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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jan 26;113(4):1062-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524636113. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Calcium sensor regulation of the CaV2.1 Ca2+ channel contributes to short-term synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7280;
2
Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7290.
3
Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7280; wcatt@uw.edu.

Abstract

Short-term synaptic plasticity is induced by calcium (Ca(2+)) accumulating in presynaptic nerve terminals during repetitive action potentials. Regulation of voltage-gated CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels by Ca(2+) sensor proteins induces facilitation of Ca(2+) currents and synaptic facilitation in cultured neurons expressing exogenous CaV2.1 channels. However, it is unknown whether this mechanism contributes to facilitation in native synapses. We introduced the IM-AA mutation into the IQ-like motif (IM) of the Ca(2+) sensor binding site. This mutation does not alter voltage dependence or kinetics of CaV2.1 currents, or frequency or amplitude of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs); however, synaptic facilitation is completely blocked in excitatory glutamatergic synapses in hippocampal autaptic cultures. In acutely prepared hippocampal slices, frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs and amplitudes of evoked EPSCs are unaltered. In contrast, short-term synaptic facilitation in response to paired stimuli is reduced by ∼ 50%. In the presence of EGTA-AM to prevent global increases in free Ca(2+), the IM-AA mutation completely blocks short-term synaptic facilitation, indicating that synaptic facilitation by brief, local increases in Ca(2+) is dependent upon regulation of CaV2.1 channels by Ca(2+) sensor proteins. In response to trains of action potentials, synaptic facilitation is reduced in IM-AA synapses in initial stimuli, consistent with results of paired-pulse experiments; however, synaptic depression is also delayed, resulting in sustained increases in amplitudes of later EPSCs during trains of 10 stimuli at 10-20 Hz. Evidently, regulation of CaV2.1 channels by CaS proteins is required for normal short-term plasticity and normal encoding of information in native hippocampal synapses.

KEYWORDS:

calcium channel; calcium sensor proteins; calmodulin; hippocampus; synaptic facilitation

PMID:
26755594
PMCID:
PMC4743814
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1524636113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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