Dopamine D1-like receptor in lateral habenula nucleus affects contextual fear memory and long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 in rats

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The Lateral Habenula (LHb) plays an important role in emotion and cognition. Recent experiments suggest that LHb has functional interaction with the hippocampus and plays an important role in spatial learning. LHb is reciprocally connected with midbrain monoaminergic brain areas such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, the role of dopamine type 1 receptor (D1R) in LHb in learning and memory is not clear yet. In the present study, D1R agonist or antagonist were administered bilaterally into the LHb in rats. We found that both D1R agonist and antagonist impaired the acquisition of contextual fear memory in rats. D1R agonist or antagonist also impaired long term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in freely moving rats and attenuated learning induced phosphorylation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) subunit 1 (GluA1) at Ser831 and Ser845 in hippocampus. Taken together, our results suggested that dysfunction of D1R in LHb affected the function of hippocampus.

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