The neurotransmitters dopamine (DA) and glutamate in the striatum play key roles in movement and cognition, and they are implicated in disorders of the basal ganglia such as Parkinson's disease. Excitatory synapses in striatum undergo a form of developmental plasticity characterized by a decrease in glutamate release probability. Here we demonstrate that this form of synaptic plasticity is DA and DA D2 receptor dependent. Analysis of spontaneous synaptic responses indicates that a presynaptic mechanism involving inhibition of neurotransmitter release underlies the developmental plasticity. We suggest that a major role of DA in the striatum is to initiate mechanisms that regulate the efficacy of excitatory striatal synapses, producing a decrease in glutamate release.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jan 30 2001|
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