AMPAr GluA1 Phosphorylation at Serine 845 in Limbic System Is Associated with Cardiac Autonomic Tone

Roger Walz, et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The central autonomic network, which is connected to the limbic system structures including the amygdala (AMY) and anterior hippocampus (aHIP), regulates the sympathetic and parasympathetic modulation of visceromotor, neuroendocrine, pain, and behavior manifestations during stress responses. Heart rate variability (HRV) is useful to estimate the cardiac autonomic tone. The levels of phosphorylation on the Ser831 and Ser845 sites of the GluA1 subunit of the AMPAr (P-GluA1-Ser845 and P-GluA1-Ser831) are useful markers of synaptic plasticity. The relation between synaptic plasticity in the human limbic system structures and autonomic regulation in humans is unknown. This study investigated the association between HRV and neurochemistry biomarkers of synaptic plasticity in AMY and aHIP. HRV indices were obtained from the resting state electrocardiogram of patients with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE, n = 18) and the levels of P-GluA1-Ser845 and P-GluA1-Ser831 in the AMY and aHIP resected during the epilepsy surgery. A backward stepwise multiple linear regression models were used to analyze the association between HRV and synaptic plasticity biomarkers controlling for imbalances in the distribution of sociodemographic, clinical, neuroimaging, and neurosurgical variables. P-GluA1-Ser845 levels in AMY show a negative association (p < 0.05) with the 3 investigated parasympathetic autonomic HRV indices (SDNN, rMSSD, and HF) predicting 24 to 40% of their variation. The final multiple linear regression models include disease duration and levels of P-GluA1-Ser845 and predict 24 to 56% of cardiac autonomic tone variation (p < 0.01). P-GluA1-Ser845 levels in AMY and aHIP are negatively associated with the resting HRV in MTLE-HS indicating that increased synaptic efficiency in amygdala is associated with a parasympathetic cardiac autonomic tone impairment. The results suggest that specific changes in synaptic plasticity may be involved in the brain-heart axis regulation by the limbic system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1870
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021


  • Human limbic system
  • AMPAr
  • GluA1
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Heart rate variability


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