Rogers SD, Salak-Johnson JL, Schwei MJ, Pomonis JD, Mantyh PW (2000) Reduced anxiety related behavior following ablation of amygdala neurons expressing substance P receptor. Neuroscience 2000 Abstracts 571.2. Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.
Summary: The neurokinin substance P (SP) is localized in brain regions that coordinate stress response and may play a role in modulating anxiety. Effects of ablation of substance P receptor (SPR)-expressing neurons by administration of a substance P-toxin conjugate, substance P-saporin (SP-SAP), in the amygdala (a brain region known to modulate stress and anxiety responses) were examined immunohistochemically and behaviorally thirty days following SP-SAP treatments. Rats were bilaterally injected in basolateral amygdala nuclei with 5μl of sterile saline, 1 μM saporin (SAP), or 1 μM SP-SAP. SPR-immunofluoresence levels and number of SPR-IR positive neurons in amygdalar subnuclei decreased following SP-SAP treatment. SP-SAP did not induce significant gliosis or non-specific neuronal death. Interestingly, after SP-SAP treatment, the number of NPY-IR neurons were also decreased, and combined SPR and NPY immunofluorescence demonstrated a large number of NPY-IR neurons colocalize with SPR-IR neurons in the amygdala. Thirty days following SP-SAP treatment, rats were tested in elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field (OF). Anxiety level and exploratory behavior displayed by SP-SAP treated rats were altered; they had significantly more entries into and spent more time in EPM open arms than did saline- or SAP-injected rats. In the OF, SP-SAP treated rats spent less time frozen than saline or SAP treated rats. These results suggest that SPR expressing neurons in the amygdala plays a pivotal role in generation of anxiety behaviors and that SP may play a modulatory role in stress-induced anxiety behavior.
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