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NPAS4 recruits CCK basket cell synapses and enhances cannabinoid-sensitive inhibition in the mouse hippocampus.

  • Author(s): Hartzell, Andrea L
  • Martyniuk, Kelly M
  • Brigidi, G Stefano
  • Heinz, Daniel A
  • Djaja, Nathalie A
  • Payne, Anja
  • Bloodgood, Brenda L
  • et al.

Experience-dependent expression of immediate-early gene transcription factors (IEG-TFs) can transiently change the transcriptome of active neurons and initiate persistent changes in cellular function. However, the impact of IEG-TFs on circuit connectivity and function is poorly understood. We investigate the specificity with which the IEG-TF NPAS4 governs experience-dependent changes in inhibitory synaptic input onto CA1 pyramidal neurons (PNs). We show that novel sensory experience selectively enhances somatic inhibition mediated by cholecystokinin-expressing basket cells (CCKBCs) in an NPAS4-dependent manner. NPAS4 specifically increases the number of synapses made onto PNs by individual CCKBCs without altering synaptic properties. Additionally, we find that sensory experience-driven NPAS4 expression enhances depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), a short-term form of cannabinoid-mediated plasticity expressed at CCKBC synapses. Our results indicate that CCKBC inputs are a major target of the NPAS4-dependent transcriptional program in PNs and that NPAS4 is an important regulator of plasticity mediated by endogenous cannabinoids.

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