High frequency stimulation-induced plasticity in the prelimbic cortex of rats emerges during adolescent development and is associated with an increase in dopamine receptor function
Recent studies in rats suggest that high frequency stimulation (HFS) in the ventral hippocampus induces long-term depression (LTD) in the deep layer of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), but only after the prefrontal GABA system has sufficiently developed during early- to mid-adolescence. It is not clear whether this LTD is specific to the hippocampus-mPFC circuit or is instead an intrinsitc regulatory mechanism for the developed mPFC neuro-network. The potential mechanisms underlying this
... -induced LTD are also largely unknown. In the current study, naïve male Sprague Dawley rats were sacrificed during peri-adolescence or young adulthood for in vitro extracellular recording to determine if HFS delivered in the prelimbic cortex (PLC) would induce LTD in an age-dependent manner and if dopamine receptors are involved in the expression of this LTD. We found four trains of stimulation at 50 Hz induced an LTD in the PFC of adult, but not peri-adolescent, rats. This LTD required intact GABAA receptor functioning and could also be blocked by dopamine D1 or D2 receptor antagonists. Bath application of selective D1 or D2 receptor agonists produced a significant facilitation or suppression in the field potential, respectively, and these effects were only observed in the adult PLC. Furthermore, neither D1 nor D2 stimualtion prior to HFS was able to facilitate LTD in the peri-adolescent PLC. Together, these results suggest dopamine receptor functionality in the PLC increases during adolescent development and it plays an important role in this late-maturating form of plasticity.