Increases in basolateral amygdala (BLA) activity drive avoidance-seeking behavior that may be associated with stress induced drug seeking. Activity of BLA pyramidal neurons is regulated by local and paracapsular gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons. The lateral paracapsular interneurons (LPCs) border the external capsule, receive dense cortical/thalamic input and provide feed-forward inhibition onto BLA principle neurons. The GABAergic LPCs also express high concentrations of g-protein coupled Âµ-opioid receptors (MORs). Therefore, the effects of opiates on LPC activity and local GABA release were examined. Fluorescently double labeled LPCs were observed in glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) 65-mcherry/GAD67-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice. Whole-cell electrophysiology experiments demonstrated that acute exposure to [D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly5-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO; a synthetic selective MOR agonist), reduced LPC firing and spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current (sIPSC) frequency in LPCs, with no apparent effect on spontaneous excitatory currents (sEPSCs). Current injection induced firing in LPC neurons, but less effectively than in saline controls. Morphine-exposed mice (10mg/kg/day, across 5 days, 1-2 days off) had increased sIPSCs compared to saline-injected controls, as well as enhanced adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity. Together these data show that LPC neurons are a highly sensitive targets for opiate-induced inhibition, and that long-term opiate exposure results in impaired LPC excitability, possibly contributing to anxiety observed during opiate withdrawal.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Neuroscience
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Werner, Sara Jane, "Long-Term Opiate-Induced Adaptations in Lateral Paracapsular Neurons of the Basolateral Amygdala" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8977.
lateral paracapsular cells, basolateral amygdala, morphine, addiction, anxiety, mu-opioid receptor, chronic exposure, withdrawal, electrophysiology, whole-cell, patch clamp