The present study investigated the hypothesis that both nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptors (nAChRs) and glutamate receptors (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptors (AMPARs) and N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDARs)) are involved in fear conditioning, and may modulate similar processes. The effects of the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine administered alone, the AMPAR antagonist NBQX administered alone, and the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 administered alone on cued fear conditioning, contextual fear conditioning, and latent inhibition of cued fear conditioning were examined. In addition, the effects of coadministration of either mecamylamine and NBQX or mecamylamine and MK-801 on these behaviors were examined. Consistent with previous studies, neither mecamylamine nor NBQX administered alone disrupted any of the tasks. However, coadministration of mecamylamine and NBQX disrupted both contextual fear conditioning and latent inhibition of cued fear conditioning. In addition, coadministration of mecamylamine with a dose of MK-801 subthreshold for disrupting either task disrupted both contextual fear conditioning and latent inhibition of cued fear conditioning. Coadministration of mecamylamine and NBQX, and coadministration of mecamylamine with a dose of MK-801 subthreshold for disrupting fear conditioning had little effect on cued fear conditioning. These results suggest that nAChRs and glutamate receptors may support similar processes mediating acquisition of contextual fear conditioning and latent inhibition of fear conditioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience