Opposing roles for Na+/Ca2+ exchange and Ca2+-activated K+ currents during STDP (O`Halloran 2020)

"Sodium Calcium exchanger (NCX) proteins utilize the electrochemical gradient of Na+ to generate Ca2+ efflux (forward mode) or influx (reverse mode). In mammals, there are three unique NCX encoding genes-NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, that comprise the SLC8A family, and mRNA from all three exchangers is expressed in hippocampal pyramidal cells. Furthermore, mutant ncx2-/- and ncx3-/- mice have each been shown to exhibit altered long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal CA1 region due to delayed Ca2+ clearance after depolarization that alters synaptic transmission. In addition to the role of NCX at the synapse of hippocampal subfields required for LTP, the three NCX isoforms have also been shown to localize to the dendrite of hippocampal pyramidal cells. In the case of NCX1, it has been shown to localize throughout the basal and apical dendrite of CA1 neurons where it helps compartmentalize Ca2+ between dendritic shafts and spines. Given the role for NCX and calcium in synaptic plasticity, the capacity of NCX splice-forms to influence backpropagating action potentials has clear consequences for the induction of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP). To explore this, we examined the effect of NCX localization, density, and allosteric activation on forward and back propagating signals and, next employed a STDP paradigm to monitor the effect of NCX on plasticity using back propagating action potentials paired with EPSPs. From our simulation studies we identified a role for the sodium calcium exchange current in normalizing STDP, and demonstrate that NCX is required at the postsynaptic site for this response. We also screened other mechanisms in our model and identified a role for the Ca2+ activated K+ current at the postsynapse in producing STDP responses. Together, our data reveal opposing roles for the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger current and the Ca2+ activated K+ current in setting STDP."

Model Type: Neuron or other electrically excitable cell

Region(s) or Organism(s): Hippocampus

Cell Type(s): Hippocampus CA1 pyramidal GLU cell

Currents: I Sodium; I Potassium; Na/Ca exchanger; I Na,t; I A; I K

Model Concept(s): Action Potentials; Dendritic Action Potentials; Active Dendrites; STDP; Synaptic Plasticity; Calcium dynamics; Long-term Synaptic Plasticity

Simulation Environment: NEURON (web link to model)


O'Halloran DM. (2020). Simulation model of CA1 pyramidal neurons reveal opposing roles for the Na+/Ca2+ exchange current and Ca2+-activated K+ current during spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity. PloS one. 15 [PubMed]

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