Opioid Regulation of Pavlovian Overshadowing in Fear Conditioning

Department of Psychology and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 2.73). 08/2010; 124(4):510-9. DOI: 10.1037/a0020083
Source: PubMed


In Pavlovian overshadowing, a stimulus that predicts a biologically important event reduces conditioning to another, equally predictive stimulus. We tested the effects of an opioid antagonist and dopamine agonist on the ability of a salient white noise to overshadow a less salient light. Rats were conditioned to fear a light or a noise-light compound using a mild footshock. Compound-conditioned rats trained under the saline vehicle revealed significant overshadowing of the light by the noise. This overshadowing effect was significantly attenuated in rats trained under the opioid antagonist naltrexone, consistent with an opioid-mediated negative feedback model of conditioning. In line with predictions made by negative feedback-type models, we failed to obtain overshadowing with few trials, suggesting that the processes underlying conditioning during initial trials do not contribute to the opioid-dependent Pavlovian overshadowing obtained in our preparation. Lastly, we compared the involvement of dopamine-mediated and opioid-mediated processes in overshadowing by conditioning rats under the partial dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF 38393 or the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Both naltrexone and SKF 38393 were found to attenuate overshadowing; however, the behavioral profiles produced by each pharmacological manipulation were distinct. Collectively, these studies demonstrate an important role for both opioid- and dopamine-mediated processes in multiple-trial overshadowing.

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    • "It has been suggested that D 1 antagonism may be important for the behavioral effects of antipsychotics and may be secondary to D 2 antagonism (Josselyn et al, 1997; Miller, 1990, 2009). A potential role for D 1 in AMP disruption of LI is consistent with studies in rats implicating D 1 in overshadowing, a related measure of salience allocation, other behavioral effects of AMP in other species, as well as a more general role for midbrain D 1 in attentional accuracy (Liu et al, 2010, 2011; O'Tuathaigh and Moran, 2002; Zelikowsky and Fanselow, 2010). Translation of the outcome of experiments using animal model systems to human psychosis and its treatment must include the caveat of species and environmental differences from the human condition. "
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    ABSTRACT: Drugs that induce psychosis, such as D-amphetamine (AMP), and those that alleviate it, such as antipsychotics, are suggested to exert behavioral effects via dopamine receptor D2 (D2). All antipsychotic drugs are D2 antagonists, but D2 antagonism underlies the severe and debilitating side effects of these drugs; it is therefore important to know whether D2 is necessary for their behavioral effects. Using D2-null mice (Drd2/), we first investigated whether D2 is required for AMP disruption of latent inhibition (LI). LI is a process of learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli. Disruption of LI by AMP models impaired attention and abnormal salience allocation consequent to dysregulated dopamine relevant to schizophrenia. AMP disruption of LI was seen in both wild-type (WT) and Drd2/. This was in contrast to AMP-induced locomotor hyperactivity, which was reduced in Drd2/. AMP disruption of LI was attenuated in mice lacking dopamine receptor D1 (Drd1/), suggesting that D1 may play a role in AMP disruption of LI. Further supporting this possibility, we found that D1 antagonist SKF83566 attenuated AMP disruption of LI in WT. Remarkably, both haloperidol and clozapine attenuated AMP disruption of LI in Drd2/. This demonstrates that antipsychotic drugs can attenuate AMP disruption of learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli in the absence of D2 receptors. Data suggest that D2 is not essential either for AMP to disrupt or for antipsychotic drugs to reverse AMP disruption of learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli and further that D1 merits investigation in the mediation of AMP disruption of these processes.
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    • "These data indicate that amphetamine effects on LI and overshadowing are differentially sensitive to antagonism of D 1 and D 2 receptors. Consistent with this dissociable pharmacological profile, the partial D 1 agonist SKF 38393 is able to disrupt overshadowing but not LI (Feldon et al. 1991 ; Loskutova et al. 2010 ; O'Tuathaigh & Moran, 2002 ; Zelikowsky & Fanselow, 2010). However, recent evidence has suggested that D 1 receptors may, under certain circumstances, be involved in the mediation of LI (Bay-Richter et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Latent inhibition (LI) manifests as poorer conditioning to a stimulus that has previously been experienced without consequence. There is good evidence of dopaminergic modulation of LI, as the effect is reliably disrupted by the indirect dopamine (DA) agonist amphetamine. The disruptive effects of amphetamine on LI are reversed by both typical and atypical antipsychotics, which on their own are able to facilitate LI. However, the contribution of different DA receptors to these effects is poorly understood. Amphetamine effects on another stimulus selection procedure, overshadowing, have been suggested to be D1-mediated. Thus, in the current experiments, we systematically investigated the role of D1 receptors in LI. First, we tested the ability of the full D1 agonist SKF 81297 to abolish LI and compared the effects of this drug on LI and overshadowing. Subsequently, we examined whether the D1 antagonist SCH 23390 can lead to the emergence of LI under conditions that do not produce the effect in normal animals (weak pre-exposure). Finally, we tested the ability of SCH 23390 to block amphetamine-induced disruption of LI. We found little evidence that direct stimulation of D1 receptors abolishes LI (although there was some attenuation of LI at 0.4 mg/kg SKF 81297). Similarly, SCH 23390 failed to enhance LI. However, SCH 23390 did block amphetamine-induced disruption of LI. These data indicate that, while LI may be unaffected by selective manipulation of activity at D1 receptors, the effects of amphetamine on LI are to some extent dependent on actions at D1 receptors.
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