Kainate receptors (KARs) are involved in both NMDA receptor-independent long-term potentiation (LTP) and synaptic facilitation at mossy fibre synapses in the CA3 region of the hippocampus. However, the identity of the KAR subtypes involved remains controversial. Here we used a highly potent and selective GluK1 (formerly GluR5) antagonist (ACET) to elucidate roles of GluK1-containing KARs in these synaptic processes. We confirmed that ACET is an extremely potent GluK1 antagonist, with a Kb value of 1.4 ± 0.2 nM. In contrast, ACET was ineffective at GluK2 (formerly GluR6) receptors at all concentrations tested (up to 100 μM) and had no effect at GluK3 (formerly GluR7) when tested at 1 μM. The X-ray crystal structure of ACET bound to the ligand binding core of GluK1 was similar to the UBP310-GluK1 complex. In the CA1 region of hippocampal slices, ACET was effective at blocking the depression of both fEPSPs and monosynaptically evoked GABAergic transmission induced by ATPA, a GluK1 selective agonist. In the CA3 region of the hippocampus, ACET blocked the induction of NMDA receptor-independent mossy fibre LTP. To directly investigate the role of pre-synaptic GluK1-containing KARs we combined patch-clamp electrophysiology and 2-photon microscopy to image Ca2+ dynamics in individual giant mossy fibre boutons. ACET consistently reduced short-term facilitation of pre-synaptic calcium transients induced by 5 action potentials evoked at 20-25 Hz. Taken together our data provide further evidence for a physiological role of GluK1-containing KARs in synaptic facilitation and LTP induction at mossy fibre-CA3 synapses.
- Mossy fibre LTP
- X-ray crystallography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience