Abnormally increased neuronal activity in the lateral habenula (LHb) is closely associated with depressive-like behavior. Despite the emphasis on the pathological importance of NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) and the involvement of calcium permeable AMPA receptor (CP-AMPAR) as major Ca2+ source, the functions of NMDAR and CP-AMPAR on LTD modulation in the LHb still have not been fully investigated. Here, we found that NMDAR-dependent LTD by low frequency stimulation was induced in both synaptic and extrasynaptic regions in the LHb. In addition, CP-AMPAR was necessary for the activation of NMDAR in the induction phase of NMDAR-dependent LTD. The acute stress, which induced depressive behavior, had a blocked effect on synaptic NMDAR-dependent LTD but left extrasynaptic NMDAR-dependent LTD intact. These findings show that NMDAR-dependent LTD in LHb plays an important role in regulating neuronal activity, which is probable to be excessively increased by repeated stress, via maintaining homeostasis in both synaptic and extrasynaptic regions of the LHb. Moreover, NMDAR and CP-AMPAR may serve as a depression-related modulator and be regarded as a promising therapeutic target for treatment of psychopathology such as depression.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2015R1D1A1A01057086 to JMC and NRF-2019R1A2C1002963 to JN).
© 2020, The Author(s).