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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr James Dachtler

Hardingham, N., Wright, N., Dachtler, J. & Fox, K. (2008). Sensory deprivation unmasks a PKA-dependent synaptic plasticity mechanism that operates in parallel with CaMKII. Neuron 60(5): 861-874.

Author(s) from Durham


Calcium/calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) is required for LTP and experience-dependent potentiation in the barrel cortex. Here, we find that whisker deprivation increases LTP in the layer IV to II/III pathway and that PKA antagonists block the additional LTP. No LTP was seen in undeprived CaMKII-T286A mice, but whisker deprivation again unmasked PKA-sensitive LTP. Infusion of a PKA agonist potentiated EPSPs in deprived wild-types and deprived CaMKII-T286A point mutants but not in undeprived animals of either genotype. The PKA-dependent potentiation mechanism was not present in GluR1 knockouts. Infusion of a PKA antagonist caused depression of EPSPs in undeprived but not deprived cortex. LTD was occluded by whisker deprivation and blocked by PKA manipulation, but not blocked by cannabinoid antagonists. NMDA receptor currents were unaffected by sensory deprivation. These results suggest that sensory deprivation causes synaptic depression by reversing a PKA-dependent process that may act via GluR1.