Title : A novel synaptic plasticity rule explains homeostasis of neuromuscular transmission
Authors : Gilles Ouanounou, Baux Gérard and Thierry Bal
Year : 2016
Journal : eLife
Volume : 5
Supported by : AFM FRM NeRF
Excitability differs among muscle fibers and undergoes continuous changes during development and growth, yet the neuromuscular synapse maintains a remarkable fidelity of execution. Here we show in two evolutionarily distant vertebrates (Xenopus laevis cell culture and mouse nerve-muscle ex-vivo) that the skeletal muscle cell constantly senses, through two identified calcium signals, synaptic events and their efficacy in eliciting spikes. These sensors trigger retrograde signal(s) that control presynaptic neurotransmitter release, resulting in synaptic potentiation or depression. In the absence of spikes, synaptic events trigger potentiation. Once the synapse is sufficiently strong to initiate spiking, the occurrence of these spikes activates a negative retrograde feedback. These opposing signals dynamically balance the synapse in order to continuously adjust neurotransmitter release to a level matching current muscle cell excitability.