JOURNAL ARTICLE

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor prevents low-frequency inputs from inducing long-term depression in the developing visual cortex

S Kinoshita, H Yasuda, N Taniguchi, R Katoh-Semba, H Hatanaka, T Tsumoto
Journal of Neuroscience 1999 March 15, 19 (6): 2122-30
10066265
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is reported to enhance synaptic transmission and to play a role in long-term potentiation in hippocampus and neocortex. If so, a shortage or blockade of BDNF might lead to another form of synaptic plasticity, long-term depression (LTD). To test this possibility and to elucidate mechanisms if it is the case, EPSCs evoked by test stimulation of layer IV were recorded from layer II/III neurons in visual cortical slices of young rats in the whole-cell voltage-clamp mode. LTD was induced by low-frequency stimulation (LFS) at 1 Hz for 10-15 min if each pulse of the LFS was paired with depolarization of neurons to -30 mV but was not induced if their membrane potentials were kept at -70 mV. Such an LTD was blocked by exogenously applied BDNF, probably through presynaptic mechanisms. Suppression of endogenous BDNF activity by the anti-BDNF antibody or an inhibitor for BDNF receptors made otherwise ineffective stimuli (LFS without postsynaptic depolarization) effective for LTD induction, suggesting that endogenous BDNF may prevent low-frequency inputs from inducing LTD in the developing visual cortex.

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