Cocaine-cue associations induce synaptic plasticity with long lasting molecular and cellular changes in the amygdala, a site crucial for cue-associated memory mechanisms. The underlying neuroadaptations can include marked alterations in signaling via dopamine (DA) receptors (DRs) and metabotropic glutamate (Glu) receptors (mGluRs). Previously, we reported that DR antagonists blocked forms of synaptic plasticity in amygdala slices of Sprague-Dawley rats withdrawn from repeated cocaine administration. In the present study, we investigated synaptic plasticity induced by exogenous DA and its dependence on mGluR signaling and a potential role for phospholipase D (PLD) as a downstream element linked to mGluR and DR signaling. Utilizing a modified conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm as a functional behavioral measure, we studied the neurophysiological effects after two-weeks to the last cocaine conditioning. We recorded, electrophysiologically, a DR-induced synaptic potentiation in the basolateral to lateral capsula central amygdala (BLA-lcCeA) synaptic pathway that was blocked by antagonists of group I mGluRs, particularly, the PLD-linked mGluR. In addition, we observed 2-2.5 fold increase in PLD expression and 3.7-fold increase in basal PLD enzyme activity. The enhanced PLD activity could be further stimulated (9.3 fold) by a DA D1-like (D1/5R) receptor agonist, and decreased to control levels by mGluR1 and PLD-linked mGluR antagonists. Diminished CPP was observed by infusion of a PLD-linked mGluR antagonist, PCCG-13, in the amygdala 15 minutes prior to testing, two weeks after the last cocaine injection. These results imply a functional interaction between D1/5Rs, group I mGluRs via PLD in the amygdala synaptic plasticity associated with cocaine-cues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)