Differential Effects of Predator Stress and the Antidepressant Tianeptine on Physiological Plasticity in the Hippocampus and Basolateral Amygdala

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LTP, amygdala, CA1, predator stress, rat, depression

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Stress can profoundly affect memory and alter the functioning of the hippocampus and amygdala. Studies have also shown that the antidepressant tianeptine can block the effects of stress on hippocampal and amygdala morphology and synaptic plasticity. We examined the effects of acute predator stress and tianeptine on long-term potentiation (LTP; induced by 100 pulses in 1 s) and primed burst potentiation (PB; a low threshold form of LTP induced by only five physiologically patterned pulses) in CA1 and in the basolateral nucleus (BLA) of the amygdala in anesthetized rats. Predator stress blocked the induction of PB potentiation in CA1 and enhanced LTP in BLA. Tianeptine blocked the stress-induced suppression of PB potentiation in CA1 without affecting the stress-induced enhancement of LTP in BLA. In addition, tianeptine administered under non-stress conditions enhanced PB potentiation in the hippocampus and LTP in the amygdala. These findings support the hypothesis that acute stress impairs hippocampal functioning and enhances amygdaloid functioning. The work also provides insight into the actions of tianeptine with the finding that it enhanced electrophysiological measures of plasticity in the hippocampus and amygdala under stress, as well as non-stress, conditions.

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Stress, v. 9, issue 1, p. 29-40