This study examined an interaction between glutamate and norepinephrine in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in modulating affective memory formation. Male Wistar rats with indwelling cannulae in the BNST were trained on a one-trial step-through inhibitory avoidance task and received pre- or post-training intra-BNST infusion of glutamate, norepinephrine or their antagonists. Results of the 1-day test indicated that post-training intra-BNST infusion of dl-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) impaired retention in a dose- and time-dependent manner, while infusion of glutamate had an opposite effect. Co-infusion of 0.2 μg glutamate and 0.02 μg norepinephrine resulted in marked retention enhancement by summating non-apparent effects of the two drugs given at a sub-enhancing dose. The amnesic effect of 5.0 μg APV was ameliorated by 0.02 μg norepinephrine, while the memory enhancing effect of 1.0 μg glutamate was attenuated by 5.0 μg propranolol. These findings suggest that training on an inhibitory avoidance task may alter glutamate neurotransmission, which by activating NMDA receptors releases norepinephrine to modulate memory formation via β adrenoceptors in the BNST.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience