Whereas short-term plasticity is often initiated on one side of the synapse, long-term plasticity involves coordinated changes on both sides, implying extracellular signaling. We have investigated the possible signaling role of an Aplysia neurotrophin (ApNT) in facilitation induced by serotonin (5HT) at sensory-to-motor neuron synapses in culture. ApNT is an ortholog of mammalian BDNF, which has been reported to act as either an anterograde, retrograde, or autocrine signal, so that its pre- and postsynaptic sources and targets remain unclear. We now report that ApNT acts as a presynaptic autocrine signal that forms part of a positive feedback loop with ApTrk and PKA. That loop stimulates spontaneous transmitter release, which recruits postsynaptic mechanisms, and presynaptic protein synthesis during the transition from short- to intermediate-term facilitation and may also initiate gene regulation to trigger the transition to long-term facilitation. These results suggest that a presynaptic ApNT feedback loop plays several key roles during consolidation of learning-related synaptic plasticity.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 20 2018|
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