A pathway-specific function for different AMPA receptor subunits in amygdala long-term potentiation and fear conditioning

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Humeau, Yann ; Reisel, Daniel ; Johnson, Alexander W. ; Borchardt, Thilo ; Jensen, Vidar ; Gebhardt, Christine ; Bosch, Verena ; Gass, Peter ; Bannerman, David M. ; Good, Mark Andrew ; Hvalby, Øivind ; Sprengel, Rolf ; Luthi, Andreas (2007)
  • Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2603-07.2007
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: nervous system | psychological phenomena and processes | musculoskeletal, neural, and ocular physiology | mental disorders

The AMPA receptor subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluR1 or GluR-A) contributes to amygdala-dependent emotional learning. It remains\ud unclear, however, to what extent different amygdala pathways depend on GluR1, or other AMPA receptor subunits, for proper synaptic\ud transmission and plasticity, and whether GluR1-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) is necessary for auditory and contextual fear\ud conditioning. Here, we dissected the role of GluR1 and GluR3 (GluR-C) subunits in AMPA receptor-dependent amygdala LTP and fear\ud conditioning using knock-out mice (GluR1−/− and GluR3−/−). We found that, whereas LTP at thalamic inputs to lateral amygdala (LA)\ud projection neurons and at glutamatergic synapses in the basal amygdala was completely absent in GluR1−/− mice, both GluR1 and GluR3\ud contributed to LTP in the cortico-LA pathway. Because both auditory and contextual fear conditioning were selectively impaired in\ud GluR1−/− but not GluR3−/− mice, we conclude that GluR1-dependent synaptic plasticity is the dominant form of LTP underlying the\ud acquisition of auditory and contextual fear conditioning, and that plasticity in distinct amygdala pathways differentially contributes to\ud aversive conditioning.
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