Modulation of the acoustic startle reflex by infusion of corticotropin- releasing hormone into the nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis

Shari G. Birnbaum, Michael Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The amplitude of the acoustic startle reflex can be modulated by exposure to aversive stimuli or other conditions which evoke a state of fear. The neurotransmitters involved in this modulation are currently being investigated. Unilateral local infusion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH; 0, 10, 20, 40 and 80 ng) into the nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis (PnC), an obligatory synapse in the acoustic startle reflex, significantly elevated startle amplitude in a dose-dependent manner. The facilitation of startle began immediately following infusion, reached asymptote approximately 20-25 min later, and persisted throughout the remaining 60 min test session. This CRH-enhanced startle effect was blocked by infusion of the CRH antagonist, alpha-helical CRH9-41, immediately prior to CRH infusion. These results support an involvement of CRH at the level of the PnC in modulating the acoustic startle reflex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Volume782
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 1998

Keywords

  • Corticotropin releasing hormone
  • Fear
  • Nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis
  • Startle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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