Modulation of long-term synaptic depression in visual cortex by acetylcholine and norepinephrine.
In a slice preparation of rat visual cortex, we discovered that paired-pulse stimulation (PPS) elicits a form of homosynaptic long-term depression (LTD) in the superficial layers when carbachol (CCh) or norepinephrine (NE) is applied concurrently. PPS by itself, or CCh and NE in the absence of synaptic stimulation, produced no lasting change. The LTD induced by PPS in the presence of NE or CCh is of comparable magnitude with that obtained with prolonged low-frequency stimulation (LFS) but requires far fewer stimulation pulses (40 vs 900). The cholinergic facilitation of LTD was blocked by atropine and pirenzepine, suggesting involvement of M1 receptors. The noradrenergic facilitation of LTD was blocked by urapidil and was mimicked by methoxamine, suggesting involvement of alpha1 receptors. beta receptor agonists and antagonists were without effect. Induction of LTD by PPS was inhibited by NMDA receptor blockers (completely in the case of NE; partially in the case of CCh), suggesting that one action of the modulators is to control the gain of NMDA receptor-dependent homosynaptic LTD in visual cortex. We propose that this is a mechanism by which cholinergic and noradrenergic inputs to the neocortex modulate naturally occurring receptive field plasticity. (+info)
Activity-dependent metaplasticity of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the lamprey spinal cord locomotor network.
Paired intracellular recordings have been used to examine the activity-dependent plasticity and neuromodulator-induced metaplasticity of synaptic inputs from identified inhibitory and excitatory interneurons in the lamprey spinal cord. Trains of spikes at 5-20 Hz were used to mimic the frequency of spiking that occurs in network interneurons during NMDA or brainstem-evoked locomotor activity. Inputs from inhibitory and excitatory interneurons exhibited similar activity-dependent changes, with synaptic depression developing during the spike train. The level of depression reached was greater with lower stimulation frequencies. Significant activity-dependent depression of inputs from excitatory interneurons and inhibitory crossed caudal interneurons, which are central elements in the patterning of network activity, usually developed between the fifth and tenth spikes in the train. Because these interneurons typically fire bursts of up to five spikes during locomotor activity, this activity-dependent plasticity will presumably not contribute to the patterning of network activity. However, in the presence of the neuromodulators substance P and 5-HT, significant activity-dependent metaplasticity of these inputs developed over the first five spikes in the train. Substance P induced significant activity-dependent depression of inhibitory but potentiation of excitatory interneuron inputs, whereas 5-HT induced significant activity-dependent potentiation of both inhibitory and excitatory interneuron inputs. Because these metaplastic effects are consistent with the substance P and 5-HT-induced modulation of the network output, activity-dependent metaplasticity could be a potential mechanism underlying the coordination and modulation of rhythmic network activity. (+info)
CRE-mediated gene transcription in neocortical neuronal plasticity during the developmental critical period.
Neuronal activity-dependent processes are believed to mediate the formation of synaptic connections during neocortical development, but the underlying intracellular mechanisms are not known. In the visual system, altering the pattern of visually driven neuronal activity by monocular deprivation induces cortical synaptic rearrangement during a postnatal developmental window, the critical period. Here, using transgenic mice carrying a CRE-lacZ reporter, we demonstrate that a calcium- and cAMP-regulated signaling pathway is activated following monocular deprivation. We find that monocular deprivation leads to an induction of CRE-mediated lacZ expression in the visual cortex preceding the onset of physiologic plasticity, and this induction is dramatically downregulated following the end of the critical period. These results suggest that CRE-dependent coordinate regulation of a network of genes may control physiologic plasticity during postnatal neocortical development. (+info)
Impairment of neocortical long-term potentiation in mice deficient of endothelial nitric oxide synthase.
The role of the possible retrograde messenger nitric oxide (NO) in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) was studied in supragranular layers of somatosensory cortical slices obtained from adult mice. High-frequency stimulation produced a slowly rising, long-lasting (50 min) and significant (P < 0.001) increase in the extracellular synaptic response by 23%. The induction of LTP was independent from activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, but prevented by bath application of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), indicating that one or several of the different NO synthases (NOS) produced NO within the postsynaptic neuron. No LTP could be induced in knockout mice lacking the endothelial NOS (eNOS) isoform. These data suggest that eNOS is involved in an NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP in the rodent cerebral cortex. (+info)
Selective induction of LTP and LTD by postsynaptic [Ca2+]i elevation.
Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), two prominent forms of synaptic plasticity at glutamatergic afferents to CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells, are both triggered by the elevation of postsynaptic intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). To understand how one signaling molecule can be responsible for triggering two opposing forms of synaptic modulation, different postsynaptic [Ca2+]i elevation patterns were generated by a new caged calcium compound nitrophenyl-ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid in CA1 pyramidal cells. We found that specific patterns of [Ca2+]i elevation selectively activate LTP or LTD. In particular, only LTP was triggered by a brief increase of [Ca2+]i with relatively high magnitude, which mimics the [Ca2+]i rise during electrical stimulation typically used to induce LTP. In contrast, a prolonged modest rise of [Ca2+]i reliably induced LTD. An important implication of the results is that both the amplitude and the duration of an intracellular chemical signal can carry significant biological information. (+info)
Selective pruning of more active afferents when cat visual cortex is pharmacologically inhibited.
Activity-dependent competition is thought to guide the normal development of specific patterns of neural connections. Such competition generally favors more active inputs, making them larger and stronger, while less active inputs become smaller and weaker. We pharmacologically inhibited the activity of visual cortical cells and measured the three-dimensional structure of inputs serving the two eyes when one eye was occluded. The more active inputs serving the open eye actually became smaller than the deprived inputs from the occluded eye, which were similar to those in normal animals. These findings demonstrate in vivo that it is not the amount of afferent activity but the correlation between cortical and afferent activity that regulates the growth or retraction of these inputs. (+info)
Expression of the rat homologue of the Drosophila fat tumour suppressor gene.
We have sequenced and defined the expression during rat embryogenesis of the protocadherin fat, the murine homologue of a Drosophila tumour suppressor gene. As previously described for human fat, the sequence encodes a large protocadherin with 34 cadherin repeats, five epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats containing a single laminin A-G domain and a putative transmembrane portion followed by a cytoplasmic sequence. This cytoplasmic sequence shows homology to the b-catenin binding regions of classical cadherin cytoplasmic tails and also ends with a PDZ domain-binding motif. In situ hybridization studies at E15 show that fat is predominately expressed in fetal epithelial cell layers and in the CNS, although expression is also seen in tongue musculature and condensing cartilage. Within the CNS, expression is seen in the germinal regions and in areas of developing cortex, and this neural expression pattern is also seen at later embryonic (E18) and postnatal stages. No labelling was seen in adult tissues except in the CNS, where the remnant of the germinal zones, as well as the dentate gyrus, continue to express fat. (+info)
Synaptic plasticity: regulated translation in dendrites.
Synaptic activity can induce neurons to synthesize proteins important for cognition and brain development. Recent results suggest this activity-induced protein synthesis is partially mediated by regulated translation within neuronal dendrites. (+info)