S.J. and J.S. contributed equally to this study.
BDNF and NT-3 increase excitatory input connectivity in rat hippocampal cultures
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2009
© The Authors (2009). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
European Journal of Neuroscience
Volume 30, Issue 6, pages 998–1010, September 2009
How to Cite
Jacobi, S., Soriano, J., Segal, M. and Moses, E. (2009), BDNF and NT-3 increase excitatory input connectivity in rat hippocampal cultures. European Journal of Neuroscience, 30: 998–1010. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06891.x
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2009
- Received 28 March 2009, revised 22 June 2009, accepted 8 July 2009
- network connectivity;
- synaptic connectivity
The neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) have been shown to promote excitatory and inhibitory synapse development. However, a quantitative analysis of their influence on connectivity has proven in general difficult to achieve. In this work we use a novel experimental approach based on percolation concepts that provides a quantification of the average number of connections per neuron. In combination with electrophysiological measurements, we characterize the changes in network connectivity induced by BDNF and NT-3 in rat hippocampal cultures. We show that, on the one hand, BDNF and NT-3 accelerate the maturation of connectivity in the network by about 17 h. On the other hand, BDNF and NT-3 increase the number of excitatory input connections by a factor of about two, but without modifying the number of inhibitory input connections. This scenario of a dominant effect on the excitation is supported by the analysis of spontaneous population bursts in cultures treated with either BDNF or NT-3, which show burst amplitudes that are insensitive to the blockade of inhibition. A leaky integrate-and-fire model reproduces the experimental results well.