Persistent prelimbic cortex activity contributes to enhanced learned fear expression in females
Fenton, G.E. and Pollard, Amelia K. and Halliday, D.M. and Mason, Rob and Bredy, Timothy W. and Stevenson, Carl W. (2014) Persistent prelimbic cortex activity contributes to enhanced learned fear expression in females. Learning and Memory, 21 (2). pp. 55-60. ISSN 1072-0502
Official URL: http://learnmem.cshlp.org/content/21/2/55.long
Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress, are more prevalent in women and are characterized by impaired inhibition of learned fear and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) dysfunction. Here we examined sex differences in fear extinction and mPFC activity in rats. Females showed more learned fear expression during extinction and its recall, but not fear conditioning. They also showed more spontaneous fear recovery and more contextual fear before extinction and its recall. Moreover, enhanced learned fear expression in females was associated with sustained prelimbic (PL) cortex activity. These results suggest that sex differences in learned fear expression may involve persistent PL activation.
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