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Dopamine-enabled anti-Hebbian timing-dependent plasticity in the prefrontal circuitry

Ruan, Hongyu, Saur, Taixiang and Yao, Wei-Dong (2014) Dopamine-enabled anti-Hebbian timing-dependent plasticity in the prefrontal circuitry. Frontiers in Neural Circuits.


Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) at glutamatergic synapses is a Hebbian associative plasticity that may underlie certain forms of learning. A cardinal feature of STDP is its dependence on the temporal order of presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes during induction: pre-post (positive) pairings induce t-LTP (timing-dependent long-term potentiation) whereas post-pre (negative) pairings induce t-LTD (timing-dependent long-term depression). Dopamine (DA), a reward signal for behavioral learning, is believed to exert powerful modulations on synapse strength and plasticity, but its influence on STDP has remained incompletely understood. We previously showed that DA extends the temporal window for t-LTP in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) from +10 to +30 ms, gating Hebbian t-LTP. Here, we examined DA modulation of synaptic plasticity induced at negative timings in layer V pyramidal neurons on mouse medial PFC slices. Using a t-LTD induction protocol (60 post-pre pairings at 0.1 Hz, Δt = -30 ms), we found that DA applied during post-pre pairings did not produce LTD, but instead enabled robust LTP. This anti-Hebbian t-LTP depended on NR2B-containing NMDA receptors. Blocking D1- (D1Rs), but not D2- (D2Rs) class DA receptors or disrupting cAMP/PKA signaling in pyramidal neurons also abolished this atypical t-LTP, indicating that it was mediated by postsynaptic D1R-cAMP/PKA signaling in excitatory synapses. Unlike DA-enabled Hebbian t-LTP that requires the suppression of GABAergic inhibition and cooperative actions of both D1Rs and D2Rs in separate PFC excitatory and inhibitory circuits, DA-enabled anti-Hebbian t-LTP occurred under intact inhibitory transmission and only required D1R activation in excitatory circuit. Our results establish DA as a potent modulator of coincidence detection during associative synaptic plasticity and suggest a mechanism by which DA facilitates input-target association during reward learning and top-down information processing in PFC circuits.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 23:46
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 23:46


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