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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 ORCID:, 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: 27 Oct 2022 08:27

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