Long-term potentiation in the insular cortex enhances conditioned taste aversion retention

Brain Res. 2000 Jan 3;852(1):208-12. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(99)02134-4.


Long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), are thought to underlie memory formation. Recent studies on the insular cortex (IC), a region of the temporal cortex implicated in the acquisition and retention of conditioned taste aversion (CTA), have demonstrated that tetanic stimulation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (Bla) induce LTP in the IC of adult rats in vivo, as well as, that blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors disrupts CTA and IC-LTP induction in vivo. Here, we present experimental data showing that induction of LTP in the Bla-IC projection previous to CTA training enhances the retention of this task. These findings are of particular interest since they provide support for the view that the neural mechanisms underlying neocortical LTP may contribute to memory related functions performed by the IC.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*