TitleAdministration of the glutamate-modulating drug, riluzole, after stress prevents its delayed effects on the amygdala in male rats.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsDatta S, Rashid Z, Naskar S, Chattarji S
JournalPNAS Nexus
Date Published2023 Jun

Extracellular glutamate levels are elevated across brain regions immediately after stress. Despite sharing common features in their genesis, the patterns of stress-induced plasticity that eventually take shape are strikingly different between these brain areas. While stress causes structural and functional deficits in the hippocampus, it has the opposite effect on the amygdala. Riluzole, an FDA-approved drug known to modulate glutamate release and facilitate glutamate clearance, prevents stress-induced deficits in the hippocampus. But whether the same drug is also effective in countering the opposite effects of stress in the amygdala remains unexplored. We addressed this question by using a rat model wherein even a single 2-h acute immobilization stress causes a delayed expression of anxiety-like behavior, 10 days later, alongside stronger excitatory synaptic connectivity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). This temporal profile-several days separating the acute stressor and its delayed impact-allowed us to test if these effects can be prevented by administering riluzole in drinking water acute stress. Poststress riluzole not only prevented the delayed increase in anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze but also blocked the increase in spine density on BLA neurons 10 days later. Further, stress-induced increase in the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents recorded in BLA slices, 10 days later, was also blocked by the same poststress riluzole administration. Together, these findings underscore the importance of therapeutic strategies, aimed at glutamate uptake and modulation, in correcting the delayed behavioral, physiological, and morphological effects of stress on the amygdala.

Alternate JournalPNAS Nexus
PubMed ID37266396
PubMed Central IDPMC10230288