Changes in synaptic efficacy at the parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapse are postulated to be a cellular basis for motor learning. Although long-term efficacy changes lasting more than an hour at this synapse, i.e., long-term potentiation and depression, have been extensively studied, relatively short lasting synaptic efficacy changes, namely short-term potentiation (STP) lasting for tens of minutes, have not been discussed to date. Here we report that this synapse shows an apparent STP reliably by a periodic burst pattern of homosynaptic stimulation. This STP is presynaptically expressed, since it accompanies with a reduced paired-pulse facilitation and is resistant to postsynaptic Ca2+ reduction by BAPTA injection or in P/Q-type Ca channel knockout cerebella. This novel type of synaptic plasticity at the PF-PC synapse would be a clue for understanding the presynaptic mechanisms of plasticity at this synapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas