Quantification of the total neuronal structure of the fear conditioning circuit of the lateral amygdala of the rat

Johnson, Luke R., Hou, Mian, Albert Jr, Ladislau, Farb, C., Hof, Patrick R., & LeDoux, Joseph E. (2001) Quantification of the total neuronal structure of the fear conditioning circuit of the lateral amygdala of the rat. In Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2001, 10 - 15 November 2001, San Diego, USA.

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During Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning a previously neutral auditory stimulus (CS) gains emotional significance through pairing with a noxious unconditioned stimulus (US). These associations are believed to be formed by way of plasticity at auditory input synapses on principal neurons in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). In order to begin to understand how fear memories are stored and processed by synaptic changes in the LA, we have quantified both the entire neural number and the sub-cellular structure of LA principal neurons.We first used stereological cell counting methods on Gimsa or GABA immunostained rat brain. We identified 60,322+/-1408 neurons in the LA unilaterally (n=7). Of these 16,917+/-471 were GABA positive. The intercalated nuclei were excluded from the counts and thus GABA cells are believed to represent GABAergic interneurons. The sub-nuclei of the LA were also independently counted. We then quantified the morphometric properties of in vitro electrophysiologically identified principal neurons of the LA, corrected for shrinkage in xyz planes. The total dendritic length was 9.97+/-2.57mm, with 21+/-4 nodes (n=6). Dendritic spine density was 0.19+/-0.03 spines/um (n=6). Intra-LA axon collaterals had a bouton density of 0.1+/-0.02 boutons/um (n=5). These data begin to reveal the finite cellular and sub-cellular processing capacity of the lateral amygdala, and should facilitate efforts to understand mechanisms of plasticity in LA.

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ID Code: 83605
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Keywords: stereology, morphometry, GAGA, dendrite
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 16 Oct 2015 04:38
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 04:38

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