Fear conditioning involves the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synaptic transmission in the lateral amygdala, a brain structure which is tightly controlled by GABAergic inhibition. Here we show that dopamine gates the induction of LTP in the mouse lateral amygdala by suppressing feedforward inhibition from local interneurons. Our findings provide a cellular mechanism for the dopaminergic modulation of fear conditioning and indicate that suppression of feedforward inhibition represents a key mechanism for the induction of associative synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.
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We are grateful to B. Gähwiler, M. Scanziani and E. Seifritz for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript. Supported by the Borderline Personality Disorder Research Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation (3100-067749.02).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Bissière, S., Humeau, Y. & Lüthi, A. Dopamine gates LTP induction in lateral amygdala by suppressing feedforward inhibition. Nat Neurosci 6, 587–592 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1058
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