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Nat Neurosci. 2001 Jan;4(1):19-28.

PI-3 kinase and IP3 are both necessary and sufficient to mediate NT3-induced synaptic potentiation.

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Unit on Synapse Development & Plasticity, Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, NICHD, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Signaling mechanisms underlying neurotrophic regulation of synaptic transmission are not fully understood. Here we show that neurotrophin-3 (NT3)-induced potentiation of synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular synapses is blocked by inhibition of phosphoinositide-3 kinase, phospholipase C-gamma or the downstream IP3 receptors of phospholipase C-gamma, but not by inhibition of MAP kinase. However, neither stimulation of Ca2+ release from intracellular stores by photolysis of caged IP3, nor expression of a constitutively active phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K*) in presynaptic motoneurons alone is sufficient to enhance transmission. Photo-uncaging of IP3 in neurons expressing PI3K* elicits a marked synaptic potentiation, mimicking the NT3 effect. These results reveal an involvement of PI3 kinase in transmitter release, and suggest that concomitant activation of PI3 kinase and IP3 receptors is both necessary and sufficient to mediate the NT3-induced synaptic potentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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