Phosphorylation of MAP kinase and CREB in mouse cortex and amygdala during taste aversion learning

Neuroreport. 2000 Jun 5;11(8):1625-30. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200006050-00006.


Mice were subjected to a taste aversion conditioning procedure in which they drank water, familiar saccharin, or novel saccharin, followed by injection of either NaCl or the emetic agent LiCl. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize phosphorylated MAP kinase (ppERK) and phosphoCREB (pCREB) in the brain shortly after conditioning. An examination of insular cortex and amygdala revealed specific phosphorylation of MAP kinase by novel saccharin and LiCl, and CREB by LiCl. Pairing of novel saccharin with LiCl was the only stimulus sufficient to increase ppERK and pCREB immunoreactivity in the lateral amygdala, suggesting this as a site of CS-US convergence. ppERK immunoreactivity was localized to both nuclear and non-nuclear compartments, suggesting multiple functional roles of MAP kinase during learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Emetics / pharmacology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lithium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Saccharin / pharmacology
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Emetics
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Saccharin
  • Lithium Chloride