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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Visually driven modulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission is mediated by the regulation of intracellular polyamines.

Ca2+-permeable AMPARs are inwardly rectifying due to block by intracellular polyamines. Neuronal activity regulates polyamine synthesis, yet whether this affects Ca2+-AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is unknown. We test whether 4 hr of increased visual stimulation regulates glutamatergic retino-tectal synapses in Xenopus tadpoles. Tectal neurons containing Ca2+-AMPARs form a gradient along the rostro-caudal developmental axis. These neurons had inwardly rectifying AMPAR-mediated EPSCs. Four hours of visual stimulation or addition of intracellular spermine increased rectification in immature neurons. Polyamine synthesis inhibitors blocked the effect of visual stimulation, suggesting that visual activity regulates AMPARs via the polyamine synthesis pathway. This modulation resulted in changes in the integrative properties of tectal neurons. Regulation of polyamine synthesis by physiological stimuli is a novel form of modulation of synaptic transmission important for understanding the short-term effects of enhanced sensory experience during development.[1]


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