Apr 30, 2020

Synaptic plasticity induced by differential manipulation of tonic and phasic motoneurons in Drosophila

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
N. A. Aponte-SantiagoJ. Troy Littleton


Structural and functional plasticity induced by neuronal competition is a common feature of developing nervous systems. However, the rules governing how postsynaptic cells differentiate between presynaptic inputs are unclear. In this study we characterized synaptic interactions following manipulations of Ib tonic or Is phasic glutamatergic motoneurons that co-innervate postsynaptic muscles at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). After identifying drivers for each neuronal subtype, we performed ablation or genetic manipulations to alter neuronal activity and examined the effects on synaptic innervation and function. Ablation of either Ib or Is resulted in decreased muscle response, with some functional compensation occurring in the tonic Ib input when Is was missing. In contrast, the phasic Is terminal failed to show functional or structural changes following loss of the co-innervating Ib input. Decreasing the activity of the Ib or Is neuron with tetanus toxin light chain resulted in structural changes in muscle innervation. Decreased Ib activity resulted in reduced active zone (AZ) number and decreased postsynaptic subsynaptic reticulum (SSR) volume, with the emergence of filopodial-like protrusions from synaptic boutons ...Continue Reading

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