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Xincai Ji and Gilles E. Martin New rules governing synaptic plasticity in core nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons European Journal of Neuroscience 36

Article first published online: 26 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12002

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We examined synaptic plasticity using spike-timing-dependent plasticity, a stimulation paradigm that reflects more closely in vivo firing patterns of core NAcc medium spiny neurons and their afferents. In contrast to other brain regions, the same stimulation paradigm evoked bidirectional long-term plasticity. Long-term potentiation (tLTP) magnitude changed with delay between action potentials (APs) and excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs), and frequency, while that of long-term depression (tLTD) remained unchanged. We showed that tLTP depended on NMDA receptors, whereas tLTD relied on action potentials. Importantly, intracellular calcium signaling pathways mobilised during tLTP and tLTD were different. Thus, calcium-induced calcium release underlies tLTD but not tLTP.

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