Journal Title/Source

Brain Research

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DOI (if applicable)


Document Type

Journal Article


Psychological Sciences


Neurotensin is a neuropeptide neurotransmitter that interacts with multiple neurotransmitter systems, including those regulating amygdalar function, via NTS1 and NTS2 receptors. Both receptors are expressed in the amygdala and agonists for NTS1 or NTS2 receptors have exhibited anxiolytic effects in animal models. Systemic adminstration of NTS1 receptor agonist PD149163 was recently shown to reduce footshock conditioned 22-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in rats, suggesting that PD149163 produced an anxiolytic effect. The effects that neurotensin may have or a selective NTS2receptor agonist may have on 22-kHz vocalizations has yet to be examined. The current study evaluated the effects of intracerebroventricularly administered neurotensin (0.1–10.0 μg), PD149163 (0.1–10.0 ng), or the NTS2 receptor agonist JMV-431 (0.1–1.0 μg) on footshock conditioned 22-kHz vocalizations in male Wistar rats. Neurotensin, PD149163, and JMV-431 all significantly reduced the number 22-kHz calls. No changes in call duration were found, suggesting that non-specific drug effects do not account for the reductions in 22-kHz calls. These data support anxiolytic effects produced by activation of NTS1 or NTS2 receptors, and suggest that neurotensin plays a natural role in the expression of conditioned USVs. These data suggest that both receptor subtypes are putative pharmacologic targets.