Preadolescent development is characterized by a reorganization of connectivity within and between brain regions that coincides with the emergence of complex behaviors. During the preadolescent period, the rodent hippocampus and regions of the frontal cortex are remodelled as the brain strengthens active connections and eliminates others. In the developing and mature brain, changes in the properties of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPAr)-mediated synaptic responses contribute to experience-dependent changes in neural organization and function. AMPAr are made up of 4 subunits, of which GluA1 and GluA2 have been shown to play the most prominent role in functional plasticity. In this study, we sought to determine whether levels of these two subunits changed during the course of pre-adolescent development in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). To investigate the developmental changes in GluA1 and GluA2 AMPAr subunits, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were performed on the ACC and hippocampus from P18 - P30 and compared to adult (P50) levels and distribution. Within the hippocampus, protein levels of GluA1 and GluA2 peaked around P26−30 whereby localized staining in the dentate gyrus reflected this pattern. GluA1 and GluA2 levels within the ACC showed little variation during this developmental period. These results indicate that changes in AMPAr subunits within the hippocampus coincide with developmental modifications that underlie the shift from juvenile- to adult-like capabilities. However, changes in AMPAr distribution in the ACC might not mediate changes that reflect preadolescent developmental shifts.

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IBRO Reports
Department of Neuroscience

Tzakis, N. (Nikolaos), & Holahan, M.R. (2020). Investigation of GluA1 and GluA2 AMPA receptor subtype distribution in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex of Long Evans rats during development. IBRO Reports, 8, 91–100. doi:10.1016/j.ibror.2020.03.003