Synaptic responses of guinea pig and rat central amygdala neurons in vitro

J Neurophysiol. 1991 May;65(5):1227-41. doi: 10.1152/jn.1991.65.5.1227.


1. To investigate postsynaptic potentials (PSPs), we made intracellular recordings from neurons of the amygdaloid central nucleus in slices from the guinea pig and rat brains maintained in vitro. The results from guinea pigs and rats were very similar. 2. In the presence of bicuculline (20 microM), focal electrical stimulation of the amygdaloid basal nucleus with low intensities elicited short-latency excitatory PSPs (EPSPs) followed by long-latency EPSPs. The short-latency EPSP was selectively blocked by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dion (CNQX; 10-20 microM). The long-latency EPSP was preferentially abolished by D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (D,L-APV; 40 microM) and was augmented by removal of extracellular Mg2+. The compound EPSP reversed at -4 mV, which was close to -1 mV, the reversal potential for pressure-ejected glutamate (Glu). 3. When the intensity of the focal stimulation was increased in the presence of bicuculline (20 microM), CNQX (20 microM), and D,L-APV (50 microM), a second EPSP with a short latency and a prolonged duration could be evoked in approximately 65% of the neurons. The EPSPs were reversibly blocked by d-tubocurarine (50 microM) or hexamethonium (200 microM) but were unaffected by atropine (1 microM) or a 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 receptor antagonist, ICS-205930 (5-10 microM). In these neurons, acetylcholine (ACh; 1-3 mM) caused a depolarization, associated with a decreased input resistance. 4. In the presence of CNQX (20 microM) and D,L-APV (50 microM), single focal stimulation of the dorsolateral subdivision in the central nucleus with low intensities elicited a depolarizing inhibitory PSP (IPSP). The IPSP was reversibly abolished by bicuculline (20-40 microM). The reversal potential (-63 mV) for the IPSP was similar to the reversal potential (-61 mV) for the response to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) applied by pressure ejection. 5. In the presence of bicuculline (20-40 microM) and CNQX (20 microM), a repetitive focal stimulus with high intensities delivered to the dorsolateral subdivision produced a hyperpolarizing PSP followed by a slow depolarization in most neurons. Of putative inhibitory amino acid transmitters, glycine (Gly; 3 mM) produced only a hyperpolarization, associated with a decrease in input resistance. Strychnine (1-2 microM) reversibly blocked both the Gly hyperpolarization and the synaptically evoked hyperpolarization. The reversal potential of -81 mV for the hyperpolarizing PSP was close to -82 mV for the Gly hyperpolarization. The reversal potential for the Gly response was shifted to less negative values by increasing the external K+ concentration or decreasing the extracellular Cl- concentration.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate / pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Acetylcholine / physiology
  • Adenosine / pharmacology
  • Amino Acids / pharmacology
  • Amygdala / cytology
  • Amygdala / drug effects
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Baclofen / pharmacology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Glutamates / pharmacology
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glycine / physiology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Quinoxalines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / pharmacology


  • Amino Acids
  • Glutamates
  • Neuromuscular Depolarizing Agents
  • Quinoxalines
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Baclofen
  • Adenosine
  • Acetylcholine
  • Glycine