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Lesions in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis disrupt corticosterone and freezing responses elicited by a contextual but not by a specific cue-conditioned fear stimulus

Citation

Sullivan, GM and Apergis, J and Bush, DEA and Johnson, LR and Hou, M and Ledoux, JE, Lesions in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis disrupt corticosterone and freezing responses elicited by a contextual but not by a specific cue-conditioned fear stimulus, Neuroscience, 128, (1) pp. 7-14. ISSN 0306-4522 (2004) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2004 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.06.015

Abstract

The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is believed to be a critical relay between the central nucleus of the amygdala (CE) and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in the control of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses elicited by conditioned fear stimuli. If correct, lesions of CE or BNST should block expression of HPA responses elicited by either a specific conditioned fear cue or a conditioned context. To test this, rats were subjected to cued (tone) or contextual classical fear conditioning. Two days later, electrolytic or sham lesions were placed in CE or BNST. After 5 days, the rats were tested for both behavioral (freezing) and neuroendocrine (corticosterone) responses to tone or contextual cues. CE lesions attenuated conditioned freezing and corticosterone responses to both tone and context. In contrast, BNST lesions attenuated these responses to contextual but not tone stimuli. These results suggest CE is indeed an essential output of the amygdala for the expression of conditioned fear responses, including HPA responses, regardless of the nature of the conditioned stimulus. However, because lesions of BNST only affected behavioral and endocrine responses to contextual stimuli, the results do not support the notion that BNST is critical for HPA responses elicited by conditioned fear stimuli in general. Instead, the BNST may be essential specifically for contextual conditioned fear responses, including both behavioral and HPA responses, by virtue of its connections with the hippocampus, a structure essential to contextual conditioning. The results are also not consistent with the hypothesis that BNST is only involved in unconditioned aspects of fear and anxiety.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:memory, PTSD, Amygdala
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Cellular nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Johnson, LR (Associate Professor Luke Johnson)
ID Code:145147
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:237
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-07-02
Last Modified:2021-09-16
Downloads:0

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