Endocannabinoid-LTP Mediated by CB1 and TRPV1 Receptors Encodes for Limited Occurrences of Coincident Activity in Neocortex.
ABSTRACT: Synaptic efficacy changes, long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), underlie various forms of learning and memory. Synaptic plasticity is generally assessed under prolonged activation, whereas learning can emerge from few or even a single trial. Here, we investigated the existence of rapid responsiveness of synaptic plasticity in response to a few number of spikes, in neocortex in a synaptic Hebbian learning rule, the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We investigated the effect of lowering the number of pairings from 100 to 50, and 10 on STDP expression, using whole-cell recordings from pyramidal cells in rodent somatosensory cortical brain slices. We found that a low number of paired stimulations induces LTP at neocortical layer 4-2/3 synapses. Besides the asymmetric Hebbian STDP reported in the neocortex induced by 100 pairings, we observed a symmetric anti-Hebbian LTD for 50 pairings and unveiled a unidirectional Hebbian spike-timing-dependent LTP (tLTP) induced by 10-15 pairings. This tLTP was not mediated by NMDA receptor activation but requires CB1 receptors and transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1) activated by endocannabinoids (eCBs). eCBs have been widely described as mediating short- and long-term synaptic depression. Here, the eCB-tLTP reported at neocortical synapses could constitute a substrate operating in the online learning of new associative memories or during the initial stages of learning. In addition, these findings should provide useful insight into the mechanisms underlying eCB-plasticity occurring during marijuana intoxication.
Project description:Synaptic plasticity is a cardinal cellular mechanism for learning and memory. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as a pivotal pathway for synaptic plasticity because of its widely characterized ability to depress synaptic transmission on short- and long-term scales. Recent reports indicate that eCBs also mediate potentiation of the synapse. However, it is not known how eCB signaling may support bidirectionality. Here, we combined electrophysiology experiments with mathematical modeling to question the mechanisms of eCB bidirectionality in spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) at corticostriatal synapses. We demonstrate that STDP outcome is controlled by eCB levels and dynamics: prolonged and moderate levels of eCB lead to eCB-mediated long-term depression (eCB-tLTD) while short and large eCB transients produce eCB-mediated long-term potentiation (eCB-tLTP). Moreover, we show that eCB-tLTD requires active calcineurin whereas eCB-tLTP necessitates the activity of presynaptic PKA. Therefore, just like glutamate or GABA, eCB form a bidirectional system to encode learning and memory.
Project description:Dopamine modulates striatal synaptic plasticity, a key substrate for action selection and procedural learning. Thus, characterizing the repertoire of activity-dependent plasticity in striatum and its dependence on dopamine is of crucial importance. We recently unraveled a striatal spike-timing-dependent long-term potentiation (tLTP) mediated by endocannabinoids (eCBs) and induced with few spikes (~5-15). Whether this eCB-tLTP interacts with the dopaminergic system remains to be investigated. Here, we report that eCB-tLTP is impaired in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease and rescued by L-DOPA. Dopamine controls eCB-tLTP via dopamine type-2 receptors (D2R) located presynaptically in cortical terminals. Dopamine-endocannabinoid interactions via D2R are required for the emergence of tLTP in response to few coincident pre- and post-synaptic spikes and control eCB-plasticity by modulating the long-term potentiation (LTP)/depression (LTD) thresholds. While usually considered as a depressing synaptic function, our results show that eCBs in the presence of dopamine constitute a versatile system underlying bidirectional plasticity implicated in basal ganglia pathophysiology.
Project description:Behavioural experience, such as environmental enrichment (EE), induces long-term effects on learning and memory. Learning can be assessed with the Hebbian paradigm, such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), which relies on the timing of neuronal activity on either side of the synapse. Although EE is known to control neuronal excitability and consequently spike timing, whether EE shapes STDP remains unknown. Here, using in vivo long-duration intracellular recordings at the corticostriatal synapses we show that EE promotes asymmetric anti-Hebbian STDP, i.e. spike-timing-dependent-potentiation (tLTP) for post-pre pairings and spike-timing-dependent-depression (tLTD) for pre-post pairings, whereas animals grown in standard housing show mainly tLTD and a high failure rate of plasticity. Indeed, in adult rats grown in standard conditions, we observed unidirectional plasticity (mainly symmetric anti-Hebbian tLTD) within a large temporal window (~200?ms). However, rats grown for two months in EE displayed a bidirectional STDP (tLTP and tLTD depending on spike timing) in a more restricted temporal window (~100?ms) with low failure rate of plasticity. We also found that the effects of EE on STDP characteristics are influenced by the anaesthesia status: the deeper the anaesthesia, the higher the absence of plasticity. These findings establish a central role for EE and the anaesthetic regime in shaping in vivo, a synaptic Hebbian learning rule such as STDP.
Project description:In Hebbian plasticity, neural circuits adjust their synaptic weights depending on patterned firing. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), a synaptic Hebbian learning rule, relies on the order and timing of the paired activities in pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Classically, in ex vivo experiments, STDP is assessed with deterministic (constant) spike timings and time intervals between successive pairings, thus exhibiting a regularity that differs from biological variability. Hence, STDP emergence from noisy inputs as occurring in in vivo-like firing remains unresolved. Here, we used noisy STDP pairings where the spike timing and/or interval between pairings were jittered. We explored with electrophysiology and mathematical modeling, the impact of jitter on three forms of STDP at corticostriatal synapses: NMDAR-LTP, endocannabinoid-LTD and endocannabinoid-LTP. We found that NMDAR-LTP was highly fragile to jitter, whereas endocannabinoid-plasticity appeared more resistant. When the frequency or number of pairings was increased, NMDAR-LTP became more robust and could be expressed despite strong jittering. Our results identify endocannabinoid-plasticity as a robust form of STDP, whereas the sensitivity to jitter of NMDAR-LTP varies with activity frequency. This provides new insights into the mechanisms at play during the different phases of learning and memory and the emergence of Hebbian plasticity in in vivo-like activity.
Project description:Hebbian plasticity describes a basic mechanism for synaptic plasticity whereby synaptic weights evolve depending on the relative timing of paired activity of the pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) constitutes a central experimental and theoretical synaptic Hebbian learning rule. Various mechanisms, mostly calcium-based, account for the induction and maintenance of STDP. Classically STDP is assumed to gradually emerge in a monotonic way as the number of pairings increases. However, non-monotonic STDP accounting for fast associative learning led us to challenge this monotonicity hypothesis and explore how the existence of multiple plasticity pathways affects the dynamical establishment of plasticity. To account for distinct forms of STDP emerging from increasing numbers of pairings and the variety of signaling pathways involved, we developed a general class of simple mathematical models of plasticity based on calcium transients and accommodating various calcium-based plasticity mechanisms. These mechanisms can either compete or cooperate for the establishment of long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), that emerge depending on past calcium activity. Our model reproduces accurately the striatal STDP that involves endocannabinoid and NMDAR signaling pathways. Moreover, we predict how stimulus frequency alters plasticity, and how triplet rules are affected by the number of pairings. We further investigate the general model with an arbitrary number of pathways and show that depending on those pathways and their properties, a variety of plasticities may emerge upon variation of the number and/or the frequency of pairings, even when the outcome after large numbers of pairings is identical. These findings, built upon a biologically realistic example and generalized to other applications, argue that in order to fully describe synaptic plasticity it is not sufficient to record STDP curves at fixed pairing numbers and frequencies. In fact, considering the whole spectrum of activity-dependent parameters could have a great impact on the description of plasticity, and a better understanding of the engram.
Project description:Layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells receive excitatory afferent input both from neighbouring pyramidal cells and from cortical and subcortical regions. The efficacy of these excitatory synaptic inputs is modulated by spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Here we report that synaptic connections between L2/3 pyramidal cell pairs are located proximal to the soma, at sites overlapping those of excitatory inputs from other cortical layers. Nevertheless, STDP at L2/3 pyramidal to pyramidal cell connections showed fundamental differences from known STDP rules at these neighbouring contacts. Coincident low-frequency pre- and postsynaptic activation evoked only LTD, independent of the order of the pre- and postsynaptic cell firing. This symmetric anti-Hebbian STDP switched to a typical Hebbian learning rule if a postsynaptic action potential train occurred prior to the presynaptic stimulation. Receptor dependence of LTD and LTP induction and their pre- or postsynaptic loci also differed from those at other L2/3 pyramidal cell excitatory inputs. Overall, we demonstrate a novel means to switch between STDP rules dependent on the history of postsynaptic activity. We also highlight differences in STDP at excitatory synapses onto L2/3 pyramidal cells which allow for input specific modulation of synaptic gain.
