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Genetic dissection of an amygdala microcircuit that gates conditioned fear

Genetic dissection of an amygdala microcircuit that gates conditioned fear

  1. catseye
    Wulf Haubensak, Prabhat S. Kunwar, Haijiang Cai, Stephane Ciocchi, Nicholas R. Wall, Ravikumar Ponnusamy, Jonathan Biag, Hong-Wei Dong, Karl Deisseroth, Edward M. Callaway, Michael S. Fanselow, Andreas Lu¨thi & David J. Anderson

    Nature, 468, November 2010 pp270-277

    ABSTRACT:
    The role of different amygdala nuclei (neuroanatomical subdivisions) in processing Pavlovian conditioned fear has been studied extensively, but the function of the heterogeneous neuronal subtypes within these nuclei remains poorly
    understood. Here we use molecular genetic approaches to map the functional connectivity of a subpopulation of GABA-containing neurons, located in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala (CEl), which express protein kinase C-d (PKC-d). Channelrhodopsin-2-assisted circuit mapping in amygdala slices and cell-specific viral tracing
    indicate that PKC-d1 neurons inhibit output neurons in the medial central amygdala (CEm), and also make reciprocal inhibitory synapses with PKC-d2 neurons in CEl. Electrical silencing of PKC-d1 neurons in vivo suggests that they correspond to physiologically identified units that are inhibited by the conditioned stimulus, called CEloff units. This correspondence, together with behavioural data, defines an inhibitory microcircuit in CEl that gates CEm output to
    control the level of conditioned freezing.