Propagation of activity-dependent synaptic depression in simple neural networks

Nature. 1997 Jul 31;388(6641):439-48. doi: 10.1038/41267.


Triple whole-cell recordings from simple networks of cultured hippocampal neurons show that Induction of long-term depression at glutamatergic synapses is accompanied by a back propagation of depression to Input synapses on the dendrite of the presynaptic neuron. The depression also propagates laterally to divergent outputs of the presynaptic neuron and to convergent inputs on the postsynaptic neuron. There is no forward propagation of depression to the output of the postsynaptic neuron and no presynaptic propagation accompanying long-term depression at GABAergic synapses. Activity-induced synaptic modification is therefore not restricted to the activated synapse, but selectively propagates throughout the neural network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid