Heterosynaptic long-term potentiation of inhibitory interneurons in the lateral amygdala

Elizabeth P. Bauer, Joseph E. LeDoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the lateral amygdala (LA) is believed to underlie the formation and retention of fear memories. To explore the role of inhibitory transmission in amygdala plasticity, we recorded from LA inhibitory interneurons in vitro before and after tetanization of the thalamo-LA pathway, one of the major inputs to LA involved in fear learning. Tetanization resulted in LTP of the EPSPs elicited in both the tetanized thalamic pathway and the untetanized cortical pathway to LA. This LTP was NMDA-dependent and associated with a decrease in paired-pulse facilitation in both pathways. In LA excitatory cells, LTP of interneurons resulted in an increase in the amplitude of GABAergic IPSPs in both input pathways. Finally, isolated GABAergic IPSPs between inhibitory and excitatory neurons could be potentiated as well. Plasticity of inhibitory transmission within the LA may therefore contribute significantly to LA-mediated functions, such as fear conditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9507-9512
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 27 2004


  • Fear conditioning
  • GABA
  • Inhibition
  • Input specific
  • LTP
  • NMDA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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