Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the rat basolateral amygdala: Characterization of an activity-dependent switch sensitive to the presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist 2S-α-ethylglutamic acid

He Li, Susan R B Weiss, De Maw Chuang, Robert M. Post, Michael A Rogawski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the basolateral amygdala in vitro and demonstrates that a brief high frequency stimulus (HFS) train can induce a switch in the direction of the enduring change in synaptic strength induced by subsequent low-frequency stimulation (LFS). LFS (1 Hz, 15 min) of the external capsule (EC) induced a persistent 1.7-fold enhancement in the amplitude of synaptic potentials recorded intracellularly in basolateral amygdala neurons. The enhancement occurred gradually during the stimulation and was maintained for >30 min after termination of the stimulus train. LFS-induced enduring synaptic facilitation was not affected by the NMDA receptor antagonist D(-)2-amino-5- phosphonopentanoate (APV; 100 μM). Brief high-frequency EC stimulation (HFS; 100 Hz, 1 sec) induced APV-sensitive short-term potentiation (2.5-fold) that generally decayed within 10 min. When LFS was applied after recovery from the short-term potentiating effect of HFS (HFS/LFS), there was an initial transient (<10 min) enhancement of the synaptic response followed by persistent synaptic depression (synaptic potential amplitude reduced by 22% at 30 min). This represents the first demonstration of stimulus-dependent long-lasting synaptic depression in the amygdala. Application of the presynaptic (group II) metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist 2S-α- ethylglutamic acid (EGLU; 50 μM) prevented the HFS-dependent switch from synaptic facilitation to depression. Thus, LFS in the in vitro amygdala slice can induce either enduring synaptic potentiation or depression, depending on whether a priming HFS train has been applied. This experience-dependent switch, a novel form of metaplasticity, is not dependent on NMDA receptors but may require group II metabotropic glutamate receptors. In the amygdala, experiential modification of activity-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity adds flexibility to the ways in which synaptic strength can be modified and could play a role in diverse amygdala-dependent processes, including the formation, storage, and extinction of emotional memory and the regulation of epileptogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1662-1670
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume18
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 2S-α- ethylglutamic acid
  • Basolateral amygdala
  • Long- term depression
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptor
  • NMDA receptor
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the rat basolateral amygdala: Characterization of an activity-dependent switch sensitive to the presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist 2S-α-ethylglutamic acid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this