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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 183248, 7 pages
Research Article

Fear-Potentiated Behaviour Is Modulated by Central Amygdala Angiotensin II Receptors Stimulation

1Laboratory of Neuropharmacology, Institute of Biological and Technological Research (IIBYT-CONICET), National University of Córdoba, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, Catholic University of Córdoba, 5017 Córdoba, Argentina
2Laboratory of Neurosciences and Experimental Psychology, IMBECU-CONICET, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Cuyo, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina
3Institute of Experimental Pharmacology (IFEC-CONICET), Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, National University of Córdoba, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina

Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 14 April 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: Oliver von Bohlen und Halbach

Copyright © 2014 Maria de los Angeles Marinzalda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is one of the most important regulatory centres for the emotional processes. Among the different neurotransmitter systems present in this nucleus, AT1 receptors have been also found, but their role in the generation and modulation of emotions is not fully understood. The present work evaluated the effect of intra-amygdalar injection of losartan (AT1 receptor antagonist) and angiotensin II (Ang II) in the anxiety state induced by fear-potentiated plus maze in male Wistar rats. Fear in the elevated plus maze can be potentiated by prior inescapable footshock stress. The decrease in the time spent in the open arms induced by the inescapable footshock was totally prevented by losartan (4 pmol) administration in CeA. It was also found that Ang II (48 fmol) administration decreased the time spent in the open arms in animals with or without previous footshock exposure. The locomotor activity and grooming behaviour were also evaluated. The results obtained from the different parameters analyzed allowed us to conclude that the Ang II AT1 receptors in CeA are involved in the anxiety state induced by stress in the fear-potentiated plus-maze behaviour.