.73, p=0.04). Amygdala kindling was accelerated in the CS-treated group compared with water controls (mean stimulations for full kindling: 45.2 vs. 86.5, pkindling rates in these groups not significantly different from water-treated subjects (p=0.26 and 0.29, respectively). The kindling rates in the MR and GR antagonist treatment groups did not significantly differ from each other (p=0.93), nor from the combined treatment group (mean stimulations: 62.8, p=0.59 and 0.54, respectively). This study demonstrates that activation of both high-affinity (MR) and low-affinity (GR) glucocorticoid receptors are involved in mediating CS-induced acceleration of amygdala kindling epileptogenesis.

  1. The effective connectivity of the seizure onset zone and ictal perfusion changes in amygdala kindled rhesus monkeys.

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    Cleeren, Evy; Premereur, Elsie; Casteels, Cindy; Goffin, Karolien; Janssen, Peter; Van Paesschen, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Epileptic seizures are network-level phenomena. Hence, epilepsy may be regarded as a circuit-level disorder that cannot be understood outside this context. Better insight into the effective connectivity of the seizure onset zone and the manner in which seizure activity spreads could lead to specifically-tailored therapies for epilepsy. We applied the electrical amygdala kindling model in two rhesus monkeys until these animals displayed consistent stage IV seizures. At this stage, we investigated the effective connectivity of the amygdala by means of electrical microstimulation during fMRI (EM-fMRI). In addition, we imaged changes in perfusion during a seizure using ictal SPECT perfusion imaging. The spatial overlap between the connectivity network and the ictal perfusion network was assessed both at the regional level, by calculating Dice coefficients using anatomically defined regions of interest, and at the voxel level. The kindled amygdala was extensively connected to bilateral cortical and subcortical structures, which in many cases were connected multisynaptically to the amygdala. At the regional level, the spatial extents of many of these fMRI activations and deactivations corresponded to the respective increases and decreases in perfusion imaged during a stage IV seizure. At the voxel level, however, some regions showed residual seizure-specific activity (not overlapping with the EM-fMRI activations) or fMRI-specific activation (not overlapping with the ictal SPECT activations), indicating that frequently, only a part of a region anatomically connected to the seizure onset zone participated in seizure propagation. Thus, EM-fMRI in the amygdala of electrically-kindled monkeys reveals widespread areas that are often connected multisynaptically to the seizure focus. Seizure activity appears to spread, to a large extent, via these connected areas.

  2. Orexin gene transfer into the amygdala suppresses both spontaneous and emotion-induced cataplexy in orexin-knockout mice.

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    Liu, Meng; Blanco-Centurion, Carlos; Konadhode, Roda Rani; Luan, Liju; Shiromani, Priyattam J

    2016-03-01

    Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder linked to the loss of orexin-producing neurons in the hypothalamus. Cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone during waking, is an important distinguishing symptom of narcolepsy and it is often triggered by strong emotions. The neural circuit underlying cataplexy attacks is not known, but is likely to involve the amygdala, a region implicated in regulating emotions. In mice models of narcolepsy, transfer of the orexin gene into surrogate neurons has been successful in ameliorating narcoleptic symptoms. However, it is not known whether this method also blocks cataplexy triggered by strong emotions. To examine this possibility, the gene encoding mouse prepro-orexin was transferred into amygdala neurons of orexin-knockout (KO) mice (rAAV-orexin; n = 8). Orexin-KO mice that did not receive gene transfer (no-rAAV; n = 7) or received only the reporter gene (rAAV-GFP; n = 7) served as controls. Three weeks later, the animal's sleep and behaviour were recorded at night (no-odour control night), followed by another recording at night in the presence of predator odour (odour night). Orexin-KO mice given the orexin gene transfer into surrogate amygdala neurons had significantly less spontaneous bouts of cataplexy, and predator odour did not induce cataplexy compared with control mice. Moreover, the mice with orexin gene transfer were awake more during the odour night. These results demonstrate that orexin gene transfer into amygdala neurons can suppress both spontaneous and emotion-induced cataplexy attacks in narcoleptic mice. It suggests that manipulating amygdala pathways is a potential strategy for treating cataplexy in narcolepsy.

  3. Toward a systems-oriented approach to the role of the extended amygdala in adaptive responding.

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    Waraczynski, Meg

    2016-09-01

    Research into the structure and function of the basal forebrain macrostructure called the extended amygdala (EA) has recently seen considerable growth. This paper reviews that work, with the objectives of identifying underlying themes and developing a common goal towards which investigators of EA function might work. The paper begins with a brief review of the structure and the ontological and phylogenetic origins of the EA. It continues with a review of research into the role of the EA in both aversive and appetitive states, noting that these two seemingly disparate avenues of research converge on the concept of reinforcement - either negative or positive - of adaptive responding. These reviews lead to a proposal as to where the EA may fit in the organization of the basal forebrain, and an invitation to investigators to place their findings in a unifying conceptual framework of the EA as a collection of neural ensembles that mediate adaptive responding.

  4. Lack of spatial segregation in the representation of pheromones and kairomones in the mouse medial amygdala.

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    Vinicius Miessler de Andrade Carvalho

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The nervous system is organized to detect, internally represent and process sensory information to generate appropriate behaviors. Despite the crucial importance of odors that elicit instinctive behaviors, such as pheromones and kairomones, their neural representation remains little characterized in the mammalian brain. Here we used expression of the immediate early gene product c-Fos as a marker of neuronal activity to find that a wide range of pheromones and kairomones produces activation in the medial nucleus of the amygdala, a brain area anatomically connected with the olfactory sensory organs. We see that activity in this nucleus depends on vomeronasal organ input, and that distinct vomeronasal stimuli activate a dispersed ensemble of cells, without any apparent spatial segregation. This activity pattern does not reflect the chemical category of the stimuli, their valence or the induced behaviors. These findings will help build a complete understanding of how odor information is processed in the brain to generate instinctive behaviors.

  5. 17beta-Estradiol reduces excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) amplitude in rat basolateral amygdala neurons.

