Neurons in a micro-circuit connected by chemical synapses can have their connectivity affected by the prior activity of the cells. The number of synapses available for releasing neurotransmitter can be decreased by repetitive activation through depletion of readily releasable neurotransmitter (NT), or increased through facilitation, where the probability of release of NT is increased by prior activation. These competing effects can create a complicated and subtle range of time-dependent connectivity. Here we investigate the probabilistic properties of facilitation and depression (FD) for a presynaptic neuron that is receiving a Poisson spike train of input. We use a model of FD that is parameterized with experimental data from a hippocampal basket cell and pyramidal cell connection, for fixed frequency input spikes at frequencies in the range of theta (3–8 Hz) and gamma (20–100 Hz) oscillations. Hence our results will apply to micro-circuits in the hippocampus that are responsible for the interaction of theta and gamma rhythms associated with learning and memory. A control situation is compared with one in which a pharmaceutical neuromodulator (muscarine) is employed. We apply standard information-theoretic measures such as entropy and mutual information, and find a closed form approximate expression for the probability distribution of release probability. We also use techniques that measure the dependence of the response on the exact history of stimulation the synapse has received, which uncovers some unexpected differences between control and muscarine-added cases.
- Cholinergic modulation
- Hippocampal GABAergic synapses
- Mutual information
- Short-term synaptic plasticity