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Papers of the Week

2020 May 01



Activation of EphB2 in the basolateral amygdala promotes stress vulnerability of mice by increasing NMDA-dependent synaptic function.


Zhang J-T, Liu Y, Li L-X, Li K, Chen J-G, Wang F
Neuropharmacology. 2020 May 01; 167:107934.
PMID: 31926216.


The occurrence of major depressive disorder (MDD) has been linked to an increased vulnerability to stress. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is one of the critical brain areas that involved in the regulation of pathological reactivity to stress. Increasing evidence indicates that the EphB2 receptor (EphB2) plays a critical role in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, pain and anxiety. However, whether the EphB2 in the BLA is involved in stress vulnerability is unclear. Here, we identified EphB2 in the BLA as a key regulator contributed to the modulation of stress vulnerability in adult mice. We found that the expression of EphB2 in the BLA was significantly increased in the animal model induced by chronic social stress. Knockdown of EphB2 in the BLA produced antidepressant-like behavioral effects, whereas activation of EphB2 in the BLA increased the susceptibility to subthreshold social defeat stress. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the role of EphB2 in the stress vulnerability was mediated by modulating NMDA receptors, since the knockdown of EphB2 in the BLA prevented not only the increase in the amplitudes of both the miniature and the evoked NMDAR-mediated EPSC, but also the enhancement of surface expression of NMDARs in the defeated mice. Taken together, these results suggest that EphB2 in the BLA is a critical factor contributes to the vulnerability to stress, which may be a potential target for the treatment of depression.