Kim T, Chaloner FA, Cooke SF, Harnett MT, Bear MF (2019) Opposing Somatic and Dendritic Expression of Stimulus-Selective Response Plasticity in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex. Front Cell Neurosci 13: 555

Daily exposure of awake mice to a phase-reversing visual grating stimulus leads to enhancement of the visual-evoked potential (VEP) in layer 4 of the primary visual cortex (V1). This stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP) resembles and shares mechanistic requirements with canonical long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP). However, it remains to be determined how this augmentation of a population response translates into altered neuronal activity of individual V1 neurons. To address this question, we performed longitudinal calcium imaging of layer 4 excitatory neurons in V1 and tracked changes associated with the induction and expression of SRP. We found no evidence for a net change in the fraction of visually responsive neurons as the stimulus became familiar. However, endoscopic calcium imaging of layer 4 principal neurons revealed that somatic calcium transients in response to phase-reversals of the familiar visual stimulus are reduced and undergo strong within-session adaptation. Conversely, neuropil calcium responses and VEPs are enhanced during familiar stimulus viewing, and the VEPs show reduced within-session adaptation. Consistent with the exquisite selectivity of SRP, the plasticity of cellular responses to phase-reversing gratings did not translate into altered orientation selectivity to drifting gratings. Our findings suggest a model in which augmentation of fast, short-latency synaptic (dendritic) responses, manifested as enhanced layer 4 VEPs, recruits inhibition to suppress cellular activity. Reduced cellular activity to the familiar stimulus may account for the behavioral correlate of SRP, orientation-selective long-term habituation.

Pubmed: 32009901