Long-Range Connectivity Defines Behavioral Specificity of Amygdala Neurons

Verena Senn, Steffen B.E. Wolff, Cyril Herry, François Grenier, Ingrid Ehrlich, Jan Gründemann, Jonathan P. Fadok, Christian Müller, Johannes J. Letzkus, Andreas Lüthi
Neuron. 2014-01-01; 81(2): 428-437
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.006

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1. Neuron. 2014 Jan 22;81(2):428-37. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.006.

Long-range connectivity defines behavioral specificity of amygdala neurons.

Senn V(1), Wolff SB(1), Herry C(2), Grenier F(2), Ehrlich I(2), Gründemann J(2),
Fadok JP(2), Müller C(2), Letzkus JJ(2), Lüthi A(3).

Author information:
(1)Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, 4058
Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, 4000 Basel, Switzerland.
(2)Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, 4058
Basel, Switzerland.
(3)Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, 4058
Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address: .

Comment in
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Mar;15(3):138-9.

Memories are acquired and encoded within large-scale neuronal networks spanning
different brain areas. The anatomical and functional specificity of such
long-range interactions and their role in learning is poorly understood. The
amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are interconnected brain
structures involved in the extinction of conditioned fear. Here, we show that a
defined subpopulation of basal amygdala (BA) projection neurons targeting the
prelimbic (PL) subdivision of mPFC is active during states of high fear, whereas
BA neurons targeting the infralimbic (IL) subdivision are recruited, and exhibit
cell-type-specific plasticity, during fear extinction. Pathway-specific
optogenetic manipulations demonstrate that the activity balance between pathways
is causally involved in fear extinction. Together, our findings demonstrate that,
although intermingled locally, long-range connectivity defines distinct
subpopulations of amygdala projection neurons and indicate that the formation of
long-term extinction memories depends on the balance of activity between two
defined amygdala-prefrontal pathways.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.006
PMID: 24462103 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


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