Properties of synaptic transmission at single hippocampal synaptic boutons.
ABSTRACT Synaptic transmission between individual presynaptic terminals and postsynaptic dendrites is a fundamental element of communication among central nervous system neurons. Yet little is known about evoked neurotransmission at the level of single presynaptic boutons. Here we describe key functional characteristics of individual presynaptic boutons of hippocampal neurons in culture. Excitatory postsynaptic currents (e.p.s.cs) were evoked by localized application of elevated K+/Ca2+ solution to single functional boutons, visually identified by staining with the vital dye FM1-43 (refs 6, 7). Frequent repetitive stimulation produced a decline in the incidence of e.p.s.cs as the pool of releasable vesicles was exhausted; typically, recovery proceeded with a time constant of about 40 s (23 degrees C), and involved a vesicular pool capable of generating about 90 e.p.s.cs without recycling. At individual synapses, synaptic currents were broadly distributed in amplitude, but this distribution was remarkably similar at multiple synapses on a given postsynaptic neuron. The average size of synaptic currents and of responses to focal glutamate application varied fourfold across different cells, decreasing markedly with increasingly dense synaptic innervation. This raises the possibility of a very effective mechanism for coordinating synaptic strength at multiple sites throughout the dendritic tree.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Guosong Liu, Jul 06, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Homeostatic plasticity has emerged as a fundamental regulatory principle that strives to maintain neuronal activity within optimal ranges by altering diverse aspects of neuronal function. Adaptation to network activity is often viewed as an essential negative feedback restraint that prevents runaway excitation or inhibition. However, the precise importance of these homeostatic functions is often theoretical rather than empirically derived. Moreover, a remarkable multiplicity of homeostatic adaptations has been observed. To clarify these issues, it may prove useful to ask: why do homeostatic mechanisms exist, what advantages do these adaptive responses confer on a given cell population, and why are there so many seemingly divergent effects? Here, we approach these questions by applying the principles of control theory to homeostatic synaptic plasticity of mammalian neurons and suggest that the varied responses observed may represent distinct functional classes of control mechanisms directed toward disparate physiological goals.Neural Plasticity 05/2012; 2012:718203. DOI:10.1155/2012/718203 · 3.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Presynaptic GABA(B) receptor (GABA(B)R) heterodimers are composed of GB(1a)/GB(2) subunits and critically influence synaptic and cognitive functions. Here, we explored local GABA(B)R activation by integrating optical tools for monitoring receptor conformation and synaptic vesicle release at individual presynaptic boutons of hippocampal neurons. Utilizing fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy, we detected a wide range of FRET values for CFP/YFP-tagged GB(1a)/GB(2) receptors that negatively correlated with release probabilities at single synapses. High FRET of GABA(B)Rs associated with low release probability. Notably, pharmacological manipulations that either reduced or increased basal receptor activation decreased intersynapse variability of GB(1a)/GB(2) receptor conformation. Despite variability along axons, presynaptic GABA(B)R tone was dendrite specific, having a greater impact on synapses at highly innervated proximal branches. Prolonged neuronal inactivity reduced basal receptor activation, leading to homeostatic augmentation of release probability. Our findings suggest that local variations in basal GABA concentration are a major determinant of GB(1a)/GB(2) conformational variability, which contributes to heterogeneity of neurotransmitter release at hippocampal synapses.Neuron 07/2010; 67(2):253-67. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06.022 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The entorhinal cortex provides both direct and indirect inputs to hippocampal CA1 neurons through the perforant path and Schaffer collateral synapses, respectively. Using both two-photon imaging of synaptic vesicle cycling and electrophysiological recordings, we found that the efficacy of transmitter release at perforant path synapses is lower than at Schaffer collateral inputs. This difference is due to the greater contribution to release by presynaptic N-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels at the Schaffer collateral than perforant path synapses. Induction of long-term potentiation that depends on activation of NMDA receptors and L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels enhances the low efficacy of release at perforant path synapses by increasing the contribution of N-type channels to exocytosis. This represents a previously uncharacterized presynaptic mechanism for fine-tuning release properties of distinct classes of synapses onto a common postsynaptic neuron and for regulating synaptic function during long-term synaptic plasticity.Neuron 09/2009; 63(3):372-85. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.07.013 · 15.98 Impact Factor