Regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) expression is central to synaptic plasticity and brain function, but how these changes occur in vivo remains elusive. Here, we developed a method to longitudinally monitor the expression of synaptic AMPARs across multiple cortical layers in awake mice using two-photon imaging. We observed that baseline AMPAR expression in individual spines is highly dynamic with more dynamics in primary visual cortex (V1) layer 2/3 (L2/3) neurons than V1 L5 neurons. Visual deprivation through binocular enucleation induces a synapse-specific and depth-dependent change of synaptic AMPARs in V1 L2/3 neurons, wherein deep synapses are potentiated more than superficial synapses. The increase is specific to L2/3 neurons and absent on apical dendrites of L5 neurons, and is dependent on expression of the AMPAR-binding protein GRIP1. Our study demonstrates that specific neuronal connections, across cortical layers and even within individual neurons, respond uniquely to changes in sensory experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience
- General Immunology and Microbiology
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology