Kindling-induced long-lasting changes in synaptic transmission in the basolateral amygdala

J Neurophysiol. 1992 Feb;67(2):443-54. doi: 10.1152/jn.1992.67.2.443.


1. Intracellular current-clamp recordings were obtained from neurons of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in an in vitro slice preparation from control and kindled animals. Postsynaptic potentials, elicited by stimulation of the stria terminalis (ST) or lateral amygdaloid nucleus (LA), were used to investigate the role of excitatory and inhibitory amino acid transmission in kindling-induced epileptiform activity. The contributions of glutamatergic and GABAergic receptor subtypes were analyzed by use of the non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (non-NMDA) antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX), the NMDA antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV), and the GABAA antagonist bicuculline methiodide (BMI). 2. The synaptic waveform evoked in control neurons consisted of an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP), a fast inhibitory postsynaptic potential (f-IPSP), and a slow inhibitory postsynaptic potential (s-IPSP). Stimulation of the ST or LA pathways evoked a burst-firing response in BLA neurons contralateral from the site of stimulation of kindled animals. 3. APV (50 microM) reduced, but CNQX (10 microM) completely blocked, the burst-firing response in BLA neurons from kindled animals and bicuculline-induced bursting in control neurons. 4. Kindling significantly increased the amplitude of both the slow NMDA- and the fast non-NMDA-receptor-mediated components of synaptic transmission (s- and f-EPSPs, respectively). Furthermore, the stimulus intensities required to evoke EPSPs just subthreshold for action potential generation were significantly lower in slices from kindled animals. 5. In kindled neurons no significant change was observed in the membrane input resistance and resting membrane potential or in the number of action potentials elicited in response to depolarizating current injection. 6. Kindling resulted in a pathway-specific loss of ST- and LA-evoked feedforward GABAergic synaptic transmission and of spontaneous IPSPs. In the same BLA neurons, direct GABAergic inhibition via stimulation of the LA was not affected by kindling. 7. The enhanced glutamatergic transmission was not due to disinhibition, because, in the presence of BMI (and CNQX to prevent BMI-induced bursting), the s-EPSP amplitude was still greater in kindled than in control neurons. 8. These results provide evidence that the epileptiform activity observed in BLA neurons after kindling results from an increase in excitatory NMDA- and non-NMDA-receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission and a decrease in inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-receptor-mediated transmission; the enhanced excitatory transmission cannot be accounted for by reduced inhibition.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate / pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology
  • Kindling, Neurologic / physiology*
  • Male
  • N-Methylaspartate / pharmacology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Quinoxalines / pharmacology
  • Quisqualic Acid / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Quinoxalines
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Quisqualic Acid
  • Kainic Acid
  • Bicuculline