Differential synaptic distribution of the AMPA-GluR2 subunit on GABAergic and non-GABAergic neurons in the basolateral amygdala

Yong He, William G M Janssen, John Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The cellular and ultrastructural distribution patterns of the AMPA glutamate receptor subunit, GluR2, were determined in the rat basolateral amygdala. GluR2 immunoreactivity was widely and uniformly distributed in the basolateral nucleus, with both pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons labelled. In fact, double label immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that over 90% of the GABAergic interneurons were labelled for GluR2. Electron microscopic analyses further confirmed the presence of GluR2 in the soma and dendrites of GABAergic interneurons as well as in the soma, spines and dendritic shafts of pyramidal cells. As in our parallel study in the rat hippocampus, immunogold analyses revealed that GluR2 immunoreactivity was frequently preferentially located at asymmetric synapses on both pyramidal cell spines and shafts, as well as the dendritic processes and soma of GABAergic interneurons. However, the number of immunogold particles per labelled synapse on GABAergic neurons was significantly lower than at similar labelled asymmetric synapses on spines of presumed pyramidal cells. Given that the presence of GluR2 within the AMPA receptor complex decreases calcium flux, these data indicate that GABAergic local circuit neurons might possess AMPA receptors with higher calcium permeability on average than pyramidal cells, as has been suggested for hippocampus. Such cell class-specific differences in the subunit representation and resultant channel properties of AMPA receptors have implications for response properties as well as selective vulnerability of neurons within the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 8 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • AMPA receptor
  • Amygdala
  • Excitatory amino acid
  • GABA
  • Immunogold
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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