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Age-dependent Homeostatic Plasticity of GABAergic Signaling in Developing Retinal Networks

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12159-12164
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2011


Developing retinal ganglion cells fire in correlated spontaneous bursts, resulting in propagating waves with robust spatiotemporal features preserved across development and species. Here we investigate the effects of homeostatic adaptation on the circuits controlling retinal waves. Mouse retinal waves were recorded in vitro for up to 35 h with a multielectrode array in presence of the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, allowing us to obtain a precise, time-resolved characterization of homeostatic effects in this preparation. Experiments were performed at P4–P6, when GABAA signaling is depolarizing in ganglion cells, and at P7–P10, when GABAA signaling is hyperpolarizing. At all ages, bicuculline initially increased the wave sizes and other activity metrics. At P5–P6, wave sizes decreased toward control levels within a few hours while firing remained strong, but this ability to compensate disappeared entirely from P7 onwards. This demonstrates that homeostatic control of spontaneous retinal activity maintains specific network dynamic properties in an age-dependent manner, and suggests that the underlying mechanism is linked to GABAA signaling.

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