Differential involvement of glutamatergic and catecholaminergic activity within the amygdala during taste aversion retrieval on memory expression and updating

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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.

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