Central Amygdala Projections to Lateral Hypothalamus Mediate Avoidance Behavior in Rats
Journal of Neuroscience
Persistent avoidance of stress-related stimuli following acute stress exposure predicts negative outcomes such as substance abuse and traumatic stress disorders. Previous work using a rat model showed that the central amygdala (CeA) plays an important role in avoidance of a predator odor stress-paired context. Here, we show that CeA projections to the lateral hypothalamus (LH) are preferentially activated in male rats that show avoidance of a predator odor-paired context (termed Avoider rats), that chemogenetic inhibition of CeA-LH projections attenuates avoidance in male Avoider rats, that chemogenetic stimulation of the CeA-LH circuit produces conditioned place avoidance (CPA) in otherwise naive male rats, and that avoidance behavior is associated with intrinsic properties of LH-projecting CeA cells. Collectively, these data show that CeALH projections are important for persistent avoidance of stress-related stimuli following acute stress exposure.
Society for Neuroscience
Weera, Marcus M.; Shackett, Rosetta S.; Kramer, Hannah M.; Middleton, Jason W.; and Gilpin, Nicholas W., "Central Amygdala Projections to Lateral Hypothalamus Mediate Avoidance Behavior in Rats" (2021). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 325.