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    Womble, Mark D; Andrew, James A; Crook, Joseph J

    2002-10-11

    We examined the actions of estrogen on excitatory synaptic transmission in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a brain region involved in learning, emotions, and the effects of stress. Intracellular recordings of monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) were obtained from BLA neurons in a slice preparation. Bath application of 17beta-estradiol (2 micro M) reduced EPSP amplitude by an average of 77%. This reduction was readily reversed by washing with control saline and was not mimicked by the inactive isomer 17 alpha-estradiol. Other passive and active properties of BLA neurons were unaffected by 17beta-estradiol. The observed EPSP reduction is in sharp contrast to the potentiation of EPSPs by estrogen observed in other brain regions.

  6. Changes in aminoacidergic and monoaminergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus and amygdala of rats after ayahuasca ingestion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Eduardo; Ferreira; de; Castro-Neto; Rafael; Henrique; da; Cunha; Dartiu; Xavier; da; Silveira; Mauricio; Yonamine; Telma; Luciana; Furtado; Gouveia; Esper; Abro; Cavalheiro; Débora; Amado; Maria; da; Graa; Naffah-Mazzacoratti

    2013-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate changes in neurotransmission induced by a psychoactive beverage ayahuasca in the hippocampus and amygdala of naive rats. METHODS: The level of monoamines, their main metabolites and amino acid neurotransmitters concentrations were quantified using high performance liquid chromatography(HPLC). Four groups of rats were employed: saline-treated and rats receiving 250, 500 and 800 mg/kg of ayahuasca infusion(gavage). Animals were killed 40 min after drug ingestion and the structures stored at-80 ℃ until HPLC assay. The data from all groups were compared using Analysis of variance and Scheffé as post test and P < 0.05 was accepted as significant. RESULTS: The results showed decreased concentrations of glycine(GLY)(0.13 ± 0.03 vs 0.29 ± 0.07, P < 0.001) and γ-aminobutyric acid(GABA)(1.07 ± 0.14 vs 1.73 ± 0.25, P < 0.001) in the amygdala of rats that received 500 of ayahuasca. Animals that ingested 800 mg/kg of ayahuasca also showed a reduction of GLY level(0.11 ± 0.01 vs 0.29 ± 0.07, P < 0.001) and GABA(0.98 ± 0.06 vs 1.73 ± 0.25, P < 0.001). In the hippocampus, increased GABA levels were found in rats that received all ayahuasca doses: 250 mg/kg(1.29 ± 0.19 vs 0.84 ± 0.21, P < 0.05); 500 mg/kg(2.23 ± 038 vs 084 ± 0.21, P < 0.05) and 800 mg/kg(1.98 ± 0.92 vs 0.84 ± 0.21, P < 0.05). In addition, an increased utilization rate of all monoamines was found in the amygdala after ayahuasca administration in doses: 250 mg/kg(noradrenaline: 0.16 ± 0.02 vs 0.36 ± 0.06, P < 0.01; dopamine: 0.39 ± 0.012 vs 2.39 ± 0.84, P < 0.001; serotonin: 1.02 ± 0.22 vs 4.04 ± 0.91, P < 0.001), 500 mg/kg(noradrenaline: 0.08 ± 0.02 vs 0.36 ± 0.06, P < 0.001; dopamine: 0.33 ± 0.19 vs 2.39 ± 0.84, P < 0.001; serotonin: 0.59 ± 0.08 vs 4.04 ± 0.91, P < 0.001) and 800 mg/kg(noradrenaline: 0.16 ± 0.04 vs 0.36 ± 0.06, P < 0.001; dopamine: 0.84 ± 0.65 vs2.39 ± 0.84, P < 0.05; serotonin: 0.36 ± 0.02 vs 4.04 ± 0.91, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our data suggest

  7. Neuropeptide S interacts with the basolateral amygdala noradrenergic system in facilitating object recognition memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Ren-Wen; Xu, Hong-Jiao; Zhang, Rui-San; Wang, Pei; Chang, Min; Peng, Ya-Li; Deng, Ke-Yu; Wang, Rui

    2014-01-01

    The noradrenergic activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) was reported to be involved in the regulation of object recognition memory. As the BLA expresses high density of receptors for Neuropeptide S (NPS), we investigated whether the BLA is involved in mediating NPS's effects on object recognition memory consolidation and whether such effects require noradrenergic activity. Intracerebroventricular infusion of NPS (1nmol) post training facilitated 24-h memory in a mouse novel object recognition task. The memory-enhancing effect of NPS could be blocked by the β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol. Furthermore, post-training intra-BLA infusions of NPS (0.5nmol/side) improved 24-h memory for objects, which was impaired by co-administration of propranolol (0.5μg/side). Taken together, these results indicate that NPS interacts with the BLA noradrenergic system in improving object recognition memory during consolidation.

  8. Temporal and spacial changes of highly polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule immunoreactivity in amygdala kindling development.

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    Sato, K; Iwai, M; Nagano, I; Shoji, M; Abe, K

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the migration of neural stem cells as well as neural plastic changes in epileptic brain, spaciotemporal expression of immunoreactive highly polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) was examined in amygdala kindling development of rat. The neural migration and synaptic remodeling detected with PSA-NCAM staining occurred in dentate gyrus of hippocampus, subventricular zone and pyriform cortex with amygdaloid kindling in generalized seizure but not in partial seizure. Although PSA-NCAM positive dendrite in dentate gyrus was minimally found in the control brain, it extended slightly in animals with partial seizure, and greatly toward the molecular layer with generalized seizure. Thus, the migration of neural stem cells as well as neural plastic changes were specially and temporally different between brain regions depending on different kindling stages. These changes may mainly contribute to the reorganization of neural network in epileptic brain.

  9. Testosterone levels in healthy men are related to amygdala reactivity and memory performance.

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    Ackermann, Sandra; Spalek, Klara; Rasch, Björn; Gschwind, Leo; Coynel, David; Fastenrath, Matthias; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2012-09-01

    Testosterone is a steroid hormone thought to influence both emotional and cognitive functions. It is unknown, however, if testosterone also affects the interaction between these two domains, such as the emotional arousal-induced enhancement of memory. Healthy subjects (N=234) encoded pictures taken from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and underwent a free recall test 10 min after memory encoding. We show that higher endogenous testosterone levels at encoding were associated with higher arousal ratings of neutral pictures in men. fMRI analysis revealed that higher testosterone levels were related to increased brain activation in the amygdala during encoding of neutral pictures. Moreover, endogenous testosterone levels were positively correlated with the number of freely recalled neutral pictures. No such relations were found in women. These findings point to a male-specific role for testosterone in enhancing memory by increasing the biological salience of incoming information.

