Somatostatin (SST) interneurons produce delayed inhibition because of the short-term facilitation of their excitatory inputs created by the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) and presynaptic GluK2-containing kainate receptors (GluK2-KARs). Using mice of both sexes, we find that as synaptic facilitation at layer (L)2/3 SST cell inputs increases during the first few postnatal weeks, so does GluK2-KAR expression. Removal of sensory input by whisker trimming does not affect mGluR7 but prevents the emergence of presynaptic GluK2-KARs, which can be restored by allowing whisker regrowth or by acute calmodulin activation. Conversely, late trimming or acute inhibition of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II is sufficient to reduce GluK2-KAR activity. This developmental and activity-dependent regulation also produces a specific reduction of L4 GluK2-KARs that advances in parallel with the maturation of sensory processing in L2/3. Finally, we find that removal of both GluK2-KARs and mGluR7 from the synapse eliminates short-term facilitation and reduces sensory adaptation to repetitive stimuli, first in L4 of somatosensory cortex, then later in development in L2/3. The dynamic regulation of presynaptic GluK2-KARs potentially allows for flexible scaling of late inhibition and sensory adaptation.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Excitatory synapses onto somatostatin (SST) interneurons express presynaptic, calcium-permeable kainate receptors containing the GluK2 subunit (GluK2-KARs), activated by high-frequency activity. In this study we find that their presence on L2/3 SST synapses in the barrel cortex is not based on a hardwired genetic program but instead is regulated by sensory activity, in contrast to that of mGluR7. Thus, in addition to standard synaptic potentiation and depression mechanisms, excitatory synapses onto SST neurons undergo an activity-dependent presynaptic modulation that uses GluK2-KARs. Further, we present evidence that loss of the frequency-dependent synaptic components (both GluK2-KARs and mGluR7 via Elfn1 deletion) contributes to a decrease in the sensory adaptation commonly seen on repetitive stimulus presentation.

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This post is Copyright: Stachniak, T. J., Argunsah, A. O., Yang, J.-W., Cai, L., Karayannis, T. | October 26, 2023
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