Distinct target-specific mechanisms homeostatically stabilize transmission at pre-and post-synaptic compartments

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pragya GoelDion Dickman


Neurons must establish and stabilize connections made with diverse targets, each with distinct demands and functional characteristics. At Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, synaptic strength remains stable in a manipulation that simultaneously induces hypo-innervation on one target and hyper-innervation on the other. However, the expression mechanisms that achieve this exquisite target-specific homeostatic control remain enigmatic. Here, we identify the distinct target-specific homeostatic expression mechanisms. On the hypo-innervated target, an increase in postsynaptic glutamate receptor (GluR) abundance is sufficient to compensate for reduced innervation, without any apparent presynaptic adaptations. In contrast, a target-specific reduction in presynaptic neurotransmitter release probability is reflected by a decrease in active zone components restricted to terminals of hyper-innervated targets. Finally, loss of postsynaptic GluRs on one target induces a compartmentalized, homeostatic enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release called presynaptic homeostatic potentiation that can be precisely balanced with the adaptations required for both hypo- and hyper-innervation to maintain stable synaptic strength. Thus, distin...Continue Reading

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