Chemical synaptic activity modulates nearby electrical synapses

Mackenzie Smith, Alberto E. Pereda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Most electrically coupled neurons also receive numerous chemical synaptic inputs. Whereas chemical synapses are known to be highly dynamic, gap junction-mediated electrical transmission often is considered to be less modifiable and variable. By using simultaneous pre- and postsynaptic recordings, we demonstrate at single mixed electrical and chemical synapses that fast chemical transmission interacts with gap junctions within the same ending to regulate their conductance. Such localized interaction is activity-dependent and could account for the large variation in strength of electrical coupling at auditory afferent synapses terminating on the Mauthner cell lateral dendrite. Thus, interactions between chemical and electrical synapses can regulate the degree of electrical coupling, making it possible for a given neuron to independently modify coupling at different electrical synapses with its neighbors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4849-4854
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2003


  • Gap junction
  • Long-term depression
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Mauthner
  • Plasticity
  • Postsynaptic density (PSD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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