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    Abstract: Relay neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) receive excitatory inputs from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Retinogeniculate synapses are characterized by a prominent short-term depression of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated currents, but the underlying mechanisms and its function for visual integration are not known. Here we identify CKAMP44 as a crucial auxiliary subunit of AMPARs in dLGN relay neurons, where it increases AMPAR-mediated current amplitudes and modulates gating of AMPARs. Importantly, CKAMP44 is responsible for the distinctive short-term depression in retinogeniculate synapses by reducing the rate of recovery from desensitization of AMPARs. Genetic deletion of CKAMP44 strongly reduces synaptic short-term depression, which leads to increased spike probability of relay neurons when activated with high-frequency inputs from retinogeniculate synapses. Finally, in vivo recordings reveal augmented ON- and OFF-responses of dLGN neurons in CKAMP44 knockout (CKAMP44(-/-)) mice, demonstrating the importance of CKAMP44 for modulating synaptic short-term depression and visual input integration.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29343769
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