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Front. Cell. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00442

Visualization of exo- and endocytosis of AMPA receptors during hippocampal synaptic plasticity around postsynaptic-like membrane formed on glass surface

  • 1Kyoto University, Japan

Regulation of exo- and endocytosis of AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) plays a critical role in the expression of synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at excitatory central synapses. Enhanced AMPAR exocytosis or endocytosis has been suggested to contribute to LTP or LTD, respectively. However, there have been several unsettled fundamental questions about AMPAR exo- and endocytosis in a basal condition and during synaptic plasticity. (1) Do the size of each exo- or endocytosis event, and/or their frequencies change during LTP or LTD? If they change, what are the time courses of respective changes? (2) Where does the exo- or endocytosis preferentially occur in each condition; inside or in the vicinity of postsynaptic membrane, or in extrasynaptic membrane? (3) Do different types of AMPAR, such as GluA1 homo-tetramer, GluA1/2 hetero-tetramer and GluA2/3 hetero-tetramer, show distinct exo- and endocytosis changes? To address these questions, we developed new methods to observe individual events of AMPAR exo- or endocytosis with a high signal to noise ratio in a culture preparation using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). In these studies, hippocampal neurons were cultured on the neurexin-coated glass coverslip, which induced formation of postsynaptic-like membrane (PSLM) directly on the glass surface. Then, super-ecliptic pHluorin (SEP)-tagged AMPAR subunit such as GluA1 (GluA1-SEP) was expressed in neurons and its fluorescence changes during LTP induced by high frequency electrical field stimulation was observed with TIRFM, which showed different time courses of exocytosis changes of GluA1-, GluA2-, or GluA3-SEP in and around PSLM. In addition, a new method to detect individual endocytosis events of AMPAR was developed by combining TIFRM observation of GluA-SEP around PSLM with a rapid extracellular pH exchange method using a U-tube. Recent results on exo- and endocytosis changes of GluA-SEP during the NMDA-induced LTD suggested that suppression of AMPAR exocytosis rather than enhancement of AMPAR endocytosis primarily contributes to the LTD expression, although the NMDA application transiently enhances clathrin-dependent endocytosis of GluA1-containing AMPAR.

Keywords: Exocytosis, Endocytosis, LTP, LTD, Hippocampus, AMPA receptor, Total internal refl ection fl uorescence microscopy, live-cell imaging

Received: 28 Jul 2018; Accepted: 05 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Enrica Maria Petrini, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Technologia, Italy

Reviewed by:

Takashi Hayashi, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (Japan), Japan
Yoichi Araki, Johns Hopkins University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Hirano. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Tomoo Hirano, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, thirano@neurosci.biophys.kyoto-u.ac.jp