The BLA is composed of several nuclei
  • The BLA is composed of several nuclei, including the basal (BA) and lateral (LAT) nuclei. The BA and LAT have complementary, but distinct roles in affective behavior. Previous studies demonstrate spinogenesis and dendritic hypertrophy of BA and LAT Xylazine in adult rats exposed to repeated stress. However, the pattern of these morphological changes is different between the BA and LAT neurons (Nietzer et al., 2011 and Padival et al., 2013b). Little is known about the effects of repeated stress on the morphology of BLA neurons in adolescence. Therefore, the current study examines and contrasts the pattern of changes in the BA and LAT nuclei of the BLA in adolescents. Changes in dendritic structure and spine number are associated with changes of excitatory drive, and were the focus of this study. Neuronal morphology was reconstructed after Golgi–Cox staining, and BA and LAT principal neuronal dendrites and spines were quantified. These morphological indices were compared between control and repeated restraint stress-exposed adolescent male rats. A change in the number of spines may impact the selectivity of the response to an afferent glutamatergic signal. Previous studies demonstrate that acuity of excitatory input to the BLA determines specificity of fear behavior (Shaban et al., 2006 and Antunes and Moita, 2010). Therefore, the effects of stress on fear generalization were also compared between adolescent and adult male rats.

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