Image_1_Traumatic Stress Produces Delayed Alterations of Synaptic Plasticity in Basolateral Amygdala.JPEG

Acute traumatic event exposure is a direct cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Amygdala is suggested to be associated with the development of PTSD. In our previous findings, different activation patterns of GABAergic neurons and glutamatergic neurons in early or late stages after stress were found. However, the neural plastic mechanism underlying the role of basolateral amygdala (BLA) in post-traumatic stress disorder remains unclear. Therefore, this study mainly aimed at investigating time-dependent morphologic and electrophysiological changes in BLA during the development of PTSD. We used single prolonged stress (SPS) procedure to establish PTSD model of rats. The rats showed no alterations in anxiety behavior as well as in dendritic spine density or synaptic transmission in BLA 1 day after SPS. However, 10 days after SPS, rats showed enhancement of anxiety behavior, and spine density and frequency of miniature excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA. Our results suggested that after traumatic stress, BLA displayed delayed increase in both spinogenesis and synaptic transmission, which seemed to facilitate the development of PTSD.