Capsaicin-Induced Changes in LTP in the Lateral Amygdala Are Mediated by TRPV1
The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channel is a well recognized polymodal signal detector that is activated by painful stimuli such as capsaicin. Here, we show that TRPV1 is expressed in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). Despite the fact that the central amygdala displays the highest neuronal density, the highest density of TRPV1 labeled neurons was found within the nuclei of the basolateral complex of the amygdala. Capsaicin specifically changed the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the LA in brain slices of mice depending on the anesthetic (ether, isoflurane) used before euthanasia. After ether anesthesia, capsaicin had a suppressive effect on LA-LTP both in patch clamp and in extracellular recordings. The capsaicin-induced reduction of LTP was completely blocked by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME and was absent in neuronal NOS as well as in TRPV1 deficient mice. The specific antagonist of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), AM 251, was also able to reduce the inhibitory effect of capsaicin on LA-LTP, suggesting that stimulation of TRPV1 provokes the generation of anandamide in the brain which seems to inhibit NO synthesis. After isoflurane anesthesia before euthanasia capsaicin caused a TRPV1-mediated increase in the magnitude of LA-LTP. Therefore, our results also indicate that the appropriate choice of the anesthetics used is an important consideration when brain plasticity and the action of endovanilloids will be evaluated. In summary, our results demonstrate that TRPV1 may be involved in the amygdala control of learning mechanisms.
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