Functional Pre- and Postsynaptic Changes between the Retinohypothalamic Tract and Suprachiasmatic Nucleus during Rat Postnatal Development

Published on 2019-11-16T13:07:51Z (GMT) by
<div><p>The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the main brain clock in mammals. The SCN synchronizes to the light-dark cycle through the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT). RHT axons release glutamate to activate AMPA-kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) postsynaptic receptors in ventral SCN neurons. Stimulation of SCN NMDA receptors is necessary for the activation of the signaling cascades that govern the advances and delays of phase. To our knowledge, no research has been performed to analyze the functional synaptic modifications occurring during postnatal development that prepare the circadian system for a proper synchronization to light at adult ages. Here, we studied the pre- and postsynaptic developmental changes between the unmyelinated RHT-SCN connections. Spontaneous NMDA excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were greater in amplitude and frequency at postnatal day 34 (P34) than at P8. Similarly, both quantal EPSCs (miniature NMDA and evoked quantal AMPA-kainate) showed a development-dependent increase at analyzed stages, P3-5, P7-9, and P13-18. Moreover, the electrically evoked NMDA and AMPA-kainate components were augmented with age, although the increment was larger for the latter, and the membrane resting potential was more depolarized at early postnatal ages. Finally, the short-term synaptic plasticity was significantly modified during postnatal development as was the estimated number of quanta released and the initial release probability. All of these synaptic modifications in the unmyelinated RHT-SCN synapses suggest that synchronization to light at adult ages requires developmental changes similar to those that occur in myelinated fast communication systems.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Reyes-Mendez, Miriam E.; Osuna-López, Fernando; Herrera-Zamora, J. Manuel; Navarro-Polanco, Ricardo A.; Moreno-Galindo, Eloy G.; Alamilla, Javier (2019): Functional Pre- and Postsynaptic Changes between the Retinohypothalamic Tract and Suprachiasmatic Nucleus during Rat Postnatal Development. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4742153.v1