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Extracellular calcium regulates postsynaptic efficacy through group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors

Hardingham, Neil Robert, Bannister, N. J., Read, J. C. A., Fox, Kevin Dyson, Hardingham, G. E. and Jack, J. J. B. 2006. Extracellular calcium regulates postsynaptic efficacy through group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors. Journal of Neuroscience 26 (23) , pp. 6337-6345. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5128-05.2006

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Bursts of synaptic transmission are known to induce transient depletion of Ca2+ within the synaptic cleft. Although Ca2+ depletion has been shown to lower presynaptic release probability, effects on the postsynaptic cell have not been reported. In this study, we show that physiologically relevant reductions in extracellular Ca2+ lead to a decrease in synaptic strength between synaptically coupled layer 2/3 cortical pyramidal neurons. Using quantal analysis and mEPSP analysis, we demonstrate that a lowered extracellular Ca2+ produces a reduction in the postsynaptic quantal size in addition to its known effect on release probability. An elevated Mg2+ level can prevent this reduction in postsynaptic efficacy at subphysiological Ca2+ levels. We show that the calcium-dependent effect on postsynaptic quantal size is mediated by group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors, acting via CaMKII (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II) and PKC. Therefore, physiologically relevant changes in extracellular Ca2+ can regulate information transfer at cortical synapses via both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Last Modified: 16 May 2020 13:49

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