  10. Kindling of the interpeduncular nucleus and its influence on subsequent amygdala kindling in rats.

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    Chiba, S; Wada, J A

    1995-04-01

    We examined the effect of interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) kindling on subsequent amygdala (AM) kindling in rats (n = 9). Eleven to 15 daily IPN stimulations at an afterdischarge (AD)-inducing threshold (400-1000 microA, biphasic sine waves, 1-3 s) produced progressive AD growth (9 of 9 rats) and recruitment of behavioral seizures (7 of 9 rats). The final form of the latter was generalized tonic-clonic seizures with or without a limbic seizure component. The latter was associated with ictal involvement of AM and sensorimotor cortex. Subsequent AM kindling resulted not only in more rapid kindling, but also in tonic seizure associated with a protracted loss of postural control (5-20 s) not observed in animals undergoing AM kindling without previous IPN kindling (n = 5). These findings indicate that the IPN can be kindled and that subsequent AM kindling utilizes the proconvulsant neuroplastic changes that have been already established by IPN kindling.

  11. Low-frequency stimulation of the kindling focus delays basolateral amygdala kindling in immature rats.

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    Velísek, Libor; Velísková, Jana; Stanton, Patric K

    2002-06-21

    Stimulation of deep brain sites is a new approach for treatment of intractable seizures. In adult rats, low-frequency stimulation (LFS; 1-3 Hz) of the kindling site interferes with the course of kindling epileptogenesis. In this study we determined whether the LFS will be effective against the fast kindling in the basolateral amygdala in immature, 15 day old rats. LFS (15 min of 1 Hz stimulation) was applied after each of the 1 s, 60 Hz kindling stimulus. LFS suppressed afterdischarge duration and seizure stage throughout the course of kindling, which indicates a strong antiepileptogenic potential. As the kindling and LFS stimulation patterns are similar to those used for induction of long-term potentiation and long-term depression (LTD), respectively, LTD or depotentiation may play a role in the mechanism of action.

  12. Distinct patterns of outcome valuation and amygdala-prefrontal cortex synaptic remodeling in adolescence and adulthood

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    Alexandra eStolyarova

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Adolescent behavior is typified by increased risk-taking, reward- and novelty-seeking, as well as an augmented need for social and environmental stimulation. This behavioral phenotype may result from alterations in outcome valuation or reward learning. In the present set of experiments, we directly compared adult and adolescent animals on tasks measuring both of these processes. Additionally, we examined developmental differences in dopamine D1-like receptor (D1R, dopamine D2-like receptor (D2R, and polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM expression in animals that were trained on an effortful reward valuation task, given that these proteins play an important role in the functional development of the amygdala-prefrontocortical (PFC circuit and mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. We found that adolescent animals were not different from adults in appetitive associative learning, but exhibited distinct pattern of responses to differences in outcome values, which was paralleled by an enhanced motivation to invest effort to obtain larger rewards. There were no differences in D2 receptor expression, but D1 receptor expression was significantly reduced in the striatum of animals that had experiences with reward learning during adolescence compared to animals that went through the same experiences in adulthood. We observed increased levels of PSA-NCAM expression in both PFC and amygdala of late adolescents compared to adults that were previously trained on an effortful reward valuation task. PSA-NCAM levels in PFC were strongly and positively associated with high effort/reward choices in adolescents, but not in adult animals. Increased levels of PSA-NCAM expression in adolescents may index increased structural plasticity and represent a neural correlate of a reward sensitive endophenotype.

  13. The central amygdala nucleus is critical for incubation of methamphetamine craving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuan; Zeric, Tamara; Kambhampati, Sarita; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin

    2015-04-01

    Cue-induced methamphetamine seeking progressively increases after withdrawal but mechanisms underlying this 'incubation of methamphetamine craving' are unknown. Here we studied the role of central amygdala (CeA), ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), brain regions implicated in incubation of cocaine and heroin craving, in incubation of methamphetamine craving. We also assessed the role of basolateral amygdala (BLA) and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). We trained rats to self-administer methamphetamine (10 days; 9 h/day, 0.1 mg/kg/infusion) and tested them for cue-induced methamphetamine seeking under extinction conditions during early (2 days) or late (4-5 weeks) withdrawal. We first confirmed that 'incubation of methamphetamine craving' occurs under our experimental conditions. Next, we assessed the effect of reversible inactivation of CeA or BLA by GABAA+GABAB receptor agonists (muscimol+baclofen, 0.03+0.3 nmol) on cue-induced methamphetamine seeking during early and late withdrawal. We also assessed the effect of muscimol+baclofen reversible inactivation of vmPFC, dmPFC, and OFC on 'incubated' cue-induced methamphetamine seeking during late withdrawal. Lever presses in the cue-induced methamphetamine extinction tests were higher during late withdrawal than during early withdrawal (incubation of methamphetamine craving). Muscimol+baclofen injections into CeA but not BLA decreased cue-induced methamphetamine seeking during late but not early withdrawal. Muscimol+baclofen injections into dmPFC, vmPFC, or OFC during late withdrawal had no effect on incubated cue-induced methamphetamine seeking. Together with previous studies, results indicate that the CeA has a critical role in incubation of both drug and non-drug reward craving and demonstrate an unexpected dissociation in mechanisms of incubation of methamphetamine vs cocaine craving.

  14. Interplay between serotonin and cannabinoid function in the amygdala in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Davoudi, Kamelia; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-04-01

    The possible interactions between the cannabinoid and serotonin systems in the regions of the brain involved in emotional learning and memory formation have been studied by some researchers. In view of the key role of the amygdala in the acquisition and expression of fear memory, we investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) serotonin 5-HT4 receptors in arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist)-induced fear memory consolidation impairment. In our study, a context and tone fear conditioning apparatus was used for testing fear conditioning in adult male NMRI mice. The results showed that intraperitoneal administration of ACPA 0.5 or 0.05, 0.1 and 0.5mg/kg immediately after training decreased the percentage of freezing time in context or tone fear conditioning respectively, suggesting a context- or tone-dependent fear memory consolidation impairment. Post-training intra-BLA microinjections of RS67333, as 5-HT4 serotonin receptor agonist, at doses of 0.025 and 0.05 µg/mouse also impaired context or tone memory consolidation, while RS23597, as 5-HT4 serotonin receptor antagonist, did not produce a marked difference in both fear memories as compared with the control group. Moreover, a subthreshold dose of RS67333 did not alter ACPA response in both fear conditionings. Interestingly, a subthreshold dose of RS23597 potentiated or reversed ACPA response at the dose of 0.01 or 0.05 respectively. It is concluded that BLA serotonin 5-HT4 receptors are involved in tone-dependent fear memory consolidation impairment induced by CB1 activation using ACPA, suggesting a modulatory role for serotonin 5-HT4 receptor.

