Differential expression of posttetanic potentiation and retrograde signaling mediate target-dependent short-term synaptic plasticity

Neuron. 2007 Jun 21;54(6):949-59. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.06.002.


Short-term synaptic plasticity influences how presynaptic spike patterns control the firing of postsynaptic targets. Here we investigated whether specific mechanisms of short-term plasticity are regulated in a target-dependent manner by comparing synapses made by cerebellar granule cell parallel fibers onto Golgi cells (PF-->GC synapse) and Purkinje cells (PF-->PC synapse). Both synapses exhibited similar facilitation, suggesting that any differential short-term plasticity does not reflect differences in the initial release probability. PF-->PC synapses were highly sensitive to stimulus bursts, which could result in either depression of subsequent responses, mediated by endocannabinoid-dependent retrograde signaling, or enhancement of responses through posttetanic potentiation (PTP). In contrast, stimulus bursts had remarkably little effect on the strength of PF-->GC synapses. Unlike PCs, GCs were unable to regulate their PF synapses by releasing endocannabinoids. Moreover, PTP was reduced at the PF-->GC synapse compared to the PF-->PC synapse. Thus, the target-dependence of PF synapses arises from the differential expression of both retrograde signaling and PTP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Drug Interactions
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / deficiency
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / radiation effects
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Probability
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects
  • Synapses / drug effects
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / radiation effects


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Unc13c protein, mouse
  • AM 251