Layer 5 contains the major projection neurons of the neocortex and is composed of two major cell types: regular spiking (RS) cells, which have cortico-cortical projections, and intrinsic bursting cells (IB), which have subcortical projections. Little is known about the plasticity processes and specifically the molecular mechanisms by which these two cell classes develop and maintain their unique integrative properties. In this study, we find that RS and IB cells show fundementally different experience-dependent plasticity processes and integrate Hebbian and homeostatic components of plasticity differently. Both RS and IB cells showed TNFα-dependent homeostatic plasticity in response to sensory deprivation, but IB cells were capable of a much faster synaptic depression and homeostatic rebound than RS cells. Only IB cells showed input-specific potentiation that depended on CaMKII autophosphorylation. Our findings demonstrate that plasticity mechanisms are not uniform within the neocortex, even within a cortical layer, but are specialized within subcircuits.
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Funding: MRC (G0901299 and MR/N003896/1)
Supplementary data available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2015.09.025