Dendritic integration of synaptic inputs involves their increased electrotonic attenuation at distal dendrites, which can be counterbalanced by the increased synaptic receptor density. However, during network activity the influence of individual synapses depends on their release fidelity, the dendritic distribution of which remains poorly understood. Here, we employed classical optical quantal analyses and a genetically encoded optical glutamate sensor in acute hippocampal slices of rats and mice to monitor release at CA3-CA1 synapses. We find that their release probability increases with greater distances from the soma. Similar-fidelity synapses tend to group together whereas release probability shows no trends regarding the branch ends. Simulations with a realistic CA1 pyramidal cell hosting stochastic synapses suggest that the observed trends boost signal transfer fidelity, particularly at higher input frequencies. Because high-frequency bursting has been associated with learning, the release probability pattern we have found may play a key role in memory trace formation.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1 - 4.
- Dmitri A Rusakov
- Dmitri A Rusakov
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal procedures were subject to local ethical approval and adhered to the European Commission Directive (86/609/ EEC) and the United Kingdom Home Office (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986. Experiments were carried out under the UK HO Project licence PPL707524.
- Sacha B Nelson, Brandeis University, United States
© 2021, Jensen et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Postsynaptic mitochondria are critical for the development, plasticity, and maintenance of synaptic inputs. However, their relationship to synaptic structure and functional activity is unknown. We examined a correlative dataset from ferret visual cortex with in vivo two-photon calcium imaging of dendritic spines during visual stimulation and electron microscopy reconstructions of spine ultrastructure, investigating mitochondrial abundance near functionally and structurally characterized spines. Surprisingly, we found no correlation to structural measures of synaptic strength. Instead, we found that mitochondria are positioned near spines with orientation preferences that are dissimilar to the somatic preference. Additionally, we found that mitochondria are positioned near groups of spines with heterogeneous orientation preferences. For a subset of spines with a mitochondrion in the head or neck, synapses were larger and exhibited greater selectivity to visual stimuli than those without a mitochondrion. Our data suggest mitochondria are not necessarily positioned to support the energy needs of strong spines, but rather support the structurally and functionally diverse inputs innervating the basal dendrites of cortical neurons.
Several discrete groups of feeding-regulated neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (nucleus tractus solitarius; NTS) suppress food intake, including avoidance-promoting neurons that express Cck (NTSCck cells) and distinct Lepr- and Calcr-expressing neurons (NTSLepr and NTSCalcr cells, respectively) that suppress food intake without promoting avoidance. To test potential synergies among these cell groups we manipulated multiple NTS cell populations simultaneously. We found that activating multiple sets of NTS neurons (e.g., NTSLepr plus NTSCalcr (NTSLC), or NTSLC plus NTSCck (NTSLCK)) suppressed feeding more robustly than activating single populations. While activating groups of cells that include NTSCck neurons promoted conditioned taste avoidance (CTA), NTSLC activation produced no CTA despite abrogating feeding. Thus, the ability to promote CTA formation represents a dominant effect but activating multiple non-aversive populations augments the suppression of food intake without provoking avoidance. Furthermore, silencing multiple NTS neuron groups augmented food intake and body weight to a greater extent than silencing single populations, consistent with the notion that each of these NTS neuron populations plays crucial and cumulative roles in the control of energy balance. We found that silencing NTSLCK neurons failed to blunt the weight-loss response to vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) and that feeding activated many non-NTSLCK neurons, however, suggesting that as-yet undefined NTS cell types must make additional contributions to the restraint of feeding.