Nerve impulse activity produces both developmental and adult plastic changes in neural networks. For development, however, its precise role and the mechanisms involved remain elusive. Using the classic model of synapse competition and elimination at newly formed neuromuscular junctions, we asked whether spike timing is the instructive signal at inputs competing for synaptic space. Using a rat strain whose soleus muscle is innervated by two nerves, we chronically evoked different temporal spike patterns in the two nerves during synapse formation in the adult. We found that asynchronous activity imposed upon the two nerves promotes synapse elimination, provided that their relative spikes are separated by 25 ms or more; remarkably, this elimination occurs even though an equal number of spikes were evoked in the competing axons. On the other hand, when spikes are separated by 20 ms or less, activity is perceived as synchronous, and elimination is prevented. Thus, in development, as in adult plasticity, precise spike timing plays an instructive role in synaptic modification.

Spike timing plays a key role in synapse elimination at the neuromuscular junction.

FAVERO, Morgana;BUSETTO, Giuseppe;CANGIANO, Alberto
2012

Abstract

Nerve impulse activity produces both developmental and adult plastic changes in neural networks. For development, however, its precise role and the mechanisms involved remain elusive. Using the classic model of synapse competition and elimination at newly formed neuromuscular junctions, we asked whether spike timing is the instructive signal at inputs competing for synaptic space. Using a rat strain whose soleus muscle is innervated by two nerves, we chronically evoked different temporal spike patterns in the two nerves during synapse formation in the adult. We found that asynchronous activity imposed upon the two nerves promotes synapse elimination, provided that their relative spikes are separated by 25 ms or more; remarkably, this elimination occurs even though an equal number of spikes were evoked in the competing axons. On the other hand, when spikes are separated by 20 ms or less, activity is perceived as synchronous, and elimination is prevented. Thus, in development, as in adult plasticity, precise spike timing plays an instructive role in synaptic modification.
synapse competition; neuromuscular junctions; nerve activity; spike timing; firing properties
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/415741
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