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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Nov 19;116(47):23783-23789. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1909675116. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Rapid and sustained homeostatic control of presynaptic exocytosis at a central synapse.

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Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland;


Animal behavior is remarkably robust despite constant changes in neural activity. Homeostatic plasticity stabilizes central nervous system (CNS) function on time scales of hours to days. If and how CNS function is stabilized on more rapid time scales remains unknown. Here, we discovered that mossy fiber synapses in the mouse cerebellum homeostatically control synaptic efficacy within minutes after pharmacological glutamate receptor impairment. This rapid form of homeostatic plasticity is expressed presynaptically. We show that modulations of readily releasable vesicle pool size and release probability normalize synaptic strength in a hierarchical fashion upon acute pharmacological and prolonged genetic receptor perturbation. Presynaptic membrane capacitance measurements directly demonstrate regulation of vesicle pool size upon receptor impairment. Moreover, presynaptic voltage-clamp analysis revealed increased Ca2+-current density under specific experimental conditions. Thus, homeostatic modulation of presynaptic exocytosis through specific mechanisms stabilizes synaptic transmission in a CNS circuit on time scales ranging from minutes to months. Rapid presynaptic homeostatic plasticity may ensure stable neural circuit function in light of rapid activity-dependent plasticity.


cerebellum; exocytosis; homeostatic plasticity; mossy fiber; synaptic transmission

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