  15. Subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused attention: cortical-hippocampal-insular and amygdala contributions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clemens C C Bauer

    Full Text Available In order to explore the neurobiological foundations of qualitative subjective experiences, the present study was designed to correlate objective third-person brain fMRI measures with subjective first-person identification and scaling of local, subtle, and specific somatosensory sensations, obtained directly after the imaging procedure. Thus, thirty-four volunteers were instructed to focus and sustain their attention to either provoked or spontaneous sensations of each thumb during the fMRI procedure. By means of a Likert scale applied immediately afterwards, the participants recalled and evaluated the intensity of their attention and identified specific somatosensory sensations (e.g. pulsation, vibration, heat. Using the subject's subjective scores as covariates to model both attention intensity and general somatosensory experiences regressors, the whole-brain random effect analyses revealed activations in the frontopolar prefrontal cortex (BA10, primary somatosensory cortex (BA1, premotor cortex (BA 6, precuneus (BA 7, temporopolar cortex (BA 38, inferior parietal lobe (BA 39, hippocampus, insula and amygdala. Furthermore, BA10 showed differential activity, with ventral BA10 correlating exclusively with attention (r(32 = 0.54, p = 0.0013 and dorsal BA10 correlating exclusively with somatosensory sensation (r(32 = 0.46, p = 0.007. All other reported brain areas showed significant positive correlations solely with subjective somatosensory experiences reports. These results provide evidence that the frontopolar prefrontal cortex has dissociable functions depending on specific cognitive demands; i.e. the dorsal portion of the frontopolar prefrontal cortex in conjunction with primary somatosensory cortex, temporopolar cortex, inferior parietal lobe, hippocampus, insula and amygdala are involved in the processing of spontaneous general subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused and sustained attention.

  16. Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on neuronal function in the prefrontal cortex and extended amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleil, Kristen E; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G; Crowley, Nicole A; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A; Rose, Jamie H; McCall, Nora M; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Morrow, A Leslie; Jones, Sara R; Kash, Thomas L

    2015-12-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry.

  17. Differential efferent projections of the anterior, posteroventral and posterodorsal subdivisions of the medial amygdala in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecília ePardo-Bellver

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me is a key structure in the control of sociosexual behaviour in mice. It receives direct projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, as well as an important hormonal input. To better understand its behavioural role, in this work we investigate the structures receiving information from the Me, by analysing the efferent projections from its anterior (MeA, posterodorsal (MePD and posteroventral (MePV subdivisions, using anterograde neuronal tracing with biotinylated and tetrametylrhodamine-conjugated dextranamines.The Me is strongly interconnected with the rest of the chemosensory amygdala, but shows only moderate projections to the central nucleus and light projections to the associative nuclei of the basolateral amygdaloid complex. In addition, the MeA originates a strong feedback projection to the deep mitral cell layer of the accessory olfactory bulb, whereas the MePV projects to its granule cell layer. The medial amygdaloid nucleus (especially the MeA has also moderate projections to different olfactory structures, including the piriform cortex. The densest outputs of the Me target the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST and the hypothalamus. The MeA and MePV project to key structures of the circuit involved in the defensive response against predators (medial posterointermediate BST, anterior hypothalamic area, dorsomedial aspect of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, although less dense projections also innervate reproductive-related nuclei. In contrast, the MePD projects mainly to structures that control reproductive behaviours (medial posteromedial BST, medial preoptic nucleus, and ventrolateral aspect of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, although less dense projections to defensive-related nuclei also exist. These results confirm and extend previous results in other rodents and suggest that the medial amygdala is anatomically and functionally compartmentalized.

  18. Glutamatergic mechanisms associated with stress-induced amygdala excitability and anxiety-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masneuf, Sophie; Lowery-Gionta, Emily; Colacicco, Giovanni; Pleil, Kristen E; Li, Chia; Crowley, Nicole; Flynn, Shaun; Holmes, Andrew; Kash, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    The neural factors underlying individual differences in susceptibility to chronic stress remain poorly understood. Preclinical studies demonstrate that mouse strains vary greatly in anxiety-related responses to chronic stress in a manner paralleled by differential stress-induced changes in glutamatergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Previous work has also shown that alterations in the amygdala gene expression of the GluN1 NMDA and the GluK1 kainate receptors are associated with stress-induced alterations in anxiety-like behavior in the C57BL/6J mouse strain. Using in vivo behavioral pharmacological and ex vivo physiological approaches, the aim of the current study was to further elucidate changes in glutamate neurotransmission in the BLA caused by stress and to test the functional roles of GluN1 and GluK1 in mediating stress-related changes in behavior. Results showed that stress-induced alterations in anxiety-like behavior (light/dark exploration test) were absent following bilateral infusion of the GluK1 agonist ATPA into the BLA. Intra-BLA infusion of the competitive NMDA antagonist AP5 produced a generalized behavioral disinhibition/locomotor hyperactivity, irrespective of stress. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that ATPA augmented BLA GABAergic neurotransmission and that stress increased the amplitude of network-dependent spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents and amplitude of GABAergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA. These findings could indicate stress-induced BLA glutamatergic neuronal network hyperexcitability and a compensatory increase in GABAergic neurotransmission, suggesting that GluK1 agonism augmented GABAergic inhibition to prevent behavioral sequelae of stress. Current data could have implications for developing novel therapeutic approaches, including GluK1 agonists, for stress-related anxiety disorders.

