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  • GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors compensate for the inhibitory control of synaptic plasticity during the early critical period in the rat visual cortex.

GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors compensate for the inhibitory control of synaptic plasticity during the early critical period in the rat visual cortex.

Journal of neuroscience research (2015-05-28)
Changik Lee, Kayoung Joo, Myung-Jun Kim, Duck-Joo Rhie, Hyun-Jong Jang
ABSTRACT

In the visual cortex, synaptic plasticity is very high during the early developmental stage known as the critical period and declines with development after the critical period. Changes in the properties of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA R) have been suggested to underlie the changes in the characteristics of plasticity. However, it is largely unknown how the changes in the two receptors interact to regulate synaptic plasticity. The present study investigates the changes in the properties of NMDAR and GABAA R from 3 to 5 weeks of age in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the rat visual cortex. The impact of these changes on the characteristics of long-term potentiation (LTP) is also investigated. The amplitude and decay time constant of GABAA R-mediated currents increased during this period. However, the decay time constant of NMDAR-mediated currents decreased as a result of the decrease in the proportion of the GluN2B subunit-mediated component. Induction of NMDAR-dependent LTP at 3 weeks depended on the GluN2B subunit, but LTP at 5 weeks did not. Enhancement of GABAA R-mediated inhibition suppressed the induction of LTP only at 5 weeks. However, partial inhibition of the GluN2B subunit with a low concentration of ifenprodil allowed the GABAA R-mediated suppression of LTP at 3 weeks. These results suggest that changes in the properties of NMDAR- and GABAA R-mediated synaptic transmission interact to determine the characteristics of synaptic plasticity during the critical period in the visual cortex.

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