We studied the role of central amygdala CRH receptors in behavioral responses to an anxiogenic stimulus. An antisense oligodeoxynucleotide corresponding to the rat CRH 1 receptor mRNA was infused chronically into the central amygdaloid nucleus of male rats via osmotic minipumps (0.25 μg/0.5 μl/h). Control groups received infusions of either a scrambled sequence oligodeoxynucleotide or vehicle. On the 4th day of treatment, rats were subjected to 10 min of social defeat and immediately afterwards tested on the elevated plus-maze. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide-treated rats spent significantly more time exploring the open arms of the plus-maze than scrambled sequence- and vehicle-treated animals, both of which did not differ from each other. The social discrimination test, on the other hand, revealed no difference in juvenile recognition abilities among the treatment groups. Using in situ hybridization and receptor autoradiography, we were not able to detect clear signals of CRH 1 receptor mRNA and CRH binding sites in the central amygdaloid nucleus of either group, confirming the reportedly low expression and density of CRH receptors in this brain area. The present data support the view that CRH receptors in the central nucleus of the amygdala are involved in the mediation and expression of anxiety-related behavior, but simultaneously raise questions as to the mechanisms of antisense oligodeoxynucleotide action.
Regulatory Peptides – Elsevier
Published: Oct 20, 1995
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