Enhancement of transmission at the developing retinogeniculate synapse.
Axon terminals from retinal ganglion cells in the left and right eyes initially overlap with each other in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the neonatal ferret, then segregate into eye-specific layers via an activity-dependent process. Brain slices were used to show that, during this period of reorganization, retinal terminals within the lateral geniculate nucleus evoke excitatory postsynaptic currents composed of both NMDA and non-NMDA receptor-mediated currents. The amplitude of these currents could be enhanced for several tens of minutes to more than an hour by several bursts of high frequency synaptic stimulation, and the induction of enhancement appears to depend on NMDA receptor activation. Synaptic enhancement such as this could provide one of the physiological mechanisms by which retinal terminals segregate into eye-specific layers during development.
Mooney, R; Madison, DV; Shatz, CJ
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