Post-weaning social isolation attenuates c-Fos expression in GABAergic interneurons in the basolateral amygdala of adult female rats Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Previous studies have found that adolescent social isolation of rats can lead to an increased anxiety state during adulthood, while chronic anxiety states are associated with dysregulated local GABAergic inhibition within the basolateral amygdala (BL). Therefore, we investigated the effects of post-weaning social isolation of female rats, in combination with a challenge with the anxiogenic drug, N-methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxamide (FG-7142), on a subset of GABAergic interneurons in the BL in adulthood using dual immunohistochemical staining for c-Fos and parvalbumin. Juvenile female rats were reared in isolation or in groups of three for a 3-week period from weaning to mid-adolescence, after which all rats were group-housed for an additional 2 weeks. Group-reared rats and isolation-reared rats injected with FG-7142 had increased c-Fos expression in GABAergic interneurons in the anterior part of the BL compared to group-reared rats and isolation-reared rats, respectively, injected with vehicle. Isolation rearing had a main effect to decrease c-Fos expression in GABAergic interneurons in the anterior part of the BL compared to group-reared rats. These data suggest that post-weaning social isolation of female rats leads to dysregulation of a parvalbumin-containing subset of local GABAergic interneurons in the anterior part of the BL, which have previously been implicated in the pathophysiology of chronic anxiety states. These cellular changes may lead to an increased vulnerability to stress- and anxiety-related responses in adulthood.

authors

  • Lukkes, Jodi L
  • Burke, Andrew R
  • Zelin, Naomi S
  • Hale, Matthew W
  • Lowry, Christopher A

publication date

  • December 2012