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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Nov 25;100(24):14397-402. Epub 2003 Nov 7.

Adenosine gates synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

The release properties of synapses in the central nervous system vary greatly, not only across anatomically distinct types of synapses but also among the same class of synapse. This variation manifests itself in large part by differences in the probability of transmitter release, which affects such activity-dependent presynaptic forms of plasticity as paired-pulse facilitation and frequency facilitation. This heterogeneity in presynaptic function reflects differences in the intrinsic properties of the synaptic terminal and the activation of presynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Here we show that the unique presynaptic properties of the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse are largely imparted onto the synapse by the continuous local action of extracellular adenosine at presynaptic A1 adenosine receptors, which maintains a low basal probability of transmitter release.

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