  19. Subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused attention: cortical-hippocampal-insular and amygdala contributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Clemens C C; Barrios, Fernando A; Díaz, José-Luis

    2014-01-01

    In order to explore the neurobiological foundations of qualitative subjective experiences, the present study was designed to correlate objective third-person brain fMRI measures with subjective first-person identification and scaling of local, subtle, and specific somatosensory sensations, obtained directly after the imaging procedure. Thus, thirty-four volunteers were instructed to focus and sustain their attention to either provoked or spontaneous sensations of each thumb during the fMRI procedure. By means of a Likert scale applied immediately afterwards, the participants recalled and evaluated the intensity of their attention and identified specific somatosensory sensations (e.g. pulsation, vibration, heat). Using the subject's subjective scores as covariates to model both attention intensity and general somatosensory experiences regressors, the whole-brain random effect analyses revealed activations in the frontopolar prefrontal cortex (BA10), primary somatosensory cortex (BA1), premotor cortex (BA 6), precuneus (BA 7), temporopolar cortex (BA 38), inferior parietal lobe (BA 39), hippocampus, insula and amygdala. Furthermore, BA10 showed differential activity, with ventral BA10 correlating exclusively with attention (r(32) = 0.54, p = 0.0013) and dorsal BA10 correlating exclusively with somatosensory sensation (r(32) = 0.46, p = 0.007). All other reported brain areas showed significant positive correlations solely with subjective somatosensory experiences reports. These results provide evidence that the frontopolar prefrontal cortex has dissociable functions depending on specific cognitive demands; i.e. the dorsal portion of the frontopolar prefrontal cortex in conjunction with primary somatosensory cortex, temporopolar cortex, inferior parietal lobe, hippocampus, insula and amygdala are involved in the processing of spontaneous general subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused and sustained attention.

  20. Inactivation of basolateral amygdala specifically eliminates palatability-related information in cortical sensory responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piette, Caitlin E.; Baez-Santiago, Madelyn A.; Reid, Emily E.; Katz, Donald B.; Moran, Anan

    2012-01-01

    Evidence indirectly implicates the amygdala as the primary processor of emotional information used by cortex to drive appropriate behavioral responses to stimuli. Taste provides an ideal system with which to test this hypothesis directly, as neurons in both basolateral amygdala (BLA) and gustatory cortex (GC)—anatomically interconnected nodes of the gustatory system—code the emotional valence of taste stimuli (i.e., palatability), in firing rate responses that progress similarly through “epochs.” The fact that palatability-related firing appears one epoch earlier in BLA than GC is broadly consistent with the hypothesis that such information may propagate from the former to the latter. Here, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis, assaying taste responses in small GC single-neuron ensembles before, during and after temporarily inactivating BLA (BLAx) in awake rats. BLAx changed responses in 98% of taste-responsive GC neurons, altering the entirety of every taste response in many neurons. Most changes involved reductions in firing rate, but regardless of the direction of change, the effect of BLAx was epoch-specific: while firing rates were changed, the taste-specificity of responses remained stable; information about taste palatability, however, which normally resides in the “Late” epoch, was reduced in magnitude across the entire GC sample and outright eliminated in most neurons. Only in the specific minority of neurons for which BLAx enhanced responses did palatability-specificity survive undiminished. Our data therefore provide direct evidence that BLA is a necessary component of GC gustatory processing, and that cortical palatability processing in particular is, in part, a function of BLA activity. PMID:22815512

  1. Fluoxetine exerts age-dependent effects on behavior and amygdala neuroplasticity in the rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith R Homberg

    Full Text Available The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI Prozac® (fluoxetine is the only registered antidepressant to treat depression in children and adolescents. Yet, while the safety of SSRIs has been well established in adults, serotonin exerts neurotrophic actions in the developing brain and thereby may have harmful effects in adolescents. Here we treated adolescent and adult rats chronically with fluoxetine (12 mg/kg at postnatal day (PND 25 to 46 and from PND 67 to 88, respectively, and tested the animals 7-14 days after the last injection when (norfluoxetine in blood plasma had been washed out, as determined by HPLC. Plasma (norfluoxetine levels were also measured 5 hrs after the last fluoxetine injection, and matched clinical levels. Adolescent rats displayed increased behavioral despair in the forced swim test, which was not seen in adult fluoxetine treated rats. In addition, beneficial effects of fluoxetine on wakefulness as measured by electroencephalography in adults was not seen in adolescent rats, and age-dependent effects on the acoustic startle response and prepulse inhibition were observed. On the other hand, adolescent rats showed resilience to the anorexic effects of fluoxetine. Exploratory behavior in the open field test was not affected by fluoxetine treatment, but anxiety levels in the elevated plus maze test were increased in both adolescent and adult fluoxetine treated rats. Finally, in the amygdala, but not the dorsal raphe nucleus and medial prefrontal cortex, the number of PSA-NCAM (marker for synaptic remodeling immunoreactive neurons was increased in adolescent rats, and decreased in adult rats, as a consequence of chronic fluoxetine treatment. No fluoxetine-induced changes in 5-HT(1A receptor immunoreactivity were observed. In conclusion, we show that fluoxetine exerts both harmful and beneficial age-dependent effects on depressive behavior, body weight and wakefulness, which may relate, in part, to differential

  2. Altered neurotransmission in the lateral amygdala in aged human apoE4 targeted replacement mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Rebecca C; Acheson, Shawn K; Mace, Brian E; Sullivan, Patrick M; Moore, Scott D

    2014-09-01

    The human APOE4 allele is associated with an early age of onset and increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Apolipoprotein E is secreted as part of a high-density lipoprotein-like particle by glial cells in the brain for the primary purpose of transport of lipophilic compounds involved in the maintenance of synapses. Previous studies examining synaptic integrity in the amygdala of human apoE targeted replacement (TR) mice showed a decrease in spontaneous excitatory synaptic activity, dendritic arbor, and spine density associated with apoE4 compared with apoE3 and apoE2 in adult male mice. In the present study, we assessed how APOE genotype affects synaptic integrity of amygdala neurons by comparing electrophysiological and morphometric properties in human apoE3, E4, and E2/4 TR mice at the age of 18-20 months. In contrast to adult mice, we found that aged apoE4 TR mice exhibited the highest level of excitatory synaptic activity compared with other cohorts. Additionally, apoE4 mice had significantly greater spontaneous inhibitory activity than all other cohorts. Taken together, there was a significant interaction between genotypes when comparing inhibition relative to excitation; there was a simple main effect of frequency type with an imbalance toward inhibition in apoE4 mice but not in apoE3 or apoE2/4 mice. These results suggest that apoE isoforms differentially influence synaptic transmission throughout the life span, where aging coupled with apoE4 expression, results in an imbalance in maintaining integrity of synaptic transmission.

