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Presynaptic spike timing-dependent long-term depression (t-LTD) at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses is evident until the 3rd postnatal week in mice, disappearing during the 4th week. At more mature stages, we found that the protocol that induced t-LTD induced t-LTP. We characterized this form of t-LTP and the mechanisms involved in its induction, as well as that driving this switch from t-LTD to t-LTP. We found that this t-LTP is expressed presynaptically at CA3-CA1 synapses, as witnessed by coefficient of variation, number of failures, paired-pulse ratio and miniature responses analysis. Additionally, this form of presynaptic t-LTP does not require NMDARs but the activation of mGluRs and the entry of Ca2+ into the postsynaptic neuron through L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels and the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. Nitric oxide is also required as a messenger from the postsynaptic neuron. Crucially, the release of adenosine and glutamate by astrocytes is required for t-LTP induction and for the switch from t-LTD to t-LTP. Thus, we have discovered a developmental switch of synaptic transmission from t-LTD to t-LTP at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in which astrocytes play a central role and revealed a form of presynaptic LTP and the rules for its induction.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Adenosine, Animals, Astrocytes, Female, Glutamic Acid, Hippocampus, Long-Term Potentiation, Male, Mice, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Synaptic Transmission