Synaptic plasticity, which underlies learning and memory, depends on calcium elevation in neurons, but the precise relationship between calcium and spatiotemporal patterns of synaptic inputs is unclear. Here, we develop a biologically realistic computational model of striatal spiny projection neurons with sophisticated calcium dynamics, based on data from rodents of both sexes, to investigate how spatiotemporally clustered and distributed excitatory and inhibitory inputs affect spine calcium. We demonstrate that coordinated excitatory synaptic inputs evoke enhanced calcium elevation specific to stimulated spines, with lower but physiologically relevant calcium elevation in nearby non-stimulated spines. Results further show a novel and important function of inhibition-to enhance the difference in calcium between stimulated and non-stimulated spines. These findings suggest that spine calcium dynamics encode synaptic input patterns and may serve as a signal for both stimulus-specific potentiation and heterosynaptic depression, maintaining balanced activity in a dendritic branch while inducing pattern-specific plasticity.
All model simulation and analysis code are publicly and freely available on ModelDB (http://senselab.med.yale.edu/ModelDB/showModel.cshtml?model=245411).
- Kim T Blackwell
- Kim T Blackwell
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Mary B Kennedy, California Institute of Technology, United States
© 2018, Dorman et al.
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