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Involvement of D2-like dopaminergic receptors of the inferior colliculus and basolateral amygdala in the expression of conditioned and unconditioned fear in male and female rats

Grant number: 21/04949-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal researcher:Amanda Ribeiro de Oliveira
Grantee:Camila de Oliveira Alves
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Several evidences indicate that dopamine is one of the most active neuromodulators in mechanisms underlying the states of fear/anxiety. Depending on the threatening condition (conditioned or unconditioned), blockade of D2-like dopaminergic receptors can reduce or increase the aversion of the situation, suggesting a dual role for dopamine in aversive states. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of blocking D2 dopaminergic receptors of the inferior colliculus (IC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) on the expression of unconditioned and conditioned fear in male and female rats, expanding the characterization of the involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission in these structures in fear/anxiety. For this, the study will be carried out in two stages. Initially, we will carry out a systematic review of the literature in order to identify publications that have investigated the role of D2 receptors in conditioned and unconditioned fear, exploring the methodological characteristics and main findings of these studies. In the second stage, we will carry out an experimental study to evaluate the effects of the administration of sulpiride (D2 antagonist) on the IC or BLA in male and female Wistar rats submitted to the elevated plus maze test (experiment 1) and context-conditioned fear protocol (experiment 2). In general, we expect that blocking D2 dopaminergic receptors in the BLA will decrease the conditioned fear response without affecting unconditioned fear; on the other hand, with the blockade of D2 receptors in the IC, we expect to increase unconditioned defensive responses, without affecting conditioned fear. (AU)

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