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3 - Short-term plasticity: facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation

from Section A1 - Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural plasticity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Ralf Schneggenburger
Affiliation:
AG Synaptische Dynamik und Modulation, Abteilung Membranbiophysik, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany and Laboratory of Synaptic Mechanisms, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Brain Mind Institute, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Michael Selzer
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
Stephanie Clarke
Affiliation:
Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Leonardo Cohen
Affiliation:
National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Pamela Duncan
Affiliation:
University of Florida
Fred Gage
Affiliation:
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
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Summary

Summary

Fast point-to-point communication between neurons in the brain is mediated by chemical synaptic transmission. During brief trains of action potentials (APs) in a presynaptic neuron, the response in the postsynaptic cell will not follow with equal strength. Rather, processes of short-term plasticity will decrease the amplitude of postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) during short-term depression, or increase PSP amplitudes, as occurs during shortterm enhancement (STE) of synaptic transmission. Various phases of STE can be distinguished based on their kinetics of decay after brief trains of presynaptic activity: Facilitation, augmentation and posttetanic potentiation. STE of synaptic transmission is induced by a rise of Ca2+ in presynaptic nerve terminals, and represents an increased number of vesicles which fuse in response to a presynaptic AP. Facilitation, which decays within less than half a second, is the shortest form of Ca2+-induced plasticity identified so far. STE and synaptic depression can be expressed simultaneously at a synapse, but the degree, and the direction of short-term plasticity is specifically regulated at a given type of synapse, and subject to modulation during postnatal development. This chapter discusses the presynaptic, Ca2+-dependent mechanisms of STE of synaptic transmission.

Overview of chemical synaptic transmission

Synaptic transmission takes place at specialized contact sites, at which the active zone of the presynaptic neuron approaches the postsynaptic density of a postsynaptic neuron (Fig. 3.1). Transmission is initiated when an action potential (AP) arrives at the nerve terminal, where it opens voltage-gated Ca2+ channels.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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  • Short-term plasticity: facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation
    • By Ralf Schneggenburger, AG Synaptische Dynamik und Modulation, Abteilung Membranbiophysik, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany and Laboratory of Synaptic Mechanisms, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Brain Mind Institute, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Edited by Michael Selzer, University of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Clarke, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Leonardo Cohen, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Pamela Duncan, University of Florida, Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Book: Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Online publication: 05 March 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545061.006
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  • Short-term plasticity: facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation
    • By Ralf Schneggenburger, AG Synaptische Dynamik und Modulation, Abteilung Membranbiophysik, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany and Laboratory of Synaptic Mechanisms, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Brain Mind Institute, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Edited by Michael Selzer, University of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Clarke, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Leonardo Cohen, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Pamela Duncan, University of Florida, Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Book: Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Online publication: 05 March 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545061.006
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Short-term plasticity: facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation
    • By Ralf Schneggenburger, AG Synaptische Dynamik und Modulation, Abteilung Membranbiophysik, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany and Laboratory of Synaptic Mechanisms, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Brain Mind Institute, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Edited by Michael Selzer, University of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Clarke, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Leonardo Cohen, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Pamela Duncan, University of Florida, Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Book: Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Online publication: 05 March 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545061.006
Available formats
×