Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase A (IP 3 K-A) is a molecule enriched in the brain and neurons that regulates intracellular calcium levels via signaling through the inositol trisphosphate receptor. In the present study, we found that IP 3 K-A expression is highly enriched in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), which plays a pivotal role in the processing and expression of emotional phenotypes in mammals. Genetic abrogation of IP 3 K-A altered amygdala gene expression, particularly in genes involved in key intracellular signaling pathways and genes mediating fear- and anxiety-related behaviors. In agreement with the changes in amygdala gene expression profiles, IP 3 K-A knockout (KO) mice displayed more robust responses to aversive stimuli and spent less time in the open arms of the elevated plus maze, indicating high levels of innate fear and anxiety. In addition to behavioral phenotypes, decreased excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic current and reduced c-Fos immunoreactivity in the CeA of IP 3 K-A KO mice suggest that IP 3 K-A has a profound influence on the basal activities of fear- and anxiety-mediating amygdala circuitry. In conclusion, our findings collectively demonstrate that IP 3 K-A plays an important role in regulating affective states by modulating metabotropic receptor signaling pathways and neural activity in the amygdala.
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