Kanold group research published in PNASISR-affiliated Assistant Professor Patrick Kanold (Biology) and his colleagues have just had their mammalian-brain research, “Electrical synapses formed by connexin36 regulate inhibition- and experience-dependent plasticity” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
The research shows that elimination of electrical synapses formed by connexin36 altered inhibitory efficacy and caused frequency facilitation of inhibition consistent with a decreased GABA release in the inhibitory network. The altered inhibitory efficacy was paralleled by a failure of theta-burst long-term potentiation induction and by impaired ocular dominance plasticity in the visual cortex. Together, these data suggest a unique mechanism for regulating plasticity in the visual cortex involving synchronization of inhibitory networks via electrical synapses.
Published August 16, 2011