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Non-calyceal excitatory inputs mediate low fidelity synaptic transmission in rat auditory brainstem slices

By M. Hamann, Brian Billups and Ian D. Forsythe

Abstract

Principal neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) receive a synaptic input from a single giant calyx terminal that generates a fast-rising, large excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC), each of which are supra-threshold for postsynaptic action potential generation. Here, we present evidence that MNTB principal neurons receive multiple excitatory synaptic inputs generating slow-rising, small EPSCs that are also capable of triggering postsynaptic action potentials but are of non-calyceal origin. Both calyceal and non-calyceal EPSCs are mediated by α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation; however, the NMDA receptor-mediated response is proportionally larger at the non-calyceal synapses. Non-calyceal synapses generate action potentials in MNTB principal neurons with a longer latency and a lower reliability than the large calyceal input. They constitute an alternative low fidelity synaptic input to the fast and secure relay transmission via the calyx of Held synapse

Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2003.03017.x
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/1743
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