Compartment-specific regulation of plasma membrane calcium ATPase type 2 in the chick auditory brainstem

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Abstract

Calcium signaling plays a role in synaptic regulation of dendritic structure, usually on the time scale of hours or days. Here we use immunocytochemistry to examine changes in expression of plasma membrane calcium ATPase type 2 (PMCA2), a high-affinity calcium efflux protein, in the chick nucleus laminaris (NL) following manipulations of synaptic inputs. Dendrites of NL neurons segregate into dorsal and ventral domains, receiving excitatory input from the ipsilateral and contralateral ears, respectively, via nucleus magnocellularis (NM). Deprivation of the contralateral projection from NM to NL leads to rapid retraction of ventral, but not the dorsal, dendrites of NL neurons. Immunocytochemistry revealed symmetric distribution of PMCA2 in two neuropil regions of normally innervated NL. Electron microscopy confirmed that PMCA2 localizes in both NM terminals and NL dendrites. As early as 30 minutes after transection of the contralateral projection from NM to NL or unilateral cochlea removal, significant decreases in PMCA2 immunoreactivity were seen in the deprived neuropil of NL compared with the other neuropil that continued to receive normal input. The rapid decrease correlated with reductions in the immunoreactivity for microtubule-associated protein 2, which affects cytoskeleton stabilization. These results suggest that PMCA2 is regulated independently in ventral and dorsal NL dendrites and/or their inputs from NM in a way that is correlated with presynaptic activity. This provides a potential mechanism by which deprivation can change calcium transport that, in turn, may be important for rapid, compartment-specific dendritic remodeling. J. Comp. Neurol. 514:624–640, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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