Indexed on: 29 Mar '14Published on: 29 Mar '14Published in: The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP)
The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor are critical for processes underlying synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation. mGlu5 signaling increases neuronal excitability and potentiates NMDA receptor currents in the amygdala and the hippocampus. The present study examined the involvement of mGlu5 in the acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear to a tone and context in mice, and explored the functional relationship between mGlu5 and NMDA receptors in this regard. Experiment 1 showed that systemic administration of the mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator 3-[(2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl]pyridine (MTEP) prior to conditioning significantly attenuated cue-elicited freezing during fear conditioning, which suggests that mGlu5 is necessary for the formation of a tone-shock association. This effect was dose-related (Experiment 2) and not due to any effects of MTEP on shock sensitivity or state-dependency (Experiment 3). Post-conditioning injection of MTEP had no effects (Experiment 4). Although post-conditioning injection of the NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) alone facilitated consolidation of conditioned fear (Experiment 6), it was not able to rescue the acquisition deficit caused by MTEP (Experiment 5). Taken together, these findings indicate a crucial role for mGlu5 signaling in acquisition and NMDA receptor signaling in consolidation of conditioned fear.