Antagonism of lateral amygdala alpha1-adrenergic receptors facilitates fear conditioning and long-term potentiation

Stephanie C. Lazzaro, Mian Hou, Catarina Cunha, Joseph E. LeDoux, Christopher K. Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Norepinephrine receptors have been studied in emotion, memory, and attention. However, the role of alpha1-adrenergic receptors in fear conditioning, a major model of emotional learning, is poorly understood. We examined the effect of terazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, on cued fear conditioning. Systemic or intra-lateral amygdala terazosin delivered before conditioning enhanced short- and long-term memory. Terazosin delivered after conditioning did not affect consolidation. In vitro, terazosin impaired lateral amygdala inhibitory postsynaptic currents leading to facilitation of excitatory postsynaptic currents and long-term potentiation. Since alpha1 blockers are prescribed for hypertension and posttraumatic stress disorder, these results may have important clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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