  3. Dexamethasone Treatment Leads to Enhanced Fear Extinction and Dynamic Fkbp5 Regulation in Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawamura, Takehito; Klengel, Torsten; Armario, Antonio; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Ressler, Kerry J; Andero, Raül

    2016-02-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is both a prevalent and debilitating trauma-related disorder associated with dysregulated fear learning at the core of many of its signs and symptoms. Improvements in the currently available psychological and pharmacological treatments are needed in order to improve PTSD treatment outcomes and to prevent symptom relapse. In the present study, we used a putative animal model of PTSD that included presentation of immobilization stress (IMO) followed by fear conditioning (FC) a week later. We then investigated the acute effects of GR receptor activation on the extinction (EXT) of conditioned freezing, using dexamethasone administered systemically which is known to result in suppression of the HPA axis. In our previous work, IMO followed by tone-shock-mediated FC was associated with impaired fear EXT. In this study, we administered dexamethasone 4 h before EXT training and then examined EXT retention (RET) 24 h later to determine whether dexamethasone suppression rescued EXT deficits. Dexamethasone treatment produced dose-dependent enhancement of both EXT and RET. Dexamethasone was also associated with reduced amygdala Fkbp5 mRNA expression following EXT and after RET. Moreover, DNA methylation of the Fkbp5 gene occurred in a dose-dependent and time course-dependent manner within the amygdala. Additionally, we found dynamic changes in epigenetic regulation, including Dnmt and Tet gene pathways, as a function of both fear EXT and dexamethasone suppression of the HPA axis. Together, these data suggest that dexamethasone may serve to enhance EXT by altering Fkbp5-mediated glucocorticoid sensitivity via epigenetic regulation of Fkbp5 expression.

  4. Longitudinal changes of amygdala and default mode activation in adolescents prenatally exposed to cocaine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhihao; Coles, Claire D; Lynch, Mary Ellen; Luo, Yuejia; Hu, Xiaoping

    2016-01-01

    Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) is associated with long-term and negative effect on arousal regulation. Recent neuroimaging studies have examined brain mechanisms related to arousal dysregulation with cross-sectional experimental designs; but longitudinal changes in the brain, reflecting group differences in neurodevelopment, have never been directly examined. To directly assess the interaction of PCE and neurodevelopment, the present study used a longitudinal design to analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected from 33 adolescents (21 with PCE and 12 non-exposed controls) while they performed the same working memory task with emotional distracters at two points in time. The mean age of participants was 14.3 years at time_1 and 16.7 years at time_2. With confounding factors statistically controlled, the fMRI data revealed significant exposure-by-time interaction in the activations of the amygdala and default mode network (DMN). For the control adolescents, brain activations associated with emotional arousal (amygdala) and cognitive effort (DMN) were both reduced at time_2 as compared to that at time_1. However, these activation reductions were not observed in the PCE group, indicating persistently high levels of emotional arousal and cognitive effort. In addition, correlations between longitudinal changes in the brain and in behavior have shown that adolescents with persistently high emotional arousal were more likely in need of high cognitive effort; and their cognitive performance was more likely to be affected by distractive challenges. The present results complement and extend previous findings from cross-sectional studies with further evidence supporting the view of PCE associated long-term teratogenic effects on arousal regulation.

  5. Amygdala kindling and associated changes of entorhinal responses in suckling rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawawaki, H; Matsuura, S; Murata, R

    1990-02-01

    Entorhinal field potential with amygdala stimulation in suckling (16-18 days old) and adult rats was recorded with a tungsten wire electrode (tip diameter 2-5 microns) to study the developmental changes in behavioral seizures and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the responses to amygdala kindling stimulations. Stimulating (twisted enamel-coated wires) and recording electrodes were implanted in anesthetized rats 2-3 days before kindling. The mean amplitude of the responses to test pulses (600 microA, 0.3 Hz) in the sucklings (0.58 mV) was smaller than in the adults (1.32 mV), and latency was about 3.3 ms longer. Kindling stimulations consisted of 0.5-ms monophasic rectangular pulses of 10 Hz with a 10-s train duration; the intensity was the afterdischarge (AD) threshold. Kindling stimulation in the sucklings usually increased the amplitude of the test responses evoked 10 min or 1 h after the kindling stimulation. The increased amplitude persisted for at least 24 h, showing LTP in the synaptic transmission. The LTP was especially prominent in the first kindling stimulation, and the LTP gradually increased with successive stimulations, with gradual progression of AD and the behavioral seizure stage as well. The mean number of kindling stimulations to cause generalized seizures in the suckling rats (10.5) was less than that for adults (12.5), and the continued evolution of LTP over the course of kindling was more or less easier in the sucklings than in the adults.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Amygdala kindling potentiates seizure-stimulated immediate-early gene expression in rat cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duman, R S; Craig, J S; Winston, S M; Deutch, A Y; Hernandez, T D

    1992-11-01

    Kindling induces long-term adaptations in neuronal function that lead to a decreased threshold for induction of seizures. In the present study, the influence of amygdala kindling on levels of mRNA for the immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-fos, c-jun, and NGF1-A were examined both before and after an acute electroconvulsive seizure (ECS). Although amygdala kindling did not significantly influence resting levels of c-fos mRNA in cerebral cortex, ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA (examined 45 min after ECS) were approximately twofold greater in the cerebral cortex of kindled rats relative to sham-treated controls. The influence of kindling on IEG expression was dependent on the time course of kindling, as ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA were not significantly increased in stage 2 kindled animals. ECS-stimulated levels of c-jun and NGF1-A mRNA were also significantly increased in cerebral cortex of kindled rats relative to sham-treated controls. The influence of kindling on IEG expression was long-lasting because an acute ECS stimulus significantly elevated levels of c-fos and c-jun mRNA in the cerebral cortex of animals that were kindled 5 months previously. In contrast to these effects in cerebral cortex, kindling did not influence ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA in hippocampus. Finally, immunohistochemical studies revealed lamina-specific changes in the cerebral cortex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. Are differences in dorsal hippocampal kindling related to amygdala-piriform area excitability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, D C; Kelly, M E

