Salient stimuli that modify behavior induce transcription of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) and transport Arc mRNA into dendrites, suggesting that local Arc translation mediates synaptic plasticity that encodes such stimuli. Here, we demonstrate that long-term synaptic depression (LTD) in hippocampal neurons induced by group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) relies on rapid translation of Arc. mGluR-LTD induction causes long-term increases in AMPA receptor endocytosis rate and dendritic synthesis of Arc, a component of the AMPAR endocytosis machinery. Knockdown of Arc prevents mGluRs from triggering AMPAR endocytosis or LTD, and acute blockade of new Arc synthesis with antisense oligonucleotides blocks mGluR-LTD and AMPAR trafficking. In contrast, LTD induced by NMDA receptors does not persistently alter AMPAR endocytosis rate, induce Arc synthesis, or require Arc protein. These data demonstrate a role for local Arc synthesis specifically in mGluR-LTD and suggest that mGluR-LTD may be one consequence of Arc mRNA induction during experience.
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