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Neuron. 1996 Jun;16(6):1097-106.

Developmental down-regulation of LTD in cortical layer IV and its independence of modulation by inhibition.

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  • 1Neurobiology Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294-0021, USA.


For in vitro LTD to remain viable as a model for synaptic weakening in visual cortical plasticity, it is crucial that it display a critical period for its induction within layer IV. A complicating factor, however, is that LTD in layer IV is modulated by inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs); postsynaptic responses characterized as containing IPSPs do not depress in response to 1 Hz afferent stimulation. By blocking IPSPs intracellularly, we find that the ability to induce LTD in layer IV neurons is restored in juvenile, but not in mature animals. This developmental down-regulation of LTD induction is specific for layer IV when compared with LTD induction in layers II/III. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that an LTD-like phenomenon is involved in critical period plasticity and is apparently independent of developmental changes in inhibitory circuitry.

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