Cell-specific, spike timing-dependent plasticities in the dorsal cochlear nucleus

Nat Neurosci. 2004 Jul;7(7):719-25. doi: 10.1038/nn1272. Epub 2004 Jun 20.


In the dorsal cochlear nucleus, long-term synaptic plasticity can be induced at the parallel fiber inputs that synapse onto both fusiform principal neurons and cartwheel feedforward inhibitory interneurons. Here we report that in mouse fusiform cells, spikes evoked 5 ms after parallel-fiber excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) led to long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas spikes evoked 5 ms before EPSPs led to long-term depression (LTD) of the synapse. The EPSP-spike protocol led to LTD in cartwheel cells, but no synaptic changes resulted from the reverse sequence (spike-EPSP). Plasticity in fusiform and cartwheel cells therefore followed Hebbian and anti-Hebbian learning rules, respectively. Similarly, spikes generated by summing EPSPs from different groups of parallel fibers produced LTP in fusiform cells, and LTD in cartwheel cells. LTD could also be induced in glutamatergic inputs of cartwheel cells by pairing parallel-fiber EPSPs with depolarizing glycinergic PSPs from neighboring cartwheel cells. Thus, synaptic learning rules vary with the postsynaptic cell, and may require the interaction of different transmitter systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cochlear Nucleus / cytology
  • Cochlear Nucleus / physiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Glycine Agents / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Long-Term Potentiation / drug effects
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neural Inhibition / drug effects
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Quinoxalines / pharmacology
  • Strychnine / pharmacology
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid / pharmacology


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Glycine Agents
  • Quinoxalines
  • FG 9041
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid
  • Strychnine
  • Glycine