Document Detail

Identification of midbrain neurones mediating defensive behaviour in the rat by microinjections of excitatory amino acids.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2859869     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Unilateral microinjections (0.20 microliter) of excitatory amino acids were made into the midbrain of freely moving rats. Injections made within the midbrain periaqueductal grey matter (PAG) consistently elicited reactions characteristic of defensive behaviour (i.e. explosive jumps, freezing, upright postures), whereas injections made in the tegmentum bordering the PAG did not as reliably elicit such behaviour. As injections of excitatory amino acids depolarize cell bodies but not axons, the results suggest that a population of neurones whose excitation elicits these reactions is found primarily within the midbrain PAG of the rat. Furthermore, the data suggested that such neurones may be localized preferentially within the caudal half of the midbrain PAG. Injections of the GABA antagonist, bicuculline methiodide, at many of the same midbrain sites produced behaviour similar to that elicited by excitatory amino acids indicating a possible GABAergic modulation of these same PAG-mediated reactions. It also was observed following unilateral injection into the PAG, of either the excitatory amino acid, L-aspartic acid or bicuculline, that defensive behaviour was elicited by touching the rat on the body or snout contralateral but not ipsilateral to the injection site. This suggests that the induction of defensive behaviour by unilateral PAG stimulation is due, at least in part, to lateralized alterations in sensorimotor responsiveness.
R Bandler; A Depaulis; M Vergnes
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural brain research     Volume:  15     ISSN:  0166-4328     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Brain Res.     Publication Date:  1985 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1985-07-17     Completed Date:  1985-07-17     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8004872     Medline TA:  Behav Brain Res     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  107-19     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Amino Acids / pharmacology*
Arousal / drug effects*
Aspartic Acid / pharmacology
Bicuculline / analogs & derivatives,  pharmacology
Glutamates / pharmacology
Glutamic Acid
Neurons / drug effects
Periaqueductal Gray / drug effects*
Rats, Inbred Strains
Tegmentum Mesencephali / drug effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amino Acids; 0/Glutamates; 40709-69-1/bicuculline methiodide; 485-49-4/Bicuculline; 56-84-8/Aspartic Acid; 56-86-0/Glutamic Acid

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