The basolateral amygdala is a nodal structure within a distributed and interconnected network that regulates anxiety states and anxiety-related behavior. Administration of multiple anxiogenic drugs increases cellular responses (i.e., increases c-Fos expression) in a subregion of the basolateral amygdala, but the neurochemical phenotypes of these cells are not known. The basolateral amygdala contains glutamatergic projection neurons and several populations of γ-aminobutyric acid-synthesizing (GABAergic) interneurons, including a population of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing GABAergic interneurons that co-express the excitatory 5-HT(2A) receptor. The role for these PV-expressing GABAergic interneurons in anxiety-states is unclear. In this experiment we examined the effects of multiple anxiogenic drugs including the 5-HT(2C/2A) receptor agonist m-chlorophenyl piperazine (mCPP), the adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine, the α(2)-adrenoreceptor antagonist yohimbine and the partial inverse agonist at the benzodiazepine allosteric site on the GABA(A) receptor, N-methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxamide (FG-7142), on c-Fos expression in PV-immunoreactive (PV-ir) interneurons in subdivisions of the basolateral amygdala. All drugs with the exception of mCPP increased c-Fos expression in PV-ir neurons in the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, anterior part (BLA). The numbers of c-Fos-immunoreactive (c-Fos-ir)/PV-ir GABAergic interneurons in the BLA were positively correlated with the numbers of c-Fos-ir serotonergic neurons in the mid-rostrocaudal dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and with a measure of anxiety-related behavior. All four drugs increased c-Fos expression in non-PV-ir cells in most of the subdivisions of the basolateral amygdala that were sampled, compared with vehicle-injected controls. Together, these data suggest that the PV/5-HT(2A) receptor expressing GABAergic interneurons in the basolateral amygdala are part of a DR-basolateral amygdala neuronal circuit modulating anxiety-states and anxiety-related behavior.