Relief learning is dependent on NMDA receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Recently, we demonstrated that the nucleus accumbens (NAC) is required for the acquisition and expression of relief memory. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of NMDA receptors within the NAC in relief learning.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH

The NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5) was injected into the NAC. The effects of these injections on the acquisition and expression of relief memory, as well as on the reactivity to aversive electric stimuli, were tested.

KEY RESULTS

Intra-accumbal AP-5 injections blocked the acquisition but not the expression of relief memory. Furthermore, reactivity to aversive electric stimuli was not affected by the AP-5 injections.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATION

The present data indicate that NMDA-dependent plasticity within the NAC is crucial for the acquisition of relief memory.

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