Su Z. Hong
Profile Url: su-z--hong
Researcher at Mind/Brain Institute, Johns Hopkins University
Disinhibition is an obligatory initial step in the remodeling of cortical circuits by sensory experience, yet the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Our investigation of mechanisms for disinhibition in the classical model of ocular dominance plasticity (ODP) uncovered an unexpected novel form of experience-dependent circuit plasticity. In layer 2/3 of mouse visual cortex monocular deprivation triggers an "all-or-none" elimination of approximately half the connections from local pyramidal cells onto parvalbumin-positive interneurons (Pyr[->]PV), without affecting the strength of the remaining connections. This loss of Pyr[->]PV connections is transient, lasting one day only, has a critical period commensurate with the ODP critical period, and is contingent on a reduction of neuropentraxin2 (NPTX2), which normally stabilizes Pyr[->]PV connections. Bidirectional manipulations of NPTX2 functionality that prevent/promote the elimination Pyr[->]PV connections also promote/prevent ODP. We surmise, therefore, that this rapid and reversible loss of local Pyr[->]PV circuitry gates experience-dependent cortical plasticity.
Neuromodulatory systems are essential for remodeling glutamatergic connectivity during experience-dependent cortical plasticity. This permissive/enabling function of neuromodulators has been associated with their capacity to facilitate the induction of Hebbian forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) by affecting cellular and network excitability. In vitro studies indicate that neuromodulators can also affect the expression of Hebbian plasticity in a pull-push manner: receptors coupled to the G-protein Gs promote the expression of LTP at the expense of LTD, and Gq-coupled receptors promote LTD at the expense of LTD. Here we show that the pull-push mechanism can be recruited in vivo by pairing brief monocular stimulation with pharmacological or chemogenetical activation of Gs- or Gq-coupled receptors to respectively enhance or reduce visual cortical responses. These changes were stable, can be induced in adults after the termination of the critical period for juvenile ocular dominance plasticity, and can rescue deficits induced by prolonged monocular deprivation.