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Neuron. 2000 Mar;25(3):649-62.

Regulation of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission by clathrin-dependent receptor internalization.

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Division of Pathology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Neuron 2001 Jan;29(1):307.


Redistribution of postsynaptic AMPA- (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid-) subtype glutamate receptors may regulate synaptic strength at glutamatergic synapses, but the mediation of the redistribution is poorly understood. We show that AMPA receptors underwent clathrin-dependent endocytosis, which was accelerated by insulin in a GluR2 subunit-dependent manner. Insulin-stimulated endocytosis rapidly decreased AMPA receptor numbers in the plasma membrane, resulting in long-term depression (LTD) of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons. Moreover, insulin-induced LTD and low-frequency stimulation-(LFS-) induced homosynaptic CA1 LTD were found to be mutually occlusive and were both blocked by inhibiting postsynaptic clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Thus, controlling postsynaptic receptor numbers through endocytosis may be an important mechanism underlying synaptic plasticity in the mammalian CNS.

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