Involvement of NK-1 receptors of the basolateral and central nuclei of the amygdala in the defensive behavior of rats / Participação dos receptores NK-1 dos núcleos basolateral e central da amígdala no comportamento defensivo de ratos


IBICT - Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia




A substantial body of evidence obtained in the last decade demonstrated that the Substance P (SP) is an important mediator of the affective and emotional behaviors. SP is a pro-aversive compound when microinjected within the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG). These effects are mediated by the type 1 neurokininergic receptors (NK-1), since the defensive behavior was inhibited by antagonists of these receptors. The activation of NK-1 receptors in the dPAG also produced antinociception and ultrasonic vocalizations (USV). In the sequence of these studies, this study investigated the involvement of neurokinin receptors of the central (CeA) and basolateral (BLA) nuclei of the amygdala in the mediation of the defense reaction. The amigdala together with the dPAG and the medial hypothalamus comprise the encephalic aversive system. The results showed that SP and the NK-1 agonist (Sar-Met-SP) promoted pro-aversive effects in the elevated plus maze test only when microinjected into the CeA, without effect in the BLA. Although SP and the activation of NK-1 receptors induce antinociception in the dPAG, we did not observe any alteration of the nociceptive threshold in the tail-flick test with the NK-1 antagonist (Spantide) injected into both nuclei and any changes of the anxiety parameters in the EPM. No vocalizations (audible or ultrasonic) were detected after treatment with SP or Sar-Met-SP in both amygdaloid nuclei. The lack of emissions of USVs after activation of these nuclei could indicate that only older structures (PAG and hypothalamus) of the neuroaxis are responsible for the production of USVs. The results obtained in the present study show that NK-1 receptors within CeA, but not BLA, modulate the expression of defensive behaviors related to the innate fear. Apparentely USVs and antinociception are not involved in the defensive reactions indiced by activation of NK-1 mechanisms in the CeA.


basolateral amydaoild nucleus central amygdaloid nucleus elevated plus maze labirinto em cruz elevado nk-1 receptors nocicepção nociception nucleo basolateral da amígdala núcleo central da amígdala receptores nk-1 substance p substância p ultrasonic vocalization vocalização ultrassônica

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