AMPA receptor GluR2, but not GluR1, subunit deletion impairs emotional response conditioning in mice
Deletions of gria1 or gria2 genes encoding alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5- methylisoxazole-4-propionic-acid-receptor subunits differ in their effects on appetitive conditioning. The authors investigated whether similar differences would occur in an aversive conditioning test. The ability of a discrete stimulus paired with footshock to subsequently inhibit food-maintained operant responding (conditioned emotional response) was examined in mice with deletions of gria1 or gria2 genes. Whereas gria1 knockout (KO) mice performed normally compared with wild-type (WT) controls, gria2 KO mice displayed no reduction in response rates when the shock-paired stimulus was presented. Nevertheless, gria2 KOs displayed evidence of freezing in a footshock-paired context, indicating that aversive learning could occur. In addition, gria1 KO mice showed some evidence of increased anxiety, and gria2 KOs showed reduced anxiety, in the elevated plus-maze. Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association.