Development of the neuronal circuitry involves both Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms that orchestrate activity-dependent refinement of the synaptic connectivity. AMPA receptor subunit GluA4 is expressed in hippocampal pyramidal neurons during early postnatal period and is critical for neonatal long-term potentiation; however, its role in homeostatic plasticity is unknown. Here we show that GluA4-dependent plasticity mechanisms allow immature synapses to promptly respond to alterations in network activity. In the neonatal CA3, the threshold for homeostatic plasticity is low, and a 15-h activity blockage with tetrodotoxin triggers homeostatic upregulation of glutamatergic transmission. On the other hand, attenuation of the correlated high-frequency bursting in the CA3-CA1 circuitry leads to weakening of AMPA transmission in CA1, thus reflecting a critical role for Hebbian synapse induction in the developing CA3-CA1. Both of these developmentally restricted forms of plasticity were absent in GluA4−/− mice. These data suggest that GluA4 enables efficient homeostatic upscaling and responsiveness to temporal activity patterns during the critical period of activity-dependent refinement of the circuitry.
- homeostatic plasticity
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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