Cerebellar long-term depression (LTD) is a cellular model system of information storage that may underlie certain forms of motor learning. While cerebellar LTD is expressed as a selective modification of postsynaptic AMPA receptors, this might involve changes in receptor number/distribution, unitary conductance, kinetics, or glutamate affinity. The observation that GluR2-containing synaptic AMPA receptors could be internalized by regulated clathrin-mediated endocytosis suggested that this process could underlie LTD expression. To test this hypothesis, we postsynaptically applied dynamin and amphiphysin peptides that interfere with the clathrin endocytotic complex and found that they blocked LTD expression in cultured Purkinje neurons. In addition, induction of LTD and attenuation of AMPA responses by stimulation of clathrin-mediated endocytosis occluded each other. These findings suggest that the expression of cerebellar LTD requires clathrin-mediated internalization of postsynaptic AMPA receptors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas