Homeostatic plasticity

Homeostatic plasticity

In Neuroscience, homeostatic plasticity refers to the capacity of neurons to regulate their own excitability relative to network activity, a compensatory adjustment that occurs over the timescale of days.

Homeostatic plasticity is thought to oppose Hebbian plasticity by modulating the activity of the synapse. Homeostatic plasticity was first discovered by Gina Turrigano, who published a paper in the journal Nature in 1998 describing a compensatory changes in miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) after chronic excitation or inhibition. The exact mechanisms underlying this mechanism are under active investigation.

The term homeostatic plasticity derives from two opposing concepts: ‘homeostatic’ (a product of the Greek words for ‘same’ and ‘state’ or ‘condition’) and plasticity (or 'change'), thus homeostatic plasticity means "staying the same through change."


* Turrigiano GG, Leslie KR, Desai NS, Rutherford LC and Nelson SB (1998), Activity-dependent scaling of quantal amplitude in neocortical neurons, Nature 391, 892-896 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=9495341&itool=iconabstr&query_hl=20&itool=pubmed_docsum|Pub Med] .

* Turrigiano GG and Nelson SB (2004), Homeostatic Plasiticity in the Developing Nervous System, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5, 97-107

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