In the central nervous system neurotensin (NT) acts as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. It was shown that NT has positive reinforcing effects after its direct microinjection into the ventral tegmental area. The central nucleus of amygdala (CeA), part of the limbic system, plays an important role in learning, memory, regulation of feeding, anxiety and emotional behavior. By means of immunohistochemical and radioimmune methods it was shown that the amygdaloid body is relatively rich in NT immunoreactive elements and NT receptors. The aim of our study was to examine the possible effects of NT on reinforcement and anxiety in the CeA. In conditioned place preference test male Wistar rats were microinjected bilaterally with 100 or 250 ng NT in volume of 0.4 μl or 35 ng neurotensin receptor 1 (NTS1) antagonist SR 48692 alone, or NTS1 antagonist 15 min before 100 ng NT treatment. Hundred or 250 ng NT significantly increased the time rats spent in the treatment quadrant. Prior treatment with the non-peptide NTS1 antagonist blocked the effects of NT. Antagonist itself did not influence the reinforcing effect. In elevated plus maze test we did not find differences among the groups as far as the anxiety index (time spent on the open arms) was concerned. Our results suggest that in the rat ACE NT has positive reinforcing effects. We clarified that NTS1s are involved in this action. It was also shown that NT does not influence anxiety behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience