Permissive role of interneurons in corticostriatal synaptic plasticity

Diego Centonze, Paolo Gubellini, Giorgio Bernardi, Paolo Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two different forms of synaptic plasticity have been found at corticostriatal synapses: long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Both these enduring changes in the efficacy of excitatory neurotransmission in the striatum have a major impact on the physiological activity of the basal ganglia and are triggered by the stimulation of complex and independent cascades of intracellular second messenger systems. Striatal LTD and LTP are evoked following the repetitive stimulation of corticostriatal fibers and are dependent on the glutamate ionotropic receptor subtype activated. Recent experimental evidence indicates that two different subtypes of interneurons attend in the correct processing of information flow arising from the cortex and leading to striatal LTD or LTP. Acetylcholine (Ach) and nitric oxide (NO) producing striatal interneurons, in fact, are activated by the cortex during the induction phase of striatal plasticity, and stimulate, in turn, the intracellular changes in projection neurons required for LTD or LTP. Interneurons, therefore, exerts a feed-forward control of the excitability of striatal projection neurons ensuring the coordinate expression of two alternative forms of synaptic plasticity at the same type of excitatory synapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Acetylcholine
  • Long-term depression
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Nitric oxide
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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