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Visual input induces long-term potentiation of developing retinotectal synapses

Nature Neuroscience volume 3, pages 708715 (2000) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Early visual experience is essential in the refinement of developing neural connections. In vivo whole-cell recording from the tectum of Xenopus tadpoles showed that repetitive dimming-light stimulation applied to the contralateral eye resulted in persistent enhancement of glutamatergic inputs, but not GABAergic or glycinergic inputs, on tectal neurons. This enhancement can be attributed to potentiation of retinotectal synapses. It required spiking of postsynaptic tectal cells as well as activation of NMDA receptors, and effectively occluded long-term potentiation (LTP) of retinotectal synapses induced by direct electrical stimulation of retinal ganglion cells. Thus, LTP-like synaptic modification can be induced by natural visual inputs and may be part of the underlying mechanism for the activity-dependent refinement of developing connections.

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Acknowledgements

We thank G. Bi, Y. Dan, W. Harris, C. Holt and F. Engert for suggestions. This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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Author notes

    • Li I. Zhang
    •  & Hui-zhong W. Tao

    The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0357, USA

    • Li I. Zhang
    • , Hui-zhong W. Tao
    •  & Mu-ming Poo

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Correspondence to Mu-ming Poo.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/76665

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