Quantification of spread of cerebellar long-term depression with chemical two-photon uncaging of glutamate. Academic Article uri icon


  • Localized, chemical two-photon photolysis of caged glutamate was used to map the changes in alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptors caused by long-term synaptic depression (LTD) in cerebellar Purkinje cells. LTD produced by pairing parallel fiber activity with depolarization was accompanied by a decline in the response of Purkinje cells to uncaged glutamate that accounted for both the time course and magnitude of LTD. This depression of glutamate responses was observed not only at the site of parallel fiber stimulation but also at more distant sites. The amount of LTD decreased with distance and was half-maximal 50 microm away from the site of parallel fiber activity. Estimation of the number of parallel fibers active during LTD induction indicates that LTD modified glutamate receptors not only at active synapses but also at 600 times as many inactive synapses on a single Purkinje cell. Therefore, both active and inactive parallel fiber synapses can undergo changes at a postsynaptic locus as a result of associative pre- and postsynaptic activity.

publication date

  • July 18, 2000