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Publication Detail
Spike-timing dependent plasticity in inhibitory circuits.
Inhibitory circuits in the brain rely on GABA-releasing interneurons. For long, inhibitory circuits were considered weakly plastic in the face of patterns of neuronal activity that trigger long-term changes in the synapses between excitatory principal cells. Recent studies however have shown that GABAergic circuits undergo various forms of long-term plasticity. For the purpose of this review, we identify three major long-term plasticity expression sites. The first locus is the glutamatergic synapses that excite GABAergic inhibitory cells and drive their activity. Such synapses, on many but not all inhibitory interneurons, exhibit long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD). Second, GABAergic synapses themselves can undergo changes in GABA release probability or postsynaptic GABA receptors. The third site of plasticity is in the postsynaptic anion gradient of GABAergic synapses; coincident firing of GABAergic axons and postsynaptic neurons can cause a long-lasting change in the reversal potential of GABA(A) receptors mediating fast inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. We review the recent literature on these forms of plasticity by asking how they may be triggered by specific patterns of pre- and postsynaptic action potentials, although very few studies have directly examined spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) protocols in inhibitory circuits. Plasticity of interneuron recruitment and of GABAergic signaling provides for a rich flexibility in inhibition that may be central to many aspects of brain function. We do not consider plasticity at glutamatergic synapses on Purkinje cells and other GABAergic principal cells.
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