Long-term depression in horizontal slices of the rat lateral amygdala.Synapse. 2004 Sep 01; 53(3):141-50.S
Long-term depression (LTD) is an enduring decrease in synaptic efficacy and is thought to underlie memory. In contrast to investigations of plasticity mechanisms in the amygdala in rat coronal slices, this study was done in horizontal slices. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and EPSPs, respectively, were recorded extracellularly and intracellularly from the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). We show that low-frequency stimulation (LFS) induces LTD in the LA, when stimulation electrodes were located in the LA. No significant differences were found between females and males. In dependence of strain variations, a reduction of GABAergic inhibition either reduced the magnitude of LTD or was a prerequisite for the induction of extracellularly recorded LA-LTD. Theta pulse stimulation (TPS) of afferents within the LA caused a weaker LTD than LFS. Theta burst stimulation (TBS) given 20 min after the end of LFS reversed LTD, whereas high-frequency stimulation (HFS) resulted in long-term potentiation (LTP) that was significantly stronger than that obtained in naive slices. Therefore, primed induction of LTD facilitates high-frequency-induced LTP in the rat lateral amygdala. NMDARs as well as group II mGluRs were involved in the mediation of LA-LTD. In contrast to data obtained by stimulation of afferents running within the LA, LFS of the external capsule fibers induced a weak LA-LTD, and TPS was not able to induce LTD. This study showed for the first time that LTD can be induced in the LA by standard LFS (900 pulses at 1 Hz) and that LTP stimuli reversed LTD. The results also provide further evidence for the broad sensitivity of synaptic plasticity mechanisms to the history of prior activity.