Orphanin FQ/nociceptin interacts with the basolateral amygdala noradrenergic system in memory consolidation.Learn Mem. 2007 Jan-Feb; 14(1-2):29-35.LM
Extensive evidence indicates that the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) mediates hormonal and neurotransmitter effects on the consolidation of emotionally influenced memory and that such modulatory influences involve noradrenergic activation of the BLA. As the BLA also expresses a high density of receptors for orphanin FQ/nociceptin (OFQ/N), an opioid-like peptide with anxiolytic and amnestic properties, the present experiments investigated whether the BLA is involved in mediating OFQ/N effects on memory consolidation and whether such effects require noradrenergic activity. OFQ/N (0.01-100 pmol in 0.2 microL) administered bilaterally into the BLA of male Sprague-Dawley rats immediately after aversively motivated inhibitory avoidance training induced dose-dependent impairment on a 48-h retention trial. The beta(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist atenolol (2.0 nmol) administered concurrently into the BLA potentiated the dose-response effects of OFQ/N. In contrast, immediate post-training infusions of the peptidergic OFQ/N receptor antagonist [Nphe(1)]nociceptin(1-13)NH(2) (1-100 pmol in 0.2 microL) into the BLA enhanced 48-h retention of inhibitory avoidance training, an effect that was blocked by coadministration of atenolol. Delayed infusions of OFQ/N or [Nphe(1)]nociceptin(1-13)NH(2) into the BLA administered either 6 or 3 h after training, respectively, or immediate post-training infusions of OFQ/N into the adjacent central amygdala did not significantly alter retention performance. These findings indicate that endogenously released OFQ/N interacts with noradrenergic activity within the BLA in modulating memory consolidation.