PMID: 11770059Jan 5, 2002Paper

Adenosine A1 receptor activation selectively impairs the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning in rats

Behavioral Neuroscience
K P Corodimas, H Tomita


Three experiments were conducted to examine the importance of adenosine A1 receptors for the acquisition and expression of hippocampal-dependent and hippocampal-independent forms of conditioned fear. In Experiment 1, the selective adenosine A1 receptor agonist, N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA), or saline was administered intraperitoneally to male rats 30 min prior to Pavlovian fear conditioning, which consisted of 7 tone-shock pairings. Adenosine A1 receptor activation dose-dependently and selectively disrupted the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning while sparing tone-shock associations. Experiments 2 and 3 demonstrated that CPA's selective disruption of contextual learning could not be attributed to context being weaker than tone conditioning or to state-dependent learning. Adenosine A1 receptor activation also impaired the expression of both context- and tone-elicited fear. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine modulates the acquisition and expression of emotional (fear) memories by acting on A1 receptors in brain regions underlying fear conditioning.


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