Membrane lipids tune synaptic transmission by direct modulation of presynaptic potassium channels

Mario Carta, Frederic Lanore, Nelson Rebola, Zsolt Szabo, Silvia Viana Da Silva, Joana Lourenço, Agathe Verraes, André Nadler, Carsten Schultz, Christophe Blanchet, Christophe Mulle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels are involved in action potential (AP) repolarization in excitable cells. Exogenous application of membrane-derived lipids, such as arachidonic acid (AA), regulates the gating of Kv channels. Whether membrane-derived lipids released under physiological conditions have an impact on neuronal coding through this mechanism is unknown. We show that AA released in anactivity-dependent manner from postsynaptic hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells acts as retrograde messenger, inducing a robust facilitation of mossy fiber (Mf) synaptic transmission over several minutes. AA acts by broadening presynaptic APs through thedirect modulation of Kv channels. This form of short-term plasticity can be triggered when postsynaptic cell fires with physiologically relevant patterns and sets the threshold for the induction of the presynaptic form of long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal Mf synapses. Hence, direct modulation ofpresynaptic Kv channels by activity-dependent release of lipids serves as a physiological mechanism for tuning synaptic transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-799
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 19 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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