Neural segregation of Fos-protein distribution in the brain following freezing and escape behaviors induced by injections of either glutamate or NMDA into the dorsal periaqueductal gray of rats.
ABSTRACT Freezing and escape responses induced by gradual increases in the intensity of the electrical current applied to dorsal regions of the periaqueductal gray (dPAG) cause a distinct pattern of Fos distribution in the brain. From these studies, it has been suggested that a pathway involving the dPAG itself, dorsomedial hypothalamus and the cuneiform nucleus (CnF) would mediate responses to immediate danger and another one involving the amygdala and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) would mediate cue-elicited responses. As electrical stimulation activates body cells and fibers of passage the need of studies with chemical stimulation of only post-synaptic fibers of the dPAG is obvious. To examine further this issue we measured Fos protein expression in brain areas activated by stimulation of the dPAG with glutamate (5 nmol/0.2 microL) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) at doses that provoke either freezing (4 nmol/0.2 microL) or escape (7 nmol/0.2 microL) responses, respectively. The results showed that glutamate-induced freezing caused a selective increase in Fos expression in the superior and inferior colliculi as well as in the laterodorsal nucleus of the thalamus. On the other hand, NMDA-induced escape led to widespread increases in Fos labeling in almost all structures studied. Differently from glutamate, NMDA at doses provoking freezing caused significant increase of Fos labeling in the dPAG and CnF. Therefore, the present data support the notion that freezing behavior induced by activation of either non-NMDA or NMDA receptors in the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG) is neurally segregated: glutamate activates only structures that are mainly involved in the sensorial processing and NMDA-induced freezing structures involved in the motor output of defensive behavior. Therefore, the freezing elicited by the activation of non-NMDA receptors seem to be related to the acquisition of aversive information, whereas that resulting from the activation of NMDA receptors could serve as a preparatory response for flight.
Article: Anxiety-like symptoms induced by morphine withdrawal may be due to the sensitization of the dorsal periaqueductal grey.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Withdrawal from morphine leads to the appearance of extreme anxiety accompanied of several physical disturbances, most of them linked to the activation of brainstem regions such as the locus coeruleus, ventral tegmental area, hypothalamic nuclei and periaqueductal grey (PAG). As anxiety remains one of the main components of morphine withdrawal the present study aimed to evaluating the influence of the dorsal aspects of the PAG on the production of this state, since this structure is well-known to be involved in defensive behaviour elicited by anxiety-evoking stimuli. Different groups of animals were submitted to 10 days of i.p. morphine injections, challenged 2 h after with an i.p. injection of naloxone (0.1 mg/kg), and submitted to the plus-maze, open-field and light-dark transition tests. The effects of morphine withdrawal on anxiety-induced Fos immunolabelling were evaluated in four animals that passed by the light-dark transition test randomly chosen for Fos-protein analysis. Besides the PAG, Fos neural expression was conducted in other brain regions involved in the expression of anxiety-related behaviours. Our results showed that morphine withdrawn rats presented enhanced anxiety accompanied of few somatic symptoms. Increased Fos immunolabelling was noted in brain regions well-known to modulate these states as the prelimbic cortex, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and paraventricular hypothalamus. Increased Fos labelling was also observed in the ventral and dorsal aspects of the PAG, a region involved in anxiety-related processes suggesting that this region could be a common neural substrate enlisted during anxiety evoked by dangerous stimuli as well as those elicited by opiate withdrawal.Physiology & Behavior 08/2008; 94(4):552-62. · 2.87 Impact Factor