Memory enhancement induced by post-training intrabasolateral amygdala infusions of beta-adrenergic or muscarinic agonists requires activation of dopamine receptors: Involvement of right, but not left, basolateral amygdala.Learn Mem. 2005 Sep-Oct; 12(5):527-32.LM
Previous findings indicate that the noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic innervations of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulate memory consolidation. The current study investigated whether memory enhancement induced by post-training intra-BLA infusions of a beta-adrenergic or muscarinic cholinergic agonist requires concurrent activation of dopamine (DA) receptors in the BLA. Rats with implanted BLA cannulae were trained on an inhibitory avoidance (IA) task and, 48 h later, tested for retention. Infusions of the beta-adrenergic agonist clenbuterol into the right BLA, but not the left, enhanced retention, and concurrent infusions of the nonspecific DA receptor antagonist cis-Flupenthixol (Flu) blocked the enhancement. Post-training infusions of the muscarinic agonist oxotremorine into the right BLA also enhanced retention, and concurrent infusions of Flu blocked this effect. Additional experiments investigated whether memory modulation was lateralized to the right BLA. Post-training DA infusions into the right BLA, but not the left, enhanced retention. Post-training infusions of lidocaine or muscimol, which impair retention when infused bilaterally, had no effect when infused unilaterally into either the right or left BLA. These findings, together with earlier work, suggest that the dopaminergic system in the BLA is critically involved in memory modulation induced by noradrenergic and cholinergic influences. Additionally, these findings indicate that the enhancement, but not impairment, of memory consolidation is lateralized to the right BLA.