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Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Muthuraju S.,University of Sao Paulo | Muthuraju S.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | Pati S.,Baylor College of Medicine
Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences | Year: 2014

High altitude (HA), defined as approximately 3000–5000 m, considerably alters physiological and psychological parameters within a few hours. Chronic HA-mediated hypoxia (5000 m) results in permanent neuronal damage to the human brain that persists for one year or longer, even after returning to sea level. At HA, there is a decrease in barometric pressure and a consequential reduction in the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), an extreme environmental condition to which humans are occasionally exposed. This condition is referred to as hypobaric hypoxia (HBH), which represents the most unfavourable characteristics of HA. HBH causes the disruption of oxygen availability to tissue. However, no review article has explored the impact of HBH on cognitive functions or the potential therapeutic agents for HBH. Therefore, the present review aimed to describe the impact of HBH on both physiological and cognitive functions, specifically learning and memory. Finally, the potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of HBH-induced cognitive impairment are discussed. © Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2014. Source

Saito V.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Saito V.M.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | Brandao M.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Brandao M.L.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento
Neuropharmacology | Year: 2015

Electrical stimulation of midbrain tectum structures, particularly the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG) and inferior colliculus (IC), produces defensive responses such as freezing and escape behavior. Freezing also results after termination of this stimulation (post-stimulation freezing; PSF). Whereas these responses are critically mediated by GABA in the dPAG, it is unclear how GABA-benzodiazepine mechanisms mediate the expression of fear (freezing and escape behaviors) and the processing of aversive information (PSF) produced by electrical stimulation of the IC. Since dorsal (ICd) and ventral regions (ICv) of the IC react differentially to aversive stimulation, we hypothesized that these regions might be sensitive to the action of benzodiazepine drugs when rats are submitted to animal models of anxiety: the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the IC electrical stimulation procedure. Midazolam (5, 10 or 20 nmol) was injected into the ICd or ICv of rats subjected to one of these tests. Intra-ICv, but not intra-ICd injections, of midazolam reduced the aversiveness of the IC electrical stimulation and decreased fear in the EPM, as assessed by its traditional and complementary measures. In contrast, the IC post-stimulation freezing remained unaltered with midazolam treatments. Thus, there is a clear pharmacological dissociation in the reactivity of dorsal and ventral regions of the IC to fear-provoking stimuli of the two animal models of anxiety used in this study. The present results support the proposal that benzodiazepine-mediated mechanisms are only involved in the output mechanisms of defensive behavior and not involved in the processing of ascending aversive information from the IC. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'GABAergic Signaling in Health and Disease'. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Bassi G.S.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | Bassi G.S.,University of Sao Paulo | De Carvalho M.C.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | De Carvalho M.C.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
Neuroscience Letters | Year: 2014

The amygdala, together with the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG), medial hypothalamus, and deep layers of the superior and inferior colliculi, constitutes the encephalic aversion system, which has been considered the main neural substrate for the organization of fear and anxiety. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) acts as a filter for aversive stimuli to higher structures while the central (CeA) and the medial (MeA) nuclei constitute the output for the autonomic and somatic components of the emotional reaction through major projections to the limbic and brainstem regions. Although some findings point to the distinct participation of the substance P (SP) and the NK1 receptors system in the different nuclei of the amygdala on the expression of emotional behaviors, it is not clear if this system modulates anxiety-like responses in the distinct nuclei of the amygdala as well as the dPAG. Thus, it was investigated if the injection of SP into the BLA, CeA, or MeA affects the expression of anxiety-like responses of rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze (EPM) test and, if the effects are mediated by NK1 receptors. The results showed that SP and Sar-Met-SP (NK1 receptor selective agonist) injected into the CeA and MeA, but not into the BLA, caused anxiogenic-like effects in the EPM. Altogether, the data indicates that the SP may mimic the effects of anxiogenic stimuli via NK1 receptor activation only in the CeA and MeA (amygdala's nuclei output) and may activate the neural mechanisms involved in the defensive reaction genesis. The SP/NK1 receptors system activation may be phasically involved in very specific aspects of anxiety behaviors. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Reimer A.E.,University of Sao Paulo | Reimer A.E.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | de Oliveira A.R.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | de Oliveira A.R.,Federal University of Sao Carlos | And 5 more authors.
Behavioural Brain Research | Year: 2015

Individual differences are important biological predictors for reactivity to stressful stimulation. The extent to which trait differences underlie animal's reactions to conditioned and unconditioned fear stimuli, for example, is still to be clarified. Although grooming behavior has been associated with some aspects of the obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans, its relation with other anxiety disorders is still unknown. Given that grooming behavior could be a component of the whole spectrum of these disorders, in the present study we allocated male Wistar rats in low, intermediate and high self-grooming groups according to the duration of such behavior in the elevated plus-maze (EPM). These groups were then evaluated in unconditioned fear tests, such as the EPM and the open-field, and in conditioned fear tests, such as fear-potentiated startle and fear extinction retention. Additionally, we studied the expression of unconditioned behaviors in marble burying test and the sensorimotor gate function with prepulse inhibition test. Neurochemicals and neuroendocrine parameters were also evaluated, with the quantification of basal corticosterone in the plasma, and dopamine, serotonin and their metabolites in brain structures involved with fear processing. In general, rats classified according to grooming expression showed similar performance in all behavioral tests. Accordingly, corticosterone and monoamine concentrations were similar among groups. Thus, despite grooming expression elicited by different approaches - especially pharmacological ones - has been related with some aspects of anxiety disorders, rats with different expression of spontaneous self-grooming in the EPM do not differ in anxiety-like behaviors nor in neurochemical and neuroendocrine parameters generally associated with anxiety disorders. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Borelli K.G.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | Borelli K.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Borelli K.G.,Federal University of ABC | Albrechet-Souza L.,Institute Neurociencias e Comportamento | And 6 more authors.
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2013

The periaqueductal gray (PAG) columns have been implicated in controlling stress responses through corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which is a neuropeptide with a prominent role in the etiology of fear- and anxiety-related psychopathologies. Several studies have investigated the involvement of dorsal PAG (dPAG) CRF mechanisms in models of unconditioned fear. However, less is known about the role of this neurotransmission in the expression of conditioned fear memories in the dPAG and ventrolateral PAG (vlPAG) columns. We assessed the effects of ovine CRF (oCRF 0.25 and 1.0. ?g/0.2. ?L) locally administered into the dPAG and vlPAG on behavioral (fear-potentiated startle and freezing) and autonomic (arterial pressure and heart rate) responses in rats subjected to contextual fear conditioning. The lower dose injected into the columns promoted proaversive effects, enhanced contextual freezing, increased the blood pressure and heart rate and decreased tail temperature. The lower dose of oCRF into the vlPAG, but not into the dPAG, produced a pronounced enhancement of the fear-potentiated startle response. The results imply that the PAG is a heterogeneous structure that is involved in the coordination of distinct behaviors and autonomic control, suggest PAG involvement in the expression of contextual fear memory as well as implicate the CRF as an important modulator of the neural substrates of fear in the PAG. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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