Journal of neurophysiology

Activation of InsP₃ receptors is sufficient for inducing graded intrinsic plasticity in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons.

PMID 25552640


The synaptic plasticity literature has focused on establishing necessity and sufficiency as two essential and distinct features in causally relating a signaling molecule to plasticity induction, an approach that has been surprisingly lacking in the intrinsic plasticity literature. In this study, we complemented the recently established necessity of inositol trisphosphate (InsP3) receptors (InsP3R) in a form of intrinsic plasticity by asking if InsP3R activation was sufficient to induce intrinsic plasticity in hippocampal neurons. Specifically, incorporation of d-myo-InsP3 in the recording pipette reduced input resistance, maximal impedance amplitude, and temporal summation but increased resonance frequency, resonance strength, sag ratio, and impedance phase lead. Strikingly, the magnitude of plasticity in all these measurements was dependent on InsP3 concentration, emphasizing the graded dependence of such plasticity on InsP3R activation. Mechanistically, we found that this InsP3-induced plasticity depended on hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. Moreover, this calcium-dependent form of plasticity was critically reliant on the release of calcium through InsP3Rs, the influx of calcium through N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors and voltage-gated calcium channels, and on the protein kinase A pathway. Our results delineate a causal role for InsP3Rs in graded adaptation of neuronal response dynamics, revealing novel regulatory roles for the endoplasmic reticulum in neural coding and homeostasis.

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