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The role the hypothalamic defensive circuit and its main ascending targets on residual fear responses of animals bearing PAGDL lesions during predator exposure

Grant number: 14/02540-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2014
Effective date (End): February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Anatomy
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Newton Sabino Canteras
Grantee:Rodrigo de Andrade Rufino
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The periaqueductal gray, in particular its dorsolateral part (PAGdl) is known to be critically involved in the organization of innate and contextual fear responses to predatory threats. However, recent findings from our group has shown that PAGdl-lesioned animals exposed to a live predator showed clear fear responses, avoiding the predator and presenting a pattern of cautious exploration in the environment. Thus, suggesting the existence of residual fear responses in PAGdl-lesioned animals. Considering the central role the medial hypothalamic defensive circuit (formed by the anterior hypothalamic nucleus, dorsomedial part of the ventromedial nucleus and the dorsal premammillary nucleus) in processing predatory threats, in the present investigation, we propose a study of the potential role of the medial hypothalamic circuit and its main ascending targets (i.e., the lateral septum and the anteromedial nucleus of the thalamus) in mediating this residual fear responses in PAGdl-ledioned animals. To this end, animals bearing bilateral NMDA lesion in the PAGdl will receive bilateral muscimol injections in the medial hypothalamic circuit or its main ascending targets (i.e., the lateral septum or the anteromedial nucleus of the thalamus) to see how they affect fear responses during cat exposure. The major goal of this project is to unravel new paths potentially involved in mediating innate fear responses. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RUFINO, RODRIGO DE ANDRADE; MOTA-ORTIZ, SANDRA REGINA; XAVIER DE LIMA, MIGUEL ANTONIO; BALDO, MARCUS VINICIUS C.; CANTERAS, NEWTON SABINO. The rostrodorsal periaqueductal gray influences both innate fear responses and acquisition of fear memory in animals exposed to a live predator. Brain Structure & Function, v. 224, n. 4, p. 1537-1551, . (14/02540-5, 14/05432-9, 16/10389-0)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
RUFINO, Rodrigo de Andrade. Investigation of periaqueductal gray (PAG) in the organization of the defense responses front predator.. 2016. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB/SDI) São Paulo.

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