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Aversive conditioning following repeated withdrawal from ethanol and epileptic kindling

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Repeated withdrawal from ethanol, a procedure which resembles amygdala kindling in increasing seizure sensitivity, impairs the acquisition of fear conditioning (Stephens et al ., 2001, Eur. J. Neurosci., 14 , 2023-31). In contrast, rats previously kindled by repeated electrical stimulation of basolateral amygdala, or repeated administration of pentylenetetrazol, showed increased suppression of operant responding during the presentation of a stimulus conditioned to footshock when conditioning took place several weeks following the kindling experience. Neither form of kindling nor repeated ethanol withdrawal altered taste aversion conditioning, though rats treated chronically with ethanol and given a single withdrawal experience showed enhanced taste aversion conditioning. These results suggest that, despite evidence suggesting a common neuronal mechanism underlying seizure sensitivity following these types of kindling, they differ in their effects on fear conditioning.

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