Neurobiology of Learning and Memory vol:90 issue:1 pages:103-111
Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) is expressed in brain regions implicated in emotional learning and working memory, and previous behavioral experiments indicated contributions of mGluR7 to various complex behaviors. In the present study, we investigated the specific effects of mGluR7 deletion on a variety of conditioning paradigms that model crucial neurocognitive and psychopathological behavioral phenomena. Null-mutant mGluR7(-/-) mice displayed defects during scheduled appetitive conditioning, acquisition and extinction of appetitive odor conditioning, extinction of response suppression-based conditioned emotional responding (CER), acquisition of discriminative CER, and contextual fear conditioning. mGluR7(-/-) animals were slower to acquire the association between a conditioned stimulus and a positive or negative reinforcer, but eventually reached similar performance levels to their wildtype littermates. Notably, extinction learning of conditioned responses was slower in mGluR7(-/-) compared to wildtype animals. The observed delays in the acquisition of complicated stimulus associations across conditioning procedures may suggest a critical role for mGluR7 in neurocognitive functions and psychopathology. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.