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  1. Abstract Long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic strength can take multiple forms and contribute to circuit remodeling, memory encoding or erasure. The generic term LTD encompasses various induction pathways, including activation of NMDA, mGlu or P2X receptors. However, the associated specific molecular mechanisms and effects on synaptic physiology are still unclear. We here compare how NMDAR- or P2XR-dependent LTD affect synaptic nanoscale organization and function in rodents. While both LTDs are associated with a loss and reorganization of synaptic AMPARs, only NMDAR-dependent LTD induction triggers a profound reorganization of PSD-95. This modification, which requires the autophagy machinery to remove the T19-phosphorylatedmore »form of PSD-95 from synapses, leads to an increase in AMPAR surface mobility. We demonstrate that these post-synaptic changes that occur specifically during NMDAR-dependent LTD result in an increased short-term plasticity improving neuronal responsiveness of depressed synapses. Our results establish that P2XR- and NMDAR-mediated LTD are associated to functionally distinct forms of LTD.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. Abstract

    Neurotransmitter is released synchronously and asynchronously following an action potential. Our recent study indicates that the release sites of these two phases are segregated within an active zone, with asynchronous release sites enriched near the center in mouse hippocampal synapses. Here we demonstrate that synchronous and asynchronous release sites are aligned with AMPA receptor and NMDA receptor clusters, respectively. Computational simulations indicate that this spatial and temporal arrangement of release can lead to maximal membrane depolarization through AMPA receptors, alleviating the pore-blocking magnesium leading to greater activation of NMDA receptors. Together, these results suggest that release sites are likelymore »organized to activate NMDA receptors efficiently.

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  3. The nanoscale organization of neurotransmitter receptors regarding pre-synaptic release sites is a fundamental determinant of the synaptic transmission amplitude and reliability. How modifications in the pre- and post-synaptic machinery alignments affects synaptic currents, has only been addressed with computer modelling. Using single molecule super-resolution microscopy, we found a strong spatial correlation between AMPA receptor (AMPAR) nanodomains and the post-synaptic adhesion protein neuroligin-1 (NLG1). Expression of a truncated form of NLG1 disrupted this correlation without affecting the intrinsic AMPAR organization, shifting the pre-synaptic release machinery away from AMPAR nanodomains. Electrophysiology in dissociated and organotypic hippocampal rodent cultures shows these treatments significantlymore »decrease AMPAR-mediated miniature and EPSC amplitudes. Computer modelling predicts that ~100 nm lateral shift between AMPAR nanoclusters and glutamate release sites induces a significant reduction in AMPAR-mediated currents. Thus, our results suggest the synapses necessity to release glutamate precisely in front of AMPAR nanodomains, to maintain a high synaptic responses efficiency.« less