Burst firing induces postsynaptic LTD at developing mossy fibre-CA3 pyramid synapses.


Synaptic development is an activity-dependent process utilizing coordinated network activity to drive synaptogenesis and subsequent refinement of immature connections. Hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons (PYRs) exhibit intense burst firing (BF) early in development, concomitant with the period of mossy fibre (MF) development. However, whether developing MF-PYR synapses utilize PYR BF to promote MF synapse maturation remains unknown. Recently, we demonstrated that transient tonic depolarization of postsynaptic PYRs induces a persistent postsynaptic form of long-term depression (depolarization-induced long-term depression, DiLTD) at immature MF-PYR synapses. DiLTD induction is NMDAR independent but does require postsynaptic Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage gated Ca(2+) channels (L-VGCCs), and is expressed as a reduction in AMPAR function through the loss of GluR2-lacking AMPARs present at immature MF-PYR synapses. Here we examined whether more physiologically relevant phasic L-VGCC activation by PYR action potential (AP) BF activity patterns can trigger DiLTD. Using combined electrophysiological and Ca(2+) imaging approaches we demonstrate that PYR BF effectively drives L-VGCC activation and that brief periods of repetitive PYR BF, produced by direct current injection or intrinsic network activity induces NMDAR-independent LTD by promoting Ca(2+) influx through the activated L-VGCCs. This BF induced LTD, just like DiLTD, is specific for developing MF-PYR synapses, is PICK1 dependent, and is expressed postsynaptically. Our results demonstrate that DiLTD can be induced by phasic L-VGCC activation driven by PYR BF, suggesting the engagement of natural PYR network activity patterns for MF synapse maturation.

DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.173880

Cite this paper

@article{Ho2009BurstFI, title={Burst firing induces postsynaptic LTD at developing mossy fibre-CA3 pyramid synapses.}, author={Margaret T. Ho and Kenneth A. Pelkey and Joe Guillaume Pelletier and Richard L. Huganir and J-C Lacaille and Chris J McBain}, journal={The Journal of physiology}, year={2009}, volume={587 Pt 18}, pages={4441-54} }