The inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA plays a crucial role in anxiety and fear, but its relationship to brain activation during fear reactions is not clear. Previous studies suggest that GABA agonists lead to an attenuation of emotion-processing related BOLD signals in the insula. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between GABA concentration and fear-related BOLD responses in this region. In 44 female participants with different levels of fearfulness, GABA concentration in the left insula was measured using a GABA+ MRS acquisition during rest; additionally, BOLD signals were obtained during performance of a fear provocation paradigm. Fearfulness was not associated with GABA+ in the left insula, but could predict fear-related BOLD responses in a cluster in the left anterior insula. The BOLD signal change in this cluster did not correlate with GABA+ concentration. However, we found a significant positive correlation between GABA+ concentration and fearrelated BOLD responses in a different cluster that included parts of the left insula, amygdala and putamen. Our findings indicate that low insular GABA concentration is not a predisposition for fearfulness, and that several factors influence whether a correlation between GABA and BOLD can be found.

The relationship between fearfulness, GABA+, and fear-related BOLD responses in the insula

Wise R. G.;
2015

Abstract

The inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA plays a crucial role in anxiety and fear, but its relationship to brain activation during fear reactions is not clear. Previous studies suggest that GABA agonists lead to an attenuation of emotion-processing related BOLD signals in the insula. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between GABA concentration and fear-related BOLD responses in this region. In 44 female participants with different levels of fearfulness, GABA concentration in the left insula was measured using a GABA+ MRS acquisition during rest; additionally, BOLD signals were obtained during performance of a fear provocation paradigm. Fearfulness was not associated with GABA+ in the left insula, but could predict fear-related BOLD responses in a cluster in the left anterior insula. The BOLD signal change in this cluster did not correlate with GABA+ concentration. However, we found a significant positive correlation between GABA+ concentration and fearrelated BOLD responses in a different cluster that included parts of the left insula, amygdala and putamen. Our findings indicate that low insular GABA concentration is not a predisposition for fearfulness, and that several factors influence whether a correlation between GABA and BOLD can be found.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
journal.pone.0120101.PDF

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Research Article
Tipologia: PDF editoriale
Dimensione 789.46 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
789.46 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/722337
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 8
  • Scopus 11
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 12
social impact