Striatal output neurons (SONs) integrate glutamatergic synaptic inputs originating from the cerebral cortex. In vivo electrophysiological data have shown that a prior depolarization of SONs induced a short-term (1 sec)increase in their membrane excitability, which facilitated the ability of corticostriatal synaptic potentials to induce firing. Here we propose, using a computational model of SONs, that the use-dependent, short-term increase in the responsiveness of SONs mainly results from the slow kinetics of a voltage-dependent, slowly inactivating potassium A-current. This mechanism confers on SONs a form of intrinsic short-term memory that optimizes the synaptic inputâ€“output relationship as a function of their past activation.
Mahon S, Deniau JM, Charpier S, Delord B (2000) Role of a striatal slowly inactivating potassium current in short-term facilitation of corticostriatal inputs: a computer simulation study. Learn Mem 7:357-62 [PubMed]