Endogenous modulators of hyperexcitability in epilepsy: electrophysiological and optogenetic delineation of neuropeptide Y mechanisms in interneurons
In the adult brain, neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is mainly localized in dentate granule cells, and its expression is decreased by various stimuli, e.g., seizure activity. We have examined the role of endogenous NT-3 for excitatory synaptic transmission at lateral perforant path-dentate granule cell synapses using hippocampal slices from NT-3 knock-out (+/-) and wild-type (+/+) mice. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) and also short-term synaptic plasticity induced by a brief, high-frequency train of afferent stimulation were reduced, but the expression of long-term potentiation was not affected in the NT-3+/- mice. Incubation of the slices with recombinant NT-3 reversed the deficit in PPF through a mechanism requiring de novo protein synthesis, implying that the impaired short-term plasticity does not result from a developmental alteration. No changes of overall presynaptic release probability, measured by the progressive block of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic currents by MK-801, or desensitization of AMPA receptors were detected. Because NT-3 expression is reduced after focal seizures, impaired short-term facilitation may represent a protective response that limits the propagation of epileptiform activity from the entorhinal cortex to the hippocampus.