Guily P - Lassalle O - Chavis P - Manzoni OJ
In rodents and humans, the basolateral amygdala (BLA), essential for emotional behaviors, is profoundly reorganized during adolescence. We compared in both sexes the morphology, neuronal, and synaptic properties of BLA neurons in rats at puberty and adulthood. BLA neurons were more excitable in males than in females at adulthood. At pubescence, male action potentials were smaller and shorter than females' while fast afterhyperpolarizations were larger in males. During postnatal maturation, spine length increased and decreased in females and males, respectively, while there was a reduction in spine head size in females. Excitatory synaptic properties, estimated from stimuli-response relationships, spontaneous post-synaptic currents, and AMPA/NMDA ratio also displayed sex-specific maturational differences. Finally, the developmental courses of long-term potentiation and depression were sexually dimorphic. These data reveal divergent maturational trajectories in the BLA of male and female rats and suggest sex-specific substrates to the BLA linked behaviors at adolescence and adulthood.