    1993-01-01

    It has been suggested that several structures associated with the amygdala-piriform (A-P) area are important, if not critical, for convulsive generalization of limbic seizures. In experiment 1, when examining the development of convulsive seizures kindled from the dorsal hippocampus (cornus ammonis; DH), a broad range of kindling rates was observed. Independent of electrode location within the hippocampus, kindling rates were correlated positively with both local and, more dramatically, distant excitability (measured by the duration of the primary and secondary hippocampal afterdischarges, respectively) at all stages of epileptogenesis. Because kindling rates were bimodally distributed, we bisected the distribution into 'faster' and 'slower' kindling rats. Here we examined the magnitude of both electrophysiological and behavioral differences between 'faster' and 'slower' rats and their changes over time. The 'faster' rats had longer primary and secondary afterdischarge (AD) durations than 'slower' rats throughout all stages of kindling. With the appearance of generalized convulsions, the 'faster' rats showed longer latencies to clonus onset, with longer clonus and AD durations than 'slower' rats. Also, the generalized convulsions of 'faster' rats appeared during a much enlarged secondary AD period, while 'slower' rats convulsed during primary AD. In both groups, convulsions were invariably associated with increased discharge in A-P associated structures. We interpreted the differences between 'faster' and 'slower' DH rats to reflect genetic differences in excitability in both local and A-P associated structures. If the DH kindling profile of the 'faster' rats differed from 'slower' rats largely because of naturally greater excitability in A-P associated structures, then experimentally increased excitability in those structures (via amygdala kindling) in a random sample of rats should duplicate much of the 'faster' DH kindling profile. In experiment 2, this outcome

  8. Enhancing second-order conditioning with lesions of the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Because the occurrence of primary reinforcers in natural environments is relatively rare, conditioned reinforcement plays an important role in many accounts of behavior, including pathological behaviors such as the abuse of alcohol or drugs. As a result of pairing with natural or drug reinforcers, initially neutral cues acquire the ability to serve as reinforcers for subsequent learning. Accepting a major role for conditioned reinforcement in everyday learning is complicated by the often-evanescent nature of this phenomenon in the laboratory, especially when primary reinforcers are entirely absent from the test situation. Here, I found that under certain conditions, the impact of conditioned reinforcement could be extended by lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Rats received first-order Pavlovian conditioning pairings of 1 visual conditioned stimulus (CS) with food prior to receiving excitotoxic or sham lesions of the BLA, and first-order pairings of another visual CS with food after that surgery. Finally, each rat received second-order pairings of a different auditory cue with each visual first-order CS. As in prior studies, relative to sham-lesioned control rats, lesioned rats were impaired in their acquisition of second-order conditioning to the auditory cue paired with the first-order CS that was trained after surgery. However, lesioned rats showed enhanced and prolonged second-order conditioning to the auditory cue paired with the first-order CS that was trained before amygdala damage was made. Implications for an enhanced role for conditioned reinforcement by drug-related cues after drug-induced alterations in neural plasticity are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

  9. 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism and neuroticism are linked by resting state functional connectivity of amygdala and fusiform gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruschwitz, J D; Walter, M; Varikuti, D; Jensen, J; Plichta, M M; Haddad, L; Grimm, O; Mohnke, S; Pöhland, L; Schott, B; Wold, A; Mühleisen, T W; Heinz, A; Erk, S; Romanczuk-Seiferth, N; Witt, S H; Nöthen, M M; Rietschel, M; Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Walter, H

    2015-07-01

    The s/s-genotype of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the personality trait of neuroticism have both been associated with experiences of negative affect, anxiety and mood disorders, as well as an emotional processing bias towards negative facial emotions. On a neural level, this bias can be characterized by altered amygdala and fusiform gyrus (FFG) activity during perception of negative facial expressions. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a multi-center-sample of 178 healthy subjects of European descent, this study investigated the association of 5-HTTLPR (short s- and long l-allele) including the genotype of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs25531 (A/G) within this region polymorphism, and trait neuroticism on resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) between amygdala and the FFG. Moreover, we aimed to identify additional brain regions with associations of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 (combined according to its expression; low: s/s; high: l(A)/l(A); intermediate: s/l(A), s/l(G), l(G)/l(G), l(A)/l(G)) and trait neuroticism to amygdala rs-FC. Separate analyses for 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 and neuroticism (controlling for age, gender, handedness, and research site) revealed that s/s-homozygotes and individuals high in neuroticism obtained altered amygdala rs-FC in the right occipital face area, which is considered to be a "core component" of the face processing system. Importantly, effects of neuroticism were replicated across three independent research sites. Additionally, associations of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotype and amygdala rs-FC were observed in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, whereas neuroticism was not related to rs-FC in these areas. The presented data implies that 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 variants and neuroticism are linked by resting state functional connectivity of amygdala and fusiform gyrus and suggests that variants of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotype and different levels of neuroticism may partly account for altered processing of

  10. Differential Expression of Phosphorylated Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (pMAPK) in the Lateral Amygdala of Mice Selectively Bred for High and Low Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-02

    stimulus and a nociceptive unconditioned foot shock stimulus converge in the lateral amygdala (LA) via auditory thalamus and cortex and somatosensory...shows how an auditory conditioned stimulus and a nociceptive unconditioned foot shock stimulus converge in the lateral amygdala (LA) via auditory...the US is noxious or mildly painful . Generally, in vertebrates, the US can be as simple as a puff of air into the face or a brief electric shock

  11. Acquisition of contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning is blocked by application of an NMDA receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid to the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanselow, M S; Kim, J J

    1994-02-01

    Rats, with chronic cannula placed bilaterally in the amygdala, received infusions of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) before contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning. Administration of APV to the basolateral nucleus prevented acquisition of fear. Central nucleus infusions had no effect. It is concluded that an NMDA-mediated process near the basolateral region of the amygdala (e.g., lateral or basolateral nucleus) is essential for the learning of fear.

