Behavioral suppression is observed when animals shift from a high to a lower magnitude of reward in comparison to animals that continuously receive the lower magnitude reward. As previously reported, systemic administration of benzodiazepines promotes recovery from this negative contrast. This study aimed to assess where the neural substrate(s) located in the limbic areas for diazepam to induce such recovery effects on negative contrast. With food-deprived rats, the negative contrast procedure was conducted by comparing a group consuming a 32% sucrose solution which was shifted to 4% with a group consuming only 4% sucrose throughout the experiment. Represented mainly by a decreased number of licks, the negative contrast effects were clearly shown in the control groups receiving the vehicle. Systemic injection of diazepam dose-dependently reduced this contrast. Further, this negative contrast effect was significantly attenuated by local infusion of diazepam (30 microg) into the amygdala, but no such effect was confirmed when diazepam was infused into the hippocampus. Together, the present study shows that a reliable anti-contrast effect can be induced by diazepam administration peripherally or locally infused into the amygdala. These data indicate that the amygdala is involved in the recovery effects of benzodiazepines on consummatory negative contrast.
Pharmacology biochemistry and behavior, 74, 953-960