Kainate receptors (KARs) are highly expressed throughout the neonatal brain, but their function during development is unclear. Here, we show that the maturation of the hippocampus is associated with a switch in the functional role of presynaptic KARs. In a developmental period restricted to the first postnatal week, endogenous L-glutamate tonically activates KARs at CA3 glutamatergic synapses to regulate release in an action potential-independent manner. At synapses onto pyramidal cells, KARs inhibit glutamate release via a G-protein and PKC-dependent mechanism. In contrast, at glutamatergic terminals onto CA3 interneurons, presynaptic KARs can facilitate release in a G-protein-independent mechanism. In both cell types, however, KAR activation strongly upregulates inhibitory transmission. We show that, through the interplay of these novel diverse mechanisms, KARs strongly regulate the characteristic synchronous network activity observed in the neonatal hippocampus. By virtue of this, KARsare likely to play a central role in the development of hippocampal synaptic circuits.
Fields of Science
- 311 Basic medicine
- 118 Biological sciences
- 515 Psychology
Lauri, S. E., Segerstråle, M., Vesikansa, A., Maingret, F., Mulle, C., Collingridge, G. L., Isaac, J. T. R., & Taira, T. (2005). Endogenous activation of kainate receptors regulates glutamate release and network activity in the developing hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(18), 4473-4484. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4050-04.2005