Get access

Low-frequency summation of synaptically activated transient receptor potential channel-mediated depolarizations

Authors

  • Marcus E. Petersson,

    1. Department of Computational Biology, School of Computer Science and Communication, Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova University Center, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Stockholm Brain Institute, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Motoharu Yoshida,

    1. Department of Psychology, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Erik A. Fransén

    1. Department of Computational Biology, School of Computer Science and Communication, Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova University Center, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Stockholm Brain Institute, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Erik A. Fransén, 1Department of Computational Biology, as above.
E-mail: erikf@csc.kth.se

Abstract

Neurons sum their input by spatial and temporal integration. Temporally, presynaptic firing rates are converted to dendritic membrane depolarizations by postsynaptic receptors and ion channels. In several regions of the brain, including higher association areas, the majority of firing rates are low. For rates below 20 Hz, the ionotropic receptors α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor will not produce effective temporal summation. We hypothesized that depolarization mediated by transient receptor potential (TRP) channels activated by metabotropic glutamate receptors would be more effective, owing to their slow kinetics. On the basis of voltage-clamp and current-clamp recordings from a rat slice preparation, we constructed a computational model of the TRP channel and its intracellular activation pathway, including the metabotropic glutamate receptor. We show that synaptic input frequencies down to 3–4 Hz and inputs consisting of as few as three to five pulses can be effectively summed. We further show that the time constant of integration increases with increasing stimulation frequency and duration. We suggest that the temporal summation characteristics of TRP channels may be important at distal dendritic arbors, where spatial summation is limited by the number of concurrently active synapses. It may be particularly important in regions characterized by low and irregular rates.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary