RAPID DEVELOPMENT OF SYNAPTIC CONNECTIONS AND PLASTICITY BETWEEN SENSORY
NEURONS AND MOTOR NEURONS OF APLYSIA IN CELL CULTURE: IMPLICATIONS FOR
LEARNING AND REGULATION OF SYNAPTIC STRENGTH.
Rosalind L. Coulson and Marc Klein.
Clinical Research Institute of Montreal and University of Montreal, Centre
de recherche en sciences neurologiques, 110 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec
H2W 1R7, Canada.
APStracts 4:0045N, 1997.
We describe here the time course of functional synapse formation and of the
development of short-term synaptic plasticity at Aplysia sensorimotor synapses
in cell culture, as well as the effects of blocking protein synthesis or
postsynaptic receptors on the development of synaptic transmission and
plasticity. We find that synaptic responses can be elicited in 50% of sensory
neuron-motor neuron pairs by one hour after cell contact and that short-term
homosynaptic depression and synaptic augmentation and restoration by the
endogenous facilitatory transmitter serotonin are present at the earliest
stages of synapse formation. Neither block of protein synthesis with
anisomycin nor block of two types of postsynaptic glutamate receptor has any
effect on the development of synaptic transmission or synaptic plasticity. The
rapidity of synapse formation and maturation and their independence of protein
synthesis suggest that changes in the number of functional synapses could
contribute to short- and intermediate-term forms of synaptic plasticity and
Received 8 November 1996; accepted in final form 13 January 1997.
APS Manuscript Number J888-6.
Article publication pending J. Neurophysiol.
ISSN 1080-4757 Copyright 1997 The American Physiological Society.
Published in APStracts on 5 February 1997