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Evaluation of the role of the main thalamic and subthalamic targets of the hypothalamic defensive circuit in both unconditioned and conditioned responses to a predator threat

Grant number: 06/05122-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2007
Effective date (End): October 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Anatomy
Principal Investigator:Newton Sabino Canteras
Grantee:Eduardo Ferreira de Carvalho Netto
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Defensive behaviors are species-typical reactions of an organism toward actual or potential threats such as confrontation with a predator or an animal from the same species. Recent reports have demonstrated that three interconnected hypothalamic medial zone nuclei (anterior, dorsomedial ventromedia, and dorsal premammillary) play critical role in the initiation of defensive behavior during a predatory encounter. This hypothalamic defensive system provide substantial projections to the thalamus (nucleus reuniens and ventral part of the anteromedial nucleus) and to subthalamic targets (rostral part of zona incerta). Hence, we will evaluate the role of the main thalamic and subthalamic targets of the hypothalamic defensive circuit (i.e., nucleus reuniens, ventral part of anteromedial nucleus, and rostral part of zona incerta) in both unconditioned and contextual conditioned responses to a predatory threat. (AU)