α2A-adrenergic receptors heterosynaptically regulate glutamatergic transmission in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Stress is a major driving force in reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) has been identified as a key brain region in this behavior, and receives a dense input of the stress-neurotransmitter norepinephrine through the ventral noradrenergic bundle. Activation of α -adrenergic receptors (α -ARs) in the BNST blocks stress-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking, indicating a potentially important role for these receptors. Currently, it is unclear how α -AR agonists elicit this behavioral action, or through which α -AR subtype. Activation of α -ARs decreases glutamatergic transmission in the BNST, an effect which is nearly absent in the α -AR knockout mouse. Here, we take advantage of a knock-in mouse in which a hemagglutinin-tagged α -AR was inserted into the endogenous locus, along with the α -AR selective agonist guanfacine, to further study the role of the α -AR subtype in modulation of neurotransmission in the BNST. Using immunohistochemistry, we find that α -ARs are highly expressed in the BNST, and that this expression is more similar in distribution to the vesicular glutamate transporters than to either norepinephrine transporter or tyrosine hydroxylase positive terminals. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings, we show that guanfacine causes a depression of evoked excitatory and, to a more limited extent, inhibitory fast synaptic transmission. In total, these data support a prominent heterosynaptic role for α -ARs in modulating fast synaptic transmission in the BNST. © 2009 IBRO. 2 2 2 2 2 2A 2A 2A 2A 2A 2A
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neuroscience  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shields AD; Wang Q; Winder DG
  • Start Page

  • 339
  • End Page

  • 351
  • Volume

  • 163
  • Issue

  • 1