Depletion of serotonin in the basolateral amygdala elevates glutamate receptors and facilitates fear-potentiated startle. Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Our previous experiments demonstrated that systemic depletion of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), similar to levels reported in patients with emotional disorders, enhanced glutamateric activity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) and potentiated fear behaviors. However, the effects of isolated depletion of 5-HT in the LA, and the molecular mechanisms underlying enhanced glutamatergic activity are unknown. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that depletion of 5-HT in the LA induces increased fear behavior, and concomitantly enhances glutamate receptor (GluR) expression. Bilateral infusions of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (4 g per side) into the LA produced a regional reduction of serotonergic fibers, resulting in decreased 5-HT concentrations. The induction of low 5-HT in the LA elevated fear-potentiated startle, with a parallel increase in GluR1 mRNA and GluR1 protein expression. These findings suggest that low 5-HT concentrations in the LA may facilitate fear behavior through enhanced GluR-mediated mechanisms. Moreover, our data support a relationship between 5-HT and glutamate in psychopathologies.

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Tran, L., Lasher, B. K., Young, K. A., & Keele, N. B.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Tran, L||Lasher, BK||Young, KA||Keele, NB

publication date

  • January 2013