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Differential Expression of Phosphorylated Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (pMAPK) in the Lateral Amygdala of Mice Selectively Bred for High and Low Fear

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Post traumatic stress disorder PTSD is a serious medical condition affecting both military and civilian populations. While its etiology remains poorly understood PTSD is characterized by high and prolonged levels of fear response. The neuronal processing of fear occurs in the amygdala, a complex structure located in the temporal lobe of the brain. A known requirement for the long-term storage or consolidation of fear memory is the phosphorylation of mitogen activated protein kinase p4442 ERKl2pMAPK in the lateral amygdala LA, a sub-nucleus of the amygdala. Increased expression of pMAPK in the LA is a reliable marker of the neuroplasticity underlying fear learning. One important biological unknown however, is whether individuals expressing high or low conditioned fear memory consolidate the memory differently, and if that difference underlies differences in fear response. A strategy for investigating this question is to examine the regional expression of pMAPK in the amygdala in animals that exhibit high and low fear.

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