Dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity in striatum during in vivo development

Ka Choi Tang, Malcolm J. Low, David K. Grandy, David M. Lovinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1260
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 30 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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