Prolonged development of long-term potentiation at lateral entorhinal cortex synapses onto adult-born neurons.
ABSTRACT: Critical period plasticity at adult-born neuron synapses is widely believed to contribute to the learning and memory functions of the hippocampus. Experience regulates circuit integration and for a transient interval, until cells are ~6 weeks old, new neurons display enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP) at afferent and efferent synapses. Since neurogenesis declines substantially with age, this raises questions about the extent of lasting plasticity offered by adult-born neurons. Notably, however, the hippocampus receives sensory information from two major cortical pathways. Broadly speaking, the medial entorhinal cortex conveys spatial information to the hippocampus via the medial perforant path (MPP), and the lateral entorhinal cortex, via the lateral perforant path (LPP), codes for the cues and items that make experiences unique. While enhanced critical period plasticity at MPP synapses is relatively well characterized, no studies have examined long-term plasticity at LPP synapses onto adult-born neurons, even though the lateral entorhinal cortex is uniquely vulnerable to aging and Alzheimer's pathology. We therefore investigated LTP at LPP inputs both within (4-6 weeks) and beyond (8+ weeks) the traditional critical period. At immature stages, adult-born neurons did not undergo significant LTP at LPP synapses, and often displayed long-term depression after theta burst stimulation. However, over the course of 3-4 months, adult-born neurons displayed increasingly greater amounts of LTP. Analyses of short-term plasticity point towards a presynaptic mechanism, where transmitter release probability declines as cells mature, providing a greater dynamic range for strengthening synapses. Collectively, our findings identify a novel form of new neuron plasticity that develops over an extended interval, and may therefore be relevant for maintaining cognitive function in aging.
Project description:Adult neurogenesis is a process by which the brain produces new neurons once development has ceased. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis has been linked to the relational processing of spatial information, a role attributed to the contribution of newborn neurons to long-term potentiation (LTP). However, whether newborn neurons also influence long-term depression (LTD), and how synaptic transmission and plasticity are affected as they incorporate their network, remain to be determined. To address these issues, we took advantage of a genetic model in which a majority of adult-born neurons can be selectively ablated in the dentate gyrus (DG) and, most importantly, in which neurogenesis can be restored on demand. Using electrophysiological recordings, we show that selective reduction of adult-born neurons impairs synaptic transmission at medial perforant pathway synapses onto DG granule cells. Furthermore, LTP and LTD are largely compromised at these synapses, probably as a result of an increased induction threshold. Whereas the deficits in synaptic transmission and plasticity are completely rescued by restoring neurogenesis, these synapses regain their ability to express LTP much faster than their ability to express LTD. These results demonstrate that both LTP and LTD are influenced by adult neurogenesis. They also indicate that as newborn neurons integrate their network, the ability to express bidirectional synaptic plasticity is largely improved at these synapses. These findings establish that adult neurogenesis is an important process for synaptic transmission and bidirectional plasticity in the DG, accounting for its role in efficiently integrating novel incoming information and in forming new memories.
Project description:Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity is a fundamental feature of neural networks involved in the encoding of information, and the capability of synapses to express plasticity is itself activity-dependent. Here, we introduce a "low-frequency burst stimulation" protocol, which can readily induce both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at in vivo medial perforant path-dentate gyrus synapses. By varying stimulation parameters, we were able to build a stimulus-response map of synaptic plasticity as a LTP-LTD continuum. The response curve displayed a bidirectional shift toward LTP and LTD, depending on the degree and timing of neural activity of the basolateral amygdala. The range of this plastic modulation was also modified by past activity of the basolateral amygdala, suggesting that the amygdala can arrange its ability to regulate the dentate plastic responses. The effects of the BLA activation were replicated by stimulation of the lateral perforant path and, hence, BLA stimulation may recruit the lateral entorhinal cortex. These results represent a high-order dimension of heterosynaptic modulations of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.
