Regulation of synaptic depression rates in the cricket cercal sensory system

J Neurophysiol. 1998 Mar;79(3):1277-85. doi: 10.1152/jn.1998.79.3.1277.


To assess the roles of pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms in the regulation of depression, short-term synaptic depression was characterized at the synapses between sensory neurons and two interneurons in the cricket cercal sensory system. Changes in excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) amplitude with repetitive stimulation at 5 and 20 Hz were quantified and fitted to the depletion model of transmitter release. The depression rates of different sensory neuron synapses on a single interneuron varied with the age of the sensory neurons such that old sensory neuron synapses depressed faster than young synapses. Although all synapses showed depression, short-term facilitation was selectively expressed only at sensory neuron synapses on one interneuron, the medial giant interneuron (MGI). These synapses showed concurrent facilitation and depression with high-frequency stimulation (100 Hz), whereas the synapses on another interneuron, 10-3, showed only depression at all stimulus frequencies. A previous study showed that the ability of a synapse to facilitate is correlated with the identity of the postsynaptic neuron. The present results indicate that depression and facilitation are regulated independently. Depression is regulated presynaptically in a manner related to sensory neuron age; whereas, facilitation is regulated by the postsynaptic target.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / physiology*
  • Gryllidae
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Synapses / physiology*