Project description:The structural organization of excitatory inputs supporting spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) remains unknown. We performed a spine STDP protocol using two-photon (2P) glutamate uncaging (pre) paired with postsynaptic spikes (post) in layer 5 pyramidal neurons from juvenile mice. Here we report that pre-post pairings that trigger timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP) produce shrinkage of the activated spine neck and increase in synaptic strength; and post-pre pairings that trigger timing-dependent LTD (t-LTD) decrease synaptic strength without affecting spine shape. Furthermore, the induction of t-LTP with 2P glutamate uncaging in clustered spines (<5??m apart) enhances LTP through a NMDA receptor-mediated spine calcium accumulation and actin polymerization-dependent neck shrinkage, whereas t-LTD was dependent on NMDA receptors and disrupted by the activation of clustered spines but recovered when separated by >40??m. These results indicate that synaptic cooperativity disrupts t-LTD and extends the temporal window for the induction of t-LTP, leading to STDP only encompassing LTP.
Project description:Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is a Hebbian learning rule important for synaptic refinement during development and for learning and memory in the adult. Given the importance of the hippocampus in memory, surprisingly little is known about the mechanisms and functions of hippocampal STDP. In the present work, we investigated the requirements for induction of hippocampal spike timing-dependent long-term potentiation (t-LTP) and spike timing-dependent long-term depression (t-LTD) and the mechanisms of these 2 forms of plasticity at CA3-CA1 synapses in young (P12-P18) mouse hippocampus. We found that both t-LTP and t-LTD can be induced at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses by pairing presynaptic activity with single postsynaptic action potentials at low stimulation frequency (0.2 Hz). Both t-LTP and t-LTD require NMDA-type glutamate receptors for their induction, but the location and properties of these receptors are different: While t-LTP requires postsynaptic ionotropic NMDA receptor function, t-LTD does not, and whereas t-LTP is blocked by antagonists at GluN2A and GluN2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors, t-LTD is blocked by GluN2C or GluN2D subunit-preferring NMDA receptor antagonists. Both t-LTP and t-LTD require postsynaptic Ca(2+) for their induction. Induction of t-LTD also requires metabotropic glutamate receptor activation, phospholipase C activation, postsynaptic IP3 receptor-mediated Ca(2+) release from internal stores, postsynaptic endocannabinoid (eCB) synthesis, activation of CB1 receptors and astrocytic signaling, possibly via release of the gliotransmitter d-serine. We furthermore found that presynaptic calcineurin is required for t-LTD induction. t-LTD is expressed presynaptically as indicated by fluctuation analysis, paired-pulse ratio, and rate of use-dependent depression of postsynaptic NMDA receptor currents by MK801. The results show that CA3-CA1 synapses display both NMDA receptor-dependent t-LTP and t-LTD during development and identify a presynaptic form of hippocampal t-LTD similar to that previously described at neocortical synapses during development.
Project description:Astrocytes, via excitatory amino-acid transporter type-2 (EAAT2), are the major sink for released glutamate and contribute to set the strength and timing of synaptic inputs. The conditions required for the emergence of Hebbian plasticity from distributed neural activity remain elusive. Here, we investigate the role of EAAT2 in the expression of a major physiologically relevant form of Hebbian learning, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We find that a transient blockade of EAAT2 disrupts the temporal contingency required for Hebbian synaptic plasticity. Indeed, STDP is replaced by aberrant non-timing-dependent plasticity occurring for uncorrelated events. Conversely, EAAT2 overexpression impairs the detection of correlated activity and precludes STDP expression. Our findings demonstrate that EAAT2 sets the appropriate glutamate dynamics for the optimal temporal contingency between pre- and postsynaptic activity required for STDP emergence, and highlight the role of astrocytes as gatekeepers for Hebbian synaptic plasticity.
Project description:Synapses may undergo long-term increases or decreases in synaptic strength dependent on critical differences in the timing between pre-and postsynaptic activity. Such spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) follows rules that govern how patterns of neural activity induce changes in synaptic strength. Synaptic plasticity in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) follows Hebbian and anti-Hebbian patterns in a cell-specific manner. Here we show that these opposing responses to synaptic activity result from differential expression of two signaling pathways. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) signaling underlies Hebbian postsynaptic LTP in principal cells. By contrast, in interneurons, a temporally precise anti-Hebbian synaptic spike-timing rule results from the combined effects of postsynaptic CaMKII-dependent LTP and endocannabinoid-dependent presynaptic LTD. Cell specificity in the circuit arises from selective targeting of presynaptic CB1 receptors in different axonal terminals. Hence, pre- and postsynaptic sites of expression determine both the sign and timing requirements of long-term plasticity in interneurons.