Animals cope with changing environments through changes in behavior. Such plasticity is, however, marked by substantial inter-individual variability. Neuroendocrine reactivity to challenging environments can be an important predictor of resilience. Both basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons and adrenal glucocorticoid signaling are integral parts of the stress neuroendocrine response. In this report, we test if individual variation in hormonal response to stress is associated with individual variation in the dendritic complexity of BLA neurons. We report a positive correlation between inter-individual variability in glucocorticoid response and neuronal plasticity in the BLA subsequent to a stressor. This suggests that stressful experiences in the past act as significant sculptors of BLA neuronal plasticity and congruent neuroendocrine response.
Keywords: amygdala; anxiety; corticosterone; inter-individual variation; neuroendocrine; predator stress.