Project description:Entorhinal neurons receive extensive intracortical projections, and form the primary input to the hippocampus via the perforant pathway. The glutamatergic cells of origin for the perforant pathway are distinguished by their expression of reelin, a glycoprotein involved in learning and synaptic plasticity. The functional significance of reelin signaling within the entorhinal cortex, however, remains unexplored. To determine whether interrupting entorhinal reelin signaling might have consequences for learning and memory, we administered recombinant receptor-associated protein (RAP) into the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) of young Long-Evans rats. RAP prevents reelin from binding to its receptors, and we verified the knockdown of reelin signaling by quantifying the phosphorylation state of reelin's intracellular signaling target, disabled-1 (DAB1). Effective knockdown of reelin signaling was associated with impaired performance in the hippocampus-dependent version of the water maze. Moreover, inhibition of reelin signaling induced a localized loss of synaptic marker expression in the LEC. These observations support a role for entorhinal reelin signaling in spatial learning, and suggest that an intact reelin signaling pathway is essential for synaptic integrity in the adult entorhinal cortex.
Project description:Long-term potentiation (LTP), a synaptic mechanism thought to underlie memory formation, has been studied extensively at hippocampal Schaffer collateral (SC) synapses. The SC pathway transmits information to area CA1 that originates in entorhinal cortex and is processed by the dentate gyrus and area CA3. CA1 also receives direct excitatory input from entorhinal cortex via the perforant path (PP), but the role of this cortical input is less certain. Here, we report that low-frequency stimulation of PP inputs to CA1 has no lasting effect on basal SC transmission, but effectively depotentiates SC synapses that have undergone LTP in a manner that can be reversed by subsequent high-frequency stimulation of SC inputs. This depotentiation does not require NMDA receptors, group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, or L-type calcium channels, but involves adenosine acting at A(1) receptors. Given the limited storage capacity of the hippocampus, these observations provide a mechanism by which input from cortex can help to reset synaptic transmission in the hippocampus and facilitate additional information processing.
Project description:Progenitor cells in the adult dentate gyrus provide a constant supply of neuronal precursors, yet only a small fraction of these cells survive and develop into mature dentate granule cells (DGCs). A major challenge of current research is thus to understand the stringent selection process that governs the maturation and functional integration of adult-born DGCs. In mature DGCs, high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the perforant path input elicits robust expression of the immediate early gene Arc/Arg3.1, trafficking of its mRNA to dendrites, and local synthesis of the protein necessary for consolidation of long-term potentiation (LTP). Given the synaptic commitment inherent in LTP consolidation, we considered that HFS-evoked expression of Arc could be used to timemap the functional integration of newborn DGCs. Dividing cells were birthmarked by BrdU-labeling at 1, 7, 14, 21, or 28 days prior to induction of LTP and expression of Arc was examined by confocal microscopy. Contrary to expectation, LTP did not induce Arc expression in newborn cells at any age, suggesting they might be refractory to synaptically-evoked Arc expression for at least one month. Importantly, however, spontaneous expression of Arc was detected in BrdU-labeled cells and strongly associated with the survival and maturation of NeuN-positive DGCs. Moreover, Arc expression at the earliest ages (1 and 7 days), clearly precedes the formation of glutamatergic synapses on new neurons. These results suggest an unexpected early role for Arc in adult-born DGCs, distinct from its functions in LTP, LTD, and homeostatic synaptic plasticity.
Project description:The entorhinal cortex provides both direct and indirect inputs to hippocampal CA1 neurons through the perforant path and Schaffer collateral synapses, respectively. Using both two-photon imaging of synaptic vesicle cycling and electrophysiological recordings, we found that the efficacy of transmitter release at perforant path synapses is lower than at Schaffer collateral inputs. This difference is due to the greater contribution to release by presynaptic N-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels at the Schaffer collateral than perforant path synapses. Induction of long-term potentiation that depends on activation of NMDA receptors and L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels enhances the low efficacy of release at perforant path synapses by increasing the contribution of N-type channels to exocytosis. This represents a previously uncharacterized presynaptic mechanism for fine-tuning release properties of distinct classes of synapses onto a common postsynaptic neuron and for regulating synaptic function during long-term synaptic plasticity.
