Transsynaptic EphB/Ephrin-B signaling regulates growth of presynaptic boutons required for classical conditioning

Academic Article


  • Learning-related presynaptic remodeling has been documented in only a few systems, and its molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Here we describe a role for the bidirectional EphB/ephrin-B signaling system in structural plasticity of presynaptic nerve terminals using an in vitro model of classical conditioning. Conditioning or BDNF application induced significant growth of auditory nerve presynaptic boutons that convey the conditioned stimulustoabducens motor neurons. Interestingly, bouton enlargement occurred only for those synapses apposedtomotor neuron dendrites rather thantosomata. Phosphorylationofephrin-B1, but not EphB2, was induced by both conditioning and BDNF application and was inhibited by postsynaptic injections of ephrin-B antibody. Finally, suppression of postsynaptic ephrin-B function inhibited presynaptic bouton enlargement that was rescued by activation of EphB2 by ephrin-B1-Fc. These data provide evidence for ephrin-B-induced EphB2 forward signaling in presynaptic structural plasticity during classical conditioning. They also reveal a functional interaction between BDNF/TrkB and the Eph/ephrin signaling systems in the coordination of presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications during conditioning. © 2011 the authors.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Li W; Zheng Z; Keifer J
  • Start Page

  • 8441
  • End Page

  • 8449
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 23