Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Synaptic Metaplasticity

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Sci. Signal.  08 Jan 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. ec10
DOI: 10.1126/stke.11ec10

N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent synaptic strengthening is the most common and best understood form of plasticity in the central nervous system. However, how NMDA receptors influence plasticity after the initiation of synaptic strengthening in vivo has not been well studied. Clem et al. (see the Perspective by Brecht and Schmitz) examined the effect of cumulative sensory experience on synaptic strengthening at layer 4-2/3 synapses in the mouse barrel cortex. NMDA receptors opposed synaptic potentiation after single whisker experience, and NMDA receptor blockade restored pairing plasticity via a metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent mechanism.

R. L. Clem, T. Celikel, A. L. Barth, Ongoing in vivo experience triggers synaptic metaplasticity in the neocortex. Science 319, 101-104 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

M. Brecht, D. Schmitz, Rules of plasticity. Science 319, 39-40 (2008). [Summary] [Full Text]

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