Project description:Endocannabinoids (ECBs) depress transmitter release at sites throughout the brain. Here, we describe another form of ECB signaling that triggers a novel form of long-term potentiation (LTP) localized to the lateral perforant path (LPP) which conveys semantic information from cortex to hippocampus. Two cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) signaling cascades were identified in hippocampus. The first is pregnenolone sensitive, targets vesicular protein Munc18-1 and depresses transmitter release; this cascade is engaged by CB1Rs in Schaffer-Commissural afferents to CA1 but not in the LPP, and it does not contribute to LTP. The second cascade is pregnenolone insensitive and LPP specific; it entails co-operative CB1R/β1-integrin signaling to effect synaptic potentiation via stable enhancement of transmitter release. The latter cascade is engaged during LPP-dependent learning. These results link atypical ECB signaling to the encoding of a fundamental component of episodic memory and suggest a novel route whereby endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids affect cognition.
Project description:Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, i.e., long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD) and LTP reversal, is generally thought to make up the cellular mechanism underlying learning and memory in the mature brain, in which N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of glutamate (NMDA) receptors and neurogenesis play important roles. LTP reversal may be the mechanism of forgetting and may mediate many psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, but the specific mechanisms underlying these disorders remain unclear. In addition, LTP reversal during the development of adult-born dentate granule cells (DGCs) remains unknown. We found that the expression of the NMDA receptor subunits NR2A and NR2B displayed dynamic changes during the development of postnatal individuals and the maturation of adult-born neurons and was coupled with the change in LTP reversal. The susceptibility of LTP reversal progressively increases with the rise in the expression of NR2A during the development of postnatal individual and adult-born neurons. In addition, NMDA receptor subunits NR2A, but not NR2B, mediated LTP reversal in the DGCs of the mouse hippocampus.
Project description:In the adult hippocampus dentate gyrus (DG), newly born neurons are functionally integrated into existing circuits and play important roles in hippocampus-dependent memory. However, it remains unclear how neural plasticity regulates the integration pattern of new neurons into preexisting circuits. Because dendritic spines are major postsynaptic sites for excitatory inputs, spines of new neurons were visualized by retrovirus-mediated labeling to evaluate integration. Long-term potentiation (LTP) was induced at 12, 16, or 21 days postinfection (dpi), at which time new neurons have no, few, or many spines, respectively. The spine expression patterns were investigated at one or two weeks after LTP induction. Induction at 12 dpi increased later spinogenesis, although the new neurons at 12 dpi didn't respond to the stimulus for LTP induction. Induction at 21 dpi transiently mediated spine enlargement. Surprisingly, LTP induction at 16 dpi reduced the spine density of new neurons. All LTP-mediated changes specifically appeared within the LTP-induced layer. Therefore, neural plasticity differentially regulates the integration of new neurons into the activated circuit, dependent on their developmental stage. Consequently, new neurons at different developmental stages may play distinct roles in processing the acquired information by modulating the connectivity of activated circuits via their integration.
Project description:Altered synaptic bioactive lipid signaling has been recently shown to augment neuronal excitation in the hippocampus of adult animals by activation of presynaptic LPA2-receptors leading to increased presynaptic glutamate release. Here, we show that this results in higher postsynaptic Ca2+ levels and in premature onset of spontaneous neuronal activity in the developing entorhinal cortex. Interestingly, increased synchronized neuronal activity led to reduced axon growth velocity of entorhinal neurons which project via the perforant path to the hippocampus. This was due to Ca2+-dependent molecular signaling to the axon affecting stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton. The spontaneous activity affected the entire entorhinal cortical network and thus led to reduced overall axon fiber numbers in the mature perforant path that is known to be important for specific memory functions. Our data show that precise regulation of early cortical activity by bioactive lipids is of critical importance for proper circuit formation.