  12. In vitro Untersuchungen zum Effekt der ”Spreading Depression” auf die synaptische Transmission im Amygdala-Hippokampus-Kortex Präparat der Ratte

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Die sogenannte „Spreading Depression“ (SD) spielt in der Entstehung der Migräne eine wichtige Rolle. Dabei handelt es sich um eine, sich gleichmäßig ausbreitende Erregungswelle mit nachfolgender, zeitlich limitierter Reduktion der neuronalen Erregbarkeit. In einem in vitro Modell wurden die Effekte der SD auf „long term potentations“ (LTP) in der lateralen Amygdala (LA) untersucht, die auch in der Angstenstehung eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Die Untersuchungen wurden an Amygdala-Hippokampus-Kor...

  13. Spontaneous oscillatory burst activity in the piriform-amygdala region and its relation to in vitro respiratory activity in newborn rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onimaru, H; Homma, I

    2007-01-05

    The amygdala is important for the formation of emotions that are affected by olfactory information. The piriform cortex is involved in information processing related to olfaction. To investigate functional interactions between the piriform cortex and amygdala and their relation to medullary respiratory activity, we developed a novel in vitro preparation including the limbic system, brainstem, and spinal cord of newborn rats. With the use of optical and electrophysiologic recordings, we analyzed spontaneous neuronal activity in the piriform-amygdala complex in limbic-brainstem-spinal cord preparations from 0- to 1-day-old rats. For optical recordings, the preparation was stained with a voltage-sensitive dye, and inspiratory activity was monitored from the fourth cervical (C4) ventral root. Spontaneous oscillatory burst activity (up to 10/min) was detected from the rostral cut surface of limbic and para-limbic regions including the piriform cortex and amygdala. The burst activity initially appeared in the piriform cortex and then propagated to the amygdala. We averaged the imaging data in the limbic area with the use of C4 inspiratory activity as a trigger signal. The results suggest functional coupling of the rhythmic burst activity in the piriform-amygdala complex to medullary inspiratory activity, which was confirmed electrophysiologically by cross-correlation analysis of these signals. This rhythmic burst activity may be involved in the development of neuronal circuits that process information related to olfaction, emotion, and respiration.

  14. Effects of corticotropin releasing factor on spontaneous burst activity in the piriform-amygdala complex of in vitro brain preparations from newborn rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Tomoko; Onimaru, Hiroshi; Homma, Ikuo

    2011-10-01

    The amygdala is an important higher regulatory center of the autonomic nervous system, involved in respiratory and cardiovascular control, and it also plays a role in the formation of emotions. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a neuropeptide involved in stress responses. We have examined the effects of CRF on the spontaneous burst activity in the piriform-amygdala complex of rat brain preparations in vitro. Limbic-brainstem-spinal cord preparations of 0- to 1-day-old Wistar rats were isolated under deep ether anesthesia, and were superperfused in a modified Krebs solution. Bath application of 50nM CRF substantially increased the frequency of burst activity in the piriform-amygdala complex, whereas this polypeptide exerted only minor effects on C4 inspiratory activity. The excitatory effect of CRF on the amygdala burst was effectively blocked by the CRF1 antagonist, antalarmin, but not the CRF2 antagonist, astressin-2B, suggesting that CRF1 mediated the excitatory effect. The spatio-temporal pattern of the burst activity according to optical recordings was basically identical to the controls; the burst activity initially appeared in the piriform cortex and then propagated to the amygdala. The present experimental model could be useful for the study of role of the limbic system, including the amygdala, in stress responses.

  15. The Emotional Gatekeeper: A Computational Model of Attentional Selection and Suppression through the Pathway from the Amygdala to the Inhibitory Thalamic Reticular Nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yohan J John

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In a complex environment that contains both opportunities and threats, it is important for an organism to flexibly direct attention based on current events and prior plans. The amygdala, the hub of the brain's emotional system, is involved in forming and signaling affective associations between stimuli and their consequences. The inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN is a hub of the attentional system that gates thalamo-cortical signaling. In the primate brain, a recently discovered pathway from the amygdala sends robust projections to TRN. Here we used computational modeling to demonstrate how the amygdala-TRN pathway, embedded in a wider neural circuit, can mediate selective attention guided by emotions. Our Emotional Gatekeeper model demonstrates how this circuit enables focused top-down, and flexible bottom-up, allocation of attention. The model suggests that the amygdala-TRN projection can serve as a unique mechanism for emotion-guided selection of signals sent to cortex for further processing. This inhibitory selection mechanism can mediate a powerful affective 'framing' effect that may lead to biased decision-making in highly charged emotional situations. The model also supports the idea that the amygdala can serve as a relevance detection system. Further, the model demonstrates how abnormal top-down drive and dysregulated local inhibition in the amygdala and in the cortex can contribute to the attentional symptoms that accompany several neuropsychiatric disorders.

  16. The Emotional Gatekeeper: A Computational Model of Attentional Selection and Suppression through the Pathway from the Amygdala to the Inhibitory Thalamic Reticular Nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Yohan J; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Bullock, Daniel; Barbas, Helen

    2016-02-01

    In a complex environment that contains both opportunities and threats, it is important for an organism to flexibly direct attention based on current events and prior plans. The amygdala, the hub of the brain's emotional system, is involved in forming and signaling affective associations between stimuli and their consequences. The inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) is a hub of the attentional system that gates thalamo-cortical signaling. In the primate brain, a recently discovered pathway from the amygdala sends robust projections to TRN. Here we used computational modeling to demonstrate how the amygdala-TRN pathway, embedded in a wider neural circuit, can mediate selective attention guided by emotions. Our Emotional Gatekeeper model demonstrates how this circuit enables focused top-down, and flexible bottom-up, allocation of attention. The model suggests that the amygdala-TRN projection can serve as a unique mechanism for emotion-guided selection of signals sent to cortex for further processing. This inhibitory selection mechanism can mediate a powerful affective 'framing' effect that may lead to biased decision-making in highly charged emotional situations. The model also supports the idea that the amygdala can serve as a relevance detection system. Further, the model demonstrates how abnormal top-down drive and dysregulated local inhibition in the amygdala and in the cortex can contribute to the attentional symptoms that accompany several neuropsychiatric disorders.

  17. Tension-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala: an fMRI study with music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehne, Moritz; Rohrmeier, Martin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Tonal music is characterized by a continuous flow of tension and resolution. This flow of tension and resolution is closely related to processes of expectancy and prediction and is a key mediator of music-evoked emotions. However, the neural