Homesotatic plasticity


Homesotatic plasticity

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Every organism relies on the maintenance of stable internal states, a phenomenon usually referred to as homeostasis. While homeostatic control of physiological functions like ion regulation has long been well described, homeostatic control of neuronal and network function is a relatively recent concept.

Growth and development, experience-dependent plasticity, and constant molecular turnover pose a challenge to the nervous system to keep all parameters within a functional range without overconstraining plastic processes vital for adaptive changes.

Investigating the complexity of homeostatic regulation of single neurons and neural Homesotatic plasticity is thus fundamental for understanding brain function. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of contributions to the study of mechanisms underlying homeostatic plasticity in the brain.

Homesotatic plasticity

One of the remaining challenges is to integrate findings from different levels of analysis, possibly providing a comprehensive theory that encompasses the complexity and multitude of findings, which at times may appear contradictory. Multiple levels of homeostatic regulation have now been identified in a variety of model systems.

Neurons can preserve their excitability in a functional dynamic range by adjusting their intrinsic properties and the strength of their synapses in a cell-autonomous manner. A number of cellular and molecular mechanisms Homesotatic plasticity been identified as regulators of cell-autonomous homeostatic plasticity.

In most systems, the activation of these mechanisms occurs after a sensor detects deviations from expected levels of electrical activity and begins a cascade of events that compensates for these changes.


Systems in which the expected set-point activity of a single neuron has been directly correlated with network function have allowed the identification of a number of parameters that can be adjusted to maintain stable levels of activity in the nervous system.

Perhaps not surprising for such a fundamental property of biological systems, there is no unique pathway to homeostatic regulation of network activity even in relatively simple circuits.

Homesotatic plasticity

When looking at different neuronal types that make up neural circuits, it is often found that cell-autonomous mechanisms for homeostasis differ substantially.

For example, chronic manipulations of activity result in changes in the excitability and synaptic properties of glutamatergic cortical neurons, consistent with a cell-autonomous regulation towards a set-point. In contrast, the same manipulations result in changes of GABAergic neuron properties that do not seem to promote maintenance of their own excitability.

However, these changes may effectively favor maintenance of network activity by appropriately adjusting the global balance of excitation and inhibition in the circuit. In this issue, G. Draguhn highlight the importance of the regulation of GABA metabolism and transport for circuit homeostasis, and propose that inhibitory synapses may play a fundamental role that goes well beyond providing a brake on neural excitability.

The existence of multiple mechanisms for homeostatic plasticity is consistent with the possibility that each cell type may have an entire toolkit at its disposal to maintain a balanced level of activity, and it suggests a significant degree of flexibility in how a network can respond to different challenges.

This diversity of mechanisms makes it difficult to identify general rules for homeostatic plasticity. Therefore, the investigation of interactions between different neuron types and their role in network function is crucial.


Although the possibility that there are fundamental constraints to the degree of variability and of coordination of different homeostatic changes has been explored, this area of research is still in its infancy. Here, theoretical work is of fundamental importance for the integration of diverse experimental findings, with the goal to provide a general conceptual framework for homeostatic regulation of circuit excitability and function.

In this context, B. At the systems level, the interaction between cell-autonomous and circuit mechanisms may preserve stable sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. Investigating how homeostatic mechanisms observed at the single neuron and circuit level are integrated to regulate brain activity is extremely challenging.

The complexity of interactions between different brain areas in sensory and cognitive processing and the difficulty of relating synaptic and intrinsic forms of plasticity to complex network functions have limited our ability to bridge cellular and system levels.Neural Plasticity is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal that publishes articles related to all aspects of neural plasticity, with special emphasis on its functional significance as reflected in behavior and in psychopathology.

Most work on homeostatic synaptic plasticity has used in vitro systems to probe function and uncover molecular mechanisms, but there is now a growing appreciation that homeostatic plasticity is a vital aspect of in vivo circuit function at many stages of development.

Heterosynaptic plasticity - Wikipedia

Homeostatic plasticity can stabilize the activity of individual neurons [54, 58, 59]. Neurons connect to each other in a cell-type-specific manner, forming circuits that perform specific functions.

Neurons connect to each other in a cell-type-specific manner, forming circuits that perform specific functions.

Homeostatic plasticity | Revolvy Homeostatic role[ edit ] Heterosynaptic plasticity may play an important homeostatic role in neural plasticity by normalizing or limiting the total change of synaptic input during ongoing Hebbian plasticity. Moreover, Hebbian plasticity is induced by and amplifies correlations in neural circuits which creates a positive feedback loop and renders neural circuits unstable.
Homeostatic Plasticity in the Nervous System As with any homeostatic process, this form of plasticity ensures that neural activities e. Gains and Guitars The key purpose of homeostatic plasticity is the modulation of neural gain.



Homeostatic plasticity can be used to term a process that maintains the stability of neuronal functions through a coordinated plasticity among subcellular compartments, such as the synapses versus the neurons and the cell bodies versus the axons.

Homeostatic plasticity and the NMDA receptor. Two main modes of homeostatic plasticity, synaptic scaling and metaplasticity, have been reviewed recently 1, 30, We will therefore limit our discussion to the contribution of dynamic changes in postsynaptic elements, particularly NMDA receptors, to these forms of plasticity.

“Homeostatic plasticity” refers to a collection of processes that allow neurons to adjust how sensitive they are to their inputs.

As with any homeostatic process, this form of plasticity ensures that neural activities (e.g. firing rates) neither grow without bound nor do they shrink to nothing.

What is homeostatic plasticity?