Autocrine signaling by an Aplysia neurotrophin forms a presynaptic positive feedback loop

Iksung Jin, Hiroshi Udo, Russell Nicholls, Huixiang Zhu, Eric R. Kandel, Robert D. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Whereas short-term plasticity is often initiated on one side of the synapse, long-term plasticity involves coordinated changes on both sides, implying extracellular signaling. We have investigated the possible signaling role of an Aplysia neurotrophin (ApNT) in facilitation induced by serotonin (5HT) at sensory-to-motor neuron synapses in culture. ApNT is an ortholog of mammalian BDNF, which has been reported to act as either an anterograde, retrograde, or autocrine signal, so that its pre- and postsynaptic sources and targets remain unclear. We now report that ApNT acts as a presynaptic autocrine signal that forms part of a positive feedback loop with ApTrk and PKA. That loop stimulates spontaneous transmitter release, which recruits postsynaptic mechanisms, and presynaptic protein synthesis during the transition from short- to intermediate-term facilitation and may also initiate gene regulation to trigger the transition to long-term facilitation. These results suggest that a presynaptic ApNT feedback loop plays several key roles during consolidation of learning-related synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E11168-E11177
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Autocrine signaling by an Aplysia neurotrophin forms a presynaptic positive feedback loop'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this