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Neuropharmacology. 1999 Nov;38(11):1743-53.

GABA(B) receptor-mediated presynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in the basolateral amygdala.

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Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences and CREST (Japan Science and Technology), Tokyo.


The information processing at central synapses is mediated not only by homosynaptic transmission with direct synaptic connections but also by heterosynaptic interactions between distinct synaptic inputs. Using rat brain slices and whole-cell recordings this study aimed to examine the roles of GABA(B) receptors in synaptic interactions in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical brain structure related to fear and anxiety. Stimulation in the BLA produced non-NMDA type glutamate receptor antagonist-sensitive excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and bicuculline-sensitive inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in the BLA neurons. The GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen markedly inhibited both EPSCs and IPSCs in a concentration-dependent manner, and the baclofen-induced inhibition was selectively abolished by the GABA(B) receptor antagonist CGP55845A. The paired-pulse ratio of EPSC and IPSC amplitude was increased by baclofen. The effect of baclofen was mimicked by lowering the external Ca2+ concentration but not by glutamate- and GABA(A)-receptor antagonists. The frequency but not the mean amplitude of miniature EPSCs and IPSCs was decreased by baclofen. The findings suggest that activation of GABA(B) receptors by baclofen reduces the strength of excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the BLA by a presynaptic mechanism. Repetitive conditioning stimulation applied to GABAergic synaptic inputs exerted an inhibitory action on glutamatergic excitatory transmission, and the stimulation-induced inhibition was abolished by CGP55845A. Furthermore, the paired-pulse ratio of EPSCs was increased during the stimulation-induced inhibition. The results in this study provide evidence that synaptic activation of GABA(B) heteroreceptors elicits presynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic excitatory transmission in the BLA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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