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Cortical injury affects short-term plasticity of evoked excitatory synaptic currents

Cortical injury affects short-term plasticity of evoked excitatory synaptic currents

Journal of Neurophysiology 93(1): 146-156

The hypothesis that plastic changes in the efficacy of excitatory neurotransmission occur in areas of chronic cortical injury was tested by assessing short-term plasticity of evoked excitatory synaptic currents (EPSCs) in neurons of partially isolated neocortical islands (undercut cortex). Whole cell recordings were obtained from layer V pyramidal neurons of sensorimotor cortical slices prepared from P36-P43 control and undercut rats. AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated EPSCs elicited by stimuli delivered at 40 to 66.7 Hz exhibited more paired-pulse depression (PPD) in undercut cortex than control, the time constant of depression evoked by trains of 20- to 66.7-Hz stimuli was faster, and the steady-state amplitude of EPSCs reached after five to seven EPSCs was lower. An antagonist of the glutamate autoreceptor, group II mGluR, increased the steady-state amplitude of EPSCs from undercut but not control cortex, suggesting that activation of presynaptic receptors by released glutamate is more prominent in undercut cortex. In contrast, the GABA(B) receptor antagonist (2S)-3-[[(1S)-1-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]amino-2-hydroxypropyl](phenylmethyl)phosphinic acid had no effect. Increasing [Ca(2+)](o) from 2 to 4 mM increased PPD, with a smaller effect in neurons of the undercut. The I-V relationship of AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated EPSCs was close to linear in both control and undercut neurons, and spermine had no significant effect on the EPSCs, suggesting that decreases in postsynaptic glutamate receptors containing the GluR2 subunit were not involved in the alterations in short-term plasticity. Results are compatible with an increase in the probability of transmitter release at excitatory synapses in undercut cortex due to functional changes in presynaptic terminals.

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Accession: 048672170

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PMID: 15342719

DOI: 10.1152/jn.00665.2004

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