Homeostatic control of intrinsic excitability is important for long-term regulation of neuronal activity. In conjunction with many other forms of plasticity, intrinsic homeostasis helps neurons maintain stable activity regimes in the face of external input variability and destabilizing genetic mutations. In this study, we report a mechanism by which Drosophila melanogaster larval motor neurons stabilize hyperactivity induced by the loss of the delayed rectifying K+ channel Shaker Cognate B (Shab), by upregulating the Ca2+-dependent K+ channel encoded by the slowpoke (slo) gene. We also show that loss of SLO does not trigger a reciprocal compensatory upregulation of SHAB, implying that homeostatic signaling pathways utilize compensatory pathways unique to the channel that was mutated. SLO upregulation due to loss of SHAB involves nuclear Ca2+ signaling and dCREB, suggesting that the slowpoke homeostatic response is transcriptionally mediated. Examination of the changes in gene expression induced by these mutations suggests that there is not a generic transcriptional response to increased excitability in motor neurons, but that homeostatic compensations are influenced by the identity of the lost conductance.
- motor neuron
- ion channel
- Copyright © 2017, Journal of Neurophysiology