Multiple mechanisms govern the dynamics of depression at neocortical synapses of young rats

Galit Fuhrmann, Anna Cowan, Idan Segev, Misha Tsodyks, Christian Stricker*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    Synaptic transmission between pairs of excitatory neurones in layers V (N = 38) or IV (N = 6) of somatosensory cortex was examined in a parasagittal slice preparation obtained from young Wistar rats (14-18 days old). A combined experimental and theoretical approach reveals two characteristics of short-term synaptic depression. Firstly, as well as a release-dependent depression, there is a release-independent component that is evident in smaller postsynaptic responses even following failure to release transmitter. Secondly, recovery from depression is activity dependent and is faster at higher input frequencies. Frequency-dependent recovery is a Ca2+-dependent process and does not reflect an underlying augmentation. Frequency-dependent recovery and release-independent depression are correlated, such that at those connections with a large amount of release-independent depression, recovery from depression is faster. In addition, both are more pronounced in experiments performed at physiological temperatures. Simulations demonstrate that these homeostatic properties allow the transfer of rate information at all frequencies, essentially linearizing synaptic responses at high input frequencies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)415-438
    Number of pages24
    JournalJournal of Physiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


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