Different forms of homeostatic plasticity are engaged with distinct temporal profiles


Dr D. V. Buonomano, as above.
E-mail: dbuono@ucla.edu


Global changes in network activity have been reported to induce homeostatic plasticity at multiple synaptic and cellular loci. Though individual types of plasticity are normally examined in isolation, it is their interactions and net effect that will ultimately determine their functional consequences. Here we examine homeostatic plasticity of both inhibition and intrinsic excitability in parallel in rat organotypic hippocampal slices. As previous studies have not examined inhibitory plasticity using a functional measure, inhibition was measured by the ability of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) to suppress action potentials, as well as IPSP amplitude. We show that manipulations of network activity can both up- and downregulate functional inhibition, as well as intrinsic excitability. However, these forms of plasticity are dissociable. Specifically, robust changes in intrinsic excitability were observed in the absence of inhibitory plasticity, and shifts in inhibition, but not excitability, appear to be sensitive to developmental stage. Our data establish that while the two forms of homeostatic plasticity can be engaged in parallel, there is a specific order in which they are expressed, with changes in excitability preceding those in inhibition. We propose that changes in intrinsic excitability occur first in order to stabilize network activity while optimizing the preservation of information stored in synaptic strengths by restricting changes that will disrupt the balance of synaptic excitation and inhibition.