Pull-Push neuromodulation of LTP and LTD enables bidirectional experience-induced synaptic scaling in visual cortex

Shi Yong Huang, Mario Treviño, Kaiwen He, Alvaro Ardiles, Roberto dePasquale, Yatu Guo, Adrian Palacios, Richard Huganir, Alfredo Kirkwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Neuromodulatory input, acting on G protein-coupled receptors, is essential for the induction of experience-dependent cortical plasticity. Here we report that G-coupled receptors in layer II/III of visual cortex control the polarity of synaptic plasticity througha pull-push regulation of LTP and LTD. In slices, receptors coupled to Gs promote LTP while suppressing LTD; conversely, receptors coupled to Gq11 promote LTD and suppress LTP. Invivo, the selective stimulation of Gs- or Gq11-coupled receptors brings the cortex into LTP-only or LTD-only states, which allows the potentiation or depression of targeted synapses with visual stimulation. The pull-push regulation of LTP/LTD occurs via direct control of the synaptic plasticity machinery and it is independent of changes in NMDAR activation or neuronal excitability. We propose these simple rules governing the pull-push control of LTP/LTD form a general metaplasticity mechanism that may contribute to neuromodulation of plasticity in other cortical circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-510
